KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 Malaysia's Genting Bhd
said it would purchase an unfinished resort on the Las
Vegas strip from Boyd Gaming Corp for $350 million,
marking the Asian gaming group's first push into the U.S.
The deal is also expected to give a boost to the Las Vegas
economy, which was hit hard by a collapse in the housing market
following the financial crisis.
Genting said it would build a hotel-casino resort on the
87-acre site of Boyd's uncompleted Echelon project, which was
halted in 2008 during the financial crisis. The planned complex,
Resorts World Las Vegas, will have 3,500 hotel rooms, 175,000
square feet of gambling space, and convention and luxury dining
facilities, Genting said.
"The property represents one of the last major, developable
sites on the Las Vegas strip, with a considerable frontage along
the South Las Vegas boulevard and full entitlement to apply for
a non-restricted gaming license," Genting said in an
announcement to the stock exchange late on Monday.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandavol said in a statement that the
resort would bring "several thousand" jobs to the state.
The property comprises several partially completed projects
that have been suspended since 2008, including a hotel tower,
convention centre and energy facility, Genting said.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Genting also
wants to bring a live panda habitat, a replica of the Great Wall
of China, and other Asia-themed attractions to the resort. A
Genting spokeswoman in Kuala Lumpur was unable to immediately
confirm the report.
Genting, which had cash reserves of 21.3 billion ringgit
($6.9 billion) as of Dec. 31, has been seeking to tap growth in
other markets as its Asia business slows, and opened a New York
casino in October 2011.
Subsidiary Genting Singapore PLC, Asia's
second-largest casino operator by market value, reported last
month a 6 percent fall in fourth-quarter core earnings as
revenue slipped, hurt by a slowing local market.