Casino Shutdowns Allow More Roadwork Hours on the Strip

Las Vegas BoulevardWith the 30-day mandated closure of hotel-casino properties in Nevada, it’s opened the Strip up for the perfect opportunity for more roadwork to be done in the absence of vehicle traffic and the endless tourists walking up and down Las Vegas Boulevard.

Clark County officials are using this time to expand roadwork hours to include day and night work along the resort corridor and on two big projects going right now.

“This change will give our contractors more flexibility in their own scheduling, and hopefully allow them to complete these projects on time or sooner,” Denis Cederburg, County Public Works Director, said in a statement. “Working daytime hours should result in higher production rates during a shift.”

County officials say the expanded roadwork hours may have Las Vegas Boulevard down to one lane in each direction between Spring Mountain Rd. and Sahara to accommodate the construction.

In the past, major lane restrictions would typically only take place during overnight hours as it’s not easy to redirect or impose on the rhythms of daytime traffic.

Koval Lane from Tropicana Avenue to Sands Avenue could also see a one-lane redirection to accommodate road projects.

Las Vegas Boulevard Projects

Current projects on Las Vegas Boulevard include the installation of new pavement, replacement of a water main line, improved pedestrian crossing including intersection updates, technology upgrades to traffic signal systems, smart pole lighting, LED lighting in various pockets, and median landscape upgrades.

These enhancements are slated to be completed by Summer 2021, with the casino closures allowing the opportunity for more progress to be made, especially with the aid of daylight hours.

Project improvements to the Koval area of Las Vegas Boulevard include repaving and adding a third turn lane of traffic that will go from Koval northbound to westbound Sands. These updates are scheduled to be completed by June.

The Strip is Quiet in the Wake of Casino Closures

On Friday, the Las Vegas Strip looks much different from what you would normally see on a typical Friday. Instead of hoards of tourists on a bustling Las Vegas Boulevard, there’s only a handful of pedestrians and modest traffic in sight.

Those on the Las Vegas Strip who experienced it “going dark” on Wednesday night, took to social media outlets like Twitter to document the uncommon scene.

One twitter user, @emziety, documented the peculiar sight by posting a video of mild traffic and a Strip absent of tourists:

“Yesterday was the day the Las Vegas Strip went quiet. Never in my life did I think I’d see it so deserted. Eerie.”

Some marquee signs on the Strip, like the one on the STRAT, read: “Stay Home. Stay Healthy. Stay in Touch.” With other signs on the Aria reading “We look forward to welcoming you back soon.”

Here are more images of the eerily quiet strip documented by other Twitter users. One of the most “stark images” seen is the famed Bellagio lights going out. It’s been a sight unlike any other for a city that’s normally filled with crowds.

Treasure Island Las Vegas Remains Open Right Now

As Covid-19 spreads around the world, more cities are being forced to shut down. More cases are beginning to emerge in Clark County and as a result, many Las Vegas casino-resorts are closing their doors. Treasure Island Las Vegas is one of the few major properties on the Strip to stay open.Treasure Island Hotel & Casino

Despite extremely low tourism rates, this venue has decided to keep its doors open. Today, we’re going to look at why exactly this is.

Let’s get into it!

Coronavirus Forces Las Vegas Strip Properties to Close

The first case of Covid-19 was reported in late January. For the next four weeks, infection rates in the country remained relatively low. Towards the end of February, however, we began seeing a sharp rise in the number of infected individuals here.

According to recent reports, more than 5,200 individuals in the US have tested positive for Covid-19. Unfortunately, our ability to test in large numbers is still not available. For that reason, a huge number of individuals believe that the real number of people with this virus is significantly higher.

The first case of the coronavirus in Clark County emerged in early March. Since that time, more than 35 different cases have been confirmed here. Las Vegas city officials have major concerns about this spreading further.

Recently, most of the major hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip began closing their doors. This includes all of Wynn Resorts’ and MGM Resorts International’s properties. This was a major decision that’s costing these companies a significant amount of money every single day.

This doesn’t mean the Strip is completely dead, though. One major casino-resort here has decided to keep things moving. Is this a smart decision?

Treasure Island Las Vegas is Staying Open, For Now

The Las Vegas Strip is home to many of the biggest and best casino-resorts in the world. At the moment, though, most of these venues are currently closed down to the public. Treasure Island, located in the northern area of the Strip, is one of the only properties here that’s decided to stay open.

Owners of this venue released a statement on the situation to the media yesterday.

