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Yaamava’ Resort & Casino opened its new 2,500-seat entertainment theater with a packed house and a performance by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The private concert for VIP guests was the first event at the Yaamava’ Theater, commemorating the final component of the property’s $760 million expansion that started in 2018.
The theater has four levels and can fit up to 3,000 guests when the seats are fully retracted on the first level and 2,500 with reserved seating. It includes nine VIP suites on its second level that can accommodate 10 to 22 guests. Each suite provides a dedicated VIP server and includes amenities such as food and bottle service and access to a private bathroom.
The casino previously held live performances at its bingo hall on Thursdays before it was converted into the property’s Rockin’ Casino gaming area, which opened in 2017. The bingo hall was a one-level room that could accommodate 4,000 guests but wasn’t built for live performances.
“The difference with this theater is that it was designed with quality live performances in mind,” said Peter Arceo, general manager at Yaamava’ Resort & Casino. “When guests see these artists in this space, they’re going to want to see it here instead of any other venue out there.”
Vice President of Entertainment at Yaamava’ Resort & Casino Drew Dixon said the San Manuel tribe felt the Red Hot Chili Peppers were the perfect act to play the theater first. The Grammy-award-winning band, which recently earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, performed several hits such as “Californication,” “Give It Away” and “Otherside,” which had fans singing loudly along.
Dixon said guests can expect to see more top musical acts, comedians and multicultural programs that include Latin and Asian artists.
“We really want to provide an environment where when you come to this venue to feel part of this community, and have the proximity to the people you’ve come to experience,” Dixon said.
James Salazar of San Bernardino didn’t attend the show but said if one of his favorite artists got booked, he would buy tickets because of how close it is to home.
“All the concerts I go to are out in L.A., and sometimes the drive is a hassle,” Salazar said.
The complex, known previously as San Manuel Casino before changing its name to Yaamava’ Resort & Casino, first began its expansion by elevating its dining experience with restaurants such as the Serrano Vista Café and The Pines Modern Steakhouse. In December, the casino opened its 17-floor hotel tower, marking its transition from casino to resort. Yaamava’ Resort & Casino announced in March it was nearing its final step in the expansion with its theater.
“We’re very excited,” Arceo said. “The tribe has invested many resources to build out a new experience for our guests, and that was the plan from the beginning. This is the final piece to that.”
The casino joins the other Southern California casinos that boast entertainment venues. Pechanga Resort Casino’s Pechanga Theater in Temecula can seat 1,200 and 3,100 at at its secondary venue for larger events, the Pechanga Summit. Pala Casino Spa & Resort’s Event Center in northern San Diego County seats 2,000 and 2,251 at its outdoor venue, the Starlight Theater .Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa’s theater, The Show, seats 2,001. Harrah’s Resort Southern California’s Event Center in Funner and Spotlight 29’s Spotlight Showroom in Coachella can both seat 2,200. Morongo Casino Resort & Spa’s entertainment venue can seat 2,557. Fantasy Springs in Indio’s Special Events Center can hold 3,700 people.