Condo and casino developers are betting again on the Las Vegas Strip, which is showing signs of recovery from the financial crisis and real estate industry collapse in the late 2000s.
For example, Malaysian gaming company Genting Group this year began building a Chinese-themed development called Resorts World Las Vegas, the first large-scale development of a casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip since the real estate crash.
Scheduled to open in 2018, the Genting development
will encompass three hotels with a total of 3,200 rooms and space for conferences, gaming entertainment and upscale shopping. The 87-acre site is next to the Circus Circus resort.
Evidence of the long standstill in development is still visible along Las Vegas Boulevard, including the nearly completed but long-vacant Fontainebleau condo project, launched by the Aventura-based Soffer family.
Nevertheless, Las Vegas is attracting fresh capital from real estate investors.
The site of the Genting Group project is the former home of the Stardust Resort and Casino, which longtime owner Boyd Gaming demolished in 2007 to clear the land for a $4 billion casino resort and shopping destination. But the real estate industry’s troubles stopped Boyd’s project at the start of its construction phase. Genting bought the lot for $350 million in 2013.
Just south of the Genting project’s location, an arm of Australia-based Crown Resorts is planning a 35-acre development called Alon, a casino resort that would have 1,100 rooms.
Michael Parks, first vice president of the Global Gaming group of brokerage CBRE in Las Vegas, told the New York Times more investors are interested in land along or near the Las Vegas Strip controlled by banks or hedge funds.
“There’s renewed interest in Las Vegas as a safe place to make an investment,” Parks told the Times. “But I think capital sources are still being cautious in terms of what projects they’ll lend money to.”
MGM Resorts International, which operates a portfolio of major Las Vegas resorts, plans to boost its stock price by selling 10 properties through a real estate investment trust, including the Mandalay Bay, Mirage and Luxor resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. [New York Times] — Mike Seemuth