Casinos Upgrading in Fast-Growing Mesquite, Nevada

Although Las Vegas takes the lion’s share of the $1 billion per month gambling revenues in Nevada, there are plenty of other places to visit casinos within a couple of hours drive.

Mesquite is about an hour and a half north of Las Vegas, near the state line with Utah. It is the fastest-growing town in the Silver State. 

Mesquite Gaming, owned by famous Las Vegas veteran casino owner Michael Gaughan, this week announced that it will be upgrading its two casinos in the town.

CasaBlanca and Virgin River hotel casinos will both be getting multimillion-dollar renovations this summer, the operator revealed. 

“These exciting projects further illustrate our commitment to upgrade the quality of these two destination properties for our guests and employees,” said Justin Moore, CEO of Mesquite Gaming, in a press release.

Silver State Growth 

As well as CasaBlanca and Virgin River, Mesquite also hosts Eureka resort casino. That venue announced its own $40 million expansion plan in April of this year. 

The town’s isolated, middle-of-nowhere desert feel is attractive to those seeking a slower-paced gambling getaway than Las Vegas. But it also appeals to retirees looking to be close to the Sin City experience while not committing to living in one of its sprawling suburbs.

Mesquite also has plenty of golf courses, as well as dozens of grill restaurants that use the town’s namesake Mesquite wood smoking flavor. The city of St. George, Utah, is just across state lines, and also brings in gambling visitors. 

All of that has combined to make it Nevada’s fastest-growing town over the past three years, with a population rise of 10% between 2020 and 2023. That beats North Las Vegas with 9% population growth, and Sin City suburb Henderson with 1.8%.

The fastest-growing city in the U.S. is Celina, Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. It grew by 26.6% over that time. Although by sheer numbers, the title of fastest-growing city goes to San Antonio. The Texas city saw a net gain of 22,000 people moving in over the past three years. Which is, coincidentally, the same number of people that currently live in Mesquite.

Expansion Plans 

Back in Nevada, Mesquite Casinos is putting in more than $10 million to renovate CasaBlanca and Virgin River. 

The remodel will include adding more gaming floor space, although it will be focusing on the restaurants and bar services. The Katherine’s Steakhouse inside CasaBlanca will be getting a complete overhaul and expansion, and the casino’s main center bar will be getting the same treatment.

Meanwhile, at the Virgin River, the casino hotel will be getting a brand-new sportsbook area. The plan is to move the sports betting area into a redesigned space formerly occupied by the long-vacant theater and cinema on the property. 

This will make use of the huge 10-foot by 50-foot screens that currently don’t see much use, as well as adding a lounge and bar space to the sports betting facilities. Mesquite Gaming has recently seen an investment from California-based Oaktree Capital, who are helping to finance the upgrades. 

“People might want an expedited experience,” Moore said. “Having a nice lounge area where you go in, grab a couple cocktails, maybe get a small bite or enjoy the traditional menu, might be very attractive to people.”

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