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May 4, 2015

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Developers plan amusement park, retail center on Las Vegas Strip

County Commission is scheduled to hear the proposal on March 2


Steve Marcus

Developers have proposed plans for an amusement park on this 9.6-acre site across from Mandalay Bay. The site is the location of the former Cloud Nine balloon, which closed late last year. Balloon operators were marking their inaugural flight in this Oct. 8, 2009, photo.


An amusement park is in the works on a site where another family-friendly attraction failed at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip.

Developers hope to build a recreational facility that would include amusement rides on a 9.6-acre site across from Mandalay Bay, according to plans filed with Clark County.

The proposal was submitted by Desert Land LLC and Desert Oasis Investments LLC, both of which are controlled by Las Vegas real estate developers David Gaffin and Howard Bulloch. Desert Land and Desert Oasis Investments are listed as owners of the site.

The plan calls for up to eight amusement rides, including a 500-foot Ferris wheel. In addition to rides, plans also include a 21,000-square-foot convention center and a 139,500-square-foot venue for retail, restaurants and offices.

Developers said in their proposal that the facility would be built in two phases, but didn't include a timeline for construction in their submitted plans.

The project's developers declined to comment on the plans until the Clark County Commission hears the proposal, which is scheduled for March 2.

The land for the proposed amusement park was used as the site for the Cloud Nine helium balloon ride, which closed late last year. The attraction was operated by Cloud Nine Entertainment with entrepreneur Kevin Michaels as CEO.

Cloud Nine opened in October 2009 as the world's largest helium-filled, land-tethered balloon, but was plagued with wind issues from the start.

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  1. If I want to take the kids on a vacation I take them to Disney. If I want some adult fun away from them I go to Vegas. Nuff said.

  2. I think this would be a decent idea. Another aspect to Vegas and something for the kids of Vegas to do.

    The part I am concerned about is including a 500-foot Ferris wheel next to the airport. We have seen these battles before about things that tall and the airport, rightfully always wins.

  3. What a lame idea, I go to Vegas for adult fun not to go to an amusement park. Vegas is about gambling, drinking, shopping, relaxation and gambling again. I am annoyed enough when I am sitting at the pool at the Flamingo and a kid splashes me. And for the people that bring your kids to the Vegas strip, what are you thinking?

  4. They should be submitting plans for a new water park.

  5. I have an idea: how about each casino building a similiar small park connected by the tram; like $10 for one park or $60 for all of the parks; each park would be different; 1 or 2 water based, a few built for speed, a few for the kids. This means that New York-NewYork, Sahara, Circus-Circus, Stratophere would all need to participate in the endevour. Feel free to pass this along(if successful, I retain my idea rights.)

  6. It didn't work when MGM put an amusement park on their property when they opened, what would possibly make the powers that be think it would work now ?!?!?!?!

  7. Nine Acres is a Carnival - Not an Amusement Park.

  8. I would rather see a real amusement park, a la six flags over near St. Rose and LVB. But Mr. Sanders has it right, we need a water park, not an amusement park.

  9. Amusement park rides + 110 degree heat + lots of junk food + kids (and adults) eating the junk food AND not being used to the intense heat = a lot of throwing up all over the place!

    A water park is a better idea.

  10. MGM circa 1994 redux?

  11. If they are serious then they are just a bunch of mooks, but dumb money does need a place to go. There must be a way to short that action.

  12. Why don't you guys who are bad-mouthing the proposed project invest some of your own money in your wacky ideas? You know the old saying: "Put your money where your mouth is." Won't happen 'cause folks like these guys are full of hot air, have no concept of what it takes to run a business and likely haven't got 2 dimes to rub together.

  13. det= water park opened half the year= BANKRUPT..
    freaking genius' know everything to do for Vegas. If you have been on the strip lately you will see kids everywhere. Its a good idea but has to be done partly indoor.

    Are you referring to the water park that was in Vegas, for what - 20+ years??? Was terribly sad when that closed down.

