Las Vegas landmark gets $25 million Stardusting

LAS VEGAS -- The 41-year-old Stardust Resort & Casino here will be glittering anew, thanks to a $25 million facelift financed by owner Boyd Gaming Corp.

The refurbishment project comes on the heels of a decision by Boyd Gaming -- which purchased the 800-room hotel casino in the mid-1980s and added a 1,500-room hotel tower in 1991 -- to shelve, at least for the time being, plans to add another 1,500 rooms to the property, according to Jim Seagrave, Stardust's vice president of advertising and marketing.

"A long-term goal of [Boyd Gaming] was to establish a second tower to match the existing 1,500-room tower," Seagrave said. "With all the spectacular resorts coming on line [here lately], it didn't seem wise to go with a new tower. Instead, the company decided to go ahead with the remodeling project."

The work, which is being accomplished in stages and is slated to be completely finished by the end of the year, is just an extension of the usual upgrades that are constantly being done at the Stardust, Seagrave said. "We're open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year," he said. "All resorts [like us] take a heavy pounding. We're almost in a constant state of refurbishment. It just was time to do something a little deeper, a little more extensive. Our customers deserve it, and the competition demands it."

The refurbishment project includes remodeling portions of the property's exterior, such as the porte cochere and entrance, and installing new exterior neon lighting and signs -- something that the property has been known for since it was built on the site of the Royal Nevada resort in 1958.

Mikohn Gaming Corp., which signed a $1.2 million contract to put up the new lights and signs, will renovate the Stardust's 15-story-high signature sign and install two-and-a-half miles of neon tubing along the exterior of the complex.

Inside, all of the hotel's guest rooms will be refinished and outfitted with new carpeting, paint and soft goods.

Work on the Stardust's 98 villa rooms and suites -- originally part of the old Royal Nevada -- has been completed, while renovations to the property's 1,500-room west tower are scheduled to be finished by November. In June, work will begin on the hotel's east tower, which contains 132 rooms and suites, and is slated to be completed in August.

Also in June, the property will set up a temporary buffet facility in its conference center while the Warehouse Buffet is being renovated and reconfigured. The new buffet facilities will be unveiled in August. Other interior facets of the remodeling project include new carpeting and a fresh air system in the casino area and new wallcoverings in the conference center.

Outside, the Stardust now boasts a new 2.5-acre swimming pool complex, which was created by demolishing a section of villa rooms and using landscaping and walkways to join the property's two existing swimming pools. Two Jacuzzi tubs with rockscapes and waterfalls also were installed in the new area. Stardust Resort & Casino, Phone: (800) 824-6033 or (702) 732-6111.

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