Resorts World: Major construction starting next few months

You don't see much from the Strip.

But turn down Resorts World Drive...

Onto Industrial...

And it hits you; There is something going on here.

“Well, we've been increasing our site preparation work - it's continuing to ramp up on the Resorts World Las Vegas site,” says Michael Levoff, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs for Genting Americas, a subsidiary of Genting Group, the Malaysian company building the $4 billion resort.

The site is surrounded by fencing, so it’s hard to appreciate the under-the-radar construction that’s taking place.

“We've been in the process of issuing contracts for major aspects of our construction program that we expect to start commence in the next several months,” Levoff tells News 3 from New York. “There’s a variety of work going on in the back of the site, in regards to our utility service to the site. Our central plant is back there, and our employee parking areas are also back there.”

The parking garage is the one truly visible piece of progress. It is finished, awaiting the several thousand construction workers who will descend up the site in phases.

Resorts World sits on the site of the old Stardust, which was imploded in 2007. It will incorporate pieces of the abandoned Echelon, Boyd Gaming’s boom-years answer to City Center. Boyd stopped construction of Echelon in 2008, when the Great Recession hit, leaving a footprint of a resort that would never happen.

“A lot of what was left over from Echelon is practically a decade old now,” Levoff says. “So a lot of the work that has been done thus far has been that rehab, as well as checking out – making sure that everything is structurally secure and would permit us to continue to build on the existing footprint.”

The fencing teases tourists with what the project is supposed to become: an Asian-themed megaresort near the heart of the casino corridor.

“The last time we were here this was all empty,” said Morag Campbell, visiting Las Vegas with her friend Irene Shields. They flew here from Scotland.

“So we wondering: we being nosy. It's a new hotel?” she asked me.

Thousands of rooms, I told her: 3,000 to be exact, drawing in Asian customers worldwide.

“And with Hainan Airlines offering direct flights from Beijing, I think this could really be a good thing,” said David Schwartz, the Director of UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research.

Other resorts are also targeting the Asian customer.

The Lucky Dragon opened in December.

For them ... will Resorts World hurt, or help?

“I think helping. I think it really helps everyone else around them on the Strip, and perhaps disproportionately us,” said David Jacoby, the Lucky Dragon’s Chief Operating Officer.

In the meantime, “we hope by the end of 2019 to be in a position to be opening the doors,” Levoff says, which is fine with my friends.

“That gives us a few years to save up and come back,” said Irene Shields, as she and her friends walked down the Strip.

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