Courtesy Kathy Foster
Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians Tribal Chairman Anthony Pico is presented the Guinness Book of World Records plaques by Alex Angert, the official Adjudicator for GWR.

Viejas Casino & Resort Earns Two More Guinness World Records

Diana Saenger

The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians in Alpine, California is proud of their heritage and history. Since the beginning development of the Viejas Casino & Resort, the annual birthday ceremony has always been a big deal and a “thank you” to their patrons.

The past couple of years Viejas celebrated by setting a few Guinness World Records. In 2012 they set the Guinness World Record for the Largest Deck of Cards Played. In 2013 Viejas celebrated by setting three Guinness World Records; for the Most Bottles of Wine Opened Simultaneously, the Largest Deck of Cards Ever Played, and the Most People Giving “High Fives.”

Viejas General Manager Chris Kelley couldn’t stop there and wanted something really spectacular for the Resort’s 23rd anniversary. His two ideas sent booms roaring through the community and placed smiles on about a thousand faces.

As part of the September 12, 2014 VIP party for Viejas Casino & Resort’s 23rd anniversary, fireworks could be heard for miles away. The Goal this year was to set the record for the Guinness World Record’s Longest Sparkler Relay and World’s Longest Chain of Fireworks.

Guests began arriving around 6 p.m. and took their seats at the East end of the pool, where they were treated to a buffet of dinner selections, non-alcoholic drinks and desserts. As live music kept the evening festive, soon excitement filled the warm night air as 299 Viejas guests and team members, wearing “I like to Party” T-shirts, began to circle the pool area to await the start of the Longest Sparkler Relay.

Viejas’ Casey Gardner and Jim Wild did an excellent job rallying the crowd as they kept everyone informed of the events and then handed off sparkler flames to be lit from one person to another. The last sparkler holder ignited a rocket that shot over the pool area to the top of the Viejas Hotel, which then ignited the beginning of the 10,000 fireworks which lit up the night sky for nearly 20 minutes.

Alex Angert, Official Adjudicator from Guinness World Records, then took the podium and said, “It gives me great pleasure to present Viejas Casino & Resort two more Guinness World certificates to add to the mantle.”

Tribal Chairman Anthony R. Pico addressed the crowd of more than 1,000 people as Angert presented him with the official certificates. “It’s comforting to see all the veterans out there, and the fireworks, and know we’re not in harm’s way,” he said. “We want to thank all of our team members who helped make this event possible.”

Kelley, said, “This is more than just a new listing in a record book. These new records reflect the teamwork, dedication and leadership upon which Viejas’ 23 years of success has been built. We thank our loyal guests and team members, and look forward to building upon our shared success in the years ahead.”

More anniversary celebrations including the traditional Anniversary Cake Cutting and a drawing to give away a new Mercedes took place after the event on Friday night and into the next day at the Viejas Casino.

Located off of I-8 east of San Diego, the Four-Diamond Viejas Casino & Resort features thousands of slot machines; exciting table games including Blackjack, Baccarat and Pai Gow; and an off-track betting facility. Guests can choose from a variety of restaurants including the award-winning Grove Steakhouse, The Buffet and The Café. The Viejas Hotel features 128 luxurious rooms and an expansive pool area with a hot tub and cabanas for lounging or entertaining.

The beautiful Viejas Outlets, located across the street, offers visitors a unique shopping experience with highly acclaimed stores, numerous eateries, Viejas Bowl and the popular Viejas Bingo.

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