No Let Up In Vegas Construction


We’ve just returned from Las Vegas and checked out the progress of the myriad new projects under development. What amazed us most is the sheer scope and scale of some of the resorts coming down the pike.

The first round of new build mega-resort openings officially kicks off next week with the opening of Palazzo, the $1.9 billion sister property to the venerable Venetian. The new 3,025 all-suite resort makes it grand debut very quietly on December 20th with a soft opening. However, a big grand opening event is being scheduled for mid January.

Already open is Planet Hollywood. Utilizing the bones of the now defunct Aladdin, this center Strip resort successfully injects the excitement of the celebrity lifestyle into a quality upscale experience. The property has been almost completely transformed and now features in-room movie memorabilia and great restaurants such as Strip House and Koi. A new nightclub Privé will make its debut soon.

A new 47-story tower at the Palms Casino Resort will house 599 condominium-suites when it opens in early 2008. It’ll have studios as well as one and two-bedroom suites. Also here is a 50,000 square-foot pool and spa complex.

The folks at Wynn Las Vegas hope to have their newest resort, Encore, opened in time to ring in 2009. The $1.7 billion property is just about to be topped off.

Meanwhile, the $7.4 billion CityCenter from MGM-MIRAGE is rising at the unbelievable rate of one floor every nine days. When complete, the main 60-story structure will house 4,000 hotel rooms and a half-million square-foot entertainment district. It’s about 30 stories tall right now. Also here will be the city’s first Mandarin Oriental, residential apartments and more amenities than any other resort in the world.

We also inspected the northern part of the Strip past Wynn’s Encore. This will be the place to be starting in 2009 with the debut of the $2.7 billion Fontainebleau-Las Vegas. It will have about 3,900 rooms and is now about 15 stories out of the ground. Groundwork is continuing on Echelon, another massive development scheduled to open in 2010. At a cost of $4.8 billion, this Boyd Gaming property will house several independent hotels, as well as 3,150-room Echelon resort. Meanwh, the dust is still being cleared at the site of the New Frontier hotel. Once complete, construction will start on El Ad’s $5 billion Plaza Hotel project. Details are still slim, but it’s scheduled to feature 3,500 rooms and mimic the personality of its famed New York sibling property.

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