Financial Concerns Slowing Las Vegas Strip Casino Construction

Written By Marc Meltzer on March 27, 2023
Vegas casino construction slowed by financial concerns

There’s a construction slowdown on the Las Vegas Strip as casino operators deal with the financial markets. Between rising interest rates and an unstable banking industry, there are some twists and turns for companies securing financing.

One casino operator has slowed development on a new property along The Strip. Another has paused construction on a project that started last year. Rumor has is it that one Vegas Strip casino on schedule to open later this year may not make its deadline. Similarly, there could be delays with an oft-delayed arena currently under construction nearby.

One off-Strip casino, however, is plowing ahead with construction.

Dream Hotel construction stops

Nevada online gambling is limited to online poker and sports betting. Surprisingly, the gambling capital of the world does not offer online casinos. The law, however, is set up in a way that online casinos could arguably operate in the state, but none have attempted it as of yet.

On the brick-and-mortar casino front, construction on Dream Hotel has come to a complete stop, according to developer Bill Shopoff. The property located near Mandalay Bay broke ground last summer.

The plan was to open the boutique hotel and casino in late-2024. That timeline might change.

Shopoff tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he is up to $30 million in debt related to the partially built property. He is confident construction on the property will continue in the future, saying work “will restart once the terms of the financing are finalized.”

The company is two to four weeks away from securing additional financing despite recent problems in the banking industry, he said.

New Fertitta casino progressing slowly

Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta purchased 6 acres of land on the Vegas Strip last year. He plans to build a casino from the ground up near Planet Hollywood and The Cosmopolitan.

There hasn’t been much movement on construction due to the current economy, Fertitta said during a meeting with Truist Securities recently.

“No firm start date has been set, and management is willing to wait for clarity on economic conditions.”

Fertitta is also confident that construction will soon continue. Initial plans for the unnamed property include a 43-story hotel tower, auto dealership, and plenty of high-roller amenities.

Meanwhile, Fertitta is in the process of buying Hard Rock Lake Tahoe to turn it into another Golden Nugget casino. That process could take up to 12 months to finalize.

Last week, a shooting on the property left one person dead. Police arrested two people.

Durango Casino construction continues

Construction on Station Casinos’ newest property away from the Vegas Strip is moving full speed ahead. The company plans on finishing Durango Casino & Resort during the fourth quarter of this year.

The off-strip Durango Casino will open with a small hotel tower with 200 rooms. The casino will occupy 83,000 square feet and include a state-of-the-art sportsbook.

Plans call for Durango to have four full-service restaurants and a food hall. Station Casinos should have funding secured to see this all the way to the finish line before the end of the year.

More construction odds and ends

Fontainebleau says it secured financing to complete construction on a big, blue casino resort on the north end of the Vegas Strip by the end of the year. However, there’s one rumor that construction might be delayed and the property won’t open until next year.

In addition to securing funding, Fontainebleau has hired five executives from The Cosmopolitan to help open the property.

The MSG Sphere at The Venetian has been under construction for what seems like an eternity. The often-delayed and over-budget arena has had a target opening later this year around November’s Las Vegas Grand Prix.

While that target date is still possible, a recent Review-Journal article couches the fall opening by saying construction “might” be completed in time. Stay tuned, especially if you’re eager to see U2 perform in September.

Hard Rock is now operating The Mirage. Plans for a new guitar-shaped hotel tower were recently approved by Clark County. The tower will be where the volcano currently exists in front of the casino. With construction expected to begin next year, there’s still time to see the volcano in action.

While financing is unclear for some new casino projects, it appears as though it isn’t hitting visitors to Las Vegas the same way. Gaming revenue, hotel room rates and visitation are still blossoming in early-2023.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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