Two Steps Forward, One Year Back On Resorts World Vegas Progress

Written By Jessica Welman on May 28, 2017
tower construction crane

[toc]The construction of the $4 billion Resorts World Las Vegas Casino is moving forward in the coming weeks. Even with that progress though, the deadline for finishing the Strip property is now 2020. This time last year, the group hoped to have things done by 2019. An overhaul of the design aesthetic means Nevadans will have to wait a little longer though.

Resorts World adding tower cranes soon

Currently the site of the casino includes a parking structure and the remnants of Boyd Gaming’s abandoned Las Vegas casino project, which ceased construction in 2008.

That is about to change. Resorts World President Edward Farrell told the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

“We’ve gotten very close to the end of the design phase to a point where we’re comfortable moving forward to mobilize construction. We’ve done a lot of construction that nobody has seen over the last two or three years — not exciting stuff, like utility lines, working out easements and building a garage with some office space.”

The first step in that process will be installing tower cranes to ready for construction on the high-rise building. Farrell predicts crane installation in the next 90 days. However, it will be another couple of years before the two hotel towers start to look like any but steel and cement.

Casino redesign delayed opening

The latest holdup for the project came because of a redesign. When Resorts World Las Vegas owner, the Genting Group, presented the project to the Nevada Gaming Commission, the property sounded like it was going for a more classic Chinese design.

One of the centerpieces of the property will be an expansive meditation garden. The area is supposed to be even bigger than Bellagio’s conservatory.

There were some more modern ideas in the 2016 proposal. Most notably, Genting spoke of a celestial sphere broadcasting selfies of visitors to the property.

Still, Farrell announced an overhaul of the design earlier this month. He cited the company’s desire to build a modern casino to try and draw the elusive younger gambling population. As he told the Las Vegas Sun:

“The initial drawing had a lot of traditional, older Chinese architecture and elements that were within it. The company has really taken a look at the market in Las Vegas throughout the past couple of years, and it has really shifted to something that’s much more modern.”

Farrell likened the changes to “More Shanghai than Beijing.”

Genting hopes to appeal to the Asian market

In addition to appealing to younger gamblers, the new casino hopes to appeal to the lucrative Asian market. It is a strategy that is already working well for the newly opened boutique casino, Lucky Dragon.

The small casino is located just around the corner from the Resorts World construction site on Sahara Ave. Lucky Dragon is currently performing quite well, thanks mostly to baccarat. The casino is already expanding its high roller section to accommodate more games. It also helps that Hainan Airlines is offering direct flights from Beijing to Vegas.

The hope is the luxury and spectacle of Resorts World can capitalize on this strategy even further, but we will have to wait several years to see it in action.

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Jessica Welman Avatar
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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman is a longtime member of the poker media. She has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for A graduate of the University of Southern California and Indiana University, Welman is not only a writer but also a producer. She has been involved for livestreams for the WSOP and WPT and worked as a consultant on many other poker productions. She can be found on Twitter @jesswelman.

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