History Made – The first resort in Las Vegas fully owned and operated by a Native American Tribe opens

The Palms Casino Resort Las Vegas officially reopened last Wednesday, April 27 and is now owned and operated by the San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority a governmental instrumentality of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe. The tribe is one of the largest casino operators in Southern California, with their newly rebranded and expanded property Yaamava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel.

Read the full press release here

In just 133 days from being licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission, a new leadership team was created, under the helm of Palm’s General Manager, Cynthia Kiser Murphey and 50% of former employees returned to work, after being closed for over two years.

The importance of this historical event sets a path for other Tribes across the nation.

As I watched the opening ceremony, where members of the San Manuel and Southern Paiute tribes opened with traditional bird singing and Tribal leaders took the stage, I couldn’t help to think about the opportunity for the Palms to be “the” place to work; for team members to experience the richness of Tribal culture and leadership.

What an opportunity for thousands who have worked under corporate and commercial culture to experience the depth and the “why” of working for Tribal ownership.

It’s incredible that thirty years ago, when Tribes opened their first casinos, they looked at Las Vegas as the example for best practices, as the “benchmark” for success. Now Tribal casinos are setting the standard for gaming and hospitality and have the opportunity to enrich, improve and set the bar not only in Las Vegas, but globally.

I had the opportunity to speak with key Tribal leaders at the event including Latisha Casas, Chairwoman San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority, who shared in her opening remarks to the audience, “We could not be happier than we are today … So many people came together to make today possible. We are grateful for the expertise of our shared services teams and the hard work by Palms team members to make this day a reality. And the Las Vegas community and our brothers and sisters from the local Southern Paiute tribes have been so generous and warm with their hospitality. This is a day our Tribe will never forget.”

We are so excited to follow this story and look for an in-depth interview with the Palms for our Fall Issue of Tribal Gaming & Hospitality Magazine this October.

Special thanks go to Latisha Casas, Chairwoman San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority, Amber Torres, Chairman, Walker River Paiute Tribe and Peter Arceo, General Manager, Yaamava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel who took the time to share their feelings after the opening ceremony … please watch our interviews with them below.

Deana Scott 9 Articles