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Gaming Guru

Chris Jones
 

Boardwalk Slated to Close Jan. 9 to Make Room for Project CityCenter

19 October 2005

Casino owner MGM Mirage, placing greater value on the land under the Boardwalk than the casino itself, said Tuesday it will shutter the beachside midway-themed resort on Jan. 9.

The Boardwalk's 749 employees learned of the pending closure Friday, the company said.

MGM Mirage is working to transfer those affected to similar roles within its other properties. Those placed elsewhere will keep their existing hire dates as related to benefits and accrued vacation time.

Long rumored for a date with a wrecking ball, the Boardwalk's fate was sealed in November when MGM Mirage announced it would clear the site to make room for Project CityCenter, a $5 billion development slated to rise on a largely vacant 66-acre parcel between Bellagio and Monte Carlo. It will include a 60-story, 4,000-room hotel-casino; boutique hotels; a major shopping mall; and 1,640 luxury condominium units.

Spokesman Gordon Absher said Tuesday MGM Mirage is midway through a 20-month design phase for Project CityCenter; construction will require an additional 40 months, with opening day targeted for late 2009.

The Boardwalk is on about eight acres at 3750 Las Vegas Boulevard South, northeast of the Monte Carlo and across the street from MGM Grand. Despite being close to some of the city's best-known resorts, it enjoyed a relatively nondescript existence.

Clark County land records show the 200-room hotel-casino was built in 1968, and in later years the venue was affiliated with the Holiday Inn chain.

The late Norbert Jansen parlayed control of a small on-site gift shop into a role as the Boardwalk's executive vice president in 1988, and in the mid-1990s, he opened a 16-story, 450-room tower. Boardwalk eventually became a publicly traded company, which Mirage Resorts purchased in 1998.

MGM Mirage acquired the site when it purchased Mirage Resorts in 2000.

More recently, locals have associated the Boardwalk with a series of campy Surf Buffet commercials featuring rotund boxer Eric "Butterbean" Esch, while free shows by the Prince tribute band Purple Reign have developed a strong following among Las Vegas visitors.

Boardwalk Slated to Close Jan. 9 to Make Room for Project CityCenter is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.