Construction workers

Construction workers are preparing Desert Diamond Casino West Valley, which is scheduled to open on Feb. 19. 2020. (Glendale Star photos by Eric Newman)

The owners of the Valley’s newest casino are pushing $400 million worth of chips into the pot.

Now, they need another 1,300 workers for a full house. 

With the opening three months away, Desert Diamond Casino West Valley’s major hiring campaign boosted with a Nov. 19 event. Executives had a hard time keeping a poker face at a ribbon-cutting for an employee café. 

Indeed, casino management doubled down, saying the new cafe will help attract employees and “raise the bar” in the casino industry.

The Break-Away Café offers a full-service dining menu, several tables around an open lobby and even comes with several employee convenience stores. 

General Manager Don Ayres previously worked for some of the top casinos in the world, including some high stakes casinos in Las Vegas. He said this is the most spectacular dining facility for employees he has seen. He said some long-time workers were moved to tears of joy about the facility.

“We know for a fact this place is only as successful as our customers’ experience is,” and how good “our employees are treated,” Ayres said.

The café is just one of many features of the new Desert Diamond Casino West Valley, which a press release said will open in Glendale Feb. 19.

But, the new employee lounge isn’t the only spectacular new feature at the new Desert Diamond Casino.

The $400 million, 1.2 million-square-foot casino will have a 75,000 square-foot gambling floor, featuring slots, bingo, card games and other gaming favorites. There are no card tables in the interim space, only a variety of slots and video game machines, so the new games and tables will be a welcome addition.

There will also be five new restaurants, including an Italian restaurant, steak and seafood restaurant, sports bar, 24-hour café and a food court for visitors, to keep the food and drinks coming for interested customers.

Another feature included is a VIP area – complete with a lounge and private gaming area – and two covered parking garages.

And, with the addition of the new parts of the facility, there will be a heavy need for new employees.

Right now, around 800 people work the interim casino next door, which offers over 1,000 gaming devices. For all the new features and space, the company realized it would need even more. Desert Diamond plans to add around 1,300 more in a variety of open positions by opening day and has around 2,000 workers in its building. 

“It’s a lot of employees. We’re creating a culture and jobs here and that’s meaningful to us because we really value the people in the area,” Ayres said.

The ground was broken in December 2017, and, if on schedule, the casino should be open to the public in February. The casino employs around 1,500 contract workers for construction at the moment.

Randy Howe, who leads construction, said around two years of build time is pretty standard. He said he is particularly impressed with some of the additions. The parking garages, which will hold over an estimated 1,200 parking spots, open into a large sun-lit area with copper decoration and there are several other beautiful small architectural structures set to be placed throughout the facility.

“We’ve had some other competitors come and tour and a lot of them leave pretty astounded at what we’re doing here, so that’s pretty cool,” he said.

“Yeah, I’m excited for all of it and there’s so much to be proud of,” added Chief Operating Officer Libby Francisco.

Chief Executive Officer Rudy Prieto said the opening of the café is just one more step on the path to becoming one of the best entertainment experiences in the area.

There is a lot for them to look forward to.

“This is a verification we’re putting our money where our mouth is. This is a special moment for our team members and for the future team members,” said Prieto.

“With the help of everybody who put all of this together, we’re going to make this not only very special, but it’s going to raise the bar in the casino industry in Arizona.”

To apply at Desert Diamond Casino, visit ddcaz.com/careers