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13 Nevada casinos still closed after pandemic shutdown

Updated March 15, 2021 - 8:36 pm

One year after Nevada’s commercial casinos were ordered to shut down, 13 remain in the dark.

Some are holding out for looser operating restrictions or more foot traffic. Others have shuttered their doors permanently.

A spokeswoman for the American Gaming Association said a majority of the country’s closed commercial casinos are located in Nevada. The national trade group, which represents the $240 billion U.S casino industry, has been tracking casino closures on its website over the past year.

Las Vegas Valley casinos

Main Street Station, Eastside Cannery

The two Boyd Gaming Corp. properties have been shuttered since mid-March. Company executives had said in October that Main Street Station will “certainly” open in 2021, followed by Eastside Cannery, depending on demand.

Spokesman David Strow told the Review-Journal that the reopenings will depend on business volumes.

“Main Street Station will depend on how quickly tourism to the Strip and downtown recovers, especially from Hawaiian guests. We believe we should see better numbers by the second half of this year,” Strow said. “While we’re pleased with how Sam’s Town is performing, we don’t see enough demand on the Boulder Strip today to justify reopening a second property there (Eastside Cannery) in the next several months.”

Fiesta Rancho, Fiesta Henderson, Texas Station, Palms

Red Rock Resorts has yet to open these four of its properties, and it’s still unclear when they will reopen. During an earnings call last month, CEO Frank Fertitta III said the company would be “very disciplined” when approaching reopening plans.

“We want to be in a position that when we reopen any additional properties that we’re going to know that it’s going to be positive and accretive to our overall cash flow,” he said.

Fertitta added that the locals-oriented properties probably will reopen once older customers return, and Palms — which attracts both locals and visitors — would open when the city’s visitation rates return to pre-pandemic levels.

A Red Rock spokesman declined to provide additional comment for this story.

Red Rock’s executive vice president of strategic development, Rodney Atamian, said the company should be able to create value from Palms “one way or another,” according to a note from J.P. Morgan after Atamian’s presentation Thursday at the financial services company’s Gaming, Lodging, Restaurant & Leisure Management Access Forum.

That could mean Red Rock reopens Palms with an improved cost structure and market strategy or monetizes it, according to the note. The company “continues to view its land bank as having significant value, and notes strong market demand from residential developers/industrial users,” the note said.

Eldorado Casino/The Pass Casino

The Eldorado Casino, located on Henderson’s historic Water Street, had yet to reopen when it was sold by Boyd Gaming Corp. to DeSimone Gaming in December. The property has been renamed The Pass Casino and plans to open April 1.

The site joins the Railroad Pass in DeSimone’s portfolio.

Siegel Slots and Suites

The Siegel Slots and Suites apartment complex has yet to reopen its casino. A front desk employee at the property said the casino had been sold to Dotty’s, but spokespeople for the gaming company did not return a phone call to confirm.

Other Nevada casinos

Cal-Nev-Ari Casino

The 6,000-square-foot Cal-Nev-Ari Casino property is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the day but only because it also operates as a post office. The casino and attached restaurant remain closed because of operating restrictions, according to owner Nancy Kidwell.

“I can’t open at 35 percent (capacity). I’m a small business. I can’t afford to pay the help and restock,” Kidwell said. “Bills still go on, but there’s no income. … We’re not making a penny.”

Cal-Nev-Ari was estimated to have a population of just over 100 residents in 2019 by the U.S. Census Bureau. Kidwell said it has been months since locals have had a place to congregate, as the community center has also closed. She hopes to reopen the casino and bring back staff on April 1, but it’ll come at a cost, with certain features, such as menus, needing a refresh.

“We’re all just hanging in there, doing the best under the circumstances,” Kidwell said.

Say When Casino

The Review-Journal was not able to get in touch with spokespeople for the Say When Casino in McDermitt, but the casino’s Facebook page has a pinned post from March that says it will be closed “until further notice due to COVID-19.” According to the post, the casino had been operating since 1973.

Colorado Belle

The Golden Entertainment Inc.-owned casino in Laughlin has yet to reopen after following state orders to close in March 2020. Brad Goldberg, senior vice president of marketing for Golden Entertainment, said the company has no plans to reopen the property at this time.

Harrah’s Reno

Harrah’s Reno shut its doors for good on March 17 after 83 years in operation.

Caesars Entertainment Inc. announced plans to sell the property to Las Vegas developer Chris Beavor, founder of CAI Investments, for $50 million in January 2020. Two months later, the property announced that it had closed for good.

Lakeside Inn and Casino

A locals favorite in Stateline has been closed permanently, a casualty from the pandemic.

Lakeside Inn and Casino announced last year that it would not reopen after the statewide casino shutdown. The property had been operating for 35 years, according to the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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