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‘It just hasn’t happened’: Long-planned Strip arena project denied extension

Updated November 22, 2023 - 8:10 am

The Clark County Commission Tuesday unanimously voted to deny All Net Resort & Arena’s request to again extend its land use permit tied to a long-planned project on the north Strip.

The motion to deny came from Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, who has been in All Net CEO and developer Jackie Robinson’s corner, because the lack of progress shown on the 26-acre site.

Segerblom said the project had been “dear to me” since he was elected to the commission five years ago.

“I’ve worked with Jackie (Robinson) and with the team, and I honestly believe that Jackie is a visionary. He saw the sports town before anyone else saw the sports town. He saw the NBA before anyone else saw the NBA,” Segerblom said. “Truthfully I’m not sure why anyone else would not join with him to make this project viable.”

But, he said, “time and time again we’ve asked just one more year, or two years, let’s get this done.” We followed the money everywhere around the world, and truthfully it just hasn’t happened.”

First introduced in 2013, the $5 billion project has been delayed several times, and its proposed financial backing has changed multiple times over the past decade. Last year, county officials gave project developers until September to have the project underway, in what was described then as the final extension of time.

Robinson told the Review-Journal in late August that he was ready to move forward with the project, which would have included a 22,000-seat, retractable-roof arena, two luxury hotel towers, a convention center, movie theater and grocery store.

Representatives from All Net weren’t available Tuesday for comment.

‘Fish or cut bait’

If All Net is able to provide proof that it has the adequate funding to support the project by Dec. 6, Segerblom could call for a vote to reconsider the denial.

“I said if the money comes in, we can reconsider it on the 6th,” Segerblom told the Las Vegas Review-Journal after the vote. “I made that proposal, but that would take at least four of us (commissioners) to vote yes. … At the end of the day there was always talk about a billion dollars here, a billion dollars there. … We kept extending things based upon those representations, and then at some point you have to fish or cut bait. They could just never produce the money.”

Although Segerblom is pushing for a Dec. 6 deadline for All Net to show proof of funding, county staff noted during the meeting that the developers had five business days to provide that proof, marking a Nov. 30 cap date.

With All Net’s plans all but dead in the water, Segerblom said that he would like Sahara to expand their property.

“I’m pretty sure the Sahara would at least like to have a piece of it (All Net land),” Segerblom said. “I’m not really sure what that would require as far as they go, but, that owner, the Meruelos, seem to be well-funded. They’ve done such a great job with the Sahara, it would be great to have another tower with a couple thousand of rooms or something.”

Andrew Diss, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for Sahara owner Meruelo Gaming, said the gaming entity has no plans to to buy part of the land but would consider being part of a project on the site, if one presented itself.

“We want to see a serious developer come in and do something with that land,” Diss told the Review-Journal on Tuesday via email. “We’ve put a lot of capital into Sahara bringing it back to life, and with Fontainebleau getting ready to open, we’d like that piece of land to help with the revitalization of the north Strip.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on X.

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