Genting Group’s announcement of the Resorts World Las Vegas sparked renewed enthusiasm for construction and tourism in the Las Vegas valley. Completion of the partially constructed Echelon site will not only put thousands of construction workers back to work, but may come to be viewed as a bookend to the longest and deepest economic downturn in Nevada’s modern history. Ironically, Boyd Gaming’s stoppage of the $4.0-billion Echelon project in August 2008 was on the leading edge of that same economic downturn.

Excitement surrounding the Resorts World announcement notwithstanding, questions remain whether the tourism industry has recovered enough to support such a large-scale investment. Current reports suggest Genting Group will spend between $2.0 and $7.0 billion on the project that will open in 2016. In addition to this project, SLS Las Vegas (the former Sahara Hotel Casino) plans to add 1,600 rooms to the Strip, in addition to the 1,852 rooms the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says are planned for the area through 2014. Add to this the 3,500 rooms destined for the Resorts World project, and there could be 7,000 hotel rooms added to the market by the end of 2016. This represents an increase of 4.6 percent over current hotel room inventory.

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