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Aaron Auxier
Dec 23, 2008, 7:54 AM
From what they say at the sales center, WET Design's new water feature in front of ARIA should be quite spectacular. I have heard they could end up using mirrors (hidden on top of buildings) to reflect sunlight into the free falling fountain to make it shimmer like diamonds.

I've heard that there could be layers of dancing water falling over each other in the Sky and that the technology may recognize the power of the wind and control the height of the water.

At night, it may light up with fantastic displays of color.

I could be wrong on all of this. Just sharing what the on-site agents have said what it COULD be like.

Don Pacho
Dec 23, 2008, 4:16 PM
"The last 2 pictures" What hotel where were they taken from?


From the Eiffel tower

mdiederi
Dec 23, 2008, 4:51 PM
Encore casino is very similar to Wynn, except it's partitioned, and there's even more red and lattice work. The red chandeliers over the gaming areas are very eerie looking.

ondarox
Dec 23, 2008, 5:58 PM
From what they say at the sales center, WET Design's new water feature in front of ARIA should be quite spectacular. I have heard they could end up using mirrors (hidden on top of buildings) to reflect sunlight into the free falling fountain to make it shimmer like diamonds.

I've heard that there could be layers of dancing water falling over each other in the Sky and that the technology may recognize the power of the wind and control the height of the water.

At night, it may light up with fantastic displays of color.

I could be wrong on all of this. Just sharing what the on-site agents have said what it COULD be like.

I have always wondered if something like this might be incorporated into the project. I don't know if it would work in an exterior setting, as it seems like the wind may disturb how the water is portioned out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HeUixe_Lpg&feature=related

I also wondered if we have already seen the construction of the feature already. Could those curved metal spires at the porte cochere shoot or pour water out of them? Just a thought.

Silas
Dec 23, 2008, 7:11 PM
Any scoop on what that will look like and when it will be started/completed?

mac78130
Dec 23, 2008, 7:52 PM
Any scoop on what that will look like and when it will be started/completed?

You can see a portion of the bridge here:
http://www.earthcam.com/swf/cam_player/enlarge_image.php?type=live&path=http://images.earthcam.com/htlv/htzonelv5.jpg&name=See%20The%20Strip&width=640&height=480&img_width=640&img_height=480
The camera moves to two positions, which by the way looks like the glass is being installed on the strip frontage at Cosmo :)

Silas
Dec 23, 2008, 8:12 PM
Thanks so much Mac -- very cool.

Silas
Dec 23, 2008, 9:22 PM
It sounds like the perfect fit for the plan.

'Shovel ready', clean technology, etc. etc.

How much juice does Vegas have with Washington/Chicago mafia ?

Silas
Dec 23, 2008, 9:25 PM
Aaron, that water feature sounds cool -- but I don't think reflected sunlight is a super-smart idea for Vegas/CityCenter. Sounds more like a laser death-beam effect during the summer months. It's not like the sun is going to be reflected only onto the fountains but likely at an angry public. Let's see what they do..........

mdiederi
Dec 23, 2008, 10:13 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v120/mdiederi/buildings/Encore/Encore1-4.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v120/mdiederi/buildings/Encore/Encore2-3.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v120/mdiederi/buildings/Encore/Encore3-2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v120/mdiederi/buildings/Encore/EncoreRed.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v120/mdiederi/buildings/Encore/Encore4-2.jpg

ondarox
Dec 23, 2008, 11:37 PM
Encore is simply gorgeous. Thanks for sharing... I'm bummed I missed it.

mdiederi
Dec 24, 2008, 3:10 AM
http://www.encoreopening.com/

Aaron Auxier
Dec 24, 2008, 4:13 AM
Aaron, that water feature sounds cool -- but I don't think reflected sunlight is a super-smart idea for Vegas/CityCenter. Sounds more like a laser death-beam effect during the summer months. It's not like the sun is going to be reflected only onto the fountains but likely at an angry public. Let's see what they do..........

Shall be interesting to see what the completed version is indeed.

sw5710
Dec 24, 2008, 5:56 AM
Does anyone know what resort is next up in 2009 to open?

mdiederi
Dec 24, 2008, 6:40 AM
M (http://www.themresort.com/index.html)

NYC2ATX
Dec 24, 2008, 8:54 AM
:previous: the shortest post in the history of the website :haha:

mdiederi
Dec 24, 2008, 4:49 PM
The thing that bothers me is the change from a chamfer to a point on the floors on the left side of the tower. Kind of random. You think if you were going to do that, you'd do it right above the mechanical floor. Must be where the residences start?
Are you talking about the way the end of the west wing next to the Strip makes a point instead of a squared corner? If that's what you're talking about, I think that's one of Fountainebleau's most awesome features. The rooms on that corner, from the bottom to the top, will have fantastic views in both directions up and down the Strip.

Krases
Dec 24, 2008, 9:40 PM
Any news on Station resorts?

Ive heard that Lake Las Vegas is going into bankruptcy now. Does station own that?

I hope they are able to go ahead with Viva and other resorts.

Seva
Dec 24, 2008, 10:14 PM
The Crown Las Vegas developer appears to be back. Unbelievable.

http://www.lvrj.com/news/breaking_news/36697389.html

mac78130
Dec 24, 2008, 10:39 PM
I still can't believe that the St. Regis Residences were going to be built over a Walgreens. See flickr pics by VegasMediaGroup:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lasvegas/

Jake2006
Dec 24, 2008, 10:57 PM
Got back from Vegas today. We went to the opening of Wynn's Encore and I have to hand it to Wynn. He really knows how to build a hotel. I was not initially impressed with the Wynn Hotel but he really did a good job on the Encore. I think it is equal in quality to the Bellagio. CityCenter will really have to go some to equal the quality of Encore.

mdiederi
Dec 24, 2008, 11:25 PM
Any news on Station resorts?

Ive heard that Lake Las Vegas is going into bankruptcy now. Does station own that?

I hope they are able to go ahead with Viva and other resorts.
Viva and Durango Station are on permanent hold right now. This week Station Casinos drew down the last couple hundred million of their credit line. Analysts think that is the first step in preparing for bankruptcy, i.e. get all the money from the credit line before the bank cuts it off. Their bond holders have already said an offer for renegotiating was deficient. Not sure how much cash the owners have to lend the company or if any other investors would help them. But if they can pony up about half a billion dollars in cash before December 31 (when official default happens) it would only delay bankruptcy about three months, that's how bad revenue has declined.

Station does not own Lake Las Vegas, that's a completely different company and already bankrupt.

philip
Dec 25, 2008, 1:30 AM
^ I was at Lake Las Vegas resort last year, and the place was deserted. Most of the retail spaces were vacant and even the Starbucks was empty. There was only 1 couple playing at the casino, and this was on the same day the Las Vegas strip was packed.

It's very sad to see Lake Las Vegas in such a bad shape now. When I went there in 2003, it was still a quite popular place.

JDRCRASH
Dec 25, 2008, 1:58 AM
What do you guys think about that Disneyland/Las Vegas Maglev proposal?

ondarox
Dec 25, 2008, 2:35 AM
:previous: What do you guys think about that Disneyland/Las Vegas Maglev proposal?

I do not know what the status of this project is, but I am 100% for it. From what I've read, it is a very safe and reliable form of transportation. If it can get the financing to be built I know many people from the Southern CA region who would utilize it as an alternative mode of transportation.

Question though... in light of the recent snowstorms and the below freezing temperatures, does anyone know how the MagLev would perform under these conditions? Also, what about the pricing for a roundtrip ride? I think the pricing of the ride would need to be similar or less than an airplane ride, and better if it was around the same as gas if driving to Vegas.

mdiederi
Dec 25, 2008, 5:39 AM
The Crown Las Vegas developer appears to be back. Unbelievable.

http://www.lvrj.com/news/breaking_news/36697389.html
That is just bizarre. Why drop out of a deal to buy it for $475,000,000 only to buy it several months later for $618,000,000 in a depressed economy? :shrug:

mdiederi
Dec 25, 2008, 4:25 PM
In Norm's column in the RJ today.
http://www.lvrj.com/news/36721614.html

RUMORS, RUMORS, RUMORS

A blizzard of rumors have been sweeping the Strip, and that was before former Frontier hotel-casino owner Phil Ruffin purchased Treasure Island from MGM Mirage for $775 million.

There's buzz that Bally's is in play and that The Light Group has tossed in the towel on The Harmon, one of the hotels in the CityCenter project.

Requests for comment from The Light Group have gone unanswered.

