Tilman Fertitta isn’t wasting any time in proceeding with his wishes of owning and operating a Las Vegas Strip casino resort.
The shuttered Travelodge motel on the Las Vegas Strip is seen on Oct. 18, 2022. Billionaire Tilman Fertitta acquired the motel and strip mall earlier this year. He plans to demolish the current buildings to make way for an integrated casino resort. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)
On the same day last week that the Clark County Commission signed off on Fertitta’s plans to construct an integrated casino resort in the heart of the Strip across from MGM Resorts’ CityCenter, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the billionaire additionally secured demolition permits.
Fertitta in June acquired 6.2 acres of Strip frontage for $270 million. The property includes a 1960s-era Travelodge, a Tex-Mex restaurant, and a small strip mall housing souvenir shops. Those businesses have since closed after Fertitta terminated their leases after purchasing the real estate.
Fertitta’s future home on the Strip is set to include a 43-story resort hotel with 2,420 guestrooms and all the typical amenities commonly found inside a major Las Vegas casino. But in addition to a spa, numerous restaurants and watering holes, a convention center, and a 2,500-seat theater, Fertitta’s Strip resort is to include a wedding chapel and auto showroom where he hopes major auction houses like Mecum and Barret-Jackson will host their events.
A Fertitta spokesperson said the demolition permits are to allow early site preparation work to commence. Before a groundbreaking can be held, Fertitta Entertainment, the casino magnate’s holding company that is behind the Strip undertaking, will need to clear the six acres for construction.
The largest part of the demolition will be bringing down the Travelodge motel. Opened in the 1960s, the accommodations for decades satisfied budget travelers wishing to stay on the Strip. The roughly 150-room motel property is the largest structure presently on the 6.2-acre tract.
Fertitta is one of the country’s most recognizable casino owners. The billionaire’s hospitality empire includes dozens of restaurant brands under his Landry’s corporation. Along with his restaurants and Golden Nugget casinos in Nevada, Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Jersey, Fertitta owns the NBA Houston Rockets.
Gaming analyst David Katz told the RJ this week that it’s a “big-ticket purchase” for a casino developer to embark on the Strip. Katz has estimated that it will cost Fertitta around $3 billion to bring his Strip dreams to reality.
Forbes puts Fertitta’s net worth at $7.7 billion.
Big Things Coming
Though COVID-19 remains a concern for some, and Wall Street is unsettled due to record inflation, Las Vegas Strip casinos are winning more money off of gamblers than ever before. Nevada casinos have won at least $1 billion in each of the previous 18 months, an unprecedented streak, with the bulk of that monthly revenue realized on the Strip.
There are many reasons for optimism about the world’s most famous casino drag. Along with Resorts World last year becoming the first new from-the-ground-up Strip casino to open since The Cosmopolitan in 2010, the long-delayed Fontainebleau is slated to commence operations in late 2023.
Las Vegas is also budding with anticipated excitement for the arrival of F1 in Southern Nevada next November. The Las Vegas Grand Prix, scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 25, will see the supercars race on and around the Strip.
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