GLENDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - It is a casino that has drawn anger and protest from several Native American tribes and neighbors in the area. They've fought construction of a new casino in Glendale for months.
But the facility is set to open its doors next month anyway, and FOX 10 got a tour of the casino as workers put on the finishing touches.
The Desert Diamond Casino West Valley is nearing completion, and officials with the casino say construction is on target. They say they're moving full steam ahead despite some controversy, and they are set to open by the end of the year.
"We had a ground breaking on August of 2014, full construction started around December of 2014, so it's been about a year since we've been under construction," said Treena Parvello.
Leaders of the Tohono O'Odham Gaming Enterprise showed off the progress of the new casino Thursday. It's planned to have nearly 1,100 games on the casino floor, of which 400 are already in place and much more.
"We'll have two food court venues available, we'll have the reward center, and the cage," said Parvello.
Parvello, who is the director of PR, says about 3,000 people showed up, and they hired about 400. She says they are still looking for more employees.
"Between now and December 20, we'll be hiring about 100 more to fill the front line staff, to fill in our slots department, security department, and human resources department," she said.
Councilmember Gary Sherwood originally opposed the casino during the 2012 city election, but later changed his mind. It came after it was clear the tribe would get reservation status for the land near 95th and Northern Avenues. Voters recalled his position while other local tribes continue their opposition to the casino.
Parvello says even with the controversy; the casino will be a success.
"We feel comfortable that we're part of the community. This area was designated the entertainment district, and it fits right in, the casino, with the entertainment district, we fit right into the community," said Parvello.
The casino is scheduled to open on December 20 after litigation is complete they look forward into opening a Class III casino which will include a hotel, convention center, spa, and other things that come with a resort.