California Dreaming at the Chumash Casino Resort

ICTMN Staff
3/4/11

Santa Barbara, California, is a destination unto itself (there is a reason it's referred to as the American Riviera), 20-square miles of gorgeous beaches, great restaurants, rolling valleys (including top notch vineyards), and a variety activities to suit just about every kind of person.  For the energetic, there are jeep tours of wine country, waves to surf, ocean to kayak, horses to ride (along beautiful trails or through the surf), boats to sail, historical and heritage tours to take, and trails to hike in the forests at the base of the surrounding Santa Ynez Mountains.  Or, you could just lie on the beach.  Or you can decide what you feel like doing over a meal, a gaming table, in a king-size bed with room service resting on your lap, or on a massage table at the Chumash Casino Resort.  This casino resort offers both an all-inclusive environment and a great jumping off point to explore the rest of this beautiful city.  The Chumash Casino Resort was the result of a years of planning and vision from the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians reservation is located in Santa Barbara county, one of California's most stunning coastal hamlets.  The tribe was established and recognized by the federal government on December 27, 1901. The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians is the only federally-recognized Chumash tribe in the nation.

The Chumash began with a small casino which opened in 1994.  Then in 2002, the tribe began a major casino project. Phase one was creating the gaming space, specifically a new 190,000 square foot gaming facility which they opened in August, 2003.

The next phase was creating the hotel. Santa Barbara is not bereft of loding options, so the Chumash wanted to create something special.  The Chumash Casino Resort Hotel opened in June 2004, a 106-room luxury hotel with the largest full-service spa in the Santa Ynez Valley, a gym, and a heated swimming pool.  The hotel has received the AAA Four Diamond Rating every year since its opening.

The Chumash Casino Resort has been a huge win for both the tribe and the community.  The tribe has been able to use revenue generated from its gaming operations to create more opportunities for members to receive an education, and improve health care. The community has benefited to the tune of hundreds of jobs for local residents and revenue for local businesses. Santa Barbara already had so much going for it, now, however, it has a top notch casino and resort, a place that draws visitors and great entertainment acts alike (Michael Bolton will play their Samala Showroom on April 28th).

The Chumash Casino Resort is located in the heart of Santa Barbara’s wine country. Thanks to that choice destination, they've launched a campaign called Win Country.  By becoming a member at Club Chumash, you are entitled to dozens of discounts – from free wine tasting to restaurant and hotel discounts.   It's one of the ways the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians has used the splendor of their location to give guests a casino and resort experience unlike any other in the country.

Speaking of the Samala Showroom, it is one of Santa Barbara county’s premier entertainment venues. The venue seats 1,400, yet the feel is intimate thanks to its riser-style seats for unobstructed views from every position.  Along with the likes of Bolton, the Samala Showroom has brought Fleetwood Mac, Sheryl Crow and Chris Rock to Santa Barbara, as well as world championship boxing.

The Chumash Casino Resort features three restaurants, including the Four-Diamond Rated The Willows, which serves up some of the best surf and turf in town (petite filet mignon with Australian lobster tail is beloved) as well as offering a stellar wine list that includes the local varietals.

Thanks to the success of the Chumash Casino Resort, the tribe has been able to increase it's long tradition of giving.  Through the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation, the tribe has donated more than $13 million to hundreds of groups, organizations and schools in the community and across the country.

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians has pulled off the impossible: making a seemingly perfect beach community even better.

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