Red Rock Resorts announced Thursday that it’s targeting November 20, during Thanksgiving week, to open its $780 million Durango Casino & Resort in the southwest Las Vegas valley. Executives also highlighted some of the projects that could eventually double the company’s portfolio.
The Monday, November 20, debut follows the completion of the Formula One race weekend in Las Vegas that will focus all attention on the Strip.
The grand-opening announcement came just hours before the casino was set to unveil its marquee Thursday night. The display, 60 feet high and 55 feet wide, illuminates the casino site.
“This project is situated on a 50-acre site and located in the fastest growing area in the Las Vegas valley with a very favorable demographic profile and no unrestricted gaming competitors within a five-mile radius,” enthused Stephen Cootey, executive vice president and chief financial officer, during Red Rock’s second-quarter earnings call.
Any cannibalization by Durango Station of Red Rock Resort in Summerlin, more than eight miles away, would be short term, executives said.
The new resort will feature over 200 hotel rooms and 83,000 square feet of casino floor. The company announced earlier this year that it was expanding the casino to add 360 gaming positions and it’s already planning the second phase of Durango that will add gaming capacity and entertainment options.
Red Rock is also working on plans and entitlements for its project in west Henderson in the Inspirada master plan residential community.
Red Rock’s seven company-owned development sites around Las Vegas will allow it to double the size of its portfolio and capitalize on favorable long-term demographic trends and high barriers to entry of the Las Vegas locals market, Cootey said.
“If you include the Durango phase two, that gives us eight projects that we control to grow the company over a number of years,” said board member Lorenzo Fertitta.
Durango’s $780 million budget includes design, construction, pre-opening, and financing costs. The company expects a return consistent in line with prior in-fill developments.
Cootey said they’ve made “significant progress” in selling the company’s former Texas Station and Fiesta Rancho sites across from each other in North Las Vegas. They can’t disclose terms, but he said they may report on the closing on the parcels in the coming months.
“These potential transactions represent the continued execution of our long-term real-estate development strategy as we look to reposition and upgrade our real-estate portfolio for the next chapter of growth at Station Casinos,” Cootey said.
Fertitta said they were excited about the Oakland A’s potential purchase of the former Wild West casino site that eventually fell through, but it’s “put a spotlight on how valuable that piece of property is and how rare it is to have 100 acres within the resort corridor.” The property also has gaming entitlements.
President Scott Kreeger said the company has done an internal recruitment campaign to fill positions at Durango Station and will be the base of the employee pool. An external campaign for hiring will begin Aug.14.
“We feel confident we’ll be able to fill our needed employment with high-quality employees,” Kreeger said, by offering competitive wages and benefits. “We have the Sphere coming online (on the Strip), so there’s a competitive market, but we think we’ll compete very well.”
David Horn, who has more than two decades with Red Rock Resorts, is the Durango’s general manager and will oversee all aspects of pre-opening, recruitment, and operations. Horn’s appointment marks his second turn as a general manager in the organization.
Christy Eigenrauch has been tapped as assistant general manager. She is an 18-year company veteran and third generation team member. Daniel Ye will lead the resort’s culinary program as executive chef.