New plans for the old site of the New Frontier - 8 News NOW

New plans for the old site of the New Frontier

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LAS VEGAS -- The last major casino leveled in a dramatic Las Vegas-style implosion was the New Frontier.

More than 1,000 pounds of dynamite turned the 65-year-old casino to a pile of rubble in November 2007.

A luxury hotel was supposed to open on the site three years ago, but the recession changed those plans.

This 35-acre site on the Las Vegas Strip is nothing more than an old, fenced, littered parking lot full of weeds. Now, the prime real estate won't be empty anymore.

A brand new resort company has major plans for it. The venture involves two main players. Australian gaming giant Crown Resorts, run by billionaire James Packer and Andrew Pascal, the former president of Wynn Resorts.

In the seven years since the implosion, grand plans for the New Frontier faded away, just like the historic property did.

Out of the ashes of the old hotel, which was the second hotel-casino built on the Las Vegas Strip, was supposed to rise something high-end, The Plaza, just like the iconic hotel in New York, but that never happened. The Great Recession came, Las Vegas' winning streak was over, and all of the development stopped until now.

Australian company Crown Resorts and former Wynn Las Vegas president Andrew Pascal have teamed up to form a new resort company with plans for the New Frontier site.

Crown chairman James Packer said, "As we have built Crown Resorts into a thriving international company with successful casino ventures in Australia, Macau and London, we've always kept our eye on Las Vegas."

"I think this announcement shows that the north Strip is where a lot of the action is going to be happening," director of UNLV Center for Gaming Research Dave Schwartz said, "I think this is a very good chance of happening. They've got Andrew Pascal involved, and he's a very savvy executive with a great history and a great track record."

As for the businessman who made $1.2 billion selling the New Frontier before the boom went bust, Phil Ruffin says he is happy with the move.

"We couldn't be more pleased. I think it will help the whole Strip. Packer has a lot of money, and they're very experienced. So, I think it's a good thing, a very good thing," Ruffin said.

Part of the ever-changing landscape of Las Vegas, this new project is scheduled to break ground next year and open in 2018.

Meantime, SLS Las Vegas opens in 19 days at the old Sahara hotel-casino.

Resorts World plans to transform the old Stardust site by 2017.

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