The Navajo Nation will open the doors to its first casino on the Arizona side of its reservation on May 24. The grand opening celebration for Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort near Flagstaff will take place throughout Memorial Weekend, highlighting rich Navajo traditions while showcasing the property's gaming, luxurious resort accommodations, fine dining and unique architecture that pays homage to Navajo culture.
The 267,000-square-foot facility features commissioned Navajo artists’ original paintings and other artworks. Interior and exterior designs, lighting, colors and art installations incorporate the Four Worlds from the Navajo Creation and Emergence Story. Additionally, the basket weave pattern can be seen on the exterior of the resort as well as in subtle interior details throughout the casino, restaurants and guest rooms.
“Twin Arrows will create a new benchmark in gaming entertainment while improving the economic health and prosperity of the Navajo Nation,” said Derrick Watchman, chief executive officer of the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise. (Watchman became the first Navajo CEO of the enterprise on January 1, succeeding the Enterprise's first-ever CEO Bob Winter.) “As northern Arizona’s premier destination casino resort, Twin Arrows will create approximately 800 full-time jobs with an annual payroll of $20 million, including salaries and benefits.”
The casino will debut at phase 1—an impressive $230 million venue with 1,089 slot machines, 18 table games and 12 poker tables, live Keno, a five-story hotel with 90 rooms and suites 16,000 square foot banquet and conference center, fully equipped fitness center, heated indoor pool and six distinct dining concepts. The casino will operate 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The resort also offers 24-hour complimentary valet parking featuring an innovative “Valet Express” mobile phone service system.
“Ya at'eeh. We welcome Arizona residents and tourists to experience our world-class gaming and array of dining options this summer,” said Maureen Curley, chairwoman of the Board of Directors for the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise. “We are committed to building business opportunities for the Navajo Nation as we provide an economic boost to the entire region and put Navajo people to work.”
Twin Arrows is the Nation's fourth casino. The tribe broke ground on Twin Arrows on March 21, 2011. The tribe made its first foray into gaming with the Fire Rock Navajo Casino, which opened in November 2008 in Gallup, New Mexico. Two years later, Flowing Water Navajo Casino began operating in Shiprock, New Mexico. In the same county, San Juan, Northern Edge Navajo Casino debuted in January of 2012 in Upper Fruitland. On June 28, 2012, after three years of casino operations, the Nation's gaming enterprise presented the tribe with its first distribution of gaming profits—a $5 million check, with future distributions expected to increase over the coming years.