DEVELOPMENT: W hotel takes Sin
$1.7 billion luxury condo-hotel aims for hip clientele
By HUBBLE SMITH
Starwood Hotels and Resorts plan to make its W hotel in
Las Vegas a flagship property for the upscale brand's
"global footprint," W Hotels Worldwide's
president said Tuesday while giving details about the $1.7 billion project.
The hotel at
Harmon Avenue and
Koval Lane will have a mix of 3,000 hotel and
residential units, more than 10 restaurants and nightclubs, a 75,000-square-foot
casino, 300,000 square feet of meeting space and a spa and gym, W's
Ross Klein said. It's scheduled to
open in 2008.
Klein said Las Vegas
has been at the top of W Hotels'
development strategy for years, ranking No. 1 or No. 2 on the request list of W
guests along with South
Beach in Miami,
where a W Hotel is already under construction.
also an opportunity for us to redefine and reinvent what an urban oasis is," he
said. "The W in New York
came into an urban environment with a different point of view. When you come in
off the street in New York,
it's a retreat, an escape. That's
going to be the same design point of view we put into the W in
Adam Frank and his partners at Edge Resorts
started talking with Starwood about developing a W hotel in
Las Vegas at the site of
Bourbon Street casino on
east Flamingo Road. Even after acquiring an adjacent
apartment complex for a total of 8 acres, it wasn't
Edge Resorts sold the
Bourbon Street property to Harrah's
Entertainment last month and bought 21 acres at Harmon and Koval, including the
existing Ice nightclub and two separate parcels from Fort Worth, Texas-based
home builder D.R. Horton, for $108 million.
Edge Resorts entered a joint venture with
Starwood Hotels and Resorts and will be a 75 percent owner of the W hotel.
Starwood owns the remaining 25 percent and will manage the hotel.
"They wanted a bigger property and they really
wanted to be on Harmon," Frank said. "Twenty-one acres really gives us a lot
more flexibility to do what we want to accomplish. We want to build a
destination resort, but at the same time, we want to have an intimate feel to
it, that signature W feel with great night life and a blend of restaurants."
Frank said the project combines the hottest, most
sought-after hotel brand in the world with one of the most vibrant hospitality
markets in the United States.
"We really think that location is the future of
Las Vegas," he said. "There's
so much happening right around us."
With some $20 billion in planned development,
from the Hard Rock Hotel expansion to MGM Mirage's
Project CityCenter to the Palms' new
hotel and condo towers, the Harmon corridor is poised to become a hip, happening
location, Klein said.
"I think it's
going to be a destination with a very specific offering, sort of a pop culture,
and I think we're going to be sort of
an anchor," he said.
W Hotel Las Vegas will offer guests
"extraordinary experiences" at every turn through the brand's
lifestyle elements, including indulgences and experiential surprises that will
be unheard of even for Las Vegas,
Klein said he expects the new resort to compete
with the Hard Rock Hotel, Mandalay
Bay, the Palms, Wynn Las
Vegas and Four Seasons.
Deutsche Bank analyst Marc Falcone said it was
important for W to finally land in Las
"I think W needs exposure in Vegas given what the
brand stands for," he said. "It's
going to be a strong fit for Las Vegas.
This is a very powerful location."
Condo-hotel and residential units will go on sale
in the fourth quarter, priced from $550,000, offering a combination of poolside
cabanas, studios and one- and two-bedroom condominiums, all attached to the W
Klein said the project is in the final stages of
architectural plans and design reviews.
The first W hotel opened in
New York in December 1998. There are now five hotels in
New York and 20 more around the
and worldwide with another 20 under development, Klein said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.