The Future Of The North Las Vegas Strip
Once the prime place to splash out and home to major casinos like Stardust, Thunderbird, and Silver Slipper, today this reality is very different. Instead, many empty plots line the streets, still waiting for the billion dollar resorts that were never built or started but never completed. Established 58 years ago, Sahara is now closing, hammering home even harder the slow demise of this once prosperous area.
Although the recession obviously had a major impact on this region, it’s not the only reason behind the slow downfall. It’s thought that the problems started as far back as the 1990s. It was then that Circus Circus’ corporate owner started to send guests over to their Excalibur Hotel, which is located in the south end, when the resort was full as opposed to the hotels based in the northern end which they’d once been partners with.
What this led to was hardly anybody staying within the hotels situated in the north and all the major development began to take place in the opposite end. The real construction boom happened only a few years later, and, from the opening of Cosmopolitan in the early 1990s up to December, a new casino was opened nearly every year. This leads, unsurprisingly, to a massive surge of visitors to this part of the Strip.
Yet, the northern part wasn’t left out. Companies were also buying up land in this region, destroying aging buildings to make way for new and better developments. But, this quickly came to an end, even before construction for some was started.
The Stardust was destroyed in 2007 by Boyd Gaming. The plan was to build a $4.8 billion Echelon Hotel and condo development which would have been its most costly construction to date. But, in October 2009, the company admitted that no further work could be carried out for another three to five years.
Not long after this, the El-Ad Group purchased Phil Ruffin’s 36 acre New Frontier land for $1.2 billion. Their plan was to construct a $8 billion luxury hotel based on New York’s Plaza Hotel. Set to open in 2011, no work has yet begun.
The $2.9 billion Fontainebleau was started but has yet to be completed. Within the United States, it’s the biggest commercial development project to have suffered bankruptcy. The purchaser, Carl Ucahn, has stated that he has no plans for the construction and has already auctioned off the furnishings.
A new start date?
C.B. Richard Ellis Executive Vice President John Knott stated that he doesn’t see any further work being carried out until 2014 and no new openings until at least 2017. He claimed that to begin the work again, the business environment has to change as it’s useless to start construction when there can be no investment return. Once redevelopment starts, the market will then be able to flourish for everybody.