The Ak-Chin Indian Community’s oasis in the desert

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Jul 2, 2018, 2:23 PM | Updated: Aug 6, 2018, 11:37 am

The Ak-Chin Indian Community holds a wealth of hidden gems waiting to be uncovered just outside of Maricopa County. This small, but mighty, community is on the go with a series of ventures to build fun, inclusive and exciting enterprises.

Built from the ground up

Formally recognized in 1961, the Ak-Chin Indian Community has been building a structure to support over 1,100 tribal members. Operating on 22,000 acres of land, the enterprises of the community have grown, but the beginnings of the community are rooted in farming. Over the years, the Ak-Chin Indian Community has invested in extensive growth and development within their enterprises.

In 1962, the community derived most of their supporting income with farming. Cotton, barley, potatoes, alfalfa and corn are all grown in the 16,000 acres operated by the Ak-Chin Farms. Over the years, development grew from farming to Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club and the UltraStar Multi-tainment Center.

The O’odham word Ak-Chin translates to “mouth of the wash” or “place where the wash loses itself in the sand.”

The local market within the community, Vekol Market, is named after one of the washes in the area that flows during rainy months.

Breakfast, lunch and everything in between

The Vekol Market re-opened in 2012 after undergoing a renovation to offer a grocery and convenience food store, fuel and cafe service. A staple within the community, visitors come to the Vekol Market in particular for the fresh-made food service at the cafe. With a wide range of offerings from burgers and pizza, Vekol Market is another great addition to the community’s growing business.

Open seven days a week, breakfast is the first meal of the day at Vekol Market with varied selections from burritos to features like chicken fried steak and breakfast quesadillas. Lunches draw a crowd looking for affordable comfort food, including Popover Wednesday specials that everyone looks forward to.

The Vekol Market features its own in-house Smoke Shack for the quality meats and barbeque used in the deli and catering across the community.

Finding it all in the Ak-Chin Community

This small oasis outside of Maricopa County is designed for those looking for more. Golf adventures at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, family fun at the UltraStar Multi-tainment Center and fueling up at the Vekol Market is just the beginning of an expanding future within the Ak-Chin Indian Community.

Ak-Chin Indian Community


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The Ak-Chin Indian Community’s oasis in the desert