Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Cache Creek Casino Resort in Brooks, California is situated about halfway between Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. Widely regarded as the biggest and best casino in Northern California, Cache Creek has operated a gaming operation since 1985, when they started as a small bingo hall. Today, the 415,000 square foot facility boasts more than 2,300 slots, 150 table games, a poker room, nine unique restaurants, a 200 room four diamond hotel, day spa, gas station, and an 18-hole championship golf course.

On the spacious patio at Cache Creek Casino Resort’s Yocha-De-He Golf Club sits a massive stone column with a majestic stone eagle perched on its top, adorned with 18 varieties of birds found throughout the surrounding Capay Valley. “When I created this, I was thinking about a really good game – 18 birdies for 18 holes,” jokes sculptor Doug Hyde, the Native American artist who created a group of statues to decorate the area surrounding the course’s new club house.

Made of limestone, which absorbs rather than reflects light, the large sculpture he described tells a story which sprung from Hyde’s imagination as he worked to create the piece on a ranch just down the road from Cache Creek. “As the day passes, each of these birds will stand out when the sun moves past them,” said Hyde.

It’s this attention to detail which makes the works of art come alive.

The experiences Hyde had while creating his art outside amongst the rolling hills of the valley contributed to the finished works as well. For instance, a rabbit that came almost daily to watch Hyde work was incorporated into the sculptures. Hyde playfully nicknamed the animal “Mulligan.”

“Every morning Mulligan would stand on the hill and watch me work,” said Hyde. “I had the opportunity to see a lot of other animals from the area up close too like deer, coyotes, eagles, wild turkey, and a bobcat – but luckily not the bears,” he joked.

In addition to the eagle, Hyde cut from pink Portuguese marble the figure of a deer being pursued by a pair of Native American hunters. The deer’s tracks are placed into the concrete in the clubhouse’s courtyard leading the stalkers to their prey. A playful bear cub and his mother watch the hunters and the dear nearby.

“The bears are placed right at the entrance,” said Hyde. Like the other sculptures, this one also tells a story. “The mother is turning over a log and looking for grubs,” he said, “and the baby is collecting pine cones, playing like a little kid.” A wasp’s nest on a stick sits across the cub’s lap. “He’s about to be in for a surprise,” said Hyde, who enjoys infusing a bit of humor into his art.

Other details are also evident in his highly stylized work, such as intricate leaves and foliage surrounding the animals, all cut carefully out of the stone in soft angles. In addition to an eye for detail, Hyde’s work displays a dedication to historical accuracy in his depiction of Native American people, in this case the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. “In this piece you’ll see that the hunter gestures with his whole hand toward the deer,” said Hyde, “because Native American people don’t point with their finger. It’s bad manners.”

Hyde, who was born in Hermiston, Oregon of Native American descent, is influenced heavily by his heritage and takes pride in reflecting it through his work. “The Native American people are now trying to tell their own story. Sculpture is a really good way to do this because you can write the stories out and people might not read it — but with sculpture they can actually see it.”

The inspiration for the grouping of sculptures Hyde created came from the history of the very valley where the Wintun people lived for thousands of years. To prepare himself, he walked the area with Tribal Chairman Marshall McKay and learned the Tribe’s history in the valley. “All of these kinds of things I thought about to get my ideas for the final pieces,” said Hyde.

Using this type of detailed historical background information, one sculpture features an authentic woven fish trap held by a woman in period dress. A child next to the woman holds a fish that was caught in the trap. Viewing the two figures evokes a feeling of traveling back in time to see the origins of the Tribe and their heritage in the region.

After months of hard work, each completed piece has been lovingly placed amongst the landscape surrounding Yocha Dehe’s clubhouse. When speaking to the artist, it’s easy to see that he’s very proud of how all of the finished pieces came together. His labors and his vision have come to full fruition. “To me, it’s a culmination of 40 years of sculpture to do a grouping like this,” said Hyde.

Advertisements

>
You recently were able to broker deals with both Pavelski and Marleau. Many thought that the organization would only be able to hold on to one or the other. How did you manage to make that work and how important are these deals moving forward?

“We have always tried to make San Jose a place that players want to come and play but at the same time, much of the credit goes to Patty and Pavs. I think they recognized what we have going here as a team and as an organization. History has shown that had these players gone to free agency, the marketplace would have been very friendly and kind to them. I can’t say enough how much we truly appreciate them making this statement. This is where they want to be, and they believe in where we’re going.

