Resorts World Las Vegas by the Numbers

In about six weeks, the first “built from the ground up” resort in over a decade, will open on the Las Vegas Strip.  The Resorts World Las Vegas plans to open its doors on June 24!


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It’s Finally Happening

For a while, we were all betting this day would never happen.  After over a decade of starts and stops. Ownership changes, lawsuits, and design changes, Resorts World Las Vegas will finally welcome its first guests on June 24, 2021.

It’s hard to believe that nothing has been built from scratch in over a decade on the Strip.  But here it is. The newest, biggest, and badest new resort also sits on some very famous (or infamous) plot of land.  This is where the legendary Stardust Casino and Resort stood for almost five decades.  It opened in 1958 and closed in 2006.  Then it was imploded 2007.  To add even more to the storied location, the Stardust was the main basis for the 1995 Vegas Mob movie “Casino”

The property was owned by local casino company Boyd Gaming who demolished the resort for what was supposed to be the Echelon Place project. The initial foundation of the new mega-resort was built before the project was halted in 2008 due to the economy crashing. It sat as an empty ghost on the busy boulevard until 2013 when the Genting Group purchased the site and announced they would build Resorts World Las Vegas on the site.

The New Begining

Groundbreaking for the new resort was set for 2014 with the first phase opening in 2016. Yea, Nope. The economy had other ideas and now THIS project was now stalled.  Instead, groundbreaking was in 2015 and construction began in 2017.  Not a good start for the often stalled project.

With design changes, lawsuits, and other issues, construction was slow until 2019 when everything seemed to come to life and construction got serious!

So what are the numbers?  

  • 59 stories tall
  • 3,506 rooms and suites in two towers
  • Resorts World, Like other Vegas resorts, Resorts World will follow Asian superstitions and doesn’t have any floors or rooms with the number “4” in them
  • Resorts World would be the most expensive resort property ever developed in Las Vegas
  • The current cost of construction $4.3 Billion

Resorts World Las Vegas is all Hilton

Three separate Hilton Brands in one location

  • 1,774 rooms for the full-service Las Vegas Hilton
  • Hiltons luxury brand the Conrad las Vegas will be the largest Conrad in the world at 1,496 rooms
  • Hilton’s LXR brand ( think of it as their newest and ultra-luxurious brand – LXR – ) luxury brand, the Crockford Las Vegas will take up 236 rooms

 

The Big Billboard

What has caught everyone’s attention is the screen on the west tower.  The 100,000-square-foot  LED screen (one of the largest LED building displays in the world).  That is about 27 stories in size!  It took almost 7 months to build

More Numbers to Chew On! 

  • Resorts World will include more than 40 restaurants and bars
  • Resorts World Las Vegas will offer a 5.5-acre pool complex, making it the largest pool deck in Las Vegas
  • Seven unique pool experiences including a 1,800-square-foot infinity pool with spectacular views of the Las Vegas Strip.
  • One-third of the 87-acre property will remain open for future construction
  • 75% of the property’s income will be from non-gaming sources (nightclubs, convention space. shopping. etc.. )
  • Resorts World Las Vegas will include a 5,000 seat theater with one of the largest stages on the Las Vegas strip 196 wide operated by AEG
  • Celine Deion will open the theatre in November

You will not find a more high-tech/next-generation enabled resort in las Vegas.  This was built for the future, especially for the post covid world.

I keep saying this and I believe it to my core,

This place is going to revolutionize Las Vegas as we know it.

And it all comes to life on June 24, 2021!!

This Place will be amazing!

 

Where to Put The Hard Rock Resort?

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The Las Vegas rumor mills are busy talking about a lot of things.  One of them is the idea that the Seminole Indians, the tribe that owns the Hard Rock brand, wants to bring the resort back to Las Vegas and they want to put it someplace on the Las Vegas Strip.

If this is true, where would be a good place to put it?

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A Little Hard Rock History

The Hard Rock Casino Resort opened in Las Vegas in  March 1995 as the world’s first rock-n-roll themed hotel. It was owned by Peter Morton, one of the founders of the Hard Rock brand. He controlled the American naming rights to Hard Rock west of the Mississippi River.

The Hard Rock Resort was an instant hit even if it was one mile off the famed Las Vegas Strip.  This was THE place for those who wanted to see and be seen (long before Instagram and selfies!) The Gods of rock music came here for shows, events and fans.  Sports legends even made it a point to have events here.  All the “A list” celebrities made it a point of either be staying here or at least being seen hanging out here.

