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New name picked for Wal-Mart center
April 10, 2009

River Peoples Plaza selected to be name for under-construction project

The CRIT Tribal Council has selected River Peoples Plaza as the new name for the Wal-Mart shopping center under construction in Parker.

The name was a combination of a couple of ideas that had been submitted to the Tribal Council as part of a contest.

The winner of the contest was local resident Rebecca Martinez, who received $100 for her entry. CRIT also added a runner-up prize, which was won by local resident Thomas Price.

It was fitting that we were able to find a way to celebrate our heritage and culture in the name of this important new part of our community, said Tribal Chairman Eldred Enas. The name is a reflection of what is unique and important about our people and the role the Colorado River plays in our lives.

The new shopping center is located on Highway 95 just south of the entrance to BlueWater Resort & Casino.

The Wal-Mart store will be about 100,000 square feet and include groceries and general merchandise. The center will include a variety of other stores as well.

CRIT is currently working on leasing four parcels along Highway 95 as part of the project. CRIT is leading the effort so that it has control over the types of businesses that come into the community and can secure the revenue streams created from those stores.

There have been no leases signed on the four parcels that front the road, but they have talked to several retailers that like to locate their businesses near Wal-Mart stores.

Wal-Mart will account for 11 acres of the 23-acre shopping center site. CRIT will control the other 12 acres.

Wal-Mart is scheduled to take possession of the building on June 8. Construction is on schedule for that date, and it will be probably six weeks afterward before they open the facility.

The targeted opening date for the new Wal-Mart store is July 22, although that date is not 100 percent firm.

Wal-Mart will be handling the hiring for the store in the coming months, but there is no information currently available on job openings or the application process.

The new Wal-Mart store will be an economic shot in the arm by creating an estimated 200 new jobs and up to $400,000 per year in sales tax revenue for CRIT, which will help fund youth, elder and other important Tribal programs.

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