Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort

Chandler, AZ


The Gila River Indian Community envisioned a resort that would capture the essence of the tribe’s history. Centuries ago, the tribe settled along the banks of the Gila River. Recent development of dams upstream of the community had reduced flow in the river and denied future generations the connection to the historic river. PACE turned the tribe’s vision of reconnecting to the river into a reality by creating the “Gila River” theme for their resort.


PACE provided design services for a 1.5-mile replica of the historic Gila River that meanders along Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort’s entry road featuring rapids through shallow areas, rock outcroppings, including manmade rock formations scattered along the river’s edge with wetland planters and sand bars, all creating a natural flowing desert river that ends in a 3.5-acre lake at the rear of the 550-room resort. The river recirculation system provides variable river flows (9,800 gpm maximum) to coincide and simulate dry and wet season conditions. An additional .5-mile river situated along the front of the resort serves as an aesthetic amenity, as well as a mode of transportation from the hotel to the golf club and to the casino. PACE provided design services for the 36-foot wide arch bridge structure designed to AASHTO standards, which spans the river and handles boat, pedestrian and vehicle traffic for the resort.


The south face of the lake meets with the resort pool area complex and seamlessly blends the river theme resort together. Situated along the west side of the resort is a 5,000 sf main pool with a faux sand sloped entry, a 3,600 SF sports pool, a 15-foot-high winding water slide, a splash pool, kiddy pool and two spas.


PACE also designed the hotel lobby signature rock formation and waterfall that extends from the first to third floors and houses the hotel’s bar. Additional water feature elements were constructed at the Porte Cochere Entry and the Great Lawn Activity Area consisting of native streams and falls.


Key Features:

  • Six pools
  • 5-mile-long river
  • 15-foot-high water slide
  • Splash pool
  • Two spas
  • Signature rock formation
  • Waterfall

Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa

Lake Systems / Water Features / Pools, Pools / Spas / Swim Lagoons