Australian billionaire and casino mogul James Packer's elusive dream of having a Las Vegas Casino added to Crown Resorts' list of casino properties will finally come true. That is, if the pre-application and building plans filed last month by Crown Resorts at Clark County for a 1,100-room and two-tower resort project called Alon Las Vegas, merit the approval of local county officials. According to Clark county spokesperson, Dan Kulin, the county commissioners are yet to set a hearing date for the Alon Las Vegas petition.
On file at the Clark County office are architectural designs for a resort complex that will rise on the 34.6-acre Las Vegas Strip property. The parcel of land was left vacant by the former New Frontier Hotel and Casino when it closed and subsequently underwent demolition in 2007. Blueprints showed drawing plans for an entertainment center called, the “Black Box Theater,” a nightclub, a ballroom, a pool and some villas. The main features of the resort complex were not disclosed, except for indicating that the taller structure will be called Resort Tower, and the other edifice, The VIP Tower.
Alon Leisure Management Inc.
Alon Leisure Management Inc. through its CEO and founder Andrew Pascal released a statement introducing the new company as an entity with a mission to develop unique luxury resorts, for which Alon Las Vegas is the company's initial project. Mr. Pascal stated that their vision for Alon Las Vegas is of a quintessential gaming resort with full integration, which adds certainty to the inclusion of casino gaming facilities. He added that the Alon Las Vegas project is expected to create new employment opportunities for thousands of Nevada residents. Andrew Pascal is also at the helm of PlayStudios, Inc. the gaming technology company that created MGM Resorts' MyVegas social casino website, aside from being a former President of Wynn Las Vegas.
Located north of the Fashion Show mall, the property was acquired by Crown Resorts in August 2014 in partnership with Andrew Pascal, and with Oaktree Capital Management. Packer's Crown Resorts had reportedly shelled out $280 million as major financial contribution for the acquisition of the property.
Crown Resorts CEO Packer's ambitions of having a Las Vegas resort casino has been much publicized in the past, as several attempts to do so not only failed but had also cost his company millions. The first was in 2007 involving the construction of a towering 1,888-foot high hotel but was rejected by the Federal Aviation Administration. This was followed in 2009, when Crown Resorts entered into an acquisition deal to gain ownership of the Cannery Resort for $1.8 billion. However, the Melbourne-based Crown Resorts decided to terminate the agreement for some reason, but not without having to pay $320 million as penalties and breakup fee.
In April of last year, Crown Resorts submitted a Letter of Intent to submit a bid for the fashionable luxury resort casino, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. However, the property went to the Blackstone Group for an acquisition price of $1.73 billion.
Finally, in August of the same year, Crown Resorts saw another window of opportunity for Mr. Packer's long-hoped for Las Vegas addition, with the sale of the historical New Frontier site.