Mescalero Apache Tribe President Arthur “Butch” Blazer, Vice President Gabe Aguilar and UFC fighter Holly Holm cast the first bets at the new sportsbook, powered by William Hill, at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino in Mescalero, New Mexico on July 25.
The Tribal delegates put $100 each on the Cowboys winning the Super Bowl, and UFC fighter Holly Holm bet $100 that Cyborg would beat Specer in the UFC 240.
Situated inside the casino, between the Big Game Sports Bar and the Apache Spirit Club, the sportsbook features twelve 43-inch televisions and high-top seating. William Hill US fitted the renovated space with its sports betting technology, including self-service sports wagering kiosks and InPlay wagering menu.
The new sportsbook marks the first Tribal agreement outside of Nevada for William Hill, a betting and gaming company founded in 1934 in the UK. The Fort Mojave Indian Tribe debuted its Leroy’s Sportsbook in 2012 at Avi Resort and Casino in Laughlin, Nevada, a 90-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip. William Hill later acquired the sportsbook, now dubbed the William Hill Race and Sportsbook at Avi.
Frizzell Frizzell, Jr., Chief Operating Officer at Inn of the Mountain Gods said, “Together with William Hill, we will offer state-of-the-art betting technology, and innovative wagering opportunities including in-play options. We know this is something our customers have been looking forward to and we’re thrilled to be able to partner with the best in the business to bring it to them.”
Inn of the Mountain Gods is located approximately three hours away from Albuquerque, the state’s most populated city, and just two hours away from El Paso, Texas.
The only AAA four diamond rated resort in southern New Mexico, Inn of the Mountain Gods is an economic tour de force in the region. Situated high in the picturesque mountains of Mescalero, visitors can enjoy the clean, crisp air and breathtaking scenery among cool, tall pines. The area offers a myriad of hiking and biking trails, and for a bird’s eye view, guests can cruise two zip lines: The Apache Eagle ZipRider, a 2,668-foot glide across Lake Mescalero, and the Apache Wind Rider ZipTour. Meanwhile, the Tribe’s championship golf course has been named one of the top courses in the country by Golf Digest and Golf Week Magazine, and the country’s southernmost continually operating major ski area, Ski Apache, offers warm-weather powder skiing with 55 runs served by 11 lifts and New Mexico’s only eight-passenger gondola.
In addition to outdoor activities and 38,000 square feet of gaming, Inn of the Mountain Gods offers a panoply of bars, restaurants and entertainment. Mescalero Entertainment attracts top musical and comedy talent from across the country. In 2018 the Tribe added a full-service salon and spa at the Inn of the Mountain Gods, offering massages, skincare, body treatments, mani/pedis, make-up, hair design and waxing for individuals and couples. At night, guests can get cozy in one of 273 luxury rooms and suites.
Frizzell, who has been COO for the Inn of the Mountain Gods for eight years, says that the economic opportunities provided by the Tribe’s businesses have impacted not only the quality of life for the Mescalero, but also their neighbors.
“We are the biggest economic engine in the region, but for us, it’s about more than having a job. It’s about being part of something that is bigger than ourselves and something that benefits and protects our people,” he told Native Business. “The goal is to provide the economic means to sustain our community, including homes, education, fire protection, programs for our elders and children. All of our money goes right back into our Tribe, and that’s what drives our whole operation.”