Press Release — Tohono O’odham Nation Welcomes Formal Negotiations With City of Glendale

SELLS, Ariz. – On Tuesday, March 18, 2014, the Glendale City Council took a major step towards bringing more jobs by directing city staff to begin formal negotiations with the Tohono O’odham Nation regarding the proposed West Valley Resort and Casino. These talks open the door for a positive resolution of the disagreements between the two communities over the major economic development project. The Glendale Council also took the further step of announcing its opposition to H.R. 1410, a federal bill intended to halt the West Valley Resort.

On Oct. 15, 2013, a consensus of the Glendale City Council directed staff to begin informational discussions with the Nation. Since then, multiple positive meetings have been held, building a strong working relationship and providing information on a wide range of topics including economic development, services, and facility layout plans.

The opening of formal negotiations allows Glendale and the Nation to address concerns directly and work towards a beneficial agreement on the resort-casino project. The Nation has been seeking negotiations with Glendale since the project was announced in January 2009.

The decision to oppose H.R. 1410 in Congress is another positive move for the Nation, Glendale, and the entire West Valley. H.R. 1410 is special interest legislation designed to protect the market share of two wealthy East Valley tribes by stopping the Nation’s project. This dangerous bill was offered after the Nation won thirteen straight legal decisions and it is opposed by cities across the West Valley, as well as tribes across the country.

Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. said, “On behalf of the Nation, I applaud the Glendale City Council for taking these important steps towards partnership, job creation and positive economic development. The Nation looks forward to working with Glendale leaders and staff to find a way for us to move forward together for the benefit of the entire West Valley.”

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 more than 3,000 new, permanent jobs and more than $300 million in annual economic impact. For more information, visit www.westvalleyopportunity.com.