A California developer has submitted plans to construct Reno’s first new casino resort since 1995. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
An exciting potential project
A California developer is planning to build the first new casino resort in Reno, Nevada since 1995. San Diego-based Elevation Entertainment has officially submitted to the City of Reno its development plans for a new casino resort that would have 200 hotel rooms.
first new casino resort in the area since the opening of the Silver Legacy in 1995
The new facility would be constructed close to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on a 20-acre site that currently sits empty. It would be the first new casino resort in the area since the opening of the Silver Legacy in 1995.
Speaking about the prospective project, Elevation Entertainment CEO Ryan Stones said that Reno was a great gaming market up until the building of the Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Sacramento in 2003, which drew visitors away. He noted that the introduction of non-gaming industries like a Tesla battery factory in Reno has sparked a recovery for the region and that there has been steady demographic growth over the past decade. Stones believes that the new casino project in Reno would be a great opportunity.
Details of the plan
A portion of the proposed site for the new Reno casino resort is owned by casino operator Red Rock Resorts. It previously had plans to construct a casino without a hotel on the site. Elevation Entertainment is under contract to buy the land.
The current working title for the prospective new casino is the Firecreek Crossing Resort Casino. It is unclear as of yet how much the project would cost; Stones expects it to have 65,000 square feet of casino space, an outdoor pool deck, and restaurants. Elevation Entertainment hopes to get approval for the new casino by the summer and could see construction start in 12 to 18 months’ time.
Constructed and operates two California cardroom casinos
Elevation Entertainment has a track record in the US gaming market. It constructed and operates two California cardroom casinos: Seven Mile Casino in Chula Vista and Stones Gambling Hall in Sacramento. Talking about Elevation Entertainment’s future plans, CEO Stones said: “We’ve worked with cities for over 30 years on projects. Our desire is to do more gaming. It fits perfectly with our skill set.”
Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve has talked to the developers and hopes that the new casino resort can go ahead. She has not yet reviewed the current plans, but looks forward to doing so. She believes the hotel rooms are a big plus to the project and that it could be an attractive property to have in the middle of the city.
Reno’s recovering gaming market
Reno’s gaming market hit a peak in 2000 when it generated a one-year record of $859m in revenue. Numerous casinos closed during the 2000s as new tribal casinos across Northern California ate into Reno revenues. There are signs of recovery, with gaming revenue hitting $728m last year, the best one-year total since 2007.
Northern Nevada got its first casino resort in two decades in August when the $120m Legends Bay Casino opened its doors.
Revenue for 2022 is on track to beat last year’s total. Just 16 gaming facilities were up and running in Reno during the 2020 fiscal year, compared to 27 locations back in the 1995 fiscal year. Numerous casinos in the region have changed hands over the past couple of years, receiving much-needed investment.