As a downtown resident and a native of Las Vegas, I have seen many developers like REI Neon plan big projects and not follow through. Remember the Minami Tower?
Though I have always been opposed to the arena project because it is not in character with the surrounding area or the fledgling arts district, which I have supported, it does not surprise me that REI Neon is asking Las Vegas for yet another extension. I think it would be best to say the project is dead and will never be built.
It frustrates me to no end that REI continues to waste the invaluable time of Mayor Oscar Goodman, members of the City Council and the Planning Commission, city staff and, most important, taxpayers. I have always said that just because you can run a gambling barge on the Mississippi does not mean you can run a casino on the Strip.
Besides, no bank or financial institution would dare lend more than $10 billion to a company that has never built such a project, especially in this current credit crisis.
My recommendation is for REI to step aside and let experienced Las Vegas gamers, such as Harrah’s and MGM Mirage, do what they do best.
Brian Paco Alvarez, Las Vegas