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Old Posted Jul 23, 2006, 9:28 AM
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jazfingr jazfingr is offline
need input!!!
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Ya, gold glass is tacky. I predict that the next phase (after 2010 or so) will see Excalibur and NYNY reinvented. I doubt they'll implode them as they are modern buildings.

So, if it were up to me (and I had a couple gajillion dollars) I would..

Loose the castle motif and re-skin the rooms towers. This could be done nicely if it were done right. I would sacrifice several rooms by removing the walls between them, creating nice sized rooms.

Keep the theme, but re-skin the towers using materials that appear more real.
Add new, taller towers (no, not the WTC) where that Carrow's restaurant and Travelodge (or whatever it's called) is.

Luxor: Loose the sphinx and it's a pretty nice place.

Circus Circus:
My labor of love VegasTodayAndTomorrow
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Old Posted Jul 23, 2006, 8:24 PM
Daquan13 Daquan13 is offline
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Originally Posted by LMich
Some projects are going to be cancelled, that is how it's always been, and how it will continue to be in the future. It's not a phenomenon; it is a given in any skyscraper/high-rise boom.

Yeah, I myself, didn't think all those projects will get built either.

It would be good if they did, but no, some of them won't.
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Old Posted Jul 24, 2006, 3:57 AM
GeorgeLV GeorgeLV is offline
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Originally Posted by jazfingr
Circus Circus:
I doubt Circus Circus will be redeveloped anytime soon, but a renovation would be nice. At the very least they should update the institutional look of the facade on the hi-rise towers.
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Old Posted Jul 24, 2006, 6:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Daquan13
Yeah, I myself, didn't think all those projects will get built either.

It would be good if they did, but no, some of them won't.
Point taken, now here's a question, what are your (and other forumers) thoughts on what this guy wrote in the paper today? Quite frankly, he angers me with his "it's the end of the constuction boom" rhetoric. But then again some of his points seem valid.

"The Manhattanization of Las Vegas is over"

Today: July 23, 2006 at 7:43:27 PDT
Las Vegas SUN

Hal Rothman on how the old-fashioned approach to growth has reclaimed Las Vegas from a concept that was doomed from the start

The Manhattanization of Las Vegas is over. This gassy phrase captivated the regional imagination, but it turns out to be more smoke than substance.

We are not going to see a skyline that resembles the urban spaces of New York. Nor are we going to become a city of pedestrians who use public transportation to get where we are going. The idea was overblown to begin with; the phrasing was typical Las Vegas, designed to appeal to people whose eyes are bigger than their stomachs.

When the condo boom began almost two years ago, it was clear to anyone with any sense that most of the projects were conceived on a wing and a prayer, but I do not think anyone expected such a complete fiasco. A number of factors intervened.

The single biggest problem was that too many people without experience in this complicated market discovered it at the same time. Simply put, there were too many projects that were too similar, both in amenities and price. The proposed towers all looked the same, and their pitchmen sounded the same. Who could tell them apart? And why would they bother?

Even more, the price on most of the units was above $400,000, well outside the range of most Las Vegas families. This meant that the entire market was designed to appeal to the investor class, people for whom having a condo in Las Vegas was a desirable write-off of one kind or another. Such people are savvy; they have money and know how to use it to their advantage. Typically skilled at investing, they knew junk when they saw it.

Another intangible became the growing shortage of materials. It has become fashionable to blame this on Hurricane Katrina, but in reality, it is a symptom of a larger global problem over the competition for resources.

The expansion of China's economy has put tremendous pressure on raw materials. With a 10 percent growth rate, China sucks up almost every loose piece of steel or yard of cement. That meant Las Vegas builders were paying higher prices for materials even before the local demand soared. That drove up already exorbitant costs and prices followed.

Nor was there enough skilled labor in the Las Vegas Valley for all these projects. We have always had a shortage of labor here, but never before has it been so severe. Las Vegas contractors have been having a field day. One fellow I know tells of a general contractor who gave him a price one month and then asked for double the next. When the man balked, the contractor said that he was welcome to find someone else. Of course, there was no one else available.

This extends all the way through the skilled trades, the plumbers and electricians. There has always been a premium on skill in greater Las Vegas, but it has never been as acute as it is now. Everyone with trade skills is booked halfway into the 2010s.

What this means is what it has always meant - a rush to dependable brands and projects where the quality is guaranteed and the work will get done. In the newest Las Vegas, the post-Mirage Phase market in which we live, this means MGM Mirage. The company that staked its future with the Las Vegas Valley has become the largest real estate developer in Nevada history. Its bricks-and-mortar operations inspire confidence in buyers. They are lining up in numbers for the CityCenter project, which is not taking reservations yet.

