Lori Nelson is vice president of corporate communications for Station Casinos, the operator of the nearly completed, $820 million Graton Resort & Casino, scheduled to open in northwest Rohnert Park on Nov. 5.

Q: Approximately when will the casino complete its hiring process?

[caption id="attachment_81021" align="alignleft" width="200"] Lori Nelson[/caption]

A: We have been busy since April working on the recruitment and hiring for the 2,000 team members who will be needed throughout the property. As we are less than a month out from opening our doors to the public we have now shifted gears to training the workforce to prepare for their specific job functions as well as an emphasis on training in guest service standards. There are typically additional openings beyond when the doors will open to the community, so our HR department and free dealer school program will always be on the lookout for good talent to help make Graton Resort & Casino the premiere entertainment destination.

Q: What sort of overall economic impact do think the casino will have in the long run on Rohnert Park, Sonoma County and the greater North Bay?

A: We are extremely pleased that Graton Resort & Casino will have long-term economic benefits for the city of Rohnert Park, Sonoma County and beyond. Taking a step back, the benefits of the casino project have already been realized when we hired more than 700 local construction workers back in June 2012 to help us construct the facility; we’ve created 2,000 new jobs in the local market and have put an emphasis on finding local partners to provide us with our goods and services.

In fact, more than 1,500 area California businesses are currently working with Graton Resort & Casino. We’ve also put an emphasis on local sourcing of our food. Can’t get much fresher than the produce and seafood coming out of this area.

Graton Resort & Casino also will contribute millions of dollars to the city of Rohnert Park and Sonoma County through a long-term compact with the State of California.

Q: Does Station Casinos still intend on building a hotel as part of the project?

A: The Graton Rancheria Tribe, the owners of Graton Resort & Casino, have discussed an expansion that would include a hotel component. At this time, there has not been a timeline set for this aspect. Station Casinos, as the developer and management partner to the Tribe, would undertake the design and development of that aspect when it’s the appropriate time.

Q: How will the casino impact overall tourism in Sonoma County?

A: We are very excited that Graton Resort & Casino has already been well received by the tourism community. There are so many wonderful attractions in Sonoma County for locals and tourists alike to enjoy and we believe Graton Resort & Casino will only enhance the offerings and give people one more reason to check out the area. The quality of the venue combined with the award-winning chefs, diverse dining line up, concert venue and full array of gaming will give tourists another reason to enjoy the surrounding area. 

Editor's note: Comments left on this story do not go to Lori Nelson or Stations Casinos. Questions for them must be directly sent to them.