There’s nothing good about Boyd’s announcement today that it’s suspending work on Echelon, but it’s easy to overstate the bad. Some points to keep in mind:
1) Echelon was more than 2 years out, anyways.
It wasn’t going to make a big difference in the local economy for a long time to come.
2) Some of the reason for the suspension is Boyd’s dependence on partners. An important paragraph that’s not getting much attention:
From the beginning, we strategically designed Echelon to be developed in a single phase, and this schedule adjustment allows us to preserve the holistic integrity of the project. By delaying, we will be able to better manage the timing of the construction of the wholly-owned aspects of Echelon and ensure that they do not outpace the construction of the joint venture components.
That suggests that the real heart of the problem are Boyd’s partners, the Morgans Group and the Shangri-La. Both of these operators plan non-casino hotels on the Echelon site, and neither has gaming revenue to support their financing.
3) $500m of improvements have been sunk into that piece of land. Whether or not Boyd develops it further, they’ve added a lot of value to the parcel by clearing off the Stardust, laying in major new utilities and building tons of underground parking.