Sunny Days: Casino del Sol expansion is meaningful to CEO

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

In Kimberly Van Amburg’s 11-year career at Casino del Sol, she watched the property grow and evolve.

Just in the last year, the AVA Amphitheater had a facelift, a small food court reopened, and the beach diner Moby’s was refreshed. Now she’s overseeing the massive construction project that includes a 151-room hotel, an RV park and additional meeting rooms. It’s slated to open in late 2019 or early 2020.

“It’s amazing how much it’s grown,” Van Amburg says. “I remember the construction of the existing hotel. It seemed unbelievable.

“The last few years, the resort was renovated in 2011; and the golf course in 2012. Two years ago, we totally updated our center bar, Zebo’z.”

The latest addition broke ground on July 12.

“It’s fun,” she says. “We have a time-lapse camera over the hotel jobsite. We’re going to do a time lapse video of the construction, so we can look at it when it’s done. It’s an exciting time.”

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe’s chairman, Robert Valencia, agrees.

“The Pascua Yaqui Tribe is grateful that 24 years of running tribal enterprises has brought us to a place where we can continue to expand our hospitality offerings,” Valencia says. “These additions will create more jobs and will positively impact our Tribe, its members, and Southern Arizona as a whole.”

Expanding on Casino del Sol’s renowned amenities and offerings, the new 151-room hotel will be 93,200 square feet, with six floors.

The hotel will match the existing property’s design that reflects on the Sonoran Desert, but with a modern concept. The building’s exterior colors and contemporary forms will complement the desert mountain backdrop while the lobby will reflect a crisp, clean and airy feeling that welcomes guests.

Sitting on 2.2 acres adjacent to the existing Casino del Sol, amenities of the new hotel include meeting rooms, an arcade, a lounge area and a fitness center. The hotel will have a family-friendly pool with a pool deck.

Each of the rooms will take advantage of the stunning views of the property and the surrounding Sonoran Desert landscape, designed with a modern touch.

A new 90-space RV park near the casino will provide part-time and full-time RVers the opportunity to hook up and enjoy all of Casino del Sol’s amenities before they head out on the road. The current conference center at Casino del Sol is also getting a 9,600-square foot expansion with additional break-out meeting rooms to complement the existing convention space.

“Because of the casino and its different entertainment options, we’re busy all the time,” Van Amburg says. “We turn away hundreds of people who would love to stay but they can’t because the hotel is full. So, a new hotel was a no-brainer in that respect. I’m confident we’re going to be busy. With the conference center, we needed the additional space to accommodate the groups who want to come down here.”

Casino of the Sun, Casino Del Sol’s sister property and original Pascua Yaqui Tribal casino, is getting an addition as well. Construction of an 11,000-square-foot event center adjacent to the casino will allow for meetings, events and entertainment.

“The astounding support we have received from the community and our guests has led to us evolve the Casino Del Sol brand to include these additional amenities for families and RVers,” Van Amburg says. “This project will allow us to meet the increased demand of our customers and to better serve our meeting and convention clientele.”