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Dave Clark

Eastside Cannery casino to open Thursday

27 August 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Touting its distinctive look, large rooms and selection of restaurants, Cannery officials are billing the Eastside Cannery Casino and Hotel as the first major casino to open in more than a decade on Las Vegas' eastside.

The $250 million building, which occupies the site of the former Nevada Palace on Boulder Highway near Harmon Avenue, will open at 8 p.m. Thursday.

The hotel stands 16 stories, and the casino will feature 2,100 slot machines, 26 table games, a 450-seat bingo hall, keno lounge, poker room and race and sports book.

It will also house roughly 20,000 square feet of ballroom and meeting space, six eateries and 307 rooms.

Eastside Cannery Vice President Sal Semola said building this hotel was part of Cannery Casino Resort's strategy of having properties in all four quadrants of the Las Vegas Valley. The company already has a presence in the north with the Cannery and in the west with the Rampart.

Semola called Boulder Highway a vibrant market.

"There's already a lot of critical mass in the area," he said. "There's great competitors here. It's some of the inspiration behind us looking at the area."

Nevada Palace closed Feb. 29, about two years after the property was purchased by Cannery. It was torn down in phases as the new property was built around it.

"That way people would not have to be out of work," Semola said.

He added that the Palace's entire workforce was offered positions at other Cannery properties, and many of them will be among the 1,100 staffers at Eastside Cannery.

Semola said opening a new casino during the economic downturn is a concern, but he predicted the rough patch will not last.

"There are different cycles," he said. "We just work through them. I think a fresh new product will be invigorating. We'll certainly do our part to jump-start the flagging economy."

Semola highlighted many amenities in the new property he called unique. One is One Six, a restaurant/bar that will sit on the 16th floor and offer panoramic views of the Las Vegas skyline. It is slated to open this fall.

"It's unlike anything on Boulder Highway and most things on The Strip," Semola said.

Semola said the standard 450-square-foot rooms are a little different as well, eliminating the traditional entry corridor in favor of a more open room as well as a bathroom sink area exposed to the bedroom.

"It's a wider space," he said.

Other rooms include 600-square-foot corner suites with in-room spas, and five 900-square-foot executive suites on the top floor.

Officials have also shunned the traditional buffet concept of customers grabbing their own grub. Semola said Sweet Lucy's Tableside Buffet will instead bring 20 all-you-can-eat entrees to customers.

The other restaurants include Mexican-themed Casa Cocina, an import from Cannery's North Las Vegas hotel; fine casual-dining themed Carve; a deli overlooking the sports book; and Snaps 24-Hour Cafe.

"The Cannery brand has always been about value," Semola said. "We're just looking forward to getting open and bringing back the finer elements of Nevada Palace and the offerings of what the Cannery brand provides."