The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, owners of the still-shuttered Palms in Las Vegas, is changing the name of its San Bernardino, CA area casino prior to the expected December opening of its new hotel and resort, tribal officials said. The new name will be Yaamava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel.
The resort property is located in Highland, CA, adjacent to San Bernardino. The property has been successfully operating for 35 years, originally known as San Manuel Indian Bingo. It closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but has since reopened, providing employment for nearly 6,000 people.
According to Afsi Bird, the vice president of hotel operations, “Yaamava’ is a native Serrano word which means spring, a time for growth and rebirth, and like any transformation, this change is very important to the tribe, and it’s really a great milestone for them to have this beautiful luxury resort in the making for the past three years.”
Yaamava’ “matches the birth of this new building, the birth of this new endeavor,” Bird continued. “A new beginning.”
The hotel is the second of a three-part expansion project. The tribe has expanded the casino to include more than 6,500 slot machines, an additional high-limit area, shops, bars, and more restaurants. A 2,800-seat entertainment venue is expected to be completed in 2022.
The resort’s name change “allows the tribe to pursue additional growth opportunities and serve the community under the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians enterprise,” it said in a news release.
As the property grew over the years, so did its advertising and brand identity, which can be seen all around Southern California, from Dodger Stadium to billboards along the region’s ubiquitous freeways. In addition to sponsoring professional sports teams in Southern California, San Manuel Casino is also involved with professional sports teams in Nevada, including the Las Vegas Raiders and the Golden Knights.
The tribe’s casino expansion followed a number of other Southern California tribal casinos growing in recent years.
The new Agua Caliente Casino Cathedral City opened in late 2020. Soboba Casino Resort’s new casino and hotel opened in San Jacinto in 2019; and Pechanga Resort & Casino’s expansion, including a new hotel tower, new event space and a pool complex, was introduced in 2018.
The casino’s website will change to yaamava.com. It will also have a social media identity featuring the new name.
As they always do when casinos expand, advantage players, including card counters and other types of skilled blackjack players, will be observing closely for indications of increased opportunities to ply their trade.
Yaamava’ Resort is about 70 miles east of Los Angeles, and about 230 miles southwest of Las Vegas. The property is a leading private employer in San Bernardino County. The tribe hopes to replicate its success when it reopens the Palms in the near future.
“San Manuel Casino rebrands as Yaamava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel”, Brian Whitehead and Vanessa Franko, sbsun.com, September 24, 2021.
“San Manuel tribe rebrands flagship casino in Southern California”, Mike Shoro, lvrj.com, September 24, 2021.