First Navajo Casino Celebrates Five Years
(Gallup, N.M., - November 19, 2013) – The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise (NNGE) is proud to celebrate the five-year anniversary of its first Navajo casino, Fire Rock Navajo Casino in Church Rock Chapter, near Gallup, N.M. During the past five years, hundreds of Navajos have been employed through Fire Rock, as well as receiving management, gaming, restaurant and other job training as they move up and help open additional Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise properties.
“We are proud of all that the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise has accomplished the past five years and the hundreds of jobs and valuable job training that has been made available to members of the Navajo Nation,” stated Derrick Watchman, CEO of NNGE. “We are grateful for the support of Fire Rock from the community, including Church Rock, President Shelly and his Administration and Navajo Nation Council as well as the many Fire Rock employees that trained colleagues and helped successfully launch three sister properties.”
Fire Rock Navajo Casino highlights from the past five years include:
- 342 total employees
- 97 percent Navajo employees
- 81 “day-one” employees (from five years ago) are still employed within the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise
- Approximately 374,000 meals served at Cheii Grill & Pub
- Sponsoring and supporting numerous community and cultural events such as the Navajo Nation Fair
- Providing thousands of dollars to Navajo and surrounding vendors including the groundbreaking Navajo Beef Program with local farmers and Labatt Food Service.
Fire Rock Navajo Casino opened on Nov. 19, 2008 and has become a popular destination for locals and travelers along Interstate 40 heading between Gallup and Albuquerque. Guests enjoy dining at Cheii Grill & Pub, playing live roulette, bingo, 917 slot machines, nine table games, eating at the food court, watching the game on big screen TVs and listening to live bands every other week.
Fire Rock Navajo Casino has celebrated throughout the month with cash and tractor giveaways plus cake, punch and prizes for community members that have supported its vision from the beginning.
About the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise:
The NNGE is a Navajo Nation wholly-owned business entity created by the Navajo Nation in September 2006. NNGE is authorized by the Navajo Nation to develop and operate Navajo casinos in accordance with federal and Navajo Nation laws, as well as the negotiated Navajo Nation-applicable state compacts (New Mexico and Arizona).
NNGE opened its first Navajo Casino on Nov. 19, 2008 – Fire Rock Navajo Casino in Church Rock Chapter, near Gallup, N.M. The second Navajo Casino opened Oct. 13, 2010 – Flowing Water Navajo Casino in Tsé Daak’áán Chapter, near Shiprock, N.M. The third Navajo Casino opened Jan. 16, 2012 – Northern Edge Navajo Casino – in Upper Fruitland Chapter, near Farmington, N.M. The fourth Navajo Casino – Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort – is located in Leupp Chapter, near Flagstaff, Ariz. Currently, the NNGE has 1,500 employees.