he Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise (TOGE) held a topping off ceremony for the construction of its full-scale Desert Diamond West Valley Casino. The event marks a major milestone in construction as TOGE begins to close out the final sequence of steel for the new casino building.

TOGE broke ground on the permanent, full-scale casino in December 2017 and construction is moving forward aggressively on the $400 million project. Construction of the project is being headed by the AECOM Hunt/Penta Joint Venture as general contractor. Dozens of companies have been retained and 1,500 workers contracted for the project.

Once complete, the full-scale casino will employ approximately 1,600 people. The new facility will feature a 75,000 square-foot casino floor with Class III slot machines, poker and blackjack tables, and live bingo, as well as five dining venues, and other amenities. The facility is located on 54 acres of reservation land near the cities of Glendale and Peoria, Arizona. The permanent casino will complement the region’s vibrant sports and entertainment attractions, including Glendale’s Westgate Entertainment District and Peoria’s P83 Entertainment District.

The Tohono O’odham Nation first announced the major casino project Jan. 29, 2009. After overcoming challenges from special interests, an interim casino opened to huge crowds, Dec. 20, 2015. It currently employs nearly 600 people. The interim casino is continuing operations during construction and will transition to use as a warehouse after the full-scale casino opens.

Edward Manuel, Chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation said, “Today we celebrate how far we have come and how far we yet have to go in building a more prosperous future for the Nation and the West Valley. We will continue to work with our partners in the region for the benefit of all our communities.”

Rudy Prieto, CEO of the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise said “We are very proud of the amazing work that has been done so far by the entire construction team. We’re moving quickly to complete this project and continue developing this unique attraction that is creating opportunity in the West Valley.”

The soft opening date planned to for phase one of the new facility is the end of 2019. The second phase includes a hotel and spa. This second phase will come after phase one is completed.

Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment, with three locations in Southern Arizona (Tucson, Sahuarita and Why) and one in the West Valley, is owned and operated by the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise, an enterprise of the Tohono O’odham Nation.