Las Vegas Recovery Continues with more Expansion and Investment

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

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Amid continued signs of a Las Vegas recovery, the city continues to expand both within its borders and outside them.  Clearly keen to extend its reach into other markets, in early August MGM Resorts acquired two buildings from the city of Springfield, Mass. The $3.2 million purchase includes the Springfield State Armory building and the former Zanetti School.  


These acquisitions are part of an $800 million MGM Springfield casino project.  MGM must now await the green light from a Massachusetts referendum to be held this November, which will determine if the state will overturn its current limit of three casinos for the entire state.  Once the casino opens, MGM will start off paying over $17 million in taxes in its first year of operation, with a gradual increase in subsequent years. 


Back in the American Heartland, Las Vegas tycoon Phil Ruffin has been making some moves of his own. The Treasure Island owner has teamed up with the Quapaw Tribe of Kansas to run a casino in Crawford County.  Recent Kansas state legislation greatly lowered the minimum investment required to open a casino in the state, from $225 million to $50 million.  Ruffin's plan is subject to approval from the state Lottery Commission.


Back home in Sin City, Caesars Entertainment is showing their confidence in the recovery by taking on a new renovation project.  The major Strip player is investing $223 million to remodel the old Quad Resort and Casino (formerly the Imperial Palace) on the Strip.  The redesigned property will be christened the Linq Hotel and Casino in late October of this year.  The new hotel-casino will tie in well with Caesars recently-completed pedestrian mall, which is also called Linq. Also located in the middle of the Strip, it features a distinctive 550-foot Ferris wheel, which began operation in April. 


In another renovation project just east of the Strip, Westgate resorts recently purchased the LVH.  Formerly called the Las Vegas Hilton, it hosted over 800 Elvis concerts at its peak in the 70s.  The new property, which will be called Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino, will convert a small percentage of the hotel's approximately 3000 rooms into time-share villas, and the rest will be open to regular hotel visitors.


Holy Cow, Batman!  In yet another sign of renewed optimism in Las Vegas' future, Australian gaming manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure Ltd has recently introduced a new video slot machine to the US market that is based on the classic 1960s Batman TV series.  Ironically, the Aussies are bringing Batman to new audiences in the country that created the show!  And Aristocrat looks to be quite committed to the American market:  Just last month they purchased the US-based Video Gaming Technologies for $1.3 billion.


Down on the hot pavement of the Strip, an entrepreneur of a different kind is making some moves—or should we say steps?—lately.  Ashely Ross, a native Las Vegan, saw a need and filled it, or rather saw a foot and put a shoe on it.  She recognized that women out on the town in Las Vegas were taking off their high heels when they got uncomfortable and needed an alternative to going barefoot.  So she came up with a convenient solution and found a great way to deliver it.  Her Rollasole rollable, foldable shoes are now available in vending machines in multiple locations on the Las Vegas Strip, including several MGM Resorts retail outlets.


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