Casino operator gives up on project near Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Firm moving headquarters to Las Vegas

Houston-based Nevada Gold & Casinos Inc. today said it’s abandoned plans to invest in a proposed 200-room hotel-casino adjacent to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Nevada Gold had been in negotiations with an affiliate of home builder Lennar Corp., which owns property near the Petro Truck Stop off Interstate 15, about investing in and managing the proposed 30,000-square-foot casino.

“Given the challenges of securing financing for the Las Vegas Speedway Project, we have decided to not make any further investments in that project. Instead, we will focus on activities that offer more immediate rewards for Nevada Gold and will write off the $215,000 the company had invested to date,” Ernest East, interim president of Nevada Gold, said in a statement.

Nevada Gold is licensed as a Nevada gaming operator and could have entered the Las Vegas-area market with the speedway development.

Jim Kohn, chief financial officer, said in an interview today that the lack of significant, sustained upward movement in local hotel-casino metrics, such as room rates, occupancy rates and gaming win, caused Nevada Gold to give up on the project.

A potential silver lining, however, is that Nevada Gold announced plans to move its corporate headquarters to Las Vegas beginning in the first quarter of next year as part of a cost-cutting move.

Kohn said the Houston office has about 10 jobs. That office is closing to cut costs and the jobs will be moved to either a regional office in Seattle or an existing Las Vegas office staffed by one person. The Las Vegas corporate headquarters will end up with a handful of employees, Kohn said.

“With Las Vegas as our new home, we will improve our access to acquisition opportunities and our participation in industry developments. Also, the move permits us to more fully leverage opportunities arising from our recent approval for a gaming license in the state of Nevada,” East said in his statement.

East also said the company has signed an agreement with NYX Gaming Group to develop a social gaming site — a move several casino operators have made with plans to later expand into real-money online poker.

“The IGaming site, which will be launched in a Facebook social media platform, will enable players to play the most popular selections of poker, slots and table games for fun, while incentivizing them to visit Nevada Gold’s bricks and mortar properties,” East said.

Nevada Gold is best known for its 10 gaming operations in Washington state and a 950-machine slot route operation in Deadwood, S.D.

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  1. Other than on race days, who would gamble or stay at the hotel? They should have known the correct answer to that before spending $215K.

  2. People said the same thing when Bugsy was building the Flamingo out in the middle of the desert. ;-)

  3. What Has worked is a Great Wolf Lodge - like the one at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. It's a Large Indoor Water Park that is available Only to Hotel Guests. It's a Destination by Itself and No Gaming is Necessary to support the Hotel. Las Vegas is Ready for a Large Indoor Water Park, since our weather is usually Blistering Hot or too Cool to go swimming outdoors. Off-Strip Casinos needs lots of rooftops and access - of which the Speedway area has neither. Even the "Beltway" dies there instead of connecting with Henderson.