Land has become incredibly precious in Las Vegas and not just on the Las Vegas Strip. Yes, every buildable property on the Strip itself has sold for exorbitant prices, but anything downtown or on the Strip has also increased in value.
This has forced resort/casino operators to think deeply about how each property in their portfolio is performing and how it fits into their overall goals. That’s at least partly why MGM Resorts International (MGM) sold Mirage and bought Cosmopolitan — the location and age of the new asset just made more sense to the company compared to what it sold.
In addition, Caesars Entertainment (CZR) , has made major changes to his property on the Las Vegas Strip. This includes refurbishing the Ballys resort/casino under the Horseshoe brand and listing Flamingo for sale.
However, the biggest players aren’t the only ones making moves in Las Vegas. Red Rock Resorts (RRR) which operates resort casinos under the names Station and Wildfire, has been busy acquiring land, developing a downtown casino on Fremont St. and closing some of the underperforming properties.
Now the company of the billionaire brothers who once owned the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has closed another premises. In this case, however, the move could be part of a much larger plan.
Red Rock Resorts gets smaller to get bigger
Unlike Caesars and MGM, Red Rock Resorts casinos primarily cater to locals. That’s a niche that makes it possible to operate outside the Las Vegas Strip. However, the company has come a step closer to competing with the giants on the Strip with its plans for a Wildfire casino in the Fremont St. area.
Still, the company makes it clear that its Boarding Pass loyalty program — one aimed at locals, not tourists — remains the focus.
“Convenient local gaming and personalized service is what we’re all about, but it’s the Station Casinos Boarding Pass that enhances the Wildfire experience even further,” the company says on its website.
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The company recently permanently closed three properties that used the Station Casinos name: Texas Station, Fiesta Rancho and Fiesta Henderson. All had been closed since 2020 due to the pandemic and the company, which may be re-developing the land these casinos were on, believes their customers have migrated to other stations.
In addition to these three closures, Red Rock Resorts has also made the decision to close the Wild Wild West, property located on Tropicana Avenue west of Interstate 15. That property may be closed because it is a unique piece of land that could become a much larger resort/casino.
Red Rock President Hints at Big Plans
Red Rock Resorts shared the news of the closure in a memo with employees. The company promised that employees of the near-closed Wild West would be offered jobs at the company’s other properties.
The Wild Wild West site was a possible location for the Las Vegas Raiders stadium and, prior to the 2008 financial crisis, it was rumored to be in the running to be developed as a large three hotel, three casino property. , Casino.org reported.
Red Rock wasn’t specific about its development plans for the site, but Station Casinos president Scott Kreeger did share a statement with the website suggesting that Red Rock Resorts has plans to develop, not sell, the property.
“Development lots of this caliber are just no longer available in Las Vegas,” he said. “We are delighted to take this first step to reposition the property for future development.”
Kreeger noted that the 20 acres that Wild Wild West sits on have “excellent visibility and access to Interstate 15 and the Las Vegas Strip.”
Red Rock Resorts owns approximately 100 acres in total on the site, which would allow for much larger Las Vegas Strip style development.