Harrah’s owns quite a few properties in the middle of the Las Vegas strip. Take a look at the “who owns what” map on Vegas Today & Tomorrow for a visual. There have been plenty of guesses over the past few years on what Harrah’s plans are now that they own most of the properties in the area.
Two years ago they decided that they wouldn’t implode any of the casinos to build a new mega-resort as they want to keep Caesars Palace as their top tier casino. Instead, Harrah’s plan is Project Link.
..the plan calls for a collection of about 20 restaurants and bars to be built along a winding corridor between the company’s O’Sheas and Flamingo casinos, on the east side of the Strip.
With a mix of “eclectic” and “mostly casual” restaurants and bars opening to the street, it’s an attempt to create the kind of entertainment district that has developed organically in cities such as Los Angeles, Memphis and New Orleans yet is lacking on the Strip, with its enclosed, casino-centric zones.
At the end of the 1,000-foot pedestrian walkway, Harrah’s wants to build a giant Ferris wheel similar to the London Eye and the Singapore Flyer. The wheel would tower about 600 feet, offering sweeping views, plush interiors and a slow ride.
This would cost less than tearing down and building up a new casino. It would also play to Harrah’s strong point, which is the middle class type of consumer. The cluster of stores and restaurants would allow Harrah’s to keep costomers close to their properties.
When I visit Las Vegas I like to treat myself above my usual means of living. So while this idea isn’t attractive to me, I can see this working. There are plenty of people that visit Las Vegas that would enjoy something like this and there are plenty of websites devoted to “cheap Las Vegas.” Again, this fits nicely into Harrah’s overall marketing.
It’s currently difficult to obtain financing for a lot of businesses and with the mountain of debt Harrah’s already has this idea probably won’t come to light any time too soon. A cynic would say this Las Vegas Sun article was floated out so Harrah’s can try to get the financing needed. By the time financing is found the idea may have passed it’s time.
Bottom line: This isn’t for me and I don’t see Harrah’s getting this project started or finished. Additionally, I don’t see a project with a ferris wheel as an anchor ever happening.