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Casino Del Sol Resort Achieves 4-Star Rating

Casino Del Sol Resort, an enterprise of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, was recently named to the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating List. Recognized for exceptional service and amenities, it is the only casino resort in the state of Arizona to receive the coveted four-star rating.

The overall property was awarded, as well as Hiapsi, the luxurious spa retreat offering treatments inspired by Native American healing rituals, and PY Steakhouse, Casino Del Sol Resort’s contemporary, fine-dining restaurant. The 2014 Forbes four-star rating is the latest addition to the property’s list of accolades. Garnering numerous national and local recognitions, Casino Del Sol Resort is also a AAA Four Diamond recipient, and 2012 and 2013 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winner for PY Steakhouse.

“Achieving this honor is a remarkable accomplishment for Casino Del Sol Resort. It is a testament to the countless contributions of our dedicated and passionate team members, and would not be possible without them, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and the guests of our award-winning casino resort,” said Jim Burns, CEO of Casino Del Sol Resort.

Since 1958, Forbes Travel Guide ratings have been the gold standard of luxury travel. The requirements are the most stringent in the industry with more than 500 criteria evaluated to determine a star rating.

“Our Star Ratings recognize the finest hotels, restaurants and spas in the world. These ratings serve as guideposts for consumers seeking exceptional travel experiences, and our primary mission is to serve the consumer,” said Michael Cascone, President of Forbes Travel Guide. “We’re proud to be associated with the new additions to our global list.”

For a detailed explanation of how Forbes Travel Guide compiles its star ratings and to view the complete list of 2014 winners, visit www.forbestravelguide.com.

For more information about Casino Del Sol Resort or to book a reservation, visit www.CasinoDelSolResort.com.

AIGA's Spicer Was Featured Speaker in London

Valerie Spicer, Executive Director Arizona Indian Gaming Association (AIGA), was a featured panelist at ICE Totally Gaming seminar, “Opportunities in Indian Country” on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, in London, UK.  The seminar is co-produced by ICE Totally Gaming and Victor Rocha of PECHANGA.net in cooperation with Clarion Gaming’s Ewa Bakun.  Spicer is featured on the panel “Tribal Perspectives on internet gaming and overview of the tribal iGaming ventures.”

“I’m very fortunate that Valerie is able to join me at the ICE Totally Gaming conference in London as a panelist for the Opportunities in Indian Country:  Tribal Gaming Seminars,” said Victor Rocha.  “Val brings an extraordinary background in tribal gaming having worked in both the public and private sectors.  She not only has the respect of our industry, she was recently recognized as a Great Woman of Gaming, Proven Leader by Casino Enterprise Management.  I couldn’t ask for a better person to represent Indian Country in Europe.”

ICE Totally Gaming is the biggest gaming exhibition in the world. ICE 8 Conferences provide in-depth opportunities to learn through case studies, interactive discussions and focused networking about the most exciting areas in gaming. The seminars on Opportunities in Indian Country are free to participants at ICE Totally Gaming and designed to educate the European gaming industry about tribal gaming, the opportunities and impacts.

“The European market has conducted internet gaming for many years.  This program is a timely opportunity for us to engage with this market.  We anticipate an excellent exchange of information,” said Valerie Spicer, Executive Director AIGA. “Tribes will get qualified information on internet and social gaming and the potential business opportunities that can result, more importantly we can tell our story to the European market.  Personally I’m looking forward to explaining the difference between commercial and tribal gaming and how the economic impact from tribal gaming ripples through our communities and also positively affects our neighboring communities.”

The Arizona Indian Gaming Association has a membership of 17 tribes representing more than 90% of the Indian people living on reservations in Arizona. AIGA was established November 21, 1994 by Arizona tribal leaders.  The Association is committed to advancing the lives of Indian peoples – economically, socially and politically – so that Indian tribes in Arizona can achieve their goal of self-reliance.  Current membership includes:  Ak-Chin Indian Community, Cocopah Tribe, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Fort Mojave, Fort Yuma-Quechan Tribe, Gila River Indian Community, Havasupai  Tribe, Hualapai Tribe, Kaibab-Paiute Tribe, Navajo Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe,  Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, San Carlos Apache Tribe, Tohono O’odham Nation,  White Mountain Apache Tribe, and the Zuni Tribe.

For more information about ICE, visit http://www.icetotallygaming.com/opportunities-indian-country or ICE Totally Gaming: http://www.icetotallygaming.com/.

carollo engineering young engineer honor

Valley Woman From Carollo Engineers Earns ‘Young Engineer’ Honor

Jessica Dresang, project manager at Carollo Engineers, has been named the 2012 Outstanding Young Engineer, an honor that acknowledges Arizona engineers who are 35 years of age or younger and have already made outstanding contributions to the profession, society and their communities. The award was presented during the National Engineers Week in Phoenix on February 23.

Dresang earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Arizona and an MBA in Business Administration at Arizona State University. She began her career at Malcolm Pirnie, Inc. in 2002, where she worked for nine years as a Senior Project Engineer/Project Manager before moving to Carollo.

Dresang has been with Carollo Engineers since January 2012, where she is involved with projects including the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Water Reclamation Facility, a greenfield 0.5 MGD facility expandable to 3.0 MGD, which will serve the community and provide reclaimed water to the new Sewailo Golf Course. She also recently completed several water and wastewater-related projects for the City of Goodyear.

