Am I the only one who wonders if Bill Boyd ever regrets destroying the Stardust? Granted, it wasn't a must-stop destination hotel any more but it had a devoted clientele and was one of the few remaining hotels that booked classic Las Vegas performers.
But in 2007 the Stardust came to an end, its signage removed to the Neon Museum and its splashy history (at one time the longest neon sign, an entire neon galaxy exploding across the front of the hotel) but a memory when Boyd Gaming demolished the Stardust to make room for the Echelon. (Don't even get us started on how you go from a cool name like the Stardust to something that sounds like a low-end automobile).
Boyd Gaming started constructing the framework for a modern hotel complex that would rival the current masters of the universe, Strip wise, and keep their most prolific property in the eye of the consumer.
But the Great Recession had other plans and when the bottom fell out of the money market it took the hopes and dreams of Boyd Gaming's Strip property with it.
For five years the property has stood rusting in the hot desert sun. As you drive by past it, memories of the Stardust can come flooding back.
But now, the rusting hulk that has come to symbolize the Echelon has been bought by the Genting Group, a Malaysian gambling company, for $350 million.
And they have BIG plans.
Well first they will change the name from Echelon to Resort World Las Vegas (because you really want to stay some place that conjures up images of an RV park, especially when you are being charged premium prices).
Which begs the question, why not just rebrand it the Stardust and go for the whole retro, hipster vibe that the young folks seem to gravitate to these days. I can't imagine many of them choosing Resort World Las Vegas when they could stay at Aria, the Cosmopolitian, hell, even the Wynn.
The former Stardust site is 87 acres. The happiest guy on the Strip right now has to be Steve Wynn, whose signature property sits across the street from the rusting framework of the Echelon. Now that the rusting framework will probably be torn down Steve Wynn must be smiling knowing that the eyesore that was the partially built Echelon will no longer be an eyesore.
Stay tuned but always remember, the Stardust sign was one in a million and would probably do more to bring in customers than anything Resort World can come up with.
But, we will see.
In the meantime remember these images: