There's $100M in changes afoot at the Silverton

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LAS VEGAS -- Big changes are coming to the Silverton Hotel & Casino, not the least of which is its theme.

Formerly known as Boomtown Las Vegas, the 300-room property still sports a mining-town look five years after owner Ed Roski, who had leased the property to Boomtown Casinos in 1994, took it back and changed its name.

But now the Silverton has embarked on the $100 million first phase of its five-year master plan to add 1 million square feet of retail, hotel and entertainment space to the 100-acre property's Interstate 15 and Blue Diamond Road location.

"We simply wanted to take advantage of the exploding growth of Las Vegas," said Craig Cavileer, the property's executive vice president and general manager.

Projects during the first phase -- which is scheduled to open in November 2004 -- include the construction of a 145,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World megastore and the redesign of the old Boomtown building.

"We're doing a contemporary lodge design, something similar to what you would see in Vail or Telluride [Colo.]," Cavileer said, noting that the outdoor/sportsman theme will dovetail with Bass Pro's lodge design.

The Bass Pro store's Adirondack-style design will feature waterfalls, detailed ironwork, aquariums, massive log and rock work, antiques and nostalgic photos of sportsmen as well as fun elements such as a laser arcade, an indoor archery range, a putting range and a driving range.

For those who work up an appetite while shopping or playing, there will be an Uncle Buck's Snack Shop.

There are many correlations between those interested in gaming and outdoor/sporting activities, Cavileer said.

"Their customer is our customer," he said.

Also included in the first phase of the expansion project is the addition of 25,000 square feet of gaming space, which will almost double the size of the Silverton's existing 30,000-square-foot casino.

The casino expansion will bring more slot machines -- about 600 more, for a total of 1,600 -- as well as table games, whose number will increase by six, to 26, Cavileer noted.

The new casino's focal point, however, will be several fresh- and saltwater aquariums, an investment of $5 million, he said.

At the time construction was launched, Cavileer said, 200 of the property's 300 guest rooms were being renovated. The other 100 guest rooms had been redone the summer before, he said.

The newly remodeled rooms and suites now feature tiled bathrooms, contemporary wallpaper, pillow-top mattresses, leather couches and hardwood furniture.

The property also debuted several restaurants, including the 240-seat, 24-hour Sundance Grill, which opened in April.

"If the Cheesecake Factory would do a 24-hour restaurant, it would be like this," Cavileer said. "It's definitely the No. 1 coffee shop in town."

Also this past summer, the property spent $1 million to renovate an older restaurant, resulting in the creation of the 140-seat Twin Creeks Steakhouse.

The Shady Grove Lounge opened around that same time, as well, Cavileer noted.

The 100-seat, lodge-like establishment definitely is quirky. It features a 1967 Airstream trailer containing a couple of bowling lanes.

Also on tap for the Silverton is the addition of a Mexican food outlet and a new buffet that will be able to accommodate as many as 500 people, Cavileer said.

As for the rest of the master plan, he said, projects include the construction of another hotel and possibly some timeshare units as well as a 500,000-square-foot retail center that would be anchored by a family store such as Target or Kohl's.

Plans also call for the construction of more retail space anchored by a movie theater and offering more food and beverage outlets.

Room rates at the Silverton run about $50 per night and are commissionable to travel agents.

For more information, contact the property at (866) 668-6688 or (702) 263-7777, or visit www.silvertoncasino.com.

To contact reporter Amy Baratta, send e-mail to [email protected] .

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