Wednesday, Feb. 4, 1998 | 11:24 a.m.
HENDERSON -- The controversial plan to build the Santa Fe hotel-casino next to the Galleria mall was unanimously approved Tuesday by the City Council.
While many people attending the meeting had expected a heated debate, such as at the Henderson Planning Commission meeting last week, the plan was approved without much fanfare.
The new Santa Fe Hotel and casino will be built adjacent to the mall on Sunset Road and Marks Street.
The $125 million, 300-room project will cover 471,591 square feet and it will include a 73,316 square-foot casino, a 147-foot hotel tower, as well as an ice rink that will seat 886 people and a 1,000-seat theater.
At the Planning Commission meeting Thursday, fliers were passed out members of the Culinary Union to protest a planned connection to the mall -- a plan that casino officials have now dropped.
The Culinary Union represents workers at the Santa Fe, but is currently in a contract dispute with the company.
The Santa Fe is designed to be a mission-style hotel that will also include an 85-foot bell tower.
Mayor James Gibson said that he understood the apprehension on the part of the residents and the Culinary workers about children going into the casino, but he said that problem has been remedied.
"I think that people were worried that children would be directed through the casino to get to the entertainment, but the project now has ample access," he said.
The project's ice rink is now scheduled to be built between the mall and the casino, and the ice rink and the planned arcade will have a separate entrance, allowing children to enter without going through the casino.
The Santa Fe's ice rink will be the only one of its kind in Henderson when completed, and Gibson said that it is sorely needed.
"There is not nearly enough ice time here in Southern Nevada, and if you live in Henderson, you have to go a long way if you want to ice skate or play hockey," he said.
Gibson added that he thought the project would bring in an estimated $24 million in payroll to Henderson.
Groundbreaking for the project is scheduled for May.