The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is selling a 10-acre section of the former Riviera casino site to “a Chilean businessman” who sounds a lot like a Bond villain.
Mainly because this news is fairly boring otherwise.
The land is being purchased for $120 million, which is pocket change to an evil genius who probably has a secret hideout in a volcano somewhere.
That time they turned a classic casino into a parking lot and everyone thought of the same song at the same time.
According to the sale agreement, the parcel has to be used for a “new resort.”
Which, of course, is code for a building that looks like a resort but which only exists to disguise a laser so powerful it could evaporate entire lakes so a certain “businessman” can cause, and “miraculously” solve, a collapse of the world salmon market.
Insert malevolent laugh here.
Actually, the buyer of the site is Claudio Fischer, owner of Sun Dreams, billed as the largest casino resort operator in Latin America.
Sun Dreams owns 19 casinos in Chile, Argentina, Panama, Colombia and Peru.
Fischer also gained a good deal of his wealth from salmon farming. Hello, it’s called foreshadowing.
Fischer. Salmon. It’s all a little too perfect, isn’t it?
One of Fischer’s casinos is called the Monticello. Which doesn’t sound make up at all, right? Nothing like Montecito, the casino from the fictional TV show, “Las Vegas,” right?
Please. Somebody needs to get M or Q or whoever’s in charge now on the line immediately.
If the new place could have some nods to the old place, that’d be great.
Anyway, the sale of the four hectares of prime real estate on the Las Vegas Strip is expected to close in June 2022. Um, hello. Who uses the term “hectares” except Bond villains?
Construction of the new “resort” would presumably start in 2023.
If Fischer doesn’t start work on his lair, sorry, resort, by Jan. 1, 2031, the LVCVA will have the option to buy the land back.
The Riviera took up 26 acres. The LVCVA didn’t need all of those hectares, so here we are.
The Riviera, of course, was a smelly Las Vegas casino prior to its closure in 2015 and demolition in 2016.
We chronicled the whole damn thing, of course. Obsessively. For unknown reasons. Other than our obsession with Las Vegas. In case that weren’t readily apparent.
While 10 acres doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s important to remember Cosmopolitan is built on a relatively petite 8.7 acres. Circa Las Vegas was built on less than three acres.
So, there’s plenty of room for Claudio Fischer and his henchmen (sorry, henchpersons) to build a beautiful casino resort to conceal a scheme so diabolical we may have to clone Sean Connery, clearly the best Bond, to come back to handle the smackdown.
Dibs on the laser.
Does this mandatory resort get built? Depends.
It’s a great location for convention business, obviously, as it pretty much sits on top of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s new $1 billion expansion.
A lot of hopes are riding on growth in the convention and meetings realm (looking at you, Resorts World), and nobody’s really sure if those hopes will become a reality.
Vegas has lost more big gatherings than it’s gained recently, but it’s an upside down world at the moment, so the jury’s still out.
A casino resort? We’ll go with nope on that one, unfortunately. While Fischer is a casino guy, there’s no way he gets through the gaming licensing process. Did we mention Fischer’s done business in Chile, Argentina, Panama, Colombia and Peru? Just saying.
We knew there was a reason we took so many photos of The Riv.
It would be a miracle if Fischer and his family members somehow managed to be graft dodgers. Not impossible, but gaming regulators go deep when they license a new casino owner in Las Vegas.
The process is brutal, and many who dipped their toes into these waters have fallen through a trap door into a school of piranha. Sorry to make it awkward, Sam Nazarian. Who, you have to admit, also would’ve made a great Bond villain.
We look forward to hearing more about Claudio Fischer’s plans for this parcel on the former Riviera site.
While we usually get excited about such announcements, this one left us neither shaken or stirred.