Home » VT News » Wow: Boyd Sells Echelon To Genting for $350M

Wow: Boyd Sells Echelon To Genting for $350M

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 4th March 2013 9:18am
  » filed under Mergers & Acquisitions  comments: 42


I'll bet Sam Nazarian wakes up with a boner this morning.

Boyd Gaming has elected to pull the rip cord on the long stalled Echelon Place project and sold the 85 acre property to Malaysian-based gaming company Genting for a paltry $350 million bucks.

Genting plans to use the existing Echelon podiums and tower structures to build a brand new resort called Resorts World Las Vegas. The "first phase" of the resort will feature 3,500 rooms, 175,000 sq ft of multi-leveled casino space, a convention center, dining, retail promenade and a theatre all done up in thoroughly detailed asian decor. Opening is scheduled for late 2014. Future phases will feature additional hotel towers along the west and south sides of the property (where Echelon's Mondrian and Delano properties were planned.)

I'll bet Steve Wynn wakes up with steam coming out of his ears when he sees that the brand new Asian themed building across the way will be clad in mahogany curtain wall, just... like... his.

We can safely say that this signifies the end of the freeway for Boyd Gaming as a major gaming operator and put them in the acquisition target folder.

Genting has released a half dozen renderings in aerial and street level elevations with daytime and evening lighting.

Resorts World Las Vegas

And here's what Echelon looked like:

Resorts World Las Vegas



Comments & Discussion:

This is horrible.

good news for Las Vegas

looks cool, way nicer design than Echelon in my opinion and far better than a rusting dirt patch. Echelon had a generic modern look to it, not to mention how the two Echelon towers in that photo were dead ringers for Aria. between this and the new arena, construction coming back to the Strip in a bigger way than just Harmon Corner escalators and signage!

Pretty, but definitely very Wynn-esque. Chuck's comments about The Steve's reaction are likely spot on. You can also see that they're using (roughly) the same footprint as the late Echelon, probably trying to recycle whatever infrastructure was already put in place instead of starting over. Smart.

Hopeful for a better name than "Resorts World Las Vegas."

I think no chance of name change. Resorts World is the brand, including their existing new york racino. Not to mention that if asian-inspired design is targeting asian overseas clientele, they will be leaning on Resorts World branding. Per LVRJ article on the deal today, Resorts World Sentosa alone did $2.94 billion in gaming revenues in 2012, or "nearly half as much as the entire Strip collected in gaming revenues last year" A single property, staggering.

Imperial Palace part deux, just in time!

Pardon me while I leave my brain droppings, TwoWay is gone so you'll scroll through my verbage here now.

The first thing that occurred to me from reading this press release is that it appeared at about 3AM on the west coast but already contained states of praise from the Governor and Senator Reid, so obviously this has been in the books for a while now.

Secondly, this is some late-stage modelling they're showing off here, but I don't think they're yet at the level where you point at a building and a rep can tell you what that place does. This artwork eats up the entire property, and Boyd's plan had nothing for the old Westward Ho site; they were trying to build Echelon as a collection of hotels around a casino and then only afterward build condos on the Westward Ho site.

Genting's artwork shows some kind of a theater and a lot of rambling little pagoda-style buildings and walkways on the old Ho land, with two very large and non-descript towers sitting where currently sits is obviously a skeleton for a theatre (the beams swoop downward for theatre seating and everything.) Echelon's main hotel tower is almost entirely intact, though now in this Wynn Lite paintjob. What looks like a miniature Great Wall is intersected by the tower's base.

I can't help but wonder where the casino is supposed to be in this thing, it seemed somewhat clear where it would go in Boyd's renders, but the large podium pointing out toward the strip opposite Wynn is replaced with this space that appears to be under some kind of semi-transparent canopy. Is that the casino? I can't imagine a casino in Vegas that has an open-air, naturally lit ceiling. Such a thing seems like an interesting thought but would present significant challenges. If it's the pool, the semi-transparent thing seems like a shield to prevent any more Vdara accidents of light hitting the towers the wrong way.

One thing Chuck might be able to shed some light on for me...

Finally, RWNY is a very successful middle class slot joint, but this doesn't look to be trying to go middle class. The owners are from Malaysia but this project looks like it wants to be Chinese Or Bust. I can't imagine catering to that culture so extensively if you weren't trying to go after foreign whales, but to the best of my knowledge Genting has nothing in Macau. And if you're not in Macau, it seems like you might as well be competing on another planet.

