The Orleans slates $100M expansion project

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LAS VEGAS -- The Orleans here has hit the jackpot.

The 840-room hotel and casino property, owned and operated by Coast Resorts, will undergo a $100 million expansion that will add a 620-room hotel tower, a special-events arena, a 2,600-car parking garage, six movie theaters, two restaurants and an Irish pub to the resort by the end of 2002.

According to Harlan Braaten, president and chief operating officer of Coast Resorts, the property's popularity with both the local and tourist markets is one of the reasons the company decided to take the expansion route.

"Occupancy levels in our hotel are running at 95%," Braaten said. "Our slot machine area also [has been crowded]."

The Orleans will add a 620-room hotel and a special-events arena. That would account for the extra 40,000 square feet of gaming area and public space the company also is planning to add to the resort.

"We are still debating how much of that will be gaming space," he said.

"The goal here is that we currently have 2,500 slot machines and would like to get that number to 3,000."

Construction is under way on the parking garage's first phase, which will add 700 spaces to the valet parking area.

The structure is slated to be finished by the end of March.

Also being built are the two restaurants and the Irish pub, which will bring the total number of restaurant seats at the Orleans to approximately 2,500.

Sazio, an Italian family-style restaurant, will be able to accommodate 370 people and will offer a bar and a banquet room.

The eatery will be leased and operated by Gustav Mauler, whose other Las Vegas restaurants include Spiedini and Oxo.

Koto, another leased facility, will feature both Chinese and Japanese fare as well as a sushi bar. The 140-seat restaurant will be operated by Bryan and Diana Do of Houston.

Brendan's Irish Pub will be able to accommodate 180 people and will offer live entertainment.

According to Braaten, the facilities will open in May or June.

In November or December, he said, the property's six movie theaters also will debut.

"This addition will bring our total at the Orleans to 18 screens and 4,900 seats, making it the largest theater complex in southern Nevada."

During that time frame, Braaten said, property officials hope to open part of the parking garage's second phase.

"Ideally, we will get some of that parking [garage] done then, with the balance to open at the end of the first quarter of 2002," he said.

Later next year, hopefully in April, the hotel tower will open, he added, bringing the total of rooms and suites at the property to 1,460.

The last project to be finished will be the 9,000-seat events center, which is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2002.

"We think there's a fairly large market out there for midsize events, such as boxing, concerts and animal shows such as equestrian events and dog shows," according to Braaten.

"The facility even can be used for larger meetings that we can't accommodate in our convention center area."

For additional information, contact the Orleans at (800) 675-3267 or (702) 365-7111.

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