Mixer says that because visitor
volume has returned, investors
anticipate tourism spending per person
will rise as the national economy
begins to improve.

LAS VEGAS- Those who follow @GlobeStcom on Twitter and @GlobeStLIVE may have seen a post teasing the announcement, but GlobeSt.com has learned that a newly formed Colliers International gaming group expects to see an additional $1.5-billion invested in the Las Vegas gaming real estate market during the next two years.

The Strip is enjoying more than $750-million in construction investments as a result of the Linq (including the former Imperial Palace/Quad renovation) and Skyvue projects and another $500 million is slated for renovations to the SLS Las Vegas and Bill’s Gambling Hall, says the firm. The Oct. 31 non-judicial foreclosure of the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino coupled with rumored trades involving other iconic casinos will bring the total to over $1.5 billion, Colliers says. Mike Mixer, managing partner of Colliers International—Las Vegas, tells GlobeSt.com that visitor volume is near peak levels, but visitor spending remains much lower. He also notes that in terms of motivating investors, because that volume has returned, “investors anticipate tourism spending per person will rise as the national economy begins to improve.”

According to Mixer, another motivation is that Las Vegas has a critical mass of first-class casinos, hotels, restaurants, entertainment and shopping. “This infrastructure cannot be duplicated at this scale anywhere else in the US. A more diverse group of investors are motivated to take advantage of this infrastructure across the board.”

Though new development of casinos may be years away, Mixer says that “the acquisition of non-core casino properties along with large-scale renovations will dominate the next 24 months.

“While many of these transactions will appear to be overnight deals, in actuality, they will have been carefully planned dispositions of non-core assets,” adds gaming group co-founder Gabe Telles. “Benefiting from the wave of global expansion in gaming, Las Vegas is poised to see the next generation of investors who were diligent enough to successfully weather the recent economic storm in hopes of buying a seat at the Las Vegas gaming table.”

Telles tells GlobeSt.com that 2012 brought more of a bottom to the marke,t and it is now trending toward the start of gaming assets trading to long-term owners and operators. “This process will set the stage for the coming years, during which casino renovation, new construction of entertainment venues and distressed asset dispositions will pick up steam,” he says. “There is a momentum building in Vegas that is riding a $1.5 billion wave of renovation, entertainment construction and distressed asset acquisitions in the coming 24 months.”

Telles continues that “Las Vegas is relatively finite real estate-wise, so the majority of insiders are already positioning equity to take advantage of today’s prices for long-term growth in this market.”

The Colliers International Gaming Group is led by Mixer, former CBRE broker Telles, and former CBRE investment valuation consultant Josh Smith.