Thursday, Jan. 2, 2003 | 10:55 a.m.
After more than a year's pause in the opening of casinos in the Las Vegas area, this winter and spring will bring no less than three new gambling sites to town that are as diverse as they are far afield.
At midnight tonight, the $100 million Cannery Casino Hotel will become this year's first new casino when it opens to the public in North Las Vegas. The last significant casino projects to open in the Las Vegas area were the Palms and Green Valley Ranch Station Casino in late 2001.
The $100 million Tuscany hotel, which opened a year ago on East Flamingo Road off the Las Vegas Strip, is adding a 60,000-square-foot casino early this year. The Tuscany's owner, Charles M. Heers' CMH Development Inc., hasn't yet determined the casino's opening date.
A third casino, Casino MonteLago, is expected to open in the spring after the still-undetermined launch date of the nearby Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas hotel in Henderson. The casino and Ritz-Carlton are separately owned, but will be connected by a walkway.
The 201-room Cannery -- a partnership between casino executives William Paulos, William Wortman and construction contractor Robert Mendenhall -- will emphasize its 50,000 square-foot casino and primarily target locals within a five-mile radius.
The Cannery will be managed by Millennium Management Group, which also runs the Rampart casino at the J.W. Marriott Las Vegas Resort in Summerlin.
In a recent interview with In Business Las Vegas, a sister publication of the Las Vegas Sun, Paulos said he expects the Cannery to do well because it is in a rapidly growing area of the valley and is several miles from its nearest competitors.
"This is an explosive area for population growth," he said. "We have homeowners who have incomes of $54,000. The average age is in the early 40s. We also have new homeowners in their 30s and we have typical retirement folks who are in their 50s and above who love to partake in the entertainment that locals casinos provide."
The Cannery also will feature a post-World War II theme that is popular with all ages and will emphasize special events, such as football parties and holiday gatherings, he said.
The 700-room Tuscany expects to market to tourists as well as locals looking to venture just off the Strip.
The Tuscany, marketed as a smaller, "boutique" hotel, will offer its casino in a separate building connected via a walkway.
The $170 million Ritz-Carlton, with 349 rooms, will target a combination of loyal Ritz-Carlton customers, resort vacationers and business meeting travelers.
The 40,000-square-foot Casino MonteLago, controlled by a tribal-owned conglomerate based in Alaska, will be managed by a company that is part owned by former Caesars Palace President Dan Reichartz.