LAS VEGAS-Boyd Gaming Corp. and Olympia Gaming have formed a joint venture to develop a $1-billion-plus casino, resort and spa on the northern edge of the Las Vegas Valley. The JV filed an application with the City of North Las Vegas this week to develop the mixed-use entertainment center on a 66-acre site at Losee Road and Interstate 215, a few exits west of Interstate 15 in the Park Highlands master-planned community.

The preliminary proposal calls for 1,200 hotel rooms to be built over three phases. The first phase would include 400 hotel rooms, a casino, race and sports book, restaurants, meeting rooms and other entertainment amenities. Boyd Gaming will construct and manage the casino, resort and spa on behalf of the joint venture; assuming approval, construction of the casino would not begin for three- to five years, allowing additional time for the surrounding area to be built out.

The Park Highlands development is expected to feature six school sites; a regional police station; a fire station; a post office; a public library; 130 acres of dedicated parks and trails; and 300 acres of preservation area. Boyd says costs for infrastructure and improvements are estimated to be in excess of $1 billion. Olympia, American West, Astoria, Standard Pacific and D.R. Horton are the homebuilders.

Boys Gaming chief executive Keith Smith said the joint venture with Olympia gives the company “the opportunity to expand our locals franchise as part of a larger commercial project” in one of the faster growing areas of the valley. Olympia Gaming chief executive Garry Goett says Boyd’s plan “provides Park Highlands with a casino entertainment component that completes our vision.”

The development site is one of two Boyd owns in North Las Vegas. The other site is a casino-entitled 40-acre parcel on the southwest corner of Centennial Parkway and Lamb Boulevard. If the proposed casino with Olympia Gaming is approved, Boyd Gaming plans to develop the Park Highlands casino site instead of its parcel at Centennial and Lamb.

Boyd Gaming owns and operates 16 gaming entertainment properties located in Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana and Louisiana. The company is also developing Echelon, a $4-billion destination resort on the Las Vegas Strip, expected to open in the third quarter 2010.

Olympia Gaming is the casino division of the Olympia Group, which developed the 2,750-acre Southern Highlands master-planned community in Las Vegas. Olympia Gaming is in the planning stage for several large-scale developments including Legends Bay Casino-Resort-Spa, a mixed-use destination resort in Sparks, Nevada, and Southern Highlands Casino, a mixed use casino and destination retail lifestyle center located south of the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard.