When people think of Las Vegas they often only think of “The Strip” and the illusion of unbridled success and optimism that the mega-resorts and casinos of today strive to portray. But like all cities, Las Vegas has its history of constructions that for one reason or another were built but never opened, or never got off the ground in the first place. The reasons casinos never opened or were never built are tales as varied as the casino concept themselves, from missed opportunities to economic downturns or denied gaming licenses. The phenomenon of the aborted casinos isn't a thing of the past, they continue to this day. You only need to look at the Las Vegas Skyline to see the most recent visible evidence of a casino that never was. The Fontainebleau Resort was originally envisioned to be the new anchor for the North End of The Strip; however, the money ran out after the building had been topped out and construction ground to a halt in 2009. Now the building sits abandoned, waiting either for someone to finish the project or the inevitable implosion to make room for the next hotel and casino.
Not all the casinos get beyond the planning stages. In the 1980’s Wayne Newton provided seed money for the Shenandoah Casino, but soon he was involved in the purchase of the Aladdin Hotel and Casino. The Shenandoah Casino would have been built at 120 E. Flamingo Road in what is now part of the Parking Lot for the LINQ. The plans to build the Shenandoah Casino fell through but not before chips for the casino were produced. Here at Spinettis we have a collection of some of those chips. They are a perfect addition to a chip collection or a gift for the Wayne Newton fan in your life.
The World Trade CenterThe World Trade Center was the brainchild of Leonard Shoen, the co-founder of U-Haul truck rental. He purchased the property that had been the Chaparral Hotel and Casino in 1996, renovating it into the World Trade Center Hotel. A gaming license was applied for, but when it was discovered that two of Mr. Shoen’s closest partners were convicted felons, the application was denied in 1998. He withdrew his application, and later died in a car crash in 1999 that was ruled a suicide. Cards and gaming chips were produced for the World Trade Center Casino, but were never used. The property has since been demolished and is now a vacant lot. The old World Trade Center Casino site is now a parking lot, part of the Sands Convention Center annex.