So we find that people with money do not always throw it around. They run to places where their investments are safe. They are more sophisticated buyers than we have previously seen in the Las Vegas Valley and they have loudly voted. The condo craze has become a bust.

There is an important lesson in this for people who think that they can just show up in Las Vegas with money and take over the town. The scale of the poker game that is Las Vegas development is so great that no amount of outside money buys more than a seat at the table. And a seat alone is no promise of success. Investing on the Strip and its surroundings has taken a new direction.
Hal Rothman is a history professor at UNLV. His column for the Las Vegas Sun appears Sunday.
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Old Posted Jul 24, 2006, 6:41 AM
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CHAPINM1 CHAPINM1 is offline
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Within the next 20 years when the construction costs are reasonable to the value of a dallar due to inflation, Las Vegas will once again see rapid growth.

However that article was one of the most negative things I have read in a long time. The auther has to be a NIMBY...
A voice for the fallen.
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Old Posted Jul 24, 2006, 4:15 PM
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I've read Hal Rothmans articles before and he never seemed like the NIMBY type. He's just being overly pessimistic in this article. The condo market has slowed down, but nobody expected it to stay on that high it was at a couple years ago. But even with slowdown Vegas is in the middle of its biggest highrise boom in it's history. Then take away the condos and the construction of new hotels and casinos is bigger than it has ever been. It may have slowed down but the boom is not over.

On a personal note, I'm sad to say that I've moved out of Las Vegas. I'm now living in Portland, OR. I love my new home but I miss Vegas and will try come back to visit as much as possible. Just keep those construction photos coming.
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Old Posted Jul 24, 2006, 5:27 PM
leftopolis leftopolis is offline
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Miami developer to build high-rise


Boulevard Properties, a Miami development firm, recently unveiled plans for a new 350-foot-tall condominium tower in downtown Las Vegas. The project, Evolution Lofts, will be located on a half-acre lot at the northwest corner of Charleston Boulevard and Third Street.

"We believe in the mayor and his vision for downtown," said Len Edelman, a principal of Boulevard Properties. "Evolution Lofts is located in the downtown Arts District, which is quickly becoming the place to live, work and play."

Designed by JMA, the 29-story high-rise will consist of 159 residences with 19 different floor plans. Home range from 806 square feet to 2,100 square feet in size, priced from the mid-$400s up to $1.4 million with median sale price of $600 per square foot. Each unit comes with floor-to-ceiling views, hardwood floors, and balconies, among other features.

The tower will contain a double-height lobby with 2,800 square feet of retail followed by seven levels of parking. It's topped by an eighth-floor amenities deck with an outdoor pool area, a gym, and a community room. There will also be a business center, a sauna, and a 16-seat media room.

Martin Harris Construction has been named as the general contractor, with Corus Bank of Chicago providing the constructing financing. The project is expected to cost $65 million to build, or about $350 per square foot. It's already received city and Federal Aviation Administration permitting approvals.

Boulevard Properties bought the site three years ago for $1.5 million or about $68.87 per square foot. Ground breaking is anticipated in June 2007, with project completion by mid-2009. The tower, however, must first reach 70 percent sell-out in order to qualify for the Corus construction loan.

The project, as such, is going straight to contracts as opposed to a lengthy reservation-to-sales period. The Prinsloo Group, the team responsible for Panorama and Icon, is heading-up Evolution's sales effort.

"We're going straight to contracts because it shows we're serious about building," Sarah Prinsloo said.

There were 135 proposed luxury high-rise condo projects totaling 91,934 units at the end of June, yet only 14.6 percent of those units were actually under construction, reports Applied Analysis, a Las Vegas-based business advisory firm. An estimated 6,900 units had suspended sales, while another 1,900 units had officially called it quits.

"While projects that are currently under construction have reached the critical mass in terms of sales to provide sufficient financing, the remaining units vying for potential buyers will either prove their ability to move forward in the 12 months, or not," said Brian Gordon, principal of Applied Analysis. "Construction cost dynamics and consumer perceptions about extended sales periods decrease the likelihood for success for many of these projects."

