Tutor Perini Corporation announced February 25 that its subsidiary, Tutor Perini Building Corp., has been awarded a $285 million contract to expand the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, CA. The Pechanga Development Corporation is overseeing the project, San Diego-based Delawie Architects is the designer, and Lifescapes International of Newport Beach, CA, is the pool area and landscape architects.

The project, scheduled to be substantially complete by the end of 2017, includes the construction of a new, AAA Four Diamond, 568-room and suite hotel wing; a stand-alone luxury two-story spa and salon with 17 treatment rooms, a fitness center and hydrotherapy pool terrace; a resort-style pool complex covering four acres, with eight pool areas; two new restaurants; and an additional 67,000 sq-ft of event space.

M. Andrew Rodrigues, principal-in-charge for Delawie, says the expansion will make Pechanga Hotel & Resort the "preeminent luxury gaming destination in the west." He says to enhance non-gaming activities, the hotel development includes 40,000 sq-ft of custom-designed and configurable event and pre-function space for meetings, conventions, concerts, boxing and mixed martial arts.

Rodrigues, whose company has worked with the Pechanga for more than 20 years, says the main design challenge was to create a resort experience similar to Las Vegas, that also "reflects the people of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians and the beauty of its locale" in Temecula Valley. "It was also important to fit into the existing hotel casino yet offer a fresh modern experience and amenities," he says.

Besides luxurious, the new development is also sustainable and is designed to meet CalGreen building standards "which is not required but was a designated goal for the project team," says Clayton Herndon, Delawie's LEED certification project manager.

Sustainable highlights include a 60,000 sq-ft green roof, landscape irrigation utilizing reclaimed water, dual (recycled and potable) plumbing, and converting the existing cooling towers to use recycled water. In addition to the use of high efficiency glazing, 90% of the lighting will be LED and key card controlled (guestrooms).

The project had a ceremonial groundbreaking in December and crews are now relocating utilities and existing infrastructure to clear the new building footprint, and shoring and excavation are set to start within the next month, says Tutor Perini Project Executive Tony Meyer.

“As with all operating properties, the biggest challenge we have is coordinating the on-going work with facilities and property operations to mitigate the disruption and impact to the guests of Pechanga,” says Meyer.

Tutor Perini has completed multiple phases of the Pechanga Resort and Casino over the past 13 years and was the general contractor for the original Pechanga resort that opened in 2002.

Project officials for the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians say that when complete, the expanded Pechanga Resort & Casino will more than double the size of current resort amenities, and add more than 3,500 jobs to the region.