Preparation for Desert Passage began by researching hundreds of period and journal photographs to determine architectural details specific to the project’s era and geographic regions. For nine months, KHS&S worked with the architects to produce working drawings for the project’s seven themed areas. Throughout the process, KHS&S’ construction design team developed more than 2,000 sheets of working construction drawings. These drawings served as the architectural record set for the themed facades and ceilings and coordinated the electrical, mechanical and life-safety trades.

To fulfill the architect’s vision, KHS&S created extensive mock-ups and 800 samples of materials, textures and colors that reflect the richness and ornate detail of desert scenery.

In total, KHS&S created more than 350,000 sq. ft. of themed facades, 225,000 sq. ft. of multi-curved ceiling with sky mural, 75,000 sq. ft. of rockwork and four elaborate water features, some incorporating wind, rain and fog.


  • Interior framing and drywall
  • Themed facades
  • Murals
  • Rockwork and a water feature


  • AWCI Excellence in Construction – More than $1 Million(2003)
  • Southwest Contractor “Best of” Outstanding Design-Build Project(2003)
  • SARNO Award: Best Overall Casino/Resort Construction Project(2003)
  • THEA Award: Outstanding Achievement (2001)