During the January 22 American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Arizona luncheon, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council Member Michael Dallas, Sr. was asked to be a guest speaker, along with Jennifer Giff, who is senior counsel of corporations/enterprises in the SRPMIC General Counsel’s Office. The luncheon was held at the Eagles Buffet at Casino Arizona.
Dallas began by thanking the organization for inviting the SRPMIC to be a part of the program. Dallas, Lehi District representative on the Council, discussed economic-development ventures within the Community, noting the recent topping-off of the tribal judicial center, which will be completed this fall. He also mentioned updates to the Talking Stick Cultural and Entertainment Destination.
Dallas reviewed the Odysea Aquarium, the renaming of Indian Bend Road to Talking Stick Way, and the addition of a third trolley to take individuals from the City of Scottsdale to Salt River Fields, the Pavilions and Talking Stick Resort.
The main topic was the $60 million, 70-acre auto mall development underway on SRPMIC land, to be called the Scottsdale Auto Show at Salt River. The auto mall will be the first on tribal land in the country.
“A new enterprise in the Community is the Scottsdale Auto Show,” shared Dallas. “The enterprise will bring more jobs to the Community and East Valley and will also offer a superior auto-buying experience. The SRPMIC will continue to diversify revenue streams of projects like the Scottsdale `Auto Show in order to provide essential services to our members. [It] is making history by being the first master-planned auto park built on tribal land and within Indian Country. Construction is underway, and we are very excited.”
Giff presented an overview of the project from a legal perspective and explained the history of the Community and how it has grown throughout the years.
Giff explained that the commercial corridor comprises both private leased land and tribal enterprise land. The Community generates tax revenue from visitors who spend money at the various locations. She also showed a map of what is allotted land and the general plan zoned as commercial use and agricultural and residential land.
On the map she pointed out the southern part of the corridor, where the Scottsdale Auto Show will be located. “The Community has been very selective [about the businesses] going into the Community; the land is leased and not sold,” said Giff. “You will also notice cultural elements tied into any type of development within the Community.”
Over the past 15 years, the Community has received proposals for individual vehicle dealership leases, and in 2014 the Community looked into the options and gave the OK. “We are going to do this ourselves, so the Community created the Salt River Auto Show, LLC, which is the legal entity of the tribe that does business for the auto show.”
The Scottsdale Auto Show at Salt River will be located on the west side of Loop 101 and Indian School Road. With it will come hundreds of jobs once the project is completed. Community members and Native Americans will be awarded preference for the jobs. Chapman Automotive Group and Courtesy Volvo have already made plans to operate at the new auto mall.
The American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Arizona was founded in 1995. Its focus is to provide a format for American Indian entrepreneurs to promote their businesses, act as a liaison on tribal economic-development issues, and offer the best resources for American Indian businesses.