The northern end of the Las Vegas Strip was decimated by the recession. The Fontainebleau was mothballed in 2009 and remains 70 percent built. The New Frontier was demolished to make room for a new development. It was to become the Las Vegas Plaza, not to be confused with a similarly-named downtown hotel-casino. Those plans were scrapped in 2011.
Also in 2011, Sahara ceased operations after 59 years. Its ownership cited the closure was due to the casino no longer being ‘economically viable’.
The former Stardust property was another victim of the recession. Boyd Gaming planned on building Echelon Place, its first venture into the luxury Las Vegas casino market. The project was suspended in August 2008 due to poor economic conditions.
Riviera, Circus Circus, and Stratosphere have suffered due to the unfinished projects along this section of Las Vegas Boulevard. That is about to change.
SLS Las Vegas
SLS Las Vegas is set to open in August. It will be located on the Sahara site. The former hotel building and parking deck will be used after extensive remodeling. Most of the casino will be completely new. It is owned by SBE Entertainment, the same company that operated Sahara during its last four years of existence.
Resorts World Las Vegas
Resorts World Las Vegas appears to be a sure thing. It will be located on the former Stardust site. Construction is expected to start later this year. The resort is scheduled to open in 2016. The theme will be Chinese and includes a Great Wall of China replica along the Las Vegas Blvd frontage. There will also be a water park and panda exhibit. The first phase of construction is expected to cost about $4 billion.
Resorts World would be the first casino built from the ground up in Las Vegas since Cosmopolitan opened in December 2010. Other casinos have opened since that time, including Cromwell, Downtown Grand, and Quad, but these properties were the result of remodeling existing structures.
City of Rock
City of Rock will be developed for the Rock in Rio concert series in May 2015. It will be a temporary venue that could potentially host other concerts or sporting events. The City of Rock will be located at the southwest corner of Sahara and Las Vegas Blvd.
MGM Resorts owns the property. This land was first acquired with the intention of building a development comparable to CityCenter, home to Aria, Vdara, and the Shops at Crystals. This idea of a CityCenter North never made it past the planning stage after the massive recession that hit Las Vegas reduced gaming, hotel, and shopping demand in the market.
The recession in Las Vegas is over. The new developments on the north end of the Strip, as well as other parts of the Las Vegas Valley show that the tourist market is alive and well.
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