There was a great variety of Las Vegas blogs when I first started to become curious about this town. One of my favorite blogs was vegastodayandtomorrow.com (Vegas TAT). They were on top of everything from which casino served Coke or Pepsi to a listing of the size of Las Vegas casinos.
I still reference the website fairly often even though it hasn’t been updated in years.
Failed Las Vegas Projects
Fontainebleau and The Drew
When Fontainebleau was purchased and The Drew was announced I immediately went to Vegas TAT for some information about the original plans for the big blue monstrosity. The website has renderings, videos, and specs about the failed casino project.
The initial concept of Fontainebleau was exciting and unlike anything in Las Vegas at the time. The Drew plans piggybacked on this but work hasn’t started. Someday…maybe.
Related: Fontainebleau to Become The Drew | Opening on the Vegas Strip 2020
Astral Las Vegas
When I first heard about plans for Astral Las Vegas, the first thing that came to mind was that it’s a strange looking rendering. Then I wondered if this new casino-hotel will actually be built. Not only did Vegas TAT keep an up to date list of then-current construction but they have an amazing section on dream casinos. This website has become a historical abstract for casino projects that were conceived but never built.
Ferris Wheels In Vegas
Before the High Roller was built at The Linq, there were at least five proposed casinos in Las Vegas that would have included a ferris wheel. According to Vegas TAT the properties below each had a plan to include a ferris wheel.
Starting from the top-left:
- London Resort / El Rancho site (TGWC)
- London Resort / Across from Luxor (TGWC)
- Rio (Voyager)
- Palace by the Sea Resort / Wet and Wild site (Voyager)
- Voyager Resort / Westward Ho site (Voyager)
- Montreux / New Frontier site (TGWC)
Visit Vegas TAT for more information on each.
Failed Las Vegas Dreams In The 1980s and 90s
The 1980s and 90s were a wild time. There were so many strange casino concepts that never saw the light of day. Ferris wheels are one thing. Titanic Resort was never even approved but we have multiple renderings of an amazingly awful concept that would have been built across the street on the land that’s currently the MGM Festival Grounds. (Amazingly, the Titanic Resort Website is still live.)
Imagine those faux icebergs on the Vegas Strip. Make sure you check out the concept casinos for the WWF (now WWE) and Addam’s Family casinos!
Failed Las Vegas Dreams in the early aughts (2000s)
Las Vegas was changing in the early 2000s. Many of the fantasy concepts were scrapped for upscale or fiscally responsible projects. This was the beginning of the Las Vegas you’re seeing today.
Before The Park and The Linq, there was the East Village (above). This would have been built on Flamingo towards Paradise. This pseudo-replica of New York City would have been created by a developer of the New York-New York. The mixed-use property would not have included a casino but would have plenty of shopping, drinking, and dining
Years before moving to Las Vegas, I dreamed of moving here. The idea of living in a mixed condo-hotel-casino was appealing. I could live a city lifestyle but in Las Vegas. I was tracking the W Hotel project closely.
The project never got off the ground so I didn’t have to tempt fate. I later moved to Las Vegas but farther away from the Vegas Strip. I’m still not sure I could handle the access to that part of town. I quite like living in the burbs.
The W concept was created around the same time as The Cosmopolitan and Aria/City Center. These are a couple of the unthemed casino developments that were actually built during this time. Thankfully most of the hideously tall condos weren’t built.
Looking back: Why Is No One Talking About The W Las Vegas?
This takes us full circle back to the Fontainebleau/The Drew. This is one of the failed concepts from the early 2000s. This hideous blue building is unlike most concepts that were never built. The concept was grand as the Fontainebleau and The Drew. Somehow the building stands. Maybe it will get built someday.
Vegas TAT is a treasure of lost Vegas. Even though the website hasn’t been updated in years it brings so many fun memories. There were so many renovation and expansions of existing casinos (at the time) that never got off the ground. It might be a good thing this Dunes expansion never happened.
It’s fun to take a stroll around the Las Vegas that never was. Did you know that Bellagio was originally supposed to be Beau Rivage?