The Gila River Indian Community in Arizona awarded an $82-million contract to Henderson, Nev.-based Tutor Perini Building Corp. to construct the new Vee Quiva Casino & Hotel. Located in Laveen—just outside of Phoenix—the project will include a new 70,000-sq-ft casino and a 90-room hotel. Construction is expected to start in June.

The new casino will be built just to the south of the existing Vee Quiva Casino, which will remain operational until the new project opens in summer 2013.

“Rebuilding Vee Quiva Casino is part of a strategic plan the Gila River Indian Community has set in place to refresh our casinos, while ensuring the long term sustainability of the Community and creating new job opportunities in Arizona,” says Anthony Villareal, chairman of Gila River’s Casino Expansion Owners Team, the entity responsible for construction of all the tribe’s gaming operations.

The project was designed by Las Vegas-based Friedmutter Group, which also designed the recently completed Navajo Nation’s Northern Edge Casino in Flagstaff and the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, which Tutor Perini also built. The two firms have worked together since 1994 on a variety of resort and casino projects, says Ken Schacherbauer, vice president of Tutor Perini Building Corp. “This is an exciting project and we are thrilled to be working with the Gila River Indian Community,” he adds.

The new casino, housed within a 178,000-sq-ft single-story podium, will contain over 900 slot machines, 50 table games, poker room and 750 seat bingo hall. Dining and entertainment options will include multiple restaurants, a food court and lounges. The three-story hotel offers guests a fitness center, pool area and more than 3,000 sq ft of banquet space. A cast-in-place concrete, four-story parking structure containing 1,000 spaces will also be constructed, along with surface parking, landscaping and site improvements for the 70-acre property.

The total project cost is estimated at $135 million. More than 300 permanent full-time jobs are expected to be available to the community upon completion.