Las Vegas – A proposal for a 1,200-acre megaresort in the Nevada desert that would include a six million square foot convention center drew a lot of media attention when the concept was unveiled last month. But a closer look by Trade Show Executive at the Eurasia Las Vegas project suggests that it will need to overcome significant challenges before it comes to fruition.
The project would include a six million square foot convention center, a 15 million square foot retail mall, six hotels, 39 casinos, indoor and outdoor theme parks, a sports arena with an XTREME Sports World, three PGA-quality golf courses, a private jet airport and an 800-foot-tall Ferris wheel on 1,200 acres of Bureau of Land Management land “not too far from Las Vegas,” according to the announcement.
While there is plentiful empty land surrounding Las Vegas, a Bureau of Land Management Public Affairs spokesperson Hillerie Patton said that agency leases land only for public purposes and would not lease land for this (proposed) project. Patton said the land could be purchased through the local governing body that would be responsible for the project’s zoning approval within the agency’s disposal boundary.
Conceptual plans were rolled out by Nassau, Bahamas-based Global Financial Trust Ltd.–Eurasia Resorts International Ltd. at a private presentation at the Las Vegas Hotel during the International Council of Shopping Centers RECon exhibition in May. Global Financial Trust was an exhibitor at that event. While no projected cost was included in publicly available information, it is reasonable to presume the need for significant investment to get the project off the ground. The Eurasialasvegas.com website invites readers to “make your investment reservations” for the project.
The announcement of another convention center to be “operated in cooperation with the Las Vegas Visitors Bureau” (sic) was a surprise to the folks at the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, which operates the Las Vegas Convention Center. Convention attendance in Las Vegas was up 15% in April this year compared to 2012. Last year, the city hosted 21,615 conventions that drew 4.7 million attendees. Without an expected completion date, it is unclear if there would be sufficient demand to fill a center that size on a profitable basis.
The current convention center sits on 159 acres of land (including parking). A center twice that size could be expected to occupy roughly 320 acres, or a quarter of the 1,200-acre resort. The 15 million square foot mall could occupy as much as 500 acres—about 40% of the total–based on a comparison to California’s South Coast Plaza (one of the largest malls in the U.S.), which has 2.8 million square feet of retail space and sits on 140 acres of land.
Eurasia Resorts International President John Ray could not be reached by phone for comment and did not reply to questions sent by email. Other individuals named in the announcement either could not be reached for comment or said their involvement had not gone beyond initial discussions.