Union Democrat staff

With the grand opening only weeks away, construction at the new hotel at Black Oak Casino Resort is wrapping up.

Representatives with the Tuolumne resort say the 148-room hotel and conference center is scheduled to open May 1. According to hotel General Manager Paul Medawar, the entire hotel facility will be complete and available for reservations for the opening.

The resort will also hold a special grand opening ceremony on May 15, which is also Black Oak's 12th anniversary.

"We have received several reservations for the hotel, as far out as December for individual reservations," Medawar told The Union Democrat in an email on Monday.

"As far as groups are involved, we have commitments as far out as two years."

Along with 148 rooms over five floors, including 16 suites, it will also have a fitness room and outdoor pool. When complete, it will be the largest hotel in Tuolumne County and one of the largest buildings overall.

The facility will also offer about 6,000 square feet of space in multiple rooms for meetings, conferences and other public events.

The hotel is the latest project for the growing Black Oak Casino, which was built by the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians.

The property also includes a 1,000-space parking garage, and construction was completed about a year ago on a gas station and mini-mart with the intention of serving tourists, local motorists and hotel guests.

The resort is also building a new sign at the hotel and casino, and has recently redesigned its website.

Future plans include a golf course and a housing development.

Black Oak Casino originally opened in 2001 in a 28,000-square-foot metal warehouse with 600 slot machines and six table games. Today, the 164,000-square-foot casino has 1,200 slot machines, 24 table games, a poker room, four restaurants, a stage for live entertainment, a bowling center and an arcade.