It’s no secret that Hawaii residents most favorite place to visit is the Aloha State’s “Ninth Island” of Las Vegas. For the benefit of those unfamiliar for the rationale behind this moniker, the Hawaiian Islands are made up of 8 major islands, and since island residents love Las Vegas so much, they have claimed it as the so-called Ninth Island. So here’s a rundown of some of the latest developments for those people in Hawaii who want to know what is going on in Sin City as a way to help them prepare for their next trip there.
New Arena – A new 20,000-seat $340 million arena will be opening April 2016 on the Strip located on 14.5 acres between the New York-New York and Monte Carlo hotels, north of Tropicana Avenue. Wireless carrier T-Mobile has just won the rights to name the arena T-Mobile Arena. Las Vegas businessman Bill Foley has been trying to bring a National Hockey League expansion team to Las Vegas, and if he does, it would it play its games in this new arena. Even if the NHL does not come to town, the arena will be used for concerts and sports events such as Ultimate Fighting Championship and boxing matches as well as rodeos.
New Stadium Proposal – This has been talked about for nearly 20 years in Las Vegas with nearly the same number of differing types of proposals. Virtually everyone in town wants to see a replacement for old 38,000-seat Sam Boyd Stadium which has a host of less than desirable attributes, including, but certainly not limited to: limited seating capacity, primitive and unpaved parking facilities, relatively far distance from town, somewhat undesirable location (near the town’s sewage outfall), uncomfortable and hard bench seats, etc.
As in the case of many stadium developments throughout the country, the keys that prevent the project from moving forward are: who is going to pay for it and where they are going to put it. The latest scenario calls for UNLV, which operates Sam Boyd Stadium, to swap land that the stadium sits on for county land next to university’s campus on Tropicana. As part of this plan, UNLV would also buy an adjacent property next to the targeted county parcel. If they can get through this, then maybe UNLV can figure out sometime who’s going to pay for a proposed 55,000-seat covered stadium. So maybe one day in the future, University of Hawaii football fans can see their team play UNLV in this new venue.
New Asian-themed Hotels – Two Asian-themed hotels and casinos are in the process of being constructed on the north portion of the Strip. The first one, called Resorts World Las Vegas, began construction in May of 2015 and would include a 3,000-room hotel and casino in its initial phase. The property, which fronts the west side of Las Vegas Boulevard, will feature 30 food and beverage outlets, a 4,000-seat theater, a panda bear habitat, a replica of the Great Wall of China and an elaborate garden attraction showcasing the property to the Strip. This massive project will be completed in 2 to 3 phases and is going to take several years to complete.
The other new and more modest hotel project, called the Lucky Dragon, is being developed on the north side of Sahara Avenue and west of Las Vegas Boulevard. The Lucky Dragon, which will showcase Chinese culture and gaming experience, is expected to be completed sometime in the summer of 2016. There will also be area which will feature a number of restaurants specializing in Chinese food.
Chick-fil-A Coming to Town – Right now there are no Chick-fil-A outlets anywhere in Nevada. It was said the previous head of the company thought that operating within the State of Nevada, with legalized gambling and other adult orient distractions, was not consistent with its business philosophy. But that’s changed and at least two new Chick-fil-A restaurants, offering their legendary and succulent chicken sandwiches, will be opening in Sin City as early as sometime in 2016. One is scheduled to open on Sahara Avenue in Las Vegas and another on Stephanie Street in Henderson.
Mass Transit Proposal – Las Vegas planners, business and government representatives have recently reviewed a long-term and comprehensive plan to upgrade the city’s transportation infrastructure. The document, called the Transportation Investment Business Plan, could cost up to $12 billion in overall improvements over 30 years and includes a light rail system to the airport, extension of the current monorail line to the south end of the Strip, a downtown trolley and various pedestrian safety and access improvements. One of the main goals of the plan is facilitate the efficient movement of tourists and conventioneers between the hotels, businesses and airport to ensure Las Vegas’ leading position as a travel destination throughout the 21st century.