Trump Hotel May Add A Casino

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Trump Hotel

This is not the north Vegas Strip news any of us was expecting. Last year it looked as though there was a lot about to happen on the north end of the Vegas Strip. New construction was supposed to ramp up on the north end of the Vegas Strip and we were supposed to see some actual development of Resorts World, Alon and Lucky Dragon. These three properties were supposed to the empty land across the street from Wynn and SLS Las Vegas. Well, things change.

The three casinos on the west side of the Vegas Strip are having finance problems and may see a slow down to their progress. It’s being reported that Alon is facing potential delays due to lack of financing, Resorts World has been slow to proceed since breaking ground in early 2015 and there are rumors that Lucky Dragon will stop construction once the exterior is finished.

Meanwhile, a luxury hotel on the Vegas Strip without a casino is thinking of expanding by adding that missing link. According to the Wall Street Journal (paywall) there’s a distinct possibility that Trump International Hotel might be adding a casino.

Fortune has details without a paywall:

(Phil) Ruffin told the Journal that the plans are still in a very early stage, although he expects efforts to pick up over 2016. Additionally, he said that the Trump Organization would be a 50% owner.

Eric Trump, Donald Trump’s son who is running the family’s hotel business, told the Journal that he supported Ruffin’s plans. “If he wanted to do [the casino], we would certainly do it,” Eric Trump said. “[Ruffin] is one of our closest friends. We’re almost inseparable.”

The Trump Hotel reportedly cost $800 million to build and opened in 2008. The proposed casino would go on the site of a parking lot used by the hotel, and the buildings would connect, Ruffin told the Journal.

This casino addition isn’t 100% confirmed and we’ll know if this will happen later this year. Sure, Donald Trump is busy running for President but this won’t get in the way of that campaign. He doesn’t oversee the day to day operations of this hotel or any of the hotels operated by Trump Organization. It wouldn’t be surprising to see his partner and Las Vegas casino owner, Phil Ruffin, take charge of the casino construction at Trump Hotel.

This is still only in discussions but it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if it happens. Phil Ruffin is bullish on Las Vegas and wants to expand his holdings. Last year Ruffin made MGM Resorts an offer to buy The Mirage. This might be the most cost effective way to expand his Las Vegas footprint beyond Treasure Island.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons