It didn't take long for the buzz to become a roar after the Genting Group announced plans Monday to develop a 3,500-room megaresort on the Las Vegas Strip.
The Malaysian company's plan for Resorts World Las Vegas includes a cluster of hotels, 175,000 square feet of gaming space on multiple casino floors, 210,000 square feet of restaurants, 250,000 square feet of retail, a 4,000-seat theater, more than 500,000 square feet of convention space and 300,000 square feet of pools and water slides.
Developers say they hope to build a replica of the Great Wall of China, faux terracotta warriors and an enclosure for pandas.
While most people welcomed the news of a new neighbor on the Strip, others weren't quite as enthusiastic.
Here's a look at who stands to gain from the arrival of Resorts World Las Vegas and who stands to lose:
Las Vegas visitors
One of Las Vegas' most enduring qualities has been its ability to reinvent itself.
A big part of the reason the city expanded so rapidly in the late 1980s through early 2000s was because tourists always had something new to see: The erupting volcano at the Mirage; the pirate ship battle at Treasure Island; the Luxor pyramid; the fountains and conservatory at the Bellagio; the view from the Stratosphere. The newest version of the next big thing kept coming, year after year.
Now, after a lengthy lull, there will be a new draw. And that's certainly good news for tourists looking for a reason to come back to Las Vegas.
The North Strip
The northern edge of the Strip is only a few miles from the Bellagio, Aria and other popular casinos, but it feels like a different city.
Three closed or mothballed resorts blight the area, and foot traffic is thin. The area is poorly lit, and many tourists avoid it because there are fewer entertainment options.
The walled-off Echelon site intimidates people because it looks "desecrated," said Ron Gonzalez, a tattoo artist at Rock Star Tattoos across the street.
"It's a huge economic cemetery," said Eric Boye, owner of the Don Pablo Cigar Co. cigar shop.
North Strip retailers hope that will change when Resorts World opens.
"Not only will it be good for us, for local businesses, but it's going to brighten up this area," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez joined the tattoo parlor largely because of the plans for Echelon. He figured it would bring him lots of customers when it opened.
Instead, business has been slow, and Gonzalez considered leaving for another shop. Now, he's excited.
"That's going to bring in so much foot traffic," he said.
Lisa Thompson started working at Strip Liquor, also across the street from the Echelon site, in June 2008, a few months before the project was shelved. She also has seen a steady decline in customers since then. Business dropped even further when the Sahara closed.
"This area needs it," Thompson said of Resorts World.
The sale of the Echelon site to the Genting Group could inspire other developers to buy land or resume stalled projects for new Strip resorts.
But even if they do, there's no guarantee they'd pay big money for properties.
The Genting Group paid Boyd Gaming only $350 million for 87 acres -- or $4 million per acre. That's a far cry from the price of land during the boom years, when some developers paid between $17 million and $33 million per acre for land on the resort corridor.
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