The Linq project now set to open early 2014 - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

The Linq project now set to open early 2014

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The High Roller observation wheel is coming along. (Azenith Smith/FOX5) The High Roller observation wheel is coming along. (Azenith Smith/FOX5)
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  • Full Coverage: LINQ project

    Full Coverage: LINQ project

    Tuesday, October 2 2012 11:33 AM EDT2012-10-02 15:33:30 GMT
    Caesars ‘Linq' project to give old properties new lookO'Sheas sign removed, will be preserved for LINQVIDEO O'Sheas is imploded to make way for the new LINQ projectImperial Palace entrance closing forMore >
    Caesars ‘Linq' project to give old properties new lookO'Sheas sign removed, will be preserved for LINQVIDEO O'Sheas is imploded to make way for the new LINQ projectImperial Palace entrance closing forMore >
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

One of the Las Vegas Strip's newest outdoor venues is taking shape. On Tuesday, FOX5 got a tour of Caesars Entertainment's The Linq project.

The $550 million project was originally supposed to open this year. It will now open in February. Businesses haven't moved in yet, but there's space for patios and balconies.

So far, The Linq has provided 3,000 construction jobs. When it opens, the project will add another 1,500 jobs.

After a study revealed 20 million visitors make their way to the east end of the Las Vegas Strip a year, Caesars Entertainment is trying to attract customers outside its casinos.

"The demographic that's coming to Las Vegas is getting younger," said Jon Gray, who is the vice president and general manager of The Linq. "Twenty-one to 45-year-olds will make over half the visitors to Las Vegas. That's what really The Linq is catered to."

The company said the vision for The Linq is an urban street that's pedestrian friendly. It will link all the Caesars properties together.

The 1,200-foot alleyway will showcase new shops and restaurants, including bowling and concert venue Brooklyn Bowl and the country's largest Yard House restaurant.

"It's kind of our answer to Sixth Street in Austin, a Third Street promenade or a Bourbon Street," said Gray.

But the development's crown jewel is the 550-foot tall High Roller. It will be the world's tallest observation wheel.

"It operates 16 to 18 hours a day, 365 days a year," said David Codiga, who is the executive project director for The Linq. "All of this is a boom to the economy and the jobs of Las Vegas."

Project developers said it's a sign spending is back in Las Vegas but in other ways besides gaming.

"There wasn't much outdoor dining now that I think about it," said a tourist from Canada. "Everything was inside." 

It's also a sign the Strip must evolve to keep up with the times and set itself apart.

"As gaming becomes a bigger part of every state in the country now," said Gray, "we have to set the tone in that we are an entertainment destination."

An opening date for the High Roller hasn't been announced. Construction for the wheel is supposed to be done in December. Then it will require several rounds of testing before it's ready to go.

As for hiring, Caesars Entertainment said it will post positions on its website but the company hasn't announced any job fairs.

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