“Under a salary cap system, you can’t always keep everyone so with these players agreeing to deals that are not only fair to them but stay within the ‘team’ system we have built, it provides us a much better chance to keep the core of our team intact.”

How do you feel about the results of the recent draft?

“First off, I think we have the best scouting department in the game. These guys work their tails off year-round, watching players all over the world and it all comes down to those two days at the draft. We entered the draft this year with only four selections but by the end of it, we left with eight players. We think many of these kids have a real chance to be NHL players so we’re pretty happy with it. It’s always challenging when you’re drafting 18-year old kids and trying to project where they will be in three to four years but I have a lot of faith in the work our scouts do.”

What are you looking for out of this year’s training camp? Which players should fans be watching as future stars or big contributors?

“Although our season ended a little too early last season, we still feel that our team and players took a huge step forward last season. And none of that will matter if we don’t build on that success this season. As always, our training camp will be competitive from Day 1. There are a few roster spots available and those will be earned on merit, not just handed to anyone.

“We are also excited about some of the young players that are coming through our system and may be ready to make an impact at the NHL level. Last year, we saw a good example of that with players like Logan Couture, Jamie McGinn, Jason Demers, Thomas Griess, Benn Ferriero, Frazer McLaren and John McCarthy helping the team at the NHL level. Those players are in the mix but you also have another layer of players fighting for those spots, like Alex Stalock, Cam MacIntyre, Tommy Wingels, Nick Petrecki, James Marcou, to name just a few. It should be an exciting camp.

“We also, for the first time in 10 seasons, will have a new goalie in camp in Antero Niittymaki. We think his style will fit well with our team and we like his history of playing big in big games, like playing for Finland at the 2006 Winter Olympics.”

What is your philosophy or set of goals for the team this season?

“Again, we want to build on the team’s successes from last season. We want to be able to go into any building play any style of hockey we need to in order to win games.”

How important is it for a team like the Sharks to open the season in Europe? How important is it for the NHL as a whole to schedule games in countries such as Sweden?

“Our trip to Sweden will be exciting for the organization. Hockey is the greatest game in the world and it truly is a global game. Many of the players in the NHL come from Europe so it’s important for the NHL to not only increase its global footprint but also to allow the great fans in Europe the opportunity to see their native players compete at the game’s highest level. We are really looking forward to it.”

Describe Sharks fans for me.

“Anyone who has ever been to a game at HP Pavilion knows that we have the greatest fans in the country. Within the past year, our building was selected as the having the “Ultimate Seat” of any sport franchise in the country by ESPN and NHL players voted HP Pavilion the toughest opponent building to play in. There can be no bigger tribute to our fans than that and it is because of the passion, noise and energy that they bring every single night. Our fans know and respect the game and our players. We’re very lucky to get to play for people who care so much about the franchise.”

>
The Oakland Raiders began play in 1960 as the eighth charter member of the American Football League (AFL), where they won one championship and three division titles before joining the NFL in 1970 as part of the AFL–NFL merger. Since joining the NFL, the Raiders have won twelve division titles, three Super Bowls (XI, XV, XVIII), and have appeared in two other Super Bowls. Nineteen Raiders have been selected for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Owner Al Davis. Jerry Rice, who wore the Silver and Black from 2001-04 and played in Super Bowl XXXVII, is the latest.

Raider fans, affectionately dubbed “The Raider Nation” are arguably one of the most fervent, energetic and notable groups of fans in the entire NFL. Many of Cache Creek’s players are also fans of the team and have enjoyed the privilege of receiving tickets to home games as part of our rewards program for the last several years. The program will continue this fall. We’ll purchase 250 pairs of tickets for three home games to pass on to our guests. Qualified players can expect to see a postcard with more details as the season draws closer.

“The Raider tickets are offered as a thank you to some of our best players,” said Kent Donithan, Cache Creek’s VP of Casino Marketing. “They are one of the most sought after player rewards and go quickly when we offer them every year.”
Due to recent trades and acquisitions there will be a few new faces to watch on the field. “With some of the young players and the changes they’re making, this will be an exciting season,” said David Humm, former Raiders player and co-host of the Raider pre and post game radio show. “This season will have a completely different look and feel for fans. It’s as talented a pool of players as we’ve had in a long time.” And Humm would know, having played seven seasons with the Raiders in addition to stints with the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Colts in the 70s and 80s as quarterback, and earning two Super Bowl rings with the Raiders (Super bowls XI and XVIII).

