Genting Resorts World Announcement Shows Las Vegas Recession is Over

by John Mehaffey on March 5, 2013

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    Genting Group announced today that they will buy the former Stardust property from Boyd Gaming.  The selling price was $350 million for the 87-acre parcel located between Fashion Show Mall and Circus Circus.  The transaction closed Monday.  It had been privately negotiated for nine months.

    This is more great news for a city that is still struggling to return to its prerecession levels in terms of gaming revenue and real estate values.  Las Vegas set a record with 39.7 million visitors in 2012.  That record number of visitors spent 10% less in the casinos than they did in 2006, when the Las Vegas Strip set a record with $6.8 billion in gaming revenue.  Spending is still strong on amenities such as entertainment and dining.

    Several major Las Vegas projects have been completed recently or are currently under construction and the Genting Group’s announcement about the sale of the former Stardust property adds another project to the mix.

    Projects currently under construction

    Linq Project

    Caesars Entertainment’s Linq Project is the largest Las Vegas construction project currently underway.  The Linq Project carries a $500 million price tag and is expected to be completed in December 2013.  The anchor of the Linq Project is a 550-foot observation wheel that will be called the High Roller.  There will also be a number of restaurants and entertainment options.  O’Sheas closed to make room for the Linq Project and Imperial Palace was remodeled and renamed Quad.

    Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall

    Another Caesars Entertainment construction project is occurring at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Boulevard on the former site of Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall, previously known as Barbary Coast.  The $180 million reconstruction of the property will transform it into a boutique hotel.

    MGM Grand Renovation

    MGM Grand is undergoing a $160 million renovation that will transform the exterior of the iconic property as well as all guest rooms.  The entire casino floor, retail outlets and the Tabu nightclub will also receive a face lift.  MGM Grand’s renovation should be completed by this summer.

    SLS Las Vegas

    SLS Las Vegas will be built on the property once known as Sahara.  It will cost an estimated $415 million to transform the skeleton of the old Sahara into a new boutique hotel.   The property is located at the far north end of the Las Vegas Strip and not within walking distance of most Las Vegas resorts.  This is an issue I addressed in a previous 4Flush article.

    Downtown Grand

    Fifth Street Gaming is converting the defunct Lady Luck property in downtown Las Vegas into the Downtown Grand.  It will also create a retail district at the street level.  The project carries a $100 million price tag and will be completed by the end of 2013.

    Genting Resorts World Las Vegas

    Today’s announcement is by far the largest of all Las Vegas construction projects.  The construction costs will run around $2 billion for the first phase and there is another $5 billion budgeted to complete the resort should there be demand.  The first phase includes a 3,500-room hotel, a 7-acre water park and hundreds of thousands of square feet of gaming, restaurants and entertainment facilities.

    This are over $3 billion in short term construction projects that will help Las Vegas put its lingering recession behind it with the potential for $5 billion more down the road.  The Genting Resorts World in Las Vegas will also remove an eyesore from the Las Vegas Strip that can be seen prominently from tens of thousands of hotel rooms.  The good times are back for Las Vegas.

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