Coast Resorts plans new southside casino

March 19, 2002 7:28 AM
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Raising the ante on south-side gaming, Coast Resorts chief Michael Gaughan is drawing up plans for a ­­hotel-casino at I-15 and Silverado Ranch Road.

Coast recently purchased a 60-acre parcel two miles south of Blue Diamond Road between Las Vegas Boulevard and the highway. The land is already zoned for gaming and is scheduled to be the site of a future freeway interchange.

 “We’re calling it South Coast and we’re looking at a 2005 opening,’’ Gaughan told GamingToday. “It will be similar to the Suncoast.’’

Sandwiched between the booming Silverado Ranch and Southern Highlands communities, Coast’s latest venture figures to tap a growing locals market currently served by Green Valley Ranch Station and the Silverton.

 “It’s starting to fill in fast,’’ Gaughan said of the area’s growth. At this rate, the six-mile-long desert corridor between Blue Diamond Road (Silverton) and St. Rose Parkway (Southern Highlands) soon will be home to a new wave of suburban sprawl.

The Olympia Group, the local company developing Southern Highlands, is on the same wavelength. President Gary Goett says he wants to construct a 400-room hotel-casino next to his community. He told GamingToday last fall that he expects to break ground within the next 12 to 18 months.

While ramping up South Coast, Gaughan is keeping busy with major expansions of his Gold Coast and Orleans properties in town.

A $51 million Gold Coast upgrade is adding a parking garage, 30,000 square feet of gaming space and 10,000 square feet of meeting space, among other amenities.

A $130 million expansion of the Orleans is adding 620 rooms and a 9,000-seat arena. A 40,000-foot addition to the gaming floor will make the West Tropicana resort’s casino one of the largest in the state at 145,000 square feet.

Following those add-ons, Gaughan said he will turn his attention to the Suncoast, where booming business is already pushing for expansion.

To bankroll future projects, Gaughan has obtained a credit line of $210 million through September 2004. The creditors appear to be making a good bet. Thanks to strong results at Suncoast, the company reported its net income was up 63 percent and cash flow was up 26 percent for the quarter ending Dec. 31.