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Today’s Thing That Isn’t Happening: King David Hotel

by Ohio Digital News

Plans have been shared for a new Las Vegas hotel, the King David.

The proposed hotel doesn’t have a casino, so we have trouble caring, but the twist is it would be the first Jewish-themed hotel in Las Vegas.

There are lots of reasons this project isn’t happening, but that doesn’t mean it’s not interesting.

It’s all fun and games until somebody puts an eye out.

Should it come to pass, The King David will presumably have 46 floors and 486 rooms. It will boast the Strip’s first synagogue, kosher restaurants, a kosher banquet facility, along with convention and retail space.

The developer of the project, Ray Korghli, has set his sights on a parcel with a long history of kerfuffles.

The site is between Mirage (soon to be Hard Rock Las Vegas) and Treasure Island. When Steve Wynn was buying up land to open Mirage, the owners of Villa De Flores (an apartment complex located at 3601 Vegas Plaza Drive) decided to play hard ball.

The owner asked $6 million for the property, despite the fact the assessed value was $291,000. Steve Wynn offered $2 million. Both sides dug in, and Mirage opened without acquiring its stubborn (and greedy) neighbor’s plot of land. Here’s the tale of what happened.

Renderings are a dime a dozen now. Actually, more like a dime a thousand. We made this one in 15 seconds.

Anyhoo, the proposed site for the King David Hotel is just 0.52 acres, or about the size of Steve Wynn’s current guest bathroom.

The size of the parcel is just one of the reasons this project isn’t happening.

While the King David Hotel is a successful brand in Jerusalem, successful brands elsewhere often can’t gain traction when they slide into Las Vegas. See also SLS and Fontainebleau, along with myriad restaurant concepts considered sure things due to dominance in other markets.

Renderings don’t equate to financing (see also the A’s ballpark), and while developer Ray Korghli already owns the parcel in question, has anyone heard of this guy?

He is involved with the New Pioneer casino in Laughlin (which generates dozens of dollars each month), apparently, and seems to propose a lot of things. He was also involved in a water dispute in Utah. He was part of an investment group that purchased Big Springs Ranch, whatever that might be, in Elko County in 2004. There was also some trailer park drama in 2005.

By the way, this scant information about the developer shouldn’t be blamed on us only doing five minutes of research about him. We blame Google.

Our expert conclusion based upon all the evidence is Korghli is out of his depth.

Getting an approval from the Clark County Zoning Commission should be a breeze, as they tend to approve everything. They said “yes” to the All Net Arena for a decade before finally coming to their senses and putting an end to the seemingly interminable cavalcade of bullshit perpetuated by the huckster (sorry, developer) pushing the resort.

Beyond questions about financing, nobody’s investing in a multibillion-dollar hotel if it’s not financially viable. Las Vegas already has too many hotel rooms, and that excess supply isn’t expected to be filled by growing demand anytime soon.

We’re pretty sure TI and Mirage are going to put up a fight about the placement of the proposed King David Hotel.

Are we 100% sure this proposed hotel will never happen? No. Nothing is 100%, except that we will not be having sexual intercourse tonight. Still, we are betting the “don’t” on the King David Hotel. Doing so has been right more often than not in recent years.

To paraphrase Taylor Swift, “this is never, ever, ever happening.” The B side of that song was, “Sorry To Be a Buzzkill.” No, fellow youths, “B sides” don’t exist anymore, just play along.

But keep those renderings coming, wizards of whimsy. Which, by the way, was the name of our band in high school.

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