Construction begins at Chinese themed mega-casino in Las Vegas
- Chinese casino hotel to be built on site of Las Vegas Stardust casino
- Plans for complex include panda enclosure, aquarium and amphitheatre
- The 3,500-room themed hotel is slated for completion and opening by 2018
- Land was bought for $350million by Genting Group on site of ill-fated Echelon complex, which was abandoned because of economic downturn
A panda enclosure and giant amphitheatre are set to become the centre pieces of a new sprawling Chinese-themed casino hotel in Las Vegas. The $4billion Resorts World complex, which will sit on the site of the former Stardust casino in the notorious Las Vegas strip, was announced at a glittering ceremony that featured Chinese lion dancers and speeches.
It will be designed to showcase the history and future of China and will see more than 3,500 rooms built on the 88 acre site. The project is slated for completion by 2018.
KT Lim, chairman and CEO of Malaysia-based Genting Group, said the new sprawling complex would showcase the best of China past and present. Plans for the resort include a 4,000 seat outdoor amphitheatre, a Chinese themed shopping centre and possibly a panda enclosure. The hotel will be built around a huge casino.
Other proposals previously put forward by the Malaysian group for the development include an aquarium, indoor water park and bowling alley.
Genting Group has resorts on several continents and Mr Lim is said to be a regular visitor to casino hotels in Las Vegas. The company bought the land for the Chinese-themed hotel from Boyd Gaming in 2013 for $350 million.
It bought the site after Boyd Gaming was forced to stop work on Echelon, a six hotel complex planned for the site, because of the economic downturn. The steel and concrete construction of Echelon had stood dormant since 2008 and was the backdrop for the cutting ceremony, attended by officials in Nevada.
Casino mogul Steve Wynn was at the event and said the project was exciting, but the opening date of 2018 was ambitious. He said: 'We love picking up a neighbour, especially a well-capitalized and experienced neighbour like the Genting Group.'