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Hard Rock Tejon could break ground next year

Hard Rock officials released this rendering of the forthcoming Hard Rock Tejon in Mettler, California. (Hard Rock)

Construction on Hard Rock International’s third hotel-casino project in California is expected to begin next year.

The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) approved an agreement Nov. 17 to place a 320-acre parcel of land into trust for the Tejon Indian Tribe, which entered into a partnership with Hard Rock in 2019. The DOI also approved an agreement between the state and the tribe that would allow slot machines and blackjack.

Tribes are given authority to govern land that is taken into trust by the federal government, allowing it to benefit from federal programs that protect tribal sovereignty while creating economic opportunities.

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tejon would be located in Mettler, about 30 minutes south of Bakersfield in Kern County. Hard Rock’s other California hotel-casino projects are the Hard Rock Lake Tahoe and the Hard Rock Sacramento at Fire Mountain.

The $600 million Hard Rock Tejon would be built on 52 of the 320 acres that were approved in the DOI agreement. The project calls for an 11-story, 400-room hotel with a 165,500-square foot casino with 3,000 slots, 13 restaurants, a Hard Rock Live entertainment venue, spa-fitness center, convention space and RV park.

The Hard Rock project is the Tejon Indian Tribe’s first commercial venture. The remaining land on the site would be dedicated to tribal administrative offices, a health care facility and tribal housing.

After the DOI agreement was announced, a spokesperson for the tribe said the hope was to begin construction sometime in the spring or summer of 2023. Hard Rock officials have previously said that the project would take 18-to-24 months to be completed once construction starts.

The original Tejon Indian Reservation was established in 1853 and was known as the first Native American reservation in California. According to the tribe, it was dissolved in 1864 after many of its inhabitants were forcibly relocated to the Tule River Reservation about 60 miles away.

The tribe was federally recognized in 2012 and today has approximately 1,200 members, which the tribe says have mostly lived in the Bakersfield area since the 1950s.

The Seminole Tribe is the parent entity of Hard Rock International. More is at

Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at