FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort will open May 24. Officials with the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise (NNGE) said in a press release last week that grand opening events throughout Memorial Day weekend will highlight Navajo traditions while showcasing the property's state-of-the art gaming, resort accommodations, dining and culturally infused architecture.
The 267,000-square-foot casino on I-40 at exit 219 just east of Flagstaff, Ariz., features commissioned Navajo artists' original paintings and other artworks. Friedmutter Group of Las Vegas, working with Navajo tribal members, designed the building. Hunt Construction Group built the resort.
Derrick Watchman, chief executive officer of the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise, said Twin Arrows will "create a new benchmark in gaming entertainment" and the Navajo Nation's economy.
"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," Watchman said.
Phase one of the $230 million casino includes 1,089 slot machines, 18 table games and 12 poker tables, live Keno, a five-story hotel with 90 rooms and suites, a 16,000 square-foot banquet and conference center, fitness center, heated indoor pool and six dining concepts. The casino will operate 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
Maureen Curley, chairwoman of the NNGE Board of Directors, said NNGE welcomes Arizona residents and tourists to experience the world-class gaming and array of dining options this summer.
"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," she said.
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, which is important in Navajo culture, 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 is NNGE's fourth casino.
The Navajo Nation created NNGE, a Navajo Nation-wholly owned business entity, in September 2006. The Navajo Nation authorizes NNGE to develop and operate Navajo casinos in accordance with federal and Navajo Nation laws, as well as the negotiated Navajo Nation-applicable state compacts (New Mexico and Arizona).
NNGE opened its first Navajo Casino on Nov. 19, 2008 - Fire Rock Navajo Casino in Church Rock Chapter, near Gallup, N.M. The second Navajo Casino opened Oct.13, 2010 - Flowing Water Navajo Casino in Tse Daak'aan Chapter, near Shiprock, N.M. The third Navajo Casino opened Jan. 16, 2012 - Northern Edge Navajo Casino in Upper Fruitland, near Farmington, N.M. The fourth Navajo Casino - Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort - is within the Leupp Chapter, near Flagstaff, Ariz. Currently, the NNGE has 1,600 employees.