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Gaming Guru

Jennifer Shubinski

Pair of Casinos Planned for Southwest Las Vegas

14 March 2005

LAS VEGAS -- The developer of Southern Highlands has plans for two casinos in southwest Las Vegas as part of large mixed-use developments that will include residential and retail.

Garry Goett, chief executive of the Olympia Group, said he has plans for a casino, 300,000 to 400,000 square feet of retail and a residential village that would include low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise towers on 100 acres at St. Rose Parkway and Las Vegas Boulevard, with Bruner Avenue to the north and Interstate 15 to the west.

Goett has previously announced plans for a casino, regional mall and residential units on 255 acres on Las Vegas Boulevard bordered by Cactus and Starr avenues, also in the southwest Las Vegas Valley. He said those plans have continued to proceed. Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group is a partner in the mall, which is planned to be at least 800,000 square feet, he said.

"I would expect somewhere in the next 90 to 120 days we'll be more definitive in both projects," Goett said during an interview with In Business Las Vegas. "We are in concept with both of them right now. We would expect to be in front of the commissioners somewhere in the next four to six months."

The two planned casinos are not the first foray into gaming for the developer.

Goett purchased Casino Fandango in Carson City 2 1/2 years ago.

"We've really enjoyed being involved in the gaming business up in Carson City, and certainly it's not as big a project that we will have down here, but it's certainly been a good introduction for me and accomplished exactly what I wanted," he said. "That made me familiar with gaming a little bit as well as I went through the licensing process and that's all behind me now and so all in all we're really excited about the future of gaming."

Goett said the casinos would most likely cater to the locals market, but he also hopes to attract visitors coming into Las Vegas via Interstate 15.

"Our primary objective is to satisfy the locals and the demand and maybe create some additional interest in this type of casino and bring other exciting amenities to a casino that may be not otherwise here, or we're going to recast it in a different format," he said.

The residential components on both sites are still being worked out, but most likely would include a range of products and price ranges, he said.

Goett said the two projects, which are within a mile of each other, are not too close to one another.

"You're going to see this south end of the Las Vegas Strip really start filling in here starting this year and continuing on over the next several years," he said. "It's a very exciting part of the valley right now."