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PHOENIX-Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., headquartered in New York City, will be managing Arizona’s newest resort, a 500-room venue in the Gila River Indian Community. The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa will open in October, a joint venture of the Pima and Maricopa tribes.

Situated just 11 miles from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport, the resort is going up near three casinos on the tribes’ 372,000-acre reservation in the Sonoran Desert.In a prepared statement, general manager Allen Kramme said the “Wild Horse Pass represents a visionary partnership between the legacy of two ancient tribes blended with the modern hotel expertise of Starwood’s Sheraton brand. Our intent is to preserve, honor and authentically represent the essence of the Pima and Maricopa tribes, historically noted for their hospitality.”

The project cost is not being disclosed. The complex will feature Troon golf courses, 100,000 sf of indoor/outdoor meeting and event space, pools, tennis courts and all the high-end extras that go along with a premier development. The native touches incorporated into the project’s design call for a 17,500-sf Aji Spa; 2 1/2-mile re-creation of the Gila River habitat; majestic desert views; and wild horses roaming the rangeland.

The design is the handiwork of renowned resort architect, Wimberly, Allison, Tong & Goo. The architectural firm’s credits include the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel; Four Seasons Chinzan-so in Tokyo; Grand Hyatt Bali in Indonesia; and Sheraton Moorea Lagoon & Spa in Tahiti.

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