Five Las Vegas Casino Designs That Never Made ItJun 5, 2023, 3:21AM
Everybody loves a trip to Las Vegas. If you’re a sports fan, chances are you might be visiting to see your team play soon in the new hotbed for pro sports. But before you book your flights and your hotel room, we’ve looked back through the archives at some of the Las Vegas hotel concepts that were once proposed but never built.
Famous for its history of gambling, shopping, fine dining, entertainment and nightlife, the city of Las Vegas has suddenly become a metropolis for professional sports, with a litany of teams headed to the desert to set up camp. In the past decade alone, the Raiders, Golden Knights and Aces have all popped up, while the Athletics are soon to arrive, not to mention the potential for an NBA team to come onto the scene when the league’s next round of expansion is announced.
Vegas has long fascinated the masses that embark on Sin City every year, and for every crazy attraction that there is to immerse yourself in, there are just as many crazy ideas and concepts that never came to light.
Failed Las Vegas Casino Designs
Crown Las Vegas
Proposed in the mid-2000s, Crown Las Vegas - derived from the Australian brand of casinos of the same name - was a tower designed to take over the old Wet ‘n Wild site that, if built, would have been the tallest building in the United States at a height of 1,887 feet (the current tallest building in the US is the One World Trade Center, measuring at 1,776 feet).
Of course, designing the largest tower in the US within 3 miles of Las Vegas’ McCarren Airport proved to be challenging, with the Federal Aviation Administration lodging concerns over the tower’s proposed height immediately.
After a lot of back-and-forth at the development stage, Crown’s owner, James Packer, pulled out of the project, leaving Texas developer Christopher Milam to try and salvage it. Nothing eventually came of it and the site was put up for sale.
As if the WWF (now WWE) in Attitude Era couldn’t have been any bigger, we very nearly almost got a WWF-themed casino in 1999. The wrestling entertainment company bought a space near the Interstate 15 freeway on the strip, across from Mandalay Bay.
But in December 2000, the company had a change of heart about the planned hotel and casino, selling the land for $11.2 million, making a cool profit of $1 million based upon their original purchase price. That land is now occupied by Allegiant Stadium.
It’s a damn shame. It would have been cool to see Stone Cold dealing out some stunners on the Blackjack table.
Harley-Davidson Hotel and Casino
The famous motorcycle brand is steeped in American culture but they may have dodged a bullet here with their proposed Vegas casino.
The design for their hotel is casino was to include all of the regular things like a gaming floor, restaurants, entertainments theaters, as well as a Harley-Davidson merch store, but the pièce de résistance was to be the the hotel, with two towers that would be shaped as giant metallic exhaust pipes. It’s a funny idea in retrospect, and would have proven to be quite the eyesore on the strip.
London, Las Vegas
We already have the pyramids of Luxor, the Eiffel Tower of Paris, as well as New York’s Statue of Liberty on the strip, so why not Big Ben? London’s biggest attraction was proposed to land on Las Vegas Blvd as part of a London, New York concept that would follow a similar preface as the Paris and New York casinos. A few different attempts at getting the idea off the ground were made by different consortiums, but it never got to the construction phase.
The movie, based upon the shipwreck from 1912, was the highest grossing movie of all-time after it was released in 1997, and just about everyone had Titantic-mania, including las Vegas developers.
The proposed resort, which was to be shaped as the cruise ship, had 1,200 rooms, with a goal to open in the early 2000s. Unfortunately, the Las Vegas Council were the only ones immune to the charm and on-screen chemistry between Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate WinsLet, rejecting the submitted plan.