Thompson + Pollari

Fort McDowell “River Village” Destination Resort Concept Plan

The “River Village” concept for the development of the Beeline Corridor in the Fort McDowell Indian Community arose from a desire to preserve the natural beauty of the desert environment and buffer the core “community” from the activities induced by casino development. The design concept stressed the need for a destination resort environment that establishes itself as the premier casino venue in the region. The emphasis was on competing with successful, adjacent casino venues, while taking advantage of the unique qualities and amenities embodied within the Fort McDowell environment. Foremost among these  environmental amenities is the Verde River, which currently is under-utilized.

The “River Village” creates a cultural market where visitors can learn about Yavapai Culture and access the beautiful natural environs, while linking to golf, shopping and casino activities. A resort hotel complements a myriad of activities aimed at all ages. The “River Village” provides a desirable destination and creates a distinctive gateway into the Fort McDowell Community


May - 2000

Key Design Concepts

  • Mixed-use, entertainment based “River Village”
  • Cultural market linked to resort hotel
  • Axial pedestrian and vehicular systems
  • River landing / dock site overlooking the Verde River
  • Themed golf course holes – Native American cultural narrative concepts


  • Fort McDowell Yavapai Project Manager, Raphael Bear with Perry Vitraino
  • Presentation – April 2008