Expansion at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino means more than just 230 added hotel rooms. All of the venue’s dining establishments will have changes, and a new restaurant will be in the mix. The pool will also be replaced.
A ceremonial ground-breaking was June 28. The expansion is projected to be complete in 2018.
Robert Livingston, Harrah’s Ak-Chin general manager, led diners on a virtual walk-through of the expansion plans during an introduction of new menu items at The Range Steakhouse. The steakhouse is one of the eateries to undergo changes with the expansion.
1. A burger bar/steakhouse will be in the bottom level of the hotel tower. The steakhouse portion will be at the back and open for dinner. The burger bar will be open for lunch and dinner.
“One of the features of that steakhouse is going to be a mesquite grill wood-burning oven,” Livingston said. “It’s going to be an excellent piece, very unique piece for that restaurant.”
2. The restaurant bar, also called the lobby bar, will be next to the new hotel lobby.
3. The Buffet will stay at its location northwest of the casino floor, but it will expand into the area currently housing The Range. An Italian station with pizza will be added to the buffet options.
The buffet will also be served by the bar that is now inside The Range.
“One of the coolest things about the expansion is the access to the bar,” Livingston said. “We’ve struggled with alcoholic beverage service at the buffet. But we’re going to have access to the bar.”
4. The Agave, now serving breakfast and lunch, will become a three-meal restaurant.
“We may or may not do a makeover of that restaurant,” Livingston said. “We’re still trying to work through the budget of our expansion. That restaurant may stay the same and add the third meal or it may get a complete makeover.”
5. The Diamond Lounge, which occupies Agave in the afternoons, may instead move into the current 5,000-square-foot ballroom space. Already serving appetizers and drinks, it is considered “pretty much a restaurant” by staff.
6. A new ballroom is part of Phase 1 of the expansion. It is planned as an 18,000-square-foot multi-use space.
7. A brand new restaurant will have a wine bar with small-plate offerings.
8. A parking garage is also an early part of the expansion for guests who do not want to park under Maricopa’s summer sun.
9. Copper Cactus, the 24-hour quick-serve restaurant, will get added seating.
10. Dunkin Donuts, according to Livingston, is currently “kind of hidden away.” It will stay in the same location, but the expanded footprint of the property will make it much more visible.
11. The pool is getting a total makeover resulting in a “bigger pool and much nicer pool area,” Livingston said.
Hotel rooms next to the pool will have private patios.
“We’re going to take the pool experience and move it closer to the rooms,” Livingston said.
This article appears in the August issue of InMaricopa.