bout 1,000 construction workers are working around the clock so the new Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino can open its doors at 9 p.m. October 30, Wild Horse Pass general manager John Straus said this week.
He also said he expects plenty of business at the new facility, which will have 1,002-slot machines and 71 table games. The new building will replace the casino-hotel with the same name just a short drive away. Both are on the Gila River Indian Community, one exit south of Ahwatukee. Casino revenues "are down 16 % statewide but we are not down at all," Straus said. "Even in this economy, we have not had that much of a struggle."
The Wild Horse Pass area of the Gila River Community will still have the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa. It caters to convention and business travelers as well as to families with young children.
The new Wild Horse Pass hotel will primarily target customers seeking casino games and nightlife. The property will offer nine restaurants, five lounges, a nightclub with a disc jockey and a 1,400-seat entertainment venue. It also will have a private club, Platinum, open only to high-spending members of the casino's players club, Straus said.
Straus expects the hotel-casino to be popular with local gamers who want an adult getaway as well as out of town visitors here for events like Cactus League games. "People are already starting to book rooms for spring training next year," he said.
In addition to more gambling and nightlife, Wild Horse Pass will have one of the first Don Shula's American Steakhouses - which has a theme based on the 1972 undefeated Miami Dolphins - west of the Mississippi River, Straus said.
It also will feature art by Native American sculptors, painters and other artists, many of whom live in the Gila River Indian Community. Images of water - a key Gila River cultural symbol - will be prominent throughout the facility.
The hotel's lobby, for instance, will feature a sculpture of a mustang beneath an 8,000-pound chandelier. "The light will look like rain pouring down on the wild horse," Straus said.