Category Archives: Las Vegas Shopping

Checking In On the Construction at Wynn Plaza

It’s tough to get too riled up about shopping, but since this particular shopping is coming to Wynn Las Vegas, it’s tough to ignore.

We popped in to see what’s up at Wynn Plaza, a $54 million retail center that sits in front of one of the best-known resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. Wynn Las Vegas. Please try and keep up.

Wynn Plaza

Fun fact: Steve Wynn once accidentally shot off his index finger with a handgun.

There’s been a lot of progress since we first reported on the project in Sep. 2016.

The new shopping complex is expected to add 75,000-square-feet of luxury retail space to Wynn Las Vegas. Square feet are, of course, one of the most popular kinds of feet in Las Vegas. For the other kind, you pay extra.

Wynn Plaza Las Vegas

Another fun fact: Steve Wynn once put his elbow through a $155 million painting, “Le Reve.” Wynn purchased the painting for a mere $48 million in 1997.

Wynn Plaza brings the resort’s footprint right down to Las Vegas Boulevard and will generate revenue from previously unused space, as well as giving the shopping center just across the street, Fashion Show, a run for its money.

Wynn Plaza is expected to debut by the end of 2017.

Wynn Plaza

The exterior of Wynn Plaza is already starting to take shape. Hey, some facts aren’t “fun,” they’re just facts.

Interestingly, Wynn Resorts recently sold about half of its interest in Wynn Plaza, and other retail space at Wynn and its sister resort, Encore, to Crown Acquisitions for $472 million. Wynn already got $292 million and will receive another $180 million when construction of Wynn Plaza is complete.

Shopping is big business in Las Vegas, as well as being incredibly boring.

Several shopping malls in Vegas have changed hands in the last year, including Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood being sold to Institutional Mall Investors and Crystals at City Center being sold to Invesco Real Estate and Simon Property Group. The latter deal was for $1.1 billion. That’s a lot of handbags and shoes normal people can’t begin to afford.

Wynn Plaza

Oh, all right, one more fun fact: Steve Wynn’s real last name is Weinberg.

On a less boring note, Wynn Plaza is likely to have not only high-end retail shops, but also new
restaurant and bar options, and we’re always up for more that.

More construction porn ahead! Enjoy.

Wynn Plaza Update: Feb. 20, 2017

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Bonanza Gift Shop Sold for Whopping $50 Million

The long, winding, sometimes WTF saga of the self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Gift Shop” continues with news the Bonanza Gift Shop has been sold for $50 million.

The massive gift shop sits at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Ave.

Bonanza Gift Shop

It’s on a sign, so it must be true.

A couple of years ago, there were rumors the Bonanza Gift Shop would be sold and closed. We should know because we started them.

In 2015, records showed the property actually was sold, but it’s a little unclear who bought what. The building? The land it sits on? Welcome to the sometimes murky world of Las Vegas real estate.

Now, though, records show the Bonanza Gift Shop was definitely sold to Haim Gabay, a Las Vegas businessman.

Bonanza Gift Shop

That’s a lot of gift shop.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Gabay purchased the gift shop, in part, with proceeds from a sale of two retail shops on Fremont Street. The shops were acquired by Derek Stevens for $13.5 million, and will become part of a new resort currently called 18 Fremont. Read more.

The balance of Gabay’s purchase was in the form of a $25 million bank loan and a $10 million loan floated by the sellers.

Bonanza Gift Shop

Ah, the memories. Sadly, this clever sign was changed the last time the gift shop changed hands.

For the time being, it appears the Bonanza Gift Shop will stay open, so Las Vegas visitors will continue to have a source for their dice clocks, shot glasses and tchotchkes, a word we have to look up every time we write a story about the Bonanza Gift Shop.

Which is pretty farkakte. A word, we should mention, we’ve never seen written out until right this second.

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The Pub, Street of Dreams and Pool Close at Monte Carlo to Make Way for Park MGM

The transition of Monte Carlo to Park MGM has begun in earnest with the closing of The Pub, the hotel’s pool and Street of Dreams shopping promenade.

Monte Carlo Street of Dreams

Break out the Kleenex! And not for the usual reason you break out Kleenex when you’re on the Internet, perv.

Naturally, we poked our nose in to check on the progress of the rebrand.

The Street of Dreams shopping area was eerily quiet, although lots of guests still walk through the rows of closed shops on their way to the tram for Aria and Bellagio.

