Graton resort and casinoAfter years of planning and 16 months of construction, Graton Resort & Casino officially opened its doors to the public last month. The $800-million facility is the closest full-service casino to the Bay Area, and ushers in a new level of sophistication and excitement to Northern California. A traditional Chinese lion and dragon dance spread the luck and marked the opening of the casino, which is located just off U.S. Highway 101 near Rohnert Park, Calif.

“On behalf of the more than 1,300 members of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, we are proud to have achieved this important milestone for our tribe and the entire Sonoma community,” said Greg Sarris, chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, in a prepared statement. “We have created more than 2,000 new jobs and brought economic benefits that will extend to Native Americans and non-Native Americans alike.”

Since groundbreaking in June 2012, the Graton Resort & Casino has created more than 750 construction jobs and more than 2,000 permanent jobs and will contribute millions of dollars annually to local communities through long-term revenue sharing agreements. In addition, more than 1,500 California vendors have supplied millions of dollars of local goods and services to the casino.

“The Graton Resort & Casino provides top-notch gaming and dining in a beautifully designed venue for a complete entertainment experience,” said Joe Hasson, general manager of the Graton Resort & Casino. According to a property press release, every inch of the Graton Resort & Casino features the highest quality materials and workmanship. The property was designed to usher visitors into an exciting and welcoming space that balances a modern, sophisticated contemporary design with the ultimate expression of California casual elegance. The finest materials are featured throughout the property, including zebrano marble, golden onyx, white quartz, Algonquin limestone, terrazzo flooring and crystal chandeliers.

Within an hour’s drive of San Francisco, the Graton Resort & Casino gaming mix includes 3,000 slot machines and 144 table games offering blackjack, baccarat, and pai gow; the Poker Room, which is a non-smoking area, features 18 tables and popular games including Limit Hold’em, No-Limit Hold’em, and specialty games such as Mexican Stud; and the High Limit Casino Area for guests who prefer a more intimate gaming atmosphere. The area includes a dedicated table games room featuring blackjack and baccarat, plus six additional private-gaming salons. The High Limit Slot area offers 48 high-denomination slot machines.

 The resort also features 13 new restaurants, three specialty lounges, and a 600-seat event center.