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Decade-old Red Rock Resort has become a backyard playground of sorts for Summerlin residents

It’s been 10 years since Red Rock Resort opened on April 18, 2006, and much has changed at the hotel-casino since it debuted as the first property to be marketed by Station Casinos as a luxury brand.

The resort, 11011 W. Charleston Blvd., marked the anniversary with a fireworks show earlier this month.

It was the first property in Station’s portfolio to not include “Station” in its name. There was a reason for that, said Lori Nelson, Station’s vice president of corporate communications.

“We were creating this luxury brand, so that’s why we used ‘resort’ in the name,” she said. “… It’s the crown jewel of all the Station properties.”

Now a staple for many Summerlin-area residents, the property’s upscale look appeals to locals. Some said they consider it their own backyard playground of sorts.

John, a 30-something professional who lives nearby and only gave his first name, is there at least twice a month.

“They keep refreshing the games,” he said. “(So) I keep winning.”

He said he prefers to play the Keno machines. His first big win was $600.

“And last week, I won $1,600 on that Keno machine over there. I’m here quite often. Just don’t tell my wife,” he added.

Another player, who gave her name as Peggy, moved here seven years ago and lives nearby. She liked that Red Rock Resort is “very clean and pretty. It’s more upscale than some of the others.”

Mel, who also gave only his first name, was there with his wife. They live nearby and find Red Rock Resort a convenient place for getting out.

“It’s a nice place to go to, a nice place to eat,” he said. “It’s got all the amenities, like you can come see a movie. It’s open and bright, and I like the ambience.”

Like any 10-year-old, Red Rock Resort has grown. Only a year after it opened in January 2007, its tower expansion doubled the number of rooms and suites to 800. That year, it also added the bowling alley, Red Rock Lanes — at the time, the most expensive bowling alley ever built in America. Station Casinos opted not to be specific with the price tag, revealing only that “it was in the millions.”

In 2011, the Red Rock Amphitheatre opened, hosting concerts and other special events. It could seat 10,000. Sold-out concerts included Toby Keith, Motley Crue, Pitbull and the Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary tour. It closed to make way for Downtown Summerlin’s arrival, with that area now providing easy access to the shopping destination.

Nelson said another outdoor music option has gotten its share of fans.

“Over the past decade, the Sandbar Pool area has served as a more intimate venue, where the amphitheater handled much bigger shows, so it was like having two different experiences. People have always enjoyed the poolside concerts because it’s very casual. You can walk around and enjoy that environment.”

Not everything is a success. Ghosts of restaurants past include Salt Lick BBQ and Cabo Mexican.

“It’s an evolution of our culinary offerings, always striking a balance,” Nelson said. “We’d bring new offerings to our guests while staying with the staples that remain popular. We’re always trying to give our guests — and especially at Red Rock where we have the most discriminating guests of all — we try to give them new reasons to come back.”

Eateries that have remained in operation since the resort opened include: T-Bones Chophouse, the Grande Cafe and the Feast Buffet, as well as poolside eatery the Sandbar.

There was a time when the possibility of a casino in Summerlin was considered anathema by some in the community. Much of the outcry against allowing it to be built focused on how much the view of Red Rock Canyon would be affected.

“We were very sensitive to anyone with a legitimate concern, but there were those, a couple of groups, who were stirring it up for ulterior motives,” Nelson said. “And so we made a commitment to build quality, something the neighborhood and community could be proud of. Any (concerns) were quickly put aside as soon as guests stepped inside to see the quality.”

Station Casinos will be marking its 40th anniversary this summer.

What do the next 10 years hold for Red Rock Resort?

“We are never satisfied,” Nelson said. “We want to continue to evolve, to prove ourselves day in and day out and make Red Rock Resort to be the entertainment destination for locals and out-of-town visitors.”

Visit redrock.sclv.com.

To reach Summerlin Area View reporter Jan Hogan, email jhogan@viewnews.com or call 702-387-2949.

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