The north end of the Vegas Strip will have one less dormant parcel of land when Fontainebleau opens on Dec. 13. Unfortunately, the open space next to the Fashion Show Mall and across the street from Wynn will remain empty for a while.
That said, the dream of a new casino where the New Frontier used to operate is still alive.
FAA approval valid until next year
In 2018, Wynn Resorts announced a plan to expand its Las Vegas property across the street into the vacant lot next to the Fashion Show Mall. Plans were scrapped after then-CEO Steve Wynn stepped down from the position of the company he founded.
Eventually, Wynn could still expand to the west side of the Vegas Strip since it still owns the empty plot of land. Unfortunately, that won’t be happening soon.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that a study earlier this year by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says the land could be used for a 640-foot tall high-rise building. Unfortunately, a Wynn Resorts spokesperson says there’s no plan to expand at this time.
Wynn’s slow-moving expansion
Michael Weaver from Wynn Resorts told the newspaper that Wynn: “does plan to develop the parcel but has not announced a timeline for that.”
For Wynn to proceed with an expansion on this land, the company will have to get moving. The study expires in October 2024. It could take a while for the FAA to do another study.
Wynn Resorts is the epitome of luxury Las Vegas casinos and the company doesn’t move quickly just to get things completed. All hope isn’t lost on Wynn occupying that vacant parcel of land across the street.
Weaver also told the newspaper that there “are standard steps we take to ensure that we maintain all future development rights for that land.”
The irony of the slow-moving nature of Wynn’s expansion across the Vegas Strip taking so long is that this wasn’t the plan. During the earnings call discussing the possibility of building on this land in 2018, Mr. Wynn said:
“What we are going to do across the street is going to go rather quickly because I have been giving it thought for a long time. I don’t think the design and development period is going to be very long.”
So much for moving quickly.
The original working title for the company to expand across the street was “Wynn West.”
Mr. Wynn’s vision would give the company 280 acres of land with an active casino, resort, hotel, spa, and golf course spanning Interstate 15 to Paradise Road.
Companies like MGM Resorts and Caesars have properties on both sides of the Vegas Strip. However, none are connected to create a single resort. The plan was for Wynn West to connect with the existing property by an above-ground air-conditioned bridge.
The vacant land next to the Fashion Show Mall is a 38-acre lot. Originally, the expansion plan called for an all-suite hotel with its casino, restaurants, and everything you’d expect from a Wynn property in Las Vegas.
Wynn was planning for this hotel to have 1,500 rooms. Wynn Las Vegas would have had 7,500 rooms with this hotel.
If the Wynn Paradise Park expansion ever got off the ground, the property would have had 9,000 hotel rooms in four towers. Alas, neither expansion idea came to fruition.
It does sound as though Wynn will eventually expand across the street.
This will leave just one empty plot of land. The open lot next to the Sahara that is bringing mosquitoes to Las Vegas currently belongs to a company looking to build an arena for a decade. Don’t hold your breath on this one.
The future of Casino Royale
The FAA has been busy with potential new projects in Las Vegas. Earlier this year, the FAA approved the land where Casino Royale operates to house a high-rise building as tall as 699 feet.
Plans haven’t been announced yet for the future of Casino Royale. A 699-foot-tall building would be the tallest in Las Vegas. This would be more than 100 feet taller than the guitar-shaped hotel tower Hard Rock plans to build across the street where The Mirage volcano sits.
The FAA approval for the building at Casino Royale expires on Jan. 21, 2025. It could be a while until we hear news about the future of Casino Royale.