Chuckchansi breaks ground on new gas station
Donald A. Promnitz/The Madera Tribune
Dignitaries break the ground at the future site of Chuckchansi Crossing Inc., the new fueling station for Chuckchansi Gold Resort & Casino. The station is expected to generate approximately 200 jobs when it opens.
A groundbreaking ceremony took place Monday at the Chuckchansi Gold Resort & Casino for a future fueling station that, when completed, is expected to generate approximately 200 new jobs in the area.
“The tribe looks forward to providing this service to the community,” said Picayune Rancheria Chairwoman Claudia Gonzales, “and to expanding our commitment to employment in the region.”
The gas station, Chuckchansi Crossing Inc., will be located just north of Chuckchansi Gold on the northeast corner of State Route 41 and Lucky Lane. It is expected to occupy 9,000 square feet, and have nine double-pump fueling stations, and two lanes for diesel, according to Gonzales. The station will also feature hookups for electric cars, a convenience store, a smoke shop, a travel center, and food services.
Building for the site is being overseen by MCS Construction Inc., a Clovis-based company. The groundbreaking comes a year after the casino’s reopening, having been closed due to a federal shutdown in October 2014.
“It took us about three months of all us talking and working together, every single day — working with the tribe, our board, and Sacramento and Washington to get it reopened,” said Madera County District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler. “It’s hard to explain what that means to Madera County. When you take a thousand jobs in that year and plus that they were closed, our welfare, our social services went sky high, and once we got opened again, they went back down to normal.”
While Monday’s groundbreaking was considered a celebratory moment, it also began with a prayer by Tribal Councilman Harold Hammond Sr., who stated that the construction would alter the environment and the balance of nature on the land, but hoped that it would be for the benefit of the Chuckchansi people.
“But we’re here, and we’re going to thrive. That’s just the way it is,” Hammond said. “And I thank the Spirit for giving us permission to change the structure of this land a little bit.”
An exact date for the opening is uncertain, but it is expected to be sometime this year.