Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2000 | 11:06 a.m.
For the first time, North Las Vegas residents will have the opportunity to see and hear from the hopeful owners of a proposed casino on the Craig Ranch Golf Course -- Station Casinos Inc.
Station has been quietly waiting in the wings as golf course owner Stimson Enterprises Inc. has been meeting for months with city staff and residents over the proposed casino.
Stimson representative Shawn Lampman said Station plans to attend Wednesday's North Las Vegas Planning Commission meeting, where Stimson will ask the city to create a gaming district at the golf course to allow a hotel and casino on 36 acres.
The decision will automatically be forwarded to the City Council and if approved, Stimson plans to transfer the land to Station for its next casino venture.
Stimson was also scheduled to ask for a gaming permit, but will postpone the request because it was late submitting an impact statement, Lampman said.
According to site plans, the 60-foot-high casino will have a 61,400-square-foot casino area, 10 movie theaters, a 4,000-square-foot arcade, 6,000-square- foot bingo area, and more. A 6,000-square-foot clubhouse would be used in conjunction with the golf course.
The existing 18-hole golf course will be redesigned on the remaining 111 acres.
The application marks months of wrangling with residents over the proposed casino. The council initially granted Station an application this year to build Craig Ranch Station at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Craig Road.
But Stimson has offered the city a land swap, where Station will give up its rights to its former site if it is allowed to build the casino on the golf course.
Residents of Craig Ranch Villas at Craig and Commerce Street will feet the brunt of the new casino located 500 feet away.
To make the project legal, Stimson had to border the 36-acre casino parcel with three slivers of commercial lots, totaling 5 acres, to buffer the residents.
The residents of Craig Ranch Villas will be buffered by a 2.3 acre commercial parcel. But according to site plans, the parcel is shown as undeveloped, and Lampman said the company is not sure what will go on the parcel or when, leaving the residents with a landscaped dirt lot.
City Attorney Sean McGowan said the project is legal because the 5-acre slivers are not part of the gaming operation.
Improvements to Craig Road are expected to coincide with the projected opening of the casino in two years.
Craig Road is one of the most heavily traveled roads in the city, said transportation planner Charity Fechter. According to Nevada Department of Transportation, in 1990, 6,200 cars per day traveled on Craig Road near the golf course. In 1999, that number skyrocketed to 31,800 cars per day.
The city has planned a three-phase project to repair the road, which will eventually widen the road from four lanes to eight lanes.
The beltway will also be constructed by the end of 2001, which will redirect some of the traffic off Craig.
"Any development will bring in traffic," Fechter said. "We know that Craig Road is going to be a major carrier, it is an extremely important road and we expect to see it heavily loaded."