Wednesday, Nov. 3, 1999 | 10:21 a.m.
Less than a year after completing a $55 million expansion, Texas Station is proposing yet another expansion.
The four-year-old hotel-casino has filed plans with the North Las Vegas Planning Commission to add another 200,000 square feet of space. Once complete, Texas Station would span nearly half a million square feet -- triple its 1998 size. According to the documents, the project is slated to begin in 2000, with completion about a year later.
The city's development services department has recommended approval of Texas Station's application. The commission is set to vote on the matter Nov. 10.
Texas Station officials, as well as those of parent company Station Casinos Inc., cautioned that the hotel-casino's expansion plans are only preliminary at this point, and that details and timeframes have yet to be finalized.
"We're looking to expand literally all of our properties (in Clark County)," said Glenn Christenson, chief financial officer of Station Casinos. "What you're seeing here is really the initial stages of what you have to do to prepare for expansion.
"Our expectation is that in the not-too-distant future, we'll come out and outline what we see as our growth opportunities here over the next couple of years. This property is one of those growth opportunities, but we haven't made that decision yet."
But Christenson also made it clear expansion in Clark County is a matter of when, not if.
"We have looked at these master plans (for expansion) as an opportunity to generate very significant returns on our investment," Christenson said. "They're generally very low risk, very high return investments."
Kevin Kelley, president and general manager of Texas Station, said a boom in expansions in the northwest Valley is propelling the casino's drive to expand so quickly. He noted that Fiesta Casino & Hotel is now completing a $26 million expansion, the Resort at Summerlin opened this summer, and Coast Resorts Inc.'s Suncoast hotel-casino is set to open next year.
"With all of the new competition coming online ... we need to stay ahead of the competition," Kelley said. "I think the company's doing well, the area's growing, but there's some very serious competition out here. When you add that stuff up, you have to keep investing."
Plans filed with the city call for an additional 15,000 square feet of casino space, which would allow the property to increase its gaming operations by 15 percent, Kelley said. The property currently has 2,800 machines and 40 table games.
But the bulk of Texas Station's expansion will be entertainment offerings, Kelley said. Kelley was unable to disclose details.
"We feel the expansion has been very successful, and the amenities we added here have been well-received," Kelley said. "At the same time, we see a demand for other amenities. We'll be adding new amenities we think will give people a lot of excitement and fun, and grow our market share as well."
He estimated the project will cost about the same as the expansion completed in February.
In a letter filed with the city Sept. 28, the architecture firm handling the project said Texas Station planned to add "wedding chapels, ballrooms and (a) bowling center" to the property.
"We're not in a position to discuss those, because we haven't finalized our plans, but those are the kind of things you expect to see in expansions of your properties," Christenson said.
Texas Station's last expansion, completed Feb. 9, added 120,000 square feet to the property. Texas Station added 850 new slots at that time, and "Martini Ranch," a themed bar and gaming area.
New features added included a 8,200-square-foot food court with seven restaurants, a 2,400-space parking garage, a 10,000-square-foot child care center for visitors and four new movie screens.
"After this stage, we'll still have some room to grow," Kelley said. "But once we get past this future expansion, most of it will have to go vertical."