Resorts World Las Vegas to open years after planning in a bid to improve Strip’s economy during COVID-19 pandemic

Resorts World Las Vegas to open years after planning in a bid to improve Strip’s economy during COVID-19 pandemic

The resort is on the site of the former Stardust, an iconic Las Vegas landmark.

Resorts World Las Vegas to open years after planning in a bid to improve Strip's economy during COVID-19 pandemic

Resorts World Las Vegas is shown under construction. Image via AP

Las Vegas: One of the biggest casino projects ever on the Las Vegas Strip has set a date to open, after more than seven years of planning and building.

Resorts World Las Vegas announced on 19 April that it will open to the public on 24 June and began taking reservations for more than 3,500 rooms at its three Hilton-branded hotels.

The first ground-up resort built on the Strip in more than a decade will open during a pandemic that has upended the Las Vegas economy with business restrictions intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 . Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has set a 1 June goal for 100 percent reopening of businesses shuttered in March 2020.

The resort is on the site of the former Stardust, an iconic Las Vegas landmark that was the largest hotel in the world when it opened in 1958 with 1,500 rooms. It closed in 2006 and was owned by Boyd Gaming Corp. when its 32-story tower was imploded in March 2007.

Malaysia-based Genting Group, an operator of resorts and casinos around the world, bought the site in 2013 from Boyd Gaming for $350 million. The $4.3 billion project has been under construction since May 2015.

Scott Sibella, president of Resorts World Las Vegas, acknowledged the years of work included delays and redesigns to reshape the Asian theme of the big 88-acre (35.6-hectare) property.

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“We are filled with gratitude and excitement as we approach our opening… and hope to play a role in Las Vegas’ rebound after what has been an incredibly challenging year,” Sibella said in a statement. A time for doors to open was not immediately disclosed.

The property has emerged as a curved, red 59-story structure with a huge dynamic LED facade facing Las Vegas Boulevard. The owner calls the 100,000-square-foot (9,290-square-meter) display one of the largest in the US.

Its three hotels — dubbed Las Vegas Hilton at Resorts World, Conrad Las Vegas at Resorts World, and Crockfords Las Vegas, LXR Hotels and Resorts — are designed to offer a range of amenities.

Announcements in recent weeks have focused on Zouk Nightclub and AYU Dayclub headliners including Zedd and Tiësto, booked with Singapore-based Zouk Group.

The scale of the complex is huge among Strip resorts, with more than 40 restaurants, eateries and beverage outlets; multiple retail shops and stores; a 117,000-square-foot (10,870-square-meter) casino; and 250,000 square feet (23,226 square meters) of meeting and banquet space.

The resort also will include a 5.5-acre (2.2-hectare) pool and spa complex with seven swimming pools.

AEG Presents will partner with the resort in a 5,000-capacity concert and entertainment theater programmed and operated by Concerts West. The Las Vegas Review-Journal has reported possible headliners including Katy Perry, Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan.

Resorts World also will have a station connected by developer Elon Musk’s underground Tesla vehicle transit with the renovated Las Vegas Convention Center.

The biggest single development on the Strip was the $9.2 billion CityCenter partnership between MGM Resorts International and Dubai World. It opened in December 2009 on 76 acres (31 hectares) and includes the Aria, Vdara, Waldorf Astoria and Veer hotel and condominium towers and the Crystals retail and entertainment district. Its Harmon tower never opened due to construction defects, and was dismantled.

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Other large projects in recent years include the more than $4.1 billion Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas. The Bellagio, known for its dancing water fountains, opened in 1998 at a cost of about $1.6 billion.

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