A Desert Diamond in the rough: new casino breaks ground in Arizona

April 6, 2023
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The Tohono O'odham Nation will build and operate a casino, and eventual resort, on 80 acres of reservation land.

A new Desert Diamond Casino facility will be located near Loop 303 and Northern Parkway in Glendale Arizona. Groundbreaking began today with the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise (TOGE) at the helm.

The first phase for the new property will be the development of a 184,000-square-foot casino floor. Desert Diamond plans to feature 900 Class III slot machines, a poker room, a retail sportsbook, table games, dining and a parking structure with 3,400 spaces.

JCJ Architecture has designed the new casino, which will eventually also include plans for a hotel, conference center, outdoor pool and amphitheater/event lawn space. Construction is predicted to last for around 19 months, with a project cost of $450m.

The Hunt/Penta Joint Venture has taken on the role of general contractor and will create over 5,500 construction jobs. The casino and resort plans to employ approximately 1,300 people when opened.

Ned Norris Jr., Chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation, said, “This is a special day for all Tohono O’odham. We are making good on our promise to provide for future generations of our Tribal citizens. This groundbreaking serves as an important milestone to celebrate our progress as a Nation.”

Diamond Desert Casino will be located on 80 acres of Tribal reservation land, which has been taken into trust by the Federal Government. In 2014, the same approach was taken with Diamond Desert’s West Valley Casino in Glendale.

Mike Bean, CEO of the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise, said, “Our new Desert Diamond Casino will bring more jobs, economic opportunity, and entertainment options to this vibrant region. We’re excited to continue the local partnerships we’ve developed over the past 10 years and build new relationships to benefit the West Valley community.”

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