Category Archives: Las Vegas Hotels

All Net Arena Takes Part in Las Vegas Ritual of Pointlessly Pushing Dirt Around

For Las Vegas projects that can’t get financing, there’s a time-honored tradition: The technical term is “Pushing Dirt Around.”

Alon did it before its plug was pulled, and now workers at the All Net Arena and Resort site, between SLS Las Vegas and the abandoned Fontainebleau resort—the former location of the Wet ‘n Wild water park—are doing some dirt pushing of their own.

All Net Arena construction

Of all the projects not happening in Las Vegas, All Net Arena is certainly one of those.

The folks behind the troubled All Net Arena and Resort project, led by ex-NBA player Jackie Robinson, are grading the site, which is a fancy way of saying, you guessed it, “moving dirt around.”

Presumably, there are plans to build underground parking and install utilities as well. Why one would do these things, when there’s virtually no hope the project’s ever going to fly, we have no idea. Las Vegas developers may not always have financial backing, but they rarely lack optimism.

Along those lines, Robinson says the project should open in December 2019, or roughly around the time we all have flying cars.

All Net Arena construction

“Grading” is the process of ensuring a site’s subsoil is level to provide a solid base for an erection. Oh, just make up your own joke.

The All Net Arena and Resort will cost $1.3 billion, and is supposed to have a 22,000-seat arena, a retail and restaurant complex and a 500-room hotel.

There’s been lots of asshattery behind the scenes with the project, including lawsuits galore. Read more from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, currently the only entity with the patience to wade through all this crap.

All Net Arena construction

It’s the construction site version of “Where’s Waldo?”

Despite the bleak outlook for All Net Arena, we’re rooting for its success, because we love new Las Vegas things, and the north end of The Strip can use all the help it can get.

Somebody obviously scraped together the cash to do the grading of the site (trust us, nobody’s working on credit with this organization), so anything’s possible.

All Net Arena Las Vegas

Sure, there’s a whole lot of nothing at the All Net Arena site now, but just wait until you see the amount of nothing there will be in 2019.

Whether All Net Arena gets off the ground or not, abandoned underground parking is far less an eyesore than a hulking carcass like Fontainebleau or 250-foot concrete pillars.

We’re looking at you, SkyVue observation wheel.

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Caesars Entertainment Toys With Renaming Cromwell Hotel Las Vegas

It appears Caesars Entertainment is considering a name change for The Cromwell Hotel Las Vegas.

The company sent out a survey testing what we assume is one of several names in contention, Caesars Republic.

The customer survey suggests Caesars Republic “commands attention” and says “the air is filled with magnetic energy.” The survey also claims, “At every turn, guests are enveloped by sumptuous, contemporary design, while fun, whimsical accents keep things interesting.”

Here’s a look at the survey sent out by Caesars Entertainment’s market research company, CMB (Chadwick Martin Bailey).

Caesars Republic

Let us not judge marketing copywriters, as we were one of those at Caesars Entertainment at one point.

While Cromwell has been doing well for Caesars Entertainment, it’s possible the company sees challenges with the Cromwell name.

Prior to the hotel becoming The Cromwell, it was Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, and before that it was Barbary Coast.

For a moment, the plan was to call the hotel Gansevoort, until is was discovered one of Gansevoort’s investors had ties to Russian organized crime. The Nevada Gaming Commission tends to frown upon such things, so the name was nixed.

The Cromwell name was presumably inspired by the Cromwell current, “an eastward-flowing subsurface current that extends the length of the equator in the Pacific Ocean” discovered by Townsend Cromwell.

Nothing says “sexy Las Vegas resort” like an eastward-flowing subsurface current.

While the survey doesn’t mention The Cromwell by name, it features a number of images of The Cromwell’s distinctive pool, casino and rooms.

Cromwell Caesars Republic

Holy crap, we were just enveloped by whimsical accents.

Our astute Twitter follower Ryan O. floated the possibility Caesars Entertainment is actually looking to find a new name for Nobu, the boutique hotel inside Caesars Palace. The Cromwell photos may have been included in the survey as a diversionary tactic.

We’re betting Caesars Republic won’t end up being the new name of The Cromwell, as it doesn’t exactly sing.

It’s clear, though, Caesars Entertainment is trying to exploit its flagship brand, Caesars, but it remains to be seen how that might happen without causing confusion between The Cromwell and Caesars Palace, just across the street.

If you got the survey with other potential names for The Cromwell, please share! Thanks to reader Mike C. for sending the survey our way.

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Don’t Be Surprised If Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas Is Sold

We fully realize we’ve been light on the rumors and speculation lately, but we’re about to make up for it. From what we hear, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is being sold, so don’t be surprised if the purchase is announced soon.

Hard Rock casino Las Vegas

Fun fact: Hard Rock International boasts 80,000 pieces of music-themed memorabilia. Hard Rock Las Vegas has about 2,000.

Signs point to the Hard Rock casino in Las Vegas being purchased by Hard Rock International, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

The Hard Rock in Las Vegas is currently owned by Brookfield Asset Management. It’s operated by Brookfield and Warner Gaming.

Rumors of a sale come on the heels of a recent announcement the Seminole Tribe of Florida has purchased the closed Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City from bajillionaire Carl Icahn. That’s the same Carl Icahn who owns the abandoned Fontainebleau on the Las Vegas Strip. We’re hoping Icahn uses proceeds from the Trump Taj Mahal to buy the Fontainebleau a wrap. No, seriously, it’s an eyesore.

Hard Rock casino Las Vegas

The off-Strip Hard Rock casino in Las Vegas opened in 1995.

Hard Rock International seems to be in expansion mode, so the purchase of the Hard Rock casino in Las Vegas makes sense.

Insiders say reps of the Seminole Tribe of Florida have visited the Hard Rock in recent months, and a number of internal organizational changes at the Las Vegas Hard Rock lend credence to the rumblings about the resort’s imminent sale.

Hard Rock employees have been informed of a resort-wide meeting on Monday, March 6, 2017, which may involve word of the sale.

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is not to be confused with its neighbor, the recently-shuttered Hard Rock Cafe, just outside the casino. The Hard Rock Cafe Las Vegas, which leased the name but wasn’t affiliated with the hotel, shut down on Dec. 31, 2016. The Hard Rock Cafe had been in operation for 26 years. The Hard Rock Cafe was snapped up by Brookfield and would presumably be part of the sale to Hard Rock International.

Hard Rock Cafe closes

The former Hard Rock Cafe sign.

Hard Rock International owns or licenses venues in 74 countries, including 175 cafes, 24 hotels and 11 casinos.

The Hard Rock brand was consolidated in October 2016, after being split between a variety of owners for 30 years.

If a sale of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas happens as we believe it will, hopefully it won’t disrupt plans for a new steakhouse, MB Steakhouse. Because steak. The “MB” stands for Morton Brothers, specifically, Michael and David Morton. The new steakhouse is slated to open in May. The resort recently got a new Oyster Bar.

There’s also been talk of changes coming to the resort’s Vanity nightclub, although specifics aren’t yet available.

The Hard Rock is set to debut a new male revue, “Magic Mike Live Las Vegas” on March 30, 2017.

The Hard Rock resort recently unveiled a renovated Center Bar, which we’re really only including here because we know how much you like pretty pictures of Las Vegas bars.

As rumors go, the potential sale of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas is an especially juicy one. We’ll keep an eye on the potential sale as the story unfolds. Then we’ll fold it up again, because we’re tidy like that.

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Construction Begins on 18 Fremont Resort (Las Vegas Club), World Almost Misses It

There were no fireworks, no gold-plated shovels, no