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Old Posted Jul 24, 2006, 5:30 PM
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Good to see Evolution Lofts going forward.
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Old Posted Jul 24, 2006, 8:13 PM
ScottG ScottG is offline
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from the headlines this week:

Bye Bye Beach
The owners of the popular The Beach nightclub near the convention center have received approval from the county to tear down the building and build a 600-room hotel/condo and casino complex on the land. Included in the plans are 300 hotel rooms, 300 “resort condos” (meaning they can be rented as hotel rooms by owners as well), a 20,000-square-foot casino, and a restaurant and lounge in a 39-story building. There are plenty of regulatory hurdles left to jump through and the details of things like financing and timelines are sketchy but the owners insist they are serious about doing this. It is a prime location for the convention-goer crowd and the intense competition in the nightclub market means that there is probably a much better use for the land, but I’m still taking a “believe it when I see it” attitude on this one.


Vacationing Child Eats Used Condom Found In Caesars Palace Suite
Just a general note here... if you happen across a used condom, don't put it in your mouth. Thanks!

A horrified family are suing a luxury Las Vegas hotel after their five-year-old daughter found a used condom in their room and put it in her mouth. Little Caitlin Kilcoyne was rushed to hospital after dad Gerald and mum Jacqueline found her blowing up the sheath like a balloon. The anxious parents, from Bellshill, Lanarkshire, feared she may have been exposed to AIDS or another disease. They are suing the world-famous Caesar's Palace hotel and casino complex - and legal experts believe they could win hundreds of thousands of pounds. Their lawyer, Nolan Mortimer, said: "Their daughter found a used condom in the bed in her room.

"She put it in her mouth and inflated it believing it to be a balloon and then removed it immediately.

"A claim is being brought on behalf of the child and parents for the potential exposure to contracting a communicable disease.
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Old Posted Jul 24, 2006, 8:19 PM
GeorgeLV GeorgeLV is offline
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Originally Posted by Bender13
I've read Hal Rothmans articles before and he never seemed like the NIMBY type. He's just being overly pessimistic in this article. The condo market has slowed down, but nobody expected it to stay on that high it was at a couple years ago. But even with slowdown Vegas is in the middle of its biggest highrise boom in it's history. Then take away the condos and the construction of new hotels and casinos is bigger than it has ever been. It may have slowed down but the boom is not over.
His complaint that "the price on most of the units was above $400,000, well outside the range of most Las Vegas families," is just bizarre. Ignoring the fact that hi-rise condos aren't exactly marketed to families, the median home price in Las Vegas is over $300,000. It's not a great logical leap to to figure that $400,000 is well within the price range of a substantial number of Las Vegas home buyers. Moreover, it is certainly in the range of California, New York, and Florida investors.
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Old Posted Jul 24, 2006, 10:15 PM
ScottG ScottG is offline
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check out the new high rise for downtown -THE GATEWAY

ironic- one project fails (vegas 888) one project announced.
happens every time.

EDIT Gateway was proposed a while back...this is just a new rendering and the jump start to it actually getting on the ball....

heres the old rendering....

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Old Posted Jul 25, 2006, 7:47 AM
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Check this out:

Those are shots from the upcoming game Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas for PS3. In the near future, Las Vegas is attacked by terrorist's, the city is held hostage and becomes the setting for a terrorist threat of global proportions.

Also there is a very cool high-def preview trailer That looks amazingly real!

I'm bored so I'll post the changes.

Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Tropicana, MGM Grand, Monte Carlo
All still in the game, only name chages as it appears.
New York New York
Replaced by some ugly yet large hotel, with a tall tower.
Replaced by two hotels at is appears, a blue one and a one that resembles the Mirage (if only it where real )
Project CityCenter
Replaced by two large hotels. One that looks simular to the Bellagio, the other hotel includes a supertall tower that looks exactly like the Turning Torso in Sweden.
Polo Towers/Marriott's Grand Chataeu
Both replaced by a plain hotel with a very tall tower, like the Stratosphere Tower. The Tower has a sign on top (there is a screenshot of the rooftop above)
Aladdin, Paris, Bally's, Flamingo, Barbary Coast, Harrahs, Venetian
All still there, aah the Aladdin in its glory days. The Flamingo has large Time's Square Signs on the building.
The Spa Tower is actually in the city, the hotel looks exactly the same except, it is called the Villagio.
Caesars Palace
Gone! Just a parking lot, with a small hotel taking up a quarter of it. Maybe they will add a fictonal hotel on the site.
Mirage and Trasure Island
Both still there.
Imperial Palace and the rest
Hmm not there yet..

There was even an article about the game in the Review Journal

Jul. 08, 2006
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

Terror On The Strip

Video game depicting attacks in LV makes some officials wince

Masked gunmen fire rifles into a crowded Las Vegas casino as pixelized images of spraying bullets reflect from a spinning roulette wheel.

Gamblers scatter amid the chaos, and a terrorist shouts, "Everybody down!"


