Those who have not been to Las Vegas in years and feared the city would be hit hard by the recession will be happy to know that things are alive and well there thanks to developers like billionaire Steve Wynn, who recently announced plans for a giant expansion project.
The new area being developed just east of The Wynn Las Vegas and Encore on 130 acres of space currently being occupied by a golf course has been titled “Paradise Park” and will feature a 130-acre man-made lagoon built for recreational activities along with a 1,000-room hotel, a casino, restaurants and meeting space.
The Paradise Park project is estimated to cost up to $1.6 billion, which is about the same amount the 74-year-old businessman needed to open The Bellagio back in 1998. At the time, The Bellagio was the most expensive hotel in the world, with its extravagant fountains set to music on an 8.5-acre lake located on the heart of the Strip at the southwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road.
The new lagoon would be the first of its kind, offering guests the opportunity to visit a white sand beach, boardwalk and island. Water skiing, paddle boarding and parasailing are just a few of the activities that Wynn envisions taking place during the day while the nightlife there would include a daily fireworks show rivaling that of the Disney resorts.
Wynn said that Paradise Park would charge an admission fee much like an adult theme park designed for those looking for more than typical Vegas gaming resorts. While Wynn certainly appreciates what gambling has done for the city, he also recognizes the need for more non-gambling business, which he has openly admitted brings in more revenue for him now.
Wynn does not care how visitors spend their money as long as they spend their money at his resorts, whether it be on gambling, dining or entertainment.
Shopping is another avenue Wynn hopes will bring in even more revenue with the addition of Wynn Plaza, a 75,500-square-foot luxury retail complex near his resorts on Las Vegas Boulevard. Wynn Plaza is expected to open during the fall of 2017.
Wynn is best known for bringing The Mirage to life in 1989, starting a boom of newer luxury hotel casinos up and down the Strip. Wynn later opened The Bellagio before his signature resort The Wynn Las Vegas was built at a cost of $2.7 billion in 2005.
The Mirage was financed for $630 million mainly using high-yield bonds and features an erupting volcano as an attraction to bring visitors to the property. Wynn then opened Treasure Island Hotel and Casino next door to The Mirage, opening it in 1993 at a cost of $450 million. Treasure Island was intended to be more of a family-themed resort with a free pirate show in front of the casino called the Battle of Buccaneer Bay.
The first Cirque du Soleil residency “Mystere” also was part of Wynn’s entertainment offerings at Treasure Island, with many more of the company’s shows soon following on the Strip.