Monday, May 24, 2010

Echelon Place, Las Vegas

Echelon, Las Vegas

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A few photos of the unfinished -- perhaps never to be finished -- Echelon Place complex, on the north end of the Strip in Las Vegas. The Echelon was designed to compete with MGM's ginormous CityCenter complex further down the Strip, and the architectural renderings suggest it would be quite the modern ultra-swanky place, if only the nearly $5 billion price tag (and the end of the real estate bubble) hadn't interfered with the grand dream. Shame about the dumb name though; the complex was supposed to consist of a central casino-hotel surrounded by an "echelon" of trendy luxury boutique hotels (although Las Vegas is probably the only city on Earth where a 500 room hotel counts as "boutique"). This was more or less a clone of the CityCenter concept, except without the deep pockets and first mover's advantage. CityCenter opened in December 2009 and is the glitzy newest new thing in Vegas right now, but it's also saddled with a ridiculous amount of construction debt to pay off. So maybe it'll turn out to have been a good bet, and maybe it won't. It appears there was room for somewhere between zero and one CityCenter-style complexes, and Echelon was the second.

Echelon, Las Vegas

This site was previously occupied by the Stardust Casino, which was imploded in 2007 to make way for the Echelon. Construction began, but halted in August 2008 when the developer (Boyd Gaming Corp.) "delayed" the project. Construction was supposed to resume around the end of 2009. Then, last November, they announced a further 3 year delay, to no earlier than 2012. The very latest info I've seen is that the owners are profitable again, but their earnings release neglects to mention anything about the (mumble, mumble) Echelon. Meanwhile, rumor has it that the also mothballed, but much more complete Fontainebleau Las Vegas just north of here won't open until around 2015. So the Echelon may sit abandoned like this for a very long time.

On the other hand the Echelon's website is still up, so you can still go check out how sleek and fancy things might have been, if only the irrational exuberance had continued for another year or two...

Echelon, Las Vegas

Echelon, Las Vegas

1 comment :

Audree said...

Great! thanks for sharing the link that leads to the site of the Echelon Place. It would really be a big help. Thanks.


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