The scene abruptly shifts outside, where an explosion blasts through the front of the Monte Carlo. Helicopters fly past Bellagio's lake, unloading squads of anti-terrorist military personnel onto the Strip below.

Shootouts ensue amid the slot machines. A sniper explodes the forehead of a terrorist holding a pistol to the head of a screaming woman.

Police radios blare with talk of further attacks on Fremont Street, followed by the ominous cry that "Las Vegas is now under martial law."

As its Internet preview suggests, "Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas" has the makings of a kick-ass video game.

But the fictitious adventure could also present a marketing headache for Las Vegas because of its on-screen setting, sources said this week.

"It could be harmful economically, and it may be something that's not entitled to free speech (protection)," Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said of the game's realistic scenes, which he had not personally viewed.

"It's based on a false premise," Goodman said, adding federal and state leaders have repeatedly assured him that Las Vegas is "the safest place imaginable" nearly five years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the East Coast.

"I will ask ... whether or not we can stop it," Goodman said of the game's planned November release.

Sheriff Bill Young questioned the wisdom of showcasing terrorists in this city's bustling tourist corridor.

"It's unfortunate that we're the backdrop for a lot of stuff because of our profile," Young said of Las Vegas. "I'm not a big believer on pushing violence on young people anymore, particularly the more-realistic stuff that's coming out today."

As a child, Young said he and his friends played "cops and robbers" and other imagination-based activities.

"But now it's gone to terrorism, and (video games) make it so realistic. ... I just wonder about bombarding young people's senses with this type of violence," said Young, whose department is dealing with the effects of 19 officer-involved shootings this year, including one that killed a 31-year-old man before scores of Strip visitors on Independence Day.

Las Vegas' high-profile status has long drawn media attention, often showcasing dangerous actions. Frank Sinatra's 1960 caper "Ocean's Eleven" was based on casino robberies, while the 1971's James Bond flick "Diamonds Are Forever" included a Fremont Street car chase.

A plane slammed into the Hard Rock Hotel in 1997's "Con Air," and CBS' hit series "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" offers up a new Las Vegas murder each week. The Stratosphere tower even exploded in "Domino," a Keira Knightley film released in the fall.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will spend nearly $120 million over the next 12 months marketing and advertising the area as a fun adult getaway. That effort helps make the area one of the world's most-recognized locales, for better or worse.

"I'm confident that the general public can distinguish between what's reality and what's fiction," authority spokesman Vince Alberta said. Nevertheless, Alberta said Goodman has asked the authority's legal team to look into whether the game infringes on any Las Vegas trademarks.

Local casino companies will also monitor "Rainbow Six Vegas" closely.

MGM Mirage spokesman Alan Feldman said the company was unaware of the game until contacted by the Review-Journal Friday. Company officials will investigate the game's content, and take legal action "should we determine that our trademarks or copyrights have been violated."

Boyd Gaming Corp. wished Ubisoft had tabbed another city for the game's setting, said spokesman Rob Stillwell.

"We go to great lengths to present this as a safe and secure destination," he said. "To the extent that this portrays our destination as an unsafe place to visit, it's concerning."

Ubisoft, a French video game maker, has high hopes for the fifth title in its popular "Rainbow Six" series. The story centers on "an escalating terrorist siege in "Sin City" that threatens to take world terrorism to new heights."

Some Las Vegas icons were altered -- Bellagio's sign reads "Villagio," for example -- while others were made up altogether, including the nonexistent Calypso hotel.

But many local elements are precisely detailed, from Fremont Street's lighted canopy to the replica Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas.

"You will find lots of details about (Fremont) Street in the game," a Ubisoft artistic director wrote on a Web log detailing the game's creation. "In truth all the casinos, hotels -- lets face it, the whole damn city -- are magnificent and really absorbing to create in-game. We were so inspired we wanted to create the entire town to the finest details!"

Ubisoft's game designers set the game here to better showcase new technologies that allow for sharper-than-ever images, said Tim Cummins, Ubisoft's San Francisco-based corporate spokesman. Game designers toured the town to ensure their re-creations were authentic.

"Las Vegas might be the perfect location to show off next-generation console technology," Cummins said. "Not only is it a world-famous and recognizable city, it is iconic, action-packed and completely unpredictable."

Cummins did not respond to questions on local leaders' objections to the game.

But Liping Cai, director of the tourism and hospitality research center at Purdue University, said a video game-themed terror attack should have little short-term impact on people's willingness to travel here.

"However, if that video game becomes so popular that a whole generation is educated on that image, it will" affect people's perception of whether this is a safe destination, he said.

Branding expert Rob Frankel also doubts "Rainbow Six Vegas" will deter people from traveling here.

