Tuesday, October 20, 2020 / by Ken Couture
Las Vegas has long been a favorite destination, constantly evolving with new and engaging experiences. Although things have changed a bit this year, Vegas is still the place where everything is brighter, bolder, and more exciting; where you can immerse yourself in all the glowing metropolis has to offer. From new resorts to the best cuisine, Las Vegas is always at the forefront of extraordinary experiences.
Booming Business Scene
Every aspect of Las Vegas goes above and beyond, and new resorts, stadiums, convention centers, and of course, new technology follows suit.
- Circa Las Vegas, the highly anticipated adults-only, integrated gaming resort in downtown Las Vegas, is slated to open with its first five floors of amenities and state-of-the-art parking hub – Garage Mahal – on October 28. The spectacular 1.25 million-square-foot, 777-room property will stand 35 stories tall and will be the first ground-up gaming resort in historic downtown Las Vegas since 1980. The two-story casino floor will house 1,350 slot machines and 49 table games, as well as the world’s largest three-level sports book. Located on the iconic Fremont Street Experience, Circa will honor the timeless spirit of Las Vegas while leading the charge for a bold new era with game-changing offerings.
- Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is set to open January 15, 2021 in the resort formally known as the Hard Rock Resort & Casino. The new resort will feature innovative design and function with 1,504 exceptionally appointed Chambers, Grand Chamber Suites and Penthouse Suites which will include the Virgin Hotels patented bed and in-room technology. Re-conceptualized and revitalized, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will feature 60,000 square feet of fully renovated casino space, more than five acres of luxe upgraded outdoor space and pools, new world-class restaurants, lounges and bars.
- Opening in summer 2021, Resorts World Las Vegas is the first resort to be built on the Las Vegas Strip in more than a decade. The $4.3 billion luxury integrated resort is poised to redefine the hospitality standard in Las Vegas with advanced technology, exciting new experiences and world-class guest service. In partnership with Hilton, Resorts World Las Vegas will offer 3,500 luxury guestrooms and suites from three premium Hilton brands, including Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, and the ultra-luxe Crockfords Las Vegas – one of the first LXR Hotels & Resorts locations in the U.S. Emphasis on luxury can be found throughout the property, including a next-generation casino, world-class food and beverage options, The Theatre, a 5,000-capacity, state-of-the-art venue in partnership with AEG Presents, distinctive nightlife venues, a 5.5-acre pool complex with the city’s only infinity edge pool overlooking the Strip, an extensive retail collection and more.
- Located adjacent to the world-famous Strip, Allegiant Stadium is now open and stands to become a global events destination, highlighted by the hometown NFL team, the Las Vegas Raiders. The technologically advanced stadium will host world-class entertainment including globally recognized sporting events such as the NFL Pro Bowl, Pac-12 Championship Game and Las Vegas Bowl, concerts, and is the future home of UNLV Football. The 65,000-seat stadium is fully enclosed, climate controlled and features retractable natural turf field, retractable doors – called the lanai – that open to spectacular views of the Strip, a translucent roof and VIP spaces on all levels.
- Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino recently celebrated the opening of its new 495-room Gallery Tower, which brings the property’s total room inventory to 1,124 rooms. With the opening of Gallery Tower, Downtown Grand is now equipped with digital kiosks located inside the new porte-cochere to allow contactless check-in and check-out for guests with prior reservations. The centerpiece of the Gallery Tower is “Transmigrations,” a first of its kind, interactive, augmented reality-based art installation exclusively available to guests staying in rooms in the Virtual Pad collection.
- The Venetian Resort Las Vegas recently debuted a new venue perfect for a Las Vegas wedding. The 8,000-square-foot Stella Studio is a multifunctional space that provides a neutral canvas for any event planning needs. The venue is easily accessible from the lobby of The Palazzo tower at The Venetian Resort and offers a private entrance, natural light, a dedicated kitchen and bar, and private restrooms. The Stella Studio is the perfect location for a romantic ceremony or reception.
- Construction of the 1.4 million-square-foot Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) West Hall expansion is expected to be completed in December 2020. The new West Hall will provide 600,000 square feet of customizable trade show exhibit space increasing the total campus exhibition space to 2.5 million square feet. Overall, the destination is building toward 15 million square feet of meeting space and is home to three of North America’s 10 largest convention centers.
