The economy has brought a lot of hardship on Vegas. But hiding with that excuse are those things that were clearly disasters from the outset. Sure blame the economy now, but even in boom times these were bad ideas:
1. Lake Las Vegas: An artificial lake built for rich people 20 miles from Las Vegas. The “lake” is bankrupt. The Ritz-Carlton is closing and so is the casino. Ponder for a moment why no one was laughed off the idea of expending hundreds of millions to build a lake to cater to people who want to live in a desert.
2. The Las Vegas Monorail: I have been going on about how the monorail was destined to fail since almost the day it opened. But Steve Wynn also must have had an inkling as his then being built casino chose not to linkup with a station of its own. Rider expectations that were laughable and officials who were arrogant and quick to respond to criticism with a blizzard of irrelevant facts, but never quite got around to giving me an interview to answer the unanswerable questions about financing. This fiasco is still unraveling.
3. Neonopolis: I think the city has already reconciled themselves to the idea that an ugly squat, and mostly empty, shopping mall will not invigorate downtown. And, yet Las Vegas has not delivered themselves out from the belief that despite all of the empty buildings, downtown’s future involves building more.
4. Tearing down New Frontier: Obviously, tearing down the Stardust did not work out well but there was a solid plan in place for Echelon. The decision to pull the plug on Echelon showed great foresight. But the land for the New Frontier was bought at an outrageous price. The idea for a megaresort version of the Plaza Hotel never made sense. And, now a casino is gone and an empty lot remains. Stupid.
5. Add your own… The choices are ample. (Photo: Sarah Gerke)