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Las Vegas Airport Liquor Store Stirs Debate

LAS VEGAS -- Putting a liquor store inside McCarran International Airport is an idea most county leaders supported just a few months ago but now some commissioners are having second thoughts.

Clark County commissioners were expected Tuesday to decide which business would get the green light to start negotiations for a liquor store but after a few hours of discussion, commissioners voiced their doubts.

"I'm not certain what the benefit is and I know both parties do well outside of the airport in enterprising business and I'm starting to not feel it is as essential as I thought two or three days ago," said County Commissioner Susan Brager.

Some commissioners raised concerns about safety if bottled alcohol is sold at the airport. This change of heart comes months after the board told McCarran to seek out liquor businesses.

North Strip Renaissance Failing to Take Shape

LAS VEGAS - During the boom years, developers, hoping to cash in on Las Vegas, made big bets on the north end of Las Vegas Boulevard.

"There was a lot of construction, but nothing really happening on this end," said Houston tourist Lorenza Shaw. The promise of a north Strip renaissance never came to a fruition. "It's a disappointment, it really is, but what are you going to do," asked New Jersey tourist Natashia Hicks.

Boyd Gaming's multi-billion dollar Echelon project sits idle on the land of the old Stardust hotel. The development is on hold until market conditions improve.

Up the boulevard, the Fontainebleau stands empty and unfinished. Construction halted last year when lenders cut off $800 million in financing for the project.

Elad IDB intended to build a $5 billion replica of New York's Plaza hotel on the site of the old Frontier. But, the land stands empty.

Casino Owner Riviera Holdings Files for Chapter 11

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Las Vegas and Colorado casino owner Riviera Holdings Corp. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Company subsidiaries Riviera Operating Corp. and Riviera Black Hawk Inc. also filed Monday for reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Las Vegas. They own the 2,075-room Riviera hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip and the Riviera Black Hawk in Colorado.

The filings say the planned restructuring is supported by holders of more than two-thirds of nearly $248 million in debt under a June 2007 senior credit facility.

That could let Riviera Las Vegas and Riviera Black Hawk continue to operate during the bankruptcy process. The company reported to the federal Securities and Exchange Commission late last year that it was trying to restructure debt to avoid filing for bankruptcy.

 (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Layoffs at Wynn Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS -- Steve Wynn, president and CEO of Wynn Resorts, says the company is laying off 220 hourly wage employees and 41 salaried employees from both the Wynn and Encore resorts. Wynn says the job cuts will happen in every department at both Wynn and Encore. The cuts represent three percent of the company's workforce. Officials with the company met with staff on Tuesday to inform employees who will be losing their jobs.

Billy Manning was one of those workers. He worked as a craps dealer at the Wynn since it opened five years ago. "They didn't explain anything," Manning said. "They didn't tell us nothing. They just told us that they eliminated our positions… I don't need a job. My family needs a job. That's the problem. I mean, I can always do whatever, but I have a family. I have to support people, and he just took that away from me."

Motion Picture Hall of Fame Seeking Home City

LAS VEGAS -- The president of the Las Vegas Walk of Stars says he is seeking a city to host a $10 million shrine to moviemaking.

Bob Alexander is also president of the Motion Picture Hall of Fame, an organization based in Palm Springs, Calif. Alexander says hall officials have exhibits stored in warehouses and others pledged but no host city for an interactive attraction honoring movies, actors, writers and directors.

Alexander says the organization has produced two PBS television specials and is negotiating a deal for an annual TV induction ceremony.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

National Economy Improving, Nevada Still in Rough Shape

LAS VEGAS -- Local economists and business leaders debated Tuesday whether the recession has hit bottom yet.

A new report released at the UNLV Economic Outlook Conference showed some surprises, mainly corporate profits spiking to pre-recession levels and that the health services sector is booming but it's not translating into job growth.

UNLV's Center for Business and Economic Research met with Nevada business leaders and their forecast for jobs can still be summed up as "grim" for southern Nevada.

Stimulus money was a topic of conversation at the conference. Nevada only got a small percentage of stimulus money compared to other states, but experts say it helped.

In the past year, the number of construction workers at Desert Wind Homes went from 30 employees to seven. They say federal home buyer tax credits helped keep their business from going under.

ESPN Zone Las Vegas Restaurant to Close

LAS VEGAS -- The ESPN Zone restaurant will close due to the challenging economics of the business.

The Walt Disney Co. owns the restaurants and plans to close them in Las Vegas, Baltimore, Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York.

The ESPN Zone is at the New York New York.