Press Release — Senate Fends Off Job-Killing Special Interest Bill

SELLS, Ariz. – In a victory for jobs and economic development in the West Valley, the U.S. Senate has stopped legislation intended to prevent the Tohono O’odham Nation from being able to open its West Valley Resort. This is the second time that Congress has rejected these job-killing bills, despite a multimillion dollar lobbying campaign by east valley tribes to protect their market share. This victory also follows 16 straight decisions by the courts and federal agencies that have repeatedly found in favor of the Nation and its economic development project.

Construction of the West Valley Resort is fully underway, with a $7 million grading effort in progress and multimillion dollar orders for steel and concrete being delivered. The resort’s first phase permanent structure is scheduled to open by the fourth quarter of 2015. It will create more than 500 permanent jobs and will feature over 1,000 slots, restaurants, bar, a 1,100 space surface parking lot, and other amenities. Initial hiring has already begun.

After the first phase is up and running, construction of the $400 million project will continue, including the fully-developed gaming facility which will create more than 3,000 permanent jobs. The Nation is determined to bring permanent jobs and economic development quickly to the West Valley, which is why it will offer gaming and other entertainment amenities in the first phase immediately upon opening.

Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. said, “The voters overwhelmingly support this project, four West Valley cities have endorsed it, the courts repeatedly have ruled in our favor, and now Congress has spoken twice. It is time for our opponents to stop wasting millions of dollars on frivolous lawsuits and lobbying campaigns, and time for us all to move forward together with creating economic opportunity for the entire West Valley.”

The Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise is an entity of the Tohono O’odham Nation, 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.

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