Wynn wants expansion to build third Vegas Strip tower on Frontier site

Posted on: January 11, 2024, 6:02 am.

Last updated on: January 11, 2024, 6:03 am.

Wynn Resorts wants to extend for five years its permit to build a third tower on the vacant land once occupied by the New Frontier Hotel and Casino. However, those plans have been approved for another project for eight long years, and the Clark County Building Department is reportedly leaning toward rejecting the company’s application.

Wynn and Encore Las Vegas can be seen from the empty lot, which could potentially become a third Wynn Tower, although not anytime soon. (Image: bestoflasvegas.com)

According to documents uncovered by Clark County Las Vegas Review Journal, Clark County staff is recommending denial of the extension because no new building permits or studies have been submitted for review and because some building codes have changed since the first building permit was issued.

It’s likely no decision will be made until the county’s zoning commission considers the matter in April.

An undated depiction of the unrealized Alon Las Vegas casino resort. (Image: Alon Las Vegas)

The crowning achievement of non-fulfillment

The first green light to build the 35-hectare site north of Fashion Show Mall was given to Australia-based gaming and entertainment group Crown Resorts in 2015. In 2014, the company paid $240 million for the property and then announced plans to build a $6 billion resort called Alon Las Vegas. However, these ambitious plans were scrapped in 2016.

Wynn Resorts purchased the property and three adjacent acres in 2018 for $336 million. The company announced plans to build a 1,100-room casino resort called Wynn West, as it would be located on the west side of the Strip across from the company’s other two towers. It would be connected to them via a climate-controlled bridge over Las Vegas Boulevard.

According to Clark County documents, Wynn Resorts argues that its construction permit should be extended because the closure of all of its projects has been delayed by the pandemic. And the company funded a building height study in 2022 in which the Federal Aviation Administration determined that a 640-foot tower could be safely built on the property.

Westward Hold

During its fourth-quarter 2017 conference call, then-company Chairman Steve Wynn told analysts, “I don’t think the design and development phase for Wynn West will be very long.”

Although the pandemic-related shutdown could explain the construction delays since 2020, the reason no development timeline was announced until then was undoubtedly because Wynn Resorts panicked just weeks after Wynn West’s announcement.

That’s when the Wall Street Journal published allegations from several women that the company’s namesake had sexually harassed or assaulted them at his hotels – allegations that Steve Wynn has always denied but which forced him to resign from all of his corporate positions, sending his company into a tailspin.

El-Ad Properties’ Plaza Hotel Las Vegas also never came to fruition. (Image: El-Ad Group)

More free plans

Alon Las Vegas was not the first vacant proposal for the vacant lot. The reason New Frontier owner Phil Ruffin dumped his old Vegas casino resort in the first place was because he sold the property beneath it in 2007 for $1.2 billion, a Las Vegas record.

The buyer was El-Ad Properties, owner of the Plaza Hotel in New York City, which planned to build a casino resort under the Plaza brand for $5 billion.

But the Great Recession derailed that project just months after the New Frontier imploded on November 13, 2007.

Since acquiring the vacant property, Wynn Resorts has rented it out for special events, including the Homecoming Series and the Taco Bell Innovation Summit, a Feb. 8-11 event that will be one of dozens held during Super Bowl week take place on the Strip.

Source link