Years ago, a hotel executive joked that Las Vegas resort owners
held a lottery each year to see which hotel would be imploded as
part of the New Year’s Eve celebration.
This year, it looks like the Stardust “won” the draw.
In December, executives with Boyd Gaming Corp. announced that
the 50-year-old resort would close by the end of 2006 to make room
for a $4 billion development project anchored by the Echelon
Resort, a 3,300-room hotel and entertainment complex.
The Echelon will take up only part of the 63 acres now occupied
by the Stardust and the company’s headquarters. The entire project
will include four hotels with a total of 5,300 rooms.
Boyd Gaming will own and operate the Echelon’s 2,600-room Resort
Tower and a 700-room Suite Tower. Each tower will have its own spa.
Public areas will include 140,000-square-foot casino, 25
restaurants and bars, landscaped pool and garden areas and business
and meeting facilities. Echelon will include a 4,000-seat theater
with a large stage and stadium seating for concerts and shows. In
addition, a 1,500-seat theater will house smaller shows and touring
Upon completion in 2010, the resort is expected to cost $2.9
billion, slightly more than the Wynn Las Vegas, billed as the most
expensive hotel in the world.
Boyd Gaming executives also announced a management agreement
with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts to include a Shangri-La Hotel in
the project. Shangri-La is a brand well-known in Asia for luxurious
accommodations. The Shangri-La Hotel Las Vegas, will be owned by
Boyd Gaming and operated by Shangri-La. The resort will include 400
guestrooms and suites, a 20,000-square-foot CHI spa, meeting space
and two restaurants.
Boyd Gaming has also entered into a joint venture with the
Morgans Hotel Group to develop two signature hotels in Echelon
Place, the Delano and Mondrian. The cost of the two projects will
be approximately $700 million.
The Delano will be a franchise of the South Beach Miami hotel
and will include 600 rooms and suites, a nightclub, restaurant and
spa. The Mondrian will be a branch of the hotel of the same name in
Hollywood. It will include 1,000 guestrooms and other facilities
including conference space.
Each of the hotels will have its own entrance and
Echelon Place will also include the Las Vegas ExpoCenter with
650,000 square feet of exhibition space and 175,000 square feet of
meeting and conference space. Plans also call for more than 350,000
square feet of retail space and parking for more than 8,000
Boyd Gaming has recalled Bob Boughner from the Borgata in
Atlantic City, the company’s joint project with MGM Mirage.
Boughner will lead the development of Echelon Place as president
and chief executive officer.
In less than a year, Boyd Gaming has gone from a competitor in
the locals’ market with a small foot-hold on the Las Vegas Strip to
the third largest player in Las Vegas. In February last year, the
company joined forces with Coast Casinos to become the owner and
operator of 19 properties in Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi,
Illinois, Indiana and Louisiana. They recently opened South Coast
Hotel and Casino located on the extreme south end of Las Vegas
Boulevard. The merger gave the company an additional presence on
the Strip with the acquisition of the Barbary Coast.
The Stardust will stay open and operating for most of 2006 with
demolition planned for early 2007.