If you missed the recent new casino opening hoopla, Steve Wynn has opened yet another of his gems- Encore Las Vegas – on December 22, 2008. Weighing in with a price tag of $2.3 billion, the glitzy 2,034-room Strip playground provides refreshing eye-candy from all the gloomy economic news on work stoppages for the partially started and planned Las Vegas casino and entertainment projects.
With any luck, perhaps Encore will serve as the cornerstone catalyst for a rejuvenated Las Vegas and a positive economic outlook in 2009.
Encore’s opening, combined with the good news of Phil Ruffin’s $775 million purchase of Treasure Island Casino & Hotel from MGM Mirage earlier this month – a great holiday present for their 3,200 Treasure Island employees. The former New Frontier owner’s purchase will help fund the planned finish of MGM Mirage’s $9.1 billion CityCenter next year, the largest private construction job in the U.S..
And, lest we forget, the Fountainebleau and the M Resort still are on track to debut in 2009, further helping to hopefully solidify our lethargic economy.
Recent local Las Vegas casino stimulus events could not have happened at a more needed time. Gaming revenue in Clark County, which includes downtown Las Vegas and the Strip, is reported down 8.5% for the 2008, to $8.3 billion. And visitor volume is down 3% over last year, though the city’s convention business is holding steady.
Any positive local stimulus would be welcomed with open arms.