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LAS VEGAS-The Clark County Commission this week approved the development of a 100-acre, $2-billion casino-resort adjacent to Interstate 15 near the city’s southern border. Southern Highlands Casino-Resort will sit across I-15 from a 2,700-acre residential development that also carries the Southern Highlands name and was developed by the company’s chief executive Garry Goett.

The first phase will include 50 acres of resort and casino development and an additional 20 acres featuring a retail and entertainment destination. The project is scheduled to break ground in fall 2006 and open its first phase in summer 2008. It will be the first major casino-resort travelers will see when entering the Las Vegas Valley from California.

Goett says the plan is to attract both tourists and locals including residents of surrounding residential communities, which include Southern Highlands, Silverado Ranch, Anthem, Seven Hills and Green Valley. “Increased population growth and market demand have made the South Strip the next area of resort development,” he says.

The $750-million initial phase will include a 610-room hotel; a casino; a spa, fitness center and salon facility; a large-scale convention and meeting facility; a dozen restaurants; a multi-level entertainment venue; and a retail center. A company source tells that future phases will add as many as 1,800 additional hotel rooms.

Joining Goett in the development of the Southern Highlands Casino-Resort are Olympia Gaming’s COO Sean Sullivan, CFO Kirk Saylor, and Patrick Done, president of Olympia Gaming’s retail division.

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