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Echelon Hosed

By Chuckmonster on Saturday, 31st October 2009 2:53am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 13


Echelon Forked

A coupla months ago, I got a bug up my arse hoping that Boyd Gaming might turn the lights back on at the Echelon construction site. For those who don't know, Echelon is the steel and concrete frame sitting dormant where the Stardust used to be.

Just about everyone I flung the Echelon Rebooted idea at responded with semi-bemused wrinkle face or its audiological equivalent (re: VegasGang).

Echelon's owner, Boyd Gaming released their 3rd quarter earnings this week and with it the news that Echelon will be mothballed for at least three years.

We continue to believe in the long-term viability of the Las Vegas market. But given the ongoing weak economic conditions, the significant new supply coming online and a difficult capital market environment for projects of this nature, resuming construction in the near term is not an option. We remain committed to having a significant presence on the Las Vegas Strip as part of our long-term growth strategy and we continue to view this site as a major strategic asset.

Sure, ok, they wanna use that money buy out Station Casinos, their major competitor in the locals casino niche. But the statement on Echelon continues... and here's the money shot, read carefully:

We will use the time this ongoing suspension creates to ensure that the project that is ultimately built is appropriately positioned and competitive in the marketplace.

That, my dear Vegas loving friends, is the sound of Boyd Gaming sticking a fork in Echelon. Or at the very least, the Echelon we barely know and sorta love.


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Comments & Discussion:

I really hope that by the time Echelon gets off the ground it will switch it's focus from being a bland, overpriced, CityCenter clone and get reinvented as a fun, affordable, non-condo resort.

If memory servies I'm pretty sure that the Echelon site never mentioned anything about condos. But yeah, a real shame. I thought it looked like something special.

It looked like every other hotel they're putting out there right now. Huge hotel with a gazillion rooms, a pool that is way to small for the # of people staying at the hotel, an upscale shopping esplanade (seriously, do we need another one of those? How many D&G, Chanel, etc. do we need), 5 star restaurants from the same people that have their name on every other 5 star restaurant on the Strip.
It had no personality. Just like everything else that's going out there. Every idea they're pitching out there is just ideas taken from an IKEA catalog with some foreign "ultra modern celebrity architect" overseeing the whole thing.
Look at CityCenter. How long did it take to think up "Some choppy ass building out front for a mall, we'll wad up some kayaks and throw them over here and call it art, then we'll make a bunch of swimming pools look like tear drops. Bonsai garden? Vegas needs one! We'll throw that in too. It's so many random things that we'll all make work and people will love it!"

How I would love to be a fly on the wall at some of these board meetings. Sorry for the rant, I'm coming off a really weird trip and need to go get something to eat.

Right now Echelon is a roting carcass and nothing more than a 'see-through' structure. For this they torn down two working hotels and casinos (Stardust and Westward HO) and moved a McDonalds. Lots of money wasted and no income coming back for at least 5-7 years.

When you get your Boyd stock proxy remember to reelect the brilliant Board Of Directors that approved this clusterf_ck.

I stayed at the Stardust 3 years ago today- Halloween '06- as they closed it, then imploded it......

It still pisses me off that Boyd destroyed one of my favorite hotels for absolutely NOTHING!

I bet they wish they still had a working hotel on the site instead of a dirt lot.

The Westward Ho really cannot fairly be lumped in with the Stardust. By the time Boyd Gaming made the swap with Harrah's for that land, the Westward Ho had been closed for nearly a year and the site already razed. Centex sold the land to Harrah's after canceling their planned condo project (which also included the oft-proposed but yet to be built Voyager Wheel). The ink on that deal was barely dry when Harrah's flipped it to Boyd for the Barbary Coast. Blaming the closure of the Westward Ho on Boyd Gaming would be misplacing the blame.

Boyd should Buy Riviera for $300 mil. This gives them a presence on the Strip for the least outlay and fits nicely with their current customer base (no snark intended). This would reduce the image hit they took for closing Stardust. I also feel that the Rviera is a solid property that is missing just one thing-customers!
Money wil be always availabe for the StarDust 21 complex. The "Synergistic, MId-Century to New-Century resort for The Strip. A forward moving Casino that also retains the glory of the best time in Las Vegas' and America's history!"
This is after they buy everyting they can squeeze out of the Station bsnkruptcy.

I am not a structural engineer or such, but I can't imagine that the unfinished Echelon structure being exposed to the weather for 4-6 years would be good for it. I certainly wouldn't want to stay in a hotel that left the foundation and first few floors exposed like that. Imagine the rebar and structural steel rust.

Chuck, why don't you start an over under pool on when Boyd is going to have to knock down the existing Echelon structure and redo it when they are ready to actually build Echelon 2.0.

So, RockChickX51-lady, what other resort building in Vegas looks like CityCenter? What other retail center looks like Crystals? I'm just saying because you said it's like the other ideas being thrown out there.

I personally haven't seen any other buildings in Vegas that lean five degrees. Nor have I seen any of the hotels contain a sky lobby. I mean, it might be totally off-base, but I didn't see anything other than the density of the structures that made CityCenter and Echelon look similiar.

If you don't like modern design, you're going to have to go back a few decades. Sad fact is is that modern design exudes luxury and service to people these days, not to mention 'hipness'.

And if the canoes aren't your cup of tea, so be it. They already get credit from me for trying something other than a water feature.

I meant the whole "ultra modern" vibe. I like the ultra moderny stuff, but not when they're proposing it go in every new hotel that gets built out there. The City Center thing is unique....for right now. I'm talking about in the future all of the other new hotels that get built are going to follow suit and all be ultra modern clones and it'll be like going in the same hotel/casino over and over again. Times are changing I understand this. But when every hotel in the future all look like skyscrapers the uniqueness of the Strip will be gone because they will all look the same, glass front buildings a hundred stories tall. I'm not going to keep trying to explain myself.

Call me old-fashioned, but I just don't find sky lobbies that exciting.

i think the best execution of the "neighborhood" concept is currently done on cruise ships. if you look at the new "oasis of the seas" by royal caribbean it's their main thing.
a cruise ship is a confined space and the only way to cater to different tastes is by segmenting the available space.
if you look at it from a casino executives point, a resort should be the same. cater to different crowds, so no one needs to leave the premises.
so the segmentation makes perfect sense to me.

@robbienomi..... unless the lobby is truly in the sky then that would be exciting ;)

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