"I don't think it hurts Las Vegas at all," Frankel said. "If anything, it's going to come across as the unfortunate victim of the video game company."

Controversy surrounding the game, Frankel said, could hurt Ubisoft, much like recent criticism of Rockstar Games' popular -- but equally detested -- "Grand Theft Auto" video game series.

"The guys who are in for a lot of heat are the developers of the game," Frankel said. "We're starting to get to the point where people have had enough" of violent images.

Regardless of any bad press, Rockstar's parent company, Take-Two Interactive Software, enjoyed profits of $37.5 million in fiscal 2005. And several factors suggest that Ubisoft's Las Vegas gamble will be a hit with consumers.

The game's characters are based on those popularized in author Tom Clancy's best-selling books including "Clear and Present Danger" and "The Sum of All Fears."

Previous "Rainbow Six" games sold more than 14 million units worldwide, and the series' latest version will for the first time take the franchise onto so-called "next-generation" video game consoles.

Ubisoft previewed "Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas" at May's Electronic Entertainment Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where it was favorably reviewed by the popular online video game forum GameSpot.com.

Based in the Parisian suburb of Montreuil-sous-Bois, the 20-year-old Ubisoft is an international powerhouse in the video gaming realm.

Thanks to popular titles such as "Myst" and the "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell" series, Ubisoft last month reported sales of more than $698 million in its 2005-06 fiscal year ended March 31.

Sales are expected to grow by 5 percent to 10 percent this year thanks in part to the planned rollout of Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii game consoles, Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft's chief executive officer, said in a recent earnings release.

Microsoft Corp. released its next-generation console, the Xbox 360, late last year. Ubisoft quickly capitalized on demand for the new platform: 360,000 units of its "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter" game sold within a week of the title's debut.

"Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas" -- whose logo even borrows from the Strip's iconic "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign -- will hit stores in November, Cummins said. The initial versions will play on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, with a home computer version to follow later.

Last edited by Patrick; Jul 25, 2006 at 7:53 AM.
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Old Posted Jul 25, 2006, 8:27 AM
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I saw this on IGN about a month ago. I knew I shoulda posted!

BTW, in your photos i noticed a lack of Fremont Street

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Old Posted Jul 26, 2006, 4:21 AM
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New Renderings of the Renzi Towers Las Vegas, maybe this project isnt cancelled after all.

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Old Posted Jul 26, 2006, 4:44 AM
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LMich LMich is offline
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Do you know if they new renderings? Or, just something you found recently?
Where the trees are the right height
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2006, 5:15 AM
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I've been to the Architect's website dozens of times, It only had one rendering, I went on it today and there was two new renderings. They must be new...
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2006, 5:33 AM
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Also there is a very cool high-def preview trailer That looks amazingly real!
where is this trailer, it looks like very interesting game
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2006, 2:48 PM
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There's now a tower crane at CityCenter.

I also saw an Evolutin Lofts ad in the paper last weekend.

Boca Raton

World Market Center - And Restaurant

Two billion dollars just won't stretch as far as it used to.

But with a third billion on tap, the developers of World Market Center are promising that locals and out-of-towners will soon have another reason to visit downtown Las Vegas, including a 16th-floor nightclub/restaurant that will be open to the public year-round.

Since its inaugural furniture market 12 months ago, the center's once-barren 57-acre site has drawn an estimated 112,000 visitors to buy and sell wholesale furniture.

And 50,000 attendees are expected at this week's five-day summer market, which ends Friday.

Biannual furniture shows have so far proven successful attractions, but Managing Partner Shawn Samson on Monday said more-diverse amenities are planned for seven yet-to-open buildings within the 12 million-square-foot project.

Several will be found in Building B, a $345 million tower scheduled to open in time for January's winter market.

"There will be lounges, ballrooms and offices, things customers have told us they need," Samson said. "We're talking with some big-name restaurant operators about creating a space similar to ghostbar and Mix.

"We want something that will benefit downtown as a whole. ... There's nothing of that caliber currently available downtown."

At 378-feet, Building B's tower will offer views similar to those at Mix, a popular nightspot atop Mandalay Bay's The Hotel, as well as The Palms' 55th-floor ghostbar.

Like those venues, World Market Center's 20,000-square-foot nightclub/restaurant would offer indoor and outdoor space to maximize views of the valley.

World Market Center has not selected who will run the nightclub/restaurant, though several operators of New York and Los Angeles hot spots have expressed interest.

"It's a beauty contest," Samson said of the selection process, adding the preferred vendor could someday operate multiple sites as World Market Center expands.

