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Gaming company moves innovation team to UNLV’s research park

Boyd Gaming will bring its innovation center to a building at UNLV’s Harry Reid Research and Technology Park in a joint innovation and training effort, the company and university announced.

Boyd will move its innovation team to the Black Fire Innovation building at the research campus in Southwest Las Vegas, according to a five-year lease agreement finalized on Sept. 8 for nearly $1.2 million.

As part of the partnership, Boyd will support internships for UNLV students and lend its expertise to university-based and corporate research and development.

“UNLV’s collaboration with Boyd Gaming will create a dynamic innovation environment for our students and faculty, giving them new and unique opportunities to learn and work alongside a longtime industry partner to turn ideas into real technology, products, and businesses,” UNLV President Keith Whitfield said in a news release.

UNLV’s Black Fire Innovation is a four-story facility meant to serve as a business development center supporting industry members and university faculty and students in tech developments and early-stage startups. The building’s centerpiece is a 43,000 square-foot “living laboratory” that can showcase emerging technologies in gaming, hospitality, esports and entertainment. Boyd’s space will be roughly 5,200 square feet, according to the lease agreement.

“We are excited to expand Boyd’s long-term partnership with UNLV through our residency at Black Fire,” Keith Smith, CEO and president of Boyd Gaming, said in a statement. “Memorable and distinctive guest service is the foundation of the Boyd brand, and our commitment to technological innovation allows us to continue delivering on that promise, giving us unique new tools and methods for engaging our customers both on and off-property.”

Caesars Entertainment previously occupied the space.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on X.

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