Although the economic downturn of 2008 certainly put a damper on the Las Vegas real estate and tourism markets, they are roaring back even bigger and better.
In an indicator of the improving health of the city’s real estate scene, a recent report from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors said the median sales price of previously owned single-family homes in southern Nevada topped $200,000 in July, up 11 percent from July 2013 and the highest level since August 2008. The tourism market is improving as well, with 39.7 million visitors in 2013, up from 37.5 million visitors during the peak of the downturn five years ago.
The improving fortunes of the city’s real estate market are even stronger at the top, highlighted by the number of luxury developments that have opened in recent years.
The $9.2 billion CityCenter Las Vegas, for example, is the largest privately funded construction project in the United States, featuring a 16.8 million mixed-use, urban complex on 76 acres on the Las Vegas Strip. The project, which opened in 2010, is a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Dubai World. It features 2,400 condominium units and 4,800 hotel rooms across several high-rise towers surrounding Crystals, a luxury shopping center.
The $3.9 billion Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, or simply the Cosmo, opened in December 2010 south of the Bellagio on Las Vegas Boulevard. The resort’s two high-rise towers feature nearly 3,000 rooms, 300,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, a 110,000-sqare foot casino, along with an 1,800-seat theater and 15,000 square feet of meeting room space. In 2013 travel guide Gogobot dubbed the Cosmo “The Best Hotel in the World.”
Boutique hotels are making inroads into the resort environment as well. The Cromwell Hotel, which opened in May 2014, is a one-of-a-kind resort accentuating the stylish side of Las Vegas. The 188-room boutique hotel features Parisian-style architecture and the 65,000-square-foot Drai’s Beach Club, which offers both an indoor and outdoor rooftop party experience.
The hotel is also the site of the first restaurant operated by celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis.
SLS Hotel & Casino
And the boutique SLS Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, owned by SBE Entertainment and Stockbridge Real Estate, opened August 23rd after a $415 million renovation. The hotel, on the site of the former Sahara Hotel and Casino, features 1,600 guest rooms and suites created by French designer Philippe Starck in collaboration with San Francisco design firm, Gensler. A number of suites were also designed by musician Lenny Kravitz. Included in the property are four nightclubs, the clothing store Fred Segal, 30,000 square feet of meeting space and several restaurants.
As for the future, the vacated lot of the abandoned Echelon Place that was set to replace the historic Stardust is now controlled by Malaysian multinational company, Genting Group, and planned for an Asian-themed mega-resort complete with a replica of the Great Wall of China and an enclosure for a public panda display. Reports are that the company intends for this resort to be the “first phase” of a property to be estimated between $2 billion and $7 billion by the time of its completion.