Monte Carlo shops closed

It’s like “The Omega Man.” (Millennial translation: It’s like “I Am Legend.”)

Yes, all the shops in the Street of Dreams have left the building, including Starbucks and the Big Chill Bar, at least one of those we wish we’d have gotten a slushy drink from, because slushy drinks.

Monte Carlo shops closed

These two weren’t the best roommates, anyway.

Here’s a little walk-through of the closed Street of Dreams. Yes, we refer to it as the “Field of Dreams” at one point. We didn’t say all the liquor options at Monte Carlo had closed, did we?

By far, our favorite closure is that of a gift shop called MC Essentials, mainly because irony is the birth canal whence we were spawned. Or something.

Monte Carlo shops closed

Define “essential.”

For many, the closing of The Pub is the most bittersweet element of the changes going on at Monte Carlo. Unfortunately, capturing photos of The Pub would have involved a security breach, so we can’t share any here.

The Pub closed

You. Are so. Gullible.

Here’s another photo, just to ensure you have time to bid farewell to a beloved Las Vegas watering hole. A watering hole, we should add, which will always occupy a special place in our heart because that’s where we met and hung out for hours with the members of Wang Chung. We are not making this up.

Monte Carlo The Pub closed

Oh, great, now there’s a seat available.

Just outside, the Monte Carlo pool has closed and it already in the process of being tore up real good. Which is the technical term for it in the demolition world, probably.

Monte Carlo pool closed

You just got spared some melanoma. You’re welcome.

Guests of Monte Carlo still have access to a pool, it’s just at MGM Grand.

The closures of The Pub, the pool and the Shops We Never Visited Because Shopping is Boring are part of a $450 million rebrand of Monte Carlo by MGM Resorts. As mentioned, the new hotel will be called Park MGM. The resort will also have a hotel-within-a-hotel, NoMad Las Vegas.

The renovations and rebrand will be finished in 2018, and will bring lots of new offerings to the former Monte Carlo, including an Eataly marketplace, whatever that might actually be.

We really, really like sharing news about the rebrand of Monte Carlo because we wrote about it a year before anyone else. In the parlance of Las Vegas blogs, neener-neener.

If you’re looking for clues about what’s to come at Park MGM, look no further than the Monte Carlo’s exterior. The hotel has telegraphed its new look by painting a section of the building in what we assume with be Park MGM’s color scheme.

Monte Carlo Park MGM

Easiest security breach, ever.

Yes, we broke out the big lens. Somebody had to.

Monte Carlo Park MGM

We recommend you keep your curtains closed when staying in a Las Vegas hotel. Just saying.

There’s a lot more coolness to come, and you can rest assured we’ll be all over it like glitter on a stripper.

Or something appropriate.

Like a banana hammock on a Chippendale.

Oh, relax. Like you read this far, anyway.

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Let’s Blow Through What’s Going On at Linq Promenade

Change comes fast and furious in Las Vegas, so we thought it time to take another pass at what’s new at Linq promenade. That, of course, it code for security breaches!

First up, we poked our nose over the construction wall and In-N-Out, a long-awaited addition to the Linq mall (located between Flamingo and Linq hotels).

Presumably, the Strip outpost of In-N-Out will open by the end of the year, but at this point, there’s little to see in the way of progress.

Linq promenade In-N-Out

Why doth thou torment us so, In-N-Out?

Nearby, there’s another restaurant in the works, Canter’s Deli. Of Canter’s Deli fame.

This establishment, too, is supposed to arrive soon, but at the moment is little more than an empty room with sadness written all over it.

Linq Canter's Deli

Canter’s will take up residency in the space formerly used by the High Roller Ferris wheel ticket office.

Other parts of the Linq promenade, however, hold a bit more promise.

There’s a new restaurant in the works, Jaburrito, a place for sushi burritos, which we understand isn’t nearly as gross as it sounds.

Linq Jaburritos

Former home of a failed lingerie shop, Ruby Blue. There will be a quiz.

Linq promenade is currently decked out in its Halloween finest, including some impressive ghouls and werewolves along the pedestrian mall.

Linq promenade Halloween

Linq promenade, helping populate your nightmares since 2014.

The monsters at Linq are a fun diversion, and lots of visitors seemed to be taking advantage of the free photo op.

Linq promenade vampire

That time it got awkward because your fear was tinged with arousal.

In keeping with the Linq’s practice of refreshing its public art, there’s a new undead-themed mural.

