It’s sure to be a party at the Thursday opening of Resorts World Las Vegas, the city’s newest casino complex. The new $4.3 billion resort will benefit from so-called “pent-up demand” and an overall feeling of post-Covid celebration in the city.
“Las Vegas is already showing strong signs of recovery, and we are so excited to be a part of the city’s revival,” said President and CEO Scott Sibella in a recent statement. “We hope to play a role in Las Vegas’s rebound after what has been an incredibly challenging year for the destination and greater hospitality industry.”
Hailed as the “most sophisticated, state-of-art casino in the world,” the 88-acre property is also one of the largest projects in Strip history. Its casino has 117,000 square feet of gaming space, more than 1,400 slot machines, 117 table games, a dedicated poker room and 30 poker tables, plus high-limit areas and a sportsbook. The resort has more than 40 restaurants and bars, a 5.5-acre pool complex, a 27,000-square-foot spa, a 5,000-capacity theater and 250,000 square feet of meeting space. It also offers three Hilton hotels, with a total of 3,500 rooms, including the ultra-luxury brand Crockford’s. With 130 million people in the Hilton Honors program, the name is expected to drive visitation to the property.
Its 70,000-square-foot retail quarter has gotten a lot of attention, too. In addition to outlets by Fred Segal and Hervé Léger, there’s the Kardashian Kloset, a pop-up boutique and the first brick-and-mortar iteration of an e-commerce site. The store sells castoff apparel from members of the reality TV family, and has 1.5 million Instagram followers.
Resorts World Las Vegas was built on a North Strip site occupied for decades by the Stardust Casino, known for its iconic Jetsons-style sign, topless showgirls, mob influence and later, headliners like Wayne Newtown and Siegfried and Roy. In 2007, owner Boyd Gaming demolished the Stardust to make way for a multibillion-dollar casino hotel it planned to call Echelon. But that project was tabled in 2008 due to the Great Recession.
Enter the Genting Group. In 2013, the Malaysia-based resort conglomerate bought the parcel for $330 million and announced plans for an elaborate Asia-themed destination, complete with giant hanging lanterns, a Great Wall replica and a live panda exhibit. Luckily, that heavy-handed theming was ditched; the new resort has a more streamlined aesthetic; its 59-story curved red tower should become the Strip’s newest landmark.
Resorts World has already attracted a host of A-list entertainers including Celine Dion, Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan, all of whom are already booked there. Miley Cyrus will perform at the official grand opening on July 4 in a concert that will be broadcast on the skyscraper’s 100,000-square-foot exterior LED screen.
In addition to the post-Covid relief that pervades Las Vegas right now, a lot of people will show up just to “see the shiniest new property on the Strip,” Truist Securities analyst Barry Jonas told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Alan Feldman of UNLV’s International Gaming Institute agreed, saying, “New resorts have almost always expanded the market and brought new visitors.” In Feldman’s view, “all the stars are aligning” for Resorts World, which could bring in more tourism overall, mean higher room rates across the market and spark further development along the once-neglected North Strip corridor.
Genting could also draw its share of Asian visitors as international travel resumes; the company also operates Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore and is in the running for a gaming license in Japan.
As the city’s newest property, Resorts World will offer all the newest gadgetry expected by today’s consumers—and some they may not expect. Among them are:
- The Resorts World Mobile App, developed by Sightline Payments unit Joingo. With the app, guests can pay for everything—gaming, entertainment, hotel—from their hand-held devices, plus check their rewards, get offers and stay connected to all the resort’s amenities. “Resorts World Las Vegas will spotlight the impact that payments innovations can have on the integrated casino resort to the entire gaming industry,” said Joe Pappano, CEO of Sightline Payments.
- Digital login and cashless wagering at both slots and table games, all managed through Konami Gaming’s Synkros system. Tom Jingoli, executive vice president and COO at Konami, said the resort will “reinvent the hospitality experience in Las Vegas by bringing seamless interaction, leading-edge convenience, personalized engagement and catered service to every guest touchpoint.”
- “Smart Tables,” which use RFID-embedded chips for every dollar denomination to provide 100 percent accuracy of guests’ gaming activity, plus Perfect Pay at baccarat tables and ticket-in-ticket-out at the tables.
According to a news release from Resorts World, the poker room will offer “an elevated and technologically advanced gaming experience for individual and tournament play.” And sports fans can bet “in a unique environment with live entertainment and delicious pub fare at Dawg House Saloon & Sportsbook.” IGT PlaySports technology will power the retail sportsbook and its state-wide mobile betting app.
The casino hotel will also be the first in the city to accept cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin through a partnership with cryptocurrency exchange Gemini. The state of Nevada doesn’t permit the use of cryptocurrencies to for gaming, but it can be exchanged onsite for cash.
“I think Resorts World’s opening continues to highlight the rebirth of the Las Vegas Strip,” Brendan Bussmann, a partner with Global Market Advisors told the Review-Journal. “It shows its versatility and ability to adapt in times of crisis and make itself better down the road.”
“We need as many reasons as possible to tell people to come to Las Vegas,” added Josh Swissman, founder of the Strategy Organization. “I think this is going to be a big, bright, and shiny reason that will drive people to come to Las Vegas, particularly in the summer, but also throughout the rest of this year.”