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Dear Boyd Gaming

By Misnomer on Friday, 23rd September 2011 1:34pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 15


Echelon Las Vegas Gate

Dear Boyd Gaming:

Considerable, well deserved praise has been flung your way for the savvy business decision to halt construction on your Echelon Place development during America's Great Recession. Again, well played. However, you've no doubt noticed that recently, a number of your competitors, both the well-heeled and the decidedly not, have undertaken large scale renovations and even new construction projects. The time, it seems, has come to consider just what to do with Echelon.

Certainly, there are lessons to be learned from the economic downturn. One of your rivals, MGM Resorts International, went forward with its plans to build a multi-hotel urban environment, and the result was the decidedly lackluster CityCenter. But you needn't repeat MGM's folly.

I propose that you scrap your plans for a similar collection of nondescript, glass paneled buildings in favor of a return to genuine Las Vegas whimsy. I propose you build a themed resort. Specifically, I'm asking that you consider the immense popularity of the Las Vegas resorts that replicate the world's great cities: Paris, New York, Venice, Rome, and Planet Hollywood, to name but a few. The next great Las Vegas resort should be city-centric, not city centered.

So, what city am I proposing you bring to the Las Vegas Strip? Well, there are a number of possibilities. Hong Kong. Moscow. Certainly London has been bandied about for years, and would afford the opportunity to construct not only replicas of Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, but also the London Eye, giving you immediate entry into Las Vegas's burgeoning Ferris Wheel market.

But none of those cities have the style, the panache, or the outright fun factor of the city that I propose you replicate on the ground where Stardust once stood. Because I am proposing that you build a hotel casino resort modeled after the greatest city in the word - Las Vegas, Nevada!

Think about it - a scale replica of the entire Las Vegas Strip, ON the Las Vegas Strip. No longer would tourists have to walk 4.2 miles in the hot dessert sun to get from one end of the Strip to the other. Not when your property, "Las Vegas, LV" has the entire Strip wedged onto your existing plot of land. People from around the world would come to marvel at the tiny New York City skyline, the half scale-half scale Eiffel Tower, and a lilliputian volcano that erupts every half hour.

Your swimming pool? Wee Lake Bellagio. Little Luxor is a water slide. The small scale brings M Resort within walking distance, and Bill's is so small that it serves as your cab stand. Construction would be a breeze. Caesars Rome? You could build it in a day. The possibilities are endless.

I recognize there will be hurdles to overcome. Even in the improving economy, financing will be challenging. Licensing will be difficult. I ran the idea by the great sage, Dr. David Schwartz, who rightly pointed out that a scale replica of the Strip would necessarily include a scale replica of Boyd's scale replica of the Strip, which would in turn necessarily include a scale replica of the scale replica of Boyd's scale replica of the Strip, ad infinitum. Eventually, you would be constructing Strip replicas on a subatomic level.

But great resorts require great vision. Great vision, and tiny, tiny tools. Consider it, Boyd Gaming, and get back to me. I'll be here, constructing my own scale model, and finishing this tube of glue.

Very truly yours,


Tagged: misnomer   


Comments & Discussion:

Further to your point on the smaller scale model within the scale model:

(The moral of the story is - there is an xkcd relevant to everything)

Also, I would totally stay at LV, LV.

But looking at Boyd Gaming's balance sheet, I would point out that they currently are levered a remarkable 13.65x trailing 12 months EBITDA. Its bonds are rated single B, and its market cap is $450 million vs debt outstanding of $3 billion. Boyd doesn't have the money to build a sand castle, let alone a new hotel/casino...

A sandcastle themed resort would be pretty awesome.. dontchathink?

"half-scale half-scale Eiffel Tower..."


Freaking love it!
They can hire their own porn slappers, too.

I'm a big fan of modernism and CityCenter. But not all themes are bad.

Themes, however, were kind of a craze that was motivated by the "bring the family" era. As the demographic has become much less family-oriented we'd expect more mature themes and less emphasized themes.

I do think there is a role for themes. The themes I'd keep (if I were in charge) would be kept for one of two reasons; 1) actually good theme, and 2) So Bad Its Good themes

Mirage (Tropical), Bellagio (Bellagio, Lake Como), Monte Carlo (Monte Carlo), MGM Grand (Art Deco/Golden Age of Hollywood), Palazzo (Italian styling... note, I like the theme but this doesn't mean its a good resort per se), Tropicana (South Beach)

Venetian (Venice), Paris (Paris)

Honestly, I think the best themes are the more abstract, more general, less concrete ones... more "styles" than "themes." Whimsy can get annoying and the logical extreme of Whimsy is Circus Circus and The Tragic Kingdom (Excalibur).

Places themed according to specific concrete locations are usually Camp-at-best and otherwise worse, with the exception of Bellagio (which is just immortal).

LVLV is certainly an interesting idea. It would be very meta, almost bizzarely postmodern.

But would it be more than just a bizzare novelty?

I've always imagined a 1950's theme where the inside of the property would be like what a casino was like in the 50's. Instead of a high roller room, have a special area where buys need suits/tuxes to enter and play (back when guys actually dressed up in business attire instead of clubbing gear to go out in Vegas).

I would go with a total retro look as well but instituting a dress code would close the place in abotu a month. Either that or a Blade Runner themed place.

"...would in turn necessarily include a scale replica of the scale replica of Boyd's scale replica of the Strip, ad infinitum."

... mmm, Mandelbrot...!

maybe they could build a classic casino and call it Stardust!!!

My familiarity with the board is growing and about halfway through I decided to check if this post was by misnomer...

I'd like to see a Japanese theme; I second BladeRunner; a castle theme that was more Neuschwanstein than a knockoff (Excalibur) of a knockoff (Disney) of it; a 50s theme; a Havana-in-the-50s theme; ... Pretty much everything else I've thought of has been done, tho I often wish it had been done better.

I always thought Phil Ruffin's "City By The Bay" concept for the Frontier site was interesting.

A Bavarian themed casino would be an interesting idea. Have a replica of Neuschwanstein Castle as the centerpiece of the resort and have the casino spaces look like a beer hall.

People seem to forget the fact that Nevada, by percentage of total population, is the fourth most Mormon state in the Union. An LDS-themed Tabernacle resort could be a big draw. Just throwing it out there.

Wait a second. Echelon isn't finished? I thought it was the first Mad Max post-apocalypse themed resort. I guess this news would explain the poor service and inability to find an operating slot machine.

this is hilarious... I like the potential addition of midget porn slappers.

^^ "An LDS-themed Tabernacle resort could be a big draw."

What about an LSD-themed Tabernacle resort? Maybe not so much of a big draw, but the lights sure are pretty.

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