Viejas Expansion To Include Second Casino, Hotel

The firm that designed the Bellagio and Wynn hotels in Las Vegas was named Wednesday to design the Viejas tribe's massive $800 million expansion.

The expansion includes a second casino and a hotel.

Viejas officials said it is needed in order to keep up with the market.

The plan, Viejas officials said, is to go from a casino to a resort.

"When you're talking $800 million, you don't just say, 'It's done,'" said Charlie Brown of Viejas Enterprises.

The new project will be east of the current casino, on tribal land.

However, some Alpine residents do have concerns.

"We're looking at the infrastructure of water, the traffic situation, the noise problem," said Brown.

Alpine resident Diane Moates said she worries about more traffic and accidents.

"I guess I'm not for it, basically. There is drinking out there…," said Moates.

Others in Alpine seem just fine with the idea.

"I think it will probably be a good thing for the tribe and the community," said resident David Hemus.

Hemus sees more jobs coming to the area.

At this point, the tribe has no idea what the final project will look like. But because it is on tribal land, sovereign land, they could basically build whatever they want.

Right now, many people come to Viejas to visit the casino but wonder where the hotel is.

By 2012, Viejas officials hope to have the hotel built.

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