- Another visionary success is the LVCC’s partnership with Elon Musk’s The Boring Company (TBC). As the first commercial endeavor for TBC and one more first for Las Vegas, the Convention Center Loop, an innovative and fun underground transportation system, will be free to LVCC guests and will include three passenger stations connecting the existing LVCC space with the new expansion. Trade show attendees will be transported across the 200-acre campus via all-electric Tesla vehicles in just over one minute, which would normally take 15 minutes or more to walk. When complete in January 2021, the underground transportation system will be comprised of two vehicular tunnels with an expected total length of approximately one mile each.
- Initial steps to expand Elon Musk’s innovative underground tunnel system throughout Las Vegas will soon be underway. The Vegas Loop will represent a first-of-its-kind transportation solution for a tourism destination, offering convenient transportation and reduced congestion throughout the destination’s resort corridor. Vegas Loop will consist of underground tunnels stretching as far north as downtown Las Vegas, throughout the Strip corridor, and as far south as Allegiant Stadium, pending approval later this week by the Stadium Authority, the owner of the stadium. Passengers will be whisked through tunnels in all-electric Tesla vehicles.
An Elevated Dining Experience
Dining in Vegas isn’t simply a meal, it’s an experience. The last several months have seen the addition of new top-notch restaurants, trendy lounges and world-class chefs representing food from all over the globe, with more on the way.
- Wynn Las Vegas made a dramatic expansion to its culinary portfolio with the opening of Elio, a contemporary Mexican restaurant in partnership with Enrique Olvera, Daniela Soto-Innes and Santiago Perez, the team behind Cosme and Alta in New York City. The menu combines regional dishes with seasonal ingredients, with a focus on small plates, appetizers and shareable entrees.
- Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa recently rolled out Crimson at Sundown, an outdoor lounge featuring chill sounds, inventive cocktails, light bites and treats for a perfect open-air environment. Every Friday and Saturday evening guests can sit poolside in comfortable lounge seating or reserve a cabana for up to eight guests and enjoy the fall nights under a canopy of bistro lights. In addition to a new lounge, pop-up restaurant Osteria Fiorella by chef Marc Vetri opened as a permanent resident at Red Rock Resort this fall. The casual restaurant features antipasti and salads, pizzas made in a wood burning oven, daily hand-made pastas, meat and fish cooked to perfection in a Josper charcoal oven and of course dessert, wine and cocktails.
- Din Tai Fung will open its first Las Vegas location at ARIA Resort & Casino on October 19, 2020. The esteemed Taiwanese dumpling and noodle house, with more than 170 restaurants in 13 countries, is renowned for its Xiao Long Bao – Shanghai-style soup dumplings – filled with the highest quality Kurobuta pork and broth that bursts upon the first bite.
- The Venetian Resort Las Vegas is adding the flavors of Greece from one of the finest Mediterranean seafood restaurants in the world, Estiatorio Milos, to its already diverse culinary line-up, in 2021. Famous for its selection of seafood imported fresh daily, Milos uses only the best ingredients to uphold the extraordinary food philosophy of chef and owner Costas Spiliadis. Complemented by an extensive list of fine wines with a focus on Greece, and a modern aesthetic, dining at Milos is as delicious as it is memorable.
- Maverick Helicopters, in partnership with Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, the top-rated culinary experience purveyor known for unforgettable restaurant tours, offer the ultimate fine-dining and helicopter experience with Savory Bites & Neon Lights. Foodies who book this package will be taken on a culinary journey inside six renowned restaurants at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Mastro’s Ocean Club inside The Shops at Crystals. The five-hour excursion begins at ARIA Resort & Casino and following the tour, guests will ride in a limo to Maverick’s terminal. Once aboard the ECO-star aircraft, attendees will enjoy a 15-minute flight with bird’s-eye views of iconic landmarks on the Strip.
- Keep your appetite flying high with Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters. The new Afternoon Bites + Night Flights includes a tasty three-course lunchtime menu from Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano at The Venetian Resort. This dynamic menu brings flavors inspired by Northern Italian cuisine. This package will also include the exciting Strip Highlights Night Flight. This is just one of the exciting new experiences from Papillion.
