Olympia Gaming still wants to build casino in Sparks

Officials in the Northern Nevada community of Sparks moved a step closer this week to allowing the construction of a new hotel-casino.

Las Vegas-based Olympia Gaming won approval from the Sparks Planning Commission for a special-use permit for the development. The project, Legends Bay Casino-Resort, has been the works for some time.

The hotel-casino was part of the original plans a shopping and entertainment project near Interstate 80 that opened in June 2009. The casino was put on hold because of the recession.

The first phase of the $185 million Legends Bay called for a 201-room hotel and a 64,000-square-foot casino and restaurant complex. The total build out would include a spa, a 23,000-square-foot convention center, private beach, swimming pool, water show, amphitheater, parking garage and an 800-room hotel, according to city of Sparks documents.

Sparks Mayor Geno Martini told the Reno Gazette-Journal the next step is for the Sparks City Council to vote on the special-use permit.

Gaming revenues in the Reno-Sparks area are down some 21 percent since a peak in 2000. Northern Nevada’s gaming industry has been decimated by the failing economy and competition from American Indian casinos in Northern California.

“It is unclear when construction might begin,” Union Gaming Group principal Bill Lerner said of the Legends project. “We do not believe financing has been arranged.”

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