More Developments Appear on the Las Vegas Horizon

29 August 2014Printer Friendly VersionPost a CommentTell a Friend about this Article

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New developments are popping up across the Las Vegas skyline, and many of them aren't even related to gambling.  For example, MGM Resorts is building an open air concert and event site on the north Strip which will have a capacity of up to 80,000 people.  The venue will initially host the Rock in Rio mega-concert event in May of next year and then it will continue to be used for a variety of events, including sports and festivals.  


MGM has partnered with the spectacularly successful Cirque du Soleil for the Rock in Rio festival.  Apparently MGM really believes diversification is the wave of the future:  They're also planning to build a $350M dining and retail district called The Park.  The complex, estimated to cost $350M, will be located between New York-New York and the Monte Carlo. 


Bringing an Asian flavor to this north Strip revival, Malaysia-based Genting Berhad continues to move forward with their plans for a Chinese-themed mega-resort called Resorts World Las Vegas.  In May of this year they received a preliminary green light from The Nevada Gaming Control Board.  The initial phase of the project will cost $4 billion and will include 3000 hotel rooms.  Among the property's featured attractions will be an over 600-foot tower with an observation deck and a 50,000 square foot aquarium with exotic fish.  The resort will be built on the site of the Echelon Place project, which was abandoned by Boyd Gaming due to the financial crisis in 2008.


MGM and Genting won't be alone on the somewhat desolate north Strip.  They'll have company long before they open.  As reported in a previous article, SLS Las Vegas will open its doors on August 23 of this year.  They'll be resurrecting the old Sahara casino, a miracle made possible through some creative financing.  Over a quarter of the money for the project was raised through EB-5's, which allow foreigners to obtain their US green card by investing in new US businesses.


High above the glitz and glitter of the Strip, a development of another kind is literally being carved out of the mountains surrounding the Las Vegas Valley.  Ascaya, a bold new residential project suspended due to the economic crisis, has recently been revived by its founder, Hong Kong billionaire Henry Cheng.  


The project, which covers an area of more than one square mile (2.6 square km), is located in the McCullough Mountain Range in Henderson, Nevada, about 12 miles (19km) southeast of the Las Vegas Strip.  A small portion of the development's residential lots went up for sale on August 1, with prices for half-acre lots starting at around $800,000.  Keep in mind, that's only for the land; buyers must build their own mansions.  At an altitude of 1000 feet (approximately 300 meters) above the Las Vegas Valley, the view might just be worth it for those who can pay to see it. 


Back down in the gaming trenches, long-time gaming machine market leader IGT has expanded its horizons far beyond the shores of America.  On August 14, IGT announced a deal with LT Game, a major gaming and casino system provider in the Asia Pacific region.  The agreement stipulates that LT Game will distribute IGT slot machines in Macau.  IGT, in turn, will distribute LT Games in the US and Canada. 


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