New Mexico‘s Sandia Resort and Casino has extended its high limit gaming area and installed a new sports bar offering Class II gaming, in addition to completely refurbishing its hotel rooms and carrying out renovations in other areas.
Sandia Resort and Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico has reopened with an entirely new wing.
The resort and casino utilised its downtime during the pandemic to construct the new expansion, which includes an extended high limit gaming area, one of the largest in the state; a new Governor’s Room; and a state-of-the-art sports bar.
“The plan was always to add additional gaming space,” said Sandia Pueblo Gov. Stuart Paisano. “The second floor is not occupied right now. So, part of that area, we enhanced our HVAC units to provide more clean air on the south side of the casino so that our customers can enjoy a fresher environment, so to speak. And then our new sports bar is located on the third floor. So that was always the plan with the expansion that had been in development since 2019. We started construction and then COVID hit.”
The sports bar features a Class II gaming area together with numerous big screen TVs and an outside wraparound deck offering views of the Sandia Mountains and the city. The newly constructed entertainment space is about 50,000 sq ft.
“We do not have sports book yet. That will be forthcoming,” Paisano said. “It was in the works, but COVID hit. Our management team has done a great job to get us to this point. So we’ll be adding some additional gaming attractions through our property. And a sports book, our sports betting will be one of them.”
In addition to the new wing, more construction took place at other locations on the property including Bien Shur Rooftop Restaurant and Lounge, while every room in the hotel has also been extensively refurbished.
The renovation has seen the property’s previous darker colour schemes replaced with lighter, brighter décor, carpeting, paint and tile. Floor-to-ceiling windows have been installed in Bien Shur’s lounge area and dining room, while a new rectangular bar offers additional seating.
“I would like to emphasise the pueblo’s reinvestment in the local economy,” Paisano continued. “That has also been very crucial to us. During COVID, we did a lot of construction here at our property, which kept our main general contractor, Jaynes Corp., and all of their subcontractors gainfully employed as well. So, we tried to do our part by ensuring that we were assisting the local economy by keeping those various industries employed. So that’s something that times it gets overlooked, especially in tribal governments.”
Although state health orders were lifted at the start of July, the resort has opted to keeping its buffet, Green Reed Spa, convention centre, bingo room and poker room closed. There will also bee limited capacity at table games. Smoking is prohibited on the property with the exception of three designated smoking areas. Concerts and shows at the amphitheatre will also remain suspended this year.
“Eventually, we will be opening up our convention centre space,” Paisano explained. “However, our tribal council has taken a very cautious approach on our opening. We’ve delayed our opening for as long as we have, because we wanted to ensure the health and safety and well-being of our tribal members, our employees and our guests. So that has not changed. Hence, why some of the COVID precautions are still in effect with regards to wearing a mask, social distancing, hand sanitising, the cleaning of the property, etc.,” he clarified.
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