Station Casinos under Fire from the Culinary Union over Planned Casino

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Station Casinos and the Culinary Union are still locked in a fierce battle over attempts to have workers unionize in Las Vegas. The union is now approaching from a different angle, threatening the casino operator’s plans to build its Durango Station casino near the Las Vegas Strip. The casino has been approved by local officials, but the Culinary Union is trying to derail the project by convincing area residents that it isn’t a good idea.

Station Casinos, Culinary Union Continue Battle

Over the years, the Culinary Union has attracted a significant following in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas. However, Station Casinos, and its parent company, Red Rock Resorts, have repeatedly fought back and have ignored employee-led initiatives to join the union. Even the National Labor Relations Board has been involved.  It recently took a US District Court Judge’s interaction to force the casino operator’s hand.

When Station announced that it wanted to finally make use of vacant land in Spring Valley that it had been sitting on for years, the union apparently began working on its plan of attack. The Spring Valley Town Advisory Board approved Station’s new Durango Station casino last week, but not without the union trying to block it. It had begun to contact area residents in an attempt to sway public opinion and to stop the project from being able to move forward. As of now, though, the 120,000-square-foot, 216-foot tall, 1,000-room hotel will be able to progress.

Opposition Isn’t Just for Spite

Although Station Casinos and the Culinary Union are locked in a fierce battle over workers’ rights, the group’s efforts to stop the casino from finding approval weren’t just for show or spite. There were reportedly some legitimate concerns about the new project. According to the union, it had spoken to members of the local community ahead of the advisory board’s meeting and determined that there were questions about public safety and traffic once the casino is complete.

The union wants updated studies conducted to verify the viability of the casino, since the last impact study was done three years ago. Even then, there were questions that weren’t answered, as the study revealed that the daily traffic through the area would likely “increase from 18,533 to 78,558 vehicle trips per day,” making it “busier than the Strip between Flamingo and Desert Inn.” Currently a desert area, the infrastructure isn’t in place to support a massive increase.

Although the advisory board signed off on the casino, it’s still not a done deal. Clark County has to weigh in, as well, and will likely make a determination within the next couple of weeks. The Clark County Commission met yesterday and meets again on September 21, with both meetings expected to have the casino on the agenda. According to Justin Jones, a Clark County Commissioner, the commission has received all of the input and will discuss it with the zoning commission before it makes a decision.

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