2020 Visions: A look at the future of the Las Vegas Strip

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — 8 News Now is looking forward in our month-long series, 2020 Visions. This week, we took a look at the future of the Las Vegas Strip and how a change in the industry could re-shape how the Las Vegas valley does business.

There are some changes coming to the Strip, some properties closing and others getting ready to open this year. The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino closed early February after 25 years.

The Virgin Hotel will take its place with a bunch of other players mixed in.

Virgin Hotels will replace the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

For those who watch Las Vegas’ gaming resort industry, this could be a test for the future.

“Their success could get a lot of other groups interested,” David Schwartz, a gaming historian and UNLV professor told 8 News Now.

The groups already here are MGM Resorts and Caesars. Independently, both companies recently agreed to sell several properties, including Bellagio, Rio, Circus Circus and MGM Grand.

“This is how a lot of companies are structuring themselves to focus more on management rather than land ownership,” Schwartz said.

Some big projects already under construction are the MSG Sphere by Sands, Resorts World and Circa. Resorts World is scheduled to open in 2021 on the North Strip while Circa is slated to open in Downtown later this year.

Rendering of the Sands’ MSG Sphere

“They show people have the confidence to invest in those two areas where a couple of years ago, you wouldn’t have seen it,” Schwartz said.

Despite the struggle to develop some still vacant and slow-moving projects, Schwartz says there is still money to be made in Las Vegas. It just might look different than before.

“As gaming becomes less important and less centered to an operation, if you can hire a gaming company to run the gaming, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t want to come in and try to build a hospitality brand,” Schwartz explained.

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