For years, people have wondered how properties located on the northern end of the Las Vegas Strip have survived the city’s competitive environment.
The vast majority of development on the four-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard known as the Strip has been focused mid-Strip, especially with the recent opening of The LINQ; renovations at Caesars Entertainment’s older properties; The Cosmopolitan’s debut in 2010; and the upcoming MGM pedestrian walkway near New York New York.
When the Sahara shut its doors on May 16, 2011, many thought it was the beginning of the end for anything on the northern end of the Strip, such as Circus Circus and the Stratosphere.
But that’s not the case. The former Sahara is currently undergoing a $415 million conversion into the SLS Las Vegas, slated to open in late 2014. And the Genting Group is hoping to have its new property, Resorts World, approved for groundbreaking sometime this year.
- SLS will have 1,600 rooms, four nightclubs and a branch of Fred Segal, the upscale clothing retailer.
- The property is expected to have more than 6,500 hotel rooms, and an eight-screen movie theatre, .
- It will have a 28-lane bowling alley, a water park, a panda exhibit and a 17,000-square-foot aquarium.
- Also restaurants, gaming space and an event arena. In other words, compared to other Las Vegas properties, this one is big.
“The challenge for new properties is to create something unique,” said Matthew Jacob, analyst for ITG Investment Research.
“Nearly every new property in the last 15 years has gone after the same upper-end segment of the market,” Jacob said. “These new properties will need to pursue an underserved niche, and not try to compete directly with the more-established casinos located at the center of the Las Vegas Strip.”
When SLS and Resorts World open their doors, foot traffic to these properties has the opportunity to revitalize the north end of the Strip.
“The addition of more properties to the northern part of the Strip should help Wynn as they will have an opportunity to draw foot traffic from these new casinos,” Jacob added. “It could allow some of the other older northern properties such as Circus Circus and Riviera, to become more attractive lodging options given the proximity to these new casino developments.”