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LAS VEGAS-Boyd Gaming Corp. has closed on its deal to trade out of its ownership of the Barbary Coast Hotel and Casino for 24 contiguous acres of Las Vegas Strip property. Boyd, through its subsidiary, Coast Hotels and Casinos Inc., made the trade with Harrah’s Operating Co. Inc.

In effect, Harrah’s takes on the Barbary, with Boyd landing the site north of its Echelon Place development site. According to company officials, the company will begin construction of Echelon in the second quarter 2007, with a planned third quarter 2010 opening.

The 24 acres will bring Boyd’s holdings to 87 contiguous acres in the center of the north corridor of the Las Vegas Strip. According to company officials, “the additional land allowed us to modify the site layout of Echelon Place. These modifications increased the overall size of the project to 65 acres.”

“We have increased the budget for the wholly owned components of Echelon Place to $3.3 billion, principally as a result of additional scope, larger guest rooms and suites, and increased estimated construction costs,” wrote company officials in a filing released last week. “We continue to perform design and development work on the two joint-venture elements, which include the Delano Las Vegas and the Mondrian Las Vegas, and a retail promenade.”

In all, Echelon Place will include 5,000 rooms in five hotels. Other numbers to report include: 140,000 sf of casino space; 4,000-seat and 1,500-seat theaters, operated by AEG Live; a 300,000-sf retail promenade; 750,000 sf of meeting and convention space; and 9,000 parking spaces. Additionally, the project plans for 30 dining, nightlife and beverage venues and a 4.5-acre multi-level pool and recreation deck.

Within the 87-acre site, Boyd has two parcels–of six and 16 acres–that could see development at a later date. Those sites, according to Boyd officials, could be used for hotel, retail, dining, meeting and casino space.

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