Station eyes Reno market

Jan 10, 2006 3:28 AM

Station Casinos, which controls a major portion of the Southern Nevada casino market, is expanding its ventures into Northern Nevada.

Last week, Station announced it has entered into an agreement to lease, with an option to purchase, about eight acres of potential gaming land at the northwest corner of South Virginia Street and Kietzke Lane, across the street from the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno.

Plans for developing the site include a boutique hotel/casino featuring hotel rooms and entertainment amenities, such as gaming and dining to support and complement the growth of the convention center as well as for locals to enjoy.

The transaction remains subject to the satisfaction of certain contingencies.

The agreement marks the third parcel of land either purchased or leased by Station in the Reno market in the past 12 months.

Last month, Las Vegas-based company announced it had entered into an agreement to purchase 50-acres of land on the southwest corner of Mount Rose Highway and Interstate 395 to build a regional gaming and entertainment project.

The project would complement the 110-acre master-planned mixed-use development that includes the Summit Sierra upscale lifestyle retail center that is currently under construction by Bayer Properties Incorporated.

Summit Sierra is a key retail component of a mixed-use, entertainment, residential, office and retail development in the rapidly growing south end of the city. Scheduled to open in March 2006, the development is a 650,000 square-foot open-air center anchored by Dillard’s and Century Theatres and featuring many of the country’s premiere specialty retailers such as Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Talbots and Coldwater Creek.

"We are delighted to have Station Casinos be a part of this development," said Jeffrey Bayer, president of Bayer Properties. "It solidifies and enhances the regional nature of this site, which we believe is the new hub of activity for a market that encompasses Reno-Sparks, Lake Tahoe, Carson City and Truckee."

Earlier in 2005, Station also purchased a 96-acre parcel at Geiger Grade Road and South Virginia Street.

"We are very excited about the Northern Nevada market," said Scott Nielson, executive vice president and chief development officer Station Casinos. "The population growth and demographics in Northern Nevada are impressive and we believe our type of gaming product will be well received here.

"We also appreciate the Reno City Council members’ commitment to bringing new events and activities to the market and we applaud their leadership and vision," Nielson continued. "Mayor Cashell and Councilwoman Zadra were especially instrumental in working to bring a quality development to the area that will complement the recent improvements made to the convention center."

Station Casinos’ plans to continue using its formula of teaming up its gaming and restaurants with those of a high-end retail lifestyle center , like it has with its enormously successful Station’s Green Valley Ranch Resort.

"We look forward to entering the Reno market and believe we have the opportunity to create great synergies between a regional gaming and entertainment resort destination and the high-end retail offerings that Bayer is bringing to the Reno area residents at this location," said Lorenzo Fertitta, vice chairman and president of Station Casinos, Inc. "We also believe the amenities that will be part of this mixed-use project will be of the caliber to attract consumers from the entire region."