Expansion plans for two casinos in West Wendover, Nev. | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Expansion plans for two casinos in West Wendover, Nev.

The Associated Press

WEST WENDOVER, Nev. (AP) – The Reno-based Peppermill Casino Inc. is launching a major expansion of its two properties on the Utah border, where interstate traffic keeps customers coming as air travel drops off elsewhere.

The casino-hotel operator plans to expand the number of rooms by 44 percent at the Peppermill and Rainbow hotel-casinos in West Wendover.

The Rainbow casino will be expanded by 11,000 square feet and a new 9,000-square-foot convention center constructed. Restaurants at both casinos will be enlarged.

Peppermill officials say business has been good at the border town casinos on Interstate 80. They depend primarily on drive-in business from Salt Lake City two hours away.

Since 1990, gambling revenue in Wendover has grown 144 percent.

”The market since Sept. 11 in Wendover has really not (experienced) much of an impact,” Tracy Mimno, chief executive officer of Peppermill-Reno, told the Reno-Gazette Journal. ”They actually are continuing to do fairly well.”

Peppermill Casinos includes the flagship Peppermill Hotel Casino in Reno, Western Village Inn & Casino in Sparks and Rainbow Club in Henderson. It is funding the $27 million West Wendover project out of cash flow, said

Peppermill’s two casinos will have about as many combined slot machines as the Peppermill in Reno, which has about 2,100.

The Rainbow is expanding by 210 slots to 1,189. Peppermill-Wendover has 991.

In lodging, the Rainbow is adding 104 rooms and suites to raise its total to 402. That project will begin next spring and is targeted for completion in December 2002.

”At this point, I think you’re looking at a resort property,” Mimno said referring to the Rainbows size and amenities, which include a 360-seat buffet and 200-seat restaurant.

By May 2002, Rainbow will have completed its convention center with high-tech audiovisual features, a new 130-seat steak house and casino addition.

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