Dry Creek Pomo seek hotel for Petaluma land

The Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo is adding a 60-room hotel to its plan for land south of Petaluma as the tribe's leader continues to insist there are no plans for a casino.

Chairman Harvey Hopkins said the hotel would accommodate spectators and players for the half-dozen sports fields that are planned along with the tribal housing, restaurant, gas station, medical clinic and fire station.

In a lengthy interview, Hopkins said the tribe's existing River Rock Casino near Geyserville continues to be the priority, especially ensuring its viability with the competition it will get from Graton Rancheria's huge casino opening next month at Rohnert Park.

"We have a casino that we need to further develop and it's definitely number one on our radar. There is no projection at this time to build another casino in Petaluma — only to develop River Rock," he said.

But Dry Creek's proposal to place into federal trust the 277 acres it owns off Kastania Road has made Petaluma and Sonoma County officials uneasy that the tribe might one day build a casino there as a way to leapfrog closer to the lucrative Bay Area market.

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