Tribal Resort As gaming tribes gain in influence and financial might, they’re moving beyond gaming to attract new customers— sometimes beating Vegas at its own game
In the 1940s, they regained part of their land in the Capay Valley. In the 1980s, they opened a modest bingo hall.
Tribal Resort As Today, the tribe of fewer than 80 people operates a multimillion-dollar casino resort, a winery and a farm. It’s the biggest employer in Yolo County, providing livelihood to some 2,500 people, tribal and otherwise.
It seems that what happens in Vegas—the growth of amenities, far beyond gaming—happens at tribal resorts, too. But which attractions make the most sense, and offer the greatest return on investment?
As Hill described it, “We had to build NIGA at the same time we maintained the fight. We set up the NCAI-NIGA Task Force, and created a board with 12 regions, two from each region. It was the perfect size, since we had exactly 12 chairs in the room. At that time, we decided that the mission of NIGA would be to promote tribal sovereignty and protect the principles of IGRA.”
After Hill was elected NIGA’s third chairman in 1992, NIGA hired its first full-time staff, starting with Tim Wapato as the first executive director, Gay Kingman as director of public relations and Chuck Robertson as policy analyst. There were no records, no office beyond a kitchen table, and NIGA was in debt with no budget.