A new hotel and casino complex might spring up in the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip after two Israeli hoteliers bought earlier this month the 1960s-era Motel 8 and hinted at plans to bulldoze the site to make room for a new development, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
According to property records, Israeli businessmen Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah completed the purchase of the motel on July 13. They paid $7.4 million for the property which is located on the southern edge of the Strip, right across the street from where the golden facade of Mandalay Bay is shining in the hot Las Vegas sun and is dwarfing the much smaller building of Motel 8.
The Review-Journal notes that Motel 8 has a peculiar backstory. Court documents showed that the property’s late owner, without the knowledge of his estranged wife, had transferred its ownership to a trust formed with his mistress. The motel’s owner died in 2009. A Clark County court upheld his wife’s half-ownership of the property four years later.
Mr. Gabay and Mr. Zerah are known to be the co-founders of Astral Hotels. The chain operates several properties in the seaside resort of Eilat in Southern Israel. Speaking to the Review-Journal Monday, Mr. Gabay said that Motel 8 was located in a very interesting area on the Strip, pointing to the new Raiders stadium as one of the properties making the area interesting.
The businessman further pointed out that he and Mr. Zerah might have seen something others do not see in the motel that is part of a portion of the Strip that has not seen much development over the past decades.
Will Motel 8 Be Transformed Into a Casino Resort?
Mr. Gabay told the Review-Journal that their plans for the now shuttered Motel 8 and its nearby Mr. Deli convenience store involve razing those and making room for a hotel and casino complex. The businessman declined any further comments on what the future of the one-acre site would be, but hinted that more details might be revealed in the coming months.
A spokesperson for Clark County has told the Review-Journal that no plans for the site have been filed with county officials and regulators yet.
News about the purchase of Motel 8 and its potential redevelopment into a casino resort arrive at the time of booming development activity both across the Strip and in Downtown Vegas. Ten years after the Great Recession hit the city and its key industries, multiple developers, including foreign ones, finally see clear signs of recovery that encourage them to enter Las Vegas or expand and/or renovate their existing business in the city.
Most recently, developer Derek Stevens was given the green light by the Las Vegas City Council to kick off construction on a casino resort that is to be located on the Fremont Street in downtown. The property will be located at the sites of the former Las Vegas Club, Mermaids, and the Glitter Gulch strip club, which were demolished a few months ago to make room for the new development.
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