November 30, 2009
Fire Rock Navajo Casino exceeded expectations for its first year of operation.
There were move than 1.3 million visits to the casino to make it a remarkable
year for the Navajo Nation's first casino.
Bob Winter, CEO of the Navajo Gaming Enterprise, says the casino is profitable
and its revenues have far exceeded their projections. The exact dollar amount is
Winter says Fire Rock is known for having "loosest slots of any Indian casino in
New Mexico, if not the Southwest." This is a result of an earlier decision by
the gaming enterprise to return as much as possible to the players. "We want
people to come here and have fun," he said.
The 312 employees earned $11 million during the past year. By adding the cost of
benefits, the payroll was $1 million a month. About 92 percent of the employees
There was $1.2 million paid to vendors for food and beverage supplies and
$500,000 for retail goods. Most supplies are within 50 miles of Gallup.
The casino is on track to repay the Navajo Nation the $34 million it borrowed
for construction costs. It is a 3-year loan.
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