Moulin Rouge Casino Redevelopment Plan Crumbles

  • The Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority was planning to buy the historic site
  • Originally pitched the idea of bidding $5.5m for the 15 acres of land in June
  • Some board members were hesitant due to the authority's lack of retail development experience
businessman ripping up paper with the word 'deal' written on it
Plans to redevelop the site of the historic Moulin Rouge casino in Las Vegas, which was the first casino to allow both white and black customers, have fallen through. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Change of plan

Plans to redevelop the historic Moulin Rouge site in Las Vegas have fallen through following a proposal being sent by the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority.

Chad Williams, executive director of the housing authority, told board members on Thursday that a final deal could not be delivered, meaning redevelopment plans for the site have now been put on hold.

Decision follows a feasibility study

Williams told board members that the decision to scrap the deal was made following the outcome of a feasibility study. He said it was ultimately a “business decision”.

Despite Williams giving this reason, he went on to say that the result of the appraisal would have been very favorable to the housing authority. The group may reconsider its proposal at some stage in the future, which Williams also suggested.

Maybe we can look at it 10 years from now but right now I don’t think it’s in the best interest of the housing authority to acquire this property.”

Board members divided

Williams initially pitched the idea of bidding $5.5m for the 15-acre plot of land in June.

The idea was to have commercial retail units, as well as a satellite college campus, some affordable housing, and a gaming facility. A partner would have been sought to operate the casino, with profits being pumped back into the local area.

A number of the board members were hesitant to commit to this deal. Some of them presented arguments against the purchasing of the site back in July. They said that the authority did not have relevant experience in retail developments. They also noted that there was a lot of public resistance during previous attempts to rebuild a casino on the site.

Now that the housing authority is no longer in the running, Williams said that any future potential buyers may not consider the best interests of nearby residents.

A number of other potential buyers have expressed interest in this site, including the Nevada Restaurant Services Group. A number of deals for the site have fallen through over the years.

Historic site

The Moulin Rouge opened its doors way back in 1955. This was a significant moment, as it became the first casino in Las Vegas to welcome white and black customers. However, it was only in operation for five months before it closed its doors.

first casino in Las Vegas to welcome white and black customers

Despite not having been in operation for the past 64 years, there is still an active gambling license in place at this site. Every two years, a temporary opening is held to keep this license active.