It also had a famous or infamous pool scene. Some of the first “day-club pool parties” started here.  The weekend version of the pool parties was called Rehab and they even made it into a reality show. Rehab brought in musical celebrities and hot bikini models as well as those who thought they were celebrities.

The top dogs don’t always stay top dogs. The Hard Rock may have started the day clubs and pool parties, but the resorts on the Strip started to quickly cut into their action,  Then came the Palms Resort. This new place opened in 2001 with a larger, more aggressive marketing for celebrities. In 2007, the Hard Rock resort was sold to an investment group as the competition for parties and celebrity sightings intensified on the Las Vegas Strip.  Peter Morton ended his involvement in 2011

In 2018, an investor group including Virgin Hotels buys the property. It closed for good right after the Super Bowl in February of 2020.  The property is being extensively being remodeled and will reopen later this year as Las Vegas’ first Virgin brand hotel.

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The Rest of the Story

In 2006 the Seminole Indian tribe from Florida buys the Hard Rock café and casino business. Basically they owned The Hard Rock brand worldwide, except for whatever operations Peter Morton had set up west of the Mississippi River. Meaning they did not own the Hard Rock Resort Las Vegas brand.

In May of this year, the Seminoles using their corporate name “Hard Rock International”  acquire the Las Vegas Hard Rock brand. Giving them worldwide control of the Hard Rock name.

Now it is rumored that they are shopping around to see if they can bring it back to Las Vegas and if so, where to put it..  The rumor says they want to be on the Strip this time. Good Choice!  But where on the Strip?

That’s the Big Question!

This Is Las Vegas, Not Florida

During the time of the Rehab reality show, the Seminole Tribe tried hard to distinguish their brand from the Las Vegas brand. It was said they really didn’t like the pool scene. Even if that’s what was driving the business. And to be honest, the Rehab parties were drawing in some unsavory people and those with less than admirable intentions!

So now, if the rumors are true, are they wanting to bring back the Las Vegas version of the Hard Rock brand? Or are they wanting to bring their generic playbook they use in Florida and use it to operate here?

Speaking from experience, I can tell you that if they plan to bring their Florida Hard Rock version to Las Vegas, they may as well stay home. It will fail in Las Vegas.  Las Vegas is in its own universe and a lot of retailers learned the hard way that what works elsewhere, doesn’t work in Las Vegas.  Doing business here, you need to bring your “A” game and take that up a notch or two if you want to succeed here on the Strip. Name alone will not mean success.

My Choices for Locations

Ok, so let’s say they are going to be looking to bring back the las Vegas Hard Rock.  That’s what I base my choices on. is that they want to be a serious player in the Las Vegas Strip market.  They want to be the king of cool and regain the crown of “The Hot Spot” for Vegas celebrity sightings, amazing concerts and the coolest pool parties on earth.

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The Original El Rancho Site

The El Rancho Las Vegas

Nothing has succeeded here at The El Rancho in forty years!

This site sits right across from the Sahara resort at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip.  It has stood empty for over 60 years. The El Rancho was one of the first “resorts” to open outside of downtown Las Vegas and it met with an unhappy ending.  Supposedly the owner did not like the mob coming in and gambling, and they “86’d” the wrong guy. A few hours later, the main structure went up in flames.  And nothing has succeeded there ever since.

Today it is owned by Phil Ruffin. He’s the Oklahoma oilman who bought the Treasure Island and Circus Circus from MGM.  Just prior to the shutdown, he had the lot rented out for events and concerts. So he was already making his investment back really easy. Not sure if he would want to sell, but if so….

The location would be just a bit on the small side for what the Hard Rock would need to build on but it could work..   What the location lacks in size, makes up for in location.  A near-perfect location for the traffic and for marketing to both the Fremont Street fans as well as the hardcore Vegas Strip crowd.

The Old Frontier Site

Again, one of the original resorts on what became the Las Vegas Strip sat here and was a very popular place with a rich history of entertainers playing there.  This is where Elvis Presley was boo’ed off the stage in 1964 and the last place Diana Ross and The Supremes played together.

Like the El Rancho site, The Hard Rock would be built to their specifications and take a few years before they could open up and start generating cash flow.

The location is perfect for the Las Vegas brand of a Hard Rock style resort.  Sitting across from one of the newest and hottest pool party locations, the Encore Beach Club.  The resorts in that area are filled with the prime tourist that the Hard Rock would want in their resort.  Young, urban, big credit card limits and always wanting to be with the “in” crowd. You have the Wynn, the Encore and the new Resorts World. Not to mention being in front of the popular Trump International.

