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April 28, 2017

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Train leaving the Station: Railroad theme jettisoned in Palace Station’s renovation

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Christopher DeVargas

A section of Palace Station is shown under construction as part of a multimillion-dollar remodeling project, Friday, March 17, 2017.

Palace Station Construction

A look at Palace Station during construction of their newest remodel and expansion, Friday, March 17, 2017. Launch slideshow »

Palace Station will soon be ditching its train motif as a multimillion-dollar renovation project on the 41-year-old casino continues.

The remodeling began last fall, and work on the parking lot and landscaping has been completed. Work is progressing on the exterior, and workers will soon convert the steam locomotive theme to a more current “mid-century modern design,” Station spokeswoman Lori Nelson said.

As part of those changes, the six faux locomotive noses and the train cars on the front of the building facing Sahara Avenue will be removed and may be donated to the Neon Museum.

The donation is not a done deal, Nelson explained, because of the logistics of dismantling and transporting the heavy pieces. Once they’re gone, however, she said Palace Station will sport “very clean lines and a very contemporary look.”

It’s not clear if the train theme will be abandoned completely. It’s still front and center on the casino’s marquee that sits at the northeast corner of the property, near Sahara Avenue and the Interstate 15 on-ramp. Nelson said management has not yet decided what to do about the sign.

In addition to adding landscaping and removing the trains, a new main entrance and porte cochère will be constructed. The company is also updating the look and feel of part of the interior and adding a new bingo room.

“It goes back to our roots,” Nelson said. “When it first opened in 1976, we opened as The Casino with 100 slot machines and the snack bar. And then a year later, the first expansion happened with the addition of a bingo room, and the casino was renamed Bingo Palace.”

Nelson said the room will be themed and run much like the bingo rooms at Red Rock Resort and Santa Fe. “It's nightclub meets bingo,” she said. “There's a DJ who comes in, and there’s special lighting. If someone at your table wins bingo, everyone at the table gets a shot. You're going to see a lot of that kind of fun programming here at Palace Station as well.”

The company has not disclosed an exact cost of the project because the renovation is being done in phases, and the status of future phases is still being discussed.

When current renovation is complete in mid- to late-spring, the Feast buffet will be moved from the second to the first floor and the casino will add two restaurants.

Current project

• A new porte cochère/valet at the casino entrance facing Sahara Avenue. It will join the current porte cochère/valet entrance at the hotel tower

• Complete remodel of the front casino exterior facade

• A new bingo room. The space housing the current bingo room will be revised over the project's span

• Parking lot improvements, including repaving, landscaping and lighting

• Some interior casino floor upgrades with new finishes and fixtures

The next phase

• Creation of a new Feast buffet on the casino floor (the current Feast Buffet is located on the second floor above the casino where the meeting and event space is located).

• Addition of two new restaurants (details to come at a later date)

Click to enlarge photo

The Bingo Palace, which Frank Fertitta Jr. would eventually rename Palace Station.

Historic upgrades and renovations

1976: The Casino opened. It had a 5,000-square-foot casino with 100 slot machines, a snack bar and 90 team members)

July 1977: Renamed Bingo Palace. The first expansion included a bingo room, buffet and other amenities

April 1978: 60,000-square-foot addition

August 1980: Work began on an expansion that included a race and sports book that opened in March 1981 and a new buffet and new bingo room that opened in November 1981

November 1983: Bingo Palace name evolves into Palace Station along with another expansion

March 1991: Hotel tower opens with an additional 25,000-square-foot casino expansion

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