“When you look at this year’s team, we’re strong at quarterback,” said Humm. “We have a quarterback with solid experience in Jason Campbell, and solid back-ups with Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye. We’re also strong at running back, with Darren McFadden and Michael Bush being backed up by Michael Bennett. This offense is really going to click.” Other players to watch, says Humm, are the solid draft pick Lemarr Houston and John Henderson on defense, as well as receivers Chaz Schilens and Darius Heyward-Bey, who are backing up Louis Murphy. Rolando McClain, Kamerion Wimbley and Quentin Groves round out the team as stand-outs at linebacker. “All in all we’ve got some solid players, and we’re moving in the right direction with this group.”

The Raiders regular season begins Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. on the road against the Tennessee Titans, with the Raider Nation fired up from pre-season play already in progress. “There are no other fans like Raider fans,” says Humm. “They have a loyalty to the team, an emotion, and a passion you just don’t see with other teams.”
David Humm can be heard on the Oakland Raiders radio broadcast on 105.3 KITS FM and simulcast on KFRC-AM 1550.

>
The Oakland Raiders began play in 1960 as the eighth charter member of the American Football League (AFL), where they won one championship and three division titles before joining the NFL in 1970 as part of the AFL–NFL merger. Since joining the NFL, the Raiders have won twelve division titles, three Super Bowls (XI, XV, XVIII), and have appeared in two other Super Bowls. Nineteen Raiders have been selected for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Owner Al Davis. Jerry Rice, who wore the Silver and Black from 2001-04 and played in Super Bowl XXXVII, is the latest.

Raider fans, affectionately dubbed “The Raider Nation” are arguably one of the most fervent, energetic and notable groups of fans in the entire NFL. Many of Cache Creek’s players are also fans of the team and have enjoyed the privilege of receiving tickets to home games as part of our rewards program for the last several years. The program will continue this fall. We’ll purchase 250 pairs of tickets for three home games to pass on to our guests. Qualified players can expect to see a postcard with more details as the season draws closer.

“The Raider tickets are offered as a thank you to some of our best players,” said Kent Donithan, Cache Creek’s VP of Casino Marketing. “They are one of the most sought after player rewards and go quickly when we offer them every year.”
Due to recent trades and acquisitions there will be a few new faces to watch on the field. “With some of the young players and the changes they’re making, this will be an exciting season,” said David Humm, former Raiders player and co-host of the Raider pre and post game radio show. “This season will have a completely different look and feel for fans. It’s as talented a pool of players as we’ve had in a long time.” And Humm would know, having played seven seasons with the Raiders in addition to stints with the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Colts in the 70s and 80s as quarterback, and earning two Super Bowl rings with the Raiders (Super bowls XI and XVIII).

“When you look at this year’s team, we’re strong at quarterback,” said Humm. “We have a quarterback with solid experience in Jason Campbell, and solid back-ups with Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye. We’re also strong at running back, with Darren McFadden and Michael Bush being backed up by Michael Bennett. This offense is really going to click.” Other players to watch, says Humm, are the solid draft pick Lemarr Houston and John Henderson on defense, as well as receivers Chaz Schilens and Darius Heyward-Bey, who are backing up Louis Murphy. Rolando McClain, Kamerion Wimbley and Quentin Groves round out the team as stand-outs at linebacker. “All in all we’ve got some solid players, and we’re moving in the right direction with this group.”

The Raiders regular season begins Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. on the road against the Tennessee Titans, with the Raider Nation fired up from pre-season play already in progress. “There are no other fans like Raider fans,” says Humm. “They have a loyalty to the team, an emotion, and a passion you just don’t see with other teams.”
David Humm can be heard on the Oakland Raiders radio broadcast on 105.3 KITS FM and simulcast on KFRC-AM 1550.

>
You recently were able to broker deals with both Pavelski and Marleau. Many thought that the organization would only be able to hold on to one or the other. How did you manage to make that work and how important are these deals moving forward?

