Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2003 | 11:12 a.m.
Station Casinos Inc. expects to break ground in July on a $50.3 million expansion at its Santa Fe Station hotel-casino in northwestern Las Vegas that will replace its ice rink with a 16-screen movie theater and add 20,000 square feet of casino space, an entertainment venue, bar and a play area for children.
"The ice rink isn't a big money-maker for us -- it isn't an integral part of our business," Station Casinos spokeswoman Lesley Pittman said.
Still, concern over the closure of the rink -- especially by community members participating in youth hockey leagues -- led to the decision to build an ice arena at the company's nearby Fiesta Rancho hotel-casino, Pittman said.
The Santa Fe's 49,000-square-foot bowling center also will undergo a complete upgrade that will include a new billiards room, pro shop, arcade and meeting rooms for private parties.
An upgrade of the North Rancho Drive property was always in the cards, Pittman said.
"When we bought the property in 2000 we recognized the property needed some remodeling and renovation work," she said.
The company has since revamped the casino floor, added a food court and restaurants and transformed its lounge into a more upscale venue. But today's announcement marks the most substantial overhaul in recent years, she said.
The venues at Santa Fe are expected to open by March 2005.
The additional casino space at Santa Fe will accommodate 350 new slot machines, the company said.
At Fiesta Rancho, also on North Rancho Drive, the company is expected to break ground on a 31,000-square-foot ice arena in April for a fall 2004 opening.
The arena will include seating for 1,400 people, a concessions area, pro shop, five team locker rooms, and two private rooms for special events. The rink would be connected to the existing casino via a walkway that will include a gift shop and arcade, the company said.