The Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) recently broke ground on a new casino south of Chandler, Arizona. Chandler is a suburb of Phoenix in Maricopa County. The Phoenix Metro area is the 10th largest in the United States and continues to grow its population while the top three Metros; New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago continue to lose numbers.
Santan Mountain will be the Community’s fourth casino and is expected to create over 650 new jobs on the 160-acre site. The Steelman Partners-designed site is expected to open within 1.5 to 2 years. The project was announced this summer after tribes and the state came to an agreement on an amended gaming compact after about five years of negotiations.
Among the outcomes of the negotiations were the allowance of four new tribal gaming facilities, the addition of casino table gaming, and the addition of thousands of new slot machines.
Other facilities operated by the GRIC include Lone Butte and Wild Horse Pass in Chandler as well as Laveen’s Vee Quiva Casino – a AAA Four Diamond hotel with 90 boutique rooms in the Phoenix suburbs.
According to award-winning Las Vegas and global casino designer, Paul Steelman,the venue will be organic to its place in space and time and unique – connecting the Sonoran desert landscape outside to the indoor space.
Steelman siad: “This would be the first casino that has windows. So it’s actually going to take advantage of the other view, of the air.” He added, “You will be actually able to step outside and eat and have al fresco dining and drinking possibilities in this building.”
Among Steelman Partners’ more than 4,000 casino and integrated resorts accomplishments is Casino Gran Via. The firm’s client list includes the Genting Group, MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas Sands, Galaxy Entertainment (Macau) Wynn, Harrah’s, Swiss Casinos, Hard Rock, Melco (Australia and Macao) Caesars, Stations, and innumerable other top properties across the globe.
Plans for Santan Mountain include nearly 1,000 slot machines as well as traditional casino table games such as roulette, craps, and baccarat. The GIRC/BetMGM Arizona Sports Betting Partnership that includes the local NFL team, the Cardinals, is also expected to participate in betting at the new site.
Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis of the Gila River Indian Community told The Arizona Republic recently that he expects the infusion of $150m into the project will help accelerate a burgeoning post-pandemic economic recovery.
“I know it’s [COVID-19]
been hard on all of us. It’s been hard on the community. It’s been hard on our surrounding communities, as well in cities and municipalities in the state,” Gov. Lewis said. “That’s why I think we’re so proud to be able to be part of the rebuilding, of the recovery efforts.”
Source: Gila River Indian Community breaks ground on 4th casino south of Chandler, AZ Central, October 18, 2021