New casino set to open near Flagstaff this month

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by Tami Hoey

azfamily.com

Posted on May 13, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 12:31 PM

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz -- A new casino is set to open its doors later this month near Flagstaff. The Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort will host its grand opening celebration over Memorial Day weekend.

The 267,000-square-foot casino will highlight Navajo traditions, featuring commissioned Navajo artists’ original paintings and other artwork. Design, lighting and color choices will also incorporate Navajo culture.

Getting a casino in the Navajo Nation in Arizona has been in the works for years. "In 2003, the Navajo people finally said okay, let's move forward with Navajo gaming," says Derrick Watchman, chief executive officer of the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise.

On Monday's Good Morning Arizona, Watchman told Javier Soto that the casino will improve the economic health  of the Navajo Nation, and will create approximately 800 full-time jobs, with an annual payroll of $34 million, including salaries and benefits.

Income from the casino will go back to support the Navajo Nation. "The money that we derive will go the the Navajo government," says Watchman. "Education, social services, things that will help run the Navajo government."

Twin Arrows will offer visitors more than a thousand slot machines,18 table games, 12 poker tables, and live Keno. The property also has a five-story hotel with 90 rooms and suites, and a 16,000 square foot banquet and conference center.

Guests can also enjoy a fully equipped fitness center, heated indoor pool and six distinct dining concepts.

Starting May 24, the casino will be open 24 hours per day, seven days a week, with round-the-clock complimentary valet parking featuring an innovative “Valet Express” mobile phone service system.

On Good Morning Arizona Monday, Chef Jason Smallcanyon cooked up a sample of the food available at the resort's Zenith Steakhouse. Javier was happy to try some it out! The property's restaurants will offer contemporary cuisine as well as tradition Navajo favorites like Navajo Fry Bread, Mutton Stew and Lamb Burger.

For more information on Twin Arrows, visit www.twinarrows.com.

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