Gila Community starts 4th casino project - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Gila Community starts 4th casino project

October 27th, 2021 development
Gila Community starts 4th casino project

Santan Sun News Staff

Construction is about to begin on the fourth casino on Gila River Indian Community land.

Named Santan Mountain Casino and located on a 160-acre site on the southeast corner of Gilbert Road and Hunt Highway 160-acre, the $150-million project will feature more than 850 slots and table games, a BetMGM Sportsbook and dining.

It also will create and will create more than 650 new jobs, according to Gila River Hotels & Casinos, which described the new development as a “modern, inviting desert oasis” that “was cultivated to bring a desired entertainment destination and convenient location to the growing Southeast Valley.”

The Gila River Indian Community operates Gila River Hotels & Casinos – which include Wild Horse Pass, Lone Butte and Vee Quiva.

“The development will boast lush décor, breathtaking mountain views and state-of-the-art amenities set against the backdrop of the pristine, picturesque desert,” the release stated.

“Not only will Santan Mountain bring additional revenue, sustainability and critical services to our community members, it will elevate our prestige in the gaming and hospitality industry as we continue to craft an entertainment dynasty,” Gila River Indian Community Governor Roe Lewis said.

Gila River Hotels & Casinos hired international architectural and interior design firm, Steelman Partners, and The PENTA Building Group to design and construct the casino, which is expected to take 18 to 24 months.

Steelman is a designer of global entertainment, hospitality, and gaming architecture and was the lead architect for the new Resorts World Las Vegas. It has designed buildings for gaming industry leaders like including Kirk Kerkorian, Steve Wynn, Sheldon Adelson and Stanley Ho.

Gila River Hotels & Casinos CEO Kenneth Manuel praised Steelman Partners for their innovative design concepts.  “We are thrilled with the architectural renderings and design components that Paul and Steve have presented to us – they are ensuring that Santan Mountain will be a premier gaming destination for years to come.” he said.

Steelman said a key focus of the project is to bring the texture, light and elements of the outdoors inside. The main casino will feature lush, blooming saguaro carpeting, natural light cascading from circular skylights, custom bubble glass and colors inspired by the rising and setting sun that bring unique serenity to the casino floor.

The PENTA Building Group, a general contractor with extensive gaming and hospitality experience in Arizona and across the U.S., is also part of the project team along with the Casino Expansion Owners Team and Tynan Group.

“Large-scale casino/entertainment projects like this are a core competency for PENTA, and we look forward to delivering a world class property we will all take pride in,” said John Cannito, president of PENTA.

As project lead, the Tynan Group has been involved in projects on the Gila River Indian Community’s land for more than two decades.

“The comfort of Gila River’s guests is a top priority. Whether a guest is playing the slots during the day or playing at a high-energy, live table at night, Santan Mountain design elements will provide a striking, serene backdrop for memorable entertainment,” Steelman said.

When complete, Santan Mountain will include more than 850 slots and table games including mini baccarat, craps and roulette as well as an exclusive High Limit Gaming Salon.

The BetMGM sportsbook will extend the casino floor and offer plush seating, multiple large-screen TVs for viewing live games and sports betting.

The new property will also provide multiple dining options and a lively bar in the center of the casino floor featuring entertainment. A hotel may be added in the future.

The project also calls for road and other infrastructure improvements in the surrounding area.

Gila River’s Casino Expansion Owner’s Team \Chairman and tribal Councilman Anthony Villareal, Sr., called last week’s groundbreaking for the casino an “historic moment.:

“We will have many exciting milestones ahead with Santan Mountain, and all of them will be beneficial to our community,” he said.

The gaming enterprise is also slated to open a $143 million expansion project at Wild Horse Pass later this year —bringing 205 additional guest rooms, new meeting space, two pools and a rooftop restaurant and lounge to the Chandler property. The project marks the first expansion since Wild Horse Pass opened in 2009.