Las Vegas is tearing down its past and replacing it with multi-use urban complexes. When the famed Stardust Resort & Casino was razed in the wee morning hours of March 13, the ensuing smoke and dust were carried away on winds of change. The Stardust was a 50-year symbol of The Strip—the setting of such movies as Casino and Swingers. Its implosion signified a shift in the future landscape of Las Vegas, one marked by vast developments entailing everything from multiple new hotels to retail shopping and residences.
Boyd Gaming is behind the Stardust's replacement. Echelon Place will be built on the same land once occupied by the Stardust, totaling 65 acres and situated across the street from the Wynn Las Vegas. The development is poised to break ground in June and open for business in the second half of 2010 at an all-in cost of more than $4.4 billion. In total, the lodging component will consist of 5,000 guest rooms and suites spread out between five different hotels. One hotel will appropriately be named the Echelon, while another will be an as-yet-to-be-named all-suite property. The remaining three hotels are familiar brands. The Morgans Hotel Group will lend two of its brand names to the development: the Delano Las Vegas and the Mondrian Las Vegas. The last hotel will be a Shangri-La, which is a luxury brand located primarily in Asia and Australia, though it is looking to make a push into the North American market. The Shangri-La Hotel Las Vegas is one of four announced North American projects in the works for the Hong Kong-based operator.
Other elements of the mixed-use development include two
theaters: one with 4,500 seats and the other with 1,500 seats; a 300,000
square-foot retail promenade; 30 different dining and nightlife venues; 200,000
square feet of pools and gardens; 9,000 parking spaces; and, because the
development will abut four streets, seven different arrival points resulting in
easier guest access. Of course, what self-respecting
Echelon Place has drawn comparisons to the CityCenter project, which is also
slated to open in 2010. Moreover, the two massive developments represent the
evolution of The Strip. "
Meanwhile, a bit farther off The Strip, but no less removed
from the stream of development, land negotiations are underway for a $1.1
billion resort being developed by a group of former Disney and Universal
Studios executives. The group, Las Vegas
Wet LLC, is angling for a 200-plus-acre site along
When completed, the resort will feature an indoor snow park and an indoor-outdoor water park. Plans also call for two hotels, a casino, a spa, notable restaurants and a multiplex theater. A name for the development is forthcoming, says Las Vegas Wet co-founder Kelly Jo Horton, as well as a new web site that is scheduled to go live within the next few weeks.
Ironically, the land under negotiation is larger than