Work is set to begin this month on a $50 million expansion project at the Santa Ana Star Casino that will include the property’s first attached hotel.
The casino declined to release specific details about the size of the hotel but said construction would take about two years. The expansion project also includes a new casual dining steakhouse and espresso bar, according to a news release.
“It is an essential step forward for the Pueblo of Santa Ana and the local community,” Santa Ana Star Casino General Manager John Cirrincione said in the release. “This project will synergize the Pueblo’s businesses and create jobs. Most importantly, it enhances our ability to meet the fundamental mission of our company—providing economic sustainability for the Pueblo of Santa Ana, which supports essential tribal programs and services for its people.”
The project is being designed by JCJ Architecture, and Jaynes Construction will be general contractor.
This is not the pueblo’s first effort to build a casino hotel.
It broke ground on what was supposed to be a seven-story, 288-room casino hotel in 2000 but halted construction in 2002 and never completed it. It later converted some of the finished space for uses that included a parking garage, customer service area and more gaming space.
The new hotel will be east of the casino, said Shannon Guess, the casino’s community relations manager.
Santa Ana estimates it will create approximately 120 permanent positions and hundreds of temporary construction jobs.
“This expansion is an investment in our people and in our future,” said Pueblo of Santa Ana Governor Myron Armijo. “We are proud to begin this next chapter and continue building a responsible, innovative business that will benefit our children and our children’s children for many decades to come.”
While the state’s tribal casinos do not report revenue to the state, they do report the “net win” each quarter. That’s the amount wagered on slot machines less the amount they pay out in cash and prizes and certain fees. Santa Ana’s net win was $21.43 million in the first quarter of 2016.
Santa Ana Star Casino is off NM 550 at the Jemez Dam Road just north of Rio Rancho. It was the first Indian casino to operate in New Mexico, opening its doors in 1993.