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LAS VEGAS-Boyd Gaming will stop taking November and December reservations for its soon-to-be-razed Stardust property here, which is giving way to a $4-billion development called Eschelon Place. The company previously said it would take reservations into December.

According to local reports, company spokesman Robert Stillwell said that while the company plans to operate the 48-year-old property through the end of the year, there are concerns that as workers migrate to other jobs staffing levels may be too low near the end of the year to offer appropriate service.

The Stardust opened in 1958 and was the longtime home of “Mr. Las Vegas” Wayne Newton, who now spends his nights at the Flamingo. Boyd plans to replace the 1,500-room resort with four hotels housing 5,300 rooms, a 140,000-sf casino, theaters, a shopping promenade, spas and convention space. The plan is to start the redevelopment in 2007 and complete it in 2010.

The company has not officially said it will close the hotel on Nov. 1; however, in addition to not taking new reservations it reportedly has been trying to relocate events that had been booked for the hotel in the final two months of the year.

Boyd Gaming has 11 other resorts in the Las Vegas area. Boyd Gaming spokesman Rob Stillwell did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Within the $4-billion Eschelon Place will be the $2.9-billion Echelon Resort, which would be wholly owned by Boyd. Echelon Resort will include 3,300 of the 5,300 rooms in two high-rise towers, each with its own full-service spa, as well as the casino, two theaters (one with 4,000 seats and the other with 1,500 seats), 25 restaurants and bars, and a pool area.

The rest of Echelon Place would be developed via joint ventures and include three additional hotels, a 750,000-sf outpost of the Las Vegas ExpoCenter, another 200,000 sf of retail space, and several more restaurants, bars and nightclubs. The property also will have covered parking for 8,000 vehicles.

Boyd Gaming has entered into a 50/50 joint venture with the Morgans Hotel Group for two of the Echelon Place hotels, which will cost about $700 million, and has inked a management agreement with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts for the third. As for the project’s retail component, Boyd says it is in discussions with potential strategic partners for a 50/50 joint venture development.

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