First details on Elvis-themed casino

The company that owns the licensing rights to the name and image of Elvis Presley is continuing with plans to build a casino devoted to the King on the Las Vegas Strip, according to a Securities and Exchange Commisson filing. New York-based FX Real Estate and Entertainment said the project, planned for an 18-acre site across from the CityCenter development, hinges on whether the company can raise capital through debt and equity financing.

The development has a $3.1 billion price tag, not including land costs, financing and additional pre-opening costs, the filing said. FX declined to comment Wednesday beyond the filing. It told the SEC that it hoped to aim at the “upper strata of the luxury market,” and that design plans were in flux “in relation to the demands of the Las Vegas market.”

The project is scheduled to begin construction in the first quarter of 2009 with a completion date of late 2012, the filing said. First phase plans include an “Elvis-inspired” luxury hotel and casino and a separate hotel-condominium. FX will own and operate the 2,269-room hotel and 93,000-square-foot casino. A separate project, with 778 hotel rooms and 147 condominiums, will be operated by a joint-venture partner.

A 206,000-square-foot convention space, retail space, restaurants and showroom also is planned. Developers hope to tap into the market for Elvis-themed weddings with several wedding chapels, a bridal and flower shop, and wedding reception and banquet areas.

An interactive multimedia Elvis experience, a boutique and an Elvis memorabilia store are also planned for the project. FX has a licensing agreement with Elvis Presley Enterprises allowing the company to use the name and certain assets from the entertainer’s estate.

The company acquired the land through six separate transactions totalling $221.3 million, or $12.5 million per acre, between March 1998 and May 2005. The site is currently occupied by several retail store and restaurants, including the Harley-Davidson Cafe and Smith & Wollensky. It generated $21.4 million in revenue for FX mainly through rental income.


Source: www.elvismatters.com