Red Rock’s Durango Casino and Resort Approved by Nevada Regulators
Red Rock Resorts, under its subsidiary Station Casinos, has secured its final regulatory approval for its upcoming $780 million Durango Casino and Resort in Southern Nevada.
The Nevada Gaming Commission gave the green light for the project, as previously expected, meaning it is set to open its doors on November 20.
This development will mark the first local-oriented addition to the list of Nevada casino venues in 14 years. It is also the beginning of what company officials envision as a significant expansion phase.
Despite regulatory approval the new project is facing some issues negotiating with local Las Vegas workers unions. Unionized labor has a strong presence in Las Vegas, and Durango is expected to hire as many as 2,000 employees before opening.
Nevertheless, Station Casinos President Scott Kreeger was excited about the potential for a new southern Nevada casino resort.
“It means more jobs, more tax revenue for the state and local authorities,” he said at the NGC meeting late last week. “We believe that investing in Nevada, investing in our team members, and investing in the community is the secret of success for the company.”
Everything as Expected
The Durango Casino and Resort, which has been under construction for nearly 20 months, is located near the 215 Beltway and South Durango Drive.
That means, when it opens, it will be the only major casino catering to the quarter-million adults residing within a 5-mile radius.
The property is set to feature a 201-room hotel, and an expansive 83,000-square-foot casino floor equipped with almost 2,300 slot machines and 63 table games. It will also have 15 dining establishments, including four full-service restaurants and a sprawling 25,000-square-foot food hall.
Additionally, the venue will feature 20,000 square feet of convention and meeting space and a resort pool area.
“The building getting finished, people getting hired, transferring those people in, training them to what our level and standards are, make sure they’re comfortable, make sure they get everything they expect when coming into the building and making sure their areas are functioning and working,” said Kreeger.
“I think that the people we’ve hired and the people that are part of my executive team have been through several openings, and I think that adaptability allows them to create a team that can have a fantastic opening for us.”
Related: The best online gambling sites in Nevada, rated and reviewed
Labor Disputes Cast a Shadow
While the approval of the Durango project is a milestone before its launch, the effort may still face challenges. The longstanding feud between Culinary Workers Local 226 and Station Casinos, Red Rock’s operating subsidiary, remains unresolved.
The Culinary Union has been at odds with the company for over two decades regarding union organizing efforts.
This dispute has led to active litigation with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
“To see these kinds of disputes are just a little bit troubling to me and hopefully you can work them out,” Commission member Rosa Solis-Rainey said.
During the public comment session of the gaming commission meeting in Las Vegas, representatives from the Culinary union, along with current and former Station Casinos employees, voiced their grievances against the company.
Many union members claimed they were not rehired post-pandemic or after the closing of Texas Station and Fiesta Casinos in Henderson and North Las Vegas over the past years.
However, several Red Rock employees and managers defended the company, praising it as a commendable employer. In the end though, the union dispute did not disrupt Durango being given the go-ahead.
Gaming Commission Chairwoman Jennifer Togliatti acknowledged the ongoing litigation, but reminded everyone that the complexities of the case prevent gaming regulators from intervening.
Very Confident on Vegas
Regardless of labor disputes, more than 25,000 people applied to work at Durango, according to Kreeger.
The Red Rock President also revealed that the company plans up to seven additional Nevada casinos over the next 10 years.
“As we look at Las Vegas, we’re very confident,” Kreeger said at the meeting, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“There’s no one more bullish on Las Vegas growth than we are. We intend in the future as a company to continue to invest in Nevada and its citizens. We plan to grow the company over the next 10 years. We have seven development sites inclusive of Durango, (so) that we are on a course to double the size of the company over the next 10 years.”
Red Rock and Station Casinos are owned by the billionaire brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta. Their flagship Red Rock Casino, just off the Las Vegas Strip, has recently become a favorite destination of high-profile conservatives.