County officials gave the green light to Station Casinos on Wednesday to go forth with its southwest valley plan of building a resort. The official that gave the go is the Clark County Commission and now, the company will be able to build a casino of 83,178 square feet as well as a hotel with 211 rooms south of the 215 Beltway, on South Durango Drive. According to Station, the project is set to begin working on the first steps of its construction at the start of 2022.
The Main Focus of The Resort Will Be Gaming
The casino floor will be massive and will be the main feature of the resort. Station says that competition will not be an issue, as there aren’t any other facilities within five miles; hence, the growing population of the southwest valley will have its needs catered to.
While speaking to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the COO of Red Rock Resorts (Station’s parent company), Bob Finch, stated that as a casino that serves the local community, Station is “rescuing the southwest” by providing them with a place where they can have fun, hang out and dine.
Finch estimates that Durango is likely to open its doors at the end of 2023. Additionally, the company is likely to release Durango’s cost estimate in the Q3 earnings call with its investors this fall.
The Plan Has Two Phases of Construction
The plans that the county received have two construction phases. The first includes a hotel tower of 216 feet, parking, water features, modern race and sportsbook, beverage stops, four restaurants, an event lawn, convention and meeting space of 20,000 square feet, electric charging stations for vehicles and a pool with private cabanas.
A food hall that has local fast-casual restaurants will also be featured and according to Finch, that eliminates the challenge of friends or family having a conflict on where to eat. He jokingly said that with every meal, the company is saving a marriage.
Although a target date for the second phase hasn’t been officially announced, it is stated that it will include a second hotel of 216 feet that has 241 rooms. The casino floor would also be increased to 92,911 square feet and have extra entertainment-theater space, more lobby space, a new parking structure, and more banquet space.
The desert land of 71 acres has been owned by Station since 2000, but it is yet to use its full potential. The Review-Journal reported the massive recession fumbled the plans of the company to hit the shovel in 2009 and finish the construction in 2011. According to a plan from 2008, the land featured a casino, a movie theater and two hotels, as well as several retail buildings.
In July, the CFO, Stephen Cootey, told investors that the company has the financial stability to bring that project back to life and he added that there is also an option of giving some of the land away and thus, partner with other companies to lower the overall costs.
This week, Finch stated that Durango will be built on around 50 acres of Station’s eastern part of its parcel. According to the submitted documents, the remaining 20 acres will serve as a separation area between the property and the neighborhood.
While speaking on the remaining 20 acres, Finch stated that the remaining area was planned to be turned to residential use; however, those plans did not materialize.
Durango May be a Statement to the Local Market
Finch stated that Durango will make the local market start to grow by saying that the company is rebounding, it’s good, and Las Vegas will go forth with its growth.
Amanda Belarmino, a UNLV hospitality professor, stated that the number of gaming options in the southwest valley is low compared to Henderson, North Las Vegas and Summerlin, and the construction of Durango will provide massive entertainment and open up job opportunities in that area.
Josh Swissman, a gaming and hospitality consultant, stated that this is the perfect time to break ground on the highly-anticipated Durango resort, thanks to the residential and commercial development in the area. Swissman, who is also a founding partner at The Strategy Organization, added that there’s very little competition for movie theaters and bowling alleys there, which is a Station property staple.
By combining that fact with the town’s fast-growing population, Swissman believes that Durango is destined to be successful.
The main entrance of the property will be off Durango Drive, the primary garage access will be off Roy Horn Way and seven ingress and egress routes will be featured, as told by Rebecca Miltenberger, an attorney, while speaking to the commissioners at the Zoning Commission hearing on Wednesday.
Some Durango neighbors have expressed their concerns to the county commissioners during the hearing that the property is likely to increase traffic in the area, which already has a problem dealing with that. Commissioner Justin Jonas represents the southwest valley and lives in it and noted that construction on Fort Apache Road and other streets have forced drivers to go through the neighborhoods.
Robert Kachelriess, whose house backs up to the land’s parcel, expressed his concerns for the three West Maule Avenue entrances. He stated that he and other homeowners like him knew the possible downsides that would come by living next to a property that has the potential to be a resort, but these plans give the community nothing more than an overwhelming intrusion.
He added that Station choosing Maule as its “personal driveway'” is not something that the homeowners signed up for.
The Maule traffic increase has also been noted by Culinary Local 226, especially because both Faiss Middle School and Tanaka Elementary are located on the same avenue, approximately one mile from the site.
Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-treasurer of the union, stated that hospitality workers living in the area expressed a desire for a meeting between Tanaka officials and Station Casinos, as well as the parents. Argüello-Kline stated that the company should consider the thoughts of the neighbors before continuing with the construction.