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Station Casinos buys 126 acres south of Strip

Updated July 20, 2022 - 3:26 pm

Station Casinos has loaded up on more land in Las Vegas, completing a big purchase just days after it unveiled plans to demolish three shuttered hotels in Southern Nevada.

The locals-focused casino operator acquired roughly 126 acres at the southwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Cactus Avenue for $172.4 million. The sale, by developer Larry Canarelli, closed Monday, property records show.

Canarelli pointed to the “magnitude” of the deal, telling the Review-Journal it eclipsed other land sales in the area.

Located several miles south of the Strip, Station’s new holdings are across the street from a roughly 57-acre spread that the company has owned for years and has tried to sell.

Unlike other casino operators in Southern Nevada, Station owns big tracts of real estate scattered around the Las Vegas Valley that are essentially in storage for future resort projects. The latest purchase marks a significant expansion of its land holdings after management talked last year of doubling Station’s presence in the valley.

“We are excited about the potential of this site as a local and regional destination casino resort,” the company said in a statement to the Review-Journal on Wednesday.

‘Primary’ focus

Scott Kreeger, president of Station parent Red Rock Resorts, said in an interview that the new plot of land gives the company options and flexibility.

The company is entertaining offers for its existing site at the northwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Cactus, Kreeger said, noting the newly acquired land is the company’s “primary” development focus there.

Asked if the purchase was directly connected to Station’s demolition plans, he replied that the timing was “arbitrary” and that these decisions are all part of a “strategic” direction to keep developing in areas with high economic potential.

Las Vegas-based Station operates Red Rock Resort, Green Valley Ranch Resort and other hotel-casinos. Its parent company announced Friday that it will demolish Texas Station, Fiesta Rancho and Fiesta Henderson — all of which have been closed since the onset of the pandemic — and sell the land.

It still operates properties in Henderson, and Kreeger said last week that the company is working with the city of North Las Vegas — home of the other two shuttered hotels — on a potential development site for a new casino resort.

Property portfolio

Station already had vast land holdings in Southern Nevada before its latest purchase. As outlined in a securities filing, its properties include 58 acres at Flamingo Road and Town Center Drive in Summerlin; 47 acres in Skye Canyon in the upper northwest valley; and 45 acres in Inspirada at the southern tip of the valley.

It also owns nearly 100 acres of real estate along Tropicana Avenue at Interstate 15 just west of the Strip, a little over half of which is held for development and the rest of which is held for sale, the filing shows.

Moreover, Station broke ground this year on a $750 million hotel-casino at Durango Drive and the 215 Beltway in the southwest valley, near Ikea. The resort, called Durango, will sit on roughly 50 acres, with an adjacent 21 acres held for sale.

Station also is developing a Wildfire casino on 5 acres along Fremont Street just south of Charleston Boulevard in the downtown area.

Kreeger said the company wants to be under construction on one or more projects around the valley as soon as it’s done with Durango.

The company has owned land around the valley for years — it acquired the Durango site in 2000 — though top bosses said last fall that they were now in development mode.

“We’re going to continue to look at each one of the development sites here in Vegas as we roll forward, try to build out the portfolio, double the footprint here in Las Vegas,” Red Rock Resorts Chairman and CEO Frank Fertitta III told analysts during an earnings call.

Still, the company has looked to sell parcels, too. It sold nearly 90 acres in Reno to a warehouse developer for $32.6 million last year, and its 57-acre Cactus site was priced at $40 million in 2015.

The Cactus site was classified as “land held for development” in a securities filing this year.

Asked if that land was no longer for sale, Kreeger said Wednesday: “We’re still exploring our options there.”

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

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