Halloween zombie mural

Don’t believe zombies exist? Who do you think approved the Las Vegas stadium deal?

A new addition to the Linq promenade is an exotic vehicle rental stand.

Linq exotic car rentals

Drunk tourists, lots of traffic and three-wheeled vehicles? What could possibly go wrong?

The rates don’t seem particularly high, but we are a blog, not a Slingshot expert.

Linq exotic car rentals

Seriously, though, driving The Strip in a vehicle without a roof is a great way to take it all in.

Urban Turban, a popular Vegas restaurant, now has a stand at Linq (sorry, “open-air kitchen”), and it’s fully up and running.

The menu is somewhat limited, but what’s on it looks tempting.

Linq Urban Turban

Ripped from the pages of the bestselling book, “How to Open a Restaurant With the Change You Find Under Your Couch Cushions.”

Here’s the Urban Turban menu. What, you thought we were going to leave you hanging?

Urban Turban menu

Finally, a menu so streamlined even we could memorize it.

Nearby, of course, is the High Roller observation wheel. Nothing too new there, but we felt it was a good time to bring up the fact Las Vegas is home to the world’s largest Ferris wheel. It continues to struggle to meet ridership targets, but we shouldn’t take this engineering wonder for granted.

Thanks to the miracle and curse that is the Internet, there’s an easy way to see everything we’ve ever written about the High Roller wheel, and there’s been a metric hell-ton. Warning: Some of it is really weird.

High Roller wheel

Let’s take a moment to revel in the wonder and remember the High Roller has changed the Las Vegas skyline forever.

And some final newness, just behind the High Roller wheel is a seasonal attraction, The Zombie Escape. It’s a haunted house with zombies. Which we didn’t personally confirm, but what the hell else could it be?

Zombie Escape

The Zombie Escape felt a little cobbled-together, but we suspect it provides the promised thrills.

The Zombie Escape is $20, with $5 off for Total Rewards members.

That’s about all the news that’s fit to report, especially in a state of advanced intoxication. Allegedly. Here are more pics of the latest developments at Linq promenade. As always, you can thank us in Captain Morgan.

Linq Promenade Update, Oct. 2016

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Here’s Your Best Look Yet at the New Wynn Plaza Site

When Wynn Las Vegas announced it would build a new shopping area on The Strip, we sort of ignored it, because shopping. Now, we’ve seen the work-in-progress, and have learned Wynn Plaza could also include new dining and drinking options, so we’re in.

Here’s an exclusive look at the future Wynn Plaza experience.

Wynn Plaza

Yes, our camera probably should’ve been pointing toward Encore Beach Club. Freak.

The idea behind Wynn Plaza is three-fold.

First, Wynn Plaza is intended to make idle space more profitable. Second, it’s designed to give a shopping center across the street, Fashion Show Mall, a little competition. Third, the new two-story structure, which essentially wraps around the Wynn’s self-park garage, will help extend the resort closer to the street. Actually, boulevard, but let’s not get bogged down in details.

Wynn Plaza

You say “backhoe porn” like it’s a bad thing.

From the looks of it, Wynn Plaza will integrate the space formerly occupied by the hotel’s Ferrari dealership, the only one licensed in Nevada. The Ferrari dealership has been at Wynn since 2005.

Wynn Plaza

We’re pretty sure that’s where the Ferraris used to be. Because they certainly aren’t in our garage.

The cost of Wynn Plaza is expected to be about $54 million, or the approximate amount casino mogul Steve Wynn spends on boxer briefs in any given month.

Wynn Plaza

Construction of Wynn Plaza is happening largely out of sight. Until now. Because that’s how we roll.

Wynn Plaza will be about 75,000-square-feet of luxury retail space, because you can never have too much luxury retail space. Wynn Plaza will bring the total amount of retail space at Wynn to more than 173,000-square-feet.

Wynn Plaza

We have no idea what those things are. We are a blog, not a structural engineer.

Wynn Plaza is scheduled to open in 2017 and will feature lots of things you could only afford if your wealthy uncle went into cardiac arrest.

Wynn Plaza is expected to have a skylight rotunda, whatever that might actually be.

Once complete, Wynn Plaza will have sweeping views of a giant dirt lot across Las Vegas Boulevard, called Alon (pronounced “AY-lon,” a French word meaning “resort unlikely to exist thanks to a crackdown on Triads and corrupt Chinese officials”).

Wynn Plaza construction

Clearly, our construction photo fetish is well under control.

