Most Las Vegas Strip deals are splashy with the land purchase sort of kicking off the publicity cycle for whatever massive casino, resort, or attraction might someday get built on the property. That's essentially what Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has done.
The billionaire, who also owns the Golden Nugget on Fremont Street, purchased land on the Las Vegas Strip located between Caesars Entertainment's (CZR) Planet Hollywood and MGM Resorts International's (MGM) MGM Grand in April. That purchase was major news, as was his October reveal of his intentions for the property.
Fertitta potentially plans to take on Caesars and MGM in their own backyard with a 43-story, 2,420-room hotel/casino. (Neither the billionaire nor his company has made a specific statement as to his plans, but a potential plan has been filed with the county.
"The upscale project, on roughly 6 acres at the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue, calls for restaurants, convention space, a spa, wedding chapel, auto showroom, and a theater with around 2,500 seats, Clark County records show. It would also include suites and villas, VIP salons and a bar and lounge for high-limit gamblers, building plans indicate," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
No actual construction has happened, but Fertitta has people talking, which probably helps raise financing for the project and will build excitement for its eventual opening.
The NBA owner is not, however, the only player with big plans on the Las Vegas Strip. Another potential Caesars and MGM rival has quietly put together the land required to build a new casino, but it has been taking a much more stealthy approach.
That might at least partially be because of the history of the piece of land it's buying.
MGM Sells a Piece of Strip Land
MGM has sold, "The Village," a piece of land on the Las Vegas Strip across the street from Luxor and next to the Tropicana, to the Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota.
The land has been used as a concert ground and it was the site of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history,
"Concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival gathered there on Oct. 1, 2017, when a gunman opened fire from his hotel room above. He killed 58 people. Two more died later of their injuries. More than 850 people were hurt by the time the gunfire stopped," U.S. News reported.
The site has been vacant since the shooting.
MGM CEO sent an email to employees commenting on the sale of the 13 acres of Strip-fronted land.
“We know the importance this location holds to so many and have always put tremendous thought into every consideration involving the site,” Hornbuckle wrote. “This is no exception.”
MGM has already donated two acres of property at the site to Clark County to be used as a memorial.
Meet the Strip's Newest Player
Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota has been moving very quietly to put together the property needed to build a Strip resort/casino. In July 2021, the group bought a vacant 8.7-acre parcel of land adjacent to its more recent purchase.
"At the time of the 2020 purchase, Tribal Chairman Mark Fox said his organization could build anything from a casino to a parking lot on its new property. Fox told the Brainerd (Minn.) Dispatch, 'We saw it as an opportunity to get land — prime real estate land — in Las Vegas for a good price, and that’s essentially why we went there,'" the Review-Journal reported.
MGM had once released plans to use the Village site as a parking lot for Las Vegas Raiders games and other events at Allegiant Stadium. It seems unlikely, that the Three Affiliated Tribes, which operates 4 Bears Casino & Lodge on Fort Berthold Reservation land since 1993 would make this investment in Las Vegas merely to open a parking lot.
The new owner has not released a specific plan for the site but shared the following statement.
“This is a sound investment for the MHA Nation,” said John Fredericks III, an attorney representing the Tribes. “There are no immediate specific plans for development but the MHA Nation will be exploring its development opportunities in the near term.”