“We have always tried to make San Jose a place that players want to come and play but at the same time, much of the credit goes to Patty and Pavs. I think they recognized what we have going here as a team and as an organization. History has shown that had these players gone to free agency, the marketplace would have been very friendly and kind to them. I can’t say enough how much we truly appreciate them making this statement. This is where they want to be, and they believe in where we’re going.

“Under a salary cap system, you can’t always keep everyone so with these players agreeing to deals that are not only fair to them but stay within the ‘team’ system we have built, it provides us a much better chance to keep the core of our team intact.”

How do you feel about the results of the recent draft?

“First off, I think we have the best scouting department in the game. These guys work their tails off year-round, watching players all over the world and it all comes down to those two days at the draft. We entered the draft this year with only four selections but by the end of it, we left with eight players. We think many of these kids have a real chance to be NHL players so we’re pretty happy with it. It’s always challenging when you’re drafting 18-year old kids and trying to project where they will be in three to four years but I have a lot of faith in the work our scouts do.”

What are you looking for out of this year’s training camp? Which players should fans be watching as future stars or big contributors?

“Although our season ended a little too early last season, we still feel that our team and players took a huge step forward last season. And none of that will matter if we don’t build on that success this season. As always, our training camp will be competitive from Day 1. There are a few roster spots available and those will be earned on merit, not just handed to anyone.

“We are also excited about some of the young players that are coming through our system and may be ready to make an impact at the NHL level. Last year, we saw a good example of that with players like Logan Couture, Jamie McGinn, Jason Demers, Thomas Griess, Benn Ferriero, Frazer McLaren and John McCarthy helping the team at the NHL level. Those players are in the mix but you also have another layer of players fighting for those spots, like Alex Stalock, Cam MacIntyre, Tommy Wingels, Nick Petrecki, James Marcou, to name just a few. It should be an exciting camp.

“We also, for the first time in 10 seasons, will have a new goalie in camp in Antero Niittymaki. We think his style will fit well with our team and we like his history of playing big in big games, like playing for Finland at the 2006 Winter Olympics.”

What is your philosophy or set of goals for the team this season?

“Again, we want to build on the team’s successes from last season. We want to be able to go into any building play any style of hockey we need to in order to win games.”

How important is it for a team like the Sharks to open the season in Europe? How important is it for the NHL as a whole to schedule games in countries such as Sweden?

“Our trip to Sweden will be exciting for the organization. Hockey is the greatest game in the world and it truly is a global game. Many of the players in the NHL come from Europe so it’s important for the NHL to not only increase its global footprint but also to allow the great fans in Europe the opportunity to see their native players compete at the game’s highest level. We are really looking forward to it.”

Describe Sharks fans for me.

“Anyone who has ever been to a game at HP Pavilion knows that we have the greatest fans in the country. Within the past year, our building was selected as the having the “Ultimate Seat” of any sport franchise in the country by ESPN and NHL players voted HP Pavilion the toughest opponent building to play in. There can be no bigger tribute to our fans than that and it is because of the passion, noise and energy that they bring every single night. Our fans know and respect the game and our players. We’re very lucky to get to play for people who care so much about the franchise.”

>Employee Focus: Director of Security Mark Longshore

Mark Longshore, Cache Creek’s Director of Security, is a California native with a long history of working in the casino security business. Sixteen years of that time he’s been with Cache Creek Casino Resort, starting as Assistant Director of Security in 1993 when the property was a humble bingo hall.

Today, he’s built up his department to provide security services in a number of different ways. “It’s a 24 hour a day business, so there’s always something going on,” says Longshore. “The entertainers who come in to perform here don’t travel with a lot of security, so we handle it for them. We also do all of the security for the casino and the hotel, as well as for the Tribe. We do executive security too. My job is not just focused on one thing, and that’s what I like.”

Cache Creek’s security staff also coordinates with other law enforcement agencies like the California Highway Patrol and Yolo County Sheriff’s Department during the performance of their duties. “We have a great working relationship with Yolo County’s Sheriff Department,” says Longshore. “We even do training with their department, and work closely with their CAP deputies (Capay Augmented Patrol).” These are Sheriff’s Deputies who are funded by Tribal money who are specifically assigned to patrol the area surrounding the casino and the Capay Valley.

