Comstock's magazine 1118 - November 2018 - Page 85

SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL SECTION “We can’t compete on slots and we can’t compete on scale, so we had to do something very intimate and authentic. We specifically didn’t hire an architect that had done tribal or Vegas casinos because we wanted something different,” Kevorki- an says. San Francisco firm CCS Architecture designed Stones Gambling Hall with a cen- tral restaurant while utilizing natural light to create a more family-friendly atmo- sphere, reflecting the vision of the owners “to create a community center and family restaurant,” Stone says. Kermit Schayltz, who formerly owned the Citrus Heights Lucky Derby license before partnering with Stone and Kevork- ian at Stone’s Gambling Hall, suggests the family-oriented card hall is, if not the new face of card halls, representative of the type of people moving into the business. Citrus Heights City Manager Christo- pher Boyd stops nothing short of calling Stones Gambling Hall a model business. “I’ve never seen a card hall as nice as Stones,” says Boyd, adding, “they do a lot of charitable giving, they support our po- lice department’s youth programs, and they offer their space for city events.” Steve Ayers, owner of Elks Tower in Sacramento hopes to introduce an asset similar to Stones Gambling Hall to Sac- ramento. In April 2017, Sacramento City Council unanimously approved the Elks Tower Casino, which would be an upscale, 20,000 square-foot card hall located on the ground floor of the Elks Tower. Currently Ayers is waiting the State’s approval of his acquisition of one of the city’s four card hall licenses, which he be- lieves could happen by the end of the year. “We’ve already built it out completely. We’re ready to go,” says Ayers, who hopes to open early 2019. As a business, entering what has prov- en to be a crowded and competitive mar- ket between and among tribal casinos and card halls, Ayers likens gaming establish- ments to various dealers at an automall creating a critical mass of customers. “There’s plenty of room for everyone, and the gaming establishment should embrace all California card rooms,” says Ayers. “Competition is healthy, and it is the American way.” n OVER Jordan Venema is a California-based writer that enjoys gin and teaching himself dead languages. He received a master’s of liberal arts from St. John’s College, but swears he’s learned more from his precocious son, Cassian, than he ever did from a book. ! S E M I 100 T • Must be 21. Gambling Problem? Call 800-GAMBLER. November 2018 | 85