Land has become incredibly precious in Las Vegas and not just on the Las Vegas Strip. Yes, any buildable property on the Strip itself has been selling for exorbitant prices, but anything that’s downtown or Strip-adjacent has increased in value as well.
This has forced resort/casino operators to give deep consideration to how every property in their portfolio performs 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 acquisition simply made more sense for the company compared to what it was selling.
In addition, Caesar’s Entertainment (CZR) , has been making big changes to its holdings on the Las Vegas Strip. This includes revamping its Ballys resort/casino under its Horseshoe brand and putting Flamingo up for sale.
The biggest players, however, aren’t the only ones making moves in Las Vegas. Red Rock Resorts (RRR) which operates resort casinos under the Station and Wildfire names has been busy acquiring land, developing a downtown casino on Fremont Street, and closing some of its underperforming properties.
Now, the company run by the billionaire brothers who once owned Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has closed another property. In this case, however, the move may be part of a much bigger plan.
Red Rock Resorts Gets Smaller to Get Bigger
Unlike Caesars and MGM, Red Rock Resorts casinos primarily target locals. That’s a niche that allows it to operate off the Las Vegas Strip. The company, however, has inched closer to competing with giants on the Strip with its plans for a Wildfire casino in the Fremont Street area.
Still, the company makes it clear that its Boarding Pass loyalty program — one aimed at locals, not tourists, remains its focus.
“Convenient local gaming and personalized service is what we’re all about — but it’s the Station Casinos Boarding Pass that elevates 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 shuttered since 2020 due to the pandemic and the company, which may redevelop the land those casinos sat on, believes their customers have migrated to other station properties.
In addition to those three closures, Red Rock Resorts has also made the decision to shut down the Wild Wild West, and property located on Tropicana Avenue west of Interstate 15. That property may be shutting down because it’s 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 closing in a memo to employees. The company promised that workers at the about-to-close Wild Wild West, would be offered jobs at the company’s other properties.
The Wild Wild West site had been a possible location for the Las Vegas Raiders stadium and it was, prior to the financial crisis of 2008, rumored to be in the running the be developed as a major three hotel, three casino property, Casino.org reported.
Red Rock was not specific about its development plans for the site, but Station Casinos President Scott Kreeger did share a statement with the website that suggest Red Rock Resorts plans to develop, not sell the property.
“Development parcels of this caliber are simply not available in Las Vegas any longer,” he said. “We are excited to take this first step to reposition the property for future development.”
Kreeger noted that the 20 acres which Wild Wild West sits on have “excellent visibility and access to Interstate 15 and the Las Vegas Strip.”
Red Rock Resorts owns about 100 total acres at the site, which would allow for a much larger, Las Vegas Strip-style development.