Sunday, December 9, 2007

fear and loathing... (another one bites the dust).

old news... but news to me. :(

Vegas bids New Frontier farewell
November 14, 2007

LAS VEGAS -- The New Frontier casino-hotel was imploded early Tuesday in a violent end to the second property to open on the Strip and the scene of Elvis Presley's Las Vegas debut.

Over 1,000 pounds of explosives felled the 16-story hotel tower as reporters and bystanders watched. An $8-billion resort bearing the Plaza brand will rise in its place and is set to open in 2011.

Elad Group owner and Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva, a partner in the new resort project, offered handshakes and hugs after the tower came down.

An easterly breeze helped to quickly dissipate the dust.

With a cowboy motif, the New Frontier was the Strip's first themed casino. The low-key gambling hall opened as the Last Frontier in 1942 and later took on a Space Age look before returning to its Wild West roots.

Over its 65 years it played host to such entertainers as Ronald Reagan, Wayne Newton, and Siegfried and Roy. Presley performed for the first time in Las Vegas at the resort in 1956. It had become known for bikini bull riding, cheap rooms and $5 craps before it closed its doors for good in July.

IDB Group and Elad Group, the owners of the Plaza hotel in New York, said the new property would include a luxury hotel with about 3,500 rooms, private residences, retail space and a casino bearing the Plaza brand to reach the highest end of the market.

The destruction of the New Frontier was the latest step in a dramatic, and expensive, face-lift for the northern Strip. The Stardust hotel-casino was imploded in March.

"It's another budget option on the Strip that's gone," said David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. "The future is really high-end."

The first of Donald Trump's gold-glass, billion-dollar-plus condominium towers is to open behind the New Frontier site early next year.

Steve Wynn plans to open the $2.2-billion Encore in early 2009, and the $2.8-billion Fontainebleau is scheduled to open farther north later that year. MGM Mirage is planning its own multibillion-dollar resort with Kerzner International and Dubai World at the north end of the Strip for 2012.

"It just became an epicenter of Vegas," said Phil Ruffin, who sold the 34.5-acre site to Elad for $1.24 billion in May. ~LA Times

las vegas has become too expensive for my taste. all of the good, themed hotels containing what little history vegas has have all been imploded and tall buildings which all resemble each other will be built in their place. here's one big sarcastic "yay."

so many of life's lessons can be extracted from las vegas's teachings: nothing is permanent; never get to attached to places or things; money rules the world; donald trump has bad hair; explosives are cool; and change is good (especially if someone can make a shitload of money off of it).

before the stardust hotel was destroyed March 2006, the Boardwalk Casino also vanished from the strip. what i don't understand is why builders only limit themselves to the strip. they have a whole freakin desert!! the first hotel in las vegas was built on fremont street. the strip is only 4 miles long... so why not expand instead of destroying every hotel that was once kitschy and kewl?! make an uppity section of high-end casinos for all the yuppies and leave the old school hotels alone.

on the bright side... i am seeing 311 in vegas this feb. my plan is to stay in one of the oldest hotels on the strip. circus circus may be an option since it is next on the list of deceased casinos.
"The hotel may be demolished and rebuilt. According to an MGM Mirage report, the Circus Circus site "does not make economic use of the 44 acres that it sits on, therefore, we feel that demolishing the current property and rebuilding it in a different fashion (while still keeping the Circus Circus name) will be in our best interest."
better get to the remaining "oldies" fast... the imperial palace will be gone soon too:
"During a conference call with investors on November 20, 2005, the Chairman for Harrah's, Gary Loveman, did not surprise industry analysts when he said that both the Imperial Palace and neighboring O'Sheas "are going to require very substantial modifications or complete tear-downs and rebuilds" in order to make room for a Harrah's and/or Flamingo expansion on the Strip."

the tropicana will be receiving a facelift, but no demolition is planned to execute the renovations:
"On November 2, 2006, Columbia Sussex publicly announced a $2 billion renovation of the Tropicana. Unlike previous Las Vegas projects however, there will be no demolition of the entire resort. The existing Paradise and Island towers will receive both interior and exterior renovations and 4 new towers will be built on the property (the last will be branded as a separate hotel).

Also unusual, is that the resort will remain open during the renovations, which will increase the size of the hotel to over 8,000 rooms. There are also plans to add a 600,000 square foot convention center to the resort, which will be the 5th largest convention center in Las Vegas..."
the luxor will also be remodeled:
"In July 2007, owner MGM Mirage announced plans to thoroughly renovate the Luxor, spending $300 million to remodel 80 percent of Luxor's public areas, removing much of the ancient Egyptian theme and replacing it with more adult-oriented and modern lounges, restaurants and clubs.[1] Among the distinctive changes to the exterior occurred in mid-2007, when management covered one of the pyramid's massive black faces with a 15-story sign that advertises Absolut vodka."
oh great, just what las vegas needed... more over-priced yuppy lounges!!

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