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10/1/2013 10:38:00 AM
Twin Arrows Casino named top Native American casino
Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort was named the top Native American casino at the Global Gaming Expo Conference Sept. 26. Top: a custom chandelier in the casino’s rotunda depicts the vertical rise of the people through each world.  Submitted photo
Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort was named the top Native American casino at the Global Gaming Expo Conference Sept. 26. Top: a custom chandelier in the casino’s rotunda depicts the vertical rise of the people through each world. Submitted photo
Navajo-Hopi Observer


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise (NNGE) announced Sept. 26 that Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort, located 20 minutes east of Flagstaff, Ariz. was recognized as the top Native American Casino in the nation at this week's G2E (Global Gaming Expo) Conference.

The Friedmutter Group of Las Vegas, which designed the casino in collaboration with Navajo tribal members, and JBA Consulting Engineers, which led the active systems engineering, submitted an entry for the 267,000-square-foot facility that showcases Navajo culture and original artworks throughout the property.

"We are grateful to The Friedmutter Group of Las Vegas and JBA Consulting Engineers for their ability to culturally infuse Navajo into the building by incorporating the vision of our team in the exterior and interior designs, décor and engineering," said Derrick Watchman, CEO for the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise. "We are proud to be recognized as the number one Native American casino facility in the nation and congratulate The Friedmutter Group, JBA Consulting Engineers and our employees for this prestigious recognition."

He added, "We would also like to thank our culture committee that worked tirelessly to ensure Navajo traditions and culture were accurately and appropriately showcased."

G2E's Casino Design Awards recognize excellence in architecture, design, engineering and construction. A panel of five individuals selected for professional expertise in design, planning and construction judged each entry. All licensed architectural firms, design companies and construction companies were eligible to enter.

Judges evaluated The Friedmutter Group, JBA Consulting Engineers and Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort on the following criteria:

• unique and original thinking;

• compatibility and harmony of the project to its environment;

• consideration of geographic and climatic conditions;

• use of appropriate or innovative building forms and materials;

• inclusion of meticulous and inventive detailing; and

• striving for special and unique design solutions to the positioning aimed at and the success achieved.

"We are enormously honored to be recognized with this prestigious award and gratefully thank the Navajo Nation, who hired us for the project," said Friedmutter Group founder and CEO Brad Friedmutter. "The success of this project is a direct reflection of the great teamwork and cooperation of the entire team starting with the leadership of Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise. We worked very closely with the owners and SICON, the owner's representative, to translate their vision into an overall design that celebrates their rich Navajo culture throughout the property and are so proud to be part of this winning team."

Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort's five-story hotel with 90 rooms, 16,000 square foot conference center, heated-indoor swimming pool, fitness center and casino floor with rotunda, food court, steakhouse, seafood bar, sports bar, 24-hour café, gift shop and coffee shop were completed in May 2013.

Four hundred Navajo construction workers worked on the project that began September 2011.

The casino features a number of cultural design elements inside and out. The main drive and porte cochere are expressed architecturally as the upward movement of ancestors through the Four Worlds. A water feature at the entrance symbolizes the rising waters that motivated the people to move up and seek new worlds to live in.

At the main entrance of the casino guests enter through a black textured stone vestibule, a contemporary abstraction of the First World. The entrance also contains stone soffits that depict the First World of the Insect people, the Second World of Bluebirds and Swallow people, the Third World of the Grasshoppers, and the Fourth World where man and woman came to be.

A custom chandelier in the rotunda depicts the vertical rise of the people through each world. Hand blown glass rings represent the colors of each world. Droplets of crystal cascade through the rings like water. Two chrome tubes in the center of the rings symbolize the reeds that were used to enter through the hard sky of the world.

The casino's theme is the Glittering World. Its ceiling depicts a Navajo night sky and the Milky Way with custom decorative chandeliers. At the center of the casino an area is surrounded by a custom silver and bronze metal chain drapery. The metal drapery creates an oval with grass and reed designs.

Custom commissioned artwork is featured throughout the resort, casino and conference center. Each restaurant has a different theme celebrating Navajo traditions. The resort is further embellished with the sacred colors of the Navajo Nation and the unique basket weave design.

More information on Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort can be found at www.twinarrows.com or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TwinArrowsAZ.


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