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Plans emerge for Las Vegas’ tallest resort on former waterpark site

Updated April 29, 2024 - 7:28 pm

A team of Las Vegas real estate developers is planning to build what could be the city’s tallest resort on the 27-acre site that formerly held the Wet ‘n Wild waterpark and for years was targeted for Jackie Robinson’s All Net Arena project.

LVXP, described as a Las Vegas-based real estate development company, plans a multibillion-dollar 2,500-room ultraluxury resort anchored by a state-of-the-art NBA-ready arena.

The three LVXP principals — CEO James Frasure Jr., Chief of Staff Christine Richards and Chief Construction Officer Nick Tomasino — are all long-time Las Vegas residents. LVXP’s leadership team and advisers includes experts in real estate, finance, marketing, technology, sports and entertainment.

“We are the antithesis of the previous project,” Frasure said in an exclusive interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We are pulling together the best talent in the valley, such as Nick and some other people that we have worked with and the plan is to make this a success quickly and impactful for the whole valley.”

Resort to feature arena

Frasure said the resort would include an arena with 18,500 to 20,000 seats for entertainment and sports, rooms with technological advancements currently used in overseas resorts, a casino, convention facilities, a retail plaza and food outlets that would spotlight Las Vegas restaurateurs. A subterranean parking facility is planned.

He said the as yet unnamed resort would be the city’s first seven-star property.

Developers said the project, which would prioritize sustainable development and green initiatives led by world-class construction partners, is expected to create thousands of jobs, employ union labor, and generate substantial revenue for the local economy.

“This is a well-conceived project that has the potential to transform a valuable undeveloped land parcel into a highly productive destination that contributes meaningful long-term value to the community and visitors alike,” Clark County Commission Chairman Tick Segerblom said in a release announcing the project.

Frasure said he has met with management of the property’s Strip neighbor, Fontainebleau, currently the tallest of the Strip resorts.

Frasure did not disclose the name of the hotel operator with which he is negotiating, nor the development and building costs for the project.

The company also looks to dust off Federal Aviation Administration approvals granted in 2008 allowing construction up to just under 1,200 feet.

The nearby Strat tower is the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River at 1,149 feet.

“I’ve been here for 31 years and we view this as us having a responsibility to fulfill a project for the community because it is something that affects the whole valley. So it’s very Las Vegas-driven,” Frasure said.

Other partners

Richards joined the company three months ago and made her mark in Las Vegas for more than two decades as a professional dancer and choreographer with the “Raiding the Rock Vault” production show at the Strip’s Hard Rock Cafe. She also had sales roles in the beverage and cannabis industries rising to leadership and management positions over 15 years, according to her LinkedIn profile.

After design and management roles with MGM Resorts International’s design team and with The Howard Hughes Corp., Tomasino spent more than five years as senior vice president of construction for Sphere Entertainment Co., directing development of the Sphere.

Frasure has had a long-time relationship with the Lowden family, former owner of the Sahara and the acreage south of it, and when Clark County would not extend permits to Robinson for the All Net Arena, he negotiated acquiring the land.

He said that process was completed in January and he cleared all liens to be able to present his concepts to the county.

He said he intends to submit permitting requests to Clark County by July and is hopeful to receive all permissions and permitting by August to break ground on the project late this year or in early 2025.

“Our commitment is to create a destination that captures the essence of Las Vegas and provides lasting benefits for the community,” Frasure said. “For me, this endeavor is more than a project — it’s a promise to uphold the spirit of innovation and enthusiasm that defines our local culture.”

Steelman to design

One of the first negotiations he made was with Las Vegas-based Steelman Partners, which has designed casino-resorts worldwide.

Among Steelman’s projects were Circa in downtown Las Vegas, Crockfords resort at Resorts World Las Vegas on the Strip, the Darling Resort and Casino on Australia’s Gold Coast, and The Grand Resort and Casino on the Ho Tram Strip in Vietnam.

“As we begin shaping the next chapter of Las Vegas, I’m thrilled to lead the design for LVXP, a pioneering venture merging cutting-edge artificial intelligence with personalized guest experiences,” Paul Steelman, CEO of Steelman Partners, said in a release.

“Collaborating with the LVXP team energizes my creative spirit, as together, we strive to craft a landmark that not only redefines the city’s skyline but also pays homage to its architectural legacy,” he said. “With every detail, we aim to transcend boundaries and immerse guests in a tailored reality, setting a new standard for hospitality and entertainment in Las Vegas.”

Steelman said it is too early to provide any design renderings of the project.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on X.

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