There's a lot of hype surrounding the opening of Las Vegas' newest casino on the Las Vegas Strip in over a decade. But there are concerns that opening another Casino will soften demand while the existing casinos are already struggling. Adding 3,500 rooms to the Strip is a great idea. But the Circa Las Vegas All Adult Hotel & Casino just opened in Downtown Las Vegas in December of 2020. They are squeaking by. As a side note, the Las Vegas Strip is not in Las Vegas. That’s why they keep saying this is the first casino to open in a over decade. The Las Vegas Strip is in Paradise, Nevada. This is the first casino to open in a decade on the Las Vegas Strip.
1. Location Location Location
The Jedi know that the Resorts World is located on 87 acres of the "deadest" part of the Las Vegas Strip. There is no foot traffic. That part of the strip is a long, vast, 2 mile stretch of a 6 lane highway to connect the Northern edge of the Strip to Downtown Las Vegas. The Jedi know this because we walk the streets, take Ubers and busses. Resorts World was founded by Lim Goh Tong. Lim Got Tong was once the wealthiest man in Malaysia. His net worth was $4.2 billion, about the cost of the Resorts World Las Vegas. I would imagine that Mr. Goh Tong's representatives were chauffeured in limousines to the site by the sellers instead of walking around 87 acres of hot arid desert.
What Mr. Goh Tong did not know was that this part of the strip is surrounded by dead projects: the Lucky Dragon, the Fountaine Bleu, The Drew, the SLS and others have tried and failed on this part of the strip. This is not the "High end” of the strip. Wynn & Encore saw a rare success. But that was Steve Wynn. And Steve Wynn is now gone. And Resorts World is even further down the strip than the Encore. No one will walk there. They might drive there but there had better be free parking.
The Resorts World Las Vegas is right next door to Circus Circus, the cheapest rooms on the strip. Circus Circus rooms on June 24th, 2021 are $54. They got a nice rate increase because people are staying at the Circus this weekend to check out the Resorts World. Next week, Circus Circus rates go back to $30 plus resort fees.
Several casinos have failed in the location. Resorts World hopes to buck the trend by hiring elaborate artists to entertain their cruise line guests. The hopes that a big, red casino will attract people will have to see. But for now, this location is a big Chinese red flag.
2. Resorts World did not hire any Black artists for entertainment
Las Vegas has become a popular destination for the Black and Hispanic communities. This is important to note because Resorts World made a deliberate attempt to send a message to the Black & Latin communities with their entertainment choices: Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion, Tiesto, Zedd, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus are all white. They did not pick one Black DJ or Black artist. They did not choose to bring back J. Balvin or Pitbull to Las Vegas. Yes, the message is loud and clear: Resorts World Entertainment is for White People only. Thats not me saying this; that's Katy Perry & Carrie Underwood's demographic. I have to ask, what's wrong with a little DJ Mustard one night a month?
3. Resorts World Did Not "Step Out of the Box"
Genting did not invent anything new. They brought in old style hoteliers - The Hilton. Hilton already has tried several times to bring their properties to Las Vegas. There is a Hilton right down the street for the conventions. Crockfords & The Conrad are upscaled versions of the Hilton brand.
However, Circa, on the other hand, opened in December 2020 as Las Vegas' First & Only Adults-Only casino. That a new kind of casino Vegas has not seen since the 1980s. Recently, Las Vegas has been overrun with families bringing their children to Las Vegas. Kids running around changes the vibe in any establishment. No one feels like gambling, having sex or getting wasted when you see a baby in a stroller.
Circa came up with another great concept: Stadium Swim. The cocktail waitresses, can dress sexy, because the hockey moms aren't there to complain. Those hockey moms will be at Resorts World using their Hilton Honors Vacation points.
The idea about Las Vegas was that you get to leave your kids at home so that you could enjoy some adult time with your partner or spouse in an adult playground. My parents would drop me off at Grandma and Grandpa's and dad would say, "you can go when go when you're 21 and I'll buy your first lap dance." But this new crowd insists on bringing their entire family, their children, their dogs and even Grandma & Grandpa everywhere they go. Think National Lampoon's Vacation meets the modern Beverly Hillbillies. Strap Aunt Edna on the roof.
4. Trumper vs. the Chinese
The Bright Red Chinese theme may or may not bode well with Republicans & conservatives who believe the China was behind the pandemic. Even if you are not a conspiracy theorist, many people in America and especially Las Vegans, do not agree with communism. The Chinese themed resorts sits right across the street from Donald Trump's infamous Trump Hotels & Resorts, Sheldon Adelson's Venetian, and Steve Wynn's Encore and Wynn Resorts.
Genting copied Steve Wynn's colors, arc and design to make the public and investors believe they were connected with Steve Wynn. Steve Wynn had to get a restraining order against Genting because they would not cease and desist. They showed renderings that did not match what was actually taking place. The Jedi figured this was an attempt to fool foreign investors into thinking Steve Wynn was a partner when in fact Steve Wynn is a competitor. They finally conceded and changed their design when a Nevada judge threatened to halt their construction.
5. While other Casinos are figuring ways to lower rates, RW is spending more to increase rates
The strategy of Resorts World is to attract whales and table players. At the same time, one exec said they plan on making 75% of their revenue from non-gaming amenities. Which for the life of the Jedi, we cannot figure out what the hell that means. But we can assume they are going for the restaurant and family crowd. What else do people buy in Vegas if not gambling? Food.
