First Mega Development Planned for Vegas Since Recession
The Las Vegas strip seems to be shining just a little brighter because of this: plans unveiled for a new multi-billion dollar hotel and casino complex - the first mega development proposed here since the recession.
Resort World Las Vegas, will have 3,500 rooms and look like it came straight out of China.
"A full casino, a full waterpark, a replica of the Great Wall."
Stefan Friedman represents the developer, Genting, a huge Malaysian hotel and casino operator.
"There is a burgeoning middle class in Asia particularly in China. Those folks want to travel. Those folks want to come to Las Vegas."
It comes at a time when U.S. casino operators are turning away from Nevada investments - finding a larger portion of profits in their Asian properties instead. So this new mega-casino is the best news Vegas has had since the recession brought building on the strip to a virtual stop.
"We lost 100,000 construction jobs from peak to present. The fact that we're going to put several thousand people back to work developing a project like this is absolutely what this community needs," says economic analyst Jeremy Aguero.
The Malaysian developer paid $350 million for land, a steal compared to what properties on the Strip sold for before the recession.
"When the market was at its absolute peak, people were buying strip lands at $35 million an acre. This property is trading at about $4 million an acre."
Resort World will be built where the famous Stardust stood.
All that remains of the Stardust now is its space age sign, preserved at the Las Vegas Neon Museum. It's a reminder of the building frenzy that gripped this city less than a decade ago.
In 2007, the Stardust went out with a bang.
"Could you have imagined when the Stardust was imploded that it would still be sitting there today as an empty lot?"
"No, no. Nobody knew this was coming."
Oscar Goodman was Mayor of Las Vegas when the recession hit. Now his wife Carolyn is Mayor. This new resort they say is proof Las Vegas is back.
"We have 151,000 beds. We want to keep filling the beds."
But there are so many beds that to fill them hotels have been dropping their rates, down 18% since 2007.
A huge new development here remains a risk, but then taking a chance is what Las Vegas is all about.