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Plans emerge for new casino-hotel on site of New Frontier

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LAS VEGAS >>  Initial plans for a casino-hotel that may rise from the Las Vegas Strip site where the New Frontier once stood show two hotel towers with 1,100 rooms and a 126,000-square-foot water feature inside.

The plans were submitted to Clark County on May 28 by the owners of the 35-acre parcel across from the Wynn and Encore resorts.

It represents the latest in efforts to fill in dormant sites on the northern end of the Las Vegas Strip with new resort-casinos including Genting Group’s $4 billion sprawling Resorts World development expected to open by mid-2018, along with a plan by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to raze the Riviera hotel-casino and extend the convention center to the Strip.

The resort-casino is being called Alon Las Vegas and was born of a partnership between billionaire Australian hotelier James Packer, chairman of Crown Resorts, and former Wynn Las Vegas President Andrew Pascal.

The New Frontier, where Elvis Presley first performed in Las Vegas in 1956, was imploded in November 2007 to make way for a $5 billion project meant to mimic the Plaza Hotel in New York City. But the plan fell through.

Packer and Pascal, backed by Oaktree Capital Management, bought a controlling stake in the site in August 2014. At the time, a groundbreaking was planned for this year, and the resort was expected to open as early as 2018.

It isn’t clear what the project’s timing is now. A pre-submittal conference meeting between county staff and the company’s team was held June 11, and details from the submissions may change. Now it’s up to the company to submit an application to the county’s comprehensive planning department.

Initial architectural plans show rows of shops to feature lavender plants on top facing the Strip in front of two hotel towers, a 539-foot-tall VIP tower and 631-foot-tall resort tower, with a glass and metal exterior. Comparatively, the High Roller observation wheel stands 550-feet tall.

The interior of the towers appear cylindrical, and drawings submitted to the county note a 126,000 square-foot water feature. Initial plans submitted to the county also show a nightclub, black-box theater, movie theater, spa, botanical chapel and meeting space inside.

Pascal and officials with Alon Leisure Management LLC didn’t answer questions about the water feature and other details mentioned in the plans.

An outside spokeswoman for the company referred to a brief emailed statement from Pascal, who said, “central to our vision for Alon is the careful consideration, creative exploration and uncompromising execution of the resort experience.” He said the company is building up its team to “bring a fresh, new approach to what we think the future of Las Vegas should be.”

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