The month of May marks a gaming milestone for the federally recognized Washoe Tribe, located in Gardnerville, Nevada.
Last year in May, the Washoe Tribe held the official grand opening of its first gaming facility, the Wa She Shu Casino, located on Highway 395 South in the unincorporated town of Gardnerville, about 20 miles south of Lake Tahoe.
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. The partnership also extended to the travel plaza situated at the site. At the time, Washoe Tribal Chair, Neil Mortimer, said that opening the casino and partnering with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians was another step toward the tribe’s long-term goal of economic self-sufficiency.
The Washoe Tribal Council began the process of meeting the requirements necessary to qualify for New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) in 2014, according to The Record-Courier. Almost three years later, the Travel Plaza, which is situated adjacent to the Wa She Shu Casino, opened its doors. The $11.78 million Wa She Shu Travel Plaza is located on the tribe’s reservation in Nevada, which is one of four including Stewart, Carson Colony, Hung A Lel Ti Community, and Dresslerville Community.
The Washoe began construction on the 6,000 square-foot facility in May 2015 and along with construction jobs during the development, approximately 125 new jobs were generated in the low-income community, according to the news agency.
In addition, after breaking ground in November 2015, in May of the following year, a ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the opening of the 13,500 square foot Wa She Shu Casino, which features a 4,600 square foot gaming floor with 130 state-of-the-art games. The facility is also home to an on-site family-style restaurant that seats 80 comfortably. It includes a bar and is Carson Valley’s only buffet. The tribe has designated an additional 4,000 square feet for plans to expand the gaming floor in the future.
The Washoe Tribe is composed of nearly 1,500 enrolled members, and its Tribal government is composed of the supreme governing body known as the Washoe Tribal Council, which consists of twelve members, including a Tribal Chairman.
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.