Marriott’s Pop-up Las Vegas Casino Approved by Nevada Gaming Commission

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Marriott International has finally received full approval from Nevada regulators for its pop-up casino, set to open this week near the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The site, located at 265 Convention Center Drive near Paradise Road, will only be open for eight hours on Tuesday, May 23. It will feature 16 slot machines in a large tent.

The pop-up casino is being built solely for the purpose of fulfilling the contractual eight hours of casino gameplay required on-site every 18 months. This will keep Marriott’s full gaming license open for a potential future project.

When it opens, it will be the 10th time that Marriott has run the temporary site in the past 17 years. The Nevada Gaming Commission and the Gaming Control Board unanimously approved the temporary venue. However, the Commission has told Marriott that this situation cannot continue indefinitely, as reported in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Economic Conditions

The temporary casino will open on the site of a former nightclub, The Beach, which closed in 2006.

It will be available to visitors from 6 a.m. until 2p.m. on that day, with Century Gaming Technologies supplying and operating the slots.

The 16-acre location has been on Marriott’s radar for years. The hotel chain operator has long been looking at consolidating its appoximately 1,000 rooms across five hotels in the area into one large casino and hotel resort.

However, economic conditions and the impact of the pandemic have delayed the plan, according to attorney Dennis Neilander, representing Marriott. Neilander said he could not comment on the status of any ongoing negotiations on the project because of nondisclosure agreements in place.

Historic Spot

Another potential hurdle for a Marriott casino resort on this site is the nearby presence of the popular Piero’s Italian Cuisine restaurant.

That historic spot was built in 1960 as Villa d’Este, and was a favorite destination of famous Las Vegas residents like the Rat Pack and Elvis Presley. Before that, it was owned by mafia boss Sam Giancana.

Today, Piero’s remains the only building in the immediate area not owned by Marriott, after it bought up most of the surrounding land in 2007. Current owners have shown little interest in selling over the years.

The actual site of the upcoming temporary Marriott casino first saw proposals for a full casino way back in 1979. Businessman Frank Carroll planned to build a New Orleans-themed resort, but his project was never approved for a license.

Subsequent owners throughout the years were also denied licenses. In 1992, a pair of British brothers were approved for a horse racing book, but it closed only six months after opening.

The Beach nightclub, the last permanent business to operate on the site, was the first artificial beach venue in Las Vegas. However, big casino resorts on the Strip soon built their own more expansive versions, and The Beach was outcompeted on its core attraction before closing in 2006.  

Current owners Marriott bought The Beach and its land for $24.75 million in 2007. That was part of the wider deal that saw it buy the whole 10.6-acres of surrounding land for $186 million.

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