In order to provide the wide variety of security services for the resort, Cache Creek Security staff takes part in constant, ongoing training, sometimes cross training with groups such as the FBI, Homeland Security and Secret Service. Longshore, who also holds a Criminal Justice degree with a minor in Psychology, participates in all of this training as well. “We train in a number of areas, including the laws of arrest, search and seizure, and firearms,” explains Longshore. This training is certified by the state and is used when security staff must detain suspects and make arrests. “We need to know about the law in order to do our job,” he says.

Security staff also takes part in executive protection training, arrest and control, defensive tactics, ground fighting, first responder, combat shooting, CPR/First Aid, and other training typical for a peace officer of the highest caliber. “We do a lot of law enforcement or military type training,” says Longshore. “It instills confidence and gives our officers the ability to act quickly and effectively to any real life situation that might arise.”

What all of this training and experience boils down to is a highly skilled force that is specifically designed to maintain the safety and security of patrons to the casino, its staff, and the members of the Tribe. “Our primary goal is to make sure that everyone who comes onto the property is in a safe and secure environment,” says Longshore.

>Destination: Shopping

Posted: September 1, 2009 in Interviews

>By CEAN BURGESON
For Destination Cache Creek Magazine

“We’re always trying to find things that are new and exciting to offer our guests,” says Jennifer Wollstadt, Cache Creek Casino Resort’s Retail Operations Manager, who oversees the Gift Shop and the Mini Mart. An employee at Cache Creek for over five years, she’s worked here since before the most recent expansion opened in 2004. Before that time, she worked for a company providing retail expertise to several Las Vegas casinos, including the Rio and New York New York. An Illinois native, she has worked in the casino retail industry since graduating from college with a degree in biology. Her career took her other places, however, eventually leading her to Brooks, California.

At Cache Creek, she has been able to build the retail operation from the ground up. “Before we opened, we had a clear vision of providing a more ‘resort oriented’ line of merchandise for our guests,” says Wollstadt. “Our guests are interested in high end merchandise, fashion, and more unique items – so we have that.”

A great way for casino guests to utilize the gift shop is by using Cache Club points to purchase items. “About 80 percent of people use their points for purchases in the gift shop,” said Wollstadt. Gift cards are a popular purchase item also, and can be purchased using club points at the Gift Shop.

At the other retail outlet Wollstadt oversees, the casino Mini Mart, most of the purchases are convenience items like beer, sodas, snacks and sandwiches, and of course gasoline. Serving casino guests, employees, and Capay Valley locals, the store provides for the needs of a lot of regular customers. Her employees have even learned some of their personal preferences. “My staff knows certain people and will get the items that they like when they pull up to the pump so they are ready for them when they come in,” says Wollstadt. It’s this type of personal service that has made Cache Creek’s retail operations successful.

The future will add even more shopping opportunities for guests, explains Wollstadt. “The plan in the next expansion is for additional retail venues,” she says. “They would be individual stores, each with a unique positioning and each offering something different. One might be a sundries (or necessities) store, for instance. Another would likely be a fashion store, and another a high end gift shop. It will mean more merchandise and more variety.”

Wollstadt looks forward to being a part of the new retail operations during the next expansion, and doesn’t see herself leaving the employ of Cache Creek any time soon. “No, I’m not going anywhere else,” she says. “I love it here.”

Cardholder discounts in the Gift Shop

The Cache Creek Gift Shop is now offering discounts for Cache Club cardholders. Jade cardholders will receive 20 percent off, Ruby cardholders will receive 15 percent off, and Pearl cardholders will receive 10 percent off. Discounts apply for any payment type, but exclude tobacco, sundries, food, beverages, and paper goods. Good on regularly priced items only.

>
By CEAN BURGESON
For Destination Cache Creek Magazine

Lovers of great entertainment — whether it’s comedy, music, or variety acts — probably have heard about the great shows we put on every week at Cache Creek’s Club 88. The man in charge of keeping the Club 88 stage full of sparkling entertainers is Ben Slaght, a veteran with over 30 years of experience in the entertainment business, including work as a tour manager for several high profile entertainment artists including the Dixie Chicks, Michael Bolton, Foreigner’s Lead Singer Lou Gramm, Sara Evans, Jessica Andrews & Billy Gilman, The Black Crows, Pam Tillis, BR5 49, and the Desert Rose Band.

