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The 3rd Annual 'Is This The Year Echelon Restarts?' Post

By Chuckmonster on Thursday, 21st April 2011 5:27am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 16



All this yapping about the north end of the strip has given me a case of Echelonitis. Can anybody suggest a good saave? I decided to do a little snooping to see if Boyd Gaming has made any changes to their messaging.

What I found is that the original Echelon website, located at http://www.echelonresort.com, no longer resolves but the domain is still being renewed. In fact, the only official looking piece of Echelonology emanating from the entire Boyd canon is this blurb, found under their 'destinations' section.

Boyd Gaming has built a strong reputation for delivering great service and tremendous value, both in Las Vegas and across the country. As one of America's most successful gaming companies, a Las Vegas Strip property is a logical addition to our portfolio of properties. With that in mind, in 2006 Boyd Gaming began developing Echelon.

In recognition of difficult national economic conditions, however, the project was suspended in 2008. We remain committed to having a significant presence on the Las Vegas Strip, and anticipate resuming development in three to five years.

2008, 2009, 2010, 2011... barring armageddon, could 2012 be the year that Echelon is released from The Great Recession Prison for good behavior?


Tagged: boyd gaming   echelon   


Comments & Discussion:

I'm hopeful too, while I think there is no doubt we will see a vastly changed project, I do hope it gets restarted and completed at some point. Boyd being on the strip, benefits the strip and maybe can help save the North end.

We've been told for years, Boyd had a ton of credit available and cash on hand. I wonder if the fact that they really haven't made any move with it means they are still planning on getting Echelon going.

I'd love to see some action on that end of the Strip. I don't follow Boyd, and have no idea how they are doing, or what they are thinking. The question now becomes, can they justify building a high end resort, knowing they days of $300 a night rooms, are long gone, and may not return anytime soon. Perhaps they'll want to scale back their plans, to something more economical. I think a mid-level new property could do very well on the Strip. There can't be 10 Wynn's, they economy can't support it. But What if someone built a $750m-$1B for a property. It would be nice, and new, and clean, and they could charge more normal rates, and not have to invest $2-3 Billion dollars. If you look at a MC or TI, and especially NYNY, these were reasonable properties. All of them built for less than $500m, and some for much less. MC was constructed for about $330M as i recall. Obviously you couldnt rebuilt it today for that price, but I'd guess you could possibly and reasonably built a product like that today for under $1B, and probably for substantially less. The question is, has Echelon Place gone too far with construction, to make major changes. We shall see. But I'd love to be able to leave Wynncore and go north for a change, and have someplace worth going to.

it would be nice to see a portion of the new gaming floor done in a retro manner as an homage to the Stardust. they could make it somewhat modern, but show some love for what that place used to be.

maybe do something on the carpet like the "shooting stars" from the Stardust sign? throw a little purple color in the table felts?

I'd guess it will be after 2015 and it will be scaled back dramatically. I can't imagine anything happening there until after something happens at Fountainbleau. Also, the fact that Cosmopolitan has had a weak opening despite it's prime location bodes ill for Echelon.

They don’t have to build everything at once like City Center…they can certainly scale down phase 1. It would probably make sense to hold off on building the smaller towers along Desert Inn Road (The Mondrian and Delano Hotels, thank you VegasTodayandTomorrow.com for the names). The city obviously doesn’t need the additional rooms from those two extra towers and they can put something there instead that would generate income…I don’t know…daytime pool club that turns into a night club…why not, everybody else is doing it?).

Day club, or perhpas a ferris wheel? Can't have too many of those, either.

I'm not too optimistic on Echelon being resurrected anytime soon. Fountainbleu has to be resolved, and we should probably see what happens with the Riviera, as well.

As long as it doesn't change to look anything like the Westward Ho, that was torn down for the Echelon. That was a nasty place!!!

2012? No way. Maybe Boyd could start something a couple of years later, if conditions significantly improve. The problem, for now, is that there's still too much Strip capacity chasing too little business. There's no way Boyd can afford to spend as much as it would take to try to compete at the top end of the market (its former plan) and there are better ways to spend money than building a mid-market project that would cost $1 billion or so.

I have a feeling that the Mondrian and Delano tower is toast in a restart. I would not be surprised if the Shangri-La tower gets axed as well. I would not be surprised if they revamp the main tower completely, and instead of having The Enclave being a wing of the main tower, it becomes the upper floors of the entire tower.
I would not be surprised if the retail element of the project is severely scaled back either.

Of course the big question becomes what to do with the land picked up in the land swap with Harrah's several years back? Golf course? Villas? Outdoor entertainment venue?

Based on Mondrian and Delano being partnerships and based on most of what I've read that the fact was, Boyd had a bit more concern about it's partners ability to complete then for their own piece, I'd say the chances of the other hotels are close to zero at this point.


And since a convention center was a big part of the Echelon concept, we'll have to either see a genuine rebound in convention bookings or a major rethink and scaling down of the property if it's going to start anytime soon.

@vespajet If I'm not mistaken, Shang-ri La didn't have its own tower. It occupied a certain level of the main tower, a la Four Seasons at Mandalay Bay.

@jinx73 @Dave702 Might Morgans look for another way into Vegas now that they've removed from the Hard Rock? Just a thought.


My guess is eventually Boyd will clear out enough space along the Strip frontage to build some low-rise structures that they can sell as a strip mall space (think of the CityCenter plot in the Boardwalk days). The leases would certainly be interesting, given that they'd probably only last on six-month terms or so.

Something will eventually go in there, but I suspect it'll be a middle class hotel that's more Stratosphere than Cosmopolitan. Overall, Boyd should have just renovated what was already there and left things alone.

@JohnD, Shangri-La as planned is tied in to the main tower, but as a separate wing.


Going with the original plan would be pointless for the next few years but something on a smaller scale would do wonders for the ass end of the Strip. Knock the girders down and use them for the outline of something along the lines of a Flamingo or Stardust and we may have a winner in 2013.

Echelon has a bad location. If Boyd is going to spend a fortune on a new casino, they should buy the Frontier's old plot of land on the cheap; Boyd would be close to Wynn and Fashion Show Mall and get a lot more foot traffic. Then, Boyd could build a new and improved Stardust hotel casino; the Stardust name is a valuable brand, Echelon is not. Maybe Boyd could even buy the Trump hotel for cheap and build a casino between it and the Strip. That would be a quick way for Boyd to get back on the Strip. What do you think fellow Vegas trippers? Is this a pipe dream, or could it happen?

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