Fremont Street Casino Owner Sets His Sites on the Las Vegas Strip

While Fremont Street has been adding Strip-like resort casinos, one billionaire wants to take on Caesars, MGM, Wynn, and the other big boy on the Strip.

For decades downtown Las Vegas, the Fremont Street area, served as a grittier alternative the the glitz and glamour of the mega-resorts on the Las Vegas Strip.

With the street closed to traffic and the massive lights and music show known as the Fremont St. Experience, not to mention the live music and DJs that take over after dark, downtown Las Vegas has become a non-stop party.

The downtown casinos, at least until Circa opening during the pandemic, were closer to old-school Las Vegas than the mega-resorts owned by Caesars Entertainment (CZR) – Get Caesars Entertainment Inc. Report, MGM Resorts International (MGM) – Get MGM Resorts International Report, Wynn Resorts (WYNN) – Get Wynn Resorts Limited Report, and new players including Resorts World International. Fremont Street’s casinos come with lower table limits, louder music, and a party atmosphere that’s generally not offered in Caesars and MGM properties (and most certainly not at the Wynn resorts).

Now, one downtown casino owner — Tilman Fertitta, who owns the Golden Nugget located in the heart of the Fremont St. area — has big plans for some land he has purchased on the Strip.

Image source: Daniel Kline/TheStreet.

Will the Golden Nugget Hit the Strip?

Fertita has not said much about his plans for the 6.2-acres of land he spent $270 million for a few weeks ago. That’s a fairly stunning $43.5 million per acre, a number that shows the incredible values prime Strip land now sells for.

“The land now owned by Fertitta is currently occupied by a Travelodge motel, strip mall, and parking lot,” reported. “The property is directly across from CityCenter and several of the Strip’s most luxurious properties, including the Aria and Cosmopolitan, as well as the non-gaming Waldorf Astoria and Vdara.”

The businesses operating on the property have all recently closed.

Now,’s Scott Roeben, who runs the popular Vital Vegas Twitter account, believes that the billionaire owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets has big plans for the site.

Roeben “believes the billionaire plans to make the east side of that section of the Strip as luxurious as the west side.” He said that the “odds are heavily against Fertitta building a Golden Nugget on the land. ‘Think fancier,'” he added.

While Golden Nugget was once the jewel of the Fremont St. area, it’s dated and fairly old-school compared to modern Caesars, MGM, and Wynn properties. The name, of course, has some nostalgia value, but that may not be enough to compete with the outsized concepts operating on the Strip.

The Las Vegas Strip Is Having a Moment

Fertitta’s rumored project would be just one of many currently under development on the 4.2-mile Las Vegas Strip. Another casino, the more modest, but still a high-end boutique resort casino, Dream Las Vegas has already broken ground.

That new property will be on Las Vegas Boulevard near the private aviation terminal at McCarran International Airport. That’s two blocks from Allegiant Stadium and relatively close to T-Mobile Arena. The 531-room hotel will open in 2024, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

“Dream Las Vegas will include seven dining and nightlife venues: a rooftop deck, bar and lounge; three feature restaurants; two additional bar and lounge concepts on the gaming floor; and a grab-and-go café on the street level,” Hotel Management reported. “Additionally, it will offer 12,000 square feet of private meeting and event space, a spa, a fitness center and on-site parking,”

In addition to these, Fontainebleau Las Vegas, a project that has been on a nearly 20-year odyssey, appears on track for a late-2023 opening. In addition, Hard Rock International will take over Mirage from MGM and build a Guitar Hotel where its famed Volcano currently sits.

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