The Future of the Reno Hilton : Grand Sierra Resort
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In May 2005, Caesars Entertainment, in the coming shadow of their absorption into Harrah's dumped some properties off it's balance sheet, one of them being the Reno Hilton. The Reno Hilton was built in 1978 by casino mogul Kirk Kerkorian as the MGM Grand. For a short period of time it stood as the largest hotel in the world. Five or so years later the MGM Grand Reno was sold branded as a Ballys, and shortly thereafter it became the Reno Hilton, which is what it is today.
The investment group that purchased the Reno HIlton - Grand Sierra Resort Corporation - has already announced plans for a complete re-branding and major major renovation and enhancement of the Reno Hilton property. In addition to adding condominium units and boutique hotel enhancements, Grand Sierra plans on adding a humongous indoor water park (?) a refurbishing and repurposing its large man-made lake and expanding its already massive casino. It makes sense, with the somewhat weak gaming market in Reno for Grand Sierra to diversify it's offerings at this point - appealing to both the steady, yet growing national housing market and offering more "destination" amenities that will bring more visitors to their property. $1.5 Billion bucks is quite a chunk of change though. Can the Reno gaming market sustain such a massive investment? The Wynn Las Vegas cost $2.8 billion so far, and Reno's gaming income isn't Las Vegas' by any stretch of the imagination.
The Reno Hilton as currently basking in the glow of a Sierra Nevada sunset.
Satellite view of the current used space on the grounds of the Reno Hilton. Notice the large flat parking areas, the Stardust in Las Vegas has the same misused space - the Grand Sierra resort drawings on the following pages will address that usable space.