History & Preservation

Our History

Set at the foot of the beautiful San Gorgonio and San Jacinto Mountains, the Morongo Indian Reservation spans more than 35,000 acres and overlooks the vistas of the Banning Pass. Resilient and resourceful, the Morongo tribe has had to overcome many adversities.

Established in 1865,  the Morongo Indian Reservation was one of nine small reservations created by President Ulysses S. Grant by executive order in 1876. In 1983, the path of Morongo’s future changed when tribal members started a modest bingo hall. From this building evolved one of the oldest and most successful Indian gaming facilities in California. The present $250 million destination which opened in late 2004, the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa, is one of the largest tribal gaming facilities in the nation.

Our Historical Collection

Preserving Our Earth


In line with its philosophy of independence and diversity, Morongo Band of Mission Indians hired EMCOR Energy & Technologies to design and manage a cogeneration plant for its casino that was constructed in 2004. The idea was to provide a reliable source of electricity for the facility that would protect it from rolling blackouts or power shortages caused by heavy usage in other parts of the state. Some of the technical requirements driving the project were:

  • 100% off grid power generation
  • Power generation redundancy
  • Fuel redundancy
  • Temporary power during construction of casino and other facilities

Power is generated by four gas-fired 2MW Caterpillar G3520C engines for providing primary power and three diesel-fired Caterpillar 3516B engines for the backup system. The gas-fired engines have a rated efficiency of 38.2%. 

Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Tribal water reclamation facility was designed to treat up to 750,000 gallons per day utilizing an OMNIFLO interchange sequencing batch reactor (SBR) system with a 900 mg/l biological oxygen demand load. Included in the design was the Cannibal Solids Reduction system. This system produces a low sludge yield of .05 to .25 lbs. of biological solids per pound of BOD. The operational flexibility and significant power cost savings of this facility has proven to be an industry leader compared to installing an aerobic digester and large sludge drying beds. The plant is operated daily by the Tribe and Veolia Waters. 

More information on the Morongo Water Department Page!