Navajo Gaming Launches First-of-its-Kind Educational Partnership for Navajo College Students
The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise (Navajo Gaming), recently broke ground on a first-class travel center near its Twin Arrows Resort Casino on Thursday, Sept. 20.
When completed in summer 2019, the premium Twin Arrows Travel Center will be a Southwest gateway to the Navajo Nation, and a new opportunity to promote tourism.
In conjunction with the groundbreaking, Navajo Gaming has launched the first-ever internship program called “Let’s Build the Business” for at least 20 college-aged Navajo interns from a variety of nearby universities and colleges, said Navajo Gaming Interim CEO Brain Parrish.
Managed by Navajo Gaming through the Síhasin Fund, and approved by the Navajo Nation Council, the pioneering internship program will provide young Navajos an unparalleled opportunity to become an integral part of the construction, development and business management of the new Twin Arrows Travel Center.
“We’re eager to begin building the premier travel center for travelers on along I-40 as an introduction to all the Navajo Nation has to offer,” Parrish said. “We’re proud to launch this innovative program. It will give young people an opportunity to learn what it takes to build a successful business. They’ll gain new hands-on skills that allow them to strengthen Navajo for future generations while creating even more economic opportunities.”
The “Let’s Build a Business,” internship program allows Navajo college students the opportunity to actively participate in a variety of business development aspects. These include planning, design and construction of the travel center, to business operations and management, plus marketing and human resources – all of which can count as college credit. Eight students have already been selected and started. Additional Navajo interns to be chosen from the Diné College, Navajo Technical University, ASU, UofA and other nearby colleges.
The travel center is slated for completion mid-summer 2019. It will service all vehicles with an emphasis on semi-trailer trucks. The center will be open 24/7 and feature premium restrooms, showers and laundry services for truck drivers, a wide variety of food and beverage selections with an emphasis on healthy food options, fresh ground coffee brewed daily, and specialty desserts.
The center will also include a fire pit to slow-roast premium-grade Navajo beef for a variety of fresh-cooked meals and brisket for guests. The travel center will showcase Navajo arts and crafts and exclusive lines of Navajo-themed food and beverages.
Construction of the travel center will employ approximately 200 people and around 35 full-time employees when complete. Hiring will be by Navajo preference. The travel center is part of the larger Twin Arrows master plan.
“We’re grateful to the Navajo Nation Council, Budget and Finance Committee, President Begaye and our host chapter for moving this economic development project forward as together we create more opportunities for Navajos,” added Parrish.
As the only Navajo resort in the world, and the only AAA four-diamond resort in northern Arizona, Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort showcases Navajo culture and features more than $500,000 in commissioned Navajo artists’ original paintings and other artworks. The casino offers live entertainment, more than 1,000 slot machines, table games and Bingo. The resort also includes a five-story hotel with 200 lavish rooms and suites, 10,000 square-foot banquet and conference center, fully equipped fitness center, heated indoor pool, video game arcade for kids and five distinct dining concepts. Visit www.twinarrows.com to learn more or book a room.
About Navajo Gaming:
Navajo Gaming (The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise) 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).
Navajo Gaming opened its first Navajo Casino on November 19, 2008 – Fire Rock Navajo Casino in Church Rock Chapter, near Gallup, N.M. The second Navajo Casino opened October 13, 2010 – Flowing Water Navajo Casino in Tsé Daak’áán Chapter, near Shiprock, N.M. The third Navajo Casino opened January 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. Navajo Gaming currently has 1,200 employees.
Navajo Gaming’s vision includes job growth opportunities for Navajos, to continue returning revenue to the Navajo Nation and continue building Navajo gaming to benefit the Navajo people.