Las Vegas Sun

August 20, 2019

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Downtown casino project waiting on FAA approval


Steve Marcus

A workman operates an excavator at the site of the former Las Vegas Club casino on Main Street between Ogden Avenue and Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.

The Las Vegas Planning Commission Tuesday considered the development plan for the 18 Fremont hotel-casino project downtown but postponed the matter until next month’s planning commission meeting because of height and airspace concerns.

The proposed 459-foot, 777-room hotel and casino property would be the tallest building north of the Stratosphere, according to Todd Kessler, who represented the property and its owner, Derek Stevens, at the meeting.

“The D is the tallest building today downtown and that’s 400 feet,” Kessler said. “This is an additional 59 feet.”

To proceed, the developers must receive approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, due to the planned structure being over 200 feet tall and its proximity to the North Las Vegas Airport.

All project-related items were held in abeyance until the June 12 planning commission meeting, where the commission will receive an update on the FAA approval. If approved there, the matter will be heard at the June 20 city council meeting.

Commissioner Trinity Schlottman doesn’t foresee any issue with 18 Fremont receiving the FAA clearance.

“I am a pilot and I have flown down the Strip many times and I’ve always seemed to miss the Stratosphere,” Schlottman said. “I think the Stratosphere is taller than this building, so the height of this is not a big concern to me.”

The property’s plans call for 117,740 square feet of gaming space and a 1,526-space parking garage across Main Street that will be connected to the casino via sky bridge.

Although there isn’t a nightclub designated for the project, plans include 608,965 square feet of nightclub use space, which includes all areas of the property where live music might be played, Kessler said.

Other amenities listed include a rooftop lounge, a sports book, a ballroom with meeting space, several food and beverage outlets, a pool and spa.

The old Las Vegas Club, the Mermaids casino and the Girls of Glitter Gulch strip club were torn down last year to make room for the 18 Fremont project.

Commissioner Christina Roush said that although she welcomes the project's potential to revitalize the area, the way the plans were presented could've been handled better.

“I don’t like the way it was put on the consent agenda and given the bum rush, as if we are just supposed to rubber stamp it,” Roush said. “(With) that said, I’m all for new development downtown and I am super excited for the cutting-edge, brand new project on Fremont Street. It does need it and it’s going to be wonderful.”