Destination Magazine sat down with Slaght to ask a few of questions about Cache Creek’s entertainment offerings.

DM: Tell us about your entertainment venue and the type of acts you feature
Slaght: Cache Creek’s Club 88 is an intimate state of the art entertainment venue featuring acts such as INXS, Bret Michaels, Billy Ray Cyrus, Kenny Loggins, The Pointer Sisters, Eddie Money, Boyz II Men, Night Ranger, Keith Sweat, Joan Rivers, Damon Wayans, D.L. Hughley, Morris Day & The Time, Dionne Warwick, Andrew Dice Clay, The Smothers Brothers, The Commodores, Four Tops, Spinners, Temptations, and Northern California’s most diverse group of international entertainers ranging from Filipino pop stars to Latin singers and Chinese acrobats.

DM: What factors do you consider when booking live entertainment?
Slaght: We have such a unique mix of customers in our casino and showroom that we work very hard to book acts which appeal to each and every demographic. We have Motown acts and classic 60s rockers for the baby boomers, 80’s icons for the generation X’ers, international acts for our Asian and Latino guests, as well as a wide range of stand-up comedians and other special variety acts and other types of shows which appeal to everyone.

DM: What role does entertainment play at Cache Creek?
Slaght: We know, as do most resorts our size, that entertainment is a great bonus to offer to our guests. Our entertainment venue is just one of the amenities that round out the total casino experience. We also draw people to the resort with our golf course, hotel, spa, and restaurants.

Our strategy is to identify acts which will appeal to our regular customers and also ones which bring in new guests to try us out. It’s really a balancing act between the two. Knowing our audience here in Northern California and who will potentially make the trip to see a particular performer is key to our successful track record of booking shows which appeal to our audiences.

>
By Cean Burgeson
(For Destination Cache Creek Magazine)

In nine years of ownership, Maloof Sports & Entertainment has guided the Sacramento Kings and ARCO Arena to unparalleled heights. Under the leadership of the Maloof family the Kings have made multiple NBA playoff appearances, recording 50-plus regular season victories five times, back-to-back Pacific Division titles in 2001-02 and 2002-03, and advancement to the 2002 Western Conference Finals.

Joe Maloof, president of the Maloof Companies, has found Cache Creek Casino Resort to be a good fit for his Kings as a marketing partner. “They have been with us for a long time and we are honored to have them as a Proud Partner of the Sacramento Kings,” said Maloof. “It’s our goal to provide the best fan experience, and Cache Creek helps us achieve that through their exciting and creative gifts and promotions, like the ‘Cache Creek Crew’ that gets our fans pumped up and throws out T-shirts throughout the game, and the Cache Creek/Kings-branded playing cards which they’ve given out as gifts at home games for the past three seasons. The team at Cache Creek has been tremendous for our organization to work with and they help add a lot of value for Kings fans,” said Maloof. “For example, I know fans love the ‘Cache Creek Question of the Game’ on our broadcasts. Everyone looks forward to seeing if Jerry Reynolds knows the answer.”

Never satisfied with the status quo, the Kings and Maloof Sports & Entertainment continue to explore ways to enhance the entertainment value to the nearly two million guests who enter through the ARCO Arena gateways annually. “At Maloof Sports & Entertainment, we want every experience for our customers to be the best – we want to have the best entertainment, the best dance team, the best food, the best lighting…everything should be the best for our fans,” said Maloof.

”We’re here to take care of people — that’s what we do,” he added. “We cater to customers. In Sacramento, the fans are our customers and providing a great experience for them is our goal.” Because of this devotion to creating quality entertainment for their fans, the Kings have ranked first in the NBA for overall fan experience twice in league-wide surveys conducted by J.D. Powers and Associates, proving that the best way to enjoy watching the Kings is still at a live game.

“We have an exciting young team with a tremendous amount of talent,” said Maloof. “We beat the Lakers earlier this year at home so you can really see what this team is capable of. Geoff Petrie, our President of Basketball Operations, is working hard to put all the right pieces in place, and we are trying to make the games as accessible as possible for fans in Sacramento to come see this exciting young team play in person.”

