Planners say casino will drive commercial 'hub' in east Carson

The Sierra Gold casino is seen in a rendering provided by the casino's parent company Golden Gaming Inc., based in Las Vegas. The company wants to invest $100 million in the casino, hotel, parking structure and convention space that would be located on Highway 50 East near the Highway 395 bypass.

The Sierra Gold casino is seen in a rendering provided by the casino's parent company Golden Gaming Inc., based in Las Vegas. The company wants to invest $100 million in the casino, hotel, parking structure and convention space that would be located on Highway 50 East near the Highway 395 bypass.

The new Sierra Gold casino-hotel will be the best casino in the city and help drive the development of a commercial "hub" along Highway 50 East, said Rod Atamian, executive vice-president of Golden Gaming Inc.

The Las Vegas-based company will invest about $100 million in the property at the corner of Highway 50 and the Highway 395 bypass exit, starting work there next year.

The first phase of the 245,000-square-foot project will start then, Atamian said, but the company will build the second phase when the time is right for the community.

The project will have a 65,000-square-foot casino, 220-room hotel and 13,000-square-foot conference area when finished on the four-acre piece of land.

"The look and feel of this is going to outshine anything in the market," according to Atamian.

He said the "progressive and unique" casino will have a modern, "rustic lodge" style.

"We don't want to be slots in a box," he said.

The company can also help the Highway 50 East corridor grow by marketing the seven acres it owns across from the casino, he said, adding the land could be a good spot for retail stores, restaurants or additional rooms.

The Sierra Gold won't be like some casinos in the city that aren't high-quality projects, he said.

"Anyone can do that, and I don't see that as adding long-term value to the community or ourselves as investors," he said.

The conferences at the casino, the transition of Highway 395 into part of Interstate 580 and the completion of the V&T Railway, which will have a depot on Highway 50 East, will all help to eventually grow business along the section of the highway, according to Mayor Marv Teixeira.

"We're pretty jammed on Carson Street," he said.

Lynne Keller, general manager of Gold Dust West, said she is "very pleased" that a new casino will be built along Highway 50 East.

She said it will help stabilize that part of the city and make it more of a "focal point of this area."

The Gold Dust West sits on 18 acres and has a 146-room hotel.

Representatives with Golden Gaming and its partner architecture firm, Steelman Partners, reviewed initial plans with city planners Tuesday.

The company plans to get a permit for the 115-foot height of the building and rezone the property this summer, submit building plans later in the year and break ground around the beginning of 2009, said Planning Director Walt Sullivan.

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

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