Tourism is major business for Scottsdale’s economy. The New York Times has called the Arizona destination the “desert version of Miami’s South Beach” and one of the “hippest and most happening” places in the country.
On the eastern edge of Scottsdale, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation is leveraging the vacation attraction with a new venue, We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort, that will offer everything tourists travel to Scottsdale for and more: premium entertainment and accommodations, championship golf, fun gaming, unique shopping and the serenity of nature. The tranquil reservation, flanked by the majestic Four Peaks and iconic Red Mountains, offers uncanny views of the Sonoran Desert landscape that draws visitors from across the world to the enchanting oasis. (We-Ko-Pa is Yavapai for four peaks.)
The Tribe recently hosted a “topping out ceremony” for its We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort (formerly Fort McDowell Casino), situated in the heart of its 28,000-acre reservation. The venue will connect to the Tribe’s award-winning, AAA Four Diamond-rated We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center.
Thursday’s ceremony recognized an important milestone in the construction project, while marking the debut of the new name, We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort, and the new logo. It also served to bring good luck to the resort at the intermediate point of construction, which remains on schedule to open We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort in summer 2020.
As part of an ancient tradition, a special white painted beam with a Christmas tree placed on top was hoisted into place by a large construction crane. A banner was adorned with the logos of the project team: Kitchell Construction (General Contractor); Thalden Boyd Emery (Architects); W.E. O’Neil (Owner Representative); along with the We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort’s new logo and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation tribal seal. The beam was signed by casino and resort employees, construction crew, Tribal members and Tribal elders and the project construction team in a special signing ceremony prior to the placement by the Kitchell construction crew. The commemorative beam was placed in the framework of the new facility’s Porte Cochere. The new multi-million dollar casino property will be 244,000 square feet and includes a 4-story parking garage, a larger casino area with a garden court, specialty high-end dining, sports bar with entertainment stage and other new amenities.
The 950-member Tribe calls central Arizona’s upper Sonoran Desert home. Located to the northeast of Phoenix within Maricopa County, the 40-square-mile reservation is a small part of the ancestral territory of the once nomadic Yavapai people, who hunted and gathered food in a vast area of Arizona’s desert lowland and mountainous Mogollon Rim country. Today, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation operates its own enterprises in the industries of farming, construction, hospitality and property management. Its hospitality ventures include the under-construction We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort (the former Fort McDowell Casino), We-Ko-Pa Resort and Conference Center, Poco Diablo hotel, We-Ko-Pa Golf Course, Fort McDowell Adventures, Eagle View RV Resort and Fort McDowell Baja Chevron.
The We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort is located at 10424 N. Fort McDowell Road, Fountain Hills. Visit www.fortmcdowelldestination.com for more information.