When Harrah’s decided a couple of years ago not to tear down its resorts on the east side of the Las Vegas Strip to build a huge “CityCenter”-like project, the company lost an opportunity to put its own stamp on a collection of disparate casinos. While that decision may seem prescient given the economic collapse that followed, there has always been a desire to link the properties with a signature development.
A recent story in the Las Vegas Sun indicates that time is now.
The development, known as “Project Link,” would be built between O’Shea’s Casino and the Flamingo on a wide street that is now essentially a lightly used alley. It will be modeled after similar pedestrian entertainment centers found in New Orleans, Memphis and Los Angeles.
At the end of the street, adjacent to the monorail, would be a 600-foot ferris wheel, similar to the London Eye and the Singapore Flyer.
Greg Miller, Harrah’s senior vice president of resort development, told the Sun the idea of a huge casino resort isn’t in the cards.
“It’s tough to make that math work,” he said.
No budget or timetable for construction has been released. While the project would undoubtedly be more economical than a new casino, it will require access to credit, something that has been virtually impossible for any Las Vegas gaming project.
But Harrah’s is also facing the opening of CityCenter late this year, an event that may shift foot-traffic patterns on the Strip further south, endangering the millions of strollers who now pass by the east-side casinos owned by Harrah’s. So an attraction at that end of the Strip is deemed essential by company officials.