I went to the Linq press conference today. I'm going to write up some of my thoughts and answer a few questions, but first I wanted to share some of the press kit with everyone, since it will answer some questions.
All the fun after the jump....
• 200,000+ square feet leasable space
• Restaurants and bars (70%), retail and entertainment (30%)
• Project design and construction $550 million
• Estimated annual visitation 15 - 20 million
• Estimated opening 2013
• Estimated construction jobs 3,000
• Estimated permanent jobs 1,500
Design and Construction Team:
• David M. Schwartz Architects, design architect
• Klai Juba Associates, architect of record
• The Hettema Group, wheel concept design
• Arup Engineering, wheel engineering and design
• W.A. Richardson Builders, general contractor
• American Bridge Company, wheel contractor
• Leitner-Poma of America, wheel cabin contractor
• Schwager Davis Inc., wheel drives and controls contractor
World's Tallest Observations Wheels:
• High Roller at The Linq (Arup Engineering) 550 feet
o Estimated High Roller opening 2013
o 2,240 passengers / hour
o 10 million annual passenger capacity
o 6.6 million pounds of steel
• Singapore Flyer (Arup Engineering) 541 feet
• Star of Nanchang 525 feet
• London Eye (Arup Engineering) 443 feet
Now here's the official press release--you can double-check how hard-working your favorite journalists are by seeing how far they stray from the verbiage here:
Caesars Entertainment's Linq Project To Revitalize Las Vegas Strip, Create Jobs
Caruso Affiliated, Acclaimed for Its Innovative Open-Air Destinations, to Develop Project
LAS VEGAS - August 17, 2011 - The Linq, a $550 million retail, dining, entertainment and hospitality district located at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, will be unlike anything in the famed resort city.
Owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment Corporation, the mid-Strip attraction is designed as a destination in its own right and is being created to revitalize and re-define the center-resort corridor.
"We are enhancing the allure of the resort experience in a coveted location, introducing an exciting new offering not only for guests occupying our own 24,000 Las Vegas hotel rooms, but also for all who live in and visit Las Vegas," said Gary Loveman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Caesars Entertainment Corporation. "The Linq is going to be the new address for fun at the center of the Las Vegas Strip."
Comprised of diverse retail, dining, beverage and entertainment experiences, The Linq will span more than 200,000 square feet of gross leasable area directly facing Caesars Palace.
Its diverse tenant mix is planned to appeal to the region's growing Gen X and Gen Y clientele - ages 21 to 46 - whose market share is estimated to grow to 52 percent of Las Vegas visitor spending by 2015.
The focal point of the unique urban entertainment district will be a giant observation wheel - The Las Vegas High Roller. The wheel will be the tallest in the world, at 550 feet, with 28 cabins designed as transparent spheres, each of which will accommodate up to 40 people. Each cabin will be available for individual or group experiences.
The Linq will bring upgrades to three, large mid-Strip Caesars Entertainment resorts and O'Sheas casino. On The Linq's north side, an engaging guest walk path will lead from the Carnaval Court outdoor plaza at Harrah's Las Vegas resort through the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino and to The Linq. A pedestrian connection also will be built from The Linq into Flamingo Las Vegas on the south. The Linq enhancements will completely transform the facade, porte cochere, casino and hotel reception areas of the Imperial Palace. Improvements to resort guest service areas will be introduced in phases.
Caesars estimates that The Linq will employ about 3,000 construction workers and create 1,500 permanent jobs once it opens.
Caesars has retained Caruso Affiliated, nationally renowned for creating award-winning open-air retail destinations, as the exclusive leasing agent and to provide advisory services on all development related issues for The Linq. Under the leadership of founder and CEO Rick J. Caruso, the company has raised the bar for the retail properties with developments such as The Grove in Los Angeles. Since it opened in 2002, The Grove has become the place to "see and be seen," attracting more than 18 million visitors each year, and it posts some of the highest retail sales volume in the country. It is a top spot for residents and visitors from across the country and around the world. It also has expanded its prominence as the home for the national entertainment news show "Extra," broadcasting live daily on NBC.
"Las Vegas is a market we've looked at for years and we believe it is ideal for an outdoor destination retail and entertainment property," said Caruso. "We will bring our signature approach to The Linq, attracting unique and best-in-class retailers and restaurants and helping to create an environment that appeals to ever-changing consumer tastes and elevates the retail and entertainment experience."
"We are pleased that Rick Caruso, who has studied this market for years, has chosen Caesars Entertainment's Linq as the project to bring his vision to Las Vegas," Loveman said.
With financing in place and plans submitted to county regulators, The Linq is moving toward its ground-breaking in the fourth quarter this year. The Linq retail, dining and entertainment experience is scheduled to open in 2013.