KVBC entertainment reporter Alicia Jacobs reported this week that The Mirage is about to be sold to Penn National Gaming Inc. That's the company that wanted to purchase Bellagio, Steve Wynn told Vegas Confidential back in November.

Another rumor that hasn't faded away is word that two CityCenter projects could be scrapped, but wrapped rather than knocked down.

I asked Alan Feldman, vice president of communications for MGM Mirage, to respond to that one.

"I've heard any number of rumors -- including that one," he said in an e-mail. "Unfortunately, in this economy, people are spending time speculating about all kinds of stuff. Wish they'd focus on how to get more people here!"

gmcclenon
Dec 25, 2008, 8:32 PM
That is just bizarre. Why drop out of a deal to buy it for $475,000,000 only to buy it several months later for $618,000,000 in a depressed economy? :shrug:

Hope it's not because there is nowhere else to park your money. This investment could point to someone thinking we are about to have a global fiat currency meltdown. If you are not leveraged and can't think of a single safe place to store wealth during a currency crisis, then this wouldn't be a bad idea.

Hope I'm wrong but this could be a very frightening sign.

neworleans
Dec 25, 2008, 11:10 PM
haven't heard much on the marriott springhill suites except that it's topped out.
according to the website, it opens may 09. Here's a rendering i got from their site... don't know how old it is though.

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-information/travel/laspr-springhill-suites-las-vegas-convention-center/

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3247/3136725468_f6c15f6c61_o.jpg

hotdog
Dec 26, 2008, 1:37 AM
As for the Walgreens at the base of the suspended LV Sands condo tower, there are Walgreens at lots of prime locations, such as the front entrance of the Empire State Building. So it's not that strange.

As for the former Wet n Wild site, Milam did not purchase the site for 618M, he purchased an option which would allow him to buy it for 618M by March 2010, and the option will cost $60M. But he has until March 2009 to decide if he wants to pay the $60M apparently. So it's just a bet that land values up at the north Strip will rise over $23M in the next 15 months. He lost money on his last option that he let expire recently, but maybe he'll do better this time if the economy recovers.

JDRCRASH
Dec 26, 2008, 5:56 AM
Las Vegas Sun,

Governors agree to back fast train (http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/dec/22/governors-agree-back-fast-train/)

Trip between Vegas, Anaheim, Calif., could take only 86 minutes

http://media.lasvegassun.com/media/img/photos/2008/12/21/scaled.1221_met_maglev03_t651.jpg
ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE
Plans for maglev train like the one being tested in Japan in 2003 to give travelers between Las Vegas and Southern California another alternative to Interstate 15 may get a boost from a the economic stimulus plan.

By David McGrath Schwartz

Mon, Dec 22, 2008 (2 a.m.)

For over 20 years, boosters have dreamed of and lobbied for a train that could travel from Southern California to Las Vegas at 300 mph.

The proposed magnetic levitation train line linking Las Vegas and Anaheim, Calif. — attacked by critics as a multi-billion dollar pipe dream — has gained new life.

Near the bottom of a news release detailing Gov. Jim Gibbons’ meeting last month with President-elect Barack Obama was the announcement that Gibbons and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had agreed to move ahead with the high-speed train project.

“Arnold and I agreed to jointly work together on the project,” said Gibbons, who is planning to travel to Sacramento to talk with Schwarzenegger about it.

The train, Gibbons argues, should be a candidate for federal economic stimulus money.

The rail line, which would generally follow the route of Interstate 15 and cost between $12 billion and $13 billion, would create construction jobs on both sides of the state line and, once complete, speed the arrival of tourists to Las Vegas. (A trip between Las Vegas and Anaheim could take as little as 86 minutes.)

In June, Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader, helped pass a bill that freed up $45 million for an environmental study of the route.

Obama and his advisers have been working with Congress on an economic stimulus package that would improve infrastructure and put people to work. The Washington Post on Friday put the size of the stimulus at $850 billion.

Yet to the critics, the bill is in danger of becoming one big pile of pork.

“We’re not exactly big fans of congressional earmarks, we’re also not a fan of just sending a big box of cash to states and cities for their own version of parochial pork barrel project,” said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a national nonpartisan budget watchdog group.

A push for the maglev project — a proposal which, he notes, “certainly has its detractors” — would add to the impression that special interests, states, cities and transportation advocates are behaving like greedy children with dreams of getting a pony for Christmas. (Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said last week that a new city hall, mob museum and performing arts center should be included in the stimulus package.)

But Ellis said any economic stimulus should yield an immediate benefit. The maglev project could take a decade or more to build. The federally required environmental impact study of the project would take from 18 months to two years.

“Something should get done,” Ellis said. “It should not be something that slowly bleeds, and the impact isn’t felt until after the recession is over.”

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada will hold a news conference today with Reid to announce 60 projects that are “ready to go” within 180 days.

Jacob Snow, the RTC’s general manager, said these projects total about $1 billion, and include highway projects, interchanges, street paving and mass transit projects.

Snow wouldn’t comment specifically on the maglev project, but said: “We certainly think some sort of facility like maglev, a high-speed rail system between Southern California and Southern Nevada, is needed. No doubt about that.”

The first leg is planned for Las Vegas to Primm.

Reid spokesman Jon Summers said it’s too early to know what projects would be included in a federal economic stimulus bill. But a high-speed train between Las Vegas and Southern California “not only makes good economic sense for the state, it makes sense from an environmental and energy perspective as well,” he said.

Reid “supports any project that moves people quickly and safely between Nevada and California,” Summers said, citing frequent traffic jams on I-15.

Amtrak ended service between Las Vegas and Los Angeles in 1995.

Reid requested the Government Accountability Office prepare a feasibility study on a rail project between Las Vegas and Southern California, which Summers said should be out in the next three months.

The maglev, or magnetic-levitation, train would require a new set of “rails” — the train, suspended above the track by magnets, rides on a cushion of air. There are few commercial maglev trains operating worldwide, including in Japan and Shanghai, China.

A competing proposal for a faster train between Southern Nevada and Southern California would use conventional rails. That privately funded line would, however, run between Victorville, Calif., and Las Vegas.

Reid has criticized that project because he doesn’t think people will drive from Los Angeles to Victorville and then board a train to Las Vegas.

Bruce Aguilera, chairman of the Nevada-California Super Speed Train Commission, which oversees the maglev project, welcomed news of the governor’s support for the maglev project being included in an economic stimulus package.

Aguilera, who is also vice president and general counsel at MGM Mirage’s Bellagio, acknowledged that the maglev group has kept a low profile in recent years.

“We didn’t have things to say,” Aguilera said.

The project’s backers will break their silence next month, announcing how they plan to raise $11.25 million in matching funds needed to access the $45 million in federal funding.

With that money, Aguilera said, they plan to open an office in Las Vegas, start paying a staff member who has been working on a volunteer basis and re-launch their Web site.

mdiederi
Dec 26, 2008, 10:24 AM
Why do they want to go to Anaheim? Wouldn't it be better to go to the middle of LA where all the people are, and where it's easier to connect to other transport systems down there? The tourists at Disneyland aren't the same type of tourists Las Vegas needs.

RandalR
Dec 26, 2008, 3:07 PM
Another rumor that hasn't faded away is word that two CityCenter projects could be scrapped, but wrapped rather than knocked down.[/url]

Maybe. I'm having a hard time believing they can open the CityCenter mall and expect any kind of success, with the high-end competition in town already so well established. And perhaps the construction problems at the Harmon are going to cost more to fix than has been reported. From what I hear, it sounds like the Mandarin Oriental is the only piece of CityCenter likely to be a big early success.

mdiederi
Dec 26, 2008, 6:05 PM
Yeah, I'm wondering which two towers will be scrapped. Maybe the Harmon because of the construction problems and the Light Group can't handle the extra costs, and maybe one of the Veer towers since having two is redundant. Vdara seems to be further along in completion than any of the other towers, and it's the only CityCenter tower with views of the Bellagio fountains, so I don't think they'll scrap that one, even though it's in the back far away from the casino. Aria will be successful because it has a casino. Mandarin Oriental will be successful because they already have wealthy clientele.

In hindsight, this is a major lesson to developers, and Wynn mentioned it a few days ago in an interview; don't start building multiple towers simultaneously without first having enough money to finish it. Even after selling Treasure Island for cash MGM still doesn't have enough financing to finish CityCenter, though, they're getting close.

mdiederi
Dec 26, 2008, 6:10 PM
The project’s backers will break their silence next month, announcing how they plan to raise $11.25 million in matching funds needed to access the $45 million in federal funding.

