Casino Helps Revival of California City

The presence of one of the largest Indian casinos, Graton Resort & Casino, in the country may have helped jump-start a recovery at the California town Rohnert Park.

The city of Rohnert Park is seeing a modest revival in its economy, which may or may not be attributable to the recent opening of new 0 million Graton Resort & Casino, which is considered to be the largest casino in California.

Also helping the city’s profile is the Green Music Center, which, in concert with the casino is helping to draw tourism from the Bay Area.

Just a few years ago the city was looking at a $6 million budget shortfall and the city’s officials seriously talked about bankruptcy. Public services were interrupted and jobs cut. Many private sector jobs fled the city.

The city still has many problems, including high vacancy rates in commercial buildings, but observers are starting to refer to the city as a “phoenix.” It doesn’t hurt that the national economy is also starting its own phoenix-like rise, after several years in the ashes. Some new businesses have opened, including a big box warehouse and several eateries.

At the same time residential housing starts have picked up, given a shot in the arm by money the casino paid to improve the city’s sewer system. Several thousand homes are seen as being on the horizon.