Tag Archives: harrahs ak chin casino

Harrah's Ak-Chin Resort

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino plans multi-million dollar expansion

Chairman Louis J. Manuel, Jr., members of the Ak-Chin Indian Community Tribal Council as well as representatives from the Community recently announced plans for a multi-million dollar expansion at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino. With initial work to begin in spring 2016, the expansion is expected to include a spa, a conference center with multi-use ballroom space, a parking garage, additional restaurants and more than 200 additional rooms.

“The Ak-Chin Indian Community has a long-standing and successful relationship with Caesars Entertainment and the management at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino. The expansion will allow the hotel and casino to continue to bring quality hospitality and entertainment to Pinal County and the State of Arizona,” said Chairman Manuel. “We have long-known the importance of providing opportunities like this to our Community and the surrounding areas.”

According to Robert Livingston, general manager of Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, this expansion will increase room availability, accommodate additional visitors and will also provide an opportunity to host large-scale entertainment, conventions and other meetings.

According to the 2011 Ak-Chin/Harrah’s feasibility study the Ak-Chin Indian Community generates an estimated impact of more than $500 million in direct or indirect monies each year from its various business enterprises. In addition to Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, the Ak-Chin Indian Community also owns Ak-Chin Farms, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, the Santa Cruz Commerce Center and UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle.

“The economic impact created during the expansion and the prospect for additional jobs once the project is complete will only further benefit the City of Maricopa and Pinal County as well as the Community,” said Chairman Manuel.

Honoring, Hiring and Helping our HEROES of Pinal County  (HOHP)

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino employees impact community

In 2014, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino made a large impact in the community through its HERO program. HERO is an employee-based volunteer program in which employees and their families make noteworthy, visible contributions to the community by lending their time, skills, expertise and caring to dozens of volunteer projects throughout the community.

Once again, HERO volunteers broke the property record for the amount of time and money donated in 2014. Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino volunteers surpassed their goal of 12,000 by contributing a total of 15,423 hours.

Harrah’s employees also continue to donate their time and attention through participation in events throughout the year that benefit local non-profit organizations. In 2014, 84 percent of employees participated in a HERO activity, up from 75 percent of employees in 2013.

The casino also provided monetary and in-kind donations amounting to more than $41,500 to organizations such as the Area Agency on Aging’s DOVES® Program, American Cancer Society, Honoring, Hiring and Helping our HEROES of Pinal County,  F.O.R. Maricopa, Melonhead Foundation, Maricopa Against Abuse, Recycling Association of Maricopa, Susan G. Koman Foundation, United Way and many others.

For more information on Harrah’s Ak-Chin and their HERO Program. visit www.harrahsakchin.com or call (480) 802-5000.


Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino hires VIP casino marketing manager

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino has announced that Timothy Sutherland has been appointed VIP casino marketing manager. Sutherland is responsible for all aspects of marketing the development, implementation, management and coordination of VIP level player programs.

Prior to his position at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, he was the marketing manager at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn.

“We are excited to have Timothy in this role,” said Mike Kintner, director of marketing and operations at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino. “His extensive background in casino marketing will help us continue to reach our VIP guests and offer them the best programs we can.”

Sutherland lives in Chandler with his wife, Karyl, and their four children, Jarrett, Timothy Jr., Michael and Julianna.

Bambi Johnson

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Promotes Finance Director

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino has announced the promotion of Bambi Johnson to director of finance and administration.

Johnson, previously the director of finance, brings nearly 13 years of accounting experience to her new position. As the director of finance and administration, she will be overseeing three more departments including main cage, security and Total Rewards along with overseeing all aspects of finance for the casino including accounting, auditing, compliance, count team, purchasing, information technology, warehouse and planning and analysis.

Prior to joining Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, Johnson was a finance leader at Harrah’s Resort Southern California, where her job duties included controller, audit supervisor, revenue manager and financial accounting manager.

“Bambi has shown great loyalty and professionalism to Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino. She continues to use her creativity and competent thinking to move us in an innovative direction,” said Robert Livingston, general manager of Harrah’s Ak-Chin. “She developed and executed our ticket and e-cash system, allowing us to go coinless, which has kept us moving forward. Her esteemed thinking will continue to lead us to enduring results.”

Johnson lives in the Chandler with her husband and two daughters.


Paying it forward: Why it Matters

If one person can make a difference, think what an entire company can do.

Giving back has been at the core of many great businesses, but there is a growing trend in the way businesses are paying it forward — employee-volunteer programs.

Many businesses understand that it’s more than just numbers, it’s about values. Generosity and corporate responsibility are some of those values. Generosity demonstrates a genuine corporate value that benefits the company and employees. Many businesses have started to make it a fundamental part of their mission.

In many different ways, businesses are looking for ways to reach their consumers, connect with them on a personal level and give back to the communities in which they live and serve. Through employee volunteer programs like HERO at Harrah’s Ak-Chin, employees volunteer thousands of hours each year to help individuals and communities in need.