“I was extremely surprised to be nominated,” says Dresang. “I am passionate about my work in protecting public health, involving young people in science and engineering education and fighting hunger and homelessness. I feel very honored to be recognized for these things in front of my peers.”

Dresang’s longtime involvement with key industry organizations has also contributed to her recent award. Since 1998, she has belonged to the Society of Women Engineers, holding leadership positions for six terms and, most recently, the title of president of the Phoenix Section. Jessica is also a participating author for three publications.

In addition to Dresang’s professional accolades, she is also highly engaged in civic and humanitarian efforts, including Canstruction, Habitat for Humanity, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and Race for the Cure. She has also made important societal contributions while employed as an environmental engineer, all of which helped provide the public with clean drinking water and safe treatment of wastewater.

For more information on Carollo Engineers, visit Carollo’s website at carollo.com.

Sky Ute Casino - AZRE Magazine September/October 2010

Arizona's Indian Tribes Expand Reservation Services

Indian Country construction boasts a variety of projects as Arizona’s Indian tribes expand reservation services

In September 1970, the Gila River Indian Reservation finished the first phase of construction of a $1M career center at Sacaton. It’s taken some time, but since then, much has been built on Indian reservations in Arizona — and the momentum continues.

Casinos, healthcare facilities, government offices and schools have sprung from tribal lands in the past 40 years, and continue to do so. But while casinos remain the largest projects on the reservation, the mix of projects continues to expand.

Take, for instance, the $100M spring training facility for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies being constructed by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, set to open in February 2011. Take note of Scottsdale Pavilions, SRP-MIC’s retail center on Indian Bend Road across the Loop 101. There’s the tribe’s recently opened Talking Stick Resort encompassing a 240,000 SF casino in a 15-story tower that houses almost 500 rooms. And the SRP-MIC’s Scottsdale business park, the Chaparral Business Center.

Projects such as these signal a growing trend among Indian tribes in Arizona of diversifying business development. And it sends a message that construction is still happening on the reservation, despite economic hardships worldwide.

“There are still opportunities there,” compared to the rest of the construction industry, says Matt Richards, project executive for Arviso/Okland Construction JV, which is 51% Navajo owned.

For Indian tribes nationally, “most construction work seems to be still centered around casinos,” Richards says. “What we’re working on, though, is hospitals, schools and government buildings. We’ve done hospitality projects, as well.

“One of the recent trends in our industry for tribal projects has been the multipurpose judicial complexes,” Richards says. “We are fortunate enough to be working with the Navajo Nation on two upcoming judicial complexes, one in Tuba City and another in Crownpoint, N.M. There have been multiple similar projects throughout the region, including the Pueblo of Isleta, the Pascua Yaqui, Colorado River Indian Tribe, and others.

Much of this work has been the result of an ARRA-funded (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) program for the Department of Justice, which allocated money for the construction of tribal jails.”

Kimberly Silentman-Kanuho, coordinator for American Indian Initiatives at Arizona State University’s Del E. Webb School of Construction, sees a broad mixture of projects happening.

“There is so much going on out there,” Silentman-Kanuho says. “There’s transportation — highways, roads and bridges. There’s also community and cultural centers, and health facilities. It’s not just gaming and hospitality-type development; there’s a wide variety of development going on out there.”

However, with the biggest, most expensive projects being casinos, other types of projects don’t get noticed as much.

“I don’t think those types get highlighted like the gaming effort,” Silentman-Kanuho says. “It’s across the board. The Diné College (in Tsaile on the Navajo Reservation) is getting a new library. (Northern Arizona University) is getting a new cultural center.”

Transportation projects are springing up as well, according to Silentman-Kanuho, many funded from ARRA. Those funds have allowed the tribes to finally begin projects that have been on the back burner for years, she says. Recovery.gov reports that at least $55M in Department of Interior grants have been awarded to Arizona tribes so far, not counting many other grant opportunities for tribes.

Convention space and entertainment venues are other directions tribes may be moving toward. The Pascua Yaqui Tribe’s $120M hotel expansion of Casino Del Sol near Tucson will include a 50,000 SF conference center. The 10-story hotel also has 215 rooms, three restaurants, a lobby lounge, pool, day club, spa and fitness center, a 1,120-space parking garage, and support facilities. In addition, the Casino Del Sol houses a 4,500-seat outdoor concert and entertainment venue.

AZRE Magazine September/October 2010

Sol Casinos Hotel and Convention Center, AZRE July/August 2010

Hospitality: Sol Casinos Hotel and Convention Center


SOL CASINOS HOTEL & CONVENTION CENTER

Developer: Pascua Yaqui Tribe
General contractor: McCarthy Building Companies
Architect: Leo A. Daly
Location: 
 5655 W. Valencia Rd., Tucson
Size: 44,500 SF

The convention center will add 215 luxury hotel rooms to the market, along with a 14,000 SF multi-functional ballroom. The expanded facility will include a steakhouse, an international buffet, a lobby lounge and bar, fully equipped exercise facility with full-service spa, outdoor pool and sundeck, and a 1,120-car multi-level parking structure. Construction began in March and is slated to finish fall 2011.

AZRE July/August 2010