Legends Bay Casino: Thumbs Up for Long-Awaited Sparks, Nev. Project

Posted on: June 9, 2022, 05:29h. 

Last updated on: June 9, 2022, 01:17h.

Sparks, Nev.’s long-awaited Legends Bay Casino is good to go. On Wednesday, the $120 million project, which has been 15 years in the making, received a recommendation for licensing from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The project is expected to receive final approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission on June 23.

Legends Bay
An artist’s rendering of the $120 million Legends Bay Casino, which will be tagged onto The Outlets at Legends shopping center in Sparks, Nev. (Image: Olympia Cos)

As planned, when it opens in August, it will be the first from-the-ground casino property in the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area in 17 years. The last was the Silver Legacy in downtown Reno in 1995.

The 80,000 spare-foot development will have a 40,000 square-foot casino floor with 660 slot machines, 10 table games, and a sportsbook operated by Derek Stevens’ Circa Sports.

Legends Bay will be integrated into the existing The Outlets at Legends shopping center, an open-air shopping, dining, and entertainment destination next to Sparks marina.

Worth the Wait

Developer Garry Goett of Olympia Companies told the control board the development will have five dining establishments, including a “food truck hall.” The property will employ around 300 workers.

Goett said he plans to bring the popular Duke’s Steak House concept from Casino Fandango, which Olympia owns and operates in Carson City.

The Outlets mall attracts 12 million visitors a year, ensuring footfall into the Legends Bay Casino, according to Goett.

Waiting has been an outstanding thing for us because we were supposed to be the anchors with Scheels [sporting goods store],” he said. “Instead, everybody else built. The shopping center is filled out and the [adjoining] hotels are hugely successful.”

Goett conceived of the project in 2007 when his company purchased the casino’s land. But it was shelved during the Great Recession, then again during the pandemic. It eventually broke ground in March 2021.

Complete Rethink

In the interim, the Legends Bay has gone through a complete redesign, while Olympia pressed ahead with constructing two hotels, a 104-room Residence Inn by Marriott and a 102-room Hampton Inn & Suites.

We went five years and counting and we started to rethink the whole project,” Goett told the board. “We came up with a more cost-sensitive project. So, where we had a maybe $500 million project that went to $350 (million) and then we went down to $120 (million). That’s where we ended up.”

“We were very careful not to be a Las Vegas casino,” he added. “This is a northern Nevada casino, and we used northern Nevada interior designers for the project. I think they’ve done a wonderful job in bringing the contemporary and sophisticated to the casino, at the same time retaining a strong feeling of Northern Nevada.”