Echelon Place Las Vegas real estate mega resort by Boyd Gaming isn’t going to be home to a broadway musical. According to an executive for Boyd partner Anschutz Entertainment Group, the Strip and the Great White Way simply do not meet.
“We’re not fans of the Broadway phase,” said John Meglen, co-CEO of AEG Live Tours & Special Events. “I’ve never believed that people come to Las Vegas to see Broadway. They go to New York for a broadway musical. That was proven in Las Vegas with the family shows. People don’t come to Vegas for family entertainment. They go to Orlando or Orange County,” Meglen said.
Boyd is planning a 1,500-seat theater and 4,000-seat concert hall as part of its $4 billion Echelon Las Vegas real estate project and, on Aug. 25, signed AEG Live as the exclusive presenter for both venues. Los Angeles-based AEG, owner of the Staples Center, also runs the Colosseum at Caesars Palace Las Vegas.
Anschutz Entertainment Group, Boyd Gaming’s newest partner in Echelon Place real estate, is the force behind touring acts and production shows like Celine Dion’s “A New Day,” now playing at Caesars Palace.
“We’ll continue to program the Colosseum,” Meglen explained, “but there’s room to do more in the marketplace.”
AEG collaborated with former Cirque du Soleil stage director Franco Dragone on the Celine Dion spectacular, “A New Day,” at Caesars, but don’t look for AEG to extend the Cirque brand to Echelon. “Not to say there’s anything wrong with Cirque,” Meglen added. “It’s just that there’s a lot of it in the (Vegas) marketplace, so we probably want to be as far away from that as we possibly can.”
While AEG and Boyd are still brainstorming what they will do at Echelon Resort, it’s presently easier for Meglen to rule out what they won’t. Clones of “A New Day” and Elton John’s “Red Piano” show (also at Caesars) are unlikely. “Call it a bit of an older demographic,” Meglen said of the Caesars constituency. “Echelon might be a generation younger.”
When then-Park Place Entertainment first announced the Colosseum (now owned by Harrah’s Entertainment), in 2002, its strategy was to bring customers to Vegas who would plan their trips around when Dion would be performing. Looking back, Harrah’s Vice President of Entertainment (Las Vegas region) Scott Schecter reported this “has proven to be a very successful business model for Caesars Palace. Our customer feedback tells us that many guests plan their trips to Las Vegas based on securing tickets to see Celine.” Since its opening, the 4,098-seat Colosseum has played to 95 percent of capacity, according to figures compiled by Pollstar.
Even if AEG is aiming for more-youthful customer than those who flock to hear Dion belt “My Heart Will Go On,” the Canadian pop star’s Colosseum show has established many of the precepts Meglen intends to follow at Echelon Las Vegas. “One of the important components is it needs to be a show — and preferably an artist (too) — that you can only see in Las Vegas. The production quality of the show needs to be something that can’t be reproduced traveling around the country to play every other city,” Meglen said.
Still another sensitive issue concerns where the two theaters will sit in the Las Vegas Echelon master plan. AEG would like them to be as prominent as Caesars Palace Las Vegas Colosseum.
Source: LV Review Journal
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Echelon Place Las Vegas real estate will not be home to a broadway musical.