“We have increased our frequency of disinfecting our surfaces, including all hand contact surfaces and slot machines and table games. We encourage our guests and employees to actively utilize our hand-sanitizing stations which are located in our food outlets as well as other high-trafficked locations on property, including back of house. All of our public restrooms are equipped with touch free faucets, soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers and hand blowers,” the statement said. 

This may not last forever, though. It’s very likely that officials in Nevada will soon prohibit these properties from remaining open to the public. The company recognizes this, claiming that some operations “may be affected by situations beyond our control.”

Tourism into Las Vegas is the lowest it’s been in decades. This is unlikely to change anytime soon. More major casino companies are being forced to take new measures while this situation unfolds.

US Land-Based Gambling Industry is Struggling

Over the past few years, the land-based casino industry in the US has been to surge. Many states around the country recently decided to open their casino industries. This includes Illinois and New York, where several new casinos are expected to open up soon.

This industry is now in danger, though. The spread of Covid-19 has led to many states shutting down all of their casinos. Lawmakers in Mississippi, for example, recently announced that all land-based casinos must close their doors to the public for weeks.

Many experts believe we’re just beginning to see the effects of this new coronavirus. It may take months before the situation reaches its peak. This isn’t great news for companies that operate brick and mortar casinos.

Interestingly, we’re seeing a huge increase in online casino gambling right now. As more casinos close down, people are beginning to play their favorite games online. This includes residents in Nevada.

There are a huge number of fantastic Nevada casino sites operating right now. Many of them offer just as many gambling options as the top land-based casinos in the state. Feel free to check them out today!

Treasure Island Las Vegas is remaining open right now. Exactly how long this will last is still unknown. Stay tuned for more Las Vegas casino updates over the next few days!

The Strip’s New MGM Sphere Begins to Take Shape

Interior of a SphereLast month, a massive 580-foot crane was shipped into town all the way from Belgium to help build out the brand-new MGM Sphere, and it’s shaping up quite nicely.

Now, the sphere-shaped entertainment venue, which is the first of its kind on the Las Vegas Strip, is halfway complete. The MGM Sphere just finished forming the “equator,” reaching its widest point at 516 feet wide.

To hit this halfway point, it took the effort of 900 construction workers and 12 million pounds of rebar.

According to Adam Vickers, Senior Vice President of Construction, this project is going to permanently change the Strip’s landscape for the better.

“I’ve worked on many projects in the world, and I’ve never worked on anything like this…It’s going to blow people away.” Vickers said.

MGM Sphere Will Use Cutting-Edge Technology

The futuristic-looking facility will feature cutting-edge technology that will set it apart from any entertainment venue currently on the Las Vegas Strip.

Madison Square Garden Company CEO Jim Dolan, the company in a joint venture with Las Vegas Sands Corporation on the massive project, says the venue will engage all human senses, not just hearing and sight.

“MSG Sphere at The Venetian will be unlike any venue ever created, including its vision for reinventing entertainment – and how its constructed,” said Nick Tomasino, vice president of construction for Madison Square Garden.

The arena’s 580,000-square-foot sphered-stadium will feature a mega 170,000-square-foot LED screen, which will wrap fully around the venue’s interior, and have fully programmable exterior LED lighting.

“This is the biggest LED screen in the world,” Vickers exclaimed.

To give it a real-life comparison, the wrapped LED screen is the ginormous size of three football fields or the size of 42 IMAX screens put together.

The sphere will also utilize Beamforming audio technology, allowing guests to hear a variety of sounds from different areas in the stadium. According to Vickers, 20,000 people will be able to hear acoustics from over 100,000 speakers.

“If you sit in one part of the auditorium, you could hear the soundtrack in English, and if you sat in another part of the auditorium, you could hear it in German,” said Vickers.

MGM Sphere Will Create a Ton of New Jobs

Vickers states that once construction on the MGM Sphere is complete, it will create 4400 jobs a year to keep it running smoothly while bringing in an annual economic output of $730 million. The set date of completion for the project is sometime in 2021.

About MGM Sphere

The MGM Sphere is a joint venture between The Madison Square Garden Company and Las Vegas Sands Corporation. It’s being built adjacent to The Venetian Las Vegas and will be the first sphere-shaped venue of its kind. In total, the project’s estimated cost is between $1.2-$1.7 billion.

Once construction is complete, it will sit 366 feet high and 516 feet wide at its widest point, known as the “equator.” It’s planned to reach 875,000 square feet and be able to sit 17,5000 people.

The sphere’s designer, architecture firm Populus, is a global design firm who has completed over projects 3,000 projects, including Wembley Stadium in England. They were named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies for 2020.

