Developers and officials consider plan for amusement park on Las Vegas strip

Posted Monday, February 21, 2011 12:15 PM | Contributed by Jeff

At Las Vegas Boulevard and Mandalay Bay Road, the Strip seems to stop. A motel and a few businesses share 9.6 acres of land with overgrown weeds, piles of dirt, and chain-linked fences. That, however, could soon change. Developers propose a facelift that Clark County Commissioners are considering. The proposal on the drawing board is an amusement park with at least eight rides, including a "Sky Wheel" nearly half the height of the Stratosphere. The attraction would attach to a 42-foot-high tent that would connect with a convention center and retail space.

Read more and see video from KLAS/Las Vegas.

Monday, February 21, 2011 12:28 PM

The water park and MGM amusement park are long gone, why do they think they can do better? Vegas's days are numbered.

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Monday, February 21, 2011 12:58 PM

How so?!?! The place has been there for decades and survived many peaks and valleys.

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Monday, February 21, 2011 1:05 PM

Reality is it is very hard to predict what will happen - the area is not recession resistant. Plans are nice to have - but are simply that, nice.

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Monday, February 21, 2011 1:11 PM

As it stands, the plan sucks. Eight attractions is not enough to warrant people stopping in first of all. Second, summers are too hot for an outdoor park, even one with mist machines in abundance.

We need a waterpark. Maybe Las Vegas Wet will still happen? ;)

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Monday, February 21, 2011 1:40 PM

Las Vegas isn't going anywhere. It's still one of the best places in the country to do big conferences and tradeshows.

I'm just not sure why they keep trying to do "family" stuff there. What's wrong with it being a truly adult playground? Families have bi-coastal theme parks and countless museums and national parks.

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Monday, February 21, 2011 2:01 PM

Jeff said:
Las Vegas isn't going anywhere. It's still one of the best places in the country to do big conferences and tradeshows.

I'm just not sure why they keep trying to do "family" stuff there. What's wrong with it being a truly adult playground? Families have bi-coastal theme parks and countless museums and national parks.

Why family style? Well, there is some business to be made in it. Lets take an example. I've been the Vegas twice, both work related. The first time, my wife came out an we saw the town. The second time, once we had a toddler, it wasn't even considered. I have a similar conference this summer in Vancouver. The whole family is going along. If I have another Vegas conference? Probably just me (unless things change.)

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Monday, February 21, 2011 3:26 PM

There is nothing new in Vegas that I just need to do or see. After being there 5 times and spending maybe a combined 1 hour in a casino, all of the other attractions and sight-seeing things I have done. Spending time in a casino just doesn't do it for me. An Amusement park outside in Vegas in the summer. All I can say is ouch!! Waterpark, maybe...

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Monday, February 21, 2011 3:30 PM

eightdotthree said:
The water park and MGM amusement park are long gone, why do they think they can do better? Vegas's days are numbered.

mmm because the MGM theme park was a joke, run by people who didn't know what the hell they were doing, with a business strategy that made no sense.

Now, this proposed venture, with what little we know about it, probably is a non-starter. However, I wouldn't use the MGM fiasco as a benchmark for judging any other venture.


The waterpark is gone, because the land owners had the wisdom to sell the land when strip frontage was going for nearly $20Million an acre.


As for Vegas' days being numbered., true in that all days are numbered (today is the 21st) . However, as Jeff and others have said, Vegas isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Not sure what you were getting at, but whatever it was, you failed.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Monday, February 21, 2011 3:32 PM
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Monday, February 21, 2011 4:17 PM

Any kind of "family" attraction on the strip has to be a part of a casino/hotel complex. There's no other way you're going to make any money on it. That's why the Adevnturedome is still around. As someone else mentioned, Wet-n-Wild's land was worth exponentially more than the business. I never saw the MGM facility, but I've never heard anyone describe it as anything even remotely interesting.

I guess my point is that the only real precedent we have is the Adventuredome, and it's been around a very long time. I would actually argue that now is a good time to start a new venture, with the hopes that it emerges with an improved economy. That certainly has worked out for a little theme park resort in Orlando.

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Monday, February 21, 2011 5:11 PM

piling on to Jeff's last comment: There probably is a market for a local FEC type place (Scandia, Boomers, etc). There are certainly enough people in the LV Valley that could support something like that. However, anything on the Strip needs to be part of a casino project. The economics just don't make sense, unless you're using the rides to put heads in beds. Even then,I'm not sure that it works. Circus Circus has made it work, but I'd be very curious to see the actual numbers for the Adventuredome.

Right now, Vegas is in Adult mode. Perhaps the pendulum swings back towards families, but I doubt it. Vegas tried to re-invent itself but it soon discovered that it can't be both Disneyland and Sin City. I myself love the signs at Wynn and Bellagio saying "no strollers unless a registered guest". I remember a story (perhaps on here) of a woman arguing with the security guard enforcing the rule saying "well, I guess you don't want my business here". The guard just smiled.