    Kids have been on the Strip for years (unfortunately) but that doesn't mean an Amusement Park will be a hit with the kids or their parents. It gets hot there. It would have to be an "inside" thing. I like the water park idea with an area for adults - let the kids run wild and let the parents relax and have some fun of their own. If they want to slide down that water slide with their kids - great; if not - let them have a cocktail and do some gambling. After all it IS Vegas and not any tourist spot in Florida.

    A lot of us "geniuses" know Vegas - either because we live there or once did.

    Better yet - leave the kids at home or go to Disneyland!

  14. Las Vegas = Adult Playgroud
    Disney World = Kids Playground

  15. The headlines say that the Casino Industry lost $2.5 billion last year, but there is plenty of money for new retail centers and amusement parks - and more casinos.

    Isn't this called "A STIMULUS PLAN". Stimulus plans are practiced by the wealthy when they want to develop their own wealth through minimum wage jobs for most.

    Stimulus spending is only bad when jobs above minimum wage are being created, which is why Republicans hate rail and high speed rail transportation. What they want are 10,000 retail shops and minimum wage employees with no benefits, not technology and real commerce.

  16. Have any of you ridden the London Eye in London? It is 443 feet high and provides an incredible view 360 degrees and 25 miles out. A Ferris wheel 500 feet high in the world entertainment capital would be awesome. Also, the cars in the London Eye are air conditioned. The stageing area for the ferris wheel here could be in an inside air conditioned venue, wherein that could be the retail/restaurant area. Knock off the pessimism and doomsday attitudes, posters! What great idea have you come up with lately?

  17. Also, the cars in the London Eye are air conditioned.


    Yeah, let's get stuck 500 ft up in the air when the temps are 115. AC won't do a damn thing even if you're up there for a few minutes while unloading/loading riders.

    Water Park! Water Park!! AND.....the locals would actually use it, not just tourists!!!

  18. Given the documents posted by Jon Ralston, in connection with the new sports arena proposal at UNLV, which described the FAA imposed height limitations near the airport, I wonder if a 500' tall ferris wheel would be allowed at this site by the FAA?

    I too agree with other posters that a water park is an amusement amenity far more desired by the parents and kids in this valley.

  19. "I wonder if a 500' tall ferris wheel would be allowed at this site by the FAA?" Seriously? Did you read this article at all or have it read to you??

    The site is the place where a balloon went up 500 feet in the air. Unless they changed the measurement, I am pretty sure it would be the same 500 feet.

    Get a grip, gambling is no longer the major attraction here as it once was. Kids and families are now a factor.

    I would bet that MGM is wishing they could open up an amusement park where their master planned fiasco happened. It would make a lot more money.

    Take out Vadara and harmon, slap up a water slide.

  20. To those who say that las vegas strickly is an adult playground, I did not realize that the thousands on kids livong in the las Vegas area wre not allowed on the strip. How foolish is this logic!!

  21. Although I live in WI, I'm form LV and come home often. Here in WI we have water-parks that operate all year and do just fine despite are heavy snow and freezing temperatures. You can build indoor/outdoor parks.

    Also being a formerly local I come to LV with my kids often and even when I don't come with them I never stay on the strip, I don't gamble or drink, it just happens to be where I was born as well as the prior 4 generations of my family.

    Sometimes people forget there is a segment of the city who do not use or have any affiliation with the casinos and only use the hotels to attend conventions and trade shows. Not everyone in the US need to be drunk or give money away to a casino to have a good time.

    I don't disagree that the location is a bad idea next to the airport but it seems the more the developers spread out the casinos and resorts the harder it will make it for the strip and downtown to vegas, the outlying resorts are underwhelming and I know people who come and stay at some of those places and leave disappointed, never to return.

    Keep the tourism on the strip and easy to get to, that includes development like amusement parks to draw in demographics who are not solely interested in getting drunk, laid, or robbed in a casino.