Pechanga buying 305-acre Temecula Creek Inn property

Tribe plans to maintain operations as they are today, does not intend to pursue controversial expansion plan that called for new housing and a new configuration of the 27-hole golf course.

The Temecula Creek Inn, a 305-acre golf resort that is one of the region’s most popular wedding venues, will be sold to the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians for an undisclosed amount, the tribe announced Thursday, Jan. 25.

The purchase, which should close in March, sounds the death knell for the resort’s long-in-the-works expansion plan that would have involved chopping up the 27-hole golf course into an 18-hole configuration and carving out space on the oak-studded land for a resort community featuring 535 single-family homes, town homes and an expanded hotel.

“We are very pleased to regain this property that holds special historic and cultural meaning to our tribe,” said Pechanga Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro in a statement. “For Pechanga, this acquisition also represents diversification of our tribal economy in an industry in which we have significant expertise.”

The expansion plan has been studied by local agencies for years, a timeline that has included a favorable water supply assessment by the Rancho California Water District and state-mandated environmental impact reports that dug into details such as the traffic the new housing would generate and the impact any new development would have on Pechanga sacred sites.

Pechanga officials said Thursday there are no plans to pursue the previous ownership’s expansion efforts.

“Clearly we are confident in the long-term outlook for tourism in Southern California wine country,” said Edith Atwood, president of the Pechanga Development Corporation Board of Directors, in a statement. “TCI has been a marquee property for many years with a strong brand and operations team. We plan to maintain operations as they are today — guests and employees will not see any changes for the foreseeable future.”

Paul L. Reed, president of JC Resorts, said in a joint statement with the tribe that his company took into consideration stewardship of its employees and guests when it entertained the tribe’s offer.

“Without question Pechanga is the right buyer that ensures the future success of the property,” he said.

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