With construction of the $85 million Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel in Sandoval County, New Mexico complete, Hill’s Project Manager, Richard Frederkind, was excited to discuss the impressive project and its anticipated economic impact.
“This state-of-the-art hotel is now the face of the Santa Ana Pueblo and the tallest structure in Sandoval County,” said Frederkind, who served as Project Manager for Hill International, which provided comprehensive project and construction management services to owner Tamaya Enterprises Inc. “Not only did we bring together the local and Santa Ana tribal communities to support the project, but this is a significant upgrade that will boost tourism and provide at least 200 jobs to local people.”
The Santa Ana Pueblo, 1 of 19 Indian Pueblos in New Mexico, is located approximately 20 minutes north of Albuquerque, where the Santa Ana Star Casino is the main attraction.
The new 279,000-SF, 9-story accompanying hotel contains 204 luxury rooms, as well as a new ballroom and more than 12,000 SF of meeting space. It also features five new upscale restaurants: Juniper Steakhouse, Cantina Rio, Feast Buffet, Mesa Grille, and the Starlight Bar & Grille.
One unique aspect of the hotel is a promenade that connects the hotel to the casino, providing convenience and access for guests. The hotel contains a fitness center, heated indoor swimming pool, and multiple hot tubs where guests can relax while taking in scenic views. The hotel also offers a bowling facility with the latest technology and games for kids, providing another entertainment option for families. With an aesthetically pleasing porta cochere and water features located throughout the lobby, this hotel takes the guest experience to the next level.
“We have built our business on providing our guests with great service and reasonable pricing, and we will not waiver from this philosophy as we move forward,” said Tamaya Enterprises Inc. Board Chairwoman Melissa K. Paquin-Leon.
When the project began, Hill immediately developed a plan to assist the owner in prioritizing the project, while coordinating the development of the program and design criteria, short- and long-term budgets, and all project schedules. Additionally, the Hill team coordinated the owner’s construction estimate, producing value engineering/project cost analysis, and design and constructability reviews. Hill’s team also coordinated with the casino’s facilities staff to establish maintenance protocols and callback items during the warranty period.
“There were a number of crucial factors we kept in mind during this project, but two stood out as important for the client,” Frederkind said. “We needed to be in constant communication with stakeholders and we wanted to achieve energy-efficiency goals.”
To facilitate communication, Hill held weekly meetings with the owner, design and construction teams, and stakeholders to provide regular updates. In addition, the team also invited local fire and police departments on-site to understand the new facility and be prepared for emergency responses.
For energy efficiency, the hotel was built using recycled and recyclable materials and includes covered parking canopies designed for the future installation of photovoltaic solar panels.
“There are few things as exciting as delivering a project to the satisfaction of the client, while also leaving a lasting impact on the community, which we were able to do here,” Frederkind said. “The long-term impact of bolstering tourism and economic dollars, in addition to providing more than 200 permanent jobs for local people who will be able to raise families, is truly a rewarding experience.”
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