Palms Casino Resort reopens under tribal ownership


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The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas as photographed in January 2015.

The Palms Casino Resort is making history as the first Las Vegas casino to be fully owned and operated by a Native American tribe.

The property closed for two years after the COVID pandemic hit. But the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians bought it and scheduled a reopening ceremony for Wednesday night.

Visitors will notice the upscale décor, the variety of restaurants, and the high-tech, luxury movie theater. There’s even graffiti from local artists.

General Manager Cynthia Kiser Murphey said the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians wants visitors to notice a cultural quality at the property.

“A tribe is a family and it’s our responsibility to honor our tribe,” she said during a tour before the reopening. “Why? To honor the seven generations past and create opportunity for the next seven generations.

“So it is our responsibility to make that work, to bring that to life. And it’s really an honor to get to do that.”

The tribe has rehired more than 50% of former Palms employees.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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