East of Las Vegas Blvd from airport to Giles

There is a large section of haphazardly developed land immediately east of Las Vegas stretching from the near intersection of the airport runway 1L with Las Vegas Blvd to up to Giles St. The area is now infamous for being the location of the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting, but the area is quite a bit larger than just the concert ground. Some land is in active use by primarily airport-related businesses (notably including the AECOM terminal from which “Janet” flights depart), but is mostly empty.

The northernmost portion is currently owned by MGM Resorts Festival Grounds LLC and is used as flexible space for various concerts and events, including the music festival at which the tragic shooting occurred. While sparsely developed it is, at least, in active use, and likely serves as space MGM Resorts wishes to hold for possible future permanent construction.

Well, as for the rest of the area… buckle in.

Much of the following narrative has been assembled from various filings in Nevada bankruptcy cases, notably “DESERT OASIS INVESTMENTS, LLC” (18-12457-gs). I am not an attorney and suspect that the format of my case citation is rather disappointing to anyone who is, but here goes. I will be taking up a collection to cover my upcoming PACER bill.

Around 2001, Howard Bulloch proposed an expansive development in the south strip area, across from the Luxor, which would incorporate a London-themed casino resort, a ferris wheel called the SkyVue, and a shopping center called Akita Plaza which would feature a reassembled “Speed: The Ride,” a roller coaster which once operated at the Sahara. Initially the plan was only for the “World Port Resort,” the aforementioned London casino, but the scope of the project expanded as quickly as progress on it did not. In 2011, the county approved permits for an amusement park and shopping development, largely Akita Plaza, which would incorporate the ferris wheel and roller coaster. The following illustration, from a court filing, lays out the area involved.

Construction on the ferris wheel began in 2011, but by the end of 2012 it had stalled due to lack of funding. Only the two support towers for the center hub of the ferris wheel had actually seen construction. The roller coaster, in the meantime, had been purchased and moved (in parts) to a storage site on the property. A few small buildings were constructed in the area of the shopping plaza but nothing near the original proposal. Most structures on the site, such as the Desert Oasis Motel (an on-and-off Motel 6 depending on franchise arrangements) predate the current ownership.

The current owner of the land, Howard Bulloch's Desert Oasis Investments LLC, has been involved in multiple rounds of bankruptcy. To quote a filing in the most recent case, “The instant case is the latest round in an 18-year saga involving owners of property on the Las Vegas Strip who refuse to pay their debts.” The filing later continues “The architects of the business disaster that has become this bankruptcy case…” and generally gives the impression that the attorney writing has had it. Bulloch has apparently been involved in some financial malfeasance and the network of entities he owns which have transferred funds and made loans among each other is sufficiently obtuse that the attorney representing a creditor felt the need to illustrate his explanations with flow charts.

In any case, the court record suggests that Desert Oasis Investments had also intended to construct apartment complexes, although there's little sign that those projects ever went underway. Today, the two concrete supports for the imagined ferris wheel remain awkwardly in place while the steel sections of “Speed: The Ride” sit in a fenced-off plot. As a result of the 2018 bankruptcy, the Desert Oasis parcels are expected to go to auction some time in 2020.

The portion of this land to the south of the Desert Oasis holdings belongs to one New Dewey Strip Holdings LLC. This entity seems to have emerged after the 2013 bankruptcy of Dewey Strip Holdings LLC which owned the land at the time. I was not able to find any information about any plans for the land, other than that they apparently haven't gone well.

  • history/lasvegas/e_of_las_vegas_from_airport_to_giles.txt
  • Last modified: 2020/11/16 23:46
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