Friday, Oct. 24, 2008 | midnight
Evelyn Maybin has no problem driving the approximately 25 miles to check out Aliante Station when it opens, though other casinos are closer to her Summerlin home.
She said she's been to the opening of every new casino in the valley since 2001.
"It's like the premiere of a new blockbuster movie," she said.
Station Casinos is betting the valley's newest casino resort will draw an audience even during the economic slump.
"Regardless of whether the economy is strong, weak or anywhere in between, we build these businesses for the long term," said Joe Hasson, general manager for Aliante Station. "I don't think about 'what does the economy bear today?' I think about we're taking a foothold in a newer part of the valley and we're going to grow a terrific business over the long haul."
Aliante Station, in the Aliante planned community in North Las Vegas, is scheduled to open at 11 p.m. on Nov. 11. It's on 40 acres at the northeast corner of the North 215 Beltway and Aliante Parkway.
"Any new casino is going to attract some degree of trial from those who want to see it, experience it, taste the food experience, the gambling, check out the new kid on the block," Hasson said. "But when the dust settles, our businesses are designed to take care of locals and locals often vote based on proximity and distance."
Most repeat customers live within three to five miles surrounding the resort, he said. Aliante is expected to draw from the area north of Cheyenne Avenue, from the western edge of the valley to Nellis Air Force Base on the east.
Aliante was designed with the affluent Phoenix suburb Scottsdale in mind. With its muted earth tones and rock and crystal adornments, it bears a resemblance to Station Casino's Red Rock resort also.
"It's the desert retreat and locals' oasis that we've created here," Hasson said.
Between the casino-hotel and its tenants, Aliante Station will employ 1,400 people.
The hotel has 202 rooms with rates starting at $59.99 midweek for a standard room.
Each room has a flat screen television, CD player, iPod connectivity, wired and wireless Internet connections and a minibar.
Hasson said Aliante Station has started taking reservations.
The project has 2,554 slot machines, 40 table games and a 12-table poker room. There are 5,000 parking spaces, of which 3,500 are in a garage. There will be a 16-screen Regal movie theater with IMAX, an arcade and a 600 seat showroom.
Aliante includes meeting space capable of serving up to 1,000 people in the grand ballroom and a pool with room for 700 people,
Restaurants include a mix of well-known regional and national brands.
Station Casinos will own and operate MRKT (pronounced market) Sea & Land, a seafood and steakhouse open nightly for dinner.
Pips Cucina & Wine Bar is the first restaurant concept created and owned by wine and epicurean connoisseur Rino Armeni, formerly of Southern Wine & Spirits. Pips will combine Armeni's homemade Italian recipes handed down from his grandmother together with many traditional Italian dishes presented in a modern interpretation. Camacho's Cantina is one of Southern California's popular casual Mexican restaurants. The Camacho family, with roots in Sonora, Mexico, will offer traditional favorites and more than 100 tequilas. The restaurant's glass chandelier is made of 2,700 empty tequila bottles.
Also included are Station Casinos' Feast Buffet, T.G.I. Friday's, The Original Pancake House and a food court with Dunkin' Donuts, Capriotti's Sandwich Shop, Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen, Panda Express, Rubio's Mexican Grill and Johnny Rockets.
The showroom, called Access, is a throwback to classic Las Vegas entertainment, Hasson said. The plush booths and intimacy (no seat is more than 75 feet from the stage) were intended to recreate an old school feeling regardless of the musical genre.
Smokey Robinson is slated for the opening weekend at Access. Other scheduled performers include Jerry Tiffe, Etta James, Sully Erna from the band Godsmack, Kenny Loggins, Merle Haggard, Chris Botti and Herman's Hermits.
Aliante Station is a joint venture between Station Casinos and affiliates of the Greenspun family, which publishes the Home News, the Las Vegas Sun and developed the Aliante community. Station Casinos will manage the new casino-hotel and will be paid a fee.
Jeff Pope can be reached at 990-2688 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Reporter Jeff O’Brien contributed to this story.