Genting Bhd’s decision to sell off its Genting Sanyen Kuala Langat power station in Malaysia and close the Friar Gate casino in the UK may or may not have any direct corollary to news that it’s set to break ground next year on a casino project in the Las Vegas strip.
Then again, if you’re sitting on a pile of money, might as well pay $350 million for an 87-acre site in Las Vegas to build a new casino, right?
Gentings plan to build “Resorts World Las Vegas” took a big step forward when the Malaysian company announced that it will purchase the plot of land where Boyd Gaming’s abandoned Echelon project sits. That particular area, the northern end of the Strip, was supposed to be the a gleaming area of multi-billion dollar casinos. But when the economy crashed a few years ago, a lot of the projects stalled, including Echelon.
But now, it appears that Genting is gearing up to turn the area around with its plans to build a multi-billion dollar casino that will include 3,500 hotel rooms, a convention center and a 4,000-seat theater. It’s the first project for Genting in Las Vegas, making it even more important for the casino operator to make the kind of splash it needs to catch the attention of the Vegas market.
“This is an unparalleled opportunity to showcase what has made the Resorts World brand a globally recognized success for the past several decades,” CEO KT Lim told the Associated Press.
For the city, Genting’s foray into Las Vegas can be described as the town returning to its former glory, a hope that wasn’t lost on Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval who commented that “the entrance of one of the world’s leading resort gaming developers into Nevada is another fantastic sign that Las Vegas and the Strip are poised for great things moving forward in 2013 and beyond.”
Resorts World Las Vegas is expected to begin construction next year with an opening scheduled for 2016. Initial plans call for the company to build on the steel and concrete skeleton of Echelon with the intention of probably finishing up – and improving – the extravagant Echelon project.