Genting Group, who owns and operates casinos worldwide, will spend $4.3 billion on Resorts World Las Vegas, a mega-resort rising from the ashes from the Great Recession and set to open in the summer of 2021.
Resorts World Las Vegas is being built on the former Stardust site that Boyd Gaming had hoped to build the Echelon resort before the recession halted those plans.
The project, which was first conceived by Genting in March 2013, was originally designed with a Forbidden City influence featuring Chinese architecture. It was to be the first Asian-focused property in Las Vegas.
But Genting said Resorts World Las Vegas will have only “Asian-inspired touches,” curtailing the company’s original Asian theme.
Scott Sibella is the president of Resorts World Las Vegas. He explained that the property won't be themed like the resorts of old Las Vegas.
“I think it is more of a property that will be designed that’s comfortable for everybody and acceptable. It will be very luxury and high-end but at the same time it won’t be intimidating,” he said.
But because it is a new building and not a remodel of an existing building, they will be able to add all kinds of technology that older casinos cannot.
“What we’re going to have that nobody will have we think is that we can take advantage of technology today," he said, "And we can do things that a lot of big properties can’t do because of the infrastructure and the pricing.”
For example, the resort will be able to be in almost constant contact with the customer before they even arrive at the building, ultimately allowing the customer to by-pass the front desk and go directly to their room.
The resort is also rolling out an expanded idea of room service that allows customers to order food from anywhere and have it delivered.
Even though new technology will be embedded in the building, Sibella said the property's emphasis will be on Old Vegas.
“What we want to bring to Las Vegas is the customer service and the old Las Vegas that used to be here. It is going to be all about the employees and the customers when we open,” he said.
And because Genting Group is a family-owned business, there isn't a corporate structure above Sibella. The decisions about the operation of the property will be made on property by people interacting with the customers, he said.
Resorts World Las Vegas will feature a 110,000-square-foot casino floor with slots, table games, high-limit gaming areas, private-gaming salons, and a dedicated poker room. It will also include an adjacent 14,000-square-foot entertainment zone housing a sportsbook.
Two hotel towers will offer a combined 3,500 rooms, including luxury suites, villas, penthouses, open balconies, and even a sky casino.
That is the plan for now, but Sibella said the amount of property owned by Genting Group has room for up to 8,000 rooms. There are no exact plans for Phase Two of the resort.
Sibella said some of the amenities that were slated for Phase Two got bumped to Phase One because they felt it was important to have them open right away like the theater and convention space.
That pushed back the opening date but Sibella believes the delay will be worth it.
Resorts World Las Vegas will also feature 350,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. Even though the property is close to the soon-to-be expanded Las Vegas Convention Center, Sibella is not concerned about an overabundance of convention space.
He pointed out that gaming has taken a backseat to nongaming revenue at all Strip properties.
“That paradigm shift continues to happen with the nongaming revenue compared to gaming revenue," he said, "We’re projecting when we open we’ll be close to 75 percent of nongaming revenue. The key today is to create amenities and reasons for customers to come that maybe may not gamble but they’re going to come and get their wallet share when the come to the property for the nongaming areas.”
Some of the nongaming areas will include seven unique pools, and 75,000-square-foot day and nightclub.
Sibella said the days of giveaways to keep people gambling are gone.
"In today’s world, there are no loss leaders. Everything is a profit center. So, room service makes money, retail and things like that,” he said.
The property will also try to draw in Strip pedestrians with a 50-foot diameter video globe displaying over 6,000 square feet of LED content.
Additionally, the West Tower will host a 100,000-square-foot LED screen and the East Tower will have a 19,000-square-foot display.
For several years, the property where Resorts World Las Vegas is being constructed was a symbol of the economic downturn that consumed the city.
Despite that history, Sibella is not too concerned about the return of another economic downturn.
“If it is down a little bit, we still feel strong that we’re going to be the newest one on the block and if we do this right history shows if you build a property like this it brings more visitors to Las Vegas but we also know if we do this right we can get market share from some of the other properties on the Strip," he said.
The property isn't just a new Strip resort it is also the first serious foothold in America by Genting Group.
“It’s part of Genting coming to – not only Las Vegas – to America to establish itself,” Sibella said.
He said the story will soon be about what Genting Group is bringing to the community, but for now, he's focused on finishing the project on budget and on time.
Scott Sibella, president of Resorts World Las Vegas
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