Thursday, Oct. 15, 1998 | 11:49 a.m.
Rejecting complaints from neighbors, the North Las Vegas Planning Commission gave initial approval to a hotel-casino and entertainment center at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Coralie Avenue.
NevStar 2000, which owns the Mesquite Star hotel-casino in Mesquite, won the use permit that is the first step toward the company building a $140 million project about 800 feet south of the intersection of Martin Luther King and Craig Road.
"It's good for North Las Vegas because of all the things that we are getting that go along with the casino," said Commissioner Tom Langford, who said the project will have to have a final plan passed by the commission before the item appears before the City Council.
The use permit was approved on a 6-0 vote Wednesday.
The 400,000-square-foot project will include a 60-lane bowling center, a 12 to 18 theater movie complex, shops, a 200-room all suite hotel, meeting rooms and a meeting room set aside for North Las Vegas.
"We've planned the project so that there is a separate valet, drop-off and pick-up entrance from the casino," said Brad Friedmutter, the project's architect. "We understand that there are people living in the area that don't want to go through the casino to enjoy the other entertainment amenities."
Mel Close, a spokesman for NevStar, said the project has a lot of positives for North Las Vegas.
"The 5,700-square-foot civic center has been set aside for North Las Vegas, and there will be no occupancy charge for the city to use it," Close said. "We are also projecting that this will create 1,200 jobs."
Close said the project could bring nearly $1 million a year into the North Las Vegas economy.
Adrian and Lisa Hendley said that while they appreciated the presentation, they did not want the casino near their neighborhood.
"It's an excellent plan, but they never asked me as resident if I want the increased crime, noise and traffic levels that a casino will bring to my neighborhood," Adrian Hendley said. "I've talked to a lot of my neighbors that live in the area and they don't want it either."
There is a residential neighborhood south of Coralie, but Close said those homes will be about 100 yards from any part of the building.
Commissioner Robert Eliason said he expected more people to be opposed to the project.
"By the way this room looks, someone has done an outstanding job disclosing this project to the public," Eliason said. "I anticipated a room full of people opposed to the casino but only two people were opposed."