Yaamava’ Resort & Casino Wins USA Today’s ‘Best Casino Outside of Las Vegas’ Award

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The Yaamava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel, located in Highland, California, has recently received the prestigious title of “Best Casino Outside of Las Vegas” (2023) in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.

The venue also distinguished itself among competing California casinos earlier in 2023. That’s when it gained a Forbes Travel Guide 4-star “prestigious” rating.

The Yaamava Resort & Casino is a tribal-operated casino around 70 miles from downtown Los Angeles in Southern California. It has a substantial selection of more than 7,200 slots and 150 table games, from casual to high-limit VIP rooms.

It also has a 17-floor hotel and spa, luxury retail shops, and various high-end dining options featuring global cuisine.

“We are honored to be recognized as the best casino by USA Today’s readers across the nation,” said Yaamava’ Resort & Casino General Manager Kenji Hall in a press release.

 “The Tribe and our team members work hard to ensure our guests have a memorable, best-in-class experience across the property. This prestigious achievement speaks volumes to both their dedication and hard work to ensure our valued guests encounter an unforgettable experience.”

Highly Personalized Service

The Yaamava’ Resort & Casino launched in 2021. Nestled within the scenic backdrop of California’s San Bernardino Mountains, the casino aimed for a luxury, high-end clientele from the start.

The design and architecture of the resort are deeply rooted in the traditions and beliefs of the Serrano people. The term “yaamava’” translates to “spring,” and the resort is themed around that season.

The 17-floor resort tower is complete with sandstone motifs and a muted, desert color scheme that compliments the mountainous landscape behind it. The lobby includes water features, natural stonework, and a botanical art installation.

The Forbes Inspector who visited earlier this year was particularly impressed by the venue’s Serrano Spa, the Pines Modern Steakhouse eatery, and the hotel suites’ luxury showers.

“For those who like a long rainfall shower experience, the showers here command an extra five minutes,” the Inspector said.

The Forbes employee enjoyed the experience so much, Serrano Spa was awarded a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star award. The Pines Modern Steakhouse and the Yaamava’ Resort itself also clinched a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star award.

California Tribal Casinos’ Successes

The success and recognition of the Yaamava’ Resort & Casino in the luxury high-end destination market shows that U.S casinos outside of Las Vegas can compete on this front. And a tribally run casino for that matter, too.

Tribal Casinos across the U.S. saw record revenues of $40.9 billion in 2022, according to the Indian Gaming Commission. And many of the most profitable out of those casinos are in California.

Last month, two Cali casinos demonstrated the willingness to put some of that revenue back into community service. Bear River Rancheria Casino in Eureka partnered with the College of the Redwoods to offer dozens of hotel rooms to students in need of accommodation for the term. And the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians donated $35,000 in casino revenues to help battle the opioid crisis in areas around Fresno.

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