As Indian gaming properties up the ante
with upgrades and expansions, they also offer an increased focus on authentic cultural
activities that honor their tribal owners.
Camille Ferguson, executive director of
the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism
Association, notes that tapping into a Native
American casino’s cultural components can
help define a meeting or event.
“Not all delegates want to participate
in gaming,” Ferguson said. “But holding
an event at a casino with a strong cultural
component can leave delegates with lifelong
memories while also knowing they have
helped contribute to the local economy.”
Isleta Resort & Casino
Isleta Resort & Casino, the second-largest
tribal casino in New Mexico, will undergo a
$40 million renovation that will expand the
casino floor and add a new concert venue
and a new bingo facility. Tribal elements
can be found throughout the hotel.
Tip: Thanks to migrating Spaniards of the
1500s, many Native communities in New
Mexico commemorate a patron saint and
celebrate the respective Feast Day.
Tulalip Resort Casino
With a multimillion-dollar renovation under
its belt, the resort features 370 rooms and
suites, 30,000 square feet of meeting space
and a 200,000-square-foot gaming floor with
more than 2,200 slots and 35 gaming tables.
The re-do emphasized the resort’s tribal
ownership and celebrated the heritage of
the Tulalip Tribe, including introducing
a Native Coast Salish art collection worth
more than $1 million. A room refresh also
incorporated Native artwork.
Tip: Book an event at the resort’s Blackfish restaurant, where Chef de Cuisine
David Buchanan prepares sockeye salmon
using traditional tribal techniques.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
When the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino completes a $1.5 billion expansion next
fall, it will feature more than 1,300 rooms,
a new 7,000-seat entertainment venue,
120,000 square feet of meeting space, more
than 3,200 slots and nearly 180 table games.
Native cultural elements include poolside Chickee Huts, which serve as traditional Seminole shelters.
Tip: The February Seminole Tribal Fair
and Pow Wow boasts drum and dance
competitions and deep-water alligator
Foxwoods Resort & Casino
The largest gaming resort in the U.S.,
Foxwoods recently completed a renovation
that added more than 100 slot machines to
Florida’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, which is slated to open a
highly publicized guitar-shaped tower next fall, is
proof enough that gaming
venues come in all shapes,
ISLETA RESORT & CASINO
BY ALEXIS WHITLEY
With big expansions under way,
Native American casinos are
more than just gaming
GAMING PROPERTIES & DESTINATIONS
TULALIP RESORT CASINO