Out in Las Vegas

Published Date Author: , April 27th, 2014

Las Vegas from the High Roller

High Roller, LinQThis is our umpteenth trip to Las Vegas, but there’s something different this time. The recession is over, and the town is gearing up with a new growth spurt unlike any we’ve seen in 6 or 8 years. The theme? Everything old is new again.

Bally ConstructionThere’s so much new construction going on in Vegas right now, it’s hard to believe. From the new skyscrapers gracing City Center to the just-opened LinQ center – an outdoor pedestrian mall that straddles the gap between the Quad Hotel (formerly the Imperial – more on that later) and The Flamingo – to the brand-new Cromwell Casino, a luxury re-do of the creaky old Bill’s Casino at the heart of the strip, which was literally opening while we were here. It’s amazing to see how much is changing.

ZarkanaBut wait, there’s more! some of the older hotels are getting into the act too, including treasure Island, which is ripped out most of it’s waterfront “Pirates” area and is putting in new retail and restaurants right on the strip, including a Starbucks and a number of restaurants and other venues. Although from the looks of things, they should put some money into their interiors well – the old casino floor feels dark and dated.

View From BellagioThere’s also a new retail center being built in front of Bally’s, where that long people mover used to take you up to the casino from the strip. Right now it’s a big dirt lot, but expect this one by next year.

There’s been a real rush to build out to the Las Vegas Blvd. line – so much so that you can no longer even see some of the marque properties from the street – that’s the case with the Monte Carlo, which has been all but obliterated by a trashy street-side development. So much for the gorgeous upscale approach to the hotel’s front doors.

MastroSo far, most of the construction seems to be remodeling or infill, but we suspect it won’t be long before the new buildings start rising again.

Best guess – North of the strip, where there’s lots of open land and the projects were planned before but fell through, like the “Echelon” hotel next to Fashion Sow Mall.

So for this trip, we’ll share some of the new things we found in Vegas over the next week, including a few you shouldn’t miss.

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