Observation wheel, plaza project under way on the Strip
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Construction cranes remain idle at the stalled Echelon and Fontainebleau resorts on the Las Vegas Strip — so local residents may find it refreshing to see some building work under way down the street at The Linq.
Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s $550 million Linq project, on the Strip between the Flamingo and Imperial Palace, is a pedestrian shopping, dining and entertainment venue that will include a 550-foot-tall observation wheel.
Greg Miller, Caesars’ U.S. senior vice president of development, said in an interview Thursday that work on The Linq started in November and a good amount of progress had been made.
"We’re thrilled to be building the project," he said. "We look at it as a positive for Las Vegas."
To make way for The Linq, tennis courts at the Flamingo were demolished along with 90 "Capri" rooms at the Imperial Palace, some of the oldest rooms at that resort, Miller said.
Soon, work will begin on the foundations and platform for the observation wheel — named The Las Vegas High Roller, the components of which are being made at factories outside of Las Vegas.
Work also will soon be visible on the two-dozen-plus buildings that will make up the 200,000-square-foot retail, dining and entertainment portion of the attraction. In all, the buildings will house 32 tenants.
Most of the buildings will be two stories tall, though some will be three, Miller said.
"Each building will have its own personality," he said.
Caesars hasn’t yet announced the retail, dining and entertainment lineup for The Linq, but Miller said it would be impressive, as interest in the project has been high.
Miller says The Linq is scheduled to open by the end of 2013, and general contractor W.A. Richardson Builders of Las Vegas and other contractors will do their best to prevent disruptions to hotel and casino operations at the Flamingo and Imperial Palace.
The side streets behind the Flamingo and Imperial Palace, streets like Audrie Street and Winnick Avenue to the east of those resorts will become part of the construction zone and subject to traffic disruptions.
The east end of the open-air Linq district will include the observation wheel, surface parking and a valet parking area, Miller said.
In the meantime, he said, previously disclosed details about the project haven’t changed.
These details include:
• Estimates that The Linq will employ about 3,000 construction workers and create some 1,500 permanent jobs once it opens.
• Its diverse tenant mix is planned to appeal to clientele ages 21 to 46.