Photo by Alex Macon

WORLD CLASS CITY

There Is, Unfortunately, No Desert Fortune Casino at Valley View Mall

There is no secret gambling den at the mall, despite a new-ish sign above a blasted-out entrance.

The Dallas Morning News’ Robert Wilonsky has the latest on the pockmarked concrete wasteland that is Valley View Mall, stuck in a kind of developers’ purgatory years after we first saw shiny new renderings of what they’re still calling Dallas Midtown. As it now stands, you’re left with a big mess, a “substantial danger of injury or adverse health impacts to the public,” and the lowest matinee movie prices in town at the AMC Valley View 16.

The Morning News piece ends by observing the “Desert Fortune Casino” signage posted above a blown-out and boarded-up entrance to the mall. The painted sign is maybe the only significant work done at the mall in years, if you don’t count the holes put in the building and then subsequently left to leer at passersby on the Tollway and 635.

I noticed the signage while driving by the mall a couple months back, and also thought it was mysterious. At the time, the entrance was not boarded, the broken glass of the doors leading into a dark and hollowed-out department store that I did not have the guts to poke my head into. I did entertain the idea of a grimy underground gambling den taking root inside the dead mall, which felt like an OK use of a space that looks more Chernobyl than Far North Dallas. The next day I emailed Scott Beck, the mall’s owner, to see if the Desert Fortune Casino was a new tenant, or if he had some other idea of what was up. He didn’t, at first, but got back to me later:

We leased the outside of building for a movie for 4 weeks.  That’s the name of the casino in the movie.  It will be down in 2 weeks.

That was on March 20. As we have learned, change at Valley View takes a long time.

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