Oh so much news about the North Strip! Many of you have most likely avoided going north of Wynn/Encore because there are long walks between not much. Even if you have to get up to SLS and Stratosphere Las Vegas (for whatever reason), the monorail has been the way to go. That is going to change dramatically in the next couple of years. Here’s a north-to-south overview of what to anticipate:
– The Stratosphere (and both Arizona Charlie’s) have been bought by Golden Gaming, which owns a few casinos scattered around Nevada (Pahrump and Laughlin), and more importantly operates the most dominant chains of bar and grills around Las Vegas (over 60 locations at my last count). They plan unspecified investments in the property. For now, what I’d look to is them taking all they’ve learned with their bars and non-Vegas Strip casinos and making things very easy on the wallet to lure people through the door.
– SLS(ahara) was recently sold to a Reno casino operator. Our hope was that he would bring Reno-style hospitality and pricing to The Strip. Unfortunately, that sale seems up in the air. Word is that, despite the intense renovation of the property, it still has significant problems and the price needs to come down to make the deal work. No word of what those issues are, but one has to assume they are infrastructure issues which were glossed over during the renovation. (I’m just making a guess here, not a statement). Those of you who have worked on old houses know that you can make the house look great, but that doesn’t mean the plumbing and electrical are new.
– The All Net Arena, on the old Wet ‘N’ Wild property just south of SLS, claims that financing is in place for them to build an NBA-style arena on the property. This has been in the world for years, and the principles have NBA connections. However, not so fast on this one. MGM Resorts will have none of this. If we get an NBA team, they want it in their own T-Mobile arena. So much so, that to build a relationship with the NBA, they just went out and bought San Antonio’s WNBA team and is relocating it to Las Vegas. (WNBA games will be in the smaller Mandalay Bay Events Center, not at T-Mobile. This due to the expected number of ticket sales per game).
– Nothing much new since we reported the sale of the Fontainebleau. I expect that we’ll hear something sooner than later, as the convention center expansion is slated to open in 2020. Given their proximity to this expansion, it would do them well to have the door open when that happens.
– Circus Circus continues to be the red-headed step-child of MGM Resorts. However, don’t expect them to part with it anytime soon. They are just biding their time. They were instrumental in pushing the funding for the new convention center expansion, which is a stones-throw away. Just as they are remodeling, de-themeing, and upgrading the Monte Carlo, I’d expect a similar initiative with Circus around a year before the new convention space across the street comes online. The value of the property will rise dramatically in a couple of years. I find it unfortunate that MGM Resorts seems to love de-theming casino properties. However, all is not lost on the theme front…
– Resorts World Las Vegas (old Stardust) has hired a construction manager, and multiple cranes are on-site and on the rise. This property will be seriously Asian themed and be the first themed casino to be built here since Paris Las Vegas opened in 1999. Nearly 20 years.
As always, we’ll keep you in the loop and continue to make you among the most informed visitors to Las Vegas.