Are you excited to catch a show at the magical new MGM Sphere once it’s finished? One thing’s for sure, the Las Vegas skyline will get a stunning new addition in 2021!

MGM Resorts Temporarily Closing Buffets Due to Coronavirus Fears

Las Vegas BuffetThe coronavirus continues to make its national impact. Many major events have been either canceled or postponed due to it, and more recently, the travel, hospitality, and food & beverage industries are now getting hit on the Las Vegas Strip.

On Tuesday, MGM Resorts International announced that seven of their Strip buffets will temporarily close as a response to the rampant coronavirus scares. Closure of the buffets at Aria, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Luxor, and Excalibur will go into effect this coming Sunday.

The statement that announced the closure advised that these changes “are temporary and will be evaluated on a weekly basis.”

In regards to the buffet closures, MGM Resorts International gave this statement to 8 News Now:

“The safety and health of guests and employees continue to be a top priority as the company works with local health officials on protocol and procedures during this time.”

While it’s unsure whether the buffet closures have anything to do with dropped occupancy levels at the various properties or the nature of gathered crowds with buffet dining, it is a reflection of MGM Resorts International prioritizing their customer’s safety and overall comfortability in these types of settings.

Safety Protocols of Strip Buffets that Will Remain Open

For Vegas properties that are choosing to keep their buffets open to the public, they are implementing safety protocols to ensure that cleanliness and sanitization methods are the highest priority.

Wynn Las Vegas, for example, announced on Wednesday that its buffet “will have stationed culinary staff at each food station to serve our guests, which eliminates the need for guests to touch serving utensils.”

The Wynn team is even taking it a step further to give their patrons peace of mind by “routinely cleaning all hard surfaces and have placed hand sanitizing stations at the entrance for guests to utilize prior to entry.”

Caesars Entertainment released a company statement saying that “Caesars buffets remain open and we are incorporating cleaning and hygiene protocols into the buffets as well as the rest of our operations across the company.”

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to keeping a watchful eye on the development of COVID-19 concerns across the valley, in a continued effort to “assess and make adjustments as needed.”. They released a statement saying:

“We are actively monitoring the situation while following guidance and recommendations from the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

The Strat and Station Casinos have yet to respond to inquiries regarding any possible closures of their buffet or restaurant operations.

Coronavirus Affecting the Entire US

COVID-19 concerns have recently caused many cancellations and postponements of major events in the United States. Here’s a look at some of the biggest affected events:

Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade was canceled, while Chicago’s version of the parade has been postponed.

Austin’s SXSW festival, which brings over $300 million into Austin’s economy, was canceled. No refunds on those tickets were given, but the option to use the purchased tickets during 2021’s festival was given as a solution.

Billboard recently reported that Coachella and Stagecoach will postpone the two major music festivals until October.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, known as the ASCAP Experience, canceled its annual conference in Los Angeles.

The New York City Half-Marathon, scheduled to take place on March 15, was canceled.

The Google Cloud conference, Google Cloud Next ’20, scheduled to take place April 6-8 in San Francisco, switched from being a physical event to a “free, global, digital-first, multiday experience.”

Chicago State University canceled two of its scheduled Western Athletic Conference basketball games. ESPN reported that these cancellations “are believed to be the first by a major sport in the United States due to the virus.”

On top of major events from the entertainment, music, and tech industries being affected, a slew of concerts from the country’s top musical performers have also been hit due to travel restrictions and general virus concerns.

Mariah Carey postponed her Hawaii show to November. Khalid’s Free Spirit World Tour has held back its entire Asia leg due to travel advisories. American rock back Green Day also canceled several of their tour dates in affected countries.

Vegas Tourists Concerned over Strip’s Cleaning Efforts Amid Coronavirus Spread

South End Las Vegas StripWith the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Southern Nevada announced on Thursday, it’s raising high concerns for Las Vegas tourists and locals alike.

So far, two major casino operators on the Las Vegas Strip have responded to the virus spreading to their turf by increasing more hand sanitizer dispensers throughout their properties.

MGM Resorts International, who runs Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, the Mirage, Aria, Vdara, Excalibur, Luxor, New York-New York,  Park MGM, and part of the T-Mobile Arena, are “reinforcing proactive cleaning” by deploying hand sanitizers in high-traffic areas on the separate properties.

According to Brian Ahern, a spokesman for MGM Resorts, they are focusing on boosting their “disinfectant procedures.” The thinking is that by ensuring guests are keeping their hands clean and giving them more tools to do that, it helps reduce the risk of spreading any potential viruses.

