Gaming America on the move: Station opens Durango Casino and Resort

December 6, 2023
By
Leer en Español

Station Casinos' latest Las Vegas resort is now open. What did patrons think?

To wide smiles and energetic applause, Station Casinos cut the ribbon Tuesday on its latest Las Vegas property: the Durango Casino and Resort, a sandstone and polished-metal temple to “affordable luxury,” specifically designed for residents of Summerlin, a master-planned community in the Las Vegas Valley. Gaming America was in attendance as the property opened.

“Welcome to our friendly oasis in the desert!” said Scott Kreeger, President of Red Rock Resorts, owner of the Station Casinos brand, just moments before executives cut a large, golden ribbon and visitors, waiting as long as an hour, were finally allowed into the $780m resort. 

“Beautiful!” said Cindy McConnell, 64, of Santa Clarita, California, just moments after walking into the gleaming 83,000-square-foot casino with her friend, Jeanne Stojkovic, a Las Vegas local. “It seems very open. Brightness!”

“You never get windows,” chimed in Stojkovic, 56, who as a local is exactly the demographic Station is targeting with this new casino.

Station is dubbing its latest property as the next evolution in its brand, a resort founded in attainable luxury. It boasts roughly 2,300 slots and 63 table games in a rectangular casino floor set off by floor-to-ceiling windows that let in an unusual amount of natural light for a Las Vegas casino.

But gaming is almost an afterthought in this property, which was clearly designed with foodies and sports lovers in mind. At its “Eat Your Heart Out” food hall, Durango visitors can sample a variety of eclectic cuisines in a communal dining experience. The 25,000 square-foot area features an Irv’s Burgers, a Prince Street Pizza and an Ai Pono Café, among other vendors.

And that's just the beginning of the culinary adventure. Mijo, a Mexican restaurant, is a chic, modern affair, with a variety of rooms, each with its own identity, as well as a hidden speakeasy, Wax Rabbit, where DJs will spin only vinyl records. Mijo will also sell, as one of its signature dishes, the largest steak available in Las Vegas: a 55 to 60-ounce tomahawk, sourced from Omaha.

There’s also Nicco’s Prime Cuts & Fresh Fish, Durango’s swanky, modern steakhouse; Summer House, with its west coast vibes; and The George, a restaurant overlooking the casino’s ultra-modern (and very curvy) sportsbook, designed for diners to enjoy a nice meal and watch a game (and maybe play a game of cornhole or two).

The Durango resort was a long time coming. General Manager Dave Horn said in a media tour prior to Tuesday’s grand opening that Station had been working on developing a casino at this location for literally decades.

The wait appeared to be worth it, as curious and excited guests streamed into the casino virtually non-stop even before it’s official 10am opening time. Everywhere you looked there were fresh, vibrant flowers, which Station officials said will be something of a signature for the new resort.

“I’m just so excited! A brand-new casino!” said Robin Martinelli, 70, of Chicago, after she strutted through the doors with a wide smile. “I just want to dance!”

There seems to be a sea of new properties opening in Las Vegas at the minute, with Fontainebleau finally cutting the ribbon next week. But it's fair to say Durango knows what customers it is targeting – and Station will hope those patrons keep "dancing" their way through Durango's doors.

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