With that money, Aguilera said, they plan to open an office in Las Vegas, start paying a staff member who has been working on a volunteer basis and re-launch their Web site.
Huh? It cost $56.25 million to rent an office with one employee and launch a web site? Damn! :rolleyes:

MsuMix
Dec 26, 2008, 7:52 PM
Yeah, I'm wondering which two towers will be scrapped. Maybe the Harmon because of the construction problems and the Light Group can't handle the extra costs, and maybe one of the Veer towers since having two is redundant.

What exactly is meant by scrapped? Demo'd? There's no way either veer tower will be scrapped, thats been the design intent from the beginning and they are almost structurally complete with interior work continuing up both towers (being re-bid atm).

The harmon from what i understand does have structural issues and they are re-evaluating how high they can even take it up at this point. Don't know what the future of that tower is. Cosmo is fully financed to completion early 2010 and city center shouldn't have too many finance problems to the finish either, assuming the harmon gets a fix.

leftopolis
Dec 26, 2008, 9:22 PM
Why do they want to go to Anaheim? Wouldn't it be better to go to the middle of LA where all the people are, and where it's easier to connect to other transport systems down there? The tourists at Disneyland aren't the same type of tourists Las Vegas needs.

mdiederi:

I completely agree. It's not only a mistake to go from Disneyland--but a mistake to stress that place as an endpoint. Heck, at least they should say the endpoint is Orange County(which has a population of over 3 million). It should definitely pass through DTLA in my opinion as well. Why not stress the fact that they are connecting two substantial metros...I mean 86 minutes from Anaheim to LV--that's not unusual commuter time in SoCal!
Anyway:
In this OC thread(in the CA section), (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=126118&page=13)
there's some more discussion on this subject. Perhaps you'd also like to write a letter to Mr. Kulm--who insists he was not comparing this proposal to the current antiquated 19th century Amtrack system.

JDRCRASH: BTW, good find on the article!

ON EDIT:

Just a few more thoughts...
-Oscar Goldman should make an effort to have it go the couple extra miles into downtown.
-CA just passed the approval for HSR from LA to SF. It's quite likely that there's a portion of 50-80 miles of more or less parallel systems in the LA basin area. Since federal $$ are part of both projects, it might save $$ for both projects if they worked together to some extent and avoid duplication.
-By the time it's done(10-12 years?), the two endpoint counties of Clark and Orange would have a combined population of perhaps 6.5 million--that's a sizeable market of commuters and business travelers(vs Disneyland aficionados)!
-If they integrated the two systems as I suggest above, we're talking a market of 20-25 million potential HSR users.

mac78130
Dec 26, 2008, 9:44 PM
Mandarin Oriental pdf file (2.89MB) shows a little of the hotel section.

http://www.mandarinoriental.com/lasvegas/images/molas_ebook.pdf

Jake2006
Dec 27, 2008, 12:40 AM
Maybe. I'm having a hard time believing they can open the CityCenter mall and expect any kind of success, with the high-end competition in town already so well established. And perhaps the construction problems at the Harmon are going to cost more to fix than has been reported. From what I hear, it sounds like the Mandarin Oriental is the only piece of CityCenter likely to be a big early success.

Does anyone know the exact status of the Harmon? Would Vdara be the other one to be wrapped or turned into a hotel?

mac78130
Dec 27, 2008, 12:41 AM
The Mandarin Lobby is getting its glass
Flickr photo by AZkid
http://www.flickr.com/photos/azkid/3134997204/

Great view of CityCenter and Cosmo in the background. Looks like Cosmo Beach Tower is nearing topping out as the top floors are getting smaller to form an angle. Best viewed in original size
Flickr photo by AZkid
http://www.flickr.com/photos/azkid/3134996616/

justdefended
Dec 27, 2008, 1:06 AM
The rumor of two buildings being scrapped doesn't sound too probable.

Veer East and West will be topped out between Dec. to Jan. The project is 70% sold across both buildings.

Vdara is on a fast track to completion. Condos are already furnished up to the 8th floor and service elevators are fully functional. Closings will start in Sept.

Mandarin is topped out and guest rooms are being finished.

Aria - the bread winner of the family - definitely won't be scrapped.

The only project in question is Harmon, which should be able to be completed. The Light Group is only managing the hotel and condos, and if they aren't up to it, MGM could easily take over the 200 hotel roooms. Also, sales for Harmon came in latest among all projects and are starting at $1.2M, a tough sell in this market.

MGM claimed before the TI sale it would provide up to $1.6B in funding if it could not finance the remainding balance of CC. They have already secured $1.8B.

Aaron Auxier
Dec 27, 2008, 4:29 AM
Condo hotel product is flooding the inventory and yes another develepor seems serious about adding even more condotel product into our market.

It's time everyone wakes up and scraps two major upcoming condohotel projects. It would help market quite a bit.

Vegas is going down a very dangerous path with nobody from the tops of orginizations seeming willing to admit what we all already know.

I will be talking about this in my soon-to-be-released annual thoughts entitled "The Reveal".

And I do believe two buildings will be scraped from a condo standpoint (one residential and one condotel). Actually, I hope it happens sooner than later so we can all move on with our lives.

mdiederi
Dec 27, 2008, 5:24 PM
MGM claimed before the TI sale it would provide up to $1.6B in funding if it could not finance the remainding balance of CC.
How are they going to do that? Look at the facts, they only have $250 million cash on their balance sheet (http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=MGM) and next year have to make a payment of over $1.2 billion dollars on maturing bonds as part of their existing $13.29 billion of debt. In the mean time there is no end in sight for declining revenues on the strip. They might have to sell some more hotels just to stay afloat (Penn is interested in the Mirage). Wall Street already figured that out. Kerkorian's entire 55% ownership of MGM/Mirage is only worth $1.5 billion at its current stock price. It was worth over $14 billion just one year ago. That's a huge, huge loss. He also just lost a ton of money betting on Ford stock. This is not a time to throw good money after bad. They need to hunker down and mothball a couple of towers at CityCenter while waiting for the economy to improve before finishing the insides. I doubt anything will be torn down, but this project is just too big to be supported all at once by this economy. Like Wynn said about his competitors (http://www.lvrj.com/news/36367234.html), it takes a lot of guts to start six towers at the same time without first having the money in place to finish it. He was talking about Adelson, but the same applies to Kerkorian.

fishordie
Dec 27, 2008, 8:51 PM
My personal expectation is my own Cosmo project will not complete and those geniuses hopefully are beginning to realize it. Finish the exterior, close it up from the elements and try to sell it over a period of time. Get what they can and take the write off but get it off the Deutche books. The price tag of that thing will be well north of 4 billion dollars and in my opinion is the best of all the projects for a variety of reasons. Yet I cannot see how it can possibly pencil out. This weekend I heard Venetian had rooms at $79.00 a night for their suites. No way management or owners are going to recover anything at those rates. The days and nights of hotels regularly getting over $400.00 per room are pretty much at an end. Hopefully customers will continue to demand more value for their gambling dollars. The old days of Vegas giving incentives to lure the average gambler to the tables will come back. Vegas eateries will have to bring back some semblance of reason to the cost of a burger and the hotels will once again realize their bread and butter are the regular Joes who came for the 5 dollar buffet and lost a few hundred dollars per day over several days. They are the ones who paid the overhead year after year. Catering to the so called elite who pay $1500 dollars to sit in a hotel club, behind a velvet rope, and drink overpriced bottles of champagne has been a bigger mistake than trying to make Vegas a family vacation site. The hotels need to realize the days of $17.00 well drinks are gone and value to the customer needs to be accounted for.

In my humble opinion, these mulitibillion dollar complexes with multibillion dollar debt burdens will have to go bankrupt, drive down their own debt burden and give more value to the patrons or the once recession proof Vegas will continue to go down hill. It is amazing those still interested in building these monsters cannot see the house of cards has fallen and cant get up. Trying to feed the giant mortgage monster can no longer fall on the backs of the Vegas patrons as those same patron are just saying NO.

The latest "rumors" have been Harmon may be a tear down as the city is not buying into the fixes for the rebar and oversight mistakes by Perini. Vdara was just a mistake for a variety of reasons. If Harmon does not get finished the folks who bought into that complex should get on their knees and thank the economy for saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost value on the property. The same applies to those who bought into Vdara which is really the wicked step child of the project. Getting out with your deposits back would be a gift.

I will also be shocked if those who purchased at Mandarin and Veer do not lose 20% on their unit at the close of escrow though many folks in there probably do not care. Somehow, to me, a city inside a tiny city, did not and still does not make sense.

