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Churchrock construction may not meet target date

14 May 2008

NEW MEXICO -- As reported by the Gallup Independent: "The Navajo Gaming Enterprise has less than six months to construct the Nation's first casino in Churchrock and may not meet its Oct. 15 target opening date, according to NGE General Counsel Ray Etcitty. If that happens, the Gaming Enterprise would be in default on its loan agreement.

"In a report last week to the Budget and Finance Committee, Etcitty said, 'We would like to hit Oct. 15 but we are looking at November and are trying to speed up to try to get back to October.'

"There are two issues that could cause the Enterprise to miss the proposed opening date. 'One is the easement. The site is located on a frontage road, however, the frontage road is considered and designated as Route 66,' Etcitty said.

"Because Route 66 is historical in nature, it requires special clearances.

"...'The other scenario we're looking at is drainage.' Etcitty said they have made application to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 for a drainage pipe permit.

"...The Churchrock project is expected to consist of a casino building of approximately 60,000 square feet, various restaurants, entertainment facilities, paved parking areas, and a structure for about 600 vehicles, according to Navajo Nation Controller Mark Grant..."

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