LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Durango Casino & Resort will open Nov. 20 — a “full-fledged” opening, according to Lorenzo Fertitta, chairman of Station Casinos.

The Nov. 20 target is “pending regulatory approval,” according to a news release.

The $780 million resort will unveil its marquee tonight, a signal to drivers on the 215 Southern Beltway who have been watching the property come together over the past year and a half. Construction started in early 2022.

The double-sided display is 60 feet high and 55 feet wide with high-resolution technology with over 6 million color LED pixels.

With more than 200 hotel rooms, 15 restaurants, a resort pool with cabanas and a “dynamic casino environment,” Durango is the company’s latest play for the locals market. The resort is in the fastest-growing part of the valley with no competition in a 5-mile radius, officials say.

The new marquee “will illuminate the casino site as a sequence of engaging content pieces, and the property’s targeted opening date will be displayed,” according to a news release.

Future priorities

Station Casinos owns a lot of real estate in the valley, and appeared to be in the driver’s seat as the Oakland Athletics began putting together plans for a stadium. The site changed as the project went along, and now the A’s are planning to build a $1.5 billion stadium with $380 million in public money at the corner of Tropicana Avenue and the Strip.

That’s less than a mile from the 49-acre site Stations owns on the other side of Interstate 15. And while losing the A’s opportunity stings, officials said the publicity generated by the initial plan has helped them identify uses for the land — and possibly buyers if they decide to go that way. They describe the land as “essentially within the resort corridor.”

For now, the company has two top priorities after the Durango resort opens: their plans for a resort in the southeast valley Inspirada development, and a second phase in the Durango property that would bring more casino capacity and more entertainment options.

Stations has made “significant progress” on the Texas Station and Fiesta Rancho sites, which have been identified in plans for a mixed-use development by Agora Realty & Management. Maps and detailed plans emerged on that project in early July in documents filed with the City of North Las Vegas. But terms of the sale have not been disclosed yet.

Q2 earnings

The opening date announcement came during the second-quarter (Q2) earnings call for Red Rock Resorts on Thursday.

Red Rock Resorts owns a portion of Station Casinos, with Las Vegas resorts including Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa, Green Valley Ranch, Sunset Station, Santa Fe Station, Boulder Station and the company’s longest-running property, Palace Station. The company also owns a number of Wildfire properties around the valley.

Red Rock’s Q2 net revenue hit $416.1 million — the third-best Q2 in the company’s history, but it represents a decline from the past two years. Revenues were down $6.1 million (1.5%) from 2022.

Profits — $175.3 million — were also down from 2022, declining $13.6 million (7.2%) compared to Q2 of last year.

Officials emphasized that while the comparisons to last year might make it seem like bad news, it was actually the third-best Q2 in Red Rock Resorts’ history.

Locals market

Earnings calls for Red Rock Resorts, Boyd Gaming and other companies in the locals market showed Q2 declines. It happened for Strip casinos as well.

Reasons have varied as each company tried to explain what happened.

But each of the companies have said the “hold” — how much they have taken in the casino — has played a significant part. For Strip casinos, high-end baccarat players cut into profits in Q2. But at the locals casinos, it’s been another story.

Slot machines usually account for 80-85% of the hold for locals casinos, but showed a significant decline in Q2, according to Red Rock executives.

And while the Golden Knights made a lot of dreams come true for a loyal base of hockey fans, casinos lost money as the Stanley Cup run continued, with fans betting heavily on the hometown heroes.