Wynn officials have said Wynn Plaza will have “interactive and experiential opportunities,” at least one of which, we assume, will be having a salesperson sneer disdainfully at you like you’re Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman.”

Wynn Plaza construction

Looking toward Fashion Show, the less aspirational shopping mall just across the street.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about Wynn Plaza. Not as it currently exists, of course. It’s piles of dirt. The future Wynn Plaza. Are you intrigued or shopping averse? What would you like to see at Wynn Plaza? By that, of course, we mean what types of bars?

Wynn Plaza construction

Before you build, it must be rototilled.™

Jokes aside, Wynn Las Vegas tends to do things right, and this blog certainly loves it some new, even if only for the design eye candy. Wynn Plaza’s design is said to have been inspired by Avenue Matignon in Paris, named after one of our very favorite Musketeers.

What, you thought we meant that things about “jokes aside”? Do you know this Las Vegas blog at all?

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Four, Count ‘Em Four, Shops Call It Quits at Pawn Plaza

To say downtown’s Pawn Plaza is going through a rough patch would be an understatement. A startling four shops have shuttered at Pawn Plaza in just a week’s time.

Pawn Plaza is a shopping complex fashioned from shipping containers, an idea inspired by downtown’s Container Park. Pawn Plaza sits next to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop made famous in TV’s “Pawn Stars.”

Pawn Plaza

It’s like Piet Mondrian humped a container ship. Or something.

It seems Pawn Plaza is going through the same kind of growing pains Container Park experienced, just all at once.

Here’s a rundown of the casualties.

Smoke’s Poutinerie

The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop gets a huge number of Canadian visitors, so it made sense to have an eatery featuring this popular Canadian dish. No such luck. Smoke’s Poutinerie was the first of the four shops to close.

Pawn Plaza

We quite enjoyed whatever it was we ate here.

Inna Gadda di Pizza

The closing of Inna Gadda di Pizza came as a surprise because of the restaurant’s pedigree. The shop was run by some of the same folks who opened the popular Pizzeria at Cosmopolitan (often called “Secret Pizza”). The pizza was okay, but given the choice between Inna Gadda di Pizza and the excellent Rick’s Rollin’ Smoke BBQ, it was no contest.

Inna Gadda di Pizza

“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” translates roughly as “The Garden of Life,” further proof you learn a metric ass-ton of useless stuff writing a blog.

Pawn Donut and Coffee Shop

The Pawn Donut and Coffee Shop was managed by the company behind Inna Gadda di Pizza. The doughnuts were solid and the prices were good. It’s likely this small shop could hold its own, but when Inna Gadda di Pizza pulled up stakes, it was a package deal.

Pawn Donut and Coffee

“Folks, we’re closing the shop, so we have to move everything out.” “All right, I’ll get a shoe box.”

Las Vegas Flip Flops

It’s a shock a flip flop store would fail given the huge public demand for, you know, flip flops.

Pawn Plaza Flip Flops

You will be missed, Las Vegas Flip Flops, by both of your loyal customers.

Thanks to Eater Vegas and Las Vegas Advisor for sharing news of the shuttered shops.

So, what’s the story at Pawn Plaza?

It’s been reported businesses at Pawn Plaza have been struggling overall, with disgruntled shopkeepers claiming the shopping center’s failing to meet their expectations.

Pawn Plaza’s PR team says, rightly, it’s the nature of the business that some stores will survive, others won’t.

Gold and Silver Pawn

The Gold & Silver Pawn shop continues to draw throngs. Just walk over to Pawn Plaza and buy something, people. It’s 14 feet away.

Pawn Plaza says it looks forward to announcing new tenants soon. Then again, what else are they going to say?

Is Pawn Plaza worth a stop? Of course! Did we mention Rick’s Rollin’ Smoke BBQ? It has a bar. ‘Nuff said. Bonus: “Pawn Stars” star Rick Harrison even tends bar there most Friday and Saturday nights.

Oh, and try Rita’s Italian Ice and Custard. The frozen custard is amazing, but just make sure it’s custard you’re getting because of the occasional egg shortages. It’s a thing.

Rita's Italian Ice custard

First, the custard is spectacular. Second, our future as a hand model is assured.

We’re rooting for Pawn Plaza to find a new batch of shops to fill out its roster. Pawn Plaza is a colorful addition to a blighted part of downtown. It’s just a matter of finding the right mix of shops and not relying solely on pawn shop visitors to support them.

And more bars couldn’t hurt.

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