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Navajo Nation set to build first casino

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GALLUP, N.M. - The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise has announced its selection of a construction management company to oversee construction and risk management for the Church Rock Chapter casino project. Joint venture partners The Killian Group of Companies and Kennedy Wendel LLC will provide construction management and general contractor services to the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise, overseeing the construction of the casino.

''We are honored to have this joint venture fulfill this important role and are confident their association offers the experience and cultural sensitivity necessary to make this project successful,'' said Bob Winter, interim CEO of Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise. ''Kennedy Wendel is especially experienced in providing construction services in Indian country.''

Rated a Top 400 General Contractor by Engineering News-Record, The Killian Group has been managing construction for more than three generations. The firm is owned and led by William F. Killian. The Church Rock Chapter casino project joins a long list of resort and hotel projects such as the Palace Casino Resort and Chateau on the Lake.

''The Killian Group appreciates the opportunity to take part in such a historical moment in Navajo history and we are honored to develop their first casino,'' Killian's Vice President of Operations Ron Barrett said. ''As a prototype for future economic development, we are excited about this landmark endeavor and look forward to its successful opening.''

The other half of the joint venture, Kennedy Wendel, is an American Indian-owned construction company. Adam Kennedy, president of Kennedy Wendel, is a member of the Seneca Nation of New York and has been dedicated to building in Indian country with an all-Native team for more than 20 years. Some of Kennedy's past work includes the billion-dollar Seneca Gaming Corp. for the Seneca Nation.

Construction is expected to begin in April at the Church Rock location and the casino's opening date is slated for mid-October.