July 30, 2007

Morongo wants to be shot

Band takes lead in wooing LA film crews Offering a 32,000-acre reservation with roaming cattle, open hillsides, and even a quarry, while promising to do almost anything a film crew might need inside the casino--quieting music, programming television sets, cordoning off a bank of slot machines--Michael Potts, director of sales and marketing at the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa, has taken the lead in attracting film and television to the Morongo Band of Mission Indians' reservation in Cabazon.

Rather than waiting for Hollywood to call, the tribe has partnered with the Inland Empire Film Commission to set up an office inside the hotel to assist location scouts.

It adds another form of revenue for a tribe that already counts retail, restaurants, water bottling, lodging, gambling and energy production among its economic ventures.

"Anything you're looking at, you can shoot," said Potts in early June while he led a group of 17 location scouts with credits from television shows such as Showtime's "Dexter" and films such as the recently released "Transformers" on a tour of the tribe's reservation.

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