The spot that was once home to the legendary Stardust Resort has a new owner and new resort. The Stardust resort and its history were imploded in 2006. For almost the next 10 years, it sat vacant, except for some remnants of the failed Echelon project built after the Stardust implosion. Then news came in 2013, that the site had new owners. The Gentine Group from Malaysia purchased the site, skeleton structures and all. The best part was that they actually had the experience and the funds to do what they wanted to do with the property.
Their original plans were to build an Asian-themed Resort on the site. Complete with a live panda bear exhibit and an exotic flower garden. They told us that it would be opened by the end of the year 2016.
Yea, as we know, the world economy had other ideas. Come to find out, the Genting Group also had other plans for their Resorts World Las Vegas project. Not that anyone was in a hurry to complete the project. So for the next five years, there was work on the site, then there wasn’t, it changed weekly. Then this changed and then that changed.
Now, in late 2020, it looks like it will be all thumbs up for a summer 2021 Grand Opening. Minus the Asian theme and minus the panda bear exhibit. Looking at it today, we see nothing that resembles the original drawings. In fact, the current design resembles a wannabe Wynn or Encore resort. And that new look did not go unnoticed by their neighbor, Steve Wynn, and that caused a little legal issue since the designs of the Wynn and the Encore are trademarked. Steve Wynn and company went to court and settled out of court in 2019.
The $4 billion, 3,500 room 57 story resort hotel will become the new standard that any future resort will be measured by and what the older ones will have to aspire to. This is like when the Mirage opened in 1989. It changed everything about the Las Vegas experience. The Mirage set the new standard for Las Vegas resorts. Now Resorts World will set the standard.
What makes it so unique? The use of technology. Resorts World will be an ultra-high-tech Hilton Branded resort. Actually, it will be three Hilton brands, each with its very own entrance!
Three Hiltons in One Property
Hilton Resorts Tower
The main tower, the one on the left, the one that will have a video screen on the front of it, will be the Hilton Resort. At 1774 rooms it will be the largest of the three brands.
This will be the first time in several decades that the Las Vegas Strip had an actual Hilton Resort on it.
The last time we saw the Hilton brand on an actual Las Vegas Strip resort was with the Flamingo Hilton from 1972 to 2000. It’s still the flamingo, just not a “Hilton” Flamingo. The first Hilton brand was actually behind the Strip. Kirk Kerkorian built the International Hotel in 1969. This is where Elvis Presley played. He sold the property to the Hilton corporation in 1970 and it was renamed the Las Vegas Hilton. It stayed as a Hilton branded resort until 2012. Now it’s known as the Westgate.
The Tropicana Resort is advertised as a “Hilton” resort. That’s kind of splitting hairs here. In the new world of Las Vegas Real Estate, it’s the land that was sold to Hilton in April and it is a “DoubleTree by Hilton” property. The resort is still managed by its previous owner, Penn National Gaming.
- The currently projected room rates for the new Hilton resort is under $200 a night.
This brand will occupy the majority of the second tower. The one on the right. 1496 rooms.
This is an example of what marketing people like to call a “lifestyle” brand. It’s more about the experience and the service. As for service and prestige, it’s in the middle of the three. They focus on the services, the atmosphere. What they like to say “The “Escape”. Named for the founder of the Hilton brand, Conrad Hilton.
- The currently projected room rates for the new Conrad resort is $300 to $400 a night.
XLR by Hilton
The top of the second tower, the one on the right, will be 230 rooms/suites for the new and exclusive Hilton brand called the XLR. Currently, there are only three other such resorts in the world (Habtoor Palace Dubai; The Biltmore, Mayfair; and Zemi Beach House, Anguilla).
- The currently projected room rate for the new XLR resort is about $600 a night.
Having this Hilton brand and this level of clientele next to the Wynn and the Encore, famous for catering to the big spenders, we may see some interesting changes (upgrades?) to the Wynn franchise. Too bad Steve Wynn is no longer in charge there. It would have made for some interesting competition with marketing, interviews, and social media posts. Steve Wynn knew how to get free PR when someone tried to muscle in on his territory!
The Delay Was a Good Deal
In a twist of irony, all the delays that occurred in bringing this project to development have actually helped the resort in some very unique ways.
As they started to close in the project and get the glass on the building, they would start to lay the cables and the electricals. Yes, it would normally have planned for some onsite internet access and interactive video screens. Maybe even the keyless doors and in-room Alexa inspired connectivity. But as they were shaping everything up, the world changed. For the better for Resorts World.
In the last six months, people were getting locked-down due to the virus and having to get used to using technology in places where people used to serve us. Resorts World was able to take advantage of this sea of technology change and was able to build it into the infrastructure of the resort. What they have built-in today, will be the new features guests will soon be expecting from the other resorts who will have to quickly build it into their current structures as part of a remodel.
Technology All The Way
As I got to see at a special meeting held for people in the Las Vegas tourism community, last month. A representative from Resorts World gave us a sneak peek into the way you will interact with the new resort. Yes, I said that you will interact with the resort itself. Not so much the people at the resort as in the resort itself. Make sense?
Let me explain. It starts with reserving your room online. I really do mean reserving YOUR room. From their website, from what I gathered at the presentation, you will be able to check to see what the view is from your room before choosing it. Want a better view? Check the view of the rooms on a higher floor or maybe on a different part of the current floor you are looking at. Want something with more of a scenic view? Check out the views from the rooms on the backside of the tower. You choose the room you want then you book it.
Once the plane touches down and you are heading to baggage claim, check-in online, let them know you are here and things start to happen behind the scenes. Get your rental car, Get to the hotel, flash your QR code on your smartphone at the front kiosk, and head straight to your room. At the door, flash your smartphone again and the door opens up. No waiting in line to check-in, no room keys, no card. Totally social distancing!
This goes for the meeting rooms as well. From a small cubicle for one with video/satellite connections to larger conference rooms with stages and satellite uplinks for worldwide visual learning or open discussions.
People Mover Location
In August, Resorts World Las Vegas was cleared to move ahead with plans to build an underground station for The Boring Company’s people mover, also called the Vegas Loop. The supposed replacement for the failing monorail. The Resorts World stop will first move guests from the Las Vegas Convention Center to the hotel. Later, as it is projected, the project will expand the entire length of the Strip, including the new Stadium and downtown.
Entertainment and Food
As we get closer to the new year, new restaurants and entertainment venues are being announced for Resorts World. And they will take advantage of this built-in technology. From video screens in every possible location to artificial intelligence in letting you order and have almost anything delivered to almost any part of the resort. The property-wide wifi will allow you to check out seating and reservation availability at the restaurant of your choice. Check on the app to see if there is a wait and if so, how long? Then place your order before arriving. Drinks, food, and appetizers will be ready when you arrive. This means you can have it all done before leaving your room, the pool, or the blackjack table! ( or have it delivered right ot where you are on the property!)
The Video Wall
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For those of you who are curious about the video screen on the west tower, we were assured, that besides having all the new high-tech goodies inside the room, your view looking out will not be disturbed by the full-scale video screen on the outside of the tower. We were told this is made so it doesn’t block or interfere with your views of the Las Vegas Strip below.
Room For More
In a surprising change from what other resorts are doing, Resorts World is using only about 70% of the available property. Leaving plenty of open space for outdoor social and business activities. About 50 acres of the property’s 80 acres are currently being developed. Yes, it’s not all concrete, asphalt, steel, and glass!
All in all, this looks to be an amazing resort and will really make the other resorts step up their technology game. What are your thoughts?
Other Interesting Links
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