Okay, back to the pictures. This is just my opinion. I want the old Vegas back and it is not too late.

FOD

mac78130
Dec 27, 2008, 9:38 PM
I thought MGM/MIRAGE, Perini would at least release a statement about the Harmon by now:shrug:

Seva
Dec 27, 2008, 9:52 PM
World Jewelry Center tower delayed, opening date beyond 2012.

Condo levels are to be scrapped, reducing the tower height by 10 stories.

http://www.lvbusinesspress.com/articles/2008/12/23/news/iq_25792724.txt

So much for the new tallest.

justdefended
Dec 28, 2008, 12:57 AM
How are they going to do that? Look at the facts, they only have $250 million cash on their balance sheet (http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=MGM) and next year have to make a payment of over $1.2 billion dollars on maturing bonds as part of their existing $13.29 billion of debt. In the mean time there is no end in sight for declining revenues on the strip. They might have to sell some more hotels just to stay afloat (Penn is interested in the Mirage). Wall Street already figured that out. Kerkorian's entire 55% ownership of MGM/Mirage is only worth $1.5 billion at its current stock price. It was worth over $14 billion just one year ago. That's a huge, huge loss. He also just lost a ton of money betting on Ford stock. This is not a time to throw good money after bad. They need to hunker down and mothball a couple of towers at CityCenter while waiting for the economy to improve before finishing the insides. I doubt anything will be torn down, but this project is just too big to be supported all at once by this economy. Like Wynn said about his competitors (http://www.lvrj.com/news/36367234.html), it takes a lot of guts to start six towers at the same time without first having the money in place to finish it. He was talking about Adelson, but the same applies to Kerkorian.

Here's how it would be done:

http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSN0654439220081106

"MGM and joint venture partner Dubai World have each agreed to make additional equity contributions of up to $959 million, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission."

"Las Vegas-based MGM said it had also agreed to partially guarantee the completion of CityCenter through a commitment to contribute up to another $600 million to the joint venture."

Remember, Dubai World owns half of CityCenter and will contribute to finish the project accordingly. They have an equal stake to ensure the success of the project.

People seriously think that shutting down construction or wrapping towers on a project that has five towers nearly topped out with save money? It's a short term solution with long term consequences.

Empty buildings sitting on the strip won't generate revenue. Mandarin and Harmon can still earn hotel, food & beverage revenue even if they don't sell a single condo unit.

Vdara, if required, could easily be converted into a boutique hotel. It's already attached to the Bellagio and could cross market with any convention held there.

A change in the final project plan would also give each and every potential residential owner an excuse to back out of their contract. Unlikely that MGM would want to jeopardize its current $1.63 billion in residential sales.

MGM in Dec. said it is hiring 12,000 employees for CityCenter.

http://www.globest.com/news/1311_1313/lasvegas/175943-1.html

You don't hire 12,000 employees for a half-assed project. Their entire future is on the project and it and Dubai will do whatever it takes (already sold TI) to get it done.

CHAPINM1
Dec 28, 2008, 1:45 AM
World Jewelry Center tower delayed, opening date beyond 2012.

Condo levels are to be scrapped, reducing the tower height by 10 stories.

http://www.lvbusinesspress.com/articles/2008/12/23/news/iq_25792724.txt

So much for the new tallest.

Dissapointment is an understatement for how I feel... The developer is an airhead that is full of shit and all talk like all the rest that back out. I have now pretty much lost all confidence and interest in this project.

JDRCRASH
Dec 28, 2008, 2:21 AM
Why do they want to go to Anaheim? Wouldn't it be better to go to the middle of LA where all the people are, and where it's easier to connect to other transport systems down there? The tourists at Disneyland aren't the same type of tourists Las Vegas needs.

&


I completely agree. It's not only a mistake to go from Disneyland--but a mistake to stress that place as an endpoint. Heck, at least they should say the endpoint is Orange County(which has a population of over 3 million). It should definitely pass through DTLA in my opinion as well. Why not stress the fact that they are connecting two substantial metros...I mean 86 minutes from Anaheim to LV--that's not unusual commuter time in SoCal!

Because more than 35 Million tourists visit LV every year. If the Maglev went to DTLA, believe me, far more money would go to Sin City than L.A.

Plus, don't forget that some Maglev trains are compatible with Monorail tracks; it's possible that they want to connect Disneyland monorail with the Las Vegas Monorail.

Anyway:
In this OC thread(in the CA section), (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=126118&page=13)
there's some more discussion on this subject. Perhaps you'd also like to write a letter to Mr. Kulm--who insists he was not comparing this proposal to the current antiquated 19th century Amtrack system.

Another Bush crony....:gaah:

JDRCRASH: BTW, good find on the article!


No prob! ;)

MrVegas
Dec 28, 2008, 5:30 AM
Night view of the Planet Hollywood Westgate sign
http://img300.imageshack.us/img300/5485/phwestgatewj7.jpg

mac78130
Dec 28, 2008, 7:49 AM
Night view of the Planet Hollywood Westgate sign
http://img300.imageshack.us/img300/5485/phwestgatewj7.jpg

Hopefully it looks better in person

leftopolis
Dec 28, 2008, 9:27 PM
Responding to a few posts...

It seems on the two CC buildings that are being rumored about, there are two divergent thoughts going on. The possibility that they might change the focus of the buildings from residence to hotel or whatever--is being confused with shutting down the project when it's 75% complete. There is no way that is going to happen, although evolving towards current "best financial use" of the buildings--would be the right choice for any prudent, successful business.

WJC is a disappointment to be sure. The longer they delay, the less likely anything will ever come into fruition. If they still manage to get it built without the housing, more power to them...but i hate to say it(trying not to pessemistic while still realistic)--it's looking like a dead project. It's already been delayed a couple of years. How many projects still get built with that kind of track record?

The PHWestgate sign(thanks for the post, mac78130!)--um, what the heck is that? It kind of reminds me of a Westinghouse logo on an office building. It doesn't inspire me to think it would be a fun place to go, and perhaps more importantly--the issue of brand recognition. Everybody's heard of Planet Hollywood. If i wasn't a dork who spends too much time on this website, i'd be clueless to what "PHWestgate" refers to. I'd imagine the average tourist would feel the same.

Finally, I'm convinced the maglev will not materialize if they insist on "Disneyland" and Anaheim as an endpoint. That makes as much sense as having the other endpoint be a pre-school in Henderson, NV.

mac78130
Dec 28, 2008, 10:31 PM
The PHWestgate sign(thanks for the post, mac78130!)

Credit for photo needs to go to MrVegas :tup: . His post is right above mine. I didn't like the sign either.

Krases
Dec 28, 2008, 11:42 PM
I think the MAGLEV idea is retarded. Why not use electric high speed rail that links into the new potential Ivanpah airport south of Vegas before linking into California's potential high speed rail network? If they did that, things would rock.

At this point I don't think Vegas can continue to earn enough revenue through gambling unless it creates alternative modes of travel instead of just the airport and the I-15 to California (which needs expanding if they build Ivanpah airport).

leftopolis
Dec 29, 2008, 1:18 AM
Credit for photo needs to go to MrVegas :tup: . His post is right above mine. I didn't like the sign either.

Doh! Thanks for the clarification mac78130, and for the photo post, MrVegas!

************

Krases: I'm only hopeful that since both projects are dependant upon federal funds...that somebody in the Obama Administration will have the prescience to do just as you suggest. For my part, I'll be writing CHANGE.GOV (http://change.gov/) regarding that idea.

ieguy441
Dec 29, 2008, 5:33 AM
Rumor has it, that George Maloof is in talks with Harrah's to buy the Bally's and Paris properties. This would make a great sister resort on the strip to the Palms brand... Paris could be the themed resort, and I bet Bally's will be reinvented to become like a Mega-Palms on the strip.

Should be an interesting first quarter in Vegas this year..

CosmoVegas
Dec 29, 2008, 5:55 AM
Here's how it would be done:


Remember, Dubai World owns half of CityCenter and will contribute to finish the project accordingly. They have an equal stake to ensure the success of the project.

.

Dubai is having some problems of their own, this one of the more positive stories:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d3ad44e8-d371-11dd-989e-000077b07658.html

Aaron Auxier
Dec 29, 2008, 6:05 AM
While I'm still learning about it, right now, my opinion is that the maglev to Anaheim sounds appealing. The recession proves that gaming and high-end spas and restaurants are not enough to sustain our future economy. Also, Vegas needs to get back to the old days where we had competition on the Strip, and we built unique, interesting and diverse properties. Steve Wynn's unbundling talk makes much sense.

With that being said, I think it could create tens of thousands of jobs, be awesome for our children, and add a second major revenue to Nevada if we could build the Ivanpah Valley Airport, link the Anaheim maglev to it, then have a monorail from IVA to Vegas and Downtown Vegas. Most importantly, get Disney to build a Walt Disney World in Ivanpah.

Families do want to visit and/or move to Nevada. One of my clients' biggest complains is the lack of culture and things for children to do. Driving, flying, or magleving into Ivanpah, everyone would see Disney World. You drop your kids off with some kind of Disney Day Care or your nanny while you monorail into Vegas to gamble for the day.

I mean, should Nevada keep putting most of its eggs into one basket (the Strip) forever? Or is it time we maximize our land and ability to lead in sustainable architecture, job creation, and status as one of the fastest growing states in the U.S?



On New Years Day 2009, I'm releasing a approx. 6,000 word mini online novel called The Reveal which shares my thoughts on everything from Vegas, to technology, treating our planet better, positive thinking, government, to condotel vs. residential, the media, the super high end areas for custom homes and how not many empty lots remain that are above a half acre and have views and much more.

Did I ever share the picture below of our upcoming project Ascaya? It is unlike any land development before it in Vegas and is already privately funded and getting closer to moving forward. Lots start at half acres and go into the multi-acre territory. A brief excerpt from The Reveal can be found below. I'll link to it on here when it drops next week.

Is there anything I should know about choosing an area to buy or build a custom home in Las Vegas and/or Henderson?

Yes and it's important. When it comes to upper-echelon communities such as The Ridges or The Enclave, very few exist. It's hard to find large lots (above half of an acre) in the super high-end communities around Vegas and Henderson. As an example of custom-home lot offerings, as of this writing, there is only approx. one empty lot left in Queensridge and approx. one empty lot left in The Enclave. The Ridges, Southern Highlands, and MacDonald Highlands do still offer opportunity for lots, but again, it's hard to get premier lots with views and sizes above a half of an acre. In 2009, we (Shapiro & Sher Group) are expected to launch our new developer project Ascaya. Sitting above MacDonald Highlands, this highly distinctive land is carved into the McCullough Mountain and features striking views of the Las Vegas Strip. The lots (starting at approx. half acre and getting much bigger) carve their way up like ribbons dancing on a rock mountain. Ascaya is a place of natural beauty, one which plans to implement an organic architectural approach of luxury that respects nature. In essence, someone could combine multiple lots, hence creating a private multi-property compound high above the Strip. Many expect Ascaya to be unlike anything before it in Vegas, a place where the world's wealthiest could end up building very extravagant homes (there are only approx. 300 lots).

http://item.slide.com/r/1/191/i/YzueAOP14z_f6kiJJaH6Ubb9kmq9CR6b/


I think the MAGLEV idea is retarded. Why not use electric high speed rail that links into the new potential Ivanpah airport south of Vegas before linking into California's potential high speed rail network? If they did that, things would rock.

At this point I don't think Vegas can continue to earn enough revenue through gambling unless it creates alternative modes of travel instead of just the airport and the I-15 to California (which needs expanding if they build Ivanpah airport).

Silas
Dec 29, 2008, 6:31 AM
If that rumor about Maloof is true, then it may have something to do with the proposed AEG arena that's been on hold. That would be cool (as long as the NBA All Star game was not held there).

Aaron Auxier
Dec 29, 2008, 7:31 AM
One Queensridge Place (http://www.vegascondoscene.com/one-queensridge-place/) by far has my vote for most exquisite high-rise condo project in Vegas. The other day when it snowed, I was showing property in the buildings. It was warm and cozy inside, as the fireplaces and Christmas trees were lit, and the reflections sparkled off the semi-precious Pietra Dura flooring.

http://item.slide.com/r/1/142/i/jRzOJWk25T-yDMbQy3fVJJziQSJ4PLsr/

http://item.slide.com/r/1/132/i/AKKk3CPxhT-clb_gsMNvstYT0H2a0zT6/

http://item.slide.com/r/1/203/i/3Db-UXiP6z9GeYcGqV8nQ7n1JShNVzFv/

http://item.slide.com/r/1/119/i/jXyWHQZ74T8cWnSv6QQm8n57EHk0Bp4C/

http://item.slide.com/r/1/242/i/SAlBSPcmwj_zS-ZJLvNwRJxcj8r7On3A/

http://item.slide.com/r/1/229/i/2Kvww5Fn2z9GkbRHNmhOBg70tJpUhZOa/

http://item.slide.com/r/1/76/i/FUt21BVF6z9qbb_HgNk9EEv2Xd_0hSmO/

http://item.slide.com/r/1/153/i/gIkzv_-Ioz9_fU7fNRUNpnyeyTea-TFn/

mdiederi
Dec 29, 2008, 7:42 AM
Looking forward to The Reveal, Aaron.

Speaking of Queensridge, the completion of Tivoli Village is being pushed back because of the economy and design changes.
http://www.lvrj.com/business/36775924.html

........

And speaking of slow construction, Gehry's Ruvo building has got to be one of the slowest construction jobs ever for its size. They brought a large crawler crane out there last week, and put a few more pieces of the facade puzzle together. Now the crane is gone again and no new parts of the facade are going up, though obviously they still have aways to go to finish it.

Aaron Auxier
Dec 29, 2008, 8:25 AM
Glad to hear it, it's been difficult to write and is deep. Something like 6,000 words.

Looking forward to The Reveal, Aaron.

Speaking of Queensridge, the completion of Tivoli Village is being pushed back because of the economy and design changes.
http://www.lvrj.com/business/36775924.html

........

And speaking of slow construction, Gehry's Ruvo building has got to be one of the slowest construction jobs ever for its size. They brought a large crawler crane out there last week, and put a few more pieces of the facade puzzle together. Now the crane is gone again and no new parts of the facade are going up, though obviously they still have aways to go to finish it.

jazfingr
Dec 29, 2008, 8:50 AM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3245/3147089114_6b0a1b4f14_o.jpg

Well, I guess this answers the Fontainebleau crown questions.
It's a swoop and I like it very much :yes: . This is a shot I took of the model
I put a lot of model shots, a video and new construction photos on the site.
check 'em out here (http://www.vegastodayandtomorrow.com/fontainebleau.htm#model)

:D

PS nice snowy shots of Queensridge, Aaron, makes me long for my ol' michigan home. But Disneyworld in the desert...I think not. Toooo H O T for that s#/t

.

jazfingr
Dec 29, 2008, 9:09 AM
And speaking of slow construction, Gehry's Ruvo building has got to be one of the slowest construction jobs ever for its size. They brought a large crawler crane out there last week, and put a few more pieces of the facade puzzle together. Now the crane is gone again and no new parts of the facade are going up, though obviously they still have aways to go to finish it.

Gehry buildings always take a long time to complete. In the (should we call it) melting-lattice, every piece is a hand made custom size.
Everything need to be perfect in every step of the installation. That requires constant checking, tweaking, and re-checking throughout the process.

The Crystals (god, I hate that name) is the same way, It's taken a long to build that as it took to build the whole project.

Complicated architecture takes time...and it's worth the wait.

Here's a shot I took last Tuesday

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3091/3147135538_2814304b2d_o.jpg

jazfingr
Dec 29, 2008, 9:24 AM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3246/3146316611_8857356fa1_o.jpg

As for the illusive Marriott Springhill Suites,
This photo by Brian Pacho shows that the tower is right across the street from the Hilton sign - and the sign is taller (although not quite as thick).
Maybe Hilton should convert the sign into a Boutique Hotel :haha:

I took the second shot (below) from the Riviera's back parking lot.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3240/3147149042_43a35fa74a_o.jpg

Krases
Dec 29, 2008, 5:13 PM
Gehry buildings always take a long time to complete. In the (should we call it) melting-lattice, every piece is a hand made custom size.
Everything need to be perfect in every step of the installation. That requires constant checking, tweaking, and re-checking throughout the process.

The Crystals (god, I hate that name) is the same way, It's taken a long to build that as it took to build the whole project.

Complicated architecture takes time...and it's worth the wait.

Here's a shot I took last Tuesday


Well it does sound like a complex job. Then again maybe the construction workers forgot were the pieces go.

Ba-da tish!

Now if you will excuse me, I have a ticket straight to hell. I don't want to miss my flight.

JDRCRASH
Dec 29, 2008, 10:36 PM
I think the MAGLEV idea is retarded. Why not use electric high speed rail that links into the new potential Ivanpah airport south of Vegas before linking into California's potential high speed rail network? If they did that, things would rock.