Some recent HERO success stories include:

* Employees raised $7,000 for the Dove’s event to help with a late life domestic abuse program and shelter (first of its kind).
* Over 40 participants in Pat’s Run to help provide resources and educational scholarship support to veterans, active service members and their spouses.
* Participation in Maricopa Relay for Life dinner and walk raised more than $18,000 for cancer research.
* Employees collected 831 pounds of food and distributed to needy families at the FOR Maricopa food bank event.
* Partnered with the Ak-Chin Indian Community, with over 160 volunteers, for a community trash pickup in celebration of Earth Day.

But communities and organizations aren’t the only ones benefiting — businesses and their employees are also seeing the benefits, too.

What goes around comes around
Beyond helping the community, volunteer programs help employees. Volunteering boosts motivation and allows employees to work with each other outside of an office setting. When employees have the chance to give back in a meaningful way for something they care about, they will feel more positively connected to the business where they work.

As for businesses, a donation simply is not enough. It’s about the return. Making a lasting impact is just as – and perhaps more – important as defining your mission. You can’t solve disease or climate change with good intentions. As your name comes around as a business that is generous with their time and money, you’ll gain new customers, clients and overall respect from the communities you serve.

Other benefits:
* Improve relations with the surrounding community
* Enhance public image through a different platform
* Strengthen employee leadership and interpersonal skills
* Improve employee retention

Charity may begin at home, but it certainly does not end there. From the small grass-roots enterprises to large organizations, building partnerships with nonprofit organizations and supporting employee volunteer opportunities is a great way to give back to those who have helped support your business and will likely bring beneficial returns back to the business.

Mike Kintner is marketing director at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Resort.



Dierks Bentley scheduled to perform at Harrah's Ak-Chin.

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Resort Shows Some Southern Hospitality

It’s that time of year when hundreds of people will travel to the great state of Arizona for some refreshing weather and southern hospitality. But they aren’t the only ones; along with the cooler temperatures also comes some of the coolest in entertainment. From local artists to Grammy-nominated performers, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino and Resort will showcase all the favorites.

The line-up includes entertainment for all ages. From the soulful sounds of rhythm and blues to country, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Resort has entertainment for everyone this fall.

On October 27, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino and Resort and the Ak-Chin Indian community are joining together to bring in the big guns for a day of unforgettable, live country entertainment. That’s right — fans from all over the state will invade Maricopa for what is expected to be the biggest musical festival this fall. Tickets for the highly anticipated event are expected to go fast as the all-day event is expected to draw thousands from all over the state. To purchase tickets, visit Ticketmaster’s website.

So grab your cowboy hat and boots and strap up for an afternoon of fun. Here is the line-up:

Rising Star, Kristen Kelly

She’s a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. Kristen’s background in singing helped pave her way to songwriting. Today, she emerges on the country music scene as a rising star. Enjoy her debut single “Ex-Old Man,” as she kicks things off with a bang.

Country Trio, Gloriana

Known for their powerful vocals and original sound, this dynamic trio brings their Tennessee sway to the southwest. The band is comprised of brothers Tom and Mike Gossin and Rachel Reinert. Hitting the charts with their latest song, “Kissed you Goodnight,” Gloriana will rock the house with other favorites, including “Can’t Shake You” and “Wanna Take You Home.”

Country Sensation, Easton Corbin

Easton Corbin will take you back to country roots as he hits the stage at this year’s event. His musical talent, all-American look and traditional sound have made him a country sensation overnight. He will rock the stage this fall as he performs hits like “A Little More Country than That” and “Roll with It.”

Arizona’s Favorite Son, Dierks Bentley

Arizona welcomes home its favorite son, Dierks Bentley, who is headlining the all-day festival. Bentley is among the artists up for Album of the Year for his album “Home” at this year’s Country Music Awards. He is known not only for his versatility as an artist, but also for his chart-topping hits, “Home,” named the official song the Arizona Centennial Celebration; “Come a Little Closer” and “5150.”

For more information about Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Resort, visit harrahsakchin.com.

ak-chin regional airport

Ak-Chin Awards Contract For Ak-Chin Regional Airport Renovations

The Ak-Chin Community Council awarded the contract for the renovation of the Ak-Chin Regional Airport, formerly Phoenix Regional Airport, to a joint venture between AJP Electric and Pioneer Builders, both of Phoenix. Renovations will include improvements to the 5,000 ft. runway and taxiway; installation of new lighting; and upgrades to the Fixed Base Operations (FBO) building. The million dollar improvement project is set to commence the week of June 25 and is expected to be completed in mid-September in preparation for a Grand Opening planned for the first week of October.

The project will be spearheaded by AJP Electric which has been in business since 1993 and has successfully completed upgrade projects for other municipal airports, including Eloy, Payson, Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale. Pioneer Builders which specializes in tenant improvements will handle the construction of the structure that will house the electrical infrastructure.

Ak-Chin Regional Airport was purchased by the Community in 2006 and encompasses approximately 450 acres. The Ak-Chin Industrial Park Board has been actively planning and overseeing engineering improvements to what they see as an economic generator for the Community as well as the surrounding area.

