LAS VEGAS (KLAS)– Ground officially broke Tuesday on the nation’s first Latino-first hotel and casino. According to the owners of Lucky Club Hotel and Casino, this project is to meet the needs and interests of North Las Vegas’ high-density Latino population.
The longstanding property has endured several rebrands over the past half-century, including when Fifth Street Gaming acquired it 15 years ago. CEO Seth Schorr says plans to create a Latino-first experience were halted by the 2008 recession but that his company’s relationship with the surrounding community, which is over 41% Latino, was solidified in part due to the launch of the company’s gambling and multimedia company for bilingual and Spanish-speaking people, JefeBet.
On Tuesday, the official beginning of the rebrand began as property, city, and community officials gathered to break ground on Hotel Jefe.
The project partners with the Ojos Locos Sports Cantina chain for a 40-person restaurant and bar for authentic dining and drinking. It’s paired with an outdoor tequila garden, a high-end Latino nightclub, a new state-of-the-art sports book, and 90 fully renovated rooms.
City Councilmember Pamela Goynes-Brown, who attended the groundbreaking Tuesday, says the rebrand and included experiences are much needed in North Las Vegas.
“It’s celebrating cultures, people, ethnicities, different people, differences and likenesses,” said Goynes-Brown. “We are such a diverse community, and it just feels right to do something like that.”
Schorr says the rebrand will fill a “void” in the local hotel-casino market, an experience targeted at the Latino community. However, the question of how authentic will those experiences be, and whether are they what the community wants still lingers.
According to Latin Chamber of Commerce Nevada Ambassador Albert Delgado, the 15-year relationship between the company and the surrounding community will be well received when renovations are said and done.
“We see an owner that wants to service the Latino community, more of a passion to do so than a cash grab if you want to call it that,” said Delgado. “They’re looking for new ways to entertain the Hispanic client.”
Beyond the local community, Schorr believes the off-strip location, six acres of parking, and proximity to the I-15 will further attract visitors simply driving through town. However, ultimately he says the target audience lives much closer.
“This is not an opportunity that we saw, we’re just being opportunistic. This is something that we’ve nurtured and we’ve done in a collaborative way for a very, very long time,” said Schorr. ”It’s a combination of understanding the audience, but we’re actually bringing them things that simply don’t exist here today.”
Schorr says the casino will shut down on Monday for the months-long remodel. Their plan is to reopen in January with rates nearly half of what customers would pay on average at other hotels across the valley.