Bourbon Street Goodbye

Is this a case of casinos imitating life? It’s spooky: Harrah’s Entertainment has closed the Bourbon Street casinos two weeks early because of a water main break. From the LVRJ:

The off-Strip Bourbon Street Casino, bought by Harrah’s Entertainment this summer for future development, closed Monday two weeks ahead of schedule.

Harrah’s, which bought eight acres in adjoining land parcels along with the Bourbon Street, had previously announced the casino would close Oct. 31.

An employee answering phones Monday at the Bourbon Street said the casino had been closed and efforts were being made to move hotel guests to other properties.

A spokesman for Harrah’s said the casino closed at 10 a.m. because of a water main break and the company was concerned about the structural integrity of the building.

The Bourbon Street, at the corner of Flamingo Road and Audrie Street across from Harrah’s-owned Bally’s, had 100 slot machines managed by United Coin Machine, a slot-route operator. The property employed 110 workers.

Bourbon Street Casino closed early by Harrah’s

So, less than two months after the real New Orleans is evacuated because of flooding, the Bourbon Street casino is closed because of…flooding. This is one of those stranger than fiction moments.

The past two days have been a deluge here in Vegas. I’d say that 1, maybe even 2 inches of rain have fallen over the last two days. Yes, I’m being sarcastic.

But today is also a day of new beginnings. Two casinos way down south on Las Vegas Boulevard are being planned. From the LV Sun:

Six miles south of the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard, two relative newcomers to the gaming business are betting big on resorts that aim to create an alternative for tourists.

Anthony Marnell III last week received preliminary approvals to build the M Resort, a $1.8 billion mixed-use casino, resort and commercial center on 79 acres at the southeast corner of St. Rose Parkway and Las Vegas Boulevard.

Marnell, who founded a software company called Tririga, is president and chief executive of M Resort. He will continue to run the software company.

Marnell is the son of prominent casino developer and builder Anthony Marnell II, better known as Tony Marnell. Tony Marnell’s firm, Marnell Corrao Associates, will design and build the M Resort.

The firm built Wynn Las Vegas and Bellagio. Tony Marnell also built and operated the Rio before selling it to Harrah’s for $888 million in 1999.

Across the boulevard from Anthony Marnell’s project, Olympia Gaming received approval from the Clark County Commission earlier this month to build the Southern Highlands Resort. The previously announced resort, part of another mixed-use development to take shape on about 100 acres, would ultimately cost more than $2 billion.

Olympia Gaming founder Garry Goett, developer of the nearby Southern Highlands master-planned community, also owns the Casino Fandango in Carson City.

Both resorts, conceived and developed independent of one another, are expected to begin construction next year for planned openings in 2008.

Both developers say their projects will ultimately benefit from having competition nearby, creating an eye-catching resort district that will lure people driving into Las Vegas from California as well as locals and tourists from further away.

Two new resorts will give Henderson piece of the Strip

Maybe the M will start a new trend in casino names: letters. I can see that being problematic, though, because you can’t trademark a letter. Couldn’t anyone open a related business and ride the coattails of the M?

Here’s some details:

Initial M Resort plans call for a 135,000-square-foot casino, 600,000 square feet of retail and other mixed-use space, a roughly 100,000-square-foot convention area and 1,000 hotel rooms.

Across the boulevard, the first phase of the $750 million Southern Highlands would include 600 hotel rooms, a convention area, more than a dozen restaurants, an entertainment venue, retail shops and several acres of pools and gardens including a lazy river.

“It’s not going to be a pretentious project,” said Olympia Gaming Chief Marketing Officer DC Graham, a former marketing executive for the Venetian. “We want to build a place that’s approachable. It needs to be very comfortable and a place that locals want to come to … with blue jeans and a baseball cap.”

I’ve got a question: what exactly is a “lazy river?”

I know there’s a old song titled “Lazy River” (“Up a lazy river by the old mill stream/That lazy, hazy river where we both can dream'”, but I don’t think I could tell just by a cursory glance if a river was lazy or hard-working.

It’s probably something really common, though, and I just haven’t heard about it because I’m not that well-traveled. Judging from the context, though, a lazy river is approachable and unpretentious.

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