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While its marquee proclaims its grand opening, a drive up the porte cochere of Wyndham Desert Blue just after one this afternoon had us questioning if that meant now or soon.
A slow, cautious roll up to the timeshare's lobby was notable for its absence of any other vehicles. A few feet and a slight bend later brought the entrance into view as well as two smiling valet staffers. They were happy to confirm the timeshare was, indeed, open and had been for about a week.
Just off the Strip, a lone timeshare tower stands silent. Its name shrouded from view. Its opening unknown. At least, until now.
Major construction work has appeared to be complete for some time now for the long-delayed Wyndham Desert Blue project to the north of Rio. The stalled timeshare was originally due to open in early 2010, but construction came to a halt before that happened, leaving 90 percent of the project unfinished. Its skeleton sat dormant for years before VegasChatter fan Kaywood H. noticed work was once again underway in April 2013.
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Recently, VegasChatter reader Alvaro Y., who hadn't yet heard about the project, wrote to us to inquire about the building:
It's been almost five months since we last checked up on the no longer stalled Wyndham Desert Blue project. And, while progress isn't jaw-dropping, it is still occurring. Above is a photo of the construction site from late August. Below is a snapshot from a few days ago.
In April, VegasChatter fan Kaywood H. noticed the stalled Wyndham Desert Blue project wasn't stalled, anymore. Since then, the site -- located just north of the Rio -- has been steady with activity.
So, what does it look like now? Photographer Greg C. snapped the above photo just a few days ago for us. It reveals that a once bare-bones structure is now starting to see the beginnings of an earth tone-colored facade. Wyndham reps have not talked officially about the project's restart, despite attempts by this writer and others to learn more. The construction site went dormant back in 2009. The photo below, also by Greg C., shows what it looked like right before stalling out.
An update on that Wyndham Desert Blue project we first told you was back on track. This highly visible construction site, very close to the Rio, had been asleep for a few years. But, now it's wide awake. And, we'd been wondering if this project would house anything other than just timeshare rooms. At last, we have some more details:
Originally, their 2007 dream was to build a four-tower timeshare project, with four pools, a shopping center and restaurants. A lot of places in Vegas had dreams like that. After stalling out with some substantial construction completed, the newly revived Desert Blue will concentrate on finally finishing just one tower. There is still a provision for a restaurant and bar on-site and they'd even like to allocate some room for retail. But, no casino. You'll need to walk across the street for that.
When VegasChatter fan Kaywood H. drove by the stalled Wyndham Desert Blue condo project near the Rio recently, he saw something that compelled him to reach out to us immediately -- activity at the long dormant construction site in the form of a cement pour. Then, we saw it for ourselves from the I-15 in the form of a construction elevator gliding up its skeletal frame. A closer drive-by earlier today found a beehive of activity, from backhoes, bulldozers and cranes in motion to workers traversing several of its open-walled floors. The Wyndham Desert Blue is alive! It's alive!
Our Richard Lane, recruited for his sleuthing skillz, quickly unearthed the fact that MMC Contractors was recently hired to "complete the mechanical and plumbing work" at the site. Its blog reports that "work will begin immediately." And, from the looks of things, it did.
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Las Vegas is known as the ever-changing city. It’s a city that has historically (well, since The Mirage opened) destroyed its history to build the next newest and greatest property. This all came to a screeching halt in 2009 with the recession. No more new grandiose projects have been announced, a few were finished, and a lot were stalled. Now that Cosmopolitan and CityCenter have opened, major construction has more or less stopped with some projects halting mid-construction.
In 2007, Boyd Gaming stopped construction on Echelon very early into construction due to a worsening economy. At this time, CityCenter, Cosmopolitan, and Fontainebleau were all in the midst of construction and the Plaza on the old Frontier land was supposed to start at any time. Fontainebleau was halted in June 2009 when the creditors stopped financing the project.