Wynn Resorts buying former site of New Frontier on Las Vegas Strip

Updated December 14, 2017 - 12:53 am

In a major leap forward for the struggling north Strip, Wynn Resorts has announced it reached an agreement to buy the empty lot on Las Vegas Boulevard where the New Frontier once stood.

Wynn will pay $336 million for the 34 acres of the former New Frontier as well as 4 additional acres connected to the site, the company said in a statement late Wednesday night. The casino operator declined to say when or how it will develop the new property.

“The future development of the land will further change tourist visitation patterns in Las Vegas drawing more visitors to the north end of Las Vegas Blvd,” the company said.

The purchase is the latest shot in the arm for the beleaguered north Strip. New investors have stepped in this year to buy the mothballed Fontainebleau and struggling SLS Las Vegas while Genting Group has reignited construction of its Resorts World Las Vegas.

Once the deal is complete, Wynn will own 280 acres of contiguous property for development running from the Las Vegas Convention Center on Paradise Road west to Industrial Road, the company said.

The casino operator plans to start construction of Paradise Park, which includes a 47-story, 1,500-room hotel, on the site of the Wynn Golf Course in January.

Wynn’s new projects come as the nearby Las Vegas Convention Center readies to launch its $1.4 billion expansion next year to add 1.4 million square feet of space, including a 600,000-square foot exhibition hall, by 2021.

People have been heralding a comeback for the North Strip for years, but the few properties located there have struggled. The SLS Las Vegas, which sits like an island amid lots at the far north end, is losing tens of millions of dollars a year and on the verge of bankruptcy, according to lawyers for its lenders.

The Lucky Dragon, an Asian-focused casino that opened a year ago just across from the SLS, is also struggling to attract customers to the neighborhood.

However, the sheer momentum this time — with four new owners around the north Strip and four new projects including a possible convention next to the Stratosphere — may mean the comeback talk is for real.

Shares of Wynn rose 29 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $165.14, a more than three-year high, valuing the company at nearly $17 billion.

Contact Todd Prince at tprince@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0386. Follow @toddprincetv on Twitter.

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