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Legends casino applies for special-use permit
by Sarah Cooper
Jun 25, 2010 | 3573 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy Graphic/RED Development - This artist's rendering shows how the Legends at Sparks Marina might look after the completion of a hotel and casino project.
Courtesy Graphic/RED Development - This artist's rendering shows how the Legends at Sparks Marina might look after the completion of a hotel and casino project.
SPARKS — A large hotel/casino project planned for the shores of the Sparks Marina is one step closer to breaking ground Thursday after Olympia Gaming applied for a city special-use permit.

The $14,000 investment didn’t come with a timeline for breaking ground. However, developers of the Legends at Sparks Marina, which will sit in the casino’s backyard, were enthusiastic about the progress. The promised hotel/casino’s development has moved at a snail’s pace; estimates from early 2008 slated the casino’s opening for the first quarter of 2010.

“There are a lot of similar projects in the country and in Nevada, in particular, that are just not getting built,” said Dave Claflin, RED Development’s vice president of marketing. “So the fact that they are moving forward is a positive sign for us.”

The next permitting step for Olympia would be to pull its building permits, said Sparks Community Development Director Neil Krutz.

“Presuming that they navigate that (the special-use permit) process successfully, the next step would be the building permits,” he said.

“It is a positive development for the city and we look forward to working with Olympia during the entitlement process,” said city of Sparks spokesman Adam Mayberry.

The special-use permit application is for the entire build-out of the Legends Bay Casino-Resort project, according to a statement from Claflin, which will be developed in several phases. Phase one of the proposed project includes a 60,000-square-foot facility that will feature gaming, dining and entertainment amenities. Future phases will include the addition of 800 hotel rooms, a meeting and convention facility, a spa and swimming pool as well as expanded gaming space and dining outlets.

Additional casino space could be included in future phases, Claflin said.

Due to the challenging economic conditions facing the industry as well as the tight credit markets, the gaming company said it plans to develop this project in phases, according to a written statement.

“Once the project is operating and achieving its financial objectives, it is our plan to move forward with future phases,” said DeCourcy Graham, chief marketing and development officer for Olympia Gaming, in a written statement.

Olympia refused any further comment on the issue.

In the tough lending market, Olympia has yet to secure all casino funding. However, RED Development is still optimistic about the venture.

“It’s not completely locked down but they would not be moving forward if they didn’t think that they were going to build,” Claflin said. “We think it is a positive step. … I think it says something positive about northern Nevada that, hey, things are coming back around.”

Olympia Gaming LLC is the gaming development division of the Olympia Group. Its subsidiaries and related entities include the 2,750-acre Southern Highlands master-planned community in Las Vegas and the Casino Fandango in Carson City.

The $1.2 billion, 148-acre Legends at Sparks Marina is anchored by the Scheels All Sports mega sporting goods store, which it billed as the largest in the world when it opened in September 2009. Most of the rest of the outdoor mall opened last summer.

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