October 7, 2013
If there’s one thing that’s forever constant about Las Vegas, it’s that nothing stays the same. The city has come a long way from its beginnings as a railroad town and today, Las Vegas Boulevard is lined with some of the world’s most exciting resorts. But the real thrill is in the Vegas yet to come: The future Vegas that will not only change the way you view one of the most popular cities in the world, but will change the way you experience it as well.
Las Vegas has long been known for wanting to keep visitors indoors and famously even keeps clocks off its casino floors. But, two multi-million dollar projects will purposely send tourists outdoors. And, attempt to keep them there. Taking shape between The Quad (formerly the Imperial Palace) and the Flamingo, THE LINQ will bring a $500 million open-air shopping, dining and entertainment district to The Strip. The pedestrian friendly stretch will be filled with some of the hottest restaurant, bar, and retail brands around, all in the shadow of a towering 550-foot-tall observation wheel.
A short jaunt down The Strip, a $100 million park-like promenade will reimagine New York-New York and Monte Carlo as well as the space between them. The expansive plan will add new food and beverage offerings for visitors to explore. That may sound pretty bland until we tell you many of the venues will not just be first to Las Vegas, but to Nevada. And, in the case of Shake Shack, their first venue in the entire western US.
The evolution of Las Vegas won’t just send tourists out into the desert sun, it will also allow them to enjoy more intimate stay experiences. And, if you’ve ever stood in a Vegas hotel corridor with seemingly no end in sight, your attention has been properly snagged. Hip hotel brand Delano and gaming giant, Caesars Entertainment, are both set to revolutionise the Vegas stay by transforming two smaller, more “˜boutique’ properties. A $185 million remodel will turn aging Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon into The Cromwell, a 188-key hotel-casino after a top-to-bottom overhaul. Meanwhile, the Delano will bring its trademark South Beach vibe to Mandalay Bay where it’s set to take over its smaller, all-suite tower, THEhotel.
Don’t think the reign of the mega-resort is over, however. Far from it. The historic Sahara hotel, shuttered in 2011, will be reborn as a 1,600-room SLS Las Vegas after a $415 million dollar renovation. And the long-stalled Echelon mega-resort project will now morph into another large-scale affair; a 3,500-key Resorts World with the staggering price tag of $2 billion dollars.
Look for THE LINQ to conclude a multi-phase opening in early 2014. The promenade at New York-New York and Monte Carlo will be fully revealed by mid-2014. The Cromwell will debut May 21, 2014. SLS will welcome its first guests August 29, 2014 while Resorts World won’t arrive until 2016.
Virgin Atlantic operates daily direct flights to Las Vegas from London Gatwick.
What do you think about the changing face of Las Vegas? Share your thoughts in the comments below.