One company not in the running is the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, which passed on World Market Center due to its commitment to cater events at the proposed Lou Ruvo Alzheimer's Institute across the street.

Despite that rejection, Puck's Senior Managing Partner Tom Kaplan called World Market Center's site "pretty unique and interesting," though its distance from Strip resorts could present an obstacle.

Still, night spots such as Cherry at Red Rock Resort and Whiskey at Green Valley Ranch Resort draw Strip patrons from several miles away. So could World Market Center, Kaplan added.

"It's a dynamic location that could thrive with the right operator, the right vibe and feel," he said.

Samson hinted that the likely operator is already doing business in Southern Nevada when he said that the new nightclub/restaurant will open by late January.

When asked if such an abbreviated timeline was realistic, Samson said yes because food could be supplied from sister restaurants already operating locally.

"There obviously is a lot of new interest in downtown," Samson said. "As (prospective partners) see the kind of audience we've generated, they see that it's an audience that's not been provided for downtown."

Which begs the question: Would World Market Center build its own hotel to compete with the older, sometimes run-down array of Fremont Street hotel-casinos?

The idea was considered, likely in partnership with a third-party hotel operator.

But with plans progressing for development of the city's 61-acre Union Park parcel, Samson said World Market Center's leaders believe their space is better used for furniture showrooms and supporting activities.

World Market Center's 12 million-square-foot complex was previously expected to cost $2 billion. The new $3 billion figure resulted from added amenities, including a 15-story parking structure, as well as an accelerated construction schedule.

The entire project is on pace for completion in 2013, Samson said.

Beyond talk of planned developments, most market attendees quietly went about their business on opening day.

Some complained about the oppressive 109-degree heat; others noted progress made on Building B's tower in the six months since they were last in town.

As two salesmen discussed how to pitch a prospective buyer over dinner at Lawry's The Prime Rib, a female buyer from Arizona complained that some exhibitors were "too busy to take my orders."

She hoped the crowds would dissipate today when a 1 million-square-foot showroom opens at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
THE STRIP: Boyd Gaming selling South Coast

Boyd Gaming Corp. Tuesday announced it has reached an agreement to sell its newest hotel-casino, the 1,350-room South Coast, to the man who built it.

The resort on Las Vegas Boulevard south of McCarran International Airport will be sold to Michael Gaughan, founder and former operator of Coast Casinos, which Boyd Gaming acquired two years ago in a $1.3 billion merger.

The sale is expected to close in the second half of 2006, pending regulatory approval. It will be sold for a yet-to-be determined price equal to the net proceeds from the sale of approximately 15.8 million shares of Boyd Gaming stock owned by Gaughan.

No ceiling price was set and the minimum price was not disclosed.

Based on today's closing price of $36.49 for Boyd stock, the resort would sell for about $576 million, which, coincidently, Boyd Gaming President Keith Smith said was the book value for South Coast. The original construction cost was about $600 million.

"If you go by what the place cost to build, I'm getting a good deal. If you go by the (operating profit), Boyd's getting a good deal," Gaughan, 63, told The Associated Press. He said he expected the property to turn an operating profit of about $40 million for the year.

"I'll straighten this place out," Gaughan said. "I've kind of been too far removed from it. I've gotten lazy. It's time to go back to work."

Boyd Gaming Chairman Bill Boyd said that Gaughan met with him about six weeks ago and said he did not enjoy the corporate life he has led since the merger and wanted to return to running his own business.

"We felt (selling) South Coast made a lot of sense, we had a fairness opinion and we proceeded to do it. It's something that's fair to both of us," Boyd said.

However, Boyd Gaming President Keith Smith said during a Tuesday conference call to announce the company's second-quarter earnings that it is no secret that business at South Coast has been soft since it opened in December.

In its first six months, the property generated $16 million in cash flow, or earnings before interest, depreciation, taxes and amortization.

"The success of the South Coast is several years down the line as far as return on investment is concerned, so we were satisfied to give it up for a fair price," Boyd said.

Analysts were skeptical about Boyd Gaming's motivations for selling the South Coast.

They pointed out that another former Coast Casinos property now owned by Boyd, The Orleans, also got off to a rocky start. Boyd Gaming is keeping The Orleans, which has improved its business since the merger.

Smith, however, said the situations were not comparable because Boyd Gaming has new, strategic developments under way since the merger and Gaughan came up with an offer that was difficult to refuse.

Matthew Jacob, senior gaming analyst with Wall Street-based Majestic Research, however, questioned whether Boyd Gaming is getting the best price for the South Coast or if this is the best time to be selling it.

