March 27, 2009

NIGA 2009 coming up

Indian gaming:  How to stay up in a down economy

NIGA’s Trade Show and Convention set for April 13–16 in PhoenixThe convention usually attracts thousands of tribal leaders, tribal delegates, gaming industry professionals and gaming-related businesses. Bringing together this community is crucial to success, said NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens Jr.

He says Indian gaming has grown up over the years.

“Early on people described Indian gaming as exploding onto the scene. We feel we have grown and matured into a very responsible industry, including everything from regulations to marketing to the operations area, to the hotel and restaurant offshoot industries. I think to that extent, Indian country has now become the expert in the industry. Indian country has come into its own and we’re pretty good at this and we’re going to continue to work hard and get better at it.”

The four-day event kicks off with three golf tournaments at different area courses.

Stevens will host the Chairman’s Welcome Reception at the Hyatt Regency Hotel next to the convention center that Sunday night. Crystal Shawanda, a rising First Nations country star, will provide entertainment.

On Tuesday, April 14, Gila River Wild Horse Pass Resort and Casino will host the ever-popular “Jam on the Rez” with entertainment by R & B legend Gladys Knight.

The tradeshow will open Wednesday, April 15, while workshops and NIGA membership meetings continue. The American Indian Business Network will hold a reception, hosted by AGEM–-the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers.

Clinton Pattea, president of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, will be honored at the Wendell Chino Humanitarian Award Banquet in the convention center ballroom, after which the Beach Boys will play.
Comment:  I'll be in Phoenix to man the booth and take pictures with my new digital camera. If I have to see Gladys Knight and the Beach Boys, it's all part of the job. <g>

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