“The Airport will attract people who want to fly in and stay and play at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino and Resort, play a round of golf at the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club or do business at Ak-Chin’s Santa Cruz Commerce Center,” says Board Chairman, Charles Carlyle. “It will also draw people into businesses in Maricopa, Casa Grande and other surrounding areas.”

A new logo for the renamed Airport was also recently unveiled. Designed by NICE Creative of Tempe, the logo features an eagle taking flight while a stylized plane underscores the Airport’s theme, “Where Successful Business Takes Off.”

Located in Pinal County, between the cities of Maricopa and Casa Grande, with close proximity to Phoenix and Tucson, the Ak-Chin Regional Airport is within five minutes of Ak-Chin’s Santa Cruz Commerce Center. Zoned for I-1 and I-2 use, the Commerce Center has 50 acres of immediately available land for lease with a build-to-suit option for qualified tenants. A leaseable office/warehouse complex was completed in 2011 and fully leased a year later. A new complex is planned for construction in 2013.

For more information on Ak-Chin Regional Airport, visit airport-data.com/airport/41AZ/.

Hospitality And Casino Construction Increase On Tribal Lands - Gila River Indian Community

Hospitality And Casino Construction Increase On Tribal Lands

The Gila River Indian Community is building two new hotels that total more than 200 rooms, a new, 70,000 SF casino, and a conference center. The Navajo Nation is building its first Arizona casino near Flagstaff.

“(Construction in Indian country) is actually one of the market sectors that is really thriving,” says Rogers Owers, an attorney with Andante Law Firm, whose speciality is construction laws in Indian country. “Whether it’s design, construction, or brokering the real estate deals, cash flows into the industry as a whole.”

In Tucson, a new 44,500 SF convention center and a 1,120-car parking structure opened at Casino del Sol in November. Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino increased its guest capacity to 300 rentable rooms, and renovated its restaurant in July.

As several Arizona tribes reveal major hospitality and casino construction projects, one thing is a sure bet — 2012 is shaping up to be another jackpot year.

The Arizona Department of Gaming reports that trial casino revenues steadily declined from 2008 to 2010, but returned to the green in 2011. During this period, hospitality and casino construction in Indian country slowed.

Talking Stick Resort, which opened its doors on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in 2010, was the last significant Native American casino and hospitality project in almost a year.

Today, several sizable construction projects in Indian country are underway or open for business. The largest, a multifaceted undertaking by the Gila River Indian Community, includes a new 90-room hotel and the demolition and remodel of Vee Quiva Casino in West Phoenix, plus a new conference center, 130-room hotel and restaurant at Lone Butte Casino in Chandler.

The Gila River Indian Community, going all in, also is reportedly opening a new hotel at Toka Sticks Golf Course in Mesa, which is a short distance from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

The construction venture at Vee Quiva is still in its developmental stages, according to Melody Hudson, public relations manager for Gila River Casinos. It is expected to open in the summer of 2013 at a cost of $135M.

“Rebuilding Vee Quiva Casino is part of a strategic plan the Gila River Indian Community has set in place to refresh our casinos while ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Community and creating new job opportunities in Arizona,” says Anthony Villareal Sr., Casino Expansion Owners Team chairman.

After its reconstruction, Vee Quiva Casino will total nearly 175,000 SF — almost double its original size.

Further north, the Navajo Nation broke ground last March on Twin Arrows Casino outside of Flagstaff, its first casino in Arizona.

The 320,000 SF, $150M casino, scheduled to open in July, will include a hotel and conference center. General contractor is Hunt Construction and the architect is Friedmutter Group.

Some casinos, on the other hand, already have their cards on the table. Casino Del Sol and Harrah’s Ak-Chin opened their newly renovated facilities in 2011.

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe renovated and expanded Casino Del Sol’s hotel and convention center in Tucson to the tune of $75M. The additions included 215 new rooms, a conference center, a parking structure and a spa. It is the second phase of the tribe’s ongoing hospitality and casino refurbishment project. McCarthy Building Companies served as GC and LEO A DALY was the architect.

McCarthy project manager Kurt Nyberg says construction went smoothly because the tribe first commissioned his company in 2003.

“What helped with this expansion is that the Casino Del Sol had gained building experience when both firms worked on the original casino project,” Nyberg says, “so the process was not entirely new from the owner’s perspective.”

Another big player in Arizona, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino and Resort, finished its hotel and restaurant renovations in July after 11 months of construction. Lead designer Jason Ploszaj of RSP Architects says the construction was vital, because the “hotel was turning away guests nightly.”

The expansion, a $20M, 5-story hotel tower, doubled the number of rentable rooms at the Maricopa resort.

“In order to better serve guests, Harrah’s decided that after more than 10 years of success, and expansion of 152 new hotel rooms was necessary to refresh the hotel experience,” Ploszaj says.

For more information on casino and hospitality construction visit, ciic.construction.asu.edu


AZRE Magazine March/April 2012