This July marks the 16-year anniversary of the opening of Augustine Casino. I don’t think anyone could have predicted the level of popularity this little local’s-focused casino would achieve. From the very beginning, residents of the east end of the Coachella Valley immediately took a liking to the place, its reasonable prices, loose slots and extremely friendly service. “They even hold the door open for you and greet you when you arrive!” is something I hear nearly every day from first-time visitors.
There have been many milestones and accomplishments that the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians have enjoyed along the way. From becoming the industry’s first casino fully powered by solar energy to developing and launching an organic farm project, the Tribe has definitely made its mark on the area. On the human side, this casino has been a godsend to area residents. At a time when unemployment was skyrocketing, Augustine remained steadfast in its commitment to the community, never implementing layoffs or wage freezes, always continuing to give annual raises to all Team Members for the past 16 years. For these and other reasons, many of our team have worked here since day one and remain employed today. In fact, more than 25% of our Team have worked here longer than 10 years (a remarkable stat in comparison to other similar operations).
The Tribe has been very generous to its Team Members, offering a matching 401k program, up to six weeks of Paid Time Off per year, generous healthcare options, free life insurance, training programs, Team Member recognition programs, very competitive wages and more. Augustine Casino is known as the place “Where Locals Win.” This is just as true for those of us who work here as it is for our guests to enjoy our buffet, table games, slots and the friendly faces of those who serve it all up with a genuine smile.
The Tribe’s generosity extends well beyond the value our guests enjoy and the benefits our Team Members enjoy. The entire Coachella Valley has benefitted significantly from the philanthropy of the Tribe. Scores of charitable organizations have received very sizable donations. From the homeless and less fortunate to area children, families and the arts (and countless other worthy causes), Tribal leadership has made it a paramount endeavor to give back to the community in so many ways.
So, as we all take a moment to reflect on the past 16 years, it’s important to recognize the commitment and leadership that the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians has demonstrated. All of us have in some way benefitted by their work. To the Tribe, we say: “Thank you for your vision, perseverance, commitment and generosity. Here’s to many more years of teamwork and success!”