FORT McDOWELL, ARIZ.—On October 29, the new We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort opened its doors, unveiling a contemporary ambiance and visitor-centric experience that raise the bar for Valley casinos.
All gaming areas, hotel rooms and public spaces, dining outlets and entertainment venues are 100 percent smoke-free, with four comfortable outdoor areas designated for smokers. In addition, full compliance with all mandated COVID-19 precautions includes taking patrons’ temperatures (only granting entry to those with 100-degree temperatures or less), requiring masks, providing ample sanitation stations, encouraging social distancing, and limiting elevator and outlet occupancy.
In addition to offering a full complement of slot machines, tables, bingo and gaming amenities, the elegant new casino features a wide variety of dining establishments, event venues, Native American design elements and other attributes designed to maximize the comfort, safety and enjoyment of all who visit the casino and stay at the adjacent AAA Four Diamond hotel.
Gaming options include 850 state-of-the-art slot machines; a 400-seat smoke-free bingo hall with 50-inch monitors; 22 blackjack tables, and a spacious poker room featuring five tables with live games and tournaments.
Foodies will delight in the multitude of fine and casual dining options. The upscale Ember restaurant features the highest quality steaks and seafood prepared over wood-fired grills, while the WKP Sports and Entertainment sports bar offers creative pub fare and craft beer along with live entertainment and gaming activities. The Market quick-serve restaurant provides on-the-go options 24/7, and the Ahnala Mesquite Room at the adjoining hotel features American-style comfort food. The new casino resort also offers private dining areas, patios, a piano lounge, and several other bars.
Serving the Community for More Than 36 Years
The sophisticated new 166,341-square-foot casino replaces the original Fort McDowell Casino that initially opened in 1984 as a bingo hall. Eight years later, the proud Yavapai Nation peacefully—and successfully—held off the attempts of federal agents to seize their slot machines, protecting their right to operate a casino on their reservation and provide livelihoods for their tribal members.
“We’re proud that we were Arizona’s first casino and are now the state’s newest casino,” said Bernadine Burnette, President of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. “Gaming has been a part of our tribal community for the past three decades and has allowed us to provide financial security for our members and employees. Our upscale new casino will allow us to take gaming to an entirely new level while keeping a Native American look and feel—with design elements of earth, water, fire and basket-weaving that are so important to our culture.”
The first-class We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort is connected to a new four-story covered parking structure and the existing 246-room hotel that has received the coveted AAA Four Diamond award every year since it opened in 2006. The casino shares its name with the upscale We-Ko-Pa Golf Club across the street that boasts the consistently award-winning Saguaro and Cholla courses.
For more information about the new casino, visit www.wekopacasinoresort.com.