Las Vegas Strip

Another historic property being renovated

I had reported on our other blog about the Sahara being bought, so it was only a matter of time before the news would come out that it was being torn down. The Sahara was featured in the original Ocean's 11, starring Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. County approval was granted. The mid-rise tower will be completed demolished and the two high rise towers remodeled. The property will remain open during all of the construction (I'm guessing no implosion) and construction should be complete by 2011, helping to fuel the booming construction industry for another 3 years. The renovation will add another several hundred rooms to the property.

Related:

Why history has no place on the strip

Fire breaks out on the strip

Around 11 am, a fire broke out at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino at 3770 Las Vegas Blvd. S (on the Las Vegas strip, next to CityCenter). Firefighters are still battling the blaze which has been categorized as a 3 alarm fire. The fire broke out on the top floors of the Monte Carlo and plumes of oily black smoke are visible from the strip. The casino is being evacuated and there is no word yet on the cause of the fire.

The Monte Carlo was completed in 1996 and is 32 stories.

**Update

A little after 12:30 pm, the fire was put out. The fire was contained to most of the upper floors and roof. The cause of the fire was worker error. Welders working on the roof caused the fire.

Why history has no place on the strip

Each year the Las Vegas strip (S Las Vegas Boulevard) continues to set records for the price of land. Its no wonder that you have a hard time finding any buildings that are over 30 years old still standing. But, when it comes to gaming properties, you have to adjust that figure even lower. Here is a brief time line going back two years of the number of casino/resorts that were demolished:

  • The Castaways January '06 (on Boulder Highway)
  • Bourbon Street February '06
  • The Boardwalk May '06 (to make room for CityCenter on the strip)
  • The Stardust March '07
  • The New Frontier November '07

Possibly on the chopping block:

  • The Tropicana (ancient by Las Vegas standards and bought up last year)
  • Sahara

Currently remodeling/adding to the property:

  • Caeasar's Palace
  • Luxor
  • Wynn Las Vegas

Sadly, a lot of history has been erased. Some of the old Vegas showrooms saw performances by Elvis, the Rat Pack, Johnny Carson, Rodney Dangerfield and many, many other legendary performers. Makes you wonder if the price of progress is to steep. Looking for more of the same? Check out some vintage Vegas.

What's in a name?

As Shakespeare once asked, what's in a name?  Quite a bit when there's potentially billions of dollars at stake. Name recognition is a very powerful force in marketing. Fortunes have been made and lost because of it. That's why there has been quite a stir about a new proposed project to replace the new Frontier that was demolished earlier this month.

What is all the fuss about? The New York-based Elad Group, owner of the land that was just cleared of the Frontier has planned to replace the casino with a Las Vegas version of the world famous New York Plaza, named (wait for it) the Plaza. Sounds good right?  Well, not to the current owners of the Plaza in downtown Las Vegas.

This past August, the owners of the historic downtown property, Tamares Las Vegas Properties sued the Elad Group to prohibit them from using the Plaza name on the Las Vegas strip property. The case eventually wound up in Federal court. After reviewing the case, the federal judged kicked it back to Clark County.

With the potential revenue involved, I doubt Elad is giving up the fight so quickly. It looks like this will be a long drawn out battle, but at least for the downtown Plaza's owners, they get to fight in their own backyard. Who knows, it may even be resolved by 2012 when the new resort is supposed to be completed.

In other news, there was a new addition to the Las Vegas strip, Planet Hollywood had there grand opening Wednesday. The property was built on the old Alladin site. At one time, the property was adverting high rise condos, but there isn't anything on their site about it. There may have been a change in plans, all things considered.

Related:

Historic Frontier soon to be dust

Historic Frontier soon to be dust

Within the next 24 hours, New Frontier Hotel will be imploded. As usual for Las Vegas, change is constant. The Frontier is being demolished to clear the way for the Plaza Hotel complex, that will be like the one in New York City. The project will be in the multi-billion dollar range. The 34.5 acre property was purchased for over one billion dollars, making it some of the pricest Las Vegas real estate on the strip.

Construction is slated to start in 2008 with a completion date some time in 2012. Early reports state that the project will have a 3,500 room ultra luxury hotel, retail shops, convention space, dining and condominiums. No word yet on whether they will condo hotel units like the Cosmopolitan or regular residential high rise condos like ones at the Sky Las Vegas.

Yet another huge construction project to hit the strip.

Trump gets his name on the strip

trump signWell, its official. Visitors to the Las Vegas strip will now see "Trump" listed there.   Construction crews finished adding the Don's name to the first tower of the Trump International Hotel and Tower. The sign is a total of 140 feet long and each letter is 20 feet high!

Trump Towers

Of course, when they decided on a name for the project there was only going to be a single tower. Sales for Trump Tower II are already underway. According to the Trump sales team, the final touchs on the interior lobby are being made at this time as well as completion of the rest of the interior.  There is no official word on their website as to a completion date, but judging by the speed of the construction I'm guessing by next summer it will be completed and occupied.

For more information about the Trump Towers or any of the other Las Vegas high rise condos, call me at 702-493-8033. There are still units available.

Las Vegas Monorail

las vegas monorailThis Saturday the Las Vegas monorail had free giveaways at each station. Locals rode the monorail free all day and the regular unlimited one day pass was discounted for visitors to $9.

We boarded at the end of the line at the MGM Station and road it all the way to the end, at the Sahara Station. The entire trip took about 30 minutes, with stops at each of the five stations in between. Some of the "entertainment" at each station was truly Las Vegas. One stop had a photo opportunity in front of a green screen where you could dress in various costumes and appear in front of the Las Vegas strip sign. Of course it wouldn't be Las Vegas without gambling. One stop had BlackJack and the other a wheel of fortune. Each station had a DJ  as well.

There are plans to expand the monorail service all the way out to McCarran international airport. Currently, it runs from MGM Grand with stops at Ballys/Paris, Flamingo Hilton, Harrahs/Imperial Palace, the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas Hilton and the Sahara. For anyone attending a convention, it is absolutely the best way to get to the convention center and a huge time saver. The convention center station is located right in front of the West hall and just a short walk from the main hall.

The monrail runs Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Friday to Sunday until 3 a.m.  There are automated ticket machines at each station plus a customer service booth that is open until 8 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased on a per entry basis or you can buy unlimited passes up to 72 hours for $40. For more information about the monorail, visit lvmonorail.com.

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