If Stoney Gray has his way, visitors to Santa Fe Station sporting 10-gallon hats and Texas-shaped belt buckles will be crowding into the locals resort by the end of the year.
Gray, who was general manager of the now-closed Gilley’s at the imploded New Frontier, has signed a deal to open a self-branded, country-western nightclub at the hotel-casino.
"We were looking for a location in the northwest," said Gray, who hopes to open the club in December. "We came across the Santa Fe, we talked to them and it seemed to be the perfect match."
Stoney’s North Forty will move into the approximately 9,000-square-foot space used by the Salt Lick Bar B-Q restaurant, which will serve its last plate of ribs tonight.
It would be Gray’s second nightclub since leaving Gilley’s nearly two years ago.
Stoney’s Rockin’ Country opened in late August about a half-mile north of South Point on Las Vegas Boulevard in a strip mall.
The 20,000-square-foot club advertises "the largest dance floor in Nevada" with high ceilings, wood-grained decor, a concert stage and, of course, a mechanical bull.
However, Gray insisted that "other than size," Stoney’s North Forty will be similar to its sister location to the south.
"Basically what you see over here is what you’re gonna get over there," Gray said. "A good time."
"He has been so outrageously successful with what he does," said Terry Downey, general manager of Santa Fe Station. "He knows how to create that energy and that desire to be in the building."
Gray said that during his 71/2 years of running Gilley’s, he noticed most of his customers were locals.
That was when he began planning to open his own club catering to the locals market.
"I was the manager on the Strip and had a dream to open my own country bar," Gray said. "With a few creative ideas and with some help from a few friends, I was able to go out on my own and form the Stoney’s brand."
Station Casinos spokewoman Lori Nelson said there is not yet a cost estimate because the company’s design and construction department has just begun meeting with Gray.
This will be the company’s third venture into the nightclub business. Station has nightclubs at Red Rock Resort and Green Valley Ranch Resort.
Contact reporter Arnold M. Knightly at email@example.com or 702-477-3893.