According to the Las Vegas Sands officials, the asbestos removal process and demolition of the Tom O’Shanter Motel and Vagabond Inn was completed on Friday.
Removing asbestos from these buildings took a total of 19 days and cost somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million. The asbestos removal process was the first step towards preparing the property for the Sands’ new project, a 3,000 room resort known as the Venetian Phase II that should cost $1 billion and will be located at the corner of Sands Avenue and the Strip.
This story is only one of the many examples of what needs to be done to remove asbestos from the Strip and the downtown Las Vegas area. This is one of the main challenges developers are currently facing.
Asbestos was used in the construction of the Binion’s Horsehoe might be an issue since the property is up for sale. Asbestos removal could slow down the reopening process and make the renovation and redevelopment costlier.
According to environmental consultants, most of the old hotel and casinos that can be found in Las Vegas were built with asbestos. Last year alone, a total of 32 notices of abatement program were filed through the Clark County Department of Air Quality Management by operators.
This is a real issue for the less profitable hotels and casinos. This includes the Horseshoe since there is a high cost associated with redeveloping this property since developers have to comply with environmental standards and regulations since there are guidelines to follow regarding asbestos controls.
The Sands and other more profitable hotels do not suffer as much from the regulations that have to be followed and the high cost of asbestos removal.
Caesars Entertainment holds the record for most abatement noticed files with the county during 2003. This operator, along with other major players on this market are a good example of the many successful projects that were completed in compliance with asbestos removal guidelines.
According to a company spokesman from Bally’s, an abatement notice was filed by this company to remove asbestos from the ceiling of a small guest room.
The Las Vegas Hilton is taking a different approach by focusing on encapsulating asbestos instead of removing the dangerous material that was chipping off in the showroom.
The Caesars Palace filed three different notices to cover the work done in the entire casino area.
This large hotel and resort was already safe since 98% of the building did not contain asbestos. However, the company still had to file notices since this is the procedure that has to be followed whenever removal is performed. Asbestos abatement Perth should always be conducted by certified professionals.
Gary Miller is the compliance supervisor in charge of air quality management for Clark County. This professional explains that it is important to choose a company that is able to offer testing services and that will know how to comply with regulations regarding air quality whenever work is done on an old property. It is also best to choose a second company to perform the asbestos removal work.
The owner of the property or the consulting experts have to file notices if asbestos is found. The next step consists in implementing a program to make the building safer, which usually includes removing the asbestos.
There is a required identification program in place in areas where asbestos was used. This means contractors have to qualify in order to be able to work on properties where asbestos can be found. There are approved dump sites to dispose of this material, Headrick explains.
The vice president of the environmental division of Converse Consultants, Kurt Goebel, says that it is not necessary to remove all the asbestos present in a building during a renovation process. It is usually sufficient to remove asbestos from the areas that are being remodeled.
However, it is important to deal with the presence of this dangerous material before a renovation or demolition project can begin.
The time and amount of work required during the asbestos removal process varies from one building to another because this material was used more often and in larger quantities in older buildings.
Goebel also explains that some asbestos removal projects can be completed over a short period of time while others need to be completed in different stages.
Headrick says that a lot of owners are simply avoiding the asbestos issue entirely and refuse to deal with this problem in the older buildings they own.
She also says that this is not a wise decision since a single worker filing for a compensation claim would cause other claims to be filed, which would lead to the cost of the cleanup increasing quickly.
Brad Stone is the Executive Vice President of the Las Vegas Sands. In a recent conference call organized with a team of Wall Street analysts, Stone explained that the Sands was preparing the site as quickly as possible so the new resort can be completed within a brief time-frame.
Officials from the Sands have said that no issues were encountered while removing asbestos and performing the demolition process of the two hotels. Excavation is expected to begin within a short time-frame.
Asbestos is a material with fire retarded and soundproofing qualities that was used in building during most of the 20th century. It can be found in the exterior stucco some buildings are covered with, in ceiling tiles and in the insulation of most buildings that were built before the early 1980s.
Asbestos was banned in the late 1970s after it was found that this material was dangerous. The initial discovery was considered as an environmental disaster at the time and it was believed that containment programs would be extremely costly.