CHANDLER, AZ — Finishing touches are being put on a brand-new Gila River Casino under the San Tan Mountains in Chandler.
By the end of June, the noise of construction will be replaced by the sounds of more than 800 slot machines across more than 33,000 square feet of gaming floor.
”Personally I believe Gilbert, Queen Creek, Chandler, San Tan Valley, need that entertainment, need this destination,” said Blake Katsnelson, the general manager.
During an inside look at the fourth Gila River casino in Arizona, Katsnelson touted one of its main attractions, the restaurant on the northwest side of the property named Honey and Vine.
The hope for Honey and Vine is that the flavor of locally sourced food will be a priority for guests.
”It’s not an afterthought,” said Katsnelson, hoping guests will come for the food and consider gaming after the fact.
Among the thoughtful details throughout the 160-acre property near East Hunt Highway and Gilbert Road are chandeliers at each entrance that were designed by a local artist.
The overhead racetrack design looks like wood, but it’s hand-painted.
In the high-limit gambling space, a listening microphone adjusts the music volume according to the ambient noise in the room, which sits in a space that’s shared with a one-of-one roulette table for the U.S., originally from Europe.
”A white roulette table, historically they’re black or dark brown,” said Katsnelson.
The outdoor garden space has a great view of the San Tan Mountains and is available for weddings and events. Plus, the indoor ballroom can fit 800-900 hundred people in it.
The 7,000-square-foot sports book is the largest for a casino in the state which includes a spot for a DJ when games aren’t happening.
Most casinos are known to not have any windows at all, but this casino has large, floor-to-ceiling sage glass across multiple entrances.
The $180-million development that broke ground in 2021 is slated to open on June 30. Right now there are no hotels in the area.
Until the opening, Gila River is looking to fill about 700 jobs, especially cooks at all levels.
“This property is not anything you will see in the state of Arizona. This property is breaking the boundaries for what traditional gaming is,” said Katsnelson.