Serious construction has taken over the Strip in the past year as contractors compete with the top hotels in the country for business and tourism and the $30 billion price tag makes CityCenter, Echelon and Fontainebleau are some of the most expensive projects in recent history as well as the most controversial. Between the safety violations and pressure to work quicker, about a dozen deaths have resulted in 19 months making these projects more deadly than the Strip’s construction boom in the1990s. The Las Vegas Sun captured the controversy in a multimedia presentation that explains the deaths, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s concerns and the cost of expansion on the Strip.
MGM Mirage’s CityCenter by the numbers will devote 500,000 square feet to shopping, restaurants and entertainment venues, 7,400 hotel rooms and employ 12,000 people. The mammoth towers sit on 76 acres and trump Las Vegas’ skyline with Aria at 7.5 million square feet its biggest. The six towers of CityCenter are slated to open simultaneously in 2009 at the site adjacent to the Bellagio with a price of approximately $9.2 billion.
At the site of the former Stardust Casino, Boyd Gaming Corp. is deep into the construction of its newest and biggest resort: Echelon. Ground was broken on the 87-acre, $4.8 billion project in 2007. Plans call for a casino, five hotels, shopping, a 750,000 square foot convention center and a 4,000-seat production theater. The project is expected to be completed in 2010.
Expected to open sometime in 2009, the Fontainebleau is the $3 billon project from Turnberry Associates and former Mandalay Resort Group President and Chief Financial Officer Glenn Schaeffer. Located between the Saraha and Riviera, the main high-rise buildings will be on of the Strip’s tallest at 725 feet tall with 2,929 rooms and 959 condos.