“We doubled the number of $10 tickets for all our home games, and we have a lot of ticket packages available that feature added value. We also take a lot of pride in our in-game entertainment. This year we invested in a new lighting and video projection system, and we are the only team in the Western Conference that has it. We thought it was an example of something really special that would enhance the experience for our fans.”

Tapping into the excitement of the team is part of what makes Cache Creek’s partnership with the Kings so successful. “There’s a lot of excitement and an adrenaline rush in the crowd during a game at ARCO Arena,” said Cache Creek’s Vice President of Marketing Mike Leonard. “That’s the same type of experience our guests look for when they visit our resort, so it makes a lot of sense that we share some of the same audience. Cache Creek’s fans are Kings fans.”

For home game ticket information, surf to: http://www.kings.com or call: (916) 649-8497.

>
By CEAN BURGESON
(For Indian Gaming Magazine)

On the spacious patio at Cache Creek Casino Resort’s Yocha-De-He Golf Club sits a massive stone column with a majestic stone eagle perched on its top, adorned with 18 varieties of birds found throughout the surrounding Capay Valley. “When I created this, I was thinking about a really good game – 18 birdies for 18 holes,” jokes sculptor Doug Hyde, the Native American artist who created a group of statues to decorate the area surrounding the course’s new club house.

Made of limestone, which absorbs rather than reflects light, the large sculpture he described tells a story which sprung from Hyde’s imagination as he worked to create the piece on a ranch just down the road from Cache Creek. “As the day passes, each of these birds will stand out when the sun moves past them,” said Hyde.

It’s this attention to detail which makes the works of art come alive.

The experiences Hyde had while creating his art outside amongst the rolling hills of the valley contributed to the finished works as well. For instance, a rabbit that came almost daily to watch Hyde work was incorporated into the sculptures. Hyde playfully nicknamed the animal “Mulligan.”

“Every morning Mulligan would stand on the hill and watch me work,” said Hyde. “I had the opportunity to see a lot of other animals from the area up close too like deer, coyotes, eagles, wild turkey, and a bobcat – but luckily not the bears,” he joked.

In addition to the eagle, Hyde cut from pink Portuguese marble the figure of a deer being pursued by a pair of Native American hunters. The deer’s tracks are placed into the concrete in the clubhouse’s courtyard leading the stalkers to their prey. A playful bear cub and his mother watch the hunters and the dear nearby.

“The bears are placed right at the entrance,” said Hyde. Like the other sculptures, this one also tells a story. “The mother is turning over a log and looking for grubs,” he said, “and the baby is collecting pine cones, playing like a little kid.” A wasp’s nest on a stick sits across the cub’s lap. “He’s about to be in for a surprise,” said Hyde, who enjoys infusing a bit of humor into his art.

Other details are also evident in his highly stylized work, such as intricate leaves and foliage surrounding the animals, all cut carefully out of the stone in soft angles. In addition to an eye for detail, Hyde’s work displays a dedication to historical accuracy in his depiction of Native American people, in this case the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians. “In this piece you’ll see that the hunter gestures with his whole hand toward the deer,” said Hyde, “because Native American people don’t point with their finger. It’s bad manners.”

Hyde, who was born in Hermiston, Oregon of Native American descent, is influenced heavily by his heritage and takes pride in reflecting it through his work. “The Native American people are now trying to tell their own story. Sculpture is a really good way to do this because you can write the stories out and people might not read it — but with sculpture they can actually see it.”

The inspiration for the grouping of sculptures Hyde created came from the history of the very valley where the Wintun people lived for thousands of years. To prepare himself, he walked the area with Tribal Chairman Marshall McKay and learned the Tribe’s history in the valley. “All of these kinds of things I thought about to get my ideas for the final pieces,” said Hyde.

Using this type of detailed historical background information, one sculpture features an authentic woven fish trap held by a woman in period dress. A child next to the woman holds a fish that was caught in the trap. Viewing the two figures evokes a feeling of traveling back in time to see the origins of the Tribe and their heritage in the region.

After months of hard work, each completed piece has been lovingly placed amongst the landscape surrounding Yocha-De-He’s clubhouse. When speaking to the artist, it’s easy to see that he’s very proud of how all of the finished pieces came together. His labors and his vision have come to full fruition. “To me, it’s a culmination of 40 years of sculpture to do a grouping like this,” said Hyde.