A look into the status of the Reno Station Casino project
The land across from the Reno-Sparks Convention Center has sat empty for many years. Station Casinos LLC owns the nearly 8-acre site and within the last year, the company has taken steps to start developing a gaming and entertainment facility on the property. The NNBW looked into the current status of the Station Casinos’ Convention Center District Project.
As currently planned, the 84,000-sqaure-foot facility will include a more than 20,000-square-foot gaming area, a bowling alley, restaurants, a theater, 347 parking spaces as well as a state-of-the art sports book and sports bar.
The site is located across from the convention center on the west side of South Virginia Street between Kumle Lane and Kietzke Lane. Stations Casino LLC purchased the site in 2004. The company also owns land across from The Summit Reno mall.
The original plan for development of the site across from the convention center included a casino with potentially 500 hotel rooms, but the recession derailed this plan.
“Like many Nevada businesses, however, the economic downturn required the Company to alter and delay its plans,” Lori Nelson, vice president of corporate communications for Station Casinos, said in an email response.
The rebound of northern Nevada’s economy has revived Station Casinos’ interest in the region and is allowing them to move forward with a new development plan.
“The recent expansion and diversification of northern Nevada’s economy has renewed the Company’s interest in developing a gaming property in the Reno-Sparks market,” Nelson said.
Station Casinos filed for a special use permit from the City of Reno back in July of 2016, which was approved. The company also filed an application with the Nevada Gaming Control Board to relocate the grandfathered non-restricted Reno Turf Club gaming license to that location. Nelson explained that the Reno Turf Club license was taken by the City of Reno in 2004 through a condemnation action to facilitate the construction of the ReTRAC project.
The new development for the site has not been without opposition.
Monarch Casino & Resort Inc., the parent company of the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, came before the Reno City Council on Nov. 2 to present an appeal against Station Casinos’ Special Use Permit. The main issue of contention for the planned development has been the lack of hotel rooms. At the meeting, they argued that a gaming facility in such close proximity to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, without the addition of lodging goes against the city’s master plan.
John Farahi, CEO of Monarch Casino & Resort Inc., pointed out at the meeting that the Atlantis had been required to increase its number of rooms to more than 300 to adhere to the master plan when they were building the resort.
However, city staff told the City Council that if they denied the special use permit solely on the lack of hotel rooms a court might deem that as “arbitrary and capricious.”
The Reno City Council rejected the appeal in a 5 to 2 vote. The vote included the condition that if the project were to go over 37,500 square feet of gaming, Station Casinos would be required to build hotel rooms.
Station Casinos is estimating that the budget to build the gaming and entertainment facility will be around $50 to $70 million. The company also estimates that it will create 350 construction jobs and 150 to 200 jobs once the casino is completed.
The timeline for the development is still undetermined, according to Nelson.
On April 1, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak formally issued a “Stay at Home” directive for Nevadans and extended closures of nonessential businesses, gambling and school closures to April 30.