Las Vegas Sands Corp., who operates the Palazzo and The Venetian, is also echoing the proactive disinfectant measure by placing more and more hand sanitizing stations throughout the two properties.

Additional staff has also been employed to help wipe down and disinfect restroom counters, stalls, and “high touchpoints” including escalator rails and elevator buttons.

Tourists Express Doubt Over Cleaning Efforts

Many tourists who are guests at these properties say the cleaning efforts haven’t been obvious enough. They agree that without the breaking news reports on TV and the internet, the casinos haven’t made a big effort to really inform guests of what’s going on.

“If we didn’t hear about it on TV or the newspapers, we wouldn’t even know (there was an outbreak),” said Ontario-based tourist Pauline Murray, a guest who is staying at Caesars Palace with her husband this week.

“To me, there’s nothing. There’s no signs anywhere telling people to be diligent about sanitizing their hands,” Murray said.

Her husband, Dale Murray, echoed the sentiment: “They’re putting their heads in the sand.”

Pittsburgh natives Tyrone Dickey and his wife, bi-annual Vegas visitors who are staying at the Hilton Elara, say they haven’t noticed more cleaning being done than usual. They haven’t noticed any increased efforts at other properties they’re been visiting as well, including TI, Caesars Palace, and Bellagio.

A North Dakota resident, Kirk Waslien, says he didn’t see staff regularly wiping down gaming machines during his week-long trip. He did, however, notice that New York-New York put a hand sanitizer machine near the entrance of their casino, but said it was empty.

“Everybody’s touching the same things,” Wasilen said.

Hospitality Scholars Believe the Casinos are Being Proactive

While certain tourists are feeling discouraged by the Strip’s casinos cleaning efforts, Mehmet Erdem, associate professor of hospitality at UNLV, believes the Strip’s properties are being proactive in their cleaning efforts.

“When one considers the volume of foot-traffic in and out of the Strip properties…the public areas and casino floors are unbelievably clean,” Erdem said via email. “There is already plenty of evidence of visible precautionary measures at many Strip properties, i.e. hand sanitizers by cashier-desks (and) cashiers wearing gloves.”

Associate professor of hospitality and tourism management at Indiana’s Purdue University, Jonathan Day, commented on the extreme importance of casino operators to get their guests to visibly take notice of their cleaning efforts, as it “helps put customers at ease and enhance customer relations.”

“People are looking for cues that show the companies are caring and they’re working on their behalf,” Day said. “It’s a chance to show how much you care, and create a safe place for people to relax and enjoy.”

Reaction to the Virus Have Been Mixed in the Valley

While the outbreak has been weighing on the minds of many travelers in Las Vegas after news broke of the first Clark County case, for some, it hasn’t affected too many of their plans.

Kansas City native Stephanie Rogge, who’s in Las Vegas until Sunday, says she’s while she’s been thinking about the outbreak, she hasn’t let it put a dent in her itinerary, which includes gambling.

“I did wonder, ‘Well, how is this (game) sanitized?’” Rogge said. “But ultimately, we still did it.”

Rogge did say that she has been taking more precautions while exploring the Strip, which includes carrying around hand sanitizers and being mindful of what her hands are touching.

Industry Workers are Fearful of Job Security

For those who work in the industry entertaining the many tourists that touch down in Las Vegas, they’re more fearful when it comes to job security. If the casinos temporarily lose, so do workers. This is the concern running through the minds of showgirls, housekeepers, and F&B employees.

Local taxi driver, David Swank, says he’s been keeping up on the news religiously.

“I used to wait only around 25 minutes to pick people up at the airport. Recently, I’ve been waiting 45 minutes,” Swank said. “My girlfriend works for a resort on the Strip and she is worried about losing shifts and maybe even her job.”

Amid coronavirus concerns, we’re sure more Strip properties will begin ramping up their sanitation efforts to give their guests peace of mind.

Do you think the Strip casino operators are doing enough to ease outbreak concerns?

Weekend Roundup: Hit Shows to Catch in Vegas March 7-8

Bruno Mars Performing on StageThe MGM Grand will be buzzing with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry this Saturday for Keep Memory Alive’s 24th annual Power of Love® gala. This year’s celebration will be honoring the legendary singer/songwriter Neil Diamond.

The impressive lineup of entertainers includes Tony Bennett, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Hudson, Billy Ray Cyrus, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Chris Issak and more.

Outside of the big Power of Love gala event, there’s a lot more hit shows going on on the Strip that will delight.

Take a look at the weekend roundup for a fun weekend ahead!

