Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

CEO says Pala's priority is providing a people-pleasing escape from everyday life - Recent $100 million renovation of Pala Casino Spa & Resort gives customers many new experiences to enjoy

Pala Casino Spa & Resort CEO Bill Bembenek has a lot to be proud of, both in the amenities his property offers during this economically challenging time and the extraordinarily high level of customer service his staff provides daily to customers.

“We are really focusing on value,” explained Bembenek. “Everyone has less disposable income today and is more discerning about their spending. Our goal is to provide the very best quality for the price charged.”

Undoubtedly the most up-to-date casino property in Southern California, a $100 million renovation was finished last year that brought sweeping upgrades throughout the many venues and hotel accommodations. While other casino properties were making cuts left and right, including personnel layoffs, Pala opted to reinvest, in both their amenities and their staff, to insure customers are both inspired and appreciated.


Tribe has always been focused on the long term, on long-term relationships,” said Bembenek. “We want our customers to feel pampered and be treated with respect.” To ensure that continued, none of the 2,000 staff members have been sacrificed during this recession.

“We have extraordinary team members and we just tried to address the budget in other ways and do what we could do without sacrificing personnel,” said Bembenek. “We’ve tried to insulate our team (from the recession) and reassure them about job security. The Pala Tribe wants the team members to be well taken care of.”

A resort that is many things to many people, Pala Casino Spa & Resort now boasts 10 restaurants within the property, with the newest three – Amigo’s (Mexican fare), Sushi Sake (Japanese specialties), and Coffee Amore (an Italian café and specialty coffee bar) – added during the recent renovation. Improvements to the Oak Room, a world-class steakhouse, and the transformation of Pala’s Buffet, now called Choices, are what many customers dub “amazing” and well worth investigating.

The new High Limit Area features a casino within a casino, boasting its own lounge and private entrances.

With a sparkling clean environment and fastidious attention to detail, Pala radiates pride in appearance.

“Cleanliness has always been made a priority at this property,” confirmed Bembenek. “Sometimes I’m just amazed at how clean the casino is.”

When it came to deciding what new amenities Pala would add in the renovation, the choices weren’t difficult, Bembenek said.

“We made those decisions based on guest feedback; that’s what they wanted,” he said matter-of-factly, explaining that he receives letters daily from customers providing positive feedback. “Our whole property is focused on the guest.”

From iPod docking clock radios and flat screen televisions in the hotel rooms, to a staggering menu of body-pleasing services in a 10,000 square foot day spa and salon, 2,000 slot machines, 87 game tables, four concert and show venues, an attractive pool with private cabanas available, and extensive offerings for business groups, Pala appears to have it all – for individuals, couples and families.

“People come here to escape from all the responsibilities of life,” said Bembenek.

And escape they do - to a destination that provides a spacious buffer from the commotion of the urban area, accentuated by the natural grace of mountains surrounding it.

“Customers tell me when they travel out Highway 76 and see the resort in the distance, framed by the mountains, they feel a sense of arrival,” said Bembenek.

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