Groundbreaking Ceremony Tomorrow for Tohono O'odham Nation's WV Casino

Categories: Wild, Wild West

westvalleyresort-550.jpg
An artist rendering of the Tohono O'odham Nation's proposed West Valley casino

It's been decades in the making, and tomorrow, the Tohono O'odham Nation is hosting a groundbreaking groundbreaking for its West Valley Resort and Casino.

The private ceremony, which will include tribal and local government leaders, comes just weeks after the City of Glendale and the Nation reached a formal agreement to work together on the resort-style casino project.

See also:
-Wanna Bet? The Tohono O'odham Want to Build a Casino in the West Valley

When the Nation first publicly proposed the casino in 2009, then-Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs, the majority of the Glendale City Council and statewide politicians came out with vehement opposition.

Lawsuits were filed and federal lawmakers proposed laws to kill the project.

As time passed, and the Nation saw repeated victories in both the legal courts and the court of public opinion, some of the anti-casino rhetoric eased up. Newly elected officials on the Glendale City Council also turned the tide of opposition.

Glendale Councilman Sammy Chavira, a longtime advocate of the casino project, is excited about the tremendous impact the West Valley Resort is going to have, not only on Glendale, but the entire West Valley.

"This is going to be catalyst for prosperity and new development," he says.

The deal was made possible when Chavira convinced Councilman Gary Sherwood, who was initially a "no" vote, to push city staff to take another -- and harder -- look at the project.

"Sherwood has the courage to take on issues, no matter how controversial, and make the decisions that are going benefit the citizens and employees of Glendale," says Chavira. "He deserve so much credit for that."

On August 12, the Glendale City Council opened its arms to the Nation -- and its casino -- agreeing to drop any lawsuits it has against the Nation, concede that the Nation's project is not and has never been within its corporate limits or the boundaries of any other city or town, whole heartedly supports taking the entirety of the Nation's West Valley property into federal trust as reservation land, as had been originally requested.

And that means much more than the 54 acres that are currently in trust.

In exchange for the city's support, Nation leaders agree to give Glendale more than $26 million over 20 years, including an initial payment of $500,000.

The Nation will also pay for construction of the $400 million project, and cover the tab for any municipal services and all infrastructure costs in and around the project site. Once that's all set up, the Nation will pay standard fees and service charge rates for commercial customers.

"This agreement marks a major step forward for the Nation, Glendale, and the entire West Valley, one that will lead to greater prosperity for all our communities,"
Tohono O'odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. said in a statement. "The Nation looks forward to continued partnership with Glendale as we work together to create jobs and a world-class entertainment destination."

Got a tip? Send it to: Monica Alonzo.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Monica Alonzo on Twitter at @MAD_Blogger.



Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
45 comments
Darryl Brandt
Darryl Brandt

I live and work @ Westgate. I don't spend money on casino floors. I look forward to the additional restaurants, events, and activities TO brings to the west side. My parents are retirees in Sun City. Once a month they get on a Rec Center bus and ride an hour to east side casinos and have responsible adult fun for an afternoon. The other tribes were leading the fight to keep from sharing the revenue with TO. High school kids can't get on the casino floor. This will help further legitimize the west side as the new entertainment hub of the valley. 800,000 Canadians come to PHX each year. As hockey fans, thus will give them another place to go after games. Fiesta Bowl fans may stay there then eat and shop @ Westgate and stop whining about the 30 to 45 minute drive to Scottsdale or Tempe. Feel free to stop by SNIP Barber Shop on Coyotes Blvd. @ Westgate to further discuss.

George Fallar
George Fallar

Courts ruled, repeatedly, for the TO. Dept of Interior says the land is reservation. That means game over for Glendale, so the TO isn't obligated to give the City anything, yet they are. If you're a Glendale voter, sign one of the referendum petitions being paid for by a competing tribe, although even successful signature gathering will be in vain because the Council actions are not referrable according to the Mayor. Of course the Franks/Flake/McCain federal thing might kill the casino, but it's unlikely. Make lemonade out of your lemons.

Bryce Hadley
Bryce Hadley

Which business will it take away from Tom? Glendale was already threatened to not get another super bowl because there aren't enough hotels in the area. Development has stalled because there's not enough in the area to draw customers year round. It's going to change all that.

Matt Barton
Matt Barton

Yes my wife is a tribe member, big day

Bobby Harris
Bobby Harris

Hey Tom, read the article. "The nation will give the city of Glendale more than 26 million dollars over the next 20 years and an initial payment of $500,000" ...

Jay Mutum
Jay Mutum

Yes love this, I will be there with beer in hand for ground breaking. Jobs concerts,and many of my favorite slot machines. Max bet anyone ????

Jason Wilbur
Jason Wilbur

Isn't there a high school right across the street?