Jabbawockeez Timeless at MGM Grand

The masked dancers, who celebrate 10 years wowing spectators on the Las Vegas Strip with their unique, hip-hop choreography, have just debuted the fourth version of their show on Friday, called “Timeless.”

The new show will incorporate their original dance moves to an ultimate pop playlist, making sure that they’ll hit a song that everyone will know.

You can catch them dancing across the stage at the Jabbawockeez Theater at MGM Grand.

Bruno Mars at Park MGM

The celebrated singer, songwriter, producer, and Grammy award-nominee Bruno Mars is one of the most exciting Vegas residencies this year. As part of a multi-year residency, the “Uptown Funk” maestro will be pumping up the ground with his popular hits and energetic stage presence.

Here’s a fun fact, mega-producer Babyface has been joining forces with Mars to help create his new album. We’re sure the two musical icons will be linking up in Vegas this weekend for Mars’ quick weekend set.

Catch one of his shows at the Park MGM on the 6th and 7th of March, and the 20th, 24th, and 25th of April.

Babyface at Mirage

The award-winning, multi-faceted pop and R&B musician, who has over 200 top 10 R&B hits and more than 50 top 10 pop hits, will be crooning the crowds at the Mirage this weekend. The audience can expect to hear his signature hits “Every Time I Close My Eyes” and “When Can I See You.”

Catch him live for March 6-8 performances. Meet-and-greets with the prolific music man will also be available.

Chicago

Back by popular demand, the hugely successful American rock band continues their mini-residency this weekend, with three more shows in the month of March.

Chicago is one of the longest-standing and best-selling musical groups of all time. Attendees can be sure to hear scattered hits from across their 36 albums.

Catch their feel-good music on March 6-7 at the Venetian.

First Ladies of Disco

The American girl group features three extraordinary women who have made their stamps on the pop, R&B, and disco charts. The show’s ensemble includes Marsha Wash of the Weather Girls and Black Box, Linda Clifford, and Norma Jean Wright of Chic.

Marsha Wash, also known as “The Queen of Clubland,” is a two-time Grammy nominee who’s best known for shaking up the dance music scene with the tremendous success of her  immortal hit “It’s Raining Men.”

Linda Clifford, a five-time Grammy nominee, pumped out major hits in the 70s and 80s. Those hits include “If My Friends Could See Me Now” and “Runaway Love.” Her songs “Shoot Your Best Shot” and “Red Light” reached #1 on the American dance chart and was also a pop crossover success.

Norma Jean Wright, the Ohio-born singer/songwriter helped usher in the 1970s disco explosion as a signature member of the group Chic. Chic’s 1977 single “Dance, Dance, Dance” quickly climbed to the Top 10 of Billboard’s pop chart, with the follow-up success “Everybody Dance.”

Catch these ladies blowing out the stage at the Orleans Showroom on March 7.

Tom Segura

The rising American stand-up comedian, writer, actor, and podcaster will be making his debut at the Aces of Comedy series at Mirage’s Terry Fator Theatre this weekend. You probably know him from his popular Netflix specials, his podcast called “Your Mom’s House,” and the film “Instant Family.”

Get your giggle on at his performances on March 6-7.

Are you catching one of these shows this weekend? Who are you looking most forward to seeing?

Las Vegas Skyline Continues to Evolve in 2020

Las Vegas Strip Aerial View There are several mega projects expected to hit completion in 2020, and those projects will permanently change the Las Vegas skyline.

From the 35-floor Circa Resort & Casino downtown, Allegiant Stadium, and the MGM Sphere, the Las Vegas skyline is getting a major facelift and a profitable one at that.

According to the research firm, Applied Analysis, over $23.6 billion has been invested in major projects across Southern Nevada. The projects have helped the construction industry in creating a ton of more jobs in Nevada, but they’re also expected to boost tourism massively.

Jeremy Aguero, a principal analyst for Applied Analysis, says a stadium like Las Vegas new allegiant stadium is versatile enough to draw the sports crowd or entertainment crowd:

“Think about it in terms of Allegiant Stadium. People want to see a game, or see Garth Brooks play in the stadium. That’s going to drive visitation.”

David Schwartz, gaming historian and professor at UNLV, also echoes the sentiment by saying these latest construction projects will be “really transformative” for the city. He absolutely believes the latest additions to the Strip will keep Las Vegas “current” and “new.”

Let’s take a look at the biggest, most exciting construction projects that will shake up the Las Vegas Strip, liven up its skyline, and drive more tourists to the city that never sleeps.

