Financial

Station Casinos Looking to Build in ‘Underserved’ Part of Las Vegas Valley: Report

A casino company known for locals-friendly resorts is eyeing a vacant lot in the Las Vegas Valley for development.

A sign at a lot in the Las Vegas Valley in 2017 indicates a casino was planned at this site on Durango Drive. The company is again considering a project at that location, according to reports. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Red Rock Resorts is exploring the design and development of its property at Durango Drive and the 215 Beltway, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

A note from the investment firm J.P. Morgan last week indicated the casino company views this area in the growing southwest Las Vegas Valley as “the most underserved” market in the region, the newspaper reported.

In 2008, a casino and a 201-room hotel were to be built at the site. These plans were scrapped in the economic downturn.

Three years ago, a sign on the property indicated a 1,000-room hotel and 120,000-square-foot Station Casinos resort would be built there, the newspaper noted. Red Rock is the parent company of Station Casinos.

In an annual report filed earlier this year, Red Rock noted its undeveloped site on Durango has “excellent visibility and access from Interstate 215.” No competing major casinos are within five miles of the site, the report states.

Brendan Bussmann, government affairs director for Global Market Advisors, told the newspaper the Durango site is in an area that “continues to grow in an underserved portion of the gaming market.”

“The anchor of a facility in the southwest Las Vegas market will be a strong addition to the area, the overall market, and a positive that may come out of the Great Shutdown,” he said.

Tourism Slowdown

Many casinos in Nevada reopened after Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) gave the green light for them to begin operating again on June 4. He ordered them closed when COVID-19 cases spiked in March.

By mid-November, Station Casinos had not reopened Texas Station, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho, and the Palms. These Las Vegas-area properties are not expected to reopen this year.

Other resorts in Las Vegas are dealing with a slump in tourism by allowing hotel room reservations only on weekends. These include Strip hotels such as Park MGM, Planet Hollywood, and the LINQ. The off-Strip Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino is set to reopen on Dec. 22. After the holidays, Rio will not accept midweek hotel reservations until the demand warrants it.

One resort, Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, including the hotel and gaming areas, because of low consumer demand. The adjoining Wynn Las Vegas is open all week.

Industry expert Alan Friedman told Casino.org the Encore closure makes business sense. He is a distinguished fellow in responsible gaming at UNLV’s International Gaming Institute.

“Encore and Wynn form a ‘campus’ of sorts,” Feldman said. “Their buildings are attached, and while they generally operate as separate entities, there is, in fact, much that can be done jointly.”

Promising News

In the tourism industry, hopes were buoyed this week after two pharmaceutical companies each announced they have a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon. These companies are Pfizer and Moderna.

Meanwhile, casino construction is continuing in the region. Circa Resort opened its gaming areas on Oct. 28 as an adults-only property. It is the first hotel-casino built from the ground up in downtown Las Vegas in 40 years. Some of its 777 hotel rooms are scheduled to open in December.

On the Strip, the under-construction Resorts World Las Vegas is set to open this summer. Resorts World began accepting applications on Monday for 6,000 job openings. Employment interviews will begin in a few weeks, a company executive said.

Larry Henry

Gaming Regulation, Crime, Politics — Larry Henry is a veteran print and broadcast journalist who spent more than 16 years in Nevada, including serving as legislative reporter for the Reno Gazette-Journal and as political editor at the Las Vegas Sun. He's also written about popular culture for the Mob Museum in Las Vegas. As a broadcast journalist, he worked as managing editor at KFSM-TV, the CBS affiliate in Arkansas, where he now lives and where casino growth is a hot topic. A Marine Corps veteran and LSU graduate, he is also an avid movie fan, especially of classic film noir from the 1940s and ’50s.

View Comments

Share
Published by
Larry Henry