Wynn Might Not Get Extension to Build Third Vegas Strip Tower on Frontier Site


Posted on: January 11, 2024, 06:02h. 

Last updated on: January 11, 2024, 06:35h.

Wynn Resorts wants a five-year extension on its permit to build a third tower on the empty lot where the New Frontier Hotel and Casino once stood. Those plans were approved eight long years for a different project, however, and the Clark County Building Department is reportedly leaning toward denying the company’s request.

Wynn and Encore Las Vegas are seen from the empty lot that still may become a third Wynn tower, though not anytime soon. (Image: bestoflasvegas.com)

According to Clark County documents uncovered by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Clark County staffers recommend denying the extension because no new building permits or studies were submitted for review, and because some construction regulations have changed since construction was initially approved.

No decision is likely to be made until the county zoning commission takes the matter up in April.

An undated rendering of the unrealized Alon Las Vegas casino resort. (Image: Alon Las Vegas)

Crowning Non-Achievement

The initial construction green light for the 35 acres north of the Fashion Show Mall was given in 2015 to Australia-based gaming and entertainment group Crown Resorts. It paid $240M for the lot in 2014, then announced plans to build a $6B resort called Alon Las Vegas. However, it scrapped those ambitious plans in 2016.

Wynn Resorts bought the land, and three adjacent acres, for $336M in 2018. It then announced plans to build a 1,100-room casino resort called Wynn West — since it would sit on the west side of the Strip, across from the company’s other two towers. Wynn West would connect to them via an air-conditioned bridge spanning Las Vegas Boulevard.

According to the Clark County documents, Wynn Resorts argues that its building permit should be extended because the pandemic shutdown delayed all of its projects. And the company did pay for a building height study in 2022, in which the Federal Aviation Administration found that a 640-foot tower could safely be built on the lot.

Westward Hold

During his Q4 2017 conference call, then-company chair Steve Wynn told analysts that “I don’t think the design and development period is going to be very long” for Wynn West.

Though the pandemic shutdown may explain construction delays since 2020, the reason no development timeline was announced before then was probably because, only a few weeks after Wynn West was announced, Wynn Resorts shifted into panic mode.

That’s when the Wall Street Journal published allegations made by several women that the company’s namesake had sexually harassed or assaulted them at his hotels —  charges that Steve Wynn has always denied, but that forced him to resign from all his corporate positions, sending his company into a tailspin.

El-Ad Properties’ Plaza Hotel Las Vegas never materialized, either. (Image: El-Ad Group)

More Vacated Plans

Alon Las Vegas wasn’t the first vacated proposal for the vacant lot. The reason New Frontier owner Phil Ruffin imploded his vintage Vegas casino resort in the first place was because he had sold the land underneath it in 2007 for $1.2B, a Las Vegas record.

The buyer was El-Ad Properties, owner of the Plaza Hotel in New York City, which planned to build a Plaza-branded casino resort for $5B.

But the Great Recession put the kibosh on that project only a few months after the New Frontier’s implosion on Nov. 13, 2007.

Since acquiring the vacant lot , Wynn Resorts has leased it out for special events, including the Homecoming Series and Taco Bell Innovation Summit, a Feb. 8-11 event that will be one of dozens held on the Strip during Super Bowl week.


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