The Cove main pool at Pechanga Resort Casino, is part of the recent expansion.

Lifescapes Completes Landscape Design for $300M Resort Expansion

Carrie Rossenfeld Hospitality & Tourism

Landscape architectural firm Lifescapes International has completed a 4.5-acre landscape design for the $300 million expansion of the Pechanga Resort Casino at 45000 Pechanga Parkway in Temecula, California. The expansion makes Pechanga the largest Four-Diamond casino resort on the West Coast.

“Pechanga’s new expansion delivers a premium resort guest experience that sets it apart in the industry,” says Roger Voettiner, Lifescapes International’s VP of design. “We have created a luxurious atmosphere comprised of multiple pools and spas, all with unique offerings; spacious event lawns; intimate dining patios; and lush, culturally-inspired gardens, giving guests a variety of options for relaxation and entertainment.”

The expansion project, which doubled the size of the resort by adding an additional 568 rooms and suites, includes the addition of five pools, a poolside dining area and swim-up bar, family pool with slide and beach entry, four whirlpool spas (one with a natural rock waterfall feature), a two-story standalone luxury spa, two new restaurants, and a green roof garden and Zen space that features native plant species, private patios, and Native American art installations atop a new 40,000 square-foot ballroom.

An aerial view of The Cove pool | Images courtesy Lifescapes International

The resort officially broke ground on its expansion in December 2015. The new hotel tower opened in December 2017, and the pool complex opened March of 2018.

“This project is thoughtfully designed and will serve as a beautiful homage to the culture and history of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, who have inhabited the Temecula Valley for thousands of years,” explains Al Amador, senior principal and project designer at Lifescapes International. “Incorporating this rich history was a priority in our design process and delivered a depth of inspiration that connects the design to the local community.”

For example, during the expansion, Lifescapes realized that several existing oak trees, with up to 60-foot-wide canopies, had to be moved to accommodate several elements of the design. The trees, however, are sacred to the Pechanga people.

“We immediately went to the leaders of the community to discuss and determine a solution that would preserve the sanctity of these existing trees,” explains Amador. “Ultimately, we relocated each tree, carefully placing them throughout the grounds to deliver respect and honor to the Pechanga community.”
Lifescapes relocated 18 large specimen trees in total, and also installed an additional 10,260 trees and shrubs, while integrating sustainable plant materials throughout the property.

“Sustainability is always a focus in our designs,” says Amador. “Pechanga is situated in a region with intense heat and direct sunlight, making the infusion of drought-tolerant plants crucial to the success of this design. We have created a careful balance between drought-tolerant and lush garden elements, resulting in an energy-efficient, healthy landscape that guests can enjoy regardless of local weather conditions.”