$125M Casino Moves Forward

Construction on the $125 million first phase of GoldTown Hotel and Casino Resort near Carson City, Nev., should start in the second quarter of the year after county officials gave the go-ahead for specific issues with the project ranging from a variance on the height of the building to zoning map amendments. The Douglas County Board of Commissioners approved Phases I and II of the planned GoldTown Hotel and Casino Resort (pictured) project being developed by American Vantage Cos. and its subsidiary, Brownstone GoldTown CV L.L.C. The GoldTown Hotel & Casino Resort project was announced on July 2. The two-phase project will have an estimated Phase I construction cost of $125 million. GoldTown will be located on a 45-plus acre parcel in Douglas County front Highway 395, within minutes of Nevada’s capital, Carson City. The location is also on major routes leading to Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Sacramento and Reno.  Preliminary Phase I plans include 300 hotel rooms and suites, 92,000 square feet of casino space, 1,000 slot and video poker machines, 24 to 30 table games, a 350-seat bingo parlor, six-table poker room, race and sports book, 250-seat celebrity concert stage and lounge, restaurants and convention facility.  On Jan. 3, the Douglas County Commissioners approved a major variance for a building height of 100 feet; an amendment to the existing special use permit for the casino, hotel and retail operations; and zoning map amendments. The approval is contingent upon completion of specific development and/or construction criteria for permitting, notice of completion, certificate of occupancy and/or the life of the project.  Predevelopment work is currently in the final design phase including pulling of permits. GoldTown has received dry utilities input and approvals required to service the property and have started the FEMA report and GeoTech work. The developers expect to start “moving dirt in the second quarter of 2008 and, once begun, construction of the hotel and casino is expected to take approximately 15 to 18 months,” according to a prepared statement from Brownstone GoldTown.  Brownstone GoldTown was assisted in this approval process by James R. Cavilia, Esq. with Allison, MacKenzie, Pavlakis, Wright & Fagan, Ltd. of Carson City and Group West Companies PLLC, a Seattle architectural and master planning firm.   In March, Brownstone L.L.C., the company’s majority-owned subsidiary, announced its development agreement with the Big Sandy Rancheria Tribe of Western Mono Indians for development of a hotel and casino resort overlooking the San Joaquin Valley located in Friant near Fresno, Calif. The Tribe’s hotel and casino resort is currently in pre-development. On May 1, the firm signed a lease extension through June 2021 with the Las Vegas-strip property, the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino–owned by MGM–for The Border Grill Las Vegas Restaurant. The contract includes a condition of a minimum $2 million expansion and refurbishment, which began in late 2007. American Vantage Cos. and its subsidiary Brownstone GoldTown CV L.L.C. are based in Las Vegas. The firm is a non-diversified closed-end management investment company.