Since the disastrous affects of the great recession on Las Vegas, several projects were left dormant waiting for a sunnier day. Below, we track projects like Resorts World, The Drew and even newer undertakings like Wynn’s Paradise park and the FLYLINQ Zipline.
Resorts World Las Vegas:
We watched as Stardust was imploded in March of 2007 to make way for the $4 billion 5,300 room Echelon project that was originally slated to be completed by Boyd Gaming in 2010. If you could have seen the future as Stardust fell into a pile of dust however your heart would have been broken knowing the site would sit partially complete for a decade. Construction on Echelon was halted in August of 2008 due to the US recession and there has been little activity on the site until recently. In 2013, the Echelon site was purchased by the Genting Group for $350 million with plans of building an Asian themed resort – Resorts World Las Vegas. In a May 2017 interview with the Las Vegas Review Journal, Edward Ferrell, President of Resorts World Las Vegas said that cranes will go up over the summer of 2017 and that he expects the resort to open in 2020. For the sake of the north end of the Las Vegas Strip I hope the delays are in the rear-view. Fast forward to Fall of 2018 and Resorts world is stacking floors and hanging exterior glass. It’s starting to look like this resort will get finished!
Fontainebleau (Now The Drew) Las Vegas:
You have seen the blue colossus also sitting abandoned on the north end of the strip. Fontainebleau Las Vegas, which sits on land once occupied by the El Rancho and Algiers was intended to include a 65,000 sq. ft. casino sitting beneath over 3,800 hotel rooms and condominiums. The Fontainebleau project broke ground in 2007, but like Echelon before it, hit hard times when the housing bubble popped. Construction was halted in 2009 when the Fontainebleau project plunged into bankruptcy. Carl Ichan purchased the ill-fated property in 2010 for a mere $150 million and has since sold the property to investment firms Witcoff and New Valley for $600 Million in the summer of 2017.
After purchasing the property, Steve Witkoff renamed the project “The Drew Las Vegas” and scheduled the resort to open in 2020. The Drew derives it’s new name from Witcoff’s son, Drew, who died in 2011 as a result of an overdose.
There has been some question as to whether The Drew will meet that timeline or will open at all – Per VitalVegas’ Twitter Account:
Like a knee to the groin: We’ve shared The Drew is worse than anticipated, now hear rumor it’s not salvageable and must come down.
— Vital Vegas (@VitalVegas) October 13, 2018
We are certainly hopeful however.
Wynn Paradise Park / Wynn West:
Remember the good ole’ days when Steve Wynn wasn’t a sexual predator? So do I. Back then, Wynn announced the closure of their golf course which was shuttered on Dec 22nd, 2017. The land was to be transformed into additional convention space, a 3rd hotel tower and the Paradise Park Lagoon.. which looked amazing. Well, Steve is out and his protege Matt Maddox has taken over as CEO of Wynn Resorts. While the convention space is coming together, the brakes have been applied to paradise park as Maddox re-thinks the project’s scope and scale.
Wynn West, a new hotel tower planned for the empty lot across the street (north of the Fashion Show Mall) is likely not going to happen. The land currently is sitting empty with no signs of life.
LINQ Promenade Zipline:
I have been pleasantly surprised by this project. Ziplines are cool… but if I’m being honest, Slotzilla downtown is a bit intrusive in it’s attempt to fit into the Fremont Street Experience. Caesars Entertainment did a great job of fitting the zipline attraction, which will send riders soaring over the LINQ promenade from the Strip to the High Roller Observation wheel, into its allocated space without being an eyesore. The new attraction is set to open in November of 2018.
Stay tuned for more Las Vegas project updates especially since construction on the new 18 Fremont project downtown should commence soon!