North end of Strip continues to struggle; expert explains why

LAS VEGAS - The Lucky Dragon announced in a news release Thursday that it has closed all of its gaming and restaurant operations and will have a reduction in staff.

The Lucky Dragon is located at the north end of the Strip, an area where new businesses seem to have issues with taking off.

However, every time a new business opens up, the same story of this time things will be different, is told.

So what is it about the north end of the strip?  What will it take to make that area a success?

The SLS was hoping to bring in a new crop of visitors and revenue when it opened, but it has faced its own struggles. A recent lawsuit suggests it's on the verge of bankruptcy and now the Lucky Dragon which opened to a lot of hype about a year ago is also closing its casino, and many of its restaurants' doors as the company goes through reorganization. 

The partially-built Fontainebleau has sat vacant and untouched for years, but it's now under new ownership after it was sold in August for $600 million.  It could cost its new owners a billion dollars to a billion and a half to complete the property, which raises big questions for developers, such as if and when will they move forward, will they hold off and wait for other projects to be completed first. 

"There's a lot of projects that haven't come to fruition on that end of the strip, and I think a lot of that's hurt the other casinos that are open now," said  David Schwartz, director, Center for Gaming Research UNLV.  "So I think that it might be a question of timing and if they are able to hang in there for a few more years when there's more development they may have better prospects."

There have been rumors about another potential arena in that area as well. According to Schwartz, with heavy competition south of the Wynn for tourists and locals, any development could face challenges.

Perhaps the only guarantee is any business that struggles or closes on the north end doesn't help the rest of the Strip. 


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