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Published On: Thu, Jan 19th, 2012

Northern Edge Casino Opens in Fruitland, NM

86,000 square foot casino opens in Fruitland, NM.  This is the third Navajo-operated casino to open within the Navajo Nation.  One more casino, Twin Arrows, is expected to open in early 2013, near Flagstaff, AZ. Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, and Navajo Nation Council Speaker Johnny Naize, attend grand opening ceremonies and ribbon cutting.

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, prepares to cut the ribbon to open the Navajo Nation's newest casino, January 16th, 2012, in Fruitland, NM. Northern Edge is the third casino to open within the Navajo Nation.

Special to the Navajo Post | January 19th, 2012 | By Sam Tsosie

The grand opening of Northern Edge Casino, located in Fruitland, NM took place on January 16.   Northern Edge Casino is the third Navajo-operated casino to open within the Navajo Nation.

The 86,000 square foot casino cost $70 million and will feature 750 gaming machines, poker, Spanish blackjack, roulette, craps, a food court and restaurant.  Free valet parking is also available.  The casino expects to employ 374 people, with approximately 90% of those positions going to Natives.

Grand opening festivities included the color guard presentation by  Doo’ al K’aii Veterans Association, welcome address by Quincy Natay, Chairman, Board of Directors Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise, public address by Navajo Nation President, Ben Shelly and ribbon cutting.  Several hundred people were on hand to witness the ribbon cutting ceremony, and they were also the first customers to set foot in the casino.  Despite the cold weather and the threat of snow, the grand opening was heavily attended.

Northern Edge casino greeter is overwhelmed by the rush of people entering the casino on opening day, January 16, 2012, in Fruitland, NM. The doors to the newly constructed casino opened at noon, after a short grand opening ceremony.

Lori Billsie came from Tuba City to attend the festivities and visit the casino.  “It’s a really nice, cultural environment inside, the four directions and the constellations in the (atrium)”.

The interior of the casino features a large mural representing the Navajo constellation, in addition to the casino ceiling, which is a representation of the Navajo tradition of weaving.

Bob Winter, CEO of the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise, also attended the grand opening and had this to say about the Navajo Nation’s newest casino and the turnout for the grand opening,

“We are excited about the opening. The crowd is fantastic, we hope they appreciate the architecture, it is unique. You won’t find another casino in New Mexico with expressed culture from the front to the end of the casino.”

The casino has a food court and one restaurant, Cedar Bow, which will also host live music from local artists.  Northern Edge Casino is located on New Mexico State Highway 371 and Navajo Route 36, 2 miles west of intersection.  The casino will be open 24 hours a day, Friday through Sunday and during holidays,  from 8 AM to 4 AM, Monday through Thursday. More information can be found at:

Hundreds of people pour into Northern Edge casino on opening day, January 16th, 2012, Fruitland, NM. Northern Edge expects 2,000 people to visit on opening day

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  1. Kaige says:

    It is nice…paving the way for the future. However I bet most of the people crowded in line….are the ones who voted against the measure for a casino….coyotes…lol. Good Luck**

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Northern Edge Casino Opens in Fruitland, NM