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Downtown Grand gets initial OK to build third tower

Updated July 13, 2017 - 4:24 pm

The Downtown Grand is poised to become, well, grander.

The hotel on Tuesday received approval from the Las Vegas Planning Commission to build an eight-story, 495-room hotel tower on a portion of 2.2 acres at 220 N. Fourth St.

A third tower will nearly double the number of hotel rooms. The hotel on the site was once the Lady Luck.

The new building will occupy space currently taken by the surface parking and guest arrival lot, according to company documents. The Las Vegas City Council must vote on the plans before the Downtown Grand can move forward. The council is expected to vote in August.

Kip Kelly, a spokesman for the hotel, declined to comment on the project’s timing or costs. The Golden Nugget completed a 25-story, 500-room Rush Tower in 2009 at a cost of $150 million.

“We are advancing our progressive growth plan for the Downtown Grand development,” Bill Doak, first vice president for CIM Group’s hotel group, said in an email. “Nearly four years ago we opened the Downtown Grand, and today we are in the early stages of the planning for the development of additional hotel rooms.”

The Downtown Grand features 18-story and 25-story towers with 629 guest rooms and suites. The towers are joined by a walking bridge. The 25,000-square-foot casino holds nearly 500 slot machines.

Downtown Las Vegas has been experiencing a revival over the past several years as investors pump money into new projects. The owners of the D Las Vegas and Golden Gate are moving ahead with plans to build a new hotel-casino.

“They are seeing occupancy going up, and it makes sense financially,” said David Schwarz, director of UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research.

Downtown hotel occupancy is averaging 83.8 percent this year, up from 82.3 percent in 2015.

That helped lift the average daily room rate to $69.90 over the first five months of the year, a 14 percent increase from 2015.

Gaming revenue in downtown Las Vegas is up 17 percent over the first five months of the year.

More hotels in downtown could follow. A lot will depend on whether the two current projects can fill up their rooms when they open, said Schwarz.

Contact Todd Prince at tprince@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0386. Follow @toddprincetv on Twitter.

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