Posted on: Mar 19, 2021, 4:26 a.m.
Last update on: March 19, 2021, 04:50 a.m.
A $ 300 million dream hotel project adjacent to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas is set to face multiple issues when the casino complex is presented ahead of a public meeting in May.
The Clark County Commission was originally scheduled to consider the request at a meeting on April 21. But the review has been postponed until May as stakeholders continue to discuss the controversial plans.
So far, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), airline pilots and several commercial airlines have raised objections.
Clark County staff oppose hotel plan
Clark County Planning Commission staff also oppose the plan over security and zoning concerns. For example, staff recalled how gunman Stephen Paddock shot an airport fuel tank in 2017 from his 32sd upstairs location of the Mandalay Bay hotel.
The gunman aimed directly at the fuel tanks about six times. It hit only one tank twice. He penetrated the wall of the tank.
He also killed or injured several hundred attendees at country music festivals. Many people rushed to the airfield during the chaos.
There is a risk of another violent incident at the airport with the presence of the proposed hotel complex, staff said. There are also concerns about the relatively large size of the building on a 4.9-acre plot. Plans call for the opening of a 454-room, 19-story resort hotel in 2023.
The Dream Hotel has already requested exemptions from the town planning and zoning rules. For example, the developer wants to increase the height of the building to a maximum of 237 feet. Typically 100 feet is the norm. That’s a 137 percent increase.
Plans call for 38,500 square feet for lobbies, retail areas and play areas. In addition, there will be 45,000 square feet of food, beverage and entertainment space.
In contrast, one of the smaller resort hotels currently in the resort corridor is the OYO Resort Hotel. It has 332 rooms on 6.9 acres. This is the old Hooters.
Another small resort hotel is the Casino Royale. It has 320 rooms on 3.3 hectares.
“Staff believe that the proposal [Dream] The resort hotel is too large a facility for this site, âthe planning document said.
“This building would be taller than the buildings of the adjoining properties and visually dominate this part of Las Vegas Boulevard South, and would not conform to the adjoining properties,” the staff statement said.
âBased on these concerns, staff believe that the requester has not demonstrated that the project is appropriate for this areaâ¦ Therefore, staff do not support this request.
The project would also increase the risk to planes and passengers due to possible active shooters and the possibility of throwing objects over a fence.
Additionally, open areas on the third and ninth floors of the Dream Hotel could provide a direct line of sight for laser flashes and long gun attacks on airplanes and helicopters at the airport.
Several airlines and a pilot organization have expressed concerns in writing about the request. These include: Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines, as well as the Allied Pilots Association (APA).
“Southern Nevada’s economic recovery from the ongoing pandemic will depend heavily on the ability of these four airlines and all of the other airlines to continue to operate safely at McCarran,” the planning document said.
The APA noted the reduction in the safety and security of pilots and passengers due to the hotel’s proximity to the McCarran property lines.
Shopoff Realty tries to address concerns
In response to concerns, Bill Shopoff, President and CEO of Shopoff Realty Investments, said Casino.org this week, âOver the past four months, our development team has worked diligently with McCarran Airport to answer their security questions.
âWe have selected ARUP, the best airport security consultants in the world, and created a safety and security plan that we believe will be the benchmark for new projects adjacent to the airport property,â said Shopoff.
The building overhauls and safety improvements added $ 6 million in costs to the project, he added. âWe believe these costs are worth it to ensure that the Dream Hotel provides the safest environment possible,â Shopoff added.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also said in a 2019 document that a height waiver is not a “danger to air navigation.”
“It is important to note that the FAA’s determination is not an ‘approval’ of the project, as the FAA has no regulatory authority over local construction and land use decisions,” the FAA added in the statement.
A spokesperson for McCarran this week declined to comment further to Casino.org on the Dream Hotel project. He referred to existing documents in the files of Clark County planning staff.
Since the first cases of COVID-19 surfaced in Nevada last March, the number of passengers using the airport has declined by more than 30 million people.