"The problems that they have been facing seem short-term, such as roadway access," he said. "But in six months, you should see the property ramp up some. The results so far may not be indicative (of how the property can perform."

Smith said Boyd Gaming appointed a special internal committee to review the buyout proposal, which determined that the minimum price, which was not disclosed, was fair.

Smith also said that the company was selling South Coast to an insider rather than putting it out to auction because it doubted it could improve on the terms.

But some analysts also expressed skepticism about the strength of the locals gaming market.

Jacob, for instance, said the Las Vegas locals market seems to be slowing down.

"It has grown, driven by the opening of South Coast and Red Rock (Resort), but when you back those two out of the market, there seems actually to have been declines," he said. "That's true for both Boyd (Gaming) and Station (Casinos, owner of Red Rock). On a same store basis, it looks as if the market is actually declining. It seems weak consumer spending trends may be affecting locals casinos' operations."

Boyd Gaming Chief Financial Officer Paul Chakmak conceded that there has been a significant increase in the capacity in the Las Vegas locals market this year, referring to the opening of Red Rock Resort.

However, he and Smith said that had little to do with the decision to sell South Coast.

Chakmak said the market has started absorbing the added capacity and noted that no other locals casinos are set to open until 2009.

The problem with keeping the south Strip resort, Smith said, was that it will take years to ramp up South Coast's performance, while other locals casinos are being developed in the area and Boyd Gaming is focused on other ventures, including its $4 billion Echelon Place project that will be built on the site of the Stardust. Boyd Gaming is also planning a North Coast hotel-casino in North Las Vegas.

The other ventures he referred to include Anthony Marnell III's M Resort on the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway and the Southern Highlands hotel-casino between Interstate 15 and Las Vegas Boulevard South, opposite Southern Highlands but on the other side of the freeway.

In addition, Station Casinos, which opened Red Rock Resort, owns 40 acres zoned for hotel-casino development one block south of South Coast.

Gaughan also owns the slot operations at McCarran International, which are privately owned and do not report results, but which are said to be tremendously successful.

Also on Tuesday, Boyd Gaming announced that in the second quarter of 2006, it had revenue of $264.4 million, up 15.8 percent from $228.3 million a year earlier.

The company also had cash flow of $167.3 million, up 5 percent from $159.2 million.

And it reported net income of $10.2 million, or 11 cents per share, down 79 percent from $48.6 million, or 54 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2005.

Adjusted earnings for the second quarter 2006 were $42.5 million, or $0.47 per share, as compared to adjusted earnings for the same quarter 2005 of $50.3 million, or $0.56 per share, taking into account expensed stock options; write-downs and other charges, mainly related to the retirement of the original gaming vessel at Blue Chip; and preopening expenses related to Echelon Place and Borgata's public space expansion project.

Last edited by Reverie; Jul 26, 2006 at 3:06 PM.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2006, 4:04 PM
SniZeppelin SniZeppelin is offline
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Great Mall of Las Vegas gets go-ahead



The Great Mall of Las Vegas, the city's first enclosed shopping center to be constructed in more than two decades, received final approval recently. Triple Five Nevada is developing the $750 million complex at the northeast corner of Grand Montecito Parkway and Deer Springs Way, adjacent to US Highway 95.

"We expect to begin infrastructure work in January 2007, with vertical construction by the first quarter of 2008," said James Grindstaff, Triple Five's vice president of planning. "We'll open in either August 2009 or May 2010, depending on scheduling."

The development, however, was forced to scale back its condominium towers. Plans now call for two, 200-foot-tall buildings, which are 50 feet less than originally requested. The twin glass-and-concrete towers will house roughly 800 homes. Residents are expected to begin moving in between late-2011 and early 2012. There will be another 100 units stacked above ground-level retail along an outdoor portion of the mall.


Triple Five, meanwhile, is incorporating eight acres of open spaces and amenities into its project as per a city-negotiated requirement. There will be 15,000 square feet of enclosed park with fountains, grass and benches serving as a kind of "mini conservatory," Grindstaff said. Another one-acre enclosed park with playground equipment, benches and trees will be located at the southeast corner.

But the firm first must relocate water and sewer lines, and upgrade a stretch of Grand Montecito Parkway. The infrastructure site work is expected to take about a year to complete before construction can begin in earnest.

Situated on 49.8 acres, the project calls for a three-level enclosed mall with 250 stores and shops. It will be co-anchored by a Dillard's, Robinson May and Regal Cinemas that will occupy a combined 450,000 square feet. The mall additionally will have 100,000 square feet of office space as well as 40 restaurants, including a 50,000-square-foot food court and a dozen sit-down fine-dining venues. There will be 1.575 million square feet of commercial space, in addition to the dual residential towers.

