A strong monsoon storm in the Arizona desert which caused flooding and a massive power outage led officials to evacuate employees and guests at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale early Saturday morning.
According to azcentral.com…
Friday night’s storm caused the main generators, as well as the backup generators, to malfunction causing the total evacuation on Saturday morning.
Spokesman for the Salt River Police Department, Detective Joseph Orozco, reportedly did not know the exact number of people who were evacuated. However, he did say that typically at that time there are between 800 and 900 people at the property.
Officials, Orozco said, were still trying to ascertain precisely what happened.
“The lights were out and the power was out.”
“You don’t want to play with that in a building like that with so many people. We just wanted to make sure everyone is safe.”
Owned and operated by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the 240,000 square foot resort casino is located approximately 18 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Indian Bend Road just east of Loop 101 in Scottsdale. The property, which opened in April 2010, features a 496 room and suite hotel, five restaurants and four bars/lounges, full-service spa, two outdoor pools, nightclub and more than 50 table games, 800 slot machines and a 47-table poker room.
Planned rescheduling of poker event:
The 14th annual Arizona State Poker Championship, a major poker tournament scheduled to run August 10-14 at the resort’s Arena Poker Room, had to be postponed until Monday, according to tweets from event officials.
With an estimated $1.5 million prize pool, the five-day poker tournament attracts over 1,000 players from around the world, according to the event website.
The resort’s Facebook page gave the following update on Saturday regarding the poker championship:
“The remaining Days 1B and 1C are canceled as a result of the current closing of Talking Stick Resort. We apologize to the players who are registered to participate in the event, and plan to reschedule it at the earliest available date.
Should Talking Stick Resort be able to resume operations by 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday, August 14, the Championship will finish out the tournament for those players who finished Day 1A with chips. Players who are unable to resume play on Tuesday will be refunded their entry fee plus dealer appreciation fee and should contact Heidi.Harris@casinoaz.com.
If operations are not resumed, players who finished Day 1A with chips will first be paid back their buy-in plus dealer appreciation fee. The total of refunded entry fees will be deducted from the prize pool. The remaining prize pool will be split using an ICM, Independent Chip Model.
Those holding a registration ticket for Days 1B and 1C will receive a refund. Refunds for those who paid in cash will be issued on the property or by emailing Heidi.Harris@casinoaz.com. Our box office is currently working on automatically issuing refunds to those who paid using credit cards.”
Anyone who was evacuated and was holding gaming chips would be able to exchange them for cash when the casino reopens. Those who were playing slot machines and were not able to redeem slot tickets were advised to contact a manager, according to the statement released by Talking Stick on Saturday afternoon.
The heavy rains, strong winds and lightning that moved through the Valley Friday night reportedly caused about 1,600 Salt River Project (SRP) power and water customers in the area to lose power, according to the news outlet.
According to azfamily.com, Scottsdale Road, north of Loop 101 Freeway, among others in the area, are flood-prone streets.