LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Frank Gambella, president of one of the largest proposed gambling and theme-park developments in southern Nevada history, says financing is in place for the 700-acre, $1.2 billion resort complex named Pharaoh's Kingdom.
'Everything is pretty well in place,' Gambella, a 17-year-veteran of Nevada gaming and former casino marketing executive at the Golden Nugget and Dunes Hotel-casinos in Las Vegas, said Sunday.
Gambella predicted the new Egyptian-theme resort could open by Labor Day, 1990. Groundbreaking is planned in March or April of next year.
The complex will be dotted with pyramid-shaped buildings, man-made beaches, sphinxes, waterways reminiscent of oasis along the banks of the Nile River, and numerous gourmet dining facilities including an under-water seafood restaurant.
'We are 100 percent in place with financing. A Nevada corporation will lend the money,' Gambella said. He declined to name the source of financing but said 'several entities' were involved, indicating financiers may be grouped under the umbrella of a single Nevada corporation.
The complex will employ about 8,000 people.
Gambella discounted reports that Connecticut developer Anthony Silano, acquitted in a drug trafficking trial six years ago, would have difficulty obtaining a Nevada gambling license.
'It is nothing we didn't tell the gambling control people about already,' said Gambella of the head of Silano Development Group.
Silano was arrested in Connecticut six years ago on charges of drug violations. He was acquitted of cocaine trafficking and illegal weapons charges in 1982.
The casino at Pharaoh's Kingdom will include 100 live games and 3,000 slot machines, said Gambella. A Recreational Vehicle park, mini-golf, a bowling alley and arcade are positioned alongside the adult gaming area.
Pharaoh's Kingdom, with one-mile of frontage of the Strip located about five miles south of the Tropicana Hotel, will include five pyramid structures, an enclosed 50-acre amusement park in three pyramid structures, an 18-hole PGA championship golf course, 5,000 hotel rooms built in the shape of two pyramid towers, a 230,000 square-foot casino, 24-hour licensed child care, a shopping promenade for 100 businesses, and a repertory-style theater under the direction of actor Jack Klugman.
Phil Arce, former head of the Frontier Hotel on the Strip and an official of Las Vegas Events Inc., has been chosen as the chief operating officer of Pharaoh's Kingdom. Richard Bunker, former chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board and a former executive at Circus-Circus and the Aladdin Hotel, is a consultant to the project.
A complex of 750 condominiums for permanent residents and 900 apartments for retirement congregate care will be built after the resort section is completed, said Gambella.