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Global Hospitality Advisor: American Indian Gaming Case Studies

Some of the larger more progressive gaming tribes are ahead of the curve and have already partnered in significant ways with public companies or have entered into some meaningful relationships with lodging/hospitality entities. These examples are but a few key illustrations of successful developments.

Seminole Hard Rock

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Florida are powerful collaborations between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Hard Rock International. These amazing world-class resorts are built to 4-star, 4 diamond standards, and offer everything one needs to enjoy the ultimate entertainment adventure: innovative cuisine, lush tropical pools, world-class spas and fitness centers. At the heart of each property is a world-class casino featuring the most popular gaming machines like Wheel of Fortune, Texas Tea, Little Green Men and Double Diamond.

The Lodge at Chama

Owned by the Jicarilla Apache Tribe

Nestled in the San Juan Mountains of northern New Mexico, guests will find elegance beyond expectation and location beyond comparison. Unmatched as the premier outdoor sporting destination, the Lodge At Chama is dedicated to providing unsurpassed service and personal attention to their clients. The beautifully appointed lodge provides for every comfort. By taking a magnificent 36,000 acre ranch and combining it with over five decades of innovative wildlife management programs, they are able to present some of the finest recreational opportunities available in North America. The management strategies emphasize quality not quantity. They are dedicated to preserving this unique and diverse environment for future generations and are thrilled to share it.

Gila River Indian Community’s Sheraton

Wild Horse Pass

The resort is located in the Sonoran Desert on an expanse of rugged Arizona landscape where the ancient vistas, mountains and roaming wild horses remain untouched. A unique blend of two cultures, the resort offers the quiet serenity created by Native American tribes who found haven here. This destination resort includes two 18-hole Troon-managed golf courses, the Aji Spa, a 17,500 square foot spa with 17 treatment rooms, the Koli Equestrian Center for riding lessons, trail rides and outdoor events, and is also equipped with tennis courts and jogging trails. They offer four pools with cascading waterfalls and a 111-foot waterslide modeling the ancient Casa Grande Ruins.

Guests can enjoy the 2-1/2 mile replica of the Gila River that meanders through the resort grounds with scenic boat rides to shuttle guests to the Whirlwind Golf Club and nearby Wild Horse Pass Casino.

The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort’s professionally trained staff can plan events, for groups of ten to 2,000, in extensive function space including a 17,376 square foot ballroom and an abundance of scenic outdoor venues.

Three Fires LLC/Marriott

Three Fires, LLC, an economic coalition of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians of San Bernardino, California, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians of San Diego, California, and Oneida Tribe of Indians of Oneida, Wisconsin, announced in December 2004 construction beginning on a $53 million Marriott Residence Inn at 15th and L Streets on Capitol Park, (Sacramento, California) site of the California Capitol. They participated in a ceremonial ground blessing of the hotel site.

The Sacramento project follows the successful Marriott International, Inc. and Four Fires LLC, financial partnership of Native American tribes, and The Donohoe Companies, which constructed a Washington D.C. project.

The $43 million Residence Inn by Marriott Capitol, at 333 E Street, S.W. in Washington D.C. opened in March 2005.

Readers will find information on the American Indian gaming industry and its members at, the website of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA).

Valerie Red-Horse contributed this information to the Advisor. She currently heads the Tribal Finance and the Tribal Asset Management Divisions of Western International Securities (Member NASD, SiPC). She previously founded two Indian owned Wall Street Investment Banks and holds six NASD Securities Registrations including the Series 24 (Securities Principal) and Series 65 (Registered Financial Advisor). Ms. Red-Horse can be contacted at