Like I said, some Maglev trains can ride on Monorail tracks.

I think one problem with using the proposed CAHSR is that some will soon start pressing for yet another route, this time from Las Vegas to San Francisco, meaning a new HSR to Carson and Lake Tahoe before heading west to Sac and SF. Otherwise, it may very well be quicker and easier to drive using the 95 north and use the 80 or 50 west to get to the Bay Area than riding the Maglev to Anaheim, taking the metrolink to DTLA/Union Station, and hopping on the High-Speed Rail to San Francisco.

Unfortunately, i'm not sure the country is committed yet to building such a vast and very expensive network. But since we are building for the future, it may work!


Krases: I'm only hopeful that since both projects are dependant upon federal funds...that somebody in the Obama Administration will have the prescience to do just as you suggest. For my part, I'll be writing CHANGE.GOV (http://change.gov/) regarding that idea.

Definately; it's surely not going to get anywhere under the current White House.

One of my main concerns even after Obama takes over is that it's gonna be labeled as P-O-R-K. But the reality is that it isn't wasteful, because the 15 is one of the worst routes out of Southern California(you gotta admit, the 5 is bad, especially during the winter), and it's been expanded several times within the last 25 years. So it should not just be billed as "amusement parkish", but as a critical traffic reliever.

While I'm still learning about it, right now, my opinion is that the maglev to Anaheim sounds appealing. The recession proves that gaming and high-end spas and restaurants are not enough to sustain our future economy. Also, Vegas needs to get back to the old days where we had competition on the Strip, and we built unique, interesting and diverse properties. Steve Wynn's unbundling talk makes much sense.

With that being said, I think it could create tens of thousands of jobs, be awesome for our children, and add a second major revenue to Nevada if we could build the Ivanpah Valley Airport, link the Anaheim maglev to it, then have a monorail from IVA to Vegas and Downtown Vegas.

I read in the Times that it's slowly getting more expensive for Middle-Class citizens to stay in Vegas, and that could be a huge problem. It will need to cater to the average American to keep it's revenues booming the future. I get the feeling that it would be a VERY big tourist and commuter magnet. Build it, build it!!!:banana:

I mean, should Nevada keep putting most of its eggs into one basket (the Strip) forever? Or is it time we maximize our land and ability to lead in sustainable architecture, job creation, and status as one of the fastest growing states in the U.S?

I honestly think that from now on, the Strip should be Las Vegas' version of Hollywood Blvd, Sheik Zayed Road, or Broadway, in the idea that the nerve-center of tourism and development in Vegas would indeed be Las Vegas Blvd, but more development and mega projects should accompany the surrounding areas to make it a larger attraction.:yes:

leftopolis
Dec 30, 2008, 12:42 AM
JDRCRASH:

I think you more or less agree, but I wanted to clarify what I said earlier. Based on the proposed LA to SF HSR--there's a portion of the proposed OC to LV maglev, which could be going through the same towns. I don't have the links handy(of route maps), but it's my understanding that the proposed CA HSR leaves the LA Basin to go north, via Palmdale. Any HSR system going from OC to LV, could thus cover that portion of the journey(DTLA to Palmdale) along that route. I realize going through Palmdale isn't the most direct route, but if one leg went east from there to LV, it would still only add a few minutes vs a more direct route. Going from LA to SF via Palmdale isn't exactly a straight line either.

Particularly now--during questionable economic times--the most cost effective and sensible approach to building both HSR lines(LA to SF and OC to LV), would be to work together and not spend $$ on what would essentially be parallel, duplicate tracks. It might also ensure that the CA HSR leg down to SD gets built. OC is already half way there!

JDRCRASH
Dec 30, 2008, 2:09 AM
^ Which is why part of projects like these must be included in the next Stimulus Package; to create much needed jobs.

Seva
Dec 30, 2008, 2:59 AM
One would like to believe that our own Harry Reid, being the powerful Majority Leader US Senate to use some of his influence to help our state, especially after a fellow democrat becomes president.

mdiederi
Dec 30, 2008, 3:39 AM
One would like to believe that our own Harry Reid, being the powerful Majority Leader US Senate to use some of his influence to help our state, especially after a fellow democrat becomes president.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/06/futuristic-levitating-tra_n_105783.html
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., praised passage of the law, saying the MagLev project "will safely and efficiently move people between Southern California and Las Vegas."

CHAPINM1
Dec 30, 2008, 7:38 AM
One thing that does give me hope is the possibility of Crown being coming back into fruitation. Even if two 1,064 foot towers don't come out of it, I'd still be more than happy with one! This gives me something to look foward to. Also, by the time that project may start if it does, Fontainebleau will no longer need the land for staging.

Krases
Dec 30, 2008, 8:15 AM
Isn't the crown the ugly 150 story Gherkin shaped building?

They had better make it look different.

CHAPINM1
Dec 30, 2008, 8:39 AM
Isn't the crown the ugly 150 story Gherkin shaped building?

They had better make it look different.

It was, but the plans have been revised.

JDRCRASH
Dec 30, 2008, 11:00 PM
Compliments of the FAA.

ieguy441
Dec 31, 2008, 5:33 AM
Compliments of the FAA.
Darn, I thought a skyscraper the shape of a sex toy would be a perfect fit on the Vegas strip.. Oh well. lol jk

JDRCRASH
Dec 31, 2008, 5:52 AM
:haha:

CHAPINM1
Dec 31, 2008, 6:28 AM
Darn, I thought a skyscraper the shape of a sex toy would be a perfect fit on the Vegas strip.. Oh well. lol jk

Oh I've never heard that before!!!

neworleans
Dec 31, 2008, 7:17 AM
an article on where all the fireworks will be launched from. It's a bummer they aren't going to be shot from the roof tops.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1251881/las_vegas_new_years_eve_2009_fireworks.html?cat=2

Krases
Dec 31, 2008, 7:47 AM
What the hell! That fire at Monte Carlo was started by construction workers!

Who the hell passed that bit of legislature? I want to know there names! :hell:

mac78130
Dec 31, 2008, 11:59 AM
The New York Post:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/12312008/gossip/pagesix/sin_city_slump_146626.htm

December 31, 2008 --

THE Las Vegas hotel business is reeling. Already, construction on Boyd Gaming's $4.8 billion, five-tower Echelon, which was to house both the Mondrian Las Vegas and the Delano Las Vegas, has been delayed until at least the end of 2009 because of cash-flow problems. Now, we hear both the Vegas Fontainebleau and Andrew Sasson's Harmon Hotel are "shelling" - building out only half the rooms first announced and leaving many floors empty with windows to give the appearance of a completed project. Reps for neither project returned calls.

Well this will suck if it's true about Harmon and Fontainebleau

CHAPINM1
Dec 31, 2008, 12:32 PM
I'd be willing to bet that if it is true, eventually the empty space will be finished along with the rest of the floors. I am at least glad that Fontainebleau started as early as it did so the developers didn't get cute and slash the floor count.

RandalR
Dec 31, 2008, 3:01 PM
Who the hell passed that bit of legislature? I want to know there names! :hell:

I think it was the fire marshal - and his is the only vote that counts. ;)

The EIFS material covering the older hotels proved a lot more flammable than they thought. They don't want to risk any more events like Monte Carlo.

silverbow
Dec 31, 2008, 4:29 PM
.
Company defaults, sees little prospects (http://www.lvrj.com/business/36922094.html)

patrick84
Dec 31, 2008, 5:01 PM
Hi Everyone -

I was in Vegas over Christmas and snapped a few photos of City Center and the PH Towers. City Center is very overwhelming in person - it is insane.


PH Tower:

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_vVNWrhJ2D4o/SVukvGjAYII/AAAAAAAAAOs/xg4IMBdpOX0/s512/DSCN5386.JPG


City Center:

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_vVNWrhJ2D4o/SVuko_dfTII/AAAAAAAAAOY/eShtpUXcceQ/s512/DSCN5384.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_vVNWrhJ2D4o/SVukpmuTnbI/AAAAAAAAAOg/TvVdCi8ttxo/s640/DSCN5385.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_vVNWrhJ2D4o/SVukoaZJs7I/AAAAAAAAAOI/wAP2ouALCqs/s512/DSCN5382.JPG

mdiederi
Dec 31, 2008, 5:36 PM
PH Tower:

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_vVNWrhJ2D4o/SVukvGjAYII/AAAAAAAAAOs/xg4IMBdpOX0/s512/DSCN5386.JPG


That yellow lettering looks really cheesy.

laguna
Dec 31, 2008, 6:47 PM
Could the next announcement be...

