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Aug 28, 2014 2:03 PM by Faye DeHoff

Tohono O'odham Nation breaks ground on new resort and casino

SELLS - Today the Tohono O'odham Gaming Enterprise (TOGE) broke ground on its West Valley Resort & Casino project during a ceremony attended by community leaders from across the region.

TOGE is moving forward with the project following more than a dozen straight favorable rulings by courts and federal agencies, as well as a recently approved agreement with the City of Glendale. The project site has been taking into federal trust as reservation land. TOGE and the Tohono O'odham Nation are committed to creating jobs and opportunity in the West Valley as soon as possible.

Construction of the West Valley Resort will create thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in positive economic impacts, at no cost to taxpayers. Build-out will occur in phases over the course of approximately three years. TOGE and its construction team have committed to hiring locally, with plans for a job fair in the near future.

The first phase of the West Valley Resort will feature a gaming component, as well as a range of elegant and contemporary facilities including five restaurants, meeting and multi-purpose space. The project's design inspiration stems from the ever-changing natural characteristics of the desert, including the composition of rock formations transformed by wind and water over time as well as the brilliant hues and natural vibrancy of the endless desert sky.

Andy Asselin, CEO of TOGE, said, "This project has been a long time coming. We're excited to finally begin creating jobs and stimulating business in the West Valley as we build this world-class entertainment destination."

Tohono O'odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. said "The Tohono O'odham Nation and our gaming enterprise are proud to move forward together with our friends and neighbors in the West Valley to bring greater prosperity to all our communities. Today's groundbreaking demonstrates the Nation's commitment to keeping its word and delivering the major economic development project we proposed more than five years ago."

The Tohono O'odham Nation is a federally-recognized Indian tribe, with existing reservation lands in Maricopa County, Pinal County, and Pima County, Arizona. The West Valley Resort will be located at 95th and Northern avenues and will generate thousands of new jobs and more than $300 million in annual economic impact. For more information, visit www.westvalleyopportunity.com.

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