If all you hear is the sunshine and lollipops future for Downtown's Fremont East district, go ask Fifth Street Gaming about their thoughts on the revival. The operators of the Downtown Grand are also in charge of the shuttered Western Hotel & Casino with the Downtown Project as their landlords. Tony Heish's designated proxies shelled out an eyebrow raising $14 million to buy the down at heel property in 2013, which, so far, has only been notably used as an infrequent conference site.
Fifth Street Gaming is applying for another year long extension on their gaming and tavern license for the mothballed casino concept, explaining the Downtown Project "were considering the option of developing it into a new non-restricted gaming establishment."
Prepping for new usage, the hotel has been demolished over the past year, the building painted, new carpeting is in place and the restrooms have been renovated. But despite local economic upticks and Hsieh camp ambitions, Fifth Street admits "additional improvement in the Downtown business environment must occur before redeveloping the former Western Hotel and Casino is economically feasible or it can be leased."
One year ago, while asking for the same extension, local rumors hoped the space would be tuned into a "a supermarket or a hardware store." Instead, the community has had to make do with the smaller and less community embracing debut of the Market grocery store.