Rumor of Potential Casino Royale Demolition Resurfaces

We love us some rumors and speculation. Trolls sometimes point out the fact our sources don’t always get it right, at least not right away.

First, trolls are rarely MENSA members. Second, please note the phrase “not right away.” Sometimes, our sources hear about things months or even years before they happen. Things can change, or fail to materialize, for a variety of reasons. Our sources aren’t clairvoyant. Rumors often come to pass, however. Some just take a minute.

Example: In 2018, we shared a rumor Casino Royale (also known as the Best Western Plus Casino Royale) could be demolished to become a Ritz-Carlton. Crazy, right?

Um, not so much. The FAA is soliciting public comment about a proposed 699 foot hotel tower on the Casino Royale site. As the kids say, boom.

Casino Royale
“Unique” doesn’t quite do Casino Royale justice.

Here’s our Tweet from August 2018, just for posterity, so we’re all clear where everyone heard this rumor first, should it come to pass.

The pandemic resulted in lots of projects being delayed or shelved altogether. This delay could very well fall into that category.

We’ve heard this deal has been in the works since 2017, and Ritz-Carlton isn’t the hotel company anymore. The new hotel will be a high profile, popular brand, however. Like we said, things change.

While we take joy in vindication (it remains to be see if any of this actually transpires, of course), the possibility of Casino Royale going away is bittersweet.

This old-timey throwback is a gem, a thorn among the roses (of their fancy casino-resort neighbors), and one of the few spots on The Strip where value is still king.

We haven’t visited Casino Royale since they got rid of their table games in 2020, but we still get a little weepy thinking about the old girl being sacrificed for a hotel. Like losing the Mirage volcano, it’s more about the idea of the thing going away than the thing actually going away. It’s complicated.

The FAA document is long and boring, but basically, when a new structure is built, the FAA looks long and hard at whether the building will affect flight patterns and such.

Casino Royale is “2.56 nautical miles north of LAS Airport,” we learned today.

Here’s a look at the first page of the letter. Download the complete .pdf here.

This is all you need to read, especially if you’re driving. We’re all about safety. When driving, stay focused on drinking, the way Mother Nature intended.

Here’s the bottom line: “The structure above exceeds obstruction standards. To determine its effect upon the safe and efficient use of navigable airspace by aircraft and on the operation of air navigation facilities, the FAA is conducting an aeronautical study under the provisions of 49 U.S.C., Section 44718 and, if applicable, Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 77.”

We do not pretend to know what any of this means. We are not an FAA expert. We are barely a rumors and speculation expert. We are more of a napping expert. Maybe “enthusiast” is a better word.

Enjoy, FAA nerds.

We probably should’ve pretended to recognize the name on the letter, Craig Dudley, but we do not.

Google says Craig Dudley is a longtime associate of Circus Circus and TI owner Phil Ruffin. The plot thickens.

We reached out to Casino Royale to find out the nature of Dudley’s involvement, but haven’t heard back yet.

We will leave the more exhaustive analysis to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which will “break” this story just as soon as the news release is issued. We kid because we love, and because they constantly steal our stories, make a phone call and fail to include attribution to original reporting. It’s a whole thing.

Anyway, as we Tweeted back in 2018, this is one to watch. Nothing is set in stone, but this FAA document is strong evidence something’s in the works at Casino Royale, and its days could be numbered. We’ve heard more details are likely to shake loose about all this by or around Nov. 2023.

It’s also a reminder that when it comes to Las Vegas, it’s best to not get emotionally attached to anything.

Update (6/3/23): In a bizarre twist, the Las Vegas Review-Journal provided attribution in its follow-up to our scoop. Weird.