On Oct. 29, the We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort in Fort McDowell will celebrate its one-year anniversary of gaming to Valley residents and visitors to the area.
Opening in 1984 as the first casino in Arizona, at 10438 N. Fort McDowell Road (10438 WeKoPa Way), Ba’Ja Bingo was renamed twice over the next 37 years — as the Fort McDowell Gaming Center, and later, Fort McDowell Casino.
The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation’s historic 1992 standoff against federal agents who attempted to seize its slot machines paved the way for Indian gaming in Arizona and enabled the tribe to build a strong community for its members, according to a release.
Three years ago, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation committed to building a new smoke-free facility. It has slot machines, bingo, tables and gaming amenities; fine- and casual-dining outlets; live entertainment; and Native American design elements reflected throughout the property.
Some milestones achieved during the past 12 months:
“For more than 37 years, our tribal nation has taken great pride in offering excellence in gaming and we’re thrilled to continue this legacy in our beautiful new facility,” Bernadine Burnette, president of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, said in the release. “Our future plans include launching a new sportsbook facility with Betfred Sports, as well as opening Amore — the newest addition to our Dining Studio that will feature traditional Italian fare.
“We’d like to invite everyone to celebrate our one-year anniversary and experience the magic of We-Ko-Pa for themselves,” Burnette said.
Owned and operated by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, the 166,341-square-foot We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort has state-of-the-art gaming, a variety of specialty fine and casual dining restaurants, and live entertainment. The attached AAA Four Diamond hotel offers 246 guestrooms and suites; 25,000 square feet of meeting space; spa treatments at the Amethyst Spa; and two resort-style outdoor pools.
The new casino resort’s proximity to the two courses at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club and numerous outdoor activities at Fort McDowell Adventures make it the ideal destination for a vacation, business function or special event, the release states.
The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation is an 889-member Native American tribe that calls central Arizona’s upper Sonoran Desert home.
Located to the northeast of Phoenix within Maricopa County, the 40-square-mile reservation is a small part of the ancestral territory of the once nomadic Yavapai people, who hunted and gathered food in a vast area of Arizona’s desert lowlands and mountainous Mogollon Rim country.
Go to wekopacasinoresort.com.
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