South Beach heads for vote

Apr 2, 2002 9:43 AM

South Beach Casino looks like even money at the County Commission this week.

The hotel-casino project at Tropicana and Industrial got the green light from those same officials sitting as the planning commission earlier this year. But that was before other gamers jumped in to complain that South Beach would bottle up traffic in the area.

Now, after a 30-day delay, the proposal comes up for a vote Wednesday.

Developer Marvin Lipschultz is guardedly optimistic that a compromise can be reached. After a series of talks with Station Casinos and others, he told GamingToday that a 10 percent reduction of the proposed casino and an unspecified downsizing of the planned timeshare tower may swing the deal.

But Station execs aren’t so sure. “The intensity of the use is still an issue, and it’s still unresolved,’’ said spokeswoman Lesley Pittman. Station owns the 255-room Wild West Casino kiddy-corner to Lipschultz’s property. Sources say Mandalay Resorts and MGM Mirage have also been involved in the behind-the-scenes negotiations.

Lipschultz plans to retain the 150 hotel rooms in the existing Howard Johnson’s, expand its casino, erect 300 timeshare units, and add restaurants and recreational amenities.