Construction work on an Indian casino outside Rohnert Park could start within months and it could be up and running next year, the Las Vegas company that is financing the project said Tuesday.
"We anticipate starting construction on the project this summer and opening by the end of 2013," Station Casinos said in its latest quarterly statement.
The brief statement is the most definitive timeline yet made public about the 3,000-slot machine casino planned for nine years by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria.
Station officials have said they expect the casino — just south of Home Depot and west of the Scandia Family Fun Center — to cost upward of $700 million. A 200-room hotel is to be built later, they say.
The state Legislature ratified the tribe's agreement with the state last week. The agreement, or compact, is now under review at the federal Department of the Interior, which has 45 days to ratify or reject it. If the department takes no action within 45 days, the compact automatically takes effect.
Station Casinos officials declined to comment.
Opponents of the casino — which would be one of the state's largest — have vowed to continue to fight it on environmental and other legal grounds.
Under the compact's terms, before it can start work, the tribe must reach an agreement with Sonoma County about how it will financially address the casino's impacts.
Station Casinos reported its revenues grew to $318 million during the first quarter, up 8.4 percent from a year ago. It reported quarterly profits of $6.8 million, compared to a loss of $6.1 million a year ago.
"Our first quarter results were the best quarterly results we have achieved in three years," Marc Falcone, the company's chief financial officer, said in a statement.