Photo: Flickr Ashtynn Renee
By a few barometers, Las Vegas isn’t healthy.The city’s unemployment rate—14.2% in August—is among the nation’s highest. The suicide rate—34.5 people per 100,000 annually—is the nation’s highest. For those who aren’t part of the 14,000 homeless, the housing market is a disaster.
And all over the Las Vegas Strip, hotels and casinos either stand empty or half-finished, with revenue streams running dry for many of the area’s biggest entertainment companies.
The $2.9 billion Fontainebleau—a 3,815 room casino-hotel on the Strip—had its construction halted in 2009 after Bank of America cut off $800 million in funding.
The Echelon Place casino and resort was supposed to have 5,000 rooms, a 140,000-square-foot casino, and 300,000 square feet of shopping space, but $4.8 billion proved to be a bit much for owners Boyd Gaming Corp. Completion is years away.
Originally a major part of the CityCenter development, the extravagant, glass-walled Harmon Hotel and Spa has been deemed structurally unsafe. It will be demolished in 2012 without ever having hosted guests.
Construction of the sixth hotel at Caesar's Palace, the Octavius Tower, has been halted since 2009. The hotel will supposedly open in 2012, despite Caesar's being $22.5 billion in debt.
Las Vegas Sands' development of the 400-condo St. Regis at the Palazzo was shuttered when the company's market value plunged 90%.
One of the Strip's legendary hotel-casinos, the 1,720-room Sahara closed on May 16 after almost 60 years in business. The building now stands vacant.
The Las Vegas Hilton hotel and casino, which is the largest Hilton in the world, just defaulted on its $250 million mortgage to lenders that include Goldman Sachs. Hilton will pull its brand from the hotel later this year.
Hilton has other problems in Vegas. Attempts to build a Conrad brand hotel and condominiums fell through in 2006 at great expense to Hilton, which is now locked in lawsuits. The 5.43-acre site remains undeveloped even after being sold by its developers for $33.1 million per acre.
A massive, $5+ billion project—including what would be the largest casino on the Strip—bearing the Plaza's name was supposed to open this year, but there's been no construction on the massive lot since the hotel was put on hold in 2008.
A microbrewery characterised by a 14-foot Holstein in sunglasses, the Holy Cow! Casino and Brewery has sat unused since its closure in 2002.
Owned by MGM and Dubai World, the Las Vegas CityCenter is the largest privately-funded project in the United States. So no surprise that it hit some snags. The Harmon hotel will be demolished, and costs ballooned from $4 billion to $9 billion over the course of the construction. That being said, CityCenter is held up as a brighter possibility for Las Vegas' future.
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