A petition initiative would require new casinos outside Reno's downtown core help pay off debt for downtown redevelopment.
The petition filed by five Culinary Union members needs
signatures from 11,661 registered voters to qualify for the
November general election ballot.
The measure would include new casinos, including projects yet to
receive a special-use permit to target Station Casinos' proposed
gaming resort at the Redfield Center in south Reno.
"This is for fiscally responsible growth," said Bob Fulkerson
of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Northern Nevada. "If
downtown declines, taxpayers are going to be on the hook for the
Fulkerson said the proposed Station casino on the Mount Rose
Highway will lure tourists out of downtown, which is already
Fulkerson announced the petition drive Wednesday, with Reno
resident Jan Lockhard, who owns a home near the Redfield Center,
and Chris Bohner, Culinary Union spokesman from Las Vegas.
"We need to focus on downtown, to keep it strong and keep it
alive," Lockhard said.
Lori Nelson, spokeswoman for Station Casinos, characterized the
petition as harassment. For years, she said the union has failed in
its attempts to organize Station's 14,000 employees in Clark
"We are really not surprised by another tactic by the Culinary
Union to undermine our efforts in Reno," she said.
"Their motives are purely about corporate harassment. We still
believe our two projects are good for the entire Reno destination
and we will be expanding, not taking away."
Station Casinos' proposed casino resort at the Redfield Center
would create 1,300 new jobs, and another casino near the convention
center employing 850 more. The $500 million project would be the
first major casino built in Washoe County since the Silver Legacy
opened in 1995.