Malaysia-based Genting Group is taking a gamble on Las Vegas by breaking ground on Tuesday on the first new resort to open on the Strip since Aria and CityCenter debuted in 2009. If all goes as planned, Resorts World will complete construction on the north end of the Strip in mid-2018.
The $4-billion resort plans a Chinese theme throughout the 88-acre site that will include 3,500 rooms, an amphitheater, a garden and maybe even a panda exhibit. Three hotels, a multitude of Asian restaurants, retail space, nightclubs and 100,000 square feet of gaming with 3,500 slots and gaming tables are part of the proposed plans.
FOR THE RECORD
May 13, 6 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly reported in both the story and the headline that Resort Worlds' new property would be the first new resort since Aria opened in 2009. The Cosmopolitan Hotel opened in 2010.
Genting bought the site of the former Stardust in 2013 for $350-million after Boyd Gaming mothballed plans to build Echelon on the site. The skeletal remains of Boyd's construction still sit on an end of the Strip that includes the abandoned and unfinished Fontainebleau project, a stark reminder of the economic downturn in 2008.
Resorts World's groundbreaking comes on the heels of the closing of the neighboring 60-year-old Riviera, sold to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for $182.5 million. The visitors bureau plans to raze the resort and build a Las Vegas Global Business District that will include 750,000 square feet of new exhibit space and 187,500 square feet of meeting space, part of the 1.8-million-square-foot expansion.
When complete in five to eight years, the Las Vegas Convention Center expands from its current total footprint of 3.2 million square feet to nearly 5.7 million square feet.