"It's going to have a clean, contemporary design with a sophisticated look that will set it apart from other projects in the valley," said Jim Naven, project architect and president of Perlman Design Group. "This is going to be a hybrid of a traditional enclosed mall for hardcore shoppers, with an outdoor lifestyle center."


The outdoor portion will resemble The District at Green Valley in Henderson with two four-story buildings forming an open-air promenade of loft residences above street-level shops and eateries. The enclosed mall, however, will be air-conditioned with skylights along the corridors as well as common gathering areas.

The Great Mall is expected to be a great draw for northwest valley residents with mid- to high-end national retailers attracting an estimated 20,000 people per day, according to project officials. There will be four garage structures onsite combining for 6,000 parking spaces to service the anticipated traffic flows.

"The northwest is rapidly expanding with limited retail available to service new residents," said Brian Gordon, principal of Applied Analysis, a Las Vegas based business advisory firm. "Retail vacancies in the northwest submarket were 1.7 percent in the second quarter, 1 percent lower than the valley average, while asking rents were $2.38 per square foot, or 41 cents higher than the median."
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Old Posted Jul 27, 2006, 3:57 PM
Downtown Joe Downtown Joe is offline
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Today: July 27, 2006 at 7:38:46 PDT

Mayor to developers of tardy high-rise projects: Build it or lose it
By Dan Kulin <dan@lasvegassun.com>
Las Vegas Sun

A year ago, a company called the 702 Group bought a 1.1-acre site in downtown Las Vegas for about $5 million, then later won City Council approval for a 55-story condominium and retail project on the property.

Now, having not moved ahead with that 349-condo project, the partnership has the land at Las Vegas Boulevard and Garces Avenue - still with a nondescript one-story building on it - on the market for $9.5 million.

Impatient to see more high rises and fewer "For Sale" signs on downtown sites pitched to the council as the future home of glitzy, skyward-soaring projects, Mayor Oscar Goodman wants to put developers on a shorter leash by giving them less time to deliver on their promises - and, more important, less time to try to "flip" their land.

"Two years is plenty of time to flip," Goodman said, referring to the practice of buying land, securing development approvals - also known as entitlements - and then selling the land for a higher price.

"But if they flip it, the project never gets done, and that's not what I want," he said. "That's not accomplishing our dream and vision."

During the last few years, the council has approved more than 30 high rises for downtown . To date, however, only one has been completed and three are under construction.

Like the 702 Group's property, some of those other sites - none showing any physical evidence of the high-rise projects promised - also are for sale. And in the near future, some city officials fear, more could be.

Determined to squeeze out the speculators and limit permits to those who actually intend to build, Goodman hopes to shrink the period for which downtown high-rise plans are valid from the current two years to one year. At the end of the year, plans would expire and developers would have to get the council to reapprove them, which typically hinges on whether a developer is securing financing or obtaining building permits.

The shortened time frame could deter speculators by making their initial land purchases riskier, given that they would have less time to try to sell the property to someone else.

But 702 Group co-owner Paul Freed argues that Goodman's plan ultimately could harm rather than expedite downtown high-rise development.

Freed said companies like his provide a necessary service for the development community by securing land, wading through the approval process and assuming the risk of permit denials so that builders don't have to .

"The mayor and council have done a great job of creating an environment that attracts developers from all over the world," Freed said. "But reducing the time frame would indicate they are pulling in the reins and have a psychological effect on developers."

Developer Paul Murad said he agrees with the mayor's objective but is not certain that his proposed solution would work.

"I agree you need to slow down the entitlement and flipper schemes," said Murad, who is working on securing financing for a 39-story condominium/hotel project at Charleston Boulevard and Fourth Street, which the council approved in March.

"The flippers drive up the price of land and that stifles development, and you have extra middlemen involved," Murad added. "But obviously having more government control is not always welcome."

Tightening government regulations, Murad said, could undercut Las Vegas' developer-friendly reputation. "Right now it's a very easy place ¦ to do business."

Although Goodman is accustomed to getting his way on downtown-related matters, it is uncertain whether the council would go along with his idea. Some have expressed concerns about meddling with development regulations.

Councilman Larry Brown said while he needs more time to examine the mayor's proposal, he questions the wisdom of changing the rules.

"That's a market-driven process," he said, adding that more government regulations might make downtown less appealing to developers.

Brian Gordon of Applied Analysis, a real estate advisory firm, said he is not sure how tightening the timeline would affect development.

The market, not the city, dictates timing of the development of a high-rise project, he said.
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