Vegas Projects That Never Made It
The city of Las Vegas is a top gambling destination that has become just as famous for its iconic structures as it has for its entertainment. However, for all the landmark structures that have been constructed across Sin City there are a plethora of projects that were never completed. Let’s check them out:
Voyager Big Wheel
The London Eye has proved to be an iconic structure on the English capital city’s sky-line. If plans had gone through, Las Vegas may very well have had its own giant wheel before the High Roller located near to The Linq.
Voyager were behind two attempts to bring the design to the Strip. The first came in 2003 when the Rio proposed the $86 million plans to include the wheel with a nightclub in the hub.
Not long after this first failed proposal, a second giant wheel idea was put forward by Voyager. This time it was on the site of the vacant 27-acre large Wet and Wild water park. It would have been part of a new Palace of the Sea Resort and Casino. Unfortunately, that project also failed to get off the ground.
Beverly Hillbillies Resort
One of the more outlandish plans that almost materialized was from the creative mind of Beverly Hillbillies star Max Bear, also known as Jethro from the popular television show.
The actor planned to build a resort with a theme based on the show. The proposed location for the venue was in Reno.
Plans stated it would have included an oil derrick and Granny’s kitchen. Not the glitziest proposal Las Vegas has ever seen but a fascinating one nonetheless.
London Resort and Casino
Las Vegas is a city that has casino resorts inspired by a number of themes from around the globe. Caesars borrows from the Egyptian culture, the Venetian bases its look on the city of Venice in Italy, and New York-New York… well, you can hazard a guess on that theme.
London was also nearly added to this elite list.
Plans were proposed to have the resort located on the Strip opposite the Luxor. It would have included its own Millennium Wheel, Harrod’s department store, and Piccadilly Circus.
A second attempt to get these plans in motion was suggested for location on the old El Rancho site. Once again, construction did not even begin.
The old site of the famous Desert Inn was purchased by ITT/ Sheraton in 1993. The new owners of the land had some leftfield ideas to make full use of the potential of the site.
The first idea was a Bali-themed resort called Desert Kingdom. It would be a resort that would be built around the existing Desert Inn to preserve an important part of the history of Las Vegas.
Unfortunately, the plans never came to fruition. The site is now the home of Wynn Las Vegas.
Planet Hollywood is a top-class venue positioned on South Las Vegas Boulevard. However, its current existence was almost something completely different. Previous plans to get the venture started had failed leaving the future of the resort in doubt.
Mesmerizing yet surreal plans to build the resort on the site of the old Desert Inn were proposed. It’s no surprise it never took off. The design plans resembled something from a Luc Besson movie.
Luckily, a more sensible design saw the venue open in its current location in 2007.
In 1997, the movie Titanic smashed box office records to become one of the most successful films of all-time and won 11 Academy Awards.
Directed by James Cameron and starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet, it followed the unlikely romance between two passengers on the ill-fated vessel. The success of the movie inspired renowned casino owner Bob Sturpak to unveil plans for an RMS Titanic themed resort in downtown Vegas in 1999.
The resort would boast 1,200 rooms and would include time share rooms to help finance the project.
Las Vegas Council rejected the plans. A second attempt to build the resort on the Strip also failed.
Las Vegas Plaza
Back in 2007, Phil Ruffin sold the New Frontier development to the El-Ad Group for $1.2 billion. The New Frontier was demolished later that year. A replacement resort called Las Vegas Plaza was planned at a cost of $5 billion.
The construction of the site never even started.
In 2016, Crown Resorts purchased the site from El-Ad Group for $280 million. Not only had the El-Ad Group failed to make the project a reality but it had suffered a $900 million loss over the whole saga.
Fountainbleau Las Vegas
If there is a symbolic structure of failed projects in Las Vegas, then it can be found on the north side of the Las Vegas Strip. The land was originally purchased by Turnberry Associates in 2000. It was not until 2007 that construction on the proposed $2.9 billion Fountainbleau Las Vegas project began.
That was the start of the troubles. Two years into the project, financial backers withdrew $800 million in pre-approved loans. The resort was only 70% complete.
The project was bought by Carl Icahn in 2010 for just $150 million. The resort remains unfinished with Icahn unwilling to fund the $1 billion needed to finish the project. On the plus side, Icahn has also refused to demolish the current vacant building, so there is hope that one day in the future this failed project can experience a happy ending.
BYD’s Echelon Palace
This project was anticipated to be Boyd Gaming’s big move into the luxurious casino resort sector in Las Vegas. The firm had owned Stardust Resort and Casino since the 1980s but this was an opportunity to build a resort on another level.
The Stardust was demolished to open the way for the proposed $4 billion Echelon Palace resort. Sadly, this decision was taken in 2007 and the project was devastated by the global financial crisis that took hold shortly after.
Boyd Gaming eventually surrendered on the project and sold the site to Genting Group in 2013 for $350 million. It was a $994 million loss for Boyd Gaming and Echelon Palace never became a reality