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City of Henderson buying former Fiesta site for $32M

The Henderson City Council gave the green light to buy a former casino site for more than $30 million, with plans to develop a recreational sports complex.

Council members on Tuesday voted to purchase the 35-acre former Fiesta Henderson property from Station Casinos. The locals-focused casino chain recently demolished the hotel, though at the city’s request, its parking garage still stands.

Details of the envisioned indoor recreational facility still have to be worked out. But city officials anticipate it will “generate an annual economic impact of nearly $40 million,” Henderson City Manager Richard Derrick said in a news release.

The city is buying the site for $32 million, mostly with redevelopment funds. Located on Lake Mead Parkway near the 215 Beltway-U.S. Highway 93/95 interchange, the property had an appraised value of $56.4 million, city staff reported.

Parts of the site will be sold to bring additional amenities, including restaurants and retail, “to help replace what the Fiesta Henderson offered,” the city’s news release said.

Jared Smith, Henderson’s director of economic development and tourism, told the Review-Journal last week that the sports project would be a big asset for residents and spark tourism to the area.

He also said the property is a “gateway” to the city’s downtown, noting it’s right off the freeway as drivers head toward Water Street.

“It’s a great location; it’s very visible,” Smith said. “It’s almost a billboard for downtown.”

At a Henderson Redevelopment Agency meeting Tuesday, Smith said the city needs more indoor space for year-round sports and pointed to the former Fiesta property’s 1,400-plus space parking structure, noting it would benefit other downtown-area events.

Redevelopment Manager Anthony Molloy said the garage is a big advantage, adding the cost of building it today would be “the value of what we’re paying for the land purchase.”

At the hearing, in which council members serve as the agency’s board, Councilwoman Michelle Romero said her family always lamented there weren’t enough indoor sports facilities, and she believes the new complex would let kids play “without dying of heat stroke during the summer, as we felt like we were doing often.”

Councilman John Marz said he thinks there is “real potential for this piece of property, but I just want to caution us all.”

He indicated the city’s approach to buying the site was like putting the “cart before the horse,” adding a developer would typically find answers to their questions “before they invested $32 million in a piece of land.”

Marz said there is demand for youth sports competitions in Southern Nevada, but the city needs to understand what other kinds of projects or amenities would work for the site.

“I just hope we do our homework and that the $32 million is well spent,” he said.

Council members voted 4-0 at both the Redevelopment Agency hearing and the City Council meeting soon after to approve buying the site. Councilman Dan Shaw was absent.

Last week, Smith told the Review-Journal the sale is expected to close by month’s end.

Station parent company Red Rock Resorts announced this summer it would tear down Fiesta Henderson and two properties in North Las Vegas — Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station — and sell the sites.

All three hotel-casinos had been closed since the onset of the pandemic.

Red Rock Resorts President Scott Kreeger told the Review-Journal that prospective buyers expressed interest in developing “just about every type” of property for the Henderson site, including industrial and retail.

He said in the city’s news release Tuesday the company is “happy that the land will be used in such a positive way for the Henderson community.”

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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