Alon Las Vegas may have experienced some troubles with finding proper funding for the boutique Strip resort in the past, but another major hurdle may have appeared on December 15 when James Packer’s Crown Resorts announced it has stopped work on the project and may sell its stake in Alon outright.
Not to be phased, the veteran casino team that was in partnership with Crown for the project issued a statement saying that it would “continue to explore all of its options to advance the project and optimize the value for its stakeholders.”
The project is “shovel ready” and needs a partner to purchase the land, owned by Crown, as well as to find a financing partner for the venture. According to the Las Vegas Sun, the executive managing director of Colliers International, Mike Mixer, has called the land the project sits on, the site of the former Frontier: “one of the most valuable properties in all of Las Vegas.”
One of the leaders of the project is former Wynn Resorts executive Andrew Pascal.
“Crown was providing a substantial amount of reliant equity capital and now we have to go find somebody else,” Pascal is quoted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal as saying. “The project is still viable, it’s very compelling, it provides compelling returns and I would say in some cases, it might open up and create new opportunities where there were prospective investors that we talked to in the past that were potentially looking to come into the project but because they couldn’t come in in a more meaningful way, they elected not to.”
So rather than presenting an opportunity for smaller investors as was the case in the past, perhaps a path has been created by Crown’s pending departure that opens the doors to another big name operator or investor. Alon management has already “invested two years in the program planning, design, development, pre‐construction and entitlement process,” according to a statement.
Pascal told World Casino News in early March that although ‘macro financial markets’ may be affecting the ability to quickly raise development capital, “the Las Vegas market has never been stronger – record visitation, record revenue. We have the right team, the right idea, the right timing and the right location. We will continue to advance the development and ultimately secure the capital we need.”
As currently planned, Alon Las Vegas would reinvent the Las Vegas resort experience with more than 160,000 square feet of retail space, 80,000 sq ft of pool area, a 65,000 sq ft ballroom, 56,000 sq ft nightclub, and a 50,000 sq ft casino featuring just over 1,100 table and electronic gaming seats.