What 2018 Has Taught Us about Vegas and What is to Come for the City in 2019 and Beyond
Las Vegas is one of the most dynamic cities in the world, ever changing and bubbling with energy, innovation, and creativity. Last year was full of interesting events, many of which are sure to gain historical value. 2019 has already promised brand new residencies, restaurants, shows, renovations, and highest paying new games.
This includes a stadium that will change the city’s skyline permanently. When 2018 brought Fly LINQ and Park MGM to Las Vegas, people thought things had gone crazy, but 2019 may make things crazier.
New Raiders Stadium
Most Important Events of 2018
2018 was packed with important events, but none as powerful as the departures of Mark Frissora, chairman of Caesars Entertainment, and Steve Wynn, the founder of Wynn Resorts.
The absence of Steve Wynn is going to be strongly felt in 2019. Wynn’s departure in 2018 sounded the death knell of his Paradise Park project. To make matters worse, there is a rumor flying around that Wynn sold stock worth $900 million in March 2018, which makes it quite clear that he doesn’t have anything to do with Wynn Resorts any more. He may have given it its present shape, but he is no longer in control of it.
As far as Caesars Entertainment is concerned, the future of the company is rather uncertain in the absence of Mark Frissora. According to news reports of late 2018, Caesars Entertainment is not performing as well as it should and is considering mergers with stronger companies. Caesars Entertainment had rejected an acquisition offer from Golden Nugget, a chain of casinos belonging to Tilman Fertitta. However, it appears to be interested in merging with MGM Resorts.
If Caesars Entertainment merges with MGM Resorts, the merged company would become the owner of half the hotel casino properties in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. And this could ring an alarm bell for the regulatory bodies in both New Jersey and Nevada.
It’s not just the Wynn Resorts and Caesars Entertainment that are seeing some hard times. The Lucky Dragon, which has struggled throughout December, has pulled down its shutters. The Lucky Dragon is important because it was the Strip’s first resort after the Cosmopolitan. Based on a Chinese theme, this hotel casino could have fallen because of its failure to attract Asian and American gamblers.
During its good days, the Lucky Dragon’s fine dining options were reminiscent of the street food of Beijing and Taipei. The hotel casino served some of the finest Chinese food, including Kurobuta pork and abalone. If ever the Lucky Dragon gets new owners, they are sure to scrap the tea garden as it is difficult to sell tea in an alcohol-loving city like Las Vegas.
What to Expect in 2019
The losses of 2018 will definitely result in the birth of something new and exciting in Las Vegas this year. One can look forward to the successful completion of major ongoing projects and the launching of brand new projects.
Resorts World Las Vegas – Work on the Resorts World Las Vegas began late in 2018 and is expected to complete in 2019. This hotel casino property may not only replace the fallen Lucky Dragon, but also prove to be more successful as it is also based on the Chinese theme. In fact, the new hotel casino was expected to go live in 2018, but Gerald Gardner, the general counsel of Resorts World, says that the construction was delayed because of the hotel casino’s complicated design.
When it is completed, the Resorts World Las Vegas will emerge on the site on which the Stardust Hotel once stood. The project, which is worth $4 billion, is being developed by Genting Group, which is based in Malaysia. When complete, the hotel casino property is expected to have 3,500 rooms and a casino sprawling over 150,000 square feet.
SLS Gets Facelift – Under the new ownership of Alex Meruelo, the SLS is getting a facelift worth $100 million. Part of its casino area, which sprawls over 60,000 square feet, has already been renovated, giving it the contemporary appearance it never had before. Meruelo also wants to renovate the pool areas, entertainment areas, and hotel suites.
Station Casinos Purchases the Palms – The Palms is also undergoing a major makeover worth $690 million under the new ownership of Station Casinos. Two brand new restaurants—Vetri Cucina and Scotch 80 Prime—are going to be added to the property. The year 2019 is going to see a brand new nightclub, a new pool area, and many more exciting restaurants such as the Shark, which will specialize in serving seafood, and the Greene St. Kitchen, which will serve cocktails and American cuisine while offering arcade games from the 80s.
Wynn Resorts’ Paradise Park – As previously mentioned, the departure of Steve Wynn has sounded the death knell for his Paradise Park project. Paradise Park was expected to have a convention center, a hotel tower, and many more attractions around a lagoon sprawling over 38 acres. But the lagoon has now been scrapped.
As a result, the golf course that was shut down to make way for the lagoon is now coming back. Tom Fazio is going to redesign the golf course and it will be functioning several months before the Paradise Park convention center opens.
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