Jul 29, 2014
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Santa Ysabel Casino Closes Its Doors

The casino, which filed for bankruptcy reorganization in 2012 but was denied, is saddled with debts of more than $50 million.

Santa Ysabel Casino Closes Its Doors

The Santa Ysabel Casino went out of business Monday after a nearly seven-year struggle against a recession and its isolated location.

Santa Ysabel Tribal officials also accused San Diego County of being "intransigent" for refusing to renegotiate a financial agreement that paid for off-site improvements and additional sheriff's deputies.

The casino, which filed for bankruptcy reorganization in 2012 but was denied, is saddled with debts of more than $50 million, UT San Diego reported.

"We have always strived to meet all of our obligations and to serve as a responsible corporate partner in our community, as well as a valuable public resource to our members and the surrounding area," Tribal Chairman Virgil Perez said in a statement.

The casino opened in April 2007 near the junction of state Routes 76 and 79—close to Lake Henshaw—with 349 slot machines about the time the October wildfires that year and  just before the national recession. The enterprise was also hurt by its isolated location while larger, easier-to-reach casinos flourished.

The closure left around 115 employees without jobs. The casino also was a funding source for the reservation's fire department.

Perez said he remained committed to exploring other business ventures, including gaming on a limited scale, to provide employment opportunities to the casino's workers.

—City News Service

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