Beyond the casino: Sustainable ­tourism and cultural development on native american lands

Judie Piner, Thomas Paradis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


An increasing number of American-Indian tribes have turnedto high-profile casino developments to stimulate desperate localeconomies. This case study of the Yavapai–Apache Nation’sexperience with Indian gaming in central Arizona highlights thenecessity for tribes to view the casino as one component of a morecomprehensive, long-term development strategy. While casino projectsthemselves gain the immediate attention of many researchers, fewstudies have focused on the process of long-term tribal planningand development initiatives made possible by relatively short-term casinorevenues. This qualitative analysis investigates beyond the tribe’s successfulCliff Castle Casino to understand the decision-making process embeddedwithin its internal government structure. Central to this process wasa long-term vision of tribal leaders that focused less on immediateuse of casino revenues and more on tribal empowerment, culturalawareness and sustainable economic development. Various tourisminitiatives have figured prominently in this long-term scenario, given the tribe’s location in ­Arizona’samenity-rich Verde Valley.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-98
Number of pages19
JournalTourism Geographies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2004


  • Arizona
  • Indian gaming
  • Sustainable tourism development
  • Yavapai–Apache Nation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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