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Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Station Casinos Expands Land Buy in Reno

23 August 2005

Station Casinos on Monday said it increased the size of a Reno land parcel acquisition from 50 acres to 83. The extra land will give the company more room to develop a hotel-casino adjacent to a planned open-air retail complex.

In just the past year, Station, a Las Vegas-based casino operator, has become a potentially significant player in the Reno gaming market. Casino revenues there have been hampered by competition from Indian casinos in Northern California and weather problems during the most recent winter.Advertisement

Station Casinos has acquired three separate potential gaming locations in Reno, totaling 187 acres.

One project, near the intersection of the Mount Rose Highway and U.S. Highway 395 in southern Reno, is part of a 200-acre site that will include Summit Sierra, an open air retail, entertainment, office and residential development.

The retail portion, at 650,000 square feet, is under construction and is expected to open in March. It includes retailers Dillard's and Williams-Sonoma.

Station Casinos' original site was 50 acres. A company spokeswoman said adding 33 more acres of undeveloped land gives planners more flexibility to design a hotel-casino with more amenities. Amenities could include shops, restaurants and nightclubs.

Previously, Station Casinos officials said the earliest a casino could be developed on the site was 2007. Station has not set a schedule for the expanded project's completion.

The project will be Station Casinos' first in the north.

The company also controls eight acres across from the Reno Sparks Convention Center and a 96-acre parcel on South Virginia Street, south of Mount Rose Highway.

In June, Strip casinos reported year-over-year gaming win increases of 16.4 percent. By contrast, casinos in Reno had a less than 1 percent increase in the period.

During the fiscal year, gaming win in Reno has decreased by just less than 1 percent from the pervious year.

Gaming analysts have said adding locals-oriented casinos in Reno, such as the kind Station Casinos offers, could help restore growth to the market.

Station Casinos is spending more than $1 billion on new projects and expansions to existing sites in Las Vegas. The company is spending $925 million for the under-construction Red Rock Station in Summerlin, which is expected to open by March.

Station Casinos shares fell 65 cents, or 0.96 percent, Monday to close at $67.

Station Casinos Expands Land Buy in Reno is republished from