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The Tropicana Resort

Tropicana Las Vegas open land

The “always for sale” Tropicana was my original favorite choice and for so many reasons. Mainly, its currently being shopped around by its owners.. Looking for a possible new owner. And its perfect location for growth opportunities.

If Las Vegas ever gets to reopen, the south end of the Strip is about to enter into a high wave of redevelopment with the opening of the new Allegiant Stadium and the expansion of business surrounding the stadium. Getting in now would save them millions.

The Tropicana has separated buildings, the refurbished pool(s), and the open land for further expansion. They could literally walk in tomorrow and start making money.   You have an area for families, you have an area for the club crowd and you have an area for the party crowd.

Open up immediately, get the money flowing and as you do, take the open land and start to expand or remodel. Make it how you want it to be with no downtime.

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The New Entry is The Palms

The Palms to be the new Hard Rock?

This would be the best place to put the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas

What was once the undisputed champion of places in Las Vegas to see and be seen, has fallen on hard (ownership) times. For most of the first decade of this century, This was the place to party.  It was built for tourists and locals alike to come play, party, see the celebrities and be where the action was.

The now-shuttered Palms Resort awaits possibly a new owner who knows how to maximize its opportunities!

The resort that had multiple sized event venues from intimate party lounges to all-out, let’s open the roof and party under the stars (the roof on the second tower actually did open! )

In its two towers were hotel suites like no other place on earth. The fantasy tower was appropriately named.  One of its more famous fantasy suites was the Hugh Hefner Playboy Suite, also known as the Sky Villa.  The two-story Sky Villa on the top floor billed at $40,000 per night, is listed at number 5 on the World’s 15 Most Expensive Hotel Suites compiled by CNN!

It also had/has multiple restaurants for every taste and almost every budget. Multiple night clubs, the casino, and the famous concert venue, The Pearl. The Palms has so many options for how to spend your nighttime in Las Vegas, you could get a headache thinking about them all!

The third tower is the Palms Place condominium. separately owned. It is connected to the Palms main tower by a private walkway.  Palms Place was and still is home to some of the swankiest condominiums and private homes in Las Vegas. Many of them are available for rent online!

Today it is closed with the current owners telling the world that they have no plans to reopen it.  After extensive remodeling, the owners (Stations Resorts) have a place that is so far out of their comfort zone, they are feeling clueless and are scared about what to do with all of its possibilities and opportunities. It needs to be the new Hard Rock!

Better than the Tropicana, Hard Rock resorts could open tomorrow morning and have parties started in the afternoon and a big named concert on the same evening.   No need to remodel or expand. It’s all there, waiting for someone with experience in marketing to that crowd, to bring it back to life.  And it has a killer view of the Las Vegas Strip!

There is no better place to put the Hard Rock back in Las Vegas other than right here!

Do You Agree?  If the rumors are true, Where do you think it should go
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More From The Vegas Tourist

Other Links of Interest

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Is The Tropicana For Sale?

So what is the real scoop on the “Sale” of one of the most iconic and historic resorts on the Las Vegas Strip? Is it for sale? The Short Answer? Yes and No.


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The Tropicana first opened in 1957 and for most of its life was owned by if not operated by the mob.  It wasn’t until 1979 when it was sold to the hotel chain Ramada Inn, that it finally became a “legit” resort.

Tropicana resort las vegas

The Tropicana Resort Las Vegas Postcard. Early 1960’s (?)

 

The Tropicana was always a low-rise, bungalow-style hotel resort. Then in 1986, they added the 21-story Island Tower. Ramada wanted to be a “legitimate family friendly” hotel operator, so in 1989, they spun off all of its gaming properties, including the Tropicana. The name of the new company was The Aztar Corporation.

For the next twenty years or so, the resort changed hands multiple times. You needed a scorecard to keep up with the change of ownership.  As Las Vegas started to really bloom and flashier resorts started to come online, the Tropicana was just holding its own. Keeping it fresh looking with a new coat of paint and occasionally changing the towels.  The various owners were all out-of-town operators who just liked to cash the checks.   Why change anything if the bank account is full?  It was making money, who wasn’t back then?  But any profits seemed to find their way back to the new owners, nothing for the resort itself.

In 2008, everyone was over-extended on credit.  The Tropicana owner at the time was Columbia Sussex Gaming, they filed for bankruptcy. They had used the Tropicana as collateral for a $440 million secured loan that was bought by its creditors in 2009.  This buyout was led by Canadian private equity firm Onex Corporation and former MGM Mirage CEO Alex Yemenidjian, who took over as CEO.

