Updated April 23, 2022 - 2:29 pm
Motels on the Strip can seem a bit out of place these days.
Las Vegas Boulevard’s decades-old motor lodges are small, no-frills affairs — and they look especially tiny near the massive hotels and other high-rises that now loom overhead.
Still, motels occupy chunks of real estate in the famed casino corridor, and one is up for sale at a hefty price.
Haim Gabay, owner of the 100-room Travelodge next to Circus Circus, is trying to sell the nearly 1.8-acre north Strip property for $52 million. The offering, seen on listing site LoopNet, includes an adjacent three-story commercial building along Las Vegas Boulevard with a souvenir shop selling Vegas-themed merchandise.
Of course, as with any real estate listing, there’s no guarantee the plot will sell at the asking price or trade hands anytime soon. But Gabay’s sales effort comes as the north Strip, long bogged down by unfinished megaresorts, big tracts of empty land and minimal foot traffic, shows its most momentum in years.
His parcel sits across from Fontainebleau Las Vegas, a long-planned, 67-story resort slated to open next year. It’s also near a 10-acre lot that a Chilean developer is buying for $120 million and two massive projects that opened last year: the Las Vegas Convention Center’s $1 billion, 1.4 million-square-foot West Hall and the $4.3 billion, 3,500-room Resorts World Las Vegas.
Driving by, it’s easy to miss the two-story Travelodge behind its adjacent commercial building. Gabay, however, owns another property nearby that is far more visible: Bonanza Gift Shop, the self-proclaimed world’s largest gift shop, at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue.
Gabay declined to comment for this story, said Mali Gabay, his daughter and listing agent for the Travelodge site.
Lined with huge casino-resorts and packed with tourists, Las Vegas Boulevard still has a handful of low-slung motels. They include Diamond Inn, known for its pink elephant lawn decoration, and Motel 8 Plus, both of which are on the south edge of the Strip near the towering, gold-gleaming Mandalay Bay.
There’s also the former White Sands, a long-shuttered motel property across from the Luxor, and another Travelodge across from the Veer Towers condo complex, Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas and other high-rises.
Gabay’s asking price far outweighs that of the White Sands. The 1.1-acre property is currently listed for $12 million and seems destined for demolition, given its history of vandalism, vagrants and feral cats. (Its own listing materials describe the site as “commercial land” with an “incredible redevelopment opportunity.”)
We’ll find out eventually whether someone buys the Travelodge on the north Strip, and if so, what they pay and what they plan to do with it. But for now, the souvenir shop out front will keep slinging all kinds of stuff to tourists.
The store features an array of souvenirs and gifts, including poker chip magnets, fuzzy dice, hats, socks, shirts, ashtrays, and, of course, this being Vegas, shelves packed with shot glasses.