By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
The project will include a spa, conference center with ballroom space, a parking garage and more than 200 new rooms on the Maricopa site.
According to an announcement by casino officials, the project will increase room availability, draw additional visitors and increase the facility’s ability to host large-scale entertainment and corporate events.
Ak-Chin Indian Community Chairman Louis Manuel said the project is moving ahead now because growth in the community promoted the opportunity to expand and to better promote the facility as a conference and entertainment destination.
Manuel said there are always new projects in development as the population grows. “As we continue to grow we will be able to provide for housing and other amenities such as healthcare, education and some of the services that are provided within the community.” Other anticipated benefits include the ability to provide greater opportunities for entertainment, conferences and education about what the area has to offer.
The hotel and casino currently accommodate approximately 1.5M guests per year, according to Mike Kitner, director of marketing and operations. Projections have not yet been finalized as to how many additional guests the facility hopes to draw after the expansion, but Manuel is optimistic. “We’re definitely not going to be anything short of competitive,” he said, in comparison to other hotel and casino operations in the area.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring, with completion estimated in 2017.
No architect or general contractor has yet been selected.