This was a particularly newsy week in Las Vegas. There were official announcements, plans revealed, openings, closings, rumors and news that could affect your next visit to Las Vegas. This is the kind of week that people who constantly crave Las Vegas love. Let’s get to it.
The Asian-themed boutique casino-hotel just off the Vegas Strip near SLS Las Vegas says that they will be opening later this year. After halting construction due to a lack of financing they say that new funds have been secured and they will be able to finish construction. The 27,500 square foot casino will be a little larger than The Cromwell and have approximately 50 table games and 500 slot machines. The hotel will have 204 rooms and suites, four restaurants, a tea garden (sounds zen-like) and a pool. It’s easier to make a proclamation than it is to restart construction. That said if construction restarts as planned I expect to see Lucky Dragon open. I’ll keep my eyes open on construction because I love seeing new casinos open for business.
Speaking of restarting construction…Resorts World says they’ll be restarting construction before the year is over. If you remember, they “officially broke ground” on the massive casino-resort project a year ago last week. Besides a few rocks being pushed around not much has happened on the land across the street from Wynn in the past year. This week Resorts World General Counsel Gerald Gardner said that construction will begin in the fourth quarter.
Resorts World is an exciting project but the plans have been rescaled a couple of times and I think this is the 3rd time in the past year where they’ve set a new construction start date. If construction begins later this year the new tentative opening year will be 2019. I hope I don’t have to write about the construction being delayed again but I’ll believe this when I see it actually happening.
Wynn Paradise Park
The expansion of Wynn Las Vegas still has to be approved by the board (why is this taking so long?). Steve Wynn elaborated more on the plans for Wynn Paradise Park during an earnings call this week. The additional plans sound interesting enough that I’m going to quote Vegas Inc. I don’t want to miss any details:
The casino mogul said the lake had been extended some 600 feet and that in the middle of it would be “a mountain, an island” eight to ten stories tall featuring “irregular topography” and twin peaks connected by a rope bridge.
He also spoke of “cabanas and other special effects platforms” built into the side, a “beach bar with white sand,” ferries in the lake and zip lines.
Wynn said that at its current phase, the creative process for a project like Paradise Park was “very dynamic” and changing “on a weekly basis.”
While the quote may read a bit like a deep thought session, the thinking behind it makes sense. The idea is to make the island inside the lake be a part of the experience. The goal is that this isn’t just a lake with a beach. We’ll find out a timeline on the project after it’s approved.
Rumor: Massive Makeover For Flamingo
Robin Leach is gossiping that Flamingo is going “to get a $100-million-plus makeover in time to celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2021.” According to Leach, renovations will begin before the year is over. Renovations to the property shouldn’t take 5 years so the timeline sounds a bit strange. I reached out to Caesars Entertainment earlier this week and haven’t heard back either way. That’s sometimes a sign of truth but it’s definitely not a confirmation that his will happen.
Flamingo could certainly use some TLC so this sounds possible. I won’t get my hopes up. While his last rumor about Wayne Newton opening a show at Bally’s was true The Leach has about a 50/50 track record with rumors. I’ll wait for more credible sources to reveal details before getting too excited.
Max Casino at Westin Mostly Closing
Max Casino was a tiny casino with 6 table games, a small sports book and about 150 slot machines. It wasn’t a destination casino but a nice amenity for the Westin that occasionally brought in some low rollers for Happy Hour craps. The Westin is getting a makeover so that it feels more like a Starwood hotel. While most of the casino is closing to become a restaurant the sports book and some bar top video poker will remain.
The Linq Hotel Offering Bunk Beds
The Linq Hotel is designed with a younger traveller in mind. The bunk bed addition to twelve room is being made for younger travellers who just want a place to lay their head. The old Imperial Palace rooms are just 350 square feet (see room review here) and there’s no room for a rollaway bed no matter how spacious the rooms may feel. In my mind, this is already a no-brainer for a group of dudes looking for a cheap place to crash when visiting Las Vegas for March Madness 2017.
Possible Troubles With Uber
Uber is a great service and is growing in popularity in Las Vegas every day. The ride sharing company continues to cut rates and while that’s great for people looking for a ride, it’s not great for people who provide those rides and are paid based on those rates. The company is looking to get the most passengers by cutting rates but that hurts the wallet of the people giving the rides. Uber drivers earn a percentage of each fare so the lower the fares go the less they earn per ride.
According to 8 News Now, some Uber drivers are beginning to stay away from the Vegas Strip. This issue is only beginning but it’s important to be aware of. If there’s a driver shortage the dynamic pricing will take effect and that will increase the cost of rides. Some of the drivers are switching to Lyft, a competitor to Uber. The service is similar but rates are slightly higher and passengers can tip.
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