Sports’ answer to Disneyland!

Jan 31, 2006 2:57 AM

Last week, a consortium of business interests unveiled plans for a massive sports and gaming mega-resort complex, earmarked for 116 acres in North Las Vegas near Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The $4 billion project, which is unnamed, will include 5,500 hotel rooms, 10 sports arenas, 150,000 square foot casino and 750,000 square foot convention center.

The resort will provide sports-minded consumers access to watch sports, play sports, test state-of-the-art sports equipment, bet on sports and enjoy an impressive assembly of sports memorabilia, collectibles and trading cards. In addition, visitors will be able to purchase a wide range of sports-related products.

"Forty million people visit Las Vegas every year with live entertainment dollars to spend, but there are very few entertainment options between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.," said Matt Rose, president and CEO of California-based Ultimate Sports Entertainment Inc. "We plan to meet that need and then provide 150,000 square feet of casino, food to satisfy every palate and budget and amazing nightlife that will keep our guests and visitors entertained 24 hours a day."

Ultimate Sports Entertainment enjoys the support of the United States Olympic Committee, more than 25 National Governing Bodies and countless sports organizations who are interested in holding regional and national competitions at the resort once it is completed.

"The venue, hotel, and food and beverage revenue generated through hosting countless regional and national competitions will in and of itself ensure profitability before the first gaming-related dollar is counted" Rose said.

Rose, whose experience in California includes buying and selling strip malls and apartments in Los Angeles, has deposited $92.8 million in escrow toward the purchase of the building site, but construction financing has not yet been secured.

To help bring the vision to reality, Ultimate Sports Entertainment has assembled an impressive roster of resort and casino development and management professionals. The Navegante Group, led by Larry Woolf, the former chairman and CEO of the MGM Grand, will provide management expertise.

The Perini Building Company, builders of the Luxor, Paris, Palms and Hard Rock hotels will manage construction. Leading stadium and arena architectural design firm HOK Sports, the company responsible PetCo Park, Reliant Stadium, The Pepsi Center, Philips Arena, Coors Field, and Heinz Field, will design the facility.

In addition, Ultimate Sports Resort has selected Constellation Energy, the nation’s leading supplier of competitive electricity to large commercial and industrial customers, to design, build and manage its on-site full-service power, cooling and heating plant.

"The combined experience and success of the organizations involved, coupled with the project’s innovative vision and business model is going to make this project the new standard by which future projects are judged," Woolf said.

The property will include the world’s largest hotel with 5,500 guest rooms, including 4,000 affordable fixed-rate rooms, 1,000 luxury suites and 500 ultra-luxury suites.

The 150,000 square-foot casino will include a 50,000 square foot glass-enclosed "Smoke-Free" gaming area and 750,000 square feet of convention space.

The 10 arenas and numerous training areas — including a 26,000-seat arena and 5,000-seat aquatic center — will be capable of supporting every sport imaginable. The resort will have indoor batting cages, a climate-controlled golf driving range, rock climbing walls, racquetball courts, a state-of-the-art gym, billiard room, bowling alleys and many other attractions.

"People ask me why we aren’t on the Strip and I tell them we are building the single greatest sports and entertainment destination in the world, and our intention is not to be numbered as one of the many, as we are quite certainly ... one of a kind," said Rose. "Sports are the number one entertainment genre in the world, and we firmly believe a predominant portion of the 40 million annual visitors to the Las Vegas Strip will want to drive less than 15 minutes to experience the sports world’s answer to Disneyland."

A trademark characteristic of the Ultimate Sports Resort will be the exterior design of its four primary hotel towers, which will feature towering LED displays. Each tower will be capable of broadcasting sporting events taking place inside, as well as advertising for corporate partners and sponsors that will be visible from miles away.

"Projects such as the Ultimate Sports Resort are invaluable catalysts for a host of expanded business development opportunities, global exposure, employment opportunities and increased revenues for our city," said Michael Montandon, mayor of North Las Vegas. "You really can’t put a value on how important a project like this will be to the future of North Las Vegas."