The long-awaited Las Vegas Strip All Net Resort & Arena has taken a step closer towards completion, as ex-NBA player Jackie Robinson unveiled Wednesday a new funding package to restart the venture’s engine.
The new investor, Todd Owen, is the director of Clearwater Perpetual Master Trust, which he described as a Wyoming-based family office investment fund out of California. The funding package for Robinson’s venture comes to $6 billion with the ability to raise “whatever else is needed," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Robinson hosted a media event at the upscale Stirling Club near the Strip, where he introduced his new investor and said he expects to see the $4.9 billion project complete by the end of 2025, with some construction work having resumed several weeks ago. He is expected to seek an extension of his project approvals next month before Clark County commissioners.
Robinson’s plans call for an arena with a retractable roof, two luxury hotels, a convention center, a movie theater and more on the former Wet ‘n’ Wild water park site. However, the ex-NBA player's 27-acre site between Sahara Las Vegas and the under-construction Fontainebleau has been a giant excavated hole in the ground for many years now.
Commissioner Tick Segerblom pointed to other activity on the north Strip, including last year’s opening of Resorts World and the expected debut of the Fontainebleau next year. “The only problem is this hole. Now we’re going to fill that hole with this gorgeous facility,” he stated.
He also told the aforementioned source that he expects the commission to approve Robinson’s extensions, adding the 67-year-old former UNLV basketball player has met the conditions to keep the plans alive. “Everything I’ve seen to date looks very positive,” he assured.
Robinson initially unveiled plans for the venture in December 2013, which encompassed an arena and luxury hotel, saying the project was slated to cost $1.3 billion and open in late 2016. The plans were approved by Clark County commissioners in 2014, and Robinson held a ceremonial groundbreaking that year, but the property stayed quiet until excavation started in 2017.
A big expansion of the plans was approved in October that year by Clark County commissioners, but there has been little progress since then, beyond the initial excavation. Back then, the project was announced as expected to be completed in 2020.
In 2018, Robinson said he had signed a $3 billion loan agreement with the International Bank of Qatar, but funds had not been transferred because of background checks on the source of the money.
In 2019 he went before the County Commission and outlined his payment plan, describing a complex scheme involving money in Qatar, people in Zurich, central banks in Europe and the US lines of credit, funds moving from one bank to another, and state of Nevada revenue bonds.
A year later, Robinson was given a six-month period to file required project agreements. He had to resume construction within two years. The agreements were approved in April 2021.