'Mass Customization' comes to resort design
The Las Vegas Strip’s Algiers Hotel and Casino, an Art Deco palace that opened in 1953, is the latest gambling hall from Sin City’s swinging days of Frank, Dean, and Sammy to be demolished in favor of a planned hotel/condo property. The trend toward diversity of housing choices available in the new developments is making them hot commodities on the Strip and across the country.
This idea of “mass customization,” says WATG’s Howard Wolff, is an attempt by owners and developers to offer customers more options with a property or brand, such as different guest room layouts, which is attractive to returning visitors. Integrating timeshare and condominium units within a hotel development creates large up-front returns generated by residential sales, says Wolff. “It also affords developers the option of using unsold units as hotel rentals.”
Owners are also including two or more hotel brands in new developments, increasing their appeal to different market sectors. This arrangement amortizes the costs of infrastructure and development, spreads the risk, creates instant critical mass, and generates greater operational efficiencies. Guests benefit as well, says Wolff, in that they receive a range of choices designed to meet their tastes and their budgets.
Just up the Strip from the Algiers, the new Hilton Grand Vacations Club offers resort units for sale. Designed by MBH Architects, Alameda, Calif., the American Southwest Art Deco property offers a respite from the hectic Las Vegas environment with a pool, bar, grill, deli, and picnic areas.