$170 million entertainment complex slated for tribal land near Scottsdale

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community officials say the project is not seen as just a single enterprise, but part of a larger plan

By Edward Gately

The Arizona Republic

Odysea in the Desert rendering

Tribal leaders and private businesses are developing a $170 million entertainment complex just east of Scottsdale, introducing more competition for tourist dollars as the post-recession economy progresses.

The developer and investors behind Odysea in the Desert hope to distinguish it by providing what they say will be North America’s largest butterfly pavilion, an aquarium exhibit, a Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum and other attractions.

The project will add to an emerging entertainment corridor along Loop 101 on the Salt River Reservation that already includes the Talking Stick Resort and Casino, two adjacent golf courses, and the Salt River Fields spring training baseball complex.

Still, the complex faces competition from other Valley attractions, including an aquarium in Tempe, several Valley locations that feature exotic-animal attractions, and relatively new regional entertainment and shopping centers in Glendale, Tempe and Phoenix.

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