LAS VEGAS-Christopher Milam recently paid $40 million to maintain his option to acquire 27 acres fronting the Las Vegas Strip. The Texas developer, who is planning a $5-billion development for the site that would include the tallest building in the Western hemisphere, also gained a partner for the endeavor. Earlier this month, the day after the option payment was made, Australian billionaire James Packer announced that the company he controls, Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd., had acquired a 37.5% stake in the project.

The purchase price for the property has risen to $475 million from $450 million. Had Milam made the option payment two months earlier, by the end of March, the purchase price would still be $450 million, according to SEC filings. The $40-million payment and an initial $5 million payment are being applied to the purchase price. The $2.4 million in extension payments that have been made are not being applied to the purchase price. Milam and Packer have approximately one year to exercise the purchase option, as long as they make monthly $2-million-plus payments beginning in October.

Located immediately south of the Sahara hotel-casino, the site was home to the Wet ‘n Wild amusement park, which closed in 2004. The seller is Archon Corp., a locally based public gaming company with one operating casino-hotel property to its name, the Pioneer Hotel & Gambling Hall in Laughlin, NV.

Tentative plans for the site call for a 142-story, 5,000-room hotel-casino that would be the tallest building in the Western hemisphere. Milam reportedly has retained Paul Steelman Group for the casino, RTKL for the retail component and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill for the hotel tower.

Milam tied up the Wet ‘n Wild property in June 2006. The $16.66 million per-acre purchase price is comparable to what MGM Mirage recently paid for 25.5 acres located directly across Las Vegas Boulevard that is contiguous to its Circus Circus property. One mile closer to the heart of the Strip, immediately north of Fashion Show Mall and across from Wynn Lass Vegas, Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva’s New York City-based Elad Properties has agreed to pay $34.7 million per acre for the 34.5-acre site of the New Frontier casino-resort.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

GlobeSt Net Lease Spring 2024Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.