Clark County Commissioners on Wednesday gave permission for the developer of Resorts World Las Vegas to move ahead with the project, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper.
“This is an important milestone for our project as we have now secured our full land entitlement package, and Genting continues to take the steps necessary to mobilise construction of our game-changing Las Vegas Strip integrated resort,” said Michael Levoff, senior vice president of public affairs, Genting Americas Inc, in a statement emailed to GGRAsia.
The Review-Journal said there was no discussion of the terms of the permissions relating to the 87.8-acre (35.5-hectare) site at the northern end of the Las Vegas Strip.
Plans currently lodged with the authorities indicate the resort (pictured in a rendering) would have more than 7,000 hotel rooms, suites and villas with four high-rise hotels and events facilities.
The developer’s parent firm – Malaysia-based conglomerate Genting Bhd – wants to construct an initial phase with a single hotel tower with 3,307 rooms and suites and more than 657,000 square feet of public space, including a cinema and convention facilities, said the newspaper.
It added, citing documents filed with Clark County, that the Chinese-themed design would include an attraction referred to as the “Forbidden City” and “modern interpretations of Chinese details”.
The lot has been dormant since Boyd Gaming Corp halted work on its planned Echelon development there in August 2008.
Genting purchased the site – once home to the Stardust Resort and Casino – in 2013 for US$350 million.
At the time of a ground breaking ceremony in May for Resorts World Las Vegas, a possible opening in mid-2018 was mentioned.
Despite the anti-graft campaign in China, which has reportedly depressed Asian casinos’ earnings from Chinese high rollers, a recent report from brokerage CLSA Ltd, on outbound Chinese tourism, said that targeting Chinese and other holidaymakers from East Asia is likely to prove an effective strategy for Las Vegas.
“Over the long term, we continue to expect Las Vegas and other U.S. gaming markets to benefit from increasing Chinese tourism. Las Vegas casinos already seek to lure Chinese VIPs with complimentary flights and rooms to their resorts. Las Vegas is a more Asian-focused market than many would expect at first glance,” said CLSA analysts Aaron Fischer and Marcus Liu.
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"Genting was always facing an uphill battle to displace an existing concessionaire"
Founder of consultancy Newpage Consulting