- The return of live entertainment hits the stage when ABSINTHE by Spiegelworld reopens at Caesars Palace on October 28. Guests can expect new cabaret-style seating inside the spiegeltent, which will allow parties of two to five to reserve tables positioned no less than six feet apart, while still feeling close to the action. Even with seating reduced to 153, viewers will still experience the hilarious show as it is meant to be. For pre-show fun, the outdoor Green Fairy Garden with its spectacular Absinthe Electric Oak will allow for more social distancing than likely any theater foyer in the world.
- After seven months of sold-out virtual shows, Piff the Magic Dragon will be back for the real thing at Flamingo Las Vegas beginning October 29. Performing at the conveniently named “Piff the Magic Dragon Theatre” for the past five years, Piff will once again be accompanied by his Las Vegas Showgirl partner Jade Simone and magic dog Mr. Piffles. All three are thrilled to be coming back to the stage, this time in the larger Flamingo Showroom and will be able to accommodate an audience of 250 guests per show or less.
- AREA15 invites visitors to enter curious and leave different. Now open, the world’s first experiential entertainment complex specifically built to be an immersive playground and all-in-one spectacular space is already enthralling guests. Mesmerizing zones feature engaging activations and rides, monumental art installations indoors as well as the outdoor Art Island, ground-breaking technology, funky retail boutiques, and bars and eateries, including The Beast Pop-Up, a curated outdoor eatery by chef Todd English. “Wink World: Portals to the Infinite” – an experience that enhances the concept of the infinity mirror room with a series of black-light-infused kinetic art installations – opens later this fall. One of the most-anticipated installations set to open early next year is Santa Fe-based art collective Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart.
- Adrenaline Mountain is an extreme outdoor entertainment complex offering a variety of heart-pumping activities all in one place. Just 30 minutes off the Strip, guests can off-road in souped-up UTVs, shoot machine guns or archery, crush or blow up a car, throw axes, drive the world’s longest monster truck, dig with earthmovers, and even get married. The complex offers multiple event spaces from a small amphitheater to larger outdoor areas including a 20,000-square-foot plateau on the historic Yellow Pine Mine with a breathtaking view of the surrounding desert.
- The newest addition to Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is the Immotion Undersea Explorer Virtual Reality Theater. This immersive experience center features state-of-the-art, motion platform VR technology transporting guests to the ocean’s depths to get an up-close-and-personal look at incredible underwater wildlife and mysterious creatures.
- The Neon Museum now offers Portrait Hour for guests looking to book time in the museum’s North Gallery amidst hundreds of vintage Las Vegas signs – such as Lady Luck and the Golden Nugget – for a personal, colorful, one-of-a-kind backdrop for their photo shoot. Guests who book Portrait Hour tickets share the space with other guests while they have a portrait photo session taken by their own photographer.
- Pink Jeep Tours introduces the four-hour Eldorado Canyon Gold Mine Tour where guests step back in time to the Wild West and go underground to explore an actual gold mine. Guests will also enjoy a private collection of historic cars and Hollywood movie memorabilia. The tour includes a gorgeous photo stop at the Colorado River. A local expert tour guide entertains and educates. Hotel pick-up and drop off is included.
- Museum of Dream Space, a popular multi-media art gallery, will debut its first Nevada location inside the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas this November. Frequently abbreviated as MODS, this one-of-a-kind place is the first museum to mainly exhibit multi-media art in the United States and allows customers an out-of-this-world interactive experience while also being able to capture pictures to last a lifetime.
- After thrilling nearly 1,500 audiences during its inaugural run, MAGIC MIKE LIVE is headed to The Strip where it will be the entertainment centerpiece at the SAHARA Las Vegas. Construction of the all-new Magic Mike Live Theater has begun and will take over a two-story space on the resort’s second floor that will be solely dedicated to the show and its guests; using this blank canvas space to the fullest, the show will implement new features and technologies making it even bigger, sexier and more magical.
- Global megastar and eight-time GRAMMY Award-winner Usher will headline The Colosseum at Caesars Palace when his Las Vegas residency opens Friday, July 16, 2021. The exclusive, only-in-Vegas spectacular will be performed in The Colosseum, an intimate 4,300-seat, world-class performance venue, allowing Usher’s fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see him up close and personal. The show will be packed with an impressive repertoire of smash hits spanning Usher’s 20-year career, including his early records and more recent songs, as well as new music.
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