Moving Forward.

In August 2015, Penn National Gaming purchased the Tropicana for $360 million.

April 2020 Penn National sold the property to its spin-off real estate holding company called Gaming and Leisure Properties for $307 mill in rent credits. So the Tropicana resort property is now owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties who are leasing the property to Penn National Gaming who run it as The Tropicana Resort. Got all that?

Penn National has two years of rent credits as well as the option of three one-year extensions.  They have the same deal with its sister property, The M Resort at the south end of the Las Vegas Boulevard.

 

Resort Property Leasing?

The idea of the resort leasing the building from a real estate trust is nothing new for most of the resort and travel industry.  Most hotels do not own the land or buildings but lease them from a development company.  That Holiday Inn Express down the street from you? It can quickly become a Comfort Inn or a Motel Six without much more than a different lease agreement and some new signs.

In Las Vegas, this is kind of a revolutionary idea. Up until about five years ago, the resorts owned and operated it all. The buildings, the land, and the resort were all one company.  Then the CEO’s and Board of Directors, in a hot streak of profitability and multi-million dollar bonuses came up with the idea to do the same thing here. Create a Real Estate Trust (RET) and let the big shots get the first option to “buy-in” to the RET.. Then the resort company leases the property from the trust. The resort now has to pay rent each month.

This new arrangement has helped fend off a few hostile takeovers and other issues they thought they were having over who had control of the Las Vegas Strip.

This new way of operating works now because gaming is no longer the breadwinner of the resorts.  In what many people call “the good old days” of Las Vegas, it was the casino profits that paid for much of the resort’s upkeep and guest perks.  That’s what kept the dinner buffets cheap and the drinks and lounge acts free.  But now gaming is only about 30% of the income for your typical Las Vegas resort.  The other areas of the resort are now required to pay their share of the expenses.

Tropicana Las Vegas open land

The Tropicana Benefits

The trust owning the land the Tropicana sits on has recently let the world know they are looking at offers for the property. With the potential new boom coming to the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, this corner could be a great deal given the right circumstances.

The Tropicana is a very historic resort.  The name carries some great history as well as some possible baggage.  It was here that you can say the real takedown of the Las Vegas Mob really began. When in 1979, the Kansas City Mobster Carl “Tuffy” DeLuna, had his home raided by the FBI, they found copious notes on who got what from each of the skims at the Tropicana.  Yes, that scene in the movie Casino took its cue from the real event.  Although in real life, he lived and was entenced to 30 years in prison, DeLuna was released in 1998 and died 10 years later.

It sits on one of the busiest corners in America, if not the world. Hundreds of thousands of cars (and people) from all over, (normally) pass that corner every week. Across the street sits one of the largest hotels in the world, the MGM Grand.

Why The Interest in Selling?

The Tropicana Resort property has one thing few if any other resorts on the Las Vegas Strips have: OPEN LAND! Lots of it! If, say, the Hard Rock wanted to get back on the Strip fast, this would be a great place for them to open. No real downtime.  Take it over, change names, and keep the doors open.  As you operate the resort, use the open land to start rebuilding as well as expand.No time lost.

Personally, I would hate to lose the Tropicana name from the Strip. It has a legacy there that could be tapped for some great marketing for the right owner.

 

The Answer to the Question

Recently, the real estate trust and the operators of the resort have made fresh comments regarding the potential of the sale of the resort.  With the possible opening of the new stadium a few blocks away, with the potential for the new businesses that are also in planning stages for the south part of the Strip, they were sending out signals out to evaluate the potential of any sales.  Not needing to actually find new owners right now, but to see what the interest was(?).

However, if such a deal had made them go to the next step, this was the idea.  The Tropicana property is for sale. The 31 acres and all structures on the land (Gaming and Leisure Properties) are what’s offered for sale.  The Tropicana Resort operator (Penn National Gaming) has to years’ worth of rent credits, plus potential extensions that would be passed on to the new owner of the land.  OR the new landowner could purchase the land and purchase the resort rent credits and take over the resort as well and start new.

Did That Make Sense??

 

How Far To to the Strip?

Recently, on one of the Las Vegas online discussion groups, the question came up about staying at the Trump Hotel. Some of the commenters were stating that it was a nice place to stay but was too far off the Strip.  That staying there, you would need to take a taxicab or Uber to get to the Strip!  Oh Really?

