A ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday in South Gardnerville, Nevada marked the opening of the Wa She Shu Casino on Highway 395, the Washoe Tribe’s first gaming facility. The ceremony featured a gathering of dignitaries, a blessing by a Washoe tribal elder, and the Tribe’s Color Guard.

The undertaking was a unique joint effort between the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Atmore, Alabama and the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California. Washoe Tribal Chair, Neil Mortimer, said, “Opening a casino and partnering with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians is another step toward the Washoe Tribe’s long-term goal of economic self-sufficiency,” according to PR Newswire. Mortimer went on to say, “We are excited about the partnership and pleased to create job opportunities for our Tribal members, as well as local residents. The partnership between our Tribe and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama is the first of its kind. The Washoe Tribe is excited to partner with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and we are looking forward to increasing the gaming and dining experience in the Carson Valley for both residents and visitors.”

The casino is adjacent to the tribe’s new $11.78 million Wa She Shu Travel Plaza on Highway 395 South on its reservation in Nevada, which the Washoe began construction on in May 2015. The 13,500 square-foot facility includes a 4,600 square foot gaming floor with 130 state-of-the-art games. Visitors to the casino will also appreciate the convenience of the restaurant that seats 80 comfortably. The tribe has designated an additional 4,000 square feet for plans to expand the gaming floor in the future. Along with construction jobs during the development, approximately 70 new jobs were generated by the completed Wa She Shu Casino.

Essential services, including healthcare and infrastructure, will be provided to the Washoe Tribal Members from revenues from the casino. An esstimated $8 million was the total of the complete project investment. A “hometown” atmosphere is provided by the casino as well as a 360-degree of the Sierra Mountains. Trucks and RV’s can park in designated areas within the lighted off-street parking.

The tribal casino is Carson Valley’s fourth largest gaming property. There are currently three casinos in Douglass County including the Carson Valley Inn, Sharkey’s Nugget and the Topaz Lodge and Casino.