Posted on: July 8, 2022, 08:04h.
Last updated on: July 8, 2022, 08:05h.
The Las Vegas Strip is likely set for a major change. And the overhaul is expected right in the heart of the most famous casino drag on planet Earth.
Casino.org first broke the news in March that Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta, whose Landry’s empire includes five Golden Nugget casinos, including the one in downtown Las Vegas, was mulling a substantial land acquisition on the Strip. Those rumblings came true last month when the gaming tycoon closed on a staggering $270 million purchase of 6.2 acres of prime Las Vegas property.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported this week that the businesses currently on and around that parcel, which lease the Strip-facing real estate, have shuttered. Signs adorning the cigar and CBD shops, t-shirt joints, and souvenir stores say the businesses are closed permanently.
Fertitta’s property includes the Travelodge, a paved parking lot, and a strip mall just north of the motel. The Travelodge and strip mall shops have all closed.
We had a good run. 59+ years of service. This Travelodge is closed permanently,” a sign at the motel reads.
Along with the businesses on Fertitta’s land ceasing operations, most of the shops in the adjacent Hawaiian Marketplace have also closed. That property is owned by a private equity firm that did not respond to media inquiries regarding the business closings.
Tilman Fertitta certainly isn’t one to shun the media. The NBA Houston Rockets owner frequents CNBC to discuss the health of the hospitality and gaming industries, and also starred in his own business television reality series “Billion Dollar Buyer” from 2016 through 2018 on the cable network.
However, when it comes to his vision for the 6.2 acres of prime Las Vegas Strip land, Fertitta isn’t saying much. Fertitta Entertainment has not yet publicly detailed what the future might hold for the property located across from CityCenter, Aria, Vdara, Cosmopolitan, and Waldorf Astoria.
Though inflation and record-high construction and labor costs could jeopardize Fertitta’s immediate plans, the businesses and hotel closing seem to suggest changes are imminent. Casino.org’s Scott Roeben, who runs the popular Vital Vegas Twitter account, believes the billionaire plans to make the east side of that section of the Strip as luxurious as the west side.
Roeben says the odds are heavily against Fertitta building a Golden Nugget on the land. “Think fancier,” Las Vegas’ most respected insider said.
Before Resorts World Las Vegas opened on the Strip’s northern end last year, no new from-the-ground-up casino resort had opened on the drag since The Cosmopolitan in 2010.
But the post-pandemic “Roaring 20s” could bring a slew of new builds to the Strip. Along with the Fertitta rumors, a more concrete development is set for the Strip’s southern end with Dream Las Vegas. The boutique casino resort is being constructed near Mandalay Bay and the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign adjacent to the airport.
Allegiant Stadium is fueling optimism on the Strip’s southern section, while Resorts World is enticing developers north with the belief that the $4.3 billion resort will increase pedestrian traffic in the area. Work recently resumed on the Fontainebleau, the towering 67-story blue building that has reminded Southern Nevada of the 2008 Great Recession for more than a decade.