Sprawling Casino And Hotel Catering To Locals Is Opening Southwest Of Las Vegas Strip

The Durango Casino & Resort appears in Las Vegas, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023. Las Vegas is getting its first new ground-up casino in more than two years with the debut of a $780 million project several miles southwest of the resort-lined Strip. Durango Casino and Resort promises a daylong celebration Tuesday, Dec. 5, and a nighttime fireworks display.  (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)
The Durango Casino & Resort appears in Las Vegas, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023. Las Vegas is getting its first new ground-up casino in more than two years with the debut of a $780 million project several miles southwest of the resort-lined Strip. Durango Casino and Resort promises a daylong celebration Tuesday, Dec. 5, and a nighttime fireworks display. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas is getting its first ground-up casino in more than two years, with the debut of a modest $780 million property several miles from resort-lined Strip that will cater more to local residents than international tourists.

Station Casinos, subsidiary of publicly traded Red Rock Resorts Inc., planned a daylong celebration and a nighttime fireworks display with the opening of the 15-story Durango Casino and Resort outside the city's main resort corridor.

The 200-room hotel-casino represents the seventh off-Strip property in and around Las Vegas for Station Casinos, a company the late Frank Fertitta Jr. started as a bingo parlor in 1976 that today employs more than 11,000 workers.

Durango is the first new casino property to open in Las Vegas since June 2021, when the $4.3 billion, 66-story Resorts World opened on the Strip. The 44-floor Circa opened in 2020 as the first new downtown property in 40 years. Several other familiar Las Vegas casinos have changed hands or rebranded in recent months.

Next week, the $3.7 billion, 67-story Fontainebleau is due to open at the north end of the Strip. The imposing blue-glass property began construction in 2007 and sat unfinished on Las Vegas Boulevard for more than a decade.

Durango — with slot machines, gambling tables, a sports betting area and four restaurants — was built on a 71-acre (29-hectare) property that had been sitting vacant since Station Casinos acquired it in 2000.

In 2021 the company got permits to build, and officials said a later phase would add a second hotel tower, a theater and entertainment area, and additional casino space.

Station Casinos in recent years razed and sold land beneath three aging properties that closed during the coronavirus pandemic. The company also operates several Wildfire properties that aren't hotels.