After pandemic-related delays, construction is underway on a casino at a Northern Nevada shopping center in the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area, according to an online news report.
Las Vegas-based Olympia Gaming announced last week the company has broken ground on Legends Bay Casino in Sparks, a city on Interstate 80, just east of downtown Reno.
The Reno-Sparks metropolitan area is near the California border and Sierra Nevada mountains. It is about 450 miles north of Las Vegas.
Upon completion, Legends Bay will be the first casino built from the ground up in the Reno-Sparks area in 26 years, according to KRNV-TV. The casino is expected to open next year.
The gaming property will be constructed at The Outlets at Legends shopping center. It is about six miles north of Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
The company plans to put restaurants, bars, and a sportsbook in the 80,000-square-foot casino, along with slots and table games.
The casino project has been planned for years, but recently was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, company officials said.
DeCourcy Graham, Olympia Gaming’s chief operating officer, said the project is “14 years in the making,” including construction of two nearby hotels.
“We are now in a position to begin the next phase of development,” he said.
No State Income Tax
On the KRNV-TV Facebook page, some people said in the comments section that they are happy the casino is being built.
“Finally,” wrote a Facebook user identified as Kristin Fennell. “And believe it or not, we do still cater to tourism, despite what many of you think.”
Others were less than happy about a new casino coming to town.
Like the traffic around there wasn’t completely jacked already,” wrote Megan Hall. “Let’s just pack some more in there.”
“They do subsidize our taxes,” wrote Chirag Parikh, adding that gaming revenue is the “main reason why Nevada has no state income tax and relatively low property taxes.”
The Reno area is recovering more quickly from the pandemic than Las Vegas. Part of the reason for this is that Reno is closer to large California metropolitan areas, making the city less dependent upon airline travel than Las Vegas. Airline travel to and from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas has been in a steep slump during the pandemic.
For years, Reno tourism officials also have marketed other attractions besides just gaming. These attractions include skiing and other outdoor activities at nearby Lake Tahoe.
As the economy in Northern Nevada begins a gradual recovery, Circus Circus Reno announced it is reopening its hotel rooms on April 8. The resort’s guest rooms had been closed for more than a year during the COVID-19 lockdown. The gaming floor at Circus Circus opened in June.
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