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Gaming Guru

Arnold M. Knightly
 

Station Casino gets extension for project

21 June 2007

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Clark County Commissioners on Wednesday gave Station Casinos a three-year extension to develop a project on Tropicana Avenue and approved a height increase for a planned fourth hotel tower at Caesars Palace.

The commission, sitting as the zoning board, approved both items without discussion as part of the consent agenda.

Station Casinos now has until Nov. 3, 2010, to submit design reviews and begin construction of a proposed hotel-casino on 70 acres west of Interstate 15 on the corner of Dean Martin Drive where the Wild Wild West now stands.

Company spokeswoman Lori Nelson said the extension was to hold the entitlements on the land but does not mean the company will next pursue the project after completing the $600 million Aliante Station under construction in North Las Vegas.

"It is not uncommon for us to go into the entitlement process," she said. "It gives us flexibility when it makes sense to develop a site."

As an example, the company received approval from the commission May 16 to begin early grading of a separate 71-acre site approved for a hotel-casino tentatively branded Durango Station.

For the Tropicana site, Station Casinos received approval in November 2004 for a 44-story, 2,500 hotel room mixed-use project to replace the Wild Wild West and adjacent industrial buildings.

The gaming company said as late as the summer of 2005 it would pursue the project after finishing the $925 million Red Rock Resort, which opened in April 2006.

In December 2005, Station Casinos and a real estate subsidiary of Greenspun Corp. agreed on a partnership to develop Aliante Station, postponing the Tropicana site project.

Nelson said the company's options remain open to what it will pursue next. Station Casinos owns 337.9 acres at 10 potential development sites in the Las Vegas Valley and another 100 acres in Reno.

The commission also approved Caesars Palace's request to increase the height of its next hotel tower to 350 feet from the previously approved 295 feet.

The 1,017-room tower will have a similar Tuscan design to the $289 million, 949-room Augustus tower, which opened in August 2005, documents filed with Clark County show.

Alberto Lopez, spokesman for Harrah's Entertainment, which owns the property, declined to give a construction schedule for the hotel tower. He also wouldn't say when the gaming company plans to officially announce the project.

Station Casino gets extension for project is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.