I'm excited about this. Genting is a company that actually has the money to pull this off. And the fact that they're not in Macau is somewhat of a good thing - that means they want to funnel their big players to Vegas. As for the design, well, its better than a hulk of steel sitting unused. Wonder if Steve goes over and gets them to change the color.

Wow. This is a shocker. Not the nicest looking thing but a big improvement over what is there now. North Strip will really benefit from this. Now we just need F-bleu finished, Frontier developed and N strip would have a shot.

This is the spark that the North Strip needs, as there is still skepticism of SLS Las Vegas which plans to open in the Fall of 2014. Now to get someone to do something with the Fontainebleau site. Perhaps this also sparks MGM Resorts to get something going on the parcels they control next to Circus Circus. Hopefully this will spark Wynn or some other gaming company to take over the former New Frontier site and develop a resort there.

I like the renderings and am glad that something will be happening on the site sooner as opposed to later. Looks like we have another candidate for my 40th Birthday trip in 2015.....

Of course what could be Boyd's next move in Vegas? What can you do with $350 million? Could they be eyeballing an existing property like say Monte Carlo or Rio? Or will they settle on Fremont Street and the locals market? Genting is paying $4.1 million an acre for the land, which is a relative bargain when you consider that in the heady days before the economic downturn, ElAd paid $33 million an acre for the New Frontier.

It's good to see a new player in Las Vegas, especially on the Strip which is dominated by MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment. Maybe this is merely the beginning for Genting in Las Vegas.

From what I read the construction is supposed to start in 2014 with an opening of 2016.

Also is this anyway related to Resorts Casino Hotel, NJ

There really isn't a downside to this project occurring - unless you consider competition to the established companies a downside. Sure beats a wasteland with a few outcroppings that serve as a reminder of what was (economic collapse).

Also any chance Boyd takes this cash to buy and finish the F-Bleu?

No relation to Resorts AC... Mohegan Sun now manages that.

Boyd management said today on their earnings conference call that they would use the proceeds from the sale to pay down debt.

Think I rad somewhere that Fontainebleau would take about 1 billion to 1.5 billion to finish off... Which is about what Boyd had already spent on construction of the Echelon. They might just want to lick their wounds for the time being.

Can I be the only one who say "Resorts World" and the first things that came to mind was "Bob Stupak" and "Virtually Free Vegas Vaction"

Just speculating...maybe Nazarian was aware of this and that motivated him to announce that he had the money and was breaking ground at SLS? I mean, it's a pretty small industry...would be really surprised if nobody knew about this.

Great news! Competition is always a good thing in this near monopoly that MGM and Caesars have currently. I really wonder what this does to the future of Fontainebleau or the future of the N. Strip in general.

"We can safely say that this signifies the end of the freeway for Boyd Gaming as a major gaming operator and put them in the acquisition target folder."

This seems excessively harsh. Boyd has 22 properties in eight states and has been in expansion mode. They finalized a $1.45 billion purchase in Nov. 2012 of Peninsula Gaming, and recently expanded into the Biloxi, MS market with the acquisition of the IP Casino Resort.

When Fontainebleau was sold to Icahn, the word was that it would take around $2 billion to finish the resort. With Crazy Carl gutting the building of everything that could be sold (wiring, plumbing, ventilation ducts, etc.) in addition to the selling off of furnishings originally slated for the property, those costs may be even more. From what I recall reading here back in the day, the rooms were a bit small by Vegas standards.

I honestly don't see Boyd making a move for the Fontainebleau considering the costs to finish the resort are a bit much. If they do decide to return to the Strip, they'll acquire an existing property.

Some additional thoughts, I agree with Level42 when I hear Resorts World, I think of Stupak's Vegas World and I love that the strip is getting another operator, the more competition the better.

Interesting that some of the information out there seems to be contradictary, I read that the purchase was for $500 million, rather then 350. It's ashame that Boyd is leaving the strip and doesn't appear to want to get back on the strip.

