Marty Derbyshire Pala Casino CA expansion

For the third time since it opened 16 years ago, the Pala Casino Spa & Resort is planning an expansion. 

Last month, Pala announced the property would begin a $170 million renovation and expansion project in October 2017. Pala expects to complete the undertaking in May 2019. 

The renovation and expansion will include: 

  • Adding a new 349-room hotel tower;
  • Converting the existing resort pool into a multi-pool and entertainment resort complex;
  • Constructing new hotel suites overlooking the Starlight Theater event lawn and new pool and entertainment complex;
  • Expanding the gaming and casino bar space;
  • Renovating the entire casino interior;
  • Expanding the parking garage;
  • Remodeling the restaurant promenade;
  • Renovating the entire casino interior;
  • Renovating the existing hotel tower. 

Pala hotel and casino growth

The project will increase the size of Pala’s casino from 90,000 square feet to over 102,000. Plus, it will allow Pala to increase its casino offering from 2,000 to 2,500 slots, and 80 to 88 table games. 

In addition, Pala’s hotel room portfolio will grow from 507 to 854 rooms.

Said Bill Bembenek, Chief Executive Officer of Pala Casino Spa & Resort:

“We are very excited to engage in our third major expansion since our introduction to the Southern California gaming and hospitality market more than 16 years ago.

As in the past, we expect elements of this expansion and upgrade to be unique to our property and to set new resort standards. This significant expansion project will complement our already luxurious resort offerings while providing our patrons with new world-class amenities.”  

Construction jobs and more

Pala expects the project will create 400 construction jobs. Upon completion, Pala will add more than 200 employment opportunities to its current team of 2,000. 

San Francisco, CA construction company Level 10 Construction will do the work. The expansion and renovation is being designed by architect Klai Juba Wald of Las Vegas, NV with contributions from Marks Architects in San Diego, CA.   

The Pala Band of Mission Indians

Pala Casino Spa & Resort is owned and operated by The Pala Band of Mission Indians. The band also owns and operates online casino, poker, and bingo sites in New Jersey under the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa internet gaming license.

“Our ability to exponentially expand and refresh Pala Casino Spa & Resort is a true testament to not only the growth of Pala, but also to the thriving economy and the continued strength of the gaming industry in California,” said Robert Smith, chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians. “This is a significant milestone for our Tribe and we look forward to continuing to exceed the expectations of our loyal patrons.”

Image c/o Pala Casino

Marty Derbyshire
Marty Derbyshire - Martin Derbyshire is a veteran of the world of poker and gambling, having worked as a reporter, producer, and editor in the industry for more than a decade. He has traveled the globe interviewing high-profile personalities and contributes to a number of publications, including,, and