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We-Ko-Pa Managing Fort McDowell Adventures

In gearing up for the official rebranding of the Radisson Fort McDowell Resort as the We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center next Wednesday, October 1, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation has moved their Fort McDowell Adventures operations management under the Resort. This decision was made to provide hotel guests, area visitors and local residents with an even easier way to enjoy an incomparable, rip roarin’ Wild West experience, surrounded by majestic mountains and the scenic Verde River.

“By streamlining operations in this manner, we’re able to provide each of our guests with more personal attention when booking our sensational destinations,” said Ruben Balderas, President of the Fort McDowell Tribal Council. “This was a logical management change. Moreover, through substantive cost and time efficiencies, we can keep pricing lowered while providing an excellent value to our customers – a ‘win-win’ for everyone.”

A popular destination for decades, Fort McDowell Adventures (www.fortmcdowelladventures.com) offers one-of-a-kind experiences in a tranquil and spectacular desert setting that include Horseback Trail Rides, Desert Jeep Tours, Verde River Kayaking, Segway Tours, Desert Belle Riverboat Cruises, First Friday Night Franks and the Yavapai Experience Cultural Tour. Groups of 10 or more can also enjoy two-hour City Slicker Cattle Drives.

Guests can now seamlessly combine business and pleasure by having access to the 25,000 square feet of meeting space at the Wassaja Conference Center at the resort and the vast selection of activities at nearby Fort McDowell Adventures.

“Having the We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center manage day-to-day operations of Fort McDowell Adventures was a strategic business decision that benefits all parties involved,” explained Phil Dorchester, General Manager of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. “By keeping everything under the same umbrella, individuals and groups now have one central point of contact to make all their necessary arrangements. It’s a much more efficient way of providing an exceptional guest service experience.”

“Meeting planners are always looking for fun, Southwest-inspired activities that their attendees can enjoy after a long day of meetings or attending a conference,” added Craig Benell, Acting General Manager of the We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center, a AAA Four Diamond Award recipient for the past eight years. “Planning after-hours functions and team-building events is now easier than ever, since they can be booked at the same time as a company’s meeting space, catering menus and audiovisual needs.”

As a result of this central management, local residents or hotel guests planning weddings, birthdays, family reunions, bachelor/bachelorette parties or other special events may receive preferred pricing – enabling them to combine a night or two at the resort with a once-in-a-lifetime Wild West experience. Those interested in making reservations or receiving additional information are encouraged to contact Julie Solliday at (480)789-5534.

In addition to the We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center and Fort McDowell Adventures, destination enterprises owned and operated by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation include We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, Fort McDowell Casino, Eagle View RV Resort, and Poco Diablo Resort in Sedona.

Top 5: Arizona Casinos - Experience AZ Fall-Winter 2012

Top 5: Arizona Casinos (Fall-Winter 2012)

The Top 5 Arizona Casinos — as voted on by Experience AZ readers:

Fort McDowell Casino

10424 Ft. McDowell Rd.,
Fort McDowell, AZ 85264
800-THE-FORT (843-3678)
fortmcdowellcasino.com
Fort McDowell Casino offers some of the finest, most exciting gaming in the Southwest. Slots, keno, bingo, poker, black jack, and lunar bingo, which takes the traditional game to thrilling new heights.


Casino Arizona At Salt River

524 N. 92nd St.,
Scottsdale, AZ 85256
(480) 850-7777
casinoarizona.com
Offers more than 100,000 square feet devoted to gaming and entertainment. Amenities include 52 table games, 1,026 slot machines, keno, a high-limit lounge and a world-class showroom. Guests seeking food and refreshments can enjoy one of the facility’s five lounges and four restaurants of flavorful virtue.


Casino Del Sol

5655 W. Valencia Rd.,
Tucson, AZ 85757
(800) 344-9435
casinodelsol.com
Mediterranean architecture surrounds the gaming space, featuring 1,000 nickel, quarter, $1, $5 and multi-denominational slot machines. The $100 million resort, with luxury rooms and suites, two new restaurants, a spa and 20,000 square feet of meeting space.


Cliff Castle Casino

1555 W. Middle Verde Rd.,
Camp Verde, AZ 86322
(928) 567-7900
cliffcastlecasino.net
You’ll find slot machines, poker, blackjack and other gaming options. Lodging and dining are also offered. Everything at Cliff Castle Casino is catered for comfort, from its spacious aisles to its extra-padded seats. The casino also includes a gourmet steakhouse, a gift shop and a 20-lane bowling center.


Lone Butte Casino

1200 S. 56th St.,
Chandler, AZ 85226
(800) WIN-GILA (946-4452)
wingilariver.com
Minutes from the Chandler/Ahwatukee area, Lone Butte is the destination for the slot lover. Lone Butte has 850 of the newest slots, with classic reels and video slots, as well as video keno and video poker. Lone Butte also has live blackjack, with limits from $5 to $1,000, plus a state-of-the-art bingo hall. There are also six restaurants to choose from.

Experience AZ Fall-Winter 2012

 

Top 5 Metropolitan Phoenix Casinos (Spring-Summer 2012)

Top 5: Metropolitan Phoenix Casinos (Spring-Summer 2012)

The Top 5 Metropolitan Phoenix Casinos — as voted on by Experience AZ readers:

Casino Arizona At Salt River

524 N. 92nd St.,
Scottsdale, AZ 85256
480-850-7777
casinoarizona.com
Offers more than 100,000 square feet devoted to gaming and entertainment. Amenities include 52 table games, 1,026 slot machines, keno, a high-limit lounge and a world-class showroom. Guests seeking food and refreshments can enjoy one of the facility’s five lounges and four restaurants.


