Thursday, May 4, 2000 | 10:24 a.m.
Boulder Station hotel-casino in Las Vegas made a big splash in the country music world Wednesday night, receiving the top casino venue award at the Academy of Country Music Awards. The award was accepted by Judy Alberti, vice president of entertainment for Station Casinos.
In winning the award, Station held off competition from Las Vegas competitor Boyd Gaming, which was nominated for Sam's Town Tunica. Other nominees included Casino Magic in Biloxi, Miss., Foxwoods in Connecticut and Horseshoe Casino in Robinsonville, Miss.
The award recognized Boulder for "The Railhead," its 450-seat music venue, which company spokesman Jack Taylor called "kind of a mecca for midline to top country legends over the last three to four years."
"Railhead has been recognized as one of the best (music) venues in Las Vegas from an acoustic and audience standpoint," Taylor said. "We were lucky to get voted best casino venue in the country."
Recent country artists to perform at the Railhead include Merle Haggard and The Charlie Daniels Band.
To take advantage of the theater's popularity, Station will launch a $2.5 million expansion of the Railhead next month -- a move that was planned before Wednesday's award, Taylor said. The expansion will increase the seating capacity of the Railhead to 900.
To accommodate the expansion, the Railhead will close next month, but will feature an expanded performance schedule when it reopens in September.