Larry Gulliford
Larry Gulliford

This is the typical short term policy creation that Glendale has become famous (read infamous) for during the past decade. Everyone keeps talking about revenues for the city and jobs, has anyone bothered to actually look at these numbers? The deal is that Glendale will receive $26 million over the next 20 years, more specifically, that is $500,000 upfront, and then $1.4 million a year till 2026 then it goes down to $900,000 a year. So 10 years in the future with nearly guaranteed inflation, the city stands to actually receive less. Does this really seem like a great deal? Meanwhile the city is operating with a $30 million deficit annually. You do the math, this is not going do as much good as all the supporters are estimating. Also did you know that Las Vegas has one of the highest suicide rates in the country? and it's not just visitors its also among residents. With this casino, we can look forward to increased social service and public safety expenses, and the possibility of decreased property values in surrounding neighborhoods. Surely a better deal could have been negotiated by the city , but they are only looking for a short term quick fix. And on the subject of jobs, we are looking at the creation of a thousands of relatively low wage service jobs, where employees will be required to sign a waiver acknowledging they work in a smoking environment that increases their risk for serious health problems, that will bring a whole host of other future expenses to us all. As for myself, I'm looking forward to more traffic congestion in an area I frequent.

Larry Gulliford
Larry Gulliford

How about you ask the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and Gila River Indian Community what they think of the TO Nation building this casino on their traditional land.

Aristina Sanchez
Aristina Sanchez

There are still many hurdles in the way of this casino. This groundbreaking is just a publicity stunt to get the public excited over something that isn't even "legal" yet. I don't see how the Tohono O'odham can't see that their tribe is wasting MILLIONS of dollars on this fight and now this building that might just end up being shut down.

Lauren Valencia
Lauren Valencia

It's not within city limits. The property was a county island- just FYI! :)

Tom Kennedy
Tom Kennedy

How did you come up with tax cuts for Glendale? Just the opposite is likely toi occur. You do realize that the casino pays NO TAXES to Glendale? You do know that it will draw business AWAY from area businesses? You do get that, right? You do know it will take visitors away from other area hotels and motels? All of those that pay taxes TO Glendale. There is no revenue for Glendale in this.

Geoff Goorin
Geoff Goorin

I truly don't care at all what the geniuses that run this place do. It's not like I have a choice.

Tom Adikes
Tom Adikes

Just another place for the hard-working people of Arizona to lose their hard-earned money. The house always wins!

Ian Lewis
Ian Lewis

Originally typed a whole "novel" about my thoughts on this. Decided against posting it. So here's my thoughts on this. I'm for one AGAINST it. Goodbye. ✋

FRONTERA
FRONTERA

Thank you ,Chairman ,  Ned Norris Jr...Big shout out to Gu Vo...

Catalina Elaina Hayes
Catalina Elaina Hayes

Doesn't matter where they put the casino or about profit for any of the other casinos... we just want our land back... and were are glad one of our brothers is taking some of that land back even if it's for a casino the only thing the state will let us have and we still have to give the state money for all of what they need. Honestly if it's on our land our money should stay within the native community not helping out the white man who took it from us anyways. Good job Tonhono O Odham.

Chad Cossette
Chad Cossette

I think it's great for the west side. Keeps people from leaving and spending dollars in Scottsdale. This is a full on resort not the tiny smoke pits of the past.

Jeremy Caron
Jeremy Caron

Must be nice to work in a world where you can do whatever you want... You certainly do sound like a Obama supporter... Well documented worst president since WWII!! Just does whatever he wants with no regard to the constitution!!

Marco Cruz
Marco Cruz

Yes, to anything native american!

Doug Cleland
Doug Cleland

And they contribute to John McCain and the republican party. Go drink some more stupid out of the republican party punch bowl.

Maria Teresa Diaz Solares
Maria Teresa Diaz Solares

Jobs! Revenue for the Tohono O'Rodham and Glendale. Hopefully tax cuts for Glendale resident.

Jeremy Caron
Jeremy Caron

after the 10 years of them not paying taxes and Glendale eating the bill. I do hope it will help Glendale in a huge way but it will be a long time before we see it. and it is a great job creation for all in Tohono O'odham Nation..

Jeremy Caron
Jeremy Caron

ROFL.. the biggest opponents of this was 2 East Valley tribes that don't want to see loss of profit to their casinos. and because of this the politicians had to investigate.. but i assume since you did your research you already knew that.

Cheryl Perez
Cheryl Perez

No ! Because they lied to the Arizona voters when they promised no more casinos within city limits!

Justin Serpentine
Justin Serpentine

Yes! Jobs creation and a stream of revenue for the Tohono O'odham Nation and the state of Arizona.

Doug Cleland
Doug Cleland

Yes. Because the republican senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake were against it. The republican party is against jobs, Unions and the middle class Americans getting a fair shake.

devilsbeatwildscats
devilsbeatwildscats

I very excited! I hope leaders of the Gila Monsters & Salty's are invited.

burt
burt

So does social media.

Now Trending

Phoenix Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...