|By Cathalena E. Burch, The Arizona Daily
Star, TucsonMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Sept. 15, 2011--Ten stories of glistening glass and steel stab the desertscape surrounding Casino del Sol, a beacon of what Pascua Yaqui residents and officials hope will be an economic boon to their community.
The $100 million resort, which boasts luxury rooms and suites, two new restaurants, a spa and 20,000 square feet of meeting space, opens on Nov. 11, 18 months after breaking ground.
"It's all about building experiences here that are very, very unique, that you won't find anywhere else in Tucson," said Mark A. Birtha, an 18-year veteran of Las Vegas casinos who joined Sol Casinos a year ago as president and chief development officer.
"It's pretty exciting," he said above the din of construction Wednesday as he led a group of reporters and photographers on a tour. The resort, at 5655 W. Valencia Road, is still under construction. Birtha said it is expected to get its certificate of occupancy Oct. 12 and will spend the rest of October and early November getting ready for its grand opening.
Birtha said the resort already has $1.5 million in convention commitments, including a tribal wellness convention Nov. 16-18 that could bring 700 to 1,000 participants to the resort.
All rooms are decorated in a Mediterranean motif and come with king- or queen-size Serta Presidential sleeper beds, 42-inch flat-screen TVs in the bedroom, 55-inch TVs in the suite living room. They also have executive conference-capable telephones, in-room safes and Keurig single-cup coffee brewers.
--Standard room -- 420 square feet, from mid-$100s to $249 a night.
--One-bedroom suite -- 900 square feet, starting at low $200s a night.
--Two-bedroom suite -- 1,300 square feet, starting at low $200s a night.
By the numbers
new employees who will be hired to staff the resort; the casino will then have about 1,350 employees.
rooms in the hotel.
one- and two-bedroom suites.
floors in the hotel.
Starbucks opening at the resort.
new restaurants -- the upscale PY Steak and international buffet Festa.
total square footage of Casino del Sol with the new resort.
square feet of ballroom space. The room can be divided into five smaller ballrooms.
cars that can be parked in the new four-story garage.
(c)2011 The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Ariz.)
Visit The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Ariz.) at www.azstarnet.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services