So I started to think about that.  A long walk to the Strip?  Has anyone ever thought about just how long of a walk it is from other resorts to the Las Vegas Strip?  Some of these other resorts are pretty large and the elevators are tucked away behind the casino, the showrooms, and the shopping.  So, just how long of a walk is it to the Strip??

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The Long Walk

I decided to actually answer my own question and measure the distance.  I have a Samsung Galaxy 10 smartphone with the Google “My Tacks” app.  Yes, I know they depreciated it. But it still works for measuring and mapping distances.

To be consistent in the measurements and to avoid having to deal with hotel security or front desk management, I started each measurement from the closest guest elevators and measured using the most common path out of the resort to the street. Noting my time and distance.  I’ve been told I have long legs, so my time will be different than yours, but not the distance.

This does NOT include the walk from your hotel room to the elevator. That can add another 1,000 steps in some of these resorts.  I started from the closest commonly used elevator to the street. I did not stop for a coffee or to see what the MegaBucks machine was sitting at. It was just a straight walk from the elevator to the Las Vegas Boulevard.

FYI: Las Vegas Boulevard is the actual name of the street most people refer to as the Las Vegas Strip.
Distance: The distance is from the guest elevator or bank of elevators that are closest to the public exit to the street, walking the most common route out of the resort to the Las Vegas Strip. Not including VIP or private guest elevators.
Time: How long it took me to leisurely walk uninterrupted from the elevator to the actual street using the most common pathway.

 

Trump International Towers

Trump Towers from the Strip

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The one that started the debate!  People love this hotel for its lack of a casino, it’s 5-star (without the 5-star price) amenities and its easy in and out. It sits right across the street from the Fashion Show Mall.  Currently sits behind an empty lot that faces the Las Vegas Strip (former home to the Last Frontier).  The empty lot was recently purchased by The Wynn Resorts for future expansion.

Distance: 564 meters / 1850 feet
Time: 5:44
Altitude:  618 meters /2027 feet

 

 

The Venetian Resort

How far to walk to the Las Vegas Strip?


The Venetian and the Palazzo is a popular, high-end resort with world-class dining and shopping.  This sits where the Sands Resort used to sit and is almost center Strip.   

The Venetian Tower
Distance
: 110 meters/360 feet
Time: 3:21

 

 

The Mirage

The Mirage Las Vegas

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Of course, who can forget the scene in the movie Vegas Vacation when the front desk clerk tried to give directions to Chevy Chase on how to get to the elevators?  Classic Vegas!!  In reality, it’s really not THAT bad of a walk. It may only seem like it is.  Actually, it’s one of the shorter ones…

Distance: 352 meters / 1154 feet
Time: 4:39

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Caesars Palace

The Pools at Caesars Palace las Vegas

Caesars Palace is probably the most famous of the Las Vegas resorts. Also one of the largest with multiple towers, a boutique hotel in a hotel and of course, their famous pools!!

From the Julius Tower
Distance: 306 meters / 1003 feet
Time: 3:28

 

 

The Bellagio

Bellagio Resort Las Vegas

My favorite Las Vegas Resort.  Home of the Bellagio Conservatory, chocolate crepes and great people watching in front of the Bellagio Fountains

From the Spa Tower
Distance: 498 meters / 1633 feet
Time: 7:00
Altitude:  621 meters /2037 feet

 

MGM Grand

MGM Grand Las Vegas
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MGM Grand, the world’s largest hotel with over 5,000 rooms in one structure!

From The Grand Tower
Distance:
351 meters / 1151 feet
Time: 4:14
Altitude: 616 meters /2021 feet

 

Bonus!!

MGM Grand Hallway Walk!

MGM Grand Hallway walk
The MGM Grand Tower, the long side of the building. Going from the Las Vegas Strip, east towards the parking structure.  If you have a room there and want to get some exercise, ask for a corner room.  The hallway is almost a quarter-mile long!

Distance: 334 meters long 1,095 feet (.207 miles)

 

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Wrap it up!

Shortest to longest:

  • The Venetian to the Strip: 360 feet
  • Caesars to the Strip: 1003 feet
  • MGM Grand to the Strip: 1151 feet
  • The Mirage to the Strip: 1154 feet
  • The Bellagio to the Strip: 1633 feet
  • The Trump Towers to the Strip: 1850 feet

 

Remember: Your mileage may vary depending on where your hotel room is, the walk to the elevators as well as if the resort has multiple elevator locations.

 

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