You're exactly right lady, if you have a stroller, I don't want you in the casino I'm gambling in.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:23 AM

I just think that an oasis in the desert during the age of peak oil and casinos in every state can't continue to grow and Vegas needs to grow to maintain.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:59 AM

Well, from experience, theres 'casinos in every state' and then there's Las Vegas. (Not that I'm a gambler, but I've seen and been in both)

Any issues with Vegas tourism dropping I think has more to do with a travel and economic slump than it does the availability to gamble in other states.

I worked with some hard core gamblers back in WV that did it there every weekend any place they could, and yet they still took trips to Vegas and AC because of the perks and hotels and comps and what not.

Besides, I think Vegas has grown beyond just gambling. Like Jeff said, I don't see why they even try to cater to families. Sure, there should be some stuff there (which they have) for the family that goes, but in my experience, and this is one of the reasons I love Vegas, there just weren't that many kids and teens/tweens running around.

Last edited by Tekwardo, Tuesday, February 22, 2011 11:00 AM
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011 12:15 PM

Yeah, we have Native American run casinos here in the Northwest, and they suck. Because of state liquor laws, they can't comp alcohol, which immediately makes it less fun (for me, anyway).

Vegas doesn't need to grow to succeed, it only needs to maintain its shiny look and continue to provide the atmosphere that it does. It also needs to keep up its conference and trade show business, which I'm sure it will have no problem doing as companies loosen up again about travel.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011 1:21 PM

It's funny you should mention Las Vegas' viability. Some family members were talking at Thanksgiving this year about that very thing. A couple of them lived in LV for a few years and as such, the rest of the family made it a regular vacation destination. They loved it.

Unfortunately, they said they had returned to the area recently and it was a pale version of what it used to be. The comps and cheap buffets, for example, had decreased significantly. I don't know if they would have said LV's days are numbered, per se, but they definitely expressed that the experience has greatly diminished in recent years.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011 2:05 PM

At one point I am sure that people said similar things about Atlantic City.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011 2:27 PM

I can't comment on the comps, but when Vegas was known for cheap buffets and steaks...it was also kind of known for being seedy, cheap, and only about gambling.

From what I've seen and experienced, they tried to keep the positives that Vegas was known for (Steak Dinners, Buffets, Gambling) and transformed it into something more upscale (on the south end of the strip anyways).

Sure, the Buffets aren't cheap anymore...but they have good food. Heck, the cheap ones I've ate at were basically glorified Ryan's or something similar. On the food front, Vegas has become more upscale, but I think that's by choice. They wanted the money coming in, so they started to cater to the people who had it.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011 4:50 PM

Yes, the mix of revenue has changed pretty dramatically. The five-diamond hotels are still inexpensive as far as five-diamond hotels go, but they're still not cheap. The concentration of really excellent restaurants is just staggering. Some properties have made the conference business a big part of their mix too (Venetian, Mandalay Bay, etc.). The quality of the shows has gone from cheesy dancing girls to Broadway-style stuff. Everything is more upscale than it used to be, even since my first visit (2002?), and I think that has definitely attracted a better crowd of people who have more money to spend. Every casino fighting for gambling dollars is a losing game... they had to change the mix to differentiate and diversify.

The off-strip areas and downtown still have cheap old-school stuff, but for me at least that's not much of an attraction.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011 6:39 PM

I think the gambling space is still the most profitable land, square-footage wise....and prob. reduces/eliminates the viability of something that eats up too much land a la Wet N Wild. The "differentiation of product mix" is certainly how you're going to draw people in.

But the way I see it, a waterpark/amusement park COULD work....IF it were housed inside a casino-hotel - i.e., something the other casinos just don't have. A full-scale amusement venue or waterpark with no attached casino....just doesn't seem too likely. IMO.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011 6:29 PM

Jeff said:
Yeah, we have Native American run casinos here in the Northwest, and they suck. Because of state liquor laws, they can't comp alcohol, which immediately makes it less fun (for me, anyway).

The casinos in Colorado aren't the greatest either. Lack of hotel rooms and even a bigger lack of big name entertainment are the cons there. Actually the last time I was in Central City to visit their casinos, the biggest "star" apearing there was Mud Flap McGrew ( a Denver radio dj who does stand up on the side ). Yeah like many outside of Denver would really be interested.

Anyway not every state allows casinos. I doubt the Mormons would ever allow such a thing in Utah and right there alone will always be a major advantage for Nevada. Likewise with Virginia too with the casinos in West Virginia, AC, Maryland and Delaware. Heck they are still those in the state house in Richmond who if they had their way they would discontinue their own state lottery if given the chance.

Vegas & AC will always be around.

Last edited by Chriscub, Wednesday, February 23, 2011 6:29 PM
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