Press Release — Community Leaders Unite in Support of Jobs and Economic Development Underway at West Valley Resort Construction Site

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Local elected and business leaders from across the West Valley, together with leaders of the Tohono O’odham Nation, gathered at the construction site of the West Valley Resort to express the community’s opposition to attempts by Governor Doug Ducey and some members of Congress to halt the positive economic development project. The West Valley Resort has been under construction for six months and is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2015.

West Valley leaders including Tolleson Mayor Adolfo Gamez, Glendale Vice Mayor Ian Hugh  and Council member Sammy Chavira reiterated the overwhelming support for the project in the region.  Four West Valley cities—Glendale, Peoria, Tolleson, and Surprise—representing over half a million West Valley residents have taken definitive action in support of the project. Polls have consistently found that more than 70% West Valley voters support the project.

Despite this overwhelming support, and the more than a dozen court rulings in favor of the Nation’s project, Governor Ducey has pressured the Arizona Department of Gaming to disregard the clear terms of the compact with the Nation. The Department’s action is in violation of a federal court ruling and goes against the advice of the State’s own expert on gaming law, Assistant Attorney General Roger Banan. Several members of Congress, meanwhile, are threatening to move federal legislation designed to halt construction of the project in order protect the market share of two wealthy East Valley tribes.

Should these efforts succeed, 1,300 construction jobs will be lost and Arizonans will be denied thousands of permanent jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in positive economic impacts that the project would create.   Passage of the federal legislation would also deprive the State of millions of dollars in revenue, which goes to support education, health care, and conservation across Arizona.

Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. said, “It is absurd to see elected officials working feverishly to take away thousands of jobs from their constituents, even refusing to adhere to the compact and a federal court ruling. The Nation is creating jobs and economic benefits for all of Arizona, while some of our elected officials seem focused only on protecting the market share of a few wealthy interests. Support for this project is overwhelming and we will not be deterred from our commitment to seeing this project through.”

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