Rethinking Development and Investments on the Strip

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor For a city in which new development meant nine figures and mega-resorts were a yearly happening, things have changed considerably as a result of the massive hit the Strip has taken from the ongoing recession. Now, [...]

For a city in which new development meant nine figures and mega-resorts were a yearly happening, things have changed considerably as a result of the massive hit the Strip has taken from the ongoing recession. Now, developers are more focused on revamping properties than erecting imposing structures designed to alter the skyline.

Currently awaiting grand openings are two Ferris wheel-centric projects, one across from Mandalay Bay and the other located between the Flamingo and O’Sheas, VegasINC magazine reports. The two amusement parks aim at making the strip more family-friendly and it seems other developers have that same idea. Parabounce Vegas is another interesting entertainment concept; the game consists of an aerial bumper car-like activity featuring helium balloons.

Refurbishing is also a big part of Vegas development these days. Wynn Las Vegas completed its operation earlier this year and now the Bellagio has started a similar process on its rooms. Treasure Island is currently developing a massive Starbucks that is to have a Strip-facing business end while the Flamingo is transforming part of its casino floor into Margaritaville. With current plans, it seems obvious that smaller, more immediate profit-oriented ventures are favored these days. And if one would take into account the total lack of major resort development, it seems clear that Sin City is entering a new era.

In other real estate news from the Strip, the Boulevard Mall will enter new ownership now that current owner General Growth Properties Inc. has recently emerged from bankruptcy, VegasINC reported. The Chicago-based company has rated the malls currently under its ownership. Boulevard is one of the lower -ated properties and, thus, it will become part of Rouse Properties Inc., a spinoff company that will take over the underperforming properties. Rouse is set to qualify as a real estate investment trust. It will receive 30 malls along with the $1.1 billion in debt associated with the properties.