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News: Park Proposed for Las Vegas Strip


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LAS VEGAS - At Las Vegas Boulevard and Mandalay Bay Road, the Strip seems to stop. A motel and a few businesses share 9.6 acres of land with overgrown weeds, piles of dirt, and chain-linked fences. That, however, could soon change. Developers propose a facelift that Clark County Commissioners are considering.

 

The proposal on the drawing board is an amusement park with at least eight rides, including a "Sky Wheel" nearly half the height of the Stratosphere. The attraction would attach to a 42-foot-high tent that would connect with a convention center and retail space.

 

Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, who is also running for Las Vegas Mayor, says the proposal intrigues her.

 

"It complements if you really think about it," she said. "As you move down that corridor toward the university, depending on what happens with the university stadium being rebuilt, there could be a real synergy that comes into play there."

 

Still, Giunchigliani has some concerns. "I'm excited about it, but you have to make sure the neighbors around - even though the neighbors are casinos - you have to make sure there are pros and cons. We'd have to look at the traffic issue," she said. "Part of it needs to go into how do we reinvent the Strip?"

 

Some visitors say Las Vegas needs to become more family-friendly.

 

"It's funny, because we were having a conversation earlier," said visitor Tim Slater. "We have an eight-year-old, and we would never bring her here, because other than Circus Circus, there's not really much for kids to do from what we see. If that was here, it would give us a two-birds-with-one-stone kind of thing."

 

Others insist the Strip should remain an adult playground. "There's Disneyland, Legoland, SeaWorld, all the other places for kids," said visitor Carmen Aceves. "You take your family, take your kids to places like that. That's where amusement parks should be, not Vegas."

 

Commissioners and developers will likely consider these opinions if plans to build the amusement park move forward.

 

"I think number one, it gets us jobs. Number two, it could be a new way as a tourist draw. So, I'm willing to look at anything on the books as far as that's concerned," Giunchigliani said.

 

An amusement park on the Strip has been tried before. The MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park lasted seven years before closing because of poor performance. Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the proposed attraction during the first week of March.

 

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IMO I don't think this will be successful. Mainly because of location. It says it's by Mandalay Bay which is really close to the airport? And the plot of land is only 9.6 acres? I don't know how that's going to fit a decent sized park. And Wet n Wild and MGM didn't work out? What makes you think this will?

A park in Vegas sounds nice, maybe if you move the location away from the strip and maybe on a larger plot of land then I think it might work out.

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Others insist the Strip should remain an adult playground. "There's Disneyland, Legoland, SeaWorld, all the other places for kids," said visitor Carmen Aceves. "You take your family, take your kids to places like that. That's where amusement parks should be, not Vegas."

 

Except Disneyland, Legoland and SeaWorld are like 5 or 6 hours away.

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OK: Let us remember something about Vegas...

 

It's always changing.

 

What people are assuming here is what they have seen/read about the previous parks (MGM Grand Adventures, Wet & Wild) and not what was ACTUALLY given the causes of their demise:

 

In the case of MGM Grand Adventures, it was mismanagement as well as failure to account for the higher-thrill tastes of the average LV patron. Having been to GA quite a few times over it's years, only once did I see the park with less than ideal capacity- and that was on a 115 degree August day. During the holiday periods, the park was packed- often to beyond capacity, and with hefty lines for just about every ride in the park.

 

Simply put, the park was successful- but was drawing too many people from the Casino at the wrong times. The land underneath the park was needed to grow the property- and that spelled doom for the park. Not success, but rather: Utility of the land.

 

The same could be said for Wet & WIld. The park was nearly always at capacity during it's heyday, and was very popular with both strip guests and the locals. However, in the 90s when the Land Grab began on the north end of the strip, we could see the end in sight. The park's land was too valuable to be kept as a water park- as a large-scale casino could have been built on the site easily.

 

Once again, it wasn't a failure of a park- but rather, the land the park was on was too valuable for that use.

 

The site that is proposed for the new park is small- but consider that the AdventureDome has less space than that overall- and with just as many height restrictions in place. Don't expect a 400 ft. tall coaster, or a pair of 300ft. tall S&S towers. I'd bet good money that the proposed park will be based much like a FEC would be- only with more adult tastes in mind for the rides.

 

R.D.

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^^And therein lies the problem. Las Vegas real estate is always going to be too valuable for an amusement park to thrive. The second someone wants to buy that land for condo/hotel/casino development, the theme park will lose its lease and that will be the end of it...even if the land will probably end up sitting vacant when the developer ultimately goes broke.

