The clothing chain Ross Dress for Less opened its doors in 1982 with six stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. Twenty years later the company has become so successful it plans to actually take over San Francisco. According to recent reports, it will soon build a mammoth retail store on land that was to have been host to cable cars, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and other San Francisco landmarks.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Las Vegas is getting a new Ross Dress for Less store on a Strip parcel that had been the proposed home of a San Francisco-themed hotel-casino. San Francisco developer Luke Brugnara bought the shuttered Silver City Casino, planning to build a gambling palace along the lines of the New York- and Paris-themed casinos already on the Strip. In a January interview with SF Weekly, Brugnara said, "You could have a Chinatown full of slot machines. You could have the Castro District." But the Nevada Gaming Control Board stymied the S.F. casino idea last year by denying Brugnara's gaming license, citing his S.F. legal troubles and flippant remarks he made during his license application review hearing.
Brugnara says he may yet save San Francisco. He sold only two acres of the 10-acre parcel and kept the rest. He now plans to buy another Vegas hotel-casino, he says.
"It's major, let's put it that way," Brugnara says, adding that there's still room for a "City by the Bay" on the remaining Silver City land. "We could do 2,000 rooms and still have a Strip address."
Supervisor Chris Daly -- ordinarily an opponent of large construction projects that, in his opinion, harm local residents' quality of life -- says he supports the Ross Dress for Less project.
"That's pretty exciting because that's where I shop," Daly says. "I'm glad they're not building a Marshalls."
Besides, he doesn't really see any need for a faux S.F.
"We've already got that fake Golden Gate Bridge at Disneyland," Daly says. "I have no understanding why they'd need another one."