Casino Pauma

Surrounded by orange groves in Southern California, the 12-year old tent structure casino required a complete remodel in order to create a high-quality locals feel that would help to draw additional customers and provide a comfortable and inviting destination. I-5 provided comprehensive design-build services for the project, ensuring the most efficient transformation was performed while minimizing the impact of this project on casino operations and guests. The renovation resulted in a highly memorable gaming destination and has produced excellent results for the Tribe.    


Location: Pauma Valley, California
Duration: 20 Weeks
Project Size: 45,000 sf
Services: Design Build Remodel

Our Approach

Design & Planning

The lodge-style design was inspired by the local landscape and accentuated with an orange motif that pays homage to local history. Warm wood beams, accents, and unique sculptural and rock elements extend the theme throughout the property.


A custom perimeter valance was incorporated throughout the gaming floor and cashier areas with specialty etched metal and decorative wood accents. The design is extended with LED lighting that projects onto satin curtains featuring translucent orange grove designs. One-of-a-kind chandeliers and lighting elements throughout the gaming floor and dining venues create a warm glow and intimate areas within each space.

The complete renovation included adding an all-new 4,500 sf buffet area with an enclosed outdoor seating area and buffet serving line, a 3,000 sf Café, the 2,800 sf Red Parrot Lounge, an all-new gaming floor bar, and approximately 30,000 sf of the renovated gaming floor.

Planning the Project 

Casino Pauma was housed in two large tent structures, requiring many specialty solutions in order to create the best project for the customer. Our architects and engineers collaborated daily with our design team to ensure all of the scopes of work were planned around the loading requirements of the tent structure. As design adjustments were made to ensure that this was planned for correctly, these changes were documented in a 3D reference model which served as the central point for design reference.  

In addition to the interior renovations, a new porte-cochere entry was designed to provide shelter for unloading buses and for customer drop-off. Gigantic arched beams and the shape of the porte cochere roof structure were designed to complement, rather than compete with the arched profile of the tent structure. 

Minimal Construction Timeframes

In order to perform the project with minimal impact to guests, a streamlined phasing plan was designed to enable the entire renovation to be completed in 5 months onsite. In order to achieve this, we pre-built as much of the project as possible offsite, enabling the onsite teams to simplify the construction scopes and focus on getting the site prepared for the installation of the interiors.  


Our architectural and engineering teams utilized the existing structure and architecture of the facility to create the best visual impact while minimizing the stress loads on the structure. As the work onsite continued, shipments with the interior decor arrived onsite in phases to allow each interior area to come together as planned. 

Building Offsite 

As part of the property-wide renovation project for Casino Pauma, approximately 70% of the project was constructed offsite in order to allow each phase to open as quickly as possible. Entire decor structures were assembled offsite, finishes and lighting systems integrated, and tile and stone installed in order to create the scenario where complete assemblies could install, saving weeks of work per phase. This also allowed for a parallel path of construction for the project where both onsite and offsite work were achieved simultaneously further expediting the project. 

Finished Project

Casino Pauma experienced a dramatic increase in guest traffic upon completion of its property-wide renovation. A new interior ambiance leaves guests feeling welcome and draws them in to experience more of the property. The casino and Tribe are very happy with the results this renovation has created for them. 

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