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Luxury designers tapped to lead Rio renovation

Updated June 29, 2023 - 9:34 pm

The Rio’s landlords announced it is partnering with four architectural and design firms — including some behind some of Las Vegas’ most iconic properties — to fully renovate the property after they take over operations by the end of the year.

Dreamscape Cos. said Wednesday it plans a “multi-year redevelopment” of the resort, first opened in 1990. The renovations include a full refresh of the 2,500 guest rooms, 150,000 square-foot casino floor, 220,000 square-foot meeting and convention space and the remaining five acres of pool and other resort amenities, according to a Wednesday news release.

“The Rio has been an iconic property in Las Vegas for over two decades and we are thrilled to be working with such a talented and experienced team to bring our vision for the property to life,” Dreamscape founder Eric Birnbaum said in the release. “We are confident that with the talent we have brought on board, from both an architectural and design element, we will create a new and differentiated experience for our guests to enjoy.”

Leading the renovation will be Marnell Cos., a Las Vegas-based architecture firm with a project portfolio that includes the Bellagio Las Vegas and Park MGM’s Eataly food hall, Dreamscape said. The firm was the original owner and developer of the Rio and will be the architect and designer of record for the redevelopment project.

U.K.-based interior design firm Fettle will lead renovations to the pool deck and new food hall, according to the release. The firm will collaborate with interior design firm Gianpiero Gaglione Interior Design, or GGID, on the porte cochere, reception and the Circle Bar. GGID will also design several of the new food and beverage venues.

Dreamscape also hired Lifescapes International, a landscape architectural firm with previous projects that include Wynn and Encore Las Vegas and The Mirage, according to the release. Lifescapes will update the entry drive, porte cochere area and pool zone by salvaging some material and replacing old plants with a new “tapestry of colors and textures” that align with the renovation.

The property will remain open through renovations, officials said.

Caesars Entertainment sold the casino-resort to Birnbaum’s firm in 2019 for more than $500 million and leased it back through 2023. Dreamscape announced in February that it raised $850 million in capital to launch a real estate investment trust that will own the company’s gaming and hospitality properties and to support the Rio’s redevelopment plans.

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 Twitter.

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