Cache Creek Casino Resort – Northern California’s Premiere Destination

Q&A with Kari Stout-Smith, General Manager / Chief Operating Officer

This past May, I had the opportunity to visit the team at Cache Creek Casino Resort for a unique slot research project (watch special video here).

After hitting the Sacramento area, from the mountains of Reno, NV, I had a leisurely drive through quaint agricultural communities, rolling vineyards and pastureland. Exactly what you’d expect from the golden hills of Northern California and the same drive many of their guests take several times a week.

Situated in a dramatic valley, the resort grounds seem to rise organically from the lush landscape. Cache Creek overlooks rows of wine grapes and the expansive, oak-studded hills beyond. The property’s impeccable grounds, teeming with native plants and gently swaying grasses, signal that this resort sweats the details.

Kari Stout-Smith has been at the helm for over six years as their GM and COO. She has led her dedicated team with distinction during her tenure, proudly representing the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation through numerous opportunities and challenges. Her leadership has been instrumental during periods of expansion and in providing crucial support to the community during devastating local wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.

I first met Kari over 24 years ago when we were both newcomers to the gaming industry. At that time, she attended a host conference produced by Raving while working at Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino in Southern California. You might recognize her as a popular speaker at industry events and in media interviews. Why? Kari is always willing to share her knowledge if it supports other organizations, advances Tribal sovereignty, and helps her peers.

If you have the chance to meet Kari at an industry event, please take the opportunity to do so! We had the opportunity to talk about Cache Creek Casino Resort after my stay:

Chris: Kari, tell us about Cache Creek Casino Resort. 

Kari: Cache Creek Casino Resort is a gem in the Capay Valley and is a testament to the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation’s vision and commitment. From a modest beginning as a bingo hall in 1985, we have evolved into Northern California’s premier casino resort destination. Situated just 40 miles northwest of Sacramento and 80 miles from the bustling San Francisco Bay Area, we offer a unique blend of gaming, luxury, and natural beauty. With nearly 2,400 slot machines, over 80 table games, 659 four-diamond luxury hotel rooms, 11 diverse restaurants, a rejuvenating spa, world-class entertainment in a 1,375-seat event center, and an 18-hole championship golf course, Cache Creek Casino Resort is a haven for leisure and entertainment.

Chris: For Northern California residents, 20-25 years ago, the choice was to drive over the hill to Reno/Tahoe or fly to Las Vegas for gaming. Now, players have several options for playing regularly. Describe the markets you serve. 

Kari: Our resort takes pride in catering to two unique markets: the San Francisco Bay and Greater Sacramento Metro areas. Following the successful completion of our expansion project in 2020, Cache Creek Casino Resort has emerged as the largest luxury resort in Northern California. With the addition of our newest hotel tower, we now have ample rooms to meet the demands of both markets. We offer the gaming and entertainment excitement of Las Vegas with just the right combination of luxury and a sense of escape, all just a short drive away.

Chris: The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation owns and operates Séka Hills, where guests can enjoy olive oil, vinegar, honey, and wine tasting. Tell us about your commitment to sustainable farming and how you work with the community to achieve this. 

Kari: For thousands of years, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation has tended the land in Capay Valley, protecting plant and animal species and preserving environmental balance. Yocha Dehe owns one of the most diverse farming operations in Yolo County and is one of the few tribes expanding agriculture in California. Of the 3,000 acres currently farmed, 250 acres are certified organic. More than 1,200 acres of the Tribe’s land are in permanent conservation easements.

The Tribe takes extraordinary pride in managing and cultivating more than a dozen different crops and using best practices for sustainable farming. Natural systems include beneficial insects, cover crops, mulching, drip systems, and careful crop rotation cycles. In addition to the farming operation, the Tribe runs 800 head of cattle on its 20,000 acres of rangeland in Capay Valley, following a sustainable grazing program.

The Séka Hills Tasting Room inside the mill facility in Brooks welcomes visitors to experience guided tastings of the growing line of Séka Hills agricultural products and see how the sustainably grown olives are milled into world-class olive oils.

Chris: What marketing strategies are the most important in your toolkit for the unique location of your casino?

The success of Cache Creek Casino Resort comes down to one essential factor: our people. While our location and dedicated owners play important roles, our team truly makes the difference. We take a thoughtful approach to our business, prioritizing respect for the beautiful valley in which we operate. Excellence is our standard in everything we do. We invest in our staff, ensuring they are well-equipped to provide outstanding service to our guests and make our owners proud. In the end, a slot machine is just a slot machine, and a table game is just a table game, but it is our exceptional people who bring guests back time and time again.

Chris: With so many options for entertainment in the Bay Area and Sacramento areas, how do you optimize a staycation at Cache Creek Casino Resort?

The resort’s unique location and exceptional amenities distinguish it from other entertainment options in the Bay Area and Greater Sacramento markets. We provide our guests a sense of escape where luxury, excitement, and stunning views converge to create a truly extraordinary experience. We promote the resort as a one-of-a-kind destination. We provide the perfect retreat from the ordinary with offerings that cater to everyone – from the discerning traveler to the avid golf enthusiast.

To find out more about Cache Creek Casino Resort, please visit

Don’t forget to watch the video on the slot research project with Oliver Shoemaker – Vice President of Slot Operations, Cache Creek Casino and Resort, and Sean Evans – Vice President of Marketing, Ainsworth Game Technology.

Christine Faria 53 Articles