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Others insist the Strip should remain an adult playground. "There's Disneyland, Legoland, SeaWorld, all the other places for kids," said visitor Carmen Aceves. "You take your family, take your kids to places like that. That's where amusement parks should be, not Vegas."

 

Except Disneyland, Legoland and SeaWorld are like 5 or 6 hours away.

 

I think the point of that quote was not to say, "people should go to those places when visiting Vegas", but rather "people with families should go to those places and not Vegas".

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I've been in Las Vegas two years now, and most everyone misses Wet n' Wild.

 

Personally, I believe that Las Vegas would benefit more from a waterpark than an amusement park. IF this amusement park were to be built, Id like to see high-thrill rides...which would be tough with the airport and the church right there. At least the old Luxor employee parking lot would get some love =/

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It is a nice idea, but honestly, Las Vegas is NOT an ideal place for an amusement park.

 

I've been there for 4 years straight (5 straight this year ), and with how little land is left for development in Las Vegas, the VERY MOST they could fit is near the South Point hotel, or heck, maybe near the M Hotel, ALL THE WAY at the other end of Las Vegas Boulevard.

 

Also, I see financial issues coming in as well. The Las Vegas City Center project has been put on hold for 2+ years, and I really don't think amusement parks is exactly the biggest focus of the city...

 

Besides, Las Vegas has an EXCELLENT selection of roller coasters. Speed, the New York New York coaster, Canyon Blaster and Desperado.

 

Maybe if financial developments improve, I could see this as a tenative project. Right now, though, this looks to be a lost cause.

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It is a nice idea, but honestly, Las Vegas is NOT an ideal place for an amusement park.

 

I've been there for 4 years straight (5 straight this year ), and with how little land is left for development in Las Vegas, the VERY MOST they could fit is near the South Point hotel, or heck, maybe near the M Hotel, ALL THE WAY at the other end of Las Vegas Boulevard.

 

I lived there and visit each year. Trust me, there is PLENTY of land to build an amusement park!

 

Also, I see financial issues coming in as well. The Las Vegas City Center project has been put on hold for 2+ years, and I really don't think amusement parks is exactly the biggest focus of the city...

 

Last I checked, most of City Center was open.

 

Besides, Las Vegas has an EXCELLENT selection of roller coasters. Speed, the New York New York coaster, Canyon Blaster and Desperado.

 

That's a bit exaggerated! I wouldn't dare use the word "excellent" to describe any of those coasters especially the NYNY Coaster!

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If they want it ON THE STRIP, it'll be tough. If they're talking about near, say the South Point, then yes, that'd be a perfect spot.

 

Not alot of City Center is opened. I was there last year, ALOT of it is still under construction.

 

 

Why all the hate for the NYNY coaster? Some days it's rough, some days it runs great! Sure, a removal of the OTSR would be nice, but hey, it's still a classis coaster.

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Besides, Las Vegas has an EXCELLENT selection of roller coasters. Speed, the New York New York coaster, Canyon Blaster and Desperado.

 

That's putting a bit of a spin on things. The cost of one ride on those three approaches the online admission to Six Flags Magic Mountain, home of 18 coasters in 2011.

 

That said, Joey's right in theory. The land values are far too high for a park to really work long-term now, to say nothing about what will happen once the Nevada real estate market comes out of the giant crater it's currently in. A park not only needs to be built, but needs room to grow over time so its ability to "never be complete" can sustain its existence over more than one generation. Grand Adventures never had that ability. Adventure Dome doesn't have that ability, but fortunately it's already there, and it has managers who can come up with creative solutions to how to use & re-use its space to keep people coming back. Even though people do come back, Adventure Dome is not the money-maker that other properties on the strip are. I'd guess that a major Cirque show brings in more revenue in ticket sales than Adventure Dome does.

 

I like the part about "how do we reinvent the strip?" Weren't they asking that question 20 years ago? Las Vegas tried to be family-friendly and found that it could make a whole lot more money by being more friendly to other demographics, and by being a player on the adult world destination stage. Vegas is a place for the super rich, the global conglomerate business moguls. That's where it really excels, and at this point, using the land for other means is to give up too much in opportunity cost.

 

Off-strip, however, is another story. I don't think we've seen a theme park developer really go 'all-in' with a Las Vegas park. An off-strip site, if done right, might have possibilities, but there's still the question of where is there enough land to be close enough to the Strip to bring in the people, yet be far enough away to avoid the brunt of the location cost?

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Seems like a really bad location for an amusement park given the proximity to the airport. I could see an mini-park like a Nick Universe (Mall of America) working somewhere on the strip.' To me, the Adventure Dome left a lot to be desired.

 

Anyone remember the indoor ski resort and waterpark that was announced for 2012 called Las Vegas Wet?

