weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Sunset Station sues city over Roadhouse permit

Sunset Station Inc. has filed a lawsuit against the city of Henderson over the city’s approval of an operating permit for a potential competitor.

The hotel-casino, which is owned by Station Casinos Inc., also sued Robert McMackin, owner of Roadhouse Casino, and Marengo Inc. The company has been challenging Henderson officials over the city’s decision to issue a license that would allow Roadhouse to open.

The Roadhouse, at 21000 N. Boulder Highway at Sunset Road, operates with a state nonrestricted gaming license, which was grandfathered in by the state because the property doesn’t operate a hotel.

To maintain its restricted gaming license, the Roadhouse opens one day each year and operates a minimum of 16 slot machines for eight hours.

Sunset Station has come out against plans by McMackin to operate the casino with the nonrestricted license without having to invest in building and operating a hotel. Station Casinos also operates two other nearby casinos, Fiesta Henderson and Boulder Station.

According to the lawsuit, Sunset Station did not challenge the gaming license held by Roadhouse, but focused on the city license.

“We are very disappointed by the lawsuit issued by Station Casinos,” said Elizabeth Trosper, a spokeswoman with Roadhouse and Marengo in Henderson. “The city of Henderson has determined the Roadhouse’s 1998 conditional use permit rights never expired. We support their opinion.”

Henderson spokeswoman Kathy Blaha couldn’t comment because as of late Tuesday the city attorney’s office had yet to be served with the lawsuit.

Sunset Station, in its lawsuit filed on Nov. 18 in Clark County District Court, claims that on Sept. 21, McMackin and Marengo sought to amend and review conditional use rights they held under a 1988 conditional use permit for the property.

McMackin, who acquired the property in 1992, received city approval to remodel and expand the Roadhouse. But Station’s lawsuit argues that McMackin “never fully remodeled the Roadhouse and the Roadhouse never operated in the manner represented to the Henderson City Council.”

Over more than a decade, McMackin received a number of extensions to the conditional use permit until the Henderson Planning Commission denied an extension on Aug. 1, 2006, the lawsuit said.

“The Henderson City Council and McMackin fully understood that all rights would go away with the conditional use permit denial in 2006 and the applicants would have to comply with current code for any future use and development of the property,” according to the lawsuit.

Sunset Station argues in its lawsuit that city approval of the application for a city nonrestricted gaming license on Nov. 9 violated the city’s municipal code because it prohibits rights granted under the 1988 conditional use permit from ever being revived.

Sunset Station, which is represented by attorneys Todd Bice and Jarrod Rickard of the Las Vegas law firm Pisanelli Bice PLLC, claim the city exceeded its authority by approving an “application permitting nonrestricted gaming without a resort hotel or specific nonconforming use.”

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at csieroty@reviewjournal
.com or 702-477-3893.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.