ITT Tells Plan for $750-Million : Desert Kingdom Resort in Vegas


In the second announcement involving a new Las Vegas resort in two days, ITT Corp. on Thursday revealed the details of its Desert Kingdom, a $750-million theme park, casino and hotel project the company unveiled in October.

The resort, scheduled to open in early 1997, will be the first phase in a major tourist development centered around the Sheraton Desert Inn Resort and Casino and 34 acres of adjacent land, which ITT bought from billionaire Kirk Kerkorian last year.

Desert Kingdom will include a 3,500-room hotel, a 135,000-square-foot casino, nine restaurants and family-oriented fantasy attractions, said ITT, the parent of Sheraton Hotels.


Once Desert Kingdom is complete, ITT said, the company will proceed with a $50-million expansion of the venerable Desert Inn, adding a 1,200-room tower.

The announcement comes a day after Mirage Resorts said it would build a $250-million, 3,000-room hotel and casino to cater to budget-minded gamblers on the site of the former Dunes hotel, in a joint venture with Gold Strike Resorts, a private partnership.

Desert Kingdom marks ITT’s belated entry into the resort war in Las Vegas, where the trend has been toward immense, family-oriented entertainment complexes at which gambling is only part of the attraction.

In October, Circus Circus opened its pyramid-shaped Luxor resort, which was followed by the opening of Mirage’s pirate-themed Treasure Island hotel and Kerkorian’s $1-billion MGM Grand Hotel and Theme Park, the largest of the three.