It is clear to the Jedi that the Resorts World is living in their Own Private Idaho. The market for Las Vegas is moving downstream. The days of excess and opulence are being replaced with frugality and minimalism. Wasting massive amounts of money, food and water to have fun in a desert seems archaic today. The Jedi are saying, enjoy Vegas, but responsibly (and economically). Their plan is to bring in Paris Hilton, Nikki & Kim Kardashian to show their fans what the high life is like; eating donuts in sweats.
6. Entertainment: They hired the same crew that tanked KAOS and ultimately the Palms
KAOS was touted as the largest nightclub ever in Las Vegas. They signed a deal with DJ Marshmello for $60 million. Cardi B was headlining. The problem? Embezzlement. These are not the exact same people who got caught embezzling but they worked with them.
7. Timing : No Clubs, No Conventions
There are no conventions happening. The Theatre, the Nightclub and the Spa are not finished. They must be rushing the opening because they need cash to finish the project. Genting stopped paying creditors during the pandemic. Genting's cruise line business suffered greatly. The Theatre is expected to open November 5th, 2021. No word when Zouk will be open.
Coincidentally, Resorts World was scheduled to originally open in October 2017. But now they are increasing supply when demand its already low for the existing casinos. They are touting resident DJs but they have no date for their Nightclub.
8. Opening before being finished
The Resorts World is scheduled to open TODAY but they admitted that absolutely nothing is ready. The Theatre, the Spa and the Zouk nightclub are planning to be opened by the end of the year. It is clear that Genting must have run out of money. They needed to open to bring in fresh cash. The fresh cash will be used to finance the completion of the unfinished projects.
This is exactly what happened when Foutaine Bleu tried to build their casino right across the street. Fortunately, Resorts World received last minute funding from the Chinese investors in May 2019 for about $1.1 billion. The Foutaine Bleu never received additional investment and sits as an empty fully completed building. Each year that goes by, the building deteriorates further.
But what will Resorts World guests & customers be saying in 2021? Will they have the same experience when the casino is finished in 2022? They may get a boost from these entertainment shows but guests will not return if they were not satisfied.
The Jedi personally prefer the Circa and the Stadium Swim. Thats a refreshingly new concept. This is just another casino with a huge food court.
9. Genting has lied, been shady, they threatened to sue the JEDI and they fired an inspector for no reason
Vegas is all about Karma. Genting has sent out a a lot bad karma during this project.
It should be a red flag to any investor seeking to make money from an organization which flippantly wastes money chasing down frivolous lawsuits. Either this company is run by their General Counsel or they are so scared that someone will report the truth that they will got any means to silence a couple of bloggers. Even the Jedi.
An inspector invited us on a tour of the property. When corporate saw our posts online, they contacted the inspector. They told him he must have us remove our blog or they will sue the Jedi. WE really dint care but hen they threatened to fire the inspector. We complied. They fired the inspector anyways. That's not fair. That's un-American.
Oh excuse, me. Did I offend you? How about the time Genting copied Steve Wynn's color design to a tee? Why would they do that? Because Genting are a bunch of copy cat scam artists that bring no new ideas to Las Vegas. They just regurgitate what they've seen. They cannot create anything or design anything. An asian theme is hardy creative. No they say its got no theme. Anyways, Wynn sued and they changed Resorts World changed their colors to commie red.
10. Kids, Weed, Smoking and Parking
Genting is pushing for a more non smoking establishment. They will only allow smoking in the casino. This is great for people that do not want to deal with second hand smoke. The Jedi do not like cigarette smoke and do not smoke cigarettes, but we are all for individual's freedoms. Las Vegas is a place where people can let go and do vices that they might not even do at home. The Chinese culture is very strong in smoking and gambling.
Studies were taken in Las Vegas, that proved that the asian community especially the Chinese would not go to a casino that did not allow smoking. That is why Resort World reluctantly allowed smoking in the casino. They did not want to turn away the one demographic they were shooting for over smoking. The reason why I bring this up, is there is a huge push against marijuana smoking in the casinos.
Resort World will not allow smoking of marijuana and a lot of other casinos have the same policy, because of Racism. There is no other reason. They can adjust for the smoke like they do in the casinos. The reason why they are banning smoking rooms is to try to stop marijuana consumption. They believe the black community is the biggest consumers of marijuana. So they believe. Obviously they have not met the Jedi.
The big problem is marijuana is legal in Las Vegas. Smoking is legal in Las Vegas, but smoking of marijuana in casinos like Resort World is illegal. A visitor can buy legal weed in Las Vegas but have no legal place to consume it. This is another example where instead of stepping out of the box and allowing smoking they went more restrictive to crack down on all violators. Sounding like China Much?!?
The push against weed and the encouragement of kid friendly Vegas is single handling destroying Sin City. The introduction of a kiddie pool and kid fountain does not help either. Oh yes, Resort World did that.
Every casino in Las Vegas has a gimmick, a theme, or a reason that separates them from the rest of the casinos. Resorts World has nothing other than the Chinese theme.
The Jedi have been photo documenting this project since they announced they were planning on opening in October of 2017.
Jedi Rich Lightowler changed his life after 9/11 to follow his passion for modeling, art, photography, music, video and filmmaking.
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*NOTICE: Ideas and opinions are meant to provoke and initiate conversation