In September 2006, The Navajo Nation created The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise (Navajo Gaming) to develop and operate Navajo casinos as a way to generate jobs, economic opportunities and revenue for The Nation. Ten years later, the Navajo Gaming team, its CEO Derrick Watchman and the Navajo Gaming Board are carrying out the wishes of the Navajo people.
“Today Navajo Gaming is four properties strong, has 1200 employees and distributed millions to the Navajo Nation and state governments,” stated Derrick Watchman, CEO of Navajo Gaming. “We have become a major economic engine not only for The Nation, but for New Mexico and Northern Arizona.”
Navajo Gaming Milestones
• November 2004: Navajo people vote in favor of gaming
• 2006: Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise created by The Navajo Nation
• 2008: First Navajo casino opens – Fire Rock Navajo Casino – in the Church Rock Chapter, near Gallup, New Mexico
• 2010: The second Navajo casino opens – Flowing Water Navajo Casino – in Tsé Daak’áán Chapter, near Shiprock, New Mexico
• 2012: A third Navajo Casino opens – Northern Edge Navajo Casino – in Upper Fruitland Chapter, near Farmington, New Mexico
• 2013: The fourth Navajo Casino opens – Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort – in Leupp Chapter, near Flagstaff, Arizona
• 2012: Navajo Gaming and the Navajo Nation Government Launch Navajo Beef Initiative with Labatt Food Service
• 2014: Twin Arrows Casino Resort expands with 110 additional rooms
• 2014: Twin Arrows Resort receives AAA Four Diamond designation and culinary awards
• 2014: Navajo Gaming’s Navajo Beef Initiative generates more than $750,000 for local Navajo Ranchers
• 2015: Navajo Gaming employees 1,200 people
• 2016: Twin Arrows Earns 4th AAA Four-Diamond Designation (only 4-diamond in Flagstaff)
• 2016 Opens New Buffet and Trucker’s Lounge (Twin Arrows)
• 2016: Navajo Beef Program generates $20.3 M for Navajo Ranchers
• 2016: Economic Impact Report – Gaming Generates $1.19 Billion in Economic Impact to region
In addition to Gaming and Food Specials throughout the month, the public is invited to any of the four Navajo Gaming properties on Monday, September 26 for complimentary Anniversary Cake and beverages. Visit each site’s webpage for timing per property event.
The establishment of the Navajo Gaming properties has facilitated complimentary hospitality and business development – such as The Navajo Shopping Centers recent Glittering Mountain project announcement, increased regional and international Navajo tourism opportunities and provided thousands of dollars to local artisans, ranchers, performers and vendors.
In addition, hundreds of Navajo Gaming employees have received management and hospitality training, assistance earning their bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees and ongoing professional development opportunities.
Watchman added, “In addition to strengthening our employees, Navajo Gaming will drive commerce, hospitality and economic opportunities as we continue to fulfill the mandate of the Navajo people and look toward the next ten years of growth.”