COSMOPOLITAN FINISHES EXTERIOR ONLY and doesnt open?

fishordie
Dec 31, 2008, 6:59 PM
Could the next announcement be...

COSMOPOLITAN FINISHES EXTERIOR ONLY and doesnt open?


Thats what I've been saying and I have 3 units there. It would be foolish to put more billions into the interior or hard and softscapes at this time. Of course, we are seeing genius's all over the country making more bad decisions all the time.

FOD

ondarox
Dec 31, 2008, 9:18 PM
PH Tower:

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_vVNWrhJ2D4o/SVukvGjAYII/AAAAAAAAAOs/xg4IMBdpOX0/s512/DSCN5386.JPG

That yellow lettering looks really cheesy.

Thanks to that horrible yellow font, this is now probably the most cartoonish looking project. I'm not happy with that lettering at all. Silver would have been better and the font for Westgate needs to be changed- or removed -from the top of the building. Westgate isn't even a name that is associated with upscale. It just reminds of one thing- TIMESHARE PUSHERS. (Maybe the 5 minute Henna Tattoo shop in the foreground helps with the Cheese factor) Also, are they going to leave the connecting wing exposed until they decide to break ground on the 2nd tower and bridge? Are they even going to do it? I haven't heard any buzz on the sales for this project.

Regarding CityCenter- Does anyone know if the property was Designed with Feng Shui principles? I'm seeing a lot of sharp points which leads me to believe that it wasn't. (Not that it is a bad thing- not everything has to be Feng Shui'ed)

AARON AUXIER- My crew is desperately awaiting "THE REVEAL" for 2009. I'm holding them hostage from their NYE activities (we're all partying together anyways) until we read your feature. :whip: YOU HAVE FANS WAITING!

To everyone- have a GREAT New Years. Thank you for all of the great content, I love this forum!

Silas
Jan 1, 2009, 12:13 AM
I agree about that Westgate sign. It looks butt ugly day or night. Pink and yellow with the red/blue theme? WTF?

It is like some homes I see being built. I've seen $5 million homes that go up and only seem to tell the world "I have $5 million but absolutely no taste."

About the Elvis project/land. Good! That land is too good to F-up with another cheesy project. I hope that in the future a classy place can go up to really make that Harmon area the bomb (figuratively).

Cosmo and others just creating shells: yeah not too surprised. I am sure a better move for Cosmo would have been to lop it off at 20 floors and do it right but probably Perini had $ incentive to keep building up, up and away.

F-blue just being a shell on the north side -- it is getting weird.

As far as overall Vegas tourism. I think that the big shock to the market was a double wammy of the nearly $5 gas and stock market armageddon in October (surprise). I believe that with people realizing that stock market approx. 9,000 and $2 gas, no, the world is not going to end. I look for tourism/rates to improve fairly quickly.

That would cause all the moron....I mean geniuses in Vegas to re-think things yet again. It is fun.

THANK YOU for all the great photos guys!

CHAPINM1
Jan 1, 2009, 3:37 AM
Silas, I'd be willing to bet that the north end will be where all the elevator cores will run, like Aria having their cores run along the west end, Fontainebleau probably chose the north end to run the elevators because if there was any part of the building where views should be given up it should be the end where the views would be the least valuable.

Both Aria's and Fontainebleau's cores are in the directions that are least facing the strip.

mdiederi
Jan 1, 2009, 4:03 AM
..

Aaron Auxier
Jan 1, 2009, 10:55 AM
http://item.slide.com/r/1/213/i/rpp5R4PR3D9wiDR4t9ppvPoAwi2IIy9w/

Happy New Years!

After a couple of weeks labor (and 35 years of learning), tonight (at like 3am Jan. 1st, 2009), I launched The Reveal.

Please note, The Reveal is not about real estate so much, but about my thoughts on life, mankind, space, and more. It's my thoughts on what we need to do to inspire a better future for ourselves and our children. At the bottom of The Reveal, there are many links to different Vegas subjects (including my annual thoughts on Las Vegas - 2009.)

The Reveal - by Aaron Auxier (http://activerain.com/blogsview/860313/The-Reveal-by-Aaron-Auxier) (the entire thing w/ multiple Vegas links)

Aaron's Annual Thoughts - Las Vegas -2009 (http://activerain.com/blogsview/860312/Aarons-Annual-Thoughts-Las-Vegas-2009) (if you just want the main Vegas update).

If anyone wants to auto receive my future email updates just shoot me an email.

neworleans
Jan 1, 2009, 12:51 PM
thanks Aaron. I was wondering, what benefit does a casino get in having condotels over regular hotels?

about the ph tower- the gap they left exposed, where the second tower would have connected to the first tower, is now being filled in with the glass windows.

Aaron Auxier
Jan 2, 2009, 4:47 AM
One of the benefits of building a condotel on your land is that you take less financial risk as a developer (because you can build an asset and still get to manage it and make fees) plus sell the units which frees up liquidity, lowers your construction loan needs, etc.

You approach your bank and say, "This building will cost $1 billion, but we're going to sell 1,000 units for a total of $750 million. We now only need $250 million loan.

The real downside is (besides the fact condotel product has become so saturated and hard to lend on) is that it could become very difficult to ever tear down later as hundreds of owners may not want to sell. This is what I call the 30-year warning. This happens in residential high-rise and time-share as well.

If prime Strip property is what a developer owns, it's a tough decision to give a few prime acres up to some building that may never again be usable for a future income-producing casino, restaurants, or pure hotel rooms (where the gaming corporation would keep more profit as opposed to having to split it with owners).

When it comes to Strip "residential" condos, they really make little sense for developers to build as they make very little return long-term on those properties. Plus, once again, a possible land-lock situation.

That's why I like talking about properties like Veer Towers, Mandarin Oriental, and The Harmon (although starting to get nervous for The Harmon's construction issues). No word on The St. Regis Residences. Could it be possible that Mandarin, Veer, and Sky are the only "residential" high-rise condos on the Strip for the next 10 years or longer? We shall see.

Also, will appraisers start to understand the intangibles on why pure residential condos on the Strip or so hard to build and why developers are having 2nd thoughts? Will they raise values because of the scarcity? Or will they harm residential appraisals because of the challenged and inventory saturated condotel market?

Nobody has really taken the time to report the differences of these two different product types and what separates their strengths and weaknesses.

fishordie
Jan 2, 2009, 5:35 AM
Actually, the evaluations have been done but too many folks failed to look at the real costs of residence only strip properties. As noted, there are not many folks looking for long term leases on strip properties as these are just not great places to lay ones head and call it home. Dealing with crazy HOA's, including high monthly fees, and neighbors who are basically in the room next door is not what I would call a home. If I were 25 again looking to party my brains out then perhaps, but I am not. Yes, there were some corporations leasing long term penthouses and the likes but most of those companies can no longer afford to do so. Many only leased rather than purchased in order to bail if necessary. Many individuals purchased under their business names for tax purposes or ??? Many states, including California, are removing the ability for many out of state entities to do that. Individuals living in these strip high rises just did not have a giant pool of actual live in buyers, rather they were investors looking to make the quick buck, to sell their units to. As we know those investors dried up or were themselves holding onto a non performing product. Even the Penthouse you noted as selling at a very low rate still had an almost $800 per month HOA fee. With interest rates going well below 5% on owner occupied qualified buyers that large HOA fee translates into nearly $200,000 additional value to a buyers monthly nut should they decide to purchase in a normal family neighborhood. Besides, is 600 - 900 square feet really considered a home??? Can an appraiser really justify over $1000.00 per sq. foot of price for a glorified hotel room??

No, it was a perceived situation and the appraisers and lenders knew it or should have known it. Well, they know it now. Location, Location, Location will always be the watchword in real estate but a residence/home in the middle of the strip may not be considered a desirable location except for a very small group of folks. Ease of access to markets, schools, parks, business, etc. are what most residence owners are looking for. Not all, but most.

Mr. Eichner likened the Cosmo to Manhattan or beach front property. I too felt that was correct but only if the buyer could get income from the property. I will be very curious to see how many Mandarin, Veer or Harmon (should it actually be completed) unit purchasers will really step up to the plate and complete the transactions and of those who do close how many will be happy with their decisions. Some say Mandarin unit buyers will not care about what the value of their units are but I say that is nonsense. Very rich folks care more than folks think about the value of their properties and though they can more easily recover financially the majority may not be happy campers and may find even less of a buyer's pool should they decide to resell.