I tend to agree with Chuck, that this seems to move them out of being a major player and into the acquisition folder. I wish at some point they had decided to acquire when prices were low instead of getting caught up in Condo-mania. I guess time will tell.

maybe Icahn will turn fontainebleau into a new world headquarters for Herbalife, just to spite Bill Ackman

Anybody else notice how similar the Resorts World logo is to the CET's Total Rewards Logo?

Total Rewards: http://lasvegasblog.harrahs.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/new_tr_logo.jpg

Resorts World: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/26/Resorts_World_Manila_Logo.png

Competition on the Strip PLUS a slight return to themes? I approve!

Great news and hopefully with give Wynn some much needed competition to class the joint up again. Love having another new resort to push everyone on the strip.

Norm! tweeting that focus will be on families, even thinking about a water park and panda exhibit. Sounds like a asian version of Mirage.

Couldn't agree more Robbie. I just love the fact there is a theme. It's looks like a little of what IP could have been it they had ever bothered putting money in it.

WOW. The good news is someone is finally doing something with the Echelon property, the bad news is that the "Chinese" design makes Disney design look delicate and understated. Looks very cheesy...

But will they charge a resort fee?

Hoping they will rethink the large cockroach from "Starship Troopers' as the center building.

It's good to see something with a theme instead of a place that looks like the Geico national headquarters. Really looking forward to the Pandaquarium!

The first rendering makes me think of a Wynncore City Center Mini...

Great news for the north end of the strip. A solid company with real money to develop the property.

Lots of articles on the net over the years about Genting, Stanley Ho, chinese triads, & why Resorts World did not get into Macau, & why their efforts were stymied to build in South Beach, with these alleged ties to the Asian mob. Genting does not have a gambling license in Nevada. Wonder how difficult it will be for them to get one.

What I'm about to say is going to sound goofy as shit to the "new resort YEAH" crowd, but whatever:

I'm not wild about using live endangered species to promote a casino.

At least in the case of S&R, they already had a rare pure white cat in their possession and bred it with their regular tigers to create a mixed breed of white cats with stripes that they keep at their personal facility. The tiger tank cat was one of several cycled in and out of the hotel for the show. And even then, the cats at the Mirage tiger tank looked so bored and the "artificial habit" wasn't fooling anyone, especially the tiger. :/

I don't really want pandas on the Strip unless they're part of a program with the San Diego Zoo or other out of town firm that knows what they're doing, where they cycle out and can live without the glass box and breed, etc.

The Chinese government is pretty strict when it comes to who can be loaned pandas to put on display. If you are given the privilege to display pandas, you have to pay the Chinese government a certain amount of money a year for the length of the agreement (For example, Zoo Atlanta's current contract with China requires them to pay $570,000; previously they were paying $1.1 million a year and paid a one time $310,000 fee after the first two panda cubs were born.), any panda babies are returned to China once they reach a certain age, the agreement is subject to cancellation at anytime for any reason.

Sure Genting could easily afford the fees and payments the Chinese government requires of those who are loaned giant pandas; the thing is will the Chinese government allow them to display them. They've loaned them out to zoos and even amusement parks with wildlife parks, but never to a casino resort. I just don't see them loaning Genting any pandas for Resorts World Las Vegas.

I wonder how they feel about imploding Stardust now.

First reaction: having anything built and operating on that site is better than the construction boneyard that is currently there. It's also good for Vegas IMO when there's something new and shiny every few years.

Second reaction: I wonder how much of the Echelon blueprint will be salvaged for the new project? Echelon had retail planned for the important southeast corner. It looks like the new strip frontage is what? Are those gardens? With no vehicular entry? Or is that the casino? Hard to tell. Need to digest this further.

The fact that something is going to be built from that carcass of girders makes me happy. This should kick development in that end of the strip in the ass and may attract a buyer for FB so that there will be a reason to wander down that far. I am not thrilled with the name but I can live with it.

It is surrounded by nice little white bulidings for now. (Gawd Im a dick)

This is excellent news for Vegas! The Northern part of the strip is in desperate need of new blood and this beautiful resort is just what it needs. Great news for Vegas!

This resort is going to be amazing. The one thing that Las Vegas needs but still does not have is an Asian themed concept. I LOVE it!

This project could revitalize the entire Las Vegas Strip. I use to work at the Rio but got laid off last year. Nobody is hiring in Vegas, but now there is hope.

If Genting pumps up to 7 billion in the local economy, as they plan on doing, Vegas will be back on track.

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