LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Durango Casino & Resort remains on track for opening late this year, and it will be the key to what happens going forward for locals casino giant Red Rock Resorts.

The company is riding a wave of record earnings in 2022, but it’s in no hurry to jump into construction at other properties that are currently on paper including new resorts at Inspirada in Henderson, near Losee Road and the Northern 215 Beltway, and at Skye Canyon in the northwest valley.

Red Rock Resorts will debut its Wildfire on Fremont property — seen as “a true neighborhood casino” — next week, according to statements made during an earnings call on Tuesday.

Like other casino giants that have emerged from the pandemic lean and more profitable than ever, Red Rock Resorts set records for financial performance for 2022 overall, surpassing 2019 levels and poised to do even better this year as conventions return in force.

A big part of the picture for locals casinos is the return of older gamblers, who stayed away as the pandemic hit and dragged on for nearly three years in Las Vegas.

“I think we can say with confidence that they are back,” said Scott Kreeger, President of Red Rock Resorts, Inc.

Kreeger said the company is very encouraged by growth in customers over the age of 55. That customer base has grown 3.8 times faster than any other group, and they are spending more than before.

In 2022, Red Rock Resorts posted net revenues of $1.66 billion, an 2.8% increase over 2021. Las Vegas properties make up nearly all of Red Rock’s portfolio. They include Red Rock Resort, Green Valley Ranch, Palace Station, Boulder Station, Sunset Station, Santa Fe Station and six wildfire casinos — about to become seven with the Fremont property.

The Wildfire on Fremont is just south of Charleston Boulevard with 200 slot machines, STN Sports betting and new restaurants.

And while Inspirada might be the next project up for Red Rock, the company will not green-light new construction until Durango Casino & Resort proves itself. Details on the Inspirada blueprint came out in mid-December with plans for a 600 room hotel, an 80,000 square-foot casino floor, four restaurants and a food court with 11 spots. The property will also have a movie theater and a bowling alley.

Durango Casino & Resort, at Durango Drive and the 215 Southern Beltway, is in a prime spot as the company looks to create a new market. Officials say the property has no competition for five miles in any direction, and is in the fastest-growing part of the Las Vegas valley.

Up the road at Red Rock Resort, officials report success at the new Lotus of Siam and a new high-limit slot lounge — the former location of the buffet. They are also looking ahead to the opening of Greek restaurant Naxos Taverna.

A common measure of a company’s profitability called EBITDA (net income — earnings — with interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization added back) shows earnings increased 0.4% over 2021. Fourth-quarter earnings were 2.5% higher than the fourth quarter of 2021.