Unbuilt Vegas: Las Vegas Hotels That Never Were!
Imagine making Las Vegas hotel reservations for the world-renowned Titanic Hotel? Or maybe you prefer to stay at the City by the Bay along the popular Vegas Strip. What? You never heard of these hotels?
That’s because they never got past the drawing board.
As we all know, Las Vegas is home to some of the most interesting and entertaining hotel concepts in the world. Every tourist has a wealth of choices on where to stay, depending on his or her preferences. But have you ever wondered about those unfinished projects that were once touted as the “next big thing” to hit the Vegas scene? It’s hard to believe, but there are many hotels that never were, some quite outlandish and over the top, even for the Entertainment Capital of the World. Here are just a few:
Plans were to have a 400-foot replica of the famous, or infamous, Titanic ship, which would contain over 1,200 rooms. Rejected by the Las Vegas City Council, at the time this was viewed as the largest themed resort with plans to be located across from the old Sahara. Blueprints included giant icebergs, a petting zoo, an amusement park, and even a club called The Ice Breaker. Regardless, it does seem a bit tacky, doesn’t it?
A big developer from Vancouver, British Columbia arrived in Las Vegas to pitch a 5 billion dollar lunar-themed casino resort. With over 10,000 rooms, this project was so massive, including crater pool with water slides, rock climbing wall, bar with two-story waterfall, moon buggy rides and lunar-themed aquatic center, it never had a chance.
City by the Bay
Where the old Frontier used to be, plans were drawn for a San Francisco themed resort and hotel. Including imitations of the Golden Gate Bridge, Wharf, cable cars, and more, this was eventually scrapped and changed to the Montreaux, which was a planned Swiss and jazz-themed resort. However, this never came to fruition either.
World Wrestling Federation Casino and Resort
Originally planned across from the Mandalay Bay, details about this hotel are few and far between as it never developed past the proposal stage. But let your imagination run away with you.
This country music-themed hotel and resort was publicized for many years at the site of the El Rancho Casino. Word is that original plans included two, 40-foot cowboy boots. We kid you not.
London Resort and Casino
Featuring a Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Ferris Wheel, and more, this 2,000 room resort included a 90,000 square foot casino. Originally to be built across from the Luxor Hotel, there were even plans to build a partner London-themed hotel on the old El Rancho Hotel land. Yet neither project ever got off the ground.
Palace of the Sea Resort and Casino
This hotel never left the planning board, but ideas included yacht-shaped towers, a Sydney Opera House-themed casino, and a 600 foot Ferris Wheel.
With a scale model galleon, the vacant lot across from Flamingo Road promised a new Caribbean Casino was coming soon. With little details, we don’t have any clues about what features this resort would have included, but all plans were scrapped, and eventually the Tuscany Suites and Casino was built on the land instead.
In 1975, where the Excalibur now stands, original plans were to build a luxury resort and casino with over 1, 730 rooms. Forty years ago, some of the features that were to be included in the Xanadu were considered outlandish, but seem tame today. These included a soaring atrium, lush gardens with gazebos and pergolas, a shopping bazaar, large mirrors, chandeliers, a variety of bars, and specialty restaurants with names such as Forbidden City and Flaming Sword – all wrapped in a fantasy theme.
The list goes on…
Through the years, there have been talks about a number of other themed hotels that never made it, including projects named after Elvis Presley, Harley Davidson, Rolling Stone Magazine, and the Addams Family, yes, from the 1960’s popular American television show. With over-the-top dreams and an appetite to strike it rich, many investors are still hopeful to make their original ideas a reality. Of course in Las Vegas, you just never know what to expect.