James Packer To Bring A New Level Of Luxury To Las Vegas

The Bank Casino Oceans 13
The Bank

In Ocean’s 13 Willie Bank wanted to have the most fabulous casino that Las Vegas has ever seen. He wanted a higher form of luxury than any other hotel offered. From early interviews it seems as though James Packer and Crown Holdings might have the same idea for the hotel and casino to be built on land where the New Frontier once stood across the street from Wynn.

No specific plans have been announced for the hotel (not even a name) but everything in this interview with Australian Financial Review can easily lead you to believe this new casino and hotel will be top of the line luxury.

Andrew Pascal says a Crown Resorts-backed development in the gambling city will draw new Asian punters and deliver a luxury experience that will not be matched by incumbent players – including his old employer.

Pascal’s former employer was Wynn so he knows a thing or two about luxury in Las Vegas. The focus on Asian customers is a direct shot at Wynn’s customer base.

Wynn typically has the second highest room rates in Las Vegas and Wynn is also among most profiable casinos on the Vegas Strip. It will be interesting to see if Crown can build a property that suits their high end international customers.

“Crown’s executive vice-president, strategy and design, Todd Nisbet, said there was “room for improvement” in the delivery of luxury casino resorts in Vegas..”

Wait, more shots fired at Wynn and the other luxury properties in Las Vegas. Crown and Wynn have two of the three Five-Star hotels in Macau and Crown plans on bringing that Asian luxury to America.

“We think we get luxury, we think we get service and we intend to cap­italise on that and bring that sense of hospitality to Vegas, with an Asian ­sensibility,” he (Todd Nisbet) said.

Resorts World Las Vegas is being planned as a family oriented property. SLS Las Vegas will be “affordable luxury” (read as cheap but nice). It will be nice to have another luxury hotel and casino in Las Vegas. I’m looking forward to seeing detailed plans on what Crown, Packer and Pascal have in store for this hotel.

Ocean’s 13 is a great movie. It’s on TV often but if you want it on DVD you can grab it for under $7 at Amazon.

Photo: Monorails.org

Scientologist Moves From Cosmopolitan To North End Of Vegas Strip

The Frontier And Encore Las Vegas
The Frontier

Almost a year ago it was rumored that James Packer would be buying the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Like many rumors in Las Vegas that turned out not to be true in the end. Packer might have been sniffing around Cosmo but didn’t end up making the purchase. Earlier this year the Cosmopolitan was sold to Blackstone.

Last week rumor had it that James Packer wasn’t done with Las Vegas when Bloomberg reported that James Packer is seeking a return to Las Vegas. Late last night and this morning those rumors were confirmed as James Packer purchased the land across the street from Wynn and  Wynn and Encore.

Australian billionaire James Packer said he has acquired controlling interest in a nearly 35-acre Strip land parcel and will form a company to build a hotel-casino on the site with former Wynn Las Vegas President Andrew Pascal and investment firm Oaktree Capital Management.

James Packer and Crown Resorts have a pretty bad history in Las Vegas. If he was making this plan alone I wouldn’t think that this new development on the New Frontier land would actually happen. His partnership with Andrew Pascal says that development is possible. Pascal was previously President at Wynn and is very respected in the casino community.

Details on what the property haven’t been released yet but they’re looking at a potential opening as soon as 2018. With the former president of Wynn involved it’s easy to guess the property will have good and fair gaming and will target a more upscale customer than average.

I’d love to see more development on the north end of the Vegas Strip but, like SLS Las Vegas, I’ll believe it when I see it. I look forward to seeing what comes from this. The more casinos on the Vegas Strip the merrier!

Like I said last time I wrote about him, I don’t care that James Packer is a scientologist it just makes for a fun headline and makes me giggle.

Photo: Vegas Chatter

BOOM: New Frontier Implosion

In light of the pending implosion of The Harmon, Vegas Inc. decided to list the Top 10 Vegas Strip Hotel implosions. I love implosions and figured this was a good excuse to visit the youtube archives.

For the next couple of weeks I’ll grab video of these 10 Las Vegas Strip Hotel implosions. We’ll start with #10 on the list – New Frontier.

Opened: Oct. 30, 1942

Closed: July 16, 2007

Imploded: Nov. 13, 2007

When the New Frontier met its demise in 2007, it was one of the few remaining Strip hotels to have witnessed the transformation of a portion of Highway 91 into one of the most famous streets in the world.

The property began as the Pair O’ Dice club in 1930, built by British theater owner R.E. Griffith, the second property on what is now the Strip. It underwent several transformations and saw many owners, including Steve Wynn, who had a small stake in the operation when he first started out in the city.

In 1942, the Pair O’ Dice was remodeled into the Western-themed Last Frontier, becoming one of the Strip’s first themed casinos. After a renovation, the casino was renamed the New Frontier in April 1955. Billionaire Howard Hughes purchased the property for about $14 million in 1967 and the Western theme was dropped, along with part of its name, becoming simply The Frontier. In 1999, after a few more changes in ownership, the name was changed back to the New Frontier.

As the era of the megaresorts ushered in an evolution on the Strip, the New Frontier took on a different role. It was sought out not as a Las Vegas destination but as a hotel that offered cheap room rates the newer attractions. Its glory days as a classy establishment that hosted Elvis Presley’s first Las Vegas performance, as well as the final performance of Diana Ross and the Supremes, were quickly forgotten. It became a place known mainly for its mechanical bull, often ridden by bikini-clad women, inside the Gilley’s cowboy bar.

The 16-story New Frontier was imploded just after 2:30 a.m. Nov. 13, 2007.

Destroyed In Seconds
Destroyed In Seconds