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LAS VEGAS-Moulin Rouge Development Corporation and Republic Urban Properties have tapped Epic Gaming as a strategic partner for its proposed $1 billion redevelopment of the historic Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino northwest of the Downtown core. MRDC says Epic Gaming will work in conjunction with project architect and engineer Edward Vance & Assoc. during the design phase to determine the strategic mix of the gaming initiatives and ancillary amenities including slots, gaming tables, restaurants and retail. Once the facility is built, Epic Gaming will become the property’s gaming operator.

Plans for the project were submitted to Las Vegas city officials in early February. Last week, the Las Vegas Planning Commission unanimously approved the site plan and the necessary special permits, variances and rezones needed to make it happen. The application will be considered for final approval by the Las Vegas City Council in early April. If approved, the developers plan to break ground in early 2009 and complete the first phase by the end of 2010.

Located at Bonanza Road and Interstate 15, northwest of the Downtown core, the $300-million to $400-million first phase of the proposed 17.4-acre development includes 700 hotel rooms, four restaurants, convention and meeting rooms, as well as a pool-side night club, concert venue, jazz center, and 50,000 sf of retail and spa facilities. At build out, the property would be home to a 41-story tower, a 30-story tower and other structures containing 1,727 hotel rooms, a 72,600-sf casino and 381,700 sf of other commercial uses that include the aforementioned retail, entertainment and spa facilities, according to city documents.

Opened in May 1955 and marketed as “the nation’s first major interracial hotel,” it attracted the Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino top entertainers of the day before shutting down six months later after running into financial trouble along with several other hotels that year, according to published reports at that time. Save for its use in 1960 to host a meeting that averted a civil rights protest in the city, the property remained shuttered until the early 1990s, when it was used as a setting for the filming of the 1995 movie “Casino.” In 2003, one year after it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, an unsolved fire gutted the complex, leaving only the facade and the neon sign that advertises the resort’s name in large cursive letters. The following year, Moulin Rouge Development Corp. acquired the property for $12.1 million and announced plans for its renovation, plans which have never been this close to fruition.

Republic Urban Properties LLC represents a privately owned, fully integrated, full-service real estate investment, development and management organization. Moulin Rouge Development Corp. is a minority-owned and operated real estate development company primarily focused on the revitalization of the Moulin Rouge. Dale Scott, the company’s president and chief executive since its inception in 2002, is a retired Air Force master sergeant who reportedly decided to bring back the Moulin Rouge after seeing a documentary on its history. His partners are attorney Rod Bickerstaff and gambling-industry veteran Chauncey Moore.

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