The Las Vegas Valley saw the highly anticipated opening of a new casino and resort property this month, as Station Casinos welcomed visitors to the Durango Casino & Resort on December 5th. Located southwest of the Las Vegas Strip, near the 215 Beltway, the resort property marks the first new ground-up casino to open in the city in over two years.
The Off-Strip location aims to drive in traffic from locals and discerning tourists with its offerings of multiple dining options and a variety of guest rooms & suites, as well as a vibrant sportsbook, pool complex, and entertainment venue with live music.
The brand-new casino is designed for easy access to southwestern Las Vegas Valley residents, like its sister property, Red Rock Resort, does for Summerlin locals. Though not centralized on Las Vegas Boulevard, the new Durango Casino property is located nearly ten miles south of Strip casinos like Treasure Island and Wynn Las Vegas, which hosted the record-breaking World Poker Tour (WPT) earlier this month.
A Glitzy Grand Opening
Station Casinos pulled out all the stops for Durango’s grand opening celebration. A ribbon-cutting ceremony in the morning was followed by an extravagant fireworks display lighting the night sky over the property.
The festivities underscored Durango’s arrival as a major new player in the Las Vegas casino scene. Measuring over 15 stories tall, the gleaming Durango structure is now a prominent landmark visible from the nearby 215 Beltway interchange. Its modern, tropical-inspired design stands out among the desert surroundings.
Visitors found over 83,000 square feet of casino floor inside the Durango, filled with all the classic gaming options. Over 2,300 slot machines and 60 table games provide entertainment around the clock.
A spacious sportsbook run by Station Casinos’ in-house book, the SuperBook, caters to sports betting enthusiasts. Non-gamblers also have plenty to explore, with four dining concepts and bars already open upon debut.
More restaurants and attractions are planned for the property’s multi-phase development. The launch comes months after a casino scammer was given a suspended sentence for his role in a con job that saw Circa Resort and Casino lose over $1 million.
Vegas Sees First New-Build Casino in 2+ Years
The new Durango Casino represents the first fully built-from-the-ground-up casino resort to open in the city since Resorts World debuted on the Las Vegas Strip in June 2021 with three Hilton hotels. While other familiar venues like Horseshoe and Bally’s Las Vegas have changed ownership or branding over the last few years, Durango is the first wholly original concept to welcome guests in nearly two and a half years.
The 200-room hotel and casino is the latest off-strip endeavor by Station Casinos; a company started in 1976 by the late Frank Fertitta Jr. Originally beginning as a bingo parlor, Station Casinos now employs over 11,000 workers and operates seven total properties around the Las Vegas area.
The Durango took shape on a 71-acre plot of land that Station Casinos had owned since 2000 but left undeveloped until receiving permits in 2021. The $750 million resort offers over 1,100 slot machines and table games, a sportsbook, several restaurant and lounge concepts, a pool complex, and an outdoor concert venue.
While smaller in scale than the 3,500-room Resorts World that debuted on the Strip, the opening of the Durango Casino still signifies investor confidence in new Las Vegas hospitality and gaming projects post-pandemic. It became the first ground-up casino built since mid-2021, ending a lull in developing entirely new resort concepts for the city.
A Celebration of Culinary Delights
The Durango Casino features an extensive and eclectic selection of restaurants, bars, and lounges to appeal to all tastes and preferences. Sports fans can catch a game at the 24-hour George Sportsmen’s Lounge, which serves wings, burgers devs, and a sprawling charcuterie platter.
For upscale steak and seafood, Nicco’s Prime Cuts & Fresh Fish provides USDA Prime cuts and fish sourced daily. Those seeking a livelier ambiance can visit the Bel-Aire Lounge, with its playful cocktails and small plates, before heading outside to the lounge’s backyard area that connects to the resort’s pool complex.
The Eat Your Heart Out food hall allows guests to sample dishes from concepts like Hawaiian street food, New York pizza, Italian, burgers, and more. Mijo Modern Mexican Restaurant provides traditional dishes like ceviche and enchiladas in a stylish indoor/outdoor environment and hides a speakeasy lounge named Wax Rabbit.
For late-night dining, Bucky’s Chicken offers Texas-style comfort food and sandwiches. Sports bar eats and drinks are on the menu at George’s Sportsmens Lounge. The Italian food hall Pizza Forte allows guests to sample mini pizzas, pasta, and salads at an affordable price.
From all-American pub fare to exotic global flavors, the Durango Casino’s extensive dining options aim to draw in visitors day and night. The variety of restaurants and bars provide meals, snacks, drinks, and entertainment for the whole family or a night out with friends. With 15 restaurants, bars, and lounge venues, its culinary scene is a star in its own right.
Amenities for Locals and Travelers Alike
In addition to gaming, Durango aims to be a one-stop destination with its hotel, meeting spaces, and amenities. The 15-story tower contains 200 well-appointed guest rooms and suites. State-of-the-art fitness facilities, including a pool and spa, allow for relaxation and rejuvenation.
With proximity to the bustling southwest Las Vegas communities, the Durango is poised to be a popular local casino while drawing in visitors from afar. Its convenient location off the 215 Beltway makes it easily accessible whether passing through or staying for an extended visit to Sin City.
While Durango’s launch celebrations gave a promising first impression, only time will tell how the property performs in the long run. It enters a saturated Las Vegas market with intense competition from Strip mega-resorts and neighboring local casinos.
However, the new casino’s amenities and location in a bustling growth area of the valley position it well for tapping local demand. As the only newly constructed casino to open in Las Vegas since 2021, the Durango has the advantage of a modern facility with all the latest offerings.