All that said, I am very high on my belief Vegas has an upside sometime in the future. Should a high speed rail actually come to fruition and the end points as well as the mid stopping points be somewhere worthwhile then Vegas will see more folks coming into town. If State taxes will stay low or zero and local areas provide incentives for more businesses to come into the state based on lower taxes for both themselves and their employees then we have something. Should the airport be enlarged or another convenient airport be constructed then we have something more. And should this down turn in the real estate and economic markets dictate out of state buyers need to find affordable housing in family type neighborhoods then again Vegas and the adjoining cities will have an upside as we are seeing prices much more in line with "Residential" type purchasers but NOT on the strip.

The strip should have remained a transients paradise giving value and pleasure to most all who frequented the facilities. Hotels, like all other businesses, needed to retain some sense of reason when it came to holding larger and larger debt not placing the burden on their patrons. We just bore witness to an amazing 13 or so year real estate bubble. It is now time to pay for that house of cards, both by those who fell victims to its lure as well as those who were fiscally responsible. I happen to believe those who were responsible will get the lions share of any benefit in the future but will still have to help in the bail out.

So in my long winded way, contrary to popular belief, those appraisers and banks do need to take a long hard look at the true value of the properties noted and rate them properly based on real value not on some day dreamers belief in an infinite bubble. Should they continue to lend on real appraised value Vegas well be the beneficiary, perhaps not in the short run but certainly in the long run.

JMHO

FOD

DrT
Jan 2, 2009, 3:40 PM
Alot of meat in the above posts to digest. Many excellent points made fishordie.

The HOA's are high in the condo units, but, in a residential home in the burbs, the costs are still there, but somewhat more disguised as lawn maintenance, insurance on the house, pool maintenance, large maintenance repairs not regularly funded like painting, roof repairs, etc. If you convert the HOA moneys into a bigger mortgage or more expensive property, your property taxes also ratchet higher. In a well managed condo, the HOA's are spent directly to benefit your home. Services like concierge you do without in a suburban house, but many folks want the extra service.

Demographics are also in favor of properties that are smaller and easier to maintain as the hoardes of boomers begin to retire. Maintaining a large single family home, thruthfully, is a pain in the rear. I believe that the condo market will thrive after this correction. Your point about whether five or six hundred square feet is too small is certainly valid though. Retirees also look for entertainment, cultural and medical amenities more than schools and parks.
So there are tradeoffs in living in a condo and on the strip.

How resale prices will compare to developer prices in the near term is indeed a difficult question. My bet is this dip in prices will be fairly prolonged and if you plan to resell a new unit in the next couple of years, it is very likely that you'll suffer a loss. Long term, if you look at replacement value as a guide, owners will do well in my opinion, especially if some of the positive developments that you alluded to come to fruition.

Aaron Auxier
Jan 2, 2009, 8:31 PM
All great points FOD but I still don't think we're comparing apples to apples. Condotel vs. "residential". There is a big difference and it must be noticed.

Condotel (on and off Strip) would be Trump, Signature, Cosmo, Palms, Vdara, Platinum, and maybe Fontainebleau.

Residential (pure Strip only) would be Mandarin Oriental, Veer Towers, The Harmon, St. Regis, and Sky (although The Harmon and St. Regis are in question.) That could possibly leave us with just three residential buildings and approx. 1,310 residential Strip high-rise condo units (less than the approx. 2,000 "condotel" units in Cosmo alone. Even if The Harmon and St. Regis do get done, it would add approx. just 605 units to the approx. 1,310 number (still less than Cosmo).

For the most part, the "residential" properties on the Strip (Mandarin Oriental, Veer, and Sky) are bigger than 600 sq. ft and contain up to four bedrooms or so. Sky has units above 5k square feet.

Also, it's worth noting that residential buildings have rules in place (such as minimum rental time periods) to discourage transient use.

Just want to make sure people realize the difference between residential and condotel as well as the big difference in numbers, square footages, and intended use.

fishordie
Jan 3, 2009, 2:36 AM
Hi Aaron and Happy New year,

I thought I did distinguish between the two when I mentioned the Cosmo being an income producer. I guess what I meant to say was a transient business income producer vs. the Residential complexes which I referred to as long term lease type income which is required by the CC and R's. What I was trying to say, perhaps not so clearly, was we the Vegas Strip unit buyers were mostly investors rather than actual owner occupied users. These buyers were looking to cash in on their investments as Vegas prices continued to soar. As these owners believed they were banking appreciation they took whatever rental/lease income they could to cover the nut. However, that appreciation was all on paper and unfortunately paper burns. Until these units go into bankruptcy the debt cannot be covered by existing rent/lease rates.

I am sure you remember when the Cosmo product first came out is was billed as the Cosmo resort and residences. Those of us who understood the differences between resort and residence did our due diligence to determine a fair price for the product. I did not understand the prices paid after the friends and family rounds for the Cosmo and still do not understand the pricing for any of the City Center projects. This is why I feel appraisers
need to properly appraise the property for its use value rather than the value of the land and then add on the improvements.

Your analysis of the differentials between residential only Condos and Condo/Hotel projects are correct but the end result is still the same. Appraisers need to value the projects based on its ability to return on the investment on both of these Strip type properties because the do not really act as true owner occupied properties or residences. Appraisers are given several methods of appraising properties only one of which involves the local "Comps". The proper method to appraise these properties is strictly on its ability to yield income to the unit owners who in turn pay the lenders. Because Strip properties, of both types, are mostly managed by the on site and over priced managers, the unit owners have been well up side down and thus walking away from their debts. This is all kind of amazing since the prices of the dirt the projects are sitting on has done nothing but appreciate. Turnberry, Signature, etc have seen the value of the land escalate yet the value of the units depreciate drastically.

I guess I was attempting to put my own feelings as to the responsibilities of appraisers. I firmly believe they are entrusted to act as fiduciaries to the lenders and NOT to the borrowers or the Real Estate Industry. Since I have been in the industry for going on 4 decades I have had the chance to meet many appraisers and in the last bubble their mandate was to just get the properties appraised and not worry about the results. This mandate came not only from the Mortgage brokers (Not all but most) who wanted the commission but also complicit were the lenders themselves whose mandate was to loan more and more. Even the buyers themselves wanted the appraisals to come in as high as possible. So in essence this was a "Perceived" win win win situation. I found honest and honorable appraisers lost work or went out of business as they were displaced by others who were just willing to "Git Er Done".

There is plenty of blame to go around for this Real Estate bubble burst but the recovery will come when appraisers give actual and real estimates of the value of the properties. As I noted previously, in the short run, this is going to have a whole lot of unhappy folks (Sellers) but in the long term will help in the healing of the industry as buyers and lenders alike will be getting true value. I believe at some point there will be a window of time when the interest rates are super low and prices are super low for those who were fiscally responsible or just had lucky timing will be able to afford to buy their residences and even investment properties and affordable monthly rates.

I do believe residences or Condo Hotels on the strip may not be the best place to put ones dollars either for investment or residence until Vegas actually becomes Manhattan or beach front. As of now the comparison is just not apples to apples. Once more and larger businesses and homeowners/skilled labor come to the area a true infrastructure, not based on gambling, is created, then and only then will the Strip have a true Manhattan value for those looking for some sort of part time or full time residence. At that point prices could be through the roof but until then we are going to see what we are seeing now.

Have a great new year.

FOD

FOD

Silas
Jan 3, 2009, 4:02 AM
Let's not make things overcomplicated. It is all about revenue and expenses. Right now the revenues are virtually zero (is this criminal?). Expenses are quite high.

Revenues may increase soon as tourism will most likely return to normal and perhaps the moro.... I mean geniuses running things at MGM and elsewhere realize they would get a lot (i.e. citycenter sales) by giving up a little (i.e. Signature rents).

If we see the 'fix housing first' proposal of 2.99 interest rates then we will see values explode by April. That will be an incredible deal for primary residents, or people who intend to be primary residents but then change their minds about 24 hours after the ink is dry on the contracts.

Let us see what Brother Barrack puts forward. If there is love in the housing 'stimulus' then we will see this market turn on a dime.

I am apparently the only person who understands the dynamics of the new real estate cycles. Prior to the internet, cycles moved on (approx.) 5-7 year cycle and the data was dripped out once a month. Now the data is out there 24-7 with so much more info to the public that it changes everything. The result is that this market will turn far faster and dramatically than any other real estate cycle, or any of the 'experts' realize.

Of course, this is dependent on an appropriate stimulus, such as the 2.99 percent interest rate being discussed. Let's watch.