Olympia Gaming on the Move

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Developer Gary Gott has more than doubled the number of hotel rooms he plans to build at the Southern Highlands resort in the southernmost Las Vegas Valley. The resort ultimately has 3,200 rooms and is comparable to Streep in size and scope.

Separately, Gott is pushing ahead with plans to integrate casinos into the future master planning community in North Las Vegas despite market concerns.

Gott made his name by developing Southern Highlands, a community planned by a 2,750-acre master plan with at least 7,000 homes in southern Nevada. But he plans to make a big mark in the casino business going forward as plans for several gaming properties take shape.

His gaming company affiliate, Olympia Gaming, was originally licensed by the county to build 610 rooms on a resort site located near the Southern Highlands on the northwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard South and St. Rose Parkway.

The company received special use authorization from the county commission on Wednesday for the expansion of the resort, which includes 1,400 hotel rooms in its first phase. The project will eventually include a second hotel tower that can own and lease 1,000 rooms and 800 condo hotel units.

Olympia expects construction to begin this year in the first phase of the project, which will begin by the winter of 2008.

In North Las Vegas, Goett recently bought more than 2,600 acres to build a master-planned community similar to the Southern Highlands. The land would have to be designated a gaming zone before the casino could be built. Goett said the project could cost $700 million.

North Las Vegas already has four undeveloped sites designated as game zones, but two sites are already in use. Station Casino plans to build a hotel called Alliante Station on one of the lots located within the community planned by Alliante Master. The station is working with a real estate company owned by the Greenspan family, the owner of the Las Vegas Sun, to build the property.

And rival Boyd Gaming expects to build another casino in the Gaming Zone subdivision on the southwest corner of Lamb Boulevard and Centennial Parkway.

North Las Vegas Mayor Michael Montandon said he was against setting up another casino in addition to four sites where people can enjoy games.

"We're not looking at building South Streep," Montandon said, referring to Goth and other properties in unincorporated Clark County along Las Vegas Boulevard south of Mandalay Bay. "It's basically an extension of the strip. What we're talking about is a nearby casino."

Gott's land appears to meet the requirements of a 1997 state law restricting casino growth because it is far enough from home and school, Montandon said.

Senate Bill 208 prohibits developers from building casinos too close to homes, churches and schools.

Montandon said the city still retains discretion to reject casinos that meet SB208's initial burden. Land-use experts agree with that assessment, saying SB208 only prohibits jurisdictions from approving casinos where they are inadequate. "There's no law anywhere that gives anyone the automatic right to build a casino," Montandon said.

The government should not be involved in projects that determine how many casinos a city can support, Gott said.

"Let the mayor drive that decision," he said. "I don't think any region should refuse to develop quality real estate."

Having paid $639 million for the land, Goth said he expects to spend at least $250 million more on infrastructure, including police stations and fire departments. That's more than any single company has paid upfront to enter the North Las Vegas market, Goth said.

"If anyone deserves to have a gaming site in North Las Vegas, it's us," Gott said. "We want Congress and the mayor to be open about this."

Montandon said it had not specifically challenged Goet's project and had yet to see plans for Olympia's site.

Montandon said he was "in negotiations" on various elements of the project, including environmental issues and street deployment.

"Between the cost of land and infrastructure, they're approaching $1 billion before putting in the first house - it's huge," the mayor said. But he said, "I don't remember that being the specific standard for approving casinos."

Gott said the decision to expand the Southern Highlands resort was based on a more detailed review of the resort's master plan, along with further research into the region's future business prospects.  안전한 파워볼사이트

"We were being cautious with our initial projections," he said. "We continue to do updated research, and the results continue to say we should have more and more space."

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