Circa

Downtown’s most anticipated new casino/resort, Circa Las Vegas, stands 44 stories tall (almost 500 feet high), making it the largest building in downtown Las Vegas.

Exciting features include a state-of-the-art temperature-controlled pool for year-round use and a massive 134 by 41-foot video screen that will entertain pool guests. It also promises to have the largest sportsbook in Las Vegas, which will be multi-level and is designed stadium style.

Its 9-story parking garage will be convenient for guests wanting to get to downtown. Vegas’ lucky number 777 is also strung throughout the property, with 777 rooms that span across the 1.25 million-square-foot property.

The Circa is set to be completed near the end of the year.

Allegiant Stadium

The Las Vegas Raiders have a new world-class stadium to call home, Allegiant Stadium. The $1.9 billion domed-stadium features 65,000 seats, has a retractable natural turf field, and premium spaces throughout different levels of the stadium. In total, it occupies 1.75 million square feet.

Its sleek silver and black exterior, in honor of the Raiders signature colors, features a clear ETFE dome roof. The state-of-the-art stadium will utilize retractable windows on one end that will give fans a stunning view of the Las Vegas Strip.

MGM Sphere

Madison Square Garden and Las Vegas Sands billion-dollar joint venture, the MGM Sphere, will kiss the sky at 366 feet high and 516 feet wide. The 17,500-seat entertainment venue features a unique dome-shaped design and will sit adjacent to the Venetian.

It’s being touted as the world’s most “advanced venue” with its groundbreaking design. Once completed, the sphere’s exterior will be able to display customized visuals and will be a sight to see on the Las Vegas Strip.

The project is set to be completed next year.

Resorts World Las Vegas

The $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas will be the most expensive hotel-resort to touch the Las Vegas Strip. Featuring a massive 110,000 square-foot casino floor, and two hotel towers that offer 3,500 rooms combined, it will be an easily recognizable property on the Strip.

The nongaming areas include seven stunning pools, as well as a 75,000-square-foot day and nightclub.

In an attempt to draw in pedestrians wandering the Strip, the property will feature a 50-foot diameter video globe that will showcase 6,000 square feet of customized LED digital content.

It’s set to open summer 2021.

Las Vegas Convention Center

The Las Vegas Convention center has recently undergone a 1.4 million square foot expansion. On top of the expansion, it’s also receiving a complete upgrade renovation and modernization of its existing 3.2 million square feet.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) was tasked with reinventing the space as a state-of-the-art facility featuring the latest in technology.

Notable additions includes a new leasable exhibit space, outdoor plaza, and a grand atrium. It’s excepted to attract 600,000 new visitors annually.

The scheduled date of completion is December 2020, just in time for next January’s CES.

Google Data Center

Henderson will soon be seen as having more of a tech presence, with the oncoming Google Data Center set to finish this year.

The $600 million, 64-acre data center is a first for Nevada. According to officials, the center is being used to serve mostly North American customers, with an emphasis on providing support for applications like YouTube and Google Maps.

According to google.org president Jacquelline Fuller, the facility will feature some of the most “complex technology in the world, including artificial intelligence.”

What major development are you most excited to see sprucing up the Las Vegas skyline in 2020?

The Former Lucky Dragon Hotel is Slowing Improving

It seems like every single year, a new major hotel-casino opens its doors in Las Vegas. Not long ago, the former Lucky Dragon Hotel officially opened to the public. This new property, called the Ahern Hotel, is hoping to capture the success that the Lucky Dragon never could.Former Lucky Dragon Hotel

It’s an interesting time for the owners of this venue. Many are eager to see how it fares in the increasingly-competitive Las Vegas casino market. Today, we’re going to look at why this venue changed its name and what is planned here.

More of Las Vegas’ Venues Change Ownership

There are a huge number of new hotel-casinos in Las Vegas. Some of these are beginning to open on the Strip. Others open their doors in the Downtown area. Unfortunately, not all of these gambling venues are successful.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen several major hotel-casinos close and change ownership. One that comes to mind is the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. This property opened its doors way back in 1995 and was one of the most popular hotel-casinos off the Strip. Unfortunately, its owners decided to sell the venue to Virgin Hotels.

Some of the city’s biggest and most profitable casino-resorts are being sold, as well. Over the past six months, MGM Resorts International has sold a number of popular venues. MGM even sold The Bellagio to The Blackstone Group for an incredible $4.2 billion.

These sales aren’t likely to slow down. Reports indicate that more of the biggest casino companies in the city are preparing to sell some of their venues. This includes Caesars Entertainment, which is in the process of merging with Eldorado Resorts.

