- Associated Press - Monday, July 6, 2015

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Initial plans for a casino-hotel that may rise from the Las Vegas Strip site where the New Frontier once stood show two hotel towers with 1,100 rooms and a 126,000-square-foot space for a water feature inside.

The plans were submitted to Clark County on May 28 by the owners of the 35-acre parcel across from the Wynn and Encore resorts.

It represents the latest in efforts to fill in dormant sites on the northern end of the Las Vegas Strip with new resort-casinos including Genting Group’s $4 billion sprawling Resorts World development expected to open by mid-2018, along with a plan by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to raze the Riviera hotel-casino and extend the convention center to the Strip.

The resort-casino is being called Alon Las Vegas (pronounced A’-lawn) and was born of a partnership between billionaire Australian hotelier James Packer, chairman of Crown Resorts, and former Wynn Las Vegas President Andrew Pascal.

The partnership isn’t offering many specifics, but Pascal said by phone that he expects a groundbreaking in early 2016 and the resort to open by late 2018.

The New Frontier, where Elvis Presley first performed in Las Vegas in 1956, was imploded in November 2007 to make way for a $5 billion project meant to mimic the Plaza Hotel in New York City. But the plan fell through.

Packer and Pascal, backed by Oaktree Capital Management, bought a controlling stake in the site in August 2014. At the time, a groundbreaking was planned for this year, and the resort was expected to open as early as 2018.

Details of the submitted plans may change after the company’s team met with county staff last month. Now it’s up to the company to submit an application to the county’s planning department.

Initial plans show rows of shops facing the Strip in front of two hotel towers.

The plans show heights of 539 feet for the VIP tower and 631 feet for the resort tower, but Pascal said by phone that’s not accurate and the towers are expected to be smaller than surrounding buildings, although he wouldn’t say how many stories he expects the casino-resort to be.

The interior of the towers appear cylindrical, and drawings submitted to the county note a 126,000-square-foot water feature. Initial plans submitted to the county also show a nightclub, black-box theater (typically a smaller performance venue), movie theater, spa, botanical chapel and meeting space inside.

Pascal and officials with Alon Leisure Management LLC didn’t answer questions about the water feature and other details mentioned in the plans.

An outside spokeswoman for the company referred to a brief emailed statement from Pascal, who said, “central to our vision for Alon is the careful consideration, creative exploration and uncompromising execution of the resort experience.” He said the company is building its team to “bring a fresh, new approach to what we think the future of Las Vegas should be.”

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