The key to any successful vacation is in the planning. The same can be said for making a vacation destination a thriving hot spot. But as it turns out, many tourist attractions weren’t thought out that well. Case in point: Revel Casino. After two years in business, the luxury resort and casino in Atlantic City just announced that it would be closing its doors forever in September.
And while this seems to be a big fail, it isn’t the worst travel flop on record.
Shockingly, there are lots of hotels, entertainment parks, and even beaches that have proved the saying “the devil is in the details.” We rounded up the worst travel flops ever.
1. Revel Casino, Atlantic City
Hope you didn’t bet on this baby becoming a winner. Only two years after opening its doors, Revel Casino will shut them for good next month. The $2.4 billion glass-covered casino sits on the north end of the Boardwalk. The goal was for the luxury resort to help provide a much-needed boost to the declining gambling scene in Atlantic City. However, it never turned a profit. After declaring bankruptcy twice — the last time in June — the company finally decided to wind down the business. The last roll the dice will be September 10.
2. Harmon Hotel, Las Vegas
Talk about getting built up, just to get knocked down! That’s exactly the case with this hotel debacle. In June, MGM began what will be a yearlong demolition project of the only portion of the $8.5 billion dollar, 67-acre CityCenter development that never got completed. The Foster + Partners-designed Harmon was set to be a dazzling high-rise, but production was halted in 2008 when construction defects were discovered. Responsibility over the $400-million in damages has since turned into a legal nightmare. And now the 26 floors of the unfinished 47-floor tower are being deconstructed for scrap metal. This just might be Vegas’ ultimate Strip tease.
3. Ryugyong Hotel, North Korea
The Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea was originally planned to be the tallest hotel on earth. The architectural plans were pimped out in every way — including seven restaurants that would be situated at the 100-foot peak and spin in tandem over the Pyongyang skyline. It was supposed to be unveiled — the first time — by the World Festival of Youth and Students in 1989. Delays were blamed on the lack of raw material supplies. In 2008 an Egyptian company tried to bring the derelict building back to life. The second unveiling was set to coincide with Kim II-Sung’s 100 th birthday, but it remains unfinished and unoccupied to this day.
4. Berlin Brandenburg Airport
“Delay, delay, delay” is normally a tactic used by lawyers. But it seems that the contractors in charge of getting Berlin’s new airport up and running have adopted the saying. The plan for Brandenburg is to replace both the Schonefeld and Berlin Tegel airports. And with more than 27 million annual passengers, it was projected to be the one of the busiest in Europe. Originally slated to open in 2010, the project has been waylaid by poor construction and planning — not to mention corruption. Corrective work on the airport is going to take an estimated 18 months before construction can resume. Management has stated that it should be ready by 2015, but insiders hint that the date will be closer to 2019.
5. The World Islands, Dubai
This artificial archipelago of small islands was dreamt up by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, to look like the map of the world. And his hope was to turn the World Islands into the playground for the rich and famous. Construction of the 300 islands — made entirely of dredged sand — began in 2003. But when the financial crisis in the real world, it brought production of this $14 billion-dollar fantastical world to a halt. To date only two of the islands have come to fruition.
6. Wonderland Amusement Park, Beijing
Just 20 miles north of Central Beijing, off a busy highway, sits an abandoned amusement park known as “ Wonderland .” Set to be the largest amusement park in Asia, construction came screeching to a halt in 1998 when contractors couldn’t get past government red tape or come to terms with local farmers over property prices. Today, the eerie ruins resemble an apocalyptic city with no signs of life.
7. The New South China Mall, Guangdong Province, China
There is nothing creepier than an abandoned mall except one that’s only partially abandoned — like the New South China Mall . More than twice the size of the Mall of America — the largest shopping center in the U.S. — it measures over 5 million square feet, with 2,350 stories. There is an outdoor plaza with palm trees, flanked by long canals and now-empty gondolas and giant replicas of the Arc de Triomphe and the Egyptian Sphinx. But it is the inside that is super spooky. While most of the mall is a deserted, a smattering of stores continue to do business. Even the amusement park, with its 1,814-foot roller coaster and haunting musical rides, seems like an opening scene from a horror movie.
8. Mirny Diamond Mine, Russia
While it’s not exactly a tourist destination, this next spot is an attraction nonetheless, as it could prove a flop for anyone flying over it. What makes Mirny Diamond Mine so mind-blowing isn’t the sparkling stones that have been found there but the sheer size of the pit. Measuring 1,722.4-feet deep and 4,101-feet wide, the hole is so large that the sky above it has been designated a no-fly zone out of concern that an aircraft could be sucked in. (Just read that last sentence again to let it sink in.)
9. RMS Titanic, White Star Line, England
In what is probably the granddaddy of all travel flops is the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic. It cost about $7.5 million at the time — or $400 million in today's dollars. The British passenger liner was traveling in the North Atlantic Ocean on its way to New York City when it hit an iceberg and sank in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912. At the time, it was the largest ship afloat and believed to be unsinkable. Among the 2,224 passengers were some of the wealthiest people in the world, including millionaires John Jacob Astor and Margaret “Molly” Brown, industrialist Benjamin Guggenheim and Macy’s owner Isador Straus — just to name a few. Additionally, hundreds of emigrants from England, Ireland, and Scandinavia were also on board heading to what they hoped would be better lives in America. Only 705 people survived. Definitely not a good start to a vacation.
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