South Las Vegas Strip Might Have a New Casino Resort Near Mandalay Bay

Posted on: July 25, 2018, 01:00h. 

Last updated on: July 25, 2018, 12:51h.

Israeli hotel developers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah have purchased the underwhelming Motel 8, a budget 1960’s roadside inn directly opposite the Mandalay Bay, with the aim of developing a new hotel-casino property, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Motel 8
Motel 8 sits in the shadow of the Mandalay Bay — but not for long. An Israeli company intends to bulldoze the budget roadside inn and build a hotel-casino. Beyond that, details are thin on the ground. (Image:

The businessman, who founded and own the company Astral Hotels, paid $7.4 million for the motel, which they intend to bulldoze to make way for the new resort. Beyond that, they’re keeping tight-lipped on details. Gabay told LVRJ he would prefer to wait a few months before elaborating on their plans.

Gabay and Zerah are taking a chance on this barren side of the southern Strip, which never quite took off. While the Mandalay Bay and Excalibur dominate the other side of South Las Vegas Boulevard, their guests largely have views across the street of abandoned lots and boarded up buildings.

Aborted Ideas

It’s an area screaming out for development. But ambitious new projects have stalled since the recession. The economic downturn that began in 2008 scuttled many ventures that had been conceived in more prosperous times and ended the flurry of development that changed the face of Las Vegas during the 1990s and 2000s.

The last hotel-casino to be built from the ground up on the Las Vegas Strip was the Cosmopolitan, which opened in 2010.

Many projects ran out of funding and were abandoned in the aftermath of the economic slump, including “London, Las Vegas” — which was to be 38.5-acre property with 1,300 hotel rooms, across from Mandalay Bay.

The development was to include a giant Ferris wheel known as “SkyVue,” among various architectural replicas of London buildings and monuments. But only the concrete pillars that were to support SkyVue were ever built, and they remain abandoned to this day.

Strip Property Market Starts Moving Again

Land sales have been slow ever since the recession, but the market has undoubtedly picked up in the past three years. Room rates and gaming revenues are growing, which decreases the risk of a major investment.

In 2020, a new Strip casino, the Drew Las Vegas, is set to rise from the shiny, blue wreck of the recession-doomed Fontainebleau. Also set to open that year is Resorts World Las Vegas, Genting’s $7.2 billion gambling and entertainment complex. Meanwhile, numerous renovations of existing properties are underway, including a complete reimagining of the Monte Carlo.

Meanwhile, for the sleepy southern end of the Strip — home to Motel 8 and its Mr. Deli, but not for long — its proximity to the planned Raiders Stadium could prove to be a major boon.

“It’s a very interesting area,” said Gabay. “I saw what maybe others don’t see.”