Casino Arizona At Talking Stick Resort

9800 E. Indian Bend Rd.,
Scottsdale, AZ 85256
480-850-7777
casinoarizona.com
The most distinct resort and entertainment destination recently opened in Scottsdale. Talking Stick Resort offers luxuries such as a rejuvenating open-air spa; eight world-class restaurants; 10 entertainment lounges, including a 750-seat showroom; a lively 240,000-square-foot gaming floor; and two pools.


Fort Mcdowell Casino

10424 Ft. McDowell Rd.,
Fort McDowell, AZ 85264
800-THE-FORT
fortmcdowellcasino.com
Fort McDowell Casino offers some of the finest, most exciting gaming in the Southwest. Slots, keno, bingo, poker, black jack, and lunar bingo, which takes the traditional game to thrilling new heights.


Lone Butte Casino

1200 S. 56th St.,
Chandler, AZ 85226
800-WIN-GILA (946-4452)
wingilariver.com
Minutes from the Chandler/Ahwatukee area, Lone Butte is the destination for the slot lover. Lone Butte has 850 of the newest slots, with classic reels and video slots, as well as video keno and video poker. Lone Butte also has live blackjack, with limits from $5 to $1,000, plus a state-of-the-art bingo hall. There are also six restaurants to choose from.


Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino

5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd.,
Chandler, AZ 85226
800-WIN-GILA (946-4452)
wingilariver.com
Home to 1,200 slots with live poker and blackjack, a 1,500-seat concert venue, 250-room hotel, gift shop and great dining experiences, including Shula’s Steak House.

Experience AZ Spring-Summer 2012

gambling

Taking A Gamble: A History of Indian Gaming In Arizona

Taking a Gamble - A history of Indian gaming in ArizonaIn 1988, the U.S. Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) in response to the proliferation of gambling halls on Indian reservations. IGRA recognized gaming as a way to promote tribal economic development, self-sufficiency and strong tribal government. The act says a state must permit Indians to run gaming on reservations if the state permits such gaming off-reservation.

Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, a tribe that wants to engage in Class III casino-style gaming must first sign a gaming compact (or agreement) with the state where the casino would be located. IGRA requires a state to negotiate in good faith with the tribe seeking a tribal-state gaming compact.

In enacting IGRA, Congress was reacting to a regulatory vacuum left by a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court ruling (California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians) that states have no regulatory authority over gaming on Indian reservations. That ruling said tribes have the right to operate gaming on reservations if states allowed such gaming off-reservation.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 expressly granted states and the tribes the power to jointly regulate Class III tribal gaming. Class III gaming includes slot machines, blackjack, keno and other casino-style games. IGRA also created the federal National Indian Gaming Commission to oversee reservation bingo games, and certain aspects of Class III gaming.

By the early 1990s, several Arizona tribes had installed slot machines in their casinos — even though none of them had tribal-state gaming compacts with the state. The Arizona governor at the time, Fife Symington, said reservations shouldnÕt have casinos because Arizona didn’t allow such gambling off-reservation. Tribes countered that Arizona did permit such gambling by allowing state lotteries, dog and horse racing and charity bingo games off-reservation.

In May 1992, the National Indian Gaming Commission issued rules clarifying that a tribe must have a gaming compact with a state before the tribe can operate slot machines. Immediately after the rules were announced, the Arizona governor called on the U.S. Attorney in Phoenix to shut down casinos with the slot machines. FBI agents raided five Indian casinos and seized their slot machines. At Fort McDowell casino near Scottsdale, tribal members formed a blockade to prevent the removal of the machines, and a three-week standoff ensued.

Against a backdrop of legal challenges by both sides that continued for more than a decade, Gov. Symington signed Arizona’s first set of tribal-state gaming compacts with 16 tribes from 1992 to 1994. The governor’s successor, Jane Hull, signed a compact with a 17th tribe in 1998.

The Arizona tribal-state gaming compacts gave tribes exclusive rights to operate slot machines and casino-style gaming, limited the number of slot machines and casinos, established comprehensive rules governing gaming, and set minimum internal control standards for casino operations. The compacts authorized the state of Arizona to ensure compliance with the tribal-state gaming compact, and to work with tribal regulators to protect the integrity of Class III gaming on tribal lands. This first set of compacts was in effect from 1993 to 2003.

Experience AZ Cover 2010In the November 2002 general election, Arizona voters approved Proposition 202, which authorized the continuation of Indian gaming. From December 2002 to January 2003, Gov. Hull signed new tribal-state gaming compacts with 16 tribes. In 2003, Gov. Janet Napolitano signed compacts with an additional five tribes. The compact with each of the 21 tribes is substantially identical. The compacts took effect in 2003. They last for 10 years, and can be renewed for another decade and an additional term of three years. The compact is part of state law in Arizona Revised Statutes Section 5-601.02.

Currently, there are 15 tribes operating 23 Class III casinos in the state. Another six tribes do not have casinos but have slot machine rights they may lease to other tribes. One of Arizona’s 22 tribes (Hopi) does not have a gaming compact.


Article provided courtesy of the Arizona Department of Gaming