The Barona Story

In 1991, Indian gaming was a fledgling industry in California with small, struggling operations. However, it offered a promise of hope for many Native American Tribes that had been economically challenged for decades. The Barona Band of Mission Indians had made a number of forays into gambling with a small bingo hall. They had potential, as the greater San Diego area boasted a population of close to 3 million, with the nearest non-Indian casino gambling well over 300 miles away. But they had suffered at the hands of outside investors and managers, and were at the point of voting as a Tribe to permanently bar gambling on the reservation.

VCAT and Barona were fortunate enough to find one another. The casino management, marketing and operational expertise of VCAT, together with the courage and faith of the Barona Tribe, created a rare and special synergy. Together, VCAT and Barona had a vision of the future at which casino gambling experts scoffed.

Barona suffered from the worst handicap a casino can have - a truly challenging location in the hills of East County San Diego. Its major competitors, Sycuan and Viejas, both benefited from close proximity to freeways. But through a combination of clever marketing, exceptional customer service and a true Las Vegas-style casino, the Barona Resort and Casino has defied skeptics to become the most successful resort and casino in California. It has also become a model of innovation, a trend-setter on the leading edge of technology that gaming manufacturers look to as a test-bed for new ideas.

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The Barona Timeline

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