Long before the first shovel full of dirt was dug up, and long before the final name of the shopping destination was approved, Downtown Summerlin had a unique relationship with Red Rock Resort.
“There’s been a longstanding relationship between Station Casinos and The Howard Hughes Corporation,” said Lori Nelson, Station’s vice president of corporate communications. “It dates back to when they granted us the land for Red Rock because they were the decision makers on putting that deal together, so we’ve always had a great working relationship. A lot of synergy started back then.”
Nelson said the shopping experience had always been part of the Hughes Corp. vision, so Station was aware it would be neighbors with the project. She likened it to Green Valley Ranch, which opened in December 2001, and its close proximity to The District shopping area. She said both those Henderson properties feed off each other and are conscious of the benefits of being neighbors.
“So in a similar vein, we saw how terrific it was for our guests and vice versa, to have those amenities next door to one another and have one help the other out,” Nelson said. “It’s the guest who won at the end of the day because they had the convenience of all this entertainment. We knew the two products work really nicely together.”
One example of working together: the Hughes Corp. is building a new parking section with a public drop-off area at Summerlin Centre Drive. It will offer hotel guests convenience from the soon-to-open shopping experience to the casino.
Both benefit as well from the other’s improvements. The Hughes Corp., for example, is making improvements where Summerlin Center Drive goes under the 215 Beltway, adding traffic lights and sidewalks. It will allow walking-distance residents easy access to both properties.
Nelson said future cross-promotional opportunities between the properties had not been ruled out.
Tom Warden, senior vice president for community and government relations for the Hughes Corp., called it a “very symbiotic” relationship and noted that most resort hotels are not used to opening the back side of their property to access another company’s project.
“We’ve always worked with RRR collaboratively,” he said. “This plot of land that the Red Rock Resort and Casino is on, as well as land that is Downtown Summerlin, had always, since the very beginning, been designated as the commercial center for Summerlin … As the (revamped) design took shape, we worked closely with them. We have a design review process, so we were well aware of what they were doing, and we worked with them.”
Vicki Rousseau, marketing director for Downtown Summerlin, said the Hughes Corp. project would capture a “significant amount” of hotel guests.
“It’s hard to estimate, in terms of percentages,” she said, “but we’ll capitalize on a large portion of them. We’ll have guests of the Red Rock filing into the center, have that symbiotic flow of people going back and forth. And that, by itself, creates a certain energy between the two.”
That does not mean restricting hotel guests to only area shopping. Red Rock Resort offers guests a free shuttle to the Strip for sightseeing, shopping and visiting the casinos. Even though Downtown Summerlin will offer plenty of shopping opportunities, the resort will continue to offer the shuttle.
Red Rock Resort is undergoing a $35 million remodel. Nelson said that the timing was intentional.
“It was time to refresh a lot of Red Rock’s offerings as we go into our eighth year,” she said. “But, absolutely, there was a lot of deliberate timing where we wanted our new offerings to come online as Downtown Summerlin was opening. We know that there’s going to be some great fanfare, and we know they’re going to be capturing a great market from casting a wide net. Everyone’s going to come check it out, so certainly it’s beneficial to us to have everything finished and completed and have some new offerings at the same time.”
Nelson said all the upgrades and changes will be completed by the end of the year, with much of it coinciding with Downtown Summerlin’s scheduled opening in October.
The $35 million remodel is not just for hotel guests. Although a portion of it will address updating hotel rooms, it also is designed to keep locals coming to the gaming facility.
“We’re based on repeat clientele,” Nelson said. “The locals pick us for their movies, when we have special events. When it’s football season, they’re watching the games, eating in our restaurants or catching a concert. They’re the most discriminating guest you’re going to have, more so than a tourist. They want the consistency, and they know they can expect ‘X’ when they come into your venue. So, it’s really important for us to have new offerings to give then a reason to come back. … Especially in Summerlin, everyone’s looking for what’s new.”
Contact Summerlin Area View reporter Jan Hogan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2949.