 

An actual theme park might work for the region if it was built somewhere between Primm and Las Vegas if the could figure out how to handle the heat for the guests, featured a huge casino, and hotel. To exclude a casino from any Vegas area construction seems like a really bad idea.

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^ I completely agree with the Mall of America/indoor park idea. There's also combination-styled (to coin a phrase) parks like Rusutsu Resort [the only one I can name off the top of my head], or a half-in/half-out park like Toverland. I think a theme park in or around Vegas is possible, but it will have to be designed and/or engineered differently than the traditional SF/CF layout. I mean, let's face it: for some of us, Vegas has 3 months that are doable and nine that are hotter than hell. I agree that Vegas is changing, and it sure has changed since the last time I was there, which was 1978 or so. I do, however, think with solid design, planning, and implementation, an ideal park could emerge and prosper [economy permitting] that would complement Vegas' new style. It's just a question of whose masterpiece will do it.

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The local in me is screaming at the top of its lungs that we need something Six-Flags sized, but that obviously wouldn't work from a tourist perspective, as many of them visit here to get away from more traditional tourist destinations...like theme parks.

 

So really, it all comes down to who the developer would be building for-the local population of more than 1.5 million, or the far greater amounts of generally uninterested tourists.

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A small park may work here a bit outside the strip. Prices are insane for the coasters on or near the strip and as everyone else has said it is not really a family place. That being said, I didnt know any kid in 3rd or so grade that hadn't been to Vegas. As a southern Californian I know quite a few people who do a family trip to vegas for a long weekend or something and go to a cirque and go to dinner or something like that, so its not just adults in vegas. I actually agree that a waterpark seems like a good idea.

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I

Not alot of City Center is opened. I was there last year, ALOT of it is still under construction.

 

Like? Everything at City Center is open. Aria, Crystals, Veer Towers, Mandarin Oriental, and Vdara are all open. All that isn't completed is the shuttered Harmon tower (which would be open if not for the engineering issues).

 

The Adventuredome is successful, because, well...uhh...It's Circus Circus. Anyone who has ever stepped foot on that property or seen their room rates will understand that.

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Some visitors say Las Vegas needs to become more family-friendly.

 

Yeah, I remember them saying that around the time I turned 21. When I was young, all we had was Circus Circus, Wet-N-Wild and the video arcades at every hotel, which was where I rolled when Mom and Dad wanted to do a little gambling. I effin' rocked at Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga! I think this goes back to snotty brats that are just never satisfied with anything. An eight acre amusement park is only going to make them say, "That is like, so laaaame...I am so going back to the hotel room and playing my PSP!"

 

Any park in Vegas needs to be built away from the strip.

 

Agreed. No one is touching land near the strip for a theme park (see Wet-N-Wild). That park kicked ass in my opinion, yet still didn't make it.

 

Buy a couple blocks of foreclosed houses in the outer suburbs at an auction for a couple million dollars, tear them down and throw in a water park with free transfers from the strip hotels - I like the idea of it out near Primm or Red Rock Canyon.

 

What about the Adventuredome? How has that fared all these year? It may be good to take a look at the stats of that park.

 

I was really disappointed in this place when I visited....looked like Circus Circus was thinking of this place as an after-thought. Popular when it opened, but two years ago, it looked weathered and half the rides and attractions were closed. Then there is that whole roof leak thing when it rains.

 

Besides, Las Vegas has an EXCELLENT selection of roller coasters. Speed, the New York New York coaster, Canyon Blaster and Desperado.

 

To quote Larry the Cable Guy - "I don't care who y'are...dat's funny rot dere!"

 

I like the part about "how do we reinvent the strip?" Weren't they asking that question 20 years ago? Las Vegas tried to be family-friendly and found that it could make a whole lot more money by being more friendly to other demographics, and by being a player on the adult world destination stage. Vegas is a place for the super rich, the global conglomerate business moguls. That's where it really excels, and at this point, using the land for other means is to give up too much in opportunity cost.

 

Word.

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To pull my post from the Vegas thread...

 

The business model of Vegas will always be based upon three things: booze, gambling, and conventions/events. Restaurants, shows, and attractions are all there to supplement those three things.

 

Manhattan Express and Stratosphere work because they get people on the property and don't prevent them from being away from booze or gambling for extended periods of time. As was already mentioned, Grand Adventures failed because it couldn't do this.

 

Circus Circus (and to a much lesser extent Excalibur) is an anomaly in that it's cheap and fills the family niche of Vegas.

 

For a park to be successful in Vegas, it would need to be away from the strip to cater to locals and also to avoid sitting on land that is too valuable to developers.

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