The Venue

Complete with a luxury hotel, 14 restaurants and bars, a live poker room, and over 250,000 SF of gaming space, Thunder Valley Casino Resort (TVCR) is Northern California’s premier gaming destination. The client engaged OTJ Architects to design a new indoor concert and entertainment venue that accommodates music performances, theater productions, as well as sporting and special events.

The design vernacular of this new performance space, branded as The Venue at TVCR, underscores the new structure’s relationship to the broader property and to those traditional artforms indigenous to the Sacramento Valley region. The interior pattern of the audience chamber is inspired by the geometric forms of the Miwok Indians’ basketweaving techniques. This pattern is repeated at key intervals throughout The Venue to draw the many elements of the design narrative into a singular and cohesive architectural tapestry. Locally sourced art installation, sited in the lobby and comprised of interlaced chain links lit in vibrant autumnal hues, celebrates the Miwok heritage and invites guests to interact with the sculptural piece.

Ticket sales and revenue have exceeded annual predictions in a mere six months and TVCR is now ranked as one of the top ten casino resorts in the country. The Venue’s early success can be credited to an efficient, cost-saving layout: a flat floor with removable and tiered seating at the orchestra level supported by well-appointed hospitality suites that accommodate VIP guests. The Venue is also artfully connected to the casino, which creates opportunities to generate increased revenue as patrons pass through gaming floor to enter the performance space. The program provides the realization of a superlative patron experience, one that begins on arrival through the new porte-cochere, continues through a multi-story lobby complete with a 30-foot-tall glass wall, and culminates with an array of amenities such as six in-house bars. OTJ is currently redesigning the property’s hotel rooms and common areas to provide an upgraded patron experience.

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Lincoln, CA


145,000 SF
4,800 Seats


Arts, Culture & Education


Theatre Design