California Tribe Officially Approved To Operate Palms, Plans Underway

Written By Marc Meltzer on December 21, 2021 - Last Updated on June 7, 2022
CA Tribe Approved For Operation at Palms Casino Resort In Las Vegas

Palms set to open this spring with a new operator

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians (San Manuel) was recently granted approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) as licensees for Palms Casino Resort (Palms) in Las Vegas.

Now that San Manuel is approved to own and operate the property, the company plans to re-open Palms in time for pool season in the spring of 2022.

In May, San Manuel purchased Palms from Red Rock Resorts (Station Casinos) and will become the second Native American Tribe to operate a Las Vegas casino. Mohegan Sun is the first Tribe to access and operate the casino at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

San Manuel adding 1,000 new employees at Palms

After the approval, San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority (SMGHA) Chairwoman Latisha Casas said:

“We are grateful for this opportunity to share our long-standing tradition of hospitality with Las Vegas and execute our vision for this iconic resort, starting by welcoming back former and current Palms employees.”

While the company will bring back many Palms employees, San Manuel will also be hiring 1,000 people to help operate the property when it re-opens next year.

Palms new General Manager said:

“As we forge ahead, it’s important we bring forward the strong values and culture of the Tribe into everything we do at the property…from team member culture to exceptional guest service, it’s our intent to create a lively and fun environment not only for customers but our dedicated staff as well.”

San Manuel’s desire to bring a high level of customer service to a Las Vegas casino can be a differentiation point for Palms. Customer service in casinos around the country has been mixed for the past year.

Some casinos have had difficulty re-hiring employees since closing due to Covid-19 last year. There are also casinos still operating with a smaller staff to find the right mix of paid employees and customer satisfaction.

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Plans begin to reveal slowly for Palms

San Manuel recently confirmed the rumored spring reopening of Palms but hasn’t announced much more. On Twitter, Vital Vegas reported that the Palms logo would remain and about 120 staff had been hired.

There hasn’t been too much discussion or significant changes about changes to the property. Station Casino purchased Palms $312 million in 2016 and completed a major $690 million property-wide renovation in Oct. 2019.

Palms closed in March of 2020 due to the spread of COVID-19 and never reopened. San Manuel will have a relatively new casino hotel that should only need fine-tuning to be ready for customers once again.

San Manuel updated the Palms website and it appears as though the following venues will remain at the property:

  • Brenden Theater
  • Greene Street Kitchen
  • Mabels BBQ
  • Pearl Theater
  • Rojo Lounge
  • Send Noodles
  • Scotch 80 Prime
  • Tonic Bar
  • Unknown Bar (Center “Shark Bar”)

Many of the food court vendors will also return. Lucky Penny Cafe will reopen as San Manuel’s Serrano Vista Cafe. The company hasn’t announced plans for the future of the lounge formerly known as Ghostbar.

Most of the gaming floor should remain the same, but the sportsbook will update. San Manuel revealed that Caesars Sportsbook would operate during its approval hearing.

More details on Palms should become available as the property gets closer to the opening in 2022.

Photo by LittlenySTOCK /
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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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