Native American Heritage Month
Fire Rock's success spurs plans for 3 new casinos
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April 3, 2009
WINDOW ROCK, AZ - The Fire Rock Casino has been a financial surprise to the
Navajo Nation in terms of revenue. Its success has spurred the Navajo Gaming
Enterprise to proceed with three more casinos as soon as possible.
Robert Winter, CEO of the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise, said the Fire Rock
has "almost a 60 percent EBITA" (net profit before interest, tax, and
amortization expenses). "There's probably no casino in the United States that
has that number. In fact most of their numbers are going down. This is a
fantastic number and it seems to be going up.
"We had an initial expansion of 70 slot machines about two weeks ago, and we are
now building an expansion in the bingo hall for another 110 slot machines. That
expansion should net $23 million a year after all expenses."
Winter said the board has now selected three new casinos it would like to
proceed on as quickly as possible.
TWIN ARROWS (Arizona)
The Twin Arrows location is along Interstate Highway 40 in Leupp, Arizona.
It will be a major resort with an extimated cosgt of more than $500 million. The
initial phase is estimated at $200 million.
UPPER FRUITLAND (New Mexico)
This will be a permanent structure proposed along the eastern boundary of Upper
Fruitland on Navajo Route 36, just southwest of Farmington. An attached hotel is
likely. Estimated cost is $70-$80 million.
I-40 & PINTA ROAD (Arizona)
The third project is a travel center-type facility with a casino proposed for
Pinta Road off I-40 in Arizona between Navajo and Petrified Forest National
"Altogether, in first phase construction, you're talking probably close to half
a billion dollars for all three of facilities, but more importantly, what this
means is jobs. We project that all of the facilities (including Fire Rock), once
they're up and operating, will employ 3,000 people,"
Winter said. "We project that the payroll for all four casinos will amount to
close to $90 million."
Return to Arizona Casinos.