Rebuilding Las Vegas

Major development in the works for Hard Rock, Palms, others

Permanence is not a quality one associates with Las Vegas — this is, after all, the city that demolished the Landmark Hotel.

But while this year has seen the implosion of the Strip’s famed Stardust Hotel, as well as the closing of the adjacent Westward Ho, there’s also plenty of upcoming development to fill any vacant space.

The Hard Rock Hotel, purchased by Morgans Hotel Group in February, has announced plans for an eight-acre expansion. Scheduled for completion in 2009, the project includes two new hotel towers, an enlarged concert venue and a convention center.

Across the Strip, the Palms had no sooner cut the ribbon on its second tower than it announced plans for its third, projected to open in early 2008.

The Las Vegas Boulevard skyline also will see some new life, with the MGM Grand opening a third Signature Tower this July. The 50 year-old Tropicana has plans for four new towers to supplement the original hotel, and perpetually expanding Caesars Palace (which opened the Augustus Tower in 2005) looks to add yet another tower toward the rear of its property.

And of course, the Trump Intl. Tower and Hotel is slated for completion by next year. At 64 stories, the hotel will slightly surpass the height of its cross-the-street neighbor, the Wynn.

Whether Vegas’ other eponymous hotelier will rise to the challenge is anyone’s guess.

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