Land has become incredibly valuable in Las Vegas and not just on the Las Vegas Strip. Yes, any buildable property on the Strip itself has sold for exorbitant prices, but anything downtown or adjacent to the Strip has also gone up in value.
This has required resort/casino operators to pay close attention to the performance of each property in their portfolio and how it fits into their overall goals. This is at least partly why MGM Resorts International (MGM) sold Mirage and bought Cosmopolitan – the location and age of the new acquisition simply made more sense for the company than what it was selling.
Additionally, Caesars Entertainment (CZR) , has made big changes to its holdings on the Las Vegas Strip. This includes redesigning its Ballys resort/casino under its Horseshoe brand and put Flamingo up for sale.
The biggest players, however, aren’t the only ones moving to Las Vegas. Red Rock Resorts (RRR) which operates resort casinos under the Station and Wildfire names, has been busy acquiring land, developing a downtown casino on Fremont St. and closing some of its underperforming properties.
Now the company run by the billionaire brothers who once owned the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has closed another property. In this case, however, the move may be part of a much larger plan.
Red Rock Resorts is getting smaller to get bigger
Unlike Caesars and MGM, Red Rock Resorts casinos primarily target locals. It’s a niche that allows it to operate from the Las Vegas Strip. The company, however, has moved closer to competing with the giants of the Strip with its Wildfire casino projects in the Fremont St. area.
Still, the company makes it clear that its Boarding Pass loyalty program, aimed at locals, not tourists, remains its focus.
“We’re all about convenient local gaming and personal service first and foremost, but it’s the Station Casinos Boarding Pass that elevates the Wildfire experience even further,” the company states on its website.
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The company recently permanently closed three properties that used the Station Casinos name – Texas Station, Fiesta Rancho and Fiesta Henderson. All had been closed since 2020 due to the pandemic and the company, which may redevelop the land these casinos sat on, believes their customers have migrated to other Station properties.
In addition to these three closures, Red Rock Resorts has also made the decision to close the Wild Wild West and the property located on Tropicana Avenue west of Interstate 15. This property may be closed as it is a a unique land that could become a much larger resort/casino.
Red Rock president hints at big plans
Red Rock Resorts shared news of the closure in a memo to employees. The company promised that workers at the Wild Wild West set to close would be offered jobs at the company’s other properties.
The Wild Wild West site had been a possible location for the Las Vegas Raiders stadium, and prior to the 2008 financial crisis it was rumored to be in the running for development as three grand hotels, three casino properties, Casino, organization reported.
Red Rock did not elaborate on its development plans for the site, but Station Casinos President Scott Kreeger shared a statement with the website suggesting that Red Rock Resorts plans to develop, not sell, the property.
“Development plots of this caliber are simply not available in Las Vegas anymore,” he said. “We are delighted to take this first step in repositioning the property for future development.”
Kreeger noted that the 20 acres that Wild Wild West sits on has “excellent visibility and access to Interstate 15 and the Las Vegas Strip.”
Red Rock Resorts has approximately 100 acres in total on site, which would allow for a much larger Las Vegas Strip-style development.