A years-delayed multibillion-dollar casino-resort project on the Las Vegas Strip that would cater to the city's Chinese and Chinese-American tourists announced Wednesday that it is pushing back its opening date by another year to 2020.
The new delay is the result of an overhaul of the original design meant to attract younger gamblers, said Edward Farrell, the veteran casino industry executive leading the $4 billion, 3,000-room Resorts World Las Vegas project.
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The plans of Malaysia-based Genting Group for the site on the Strip's northern end include a 100,000-square-foot (9,300-square-meter) casino, dining options of authentic Asian cuisine and retail space.
"The initial drawing had a lot of traditional, older Chinese architecture and elements that were within it," said Farrell, whose appointment was announced Wednesday. "The company has really taken a look at the market in Las Vegas throughout the past couple of years, and it has really shifted to something that's much more modern."
He described the new design as "much more Shanghai than maybe Beijing, with technology and a modern looking feel."
Genting Group owns resort-casinos around the world and bought the Las Vegas property in 2013 from Boyd Gaming for $350 million. Boyd had started building a hotel complex on the site of the former Stardust casino when the recession hit, leaving the steel-and-concrete skeleton of the project standing dormant.
The original opening date for Resorts World Las Vegas was 2016, but the developer and the top-elected official in Clark County, where the property is located, said they are confident the project will be finished.
"There were a lot of stops and starts with this project, some redesigns, but from the dialogue we had this morning, I'm very convinced that they've got a plan moving forward, and they are committed to a specific timeframe," said Clark County commission chairman Steve Sisolak.
Farrell said the company has a list of finalists of potential contractors based in Las Vegas with experience building large Strip resorts.
Construction activity should start within months with the installation of tower cranes to start work on the casino structure and the hotel towers. A 3,000-space parking building has already been completed.
The design changes came as Las Vegas resort companies make changes to their properties in an attempt to lure more young gamblers with money to spend.
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