Some of these new venues are already proving to be hugely successful.

Former Lucky Dragon Hotel Set for Major Upgrades

Many people are familiar with the Dragon Hotel in Las Vegas. This was the first new gambling venue to open in the city after the recession and carried significant hype behind it. The goal was to capture the Asian market, yet this did not go as planned.

Not long after opening, this property began losing money. After just two years, it was forced to close down. Eventually, news broke that Don Ahern purchased the venue for $32 million. He told the media he wanted to upgrade and expand the former Lucky Dragon hotel.

These improvements are now beginning to take place. Ahern claims his company is investing approximately $10 million into this new venue. The hotel’s rooms have already been upgraded. Soon, construction will begin to improve the casino here.

There’s definitely some potential here. The hotel’s location and size make it favorable for many gamblers around the city. With a few improvements and perhaps a better marketing strategy, the former Lucky Dragon hotel could become one of the top properties located off of the Las Vegas Strip.

It’s still unclear what this venue will be named. Ahern told the media he expects it to be “fully functioning” by the Fourth of July. We’ll need to wait and see how successful it ends up being.

Resorts World Las Vegas is Almost Here

Every once in a while, a massive casino-resort opens in Las Vegas. The best of these venues are located on the Strip. In December of this year, Resorts World Las Vegas will officially open in the northern area of the Strip.

This property is the most expensive ever constructed in the city. Most analysts claim it will be one of the most impressive casino-resorts ever built. Several details have begun to emerge as to what this new venue will offer.

Its location is interesting. For years, the north part of the Strip has struggled to attract tourists. Only a few venues are located here. Owners of Resorts World believe this new property will completely change the public’s perception of this area.

A major new casino-resort is also opening up in Downtown Las Vegas. This venue, called Circa Las Vegas, will feature the largest swimming pool in the city.

It will be fascinating to see how the former Lucky Dragon hotel competes with some of the bigger venues in the city. Don Ahern seems determined to make the hotel successful. Stay tuned for updates over the next few months!

Bankruptcy Auction Sells 38 Acres of Property on Las Vegas Strip

Aerial View of South End Las Vegas StripChapter 11 Trustee, Attorney Kavita Gupta, has been appointed to oversee the bankruptcy sale of 38.56 acres of privately-owned real property on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The Bankruptcy Court approved a bid deadline of April 30, 2020 for those who are planning to set a bid. For qualified bidders to auction, they set a deadline of May 19, 2020.

“The auction process is intended to bring about an efficient, transparent and final sale of this property. The 12 parcels can be purchased individually or in the aggregate with offers reviewed and considered in advance of the bid deadline,” said Gupta.

The development site, which is over 38 acres large, also includes around 750 feet of frontage on Las Vegas Boulevard directly across from Mandalay Bay. It’s prime real estate, considering the fact that it’s walking distance from the new Las Vegas Raiders stadium.

The development is being touted as a once in a lifetime opportunity as it’s in a Qualified Opportunity Zone and zoned for gaming, hotels, retail, restaurants, entertainment, resort uses and parking among other uses.

Since the properties are located just west of McCarran International Airport, there are maximum height allowances for different parts of the property.

Prime Real Estate

Matthew Bordwin, Principal at Keen-Summit Capital Partners LLC, one of the exclusive real estate advisors for this offering, says there’s nothing else like this property available for development on the Strip. With the heart of the Strip being between the Wynn property and Mandalay Bay being fully developed, this opportunity is the last true development opportunity within the heart of the Strip.

Michael Stuart, Broker at Colliers International, another exclusive real estate advisor for this offering, commented further that:

“The southern part of the Strip is becoming a strong growth area due to the opening of the new Raiders Stadium later this year. There is limited opportunity for developers to take advantage of a site of this size and capitalize on the more than 42 million annual visitors.”

Bankruptcy Filing

On April 30th of 2018, Desert Land LLC, Desert Oasis Apartments LLC, and Desert Oasis Investments LLC all filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy petitions in the District of Nevada. Because Kavita Gupta is the court-appointed Chapter 11 Trustee for the properties, she has the responsibility and the right to oversee the entire sale process. Gupta also has to manage the debtors’ property and business activities.

Then, in December of 2019, Gupta appointed Keen-Summit Capital Partners LLC and Colliers International as the exclusive real estate agents for the aforementioned properties.

About Keen-Summit Capital Partners LLC

Keen-Summit Capital Partners LLC is a real estate brokerage, workout and investment banking firm. They are known for their concentration and focus on special situations, restructurings, bankruptcies, and receiverships. With a particular expertise in workouts and restructurings, Keen-Summit Capital Partners LLC represents property owners, retail and commercial tenants, commercial and industrial businesses, investors, developers, and creditors across various industries.

About Colliers International

Colliers International (NASDAQ, TSX: CIGI) is a leading global real estate services and investment management company. With operations in 68 countries, their 14,000 enterprising people work collaboratively to provide expert advice and services to maximize the value of property for real estate occupiers, owners and investors.

The approved bid procedures and full offering details are available at www.DevelopTheStrip.com

Las Vegas Welcome Sign Lights Up Purple and Gold to Honor Kobe Bryant and Crash Victims

Kobe Bryant Playing in Los Angeles Lakers GameThe iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign will light up purple and gold on Wednesday, beginning at 11 AM, according to Clark County Commissioners.

Purple and gold are the colors of Bryant’s longtime NBA basketball team, the Los Angeles Lakers. The sign’s lights are to signify and pay respects to the nine victims killed Sunday near Calabasas, California. Legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among those lost in the LA County helicopter crash.

Foggy weather conditions and low-flying levels were major factors behind Bryant’s chartered Sikorsky S-76B helicopter going down over a hillside in the Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas. Those aboard were on their way to a basketball tournament in which Gianna was playing, and Bryant was coaching.

The identities of the nine victims killed in the Sunday crash were Kobe Bryant, 41; his daughter Gianna Bryant, 13; John Altobelli, 56; Keri Altobelli, 46; Alyssa Altobelli, 13; Sarah Chester, 45; Payton Chester, 13; Ara Zobayan, 50, and Christina Mauser, 38, according to Los Angeles officials, the Sun reported.

The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign has previously lit up to honor tragedies and different causes, including the 2017 Route 66 Festival shooting that claimed the lives of 58 people.

Las Vegas Valley Honors the NBA Legend

In addition to the sign lighting, the Women of Color Coalition, a student group at UNLV, 4505 S. Maryland Pkwy, will hold a vigil to remember Bryant at 8 PM outside the student union on campus.

 

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In honor of the legendary Laker’s basketball player, Kobe Bryant, the Womxn of Color Coalition invites you to our candle light vigil. We understand and recognize that many folxs in our campus community and surrounding community have been impacted by this tragedy and we want to provide a space for us all to come together for healing. Please feel free to bring candles and other memorabilia that you would like to honor Kobe with. There will be time for remarks and reflection for those who will like to share stories or encouraging words. Our memorial will remain in the SU Courtyard until Saturday for those of you who can not make it out Wednesday night. We will provide candles for the first 50 attendees. We hope this space will bring healing, love, and light to all. ??? #RIPKobeBryant

A post shared by UNLV WOMXN OF COLOR COALITION (@unlvwocc) on

The Eclipse Theaters, 814 S. 3rd Street, are also inviting fans to gather at the free event they’re hosting to honor Bryant. The theater will be screening the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers game this Friday, the first Lakers game since Bryant’s passing.

Multiple Las Vegas landmarks also paid tribute to Kobe Bryant’s life Sunday night. The LINQ’s famous 550-foot-tall Ferris wheel, the High Roller, lit up purple and gold. Fremont Street, a historic Downtown Las Vegas attraction, also glowed purple in honor of the famed basketball legend. One Summerlin, a prominent office building in the Downtown Summerlin shopping center, also paid its tribute by beaming purpl. They also tweeted the following:

Las Vegas Postpones New Slogan Amidst Tragedy

While Las Vegas aired its new advertising slogan during Sunday night’s 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, it postponed rolling it out across the city as initially planned.

“We were prepared to launch the newest advertising campaign for Las Vegas during the Grammys telecast on Sunday, Jan. 26,” Steve Hill, CEO and president of the LVCVA said in a statement. “In light of today’s tragic accident that claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and others on board, we are postponing any activity planned on the Las Vegas Strip until a future date. The hearts of everyone in Las Vegas are with the families and friends of those lost, with all of Los Angeles and with his fans around the world.”

The Las Vegas Sun reported that several marquees along the Las Vegas Strip and historic downtown area read, “LA, our hearts go out to you…RIP Kobe,” instead of the new “What happens here, only happens here,” advertising slogan.

But the LVCVA was unable to withdraw their new advertising because it had already been submitted into the rotation. Nevertheless, the LVCVA honored the victims of the helicopter crash on the Las Vegas Strip as well as on its official website with the following message:

“We are saddened by the loss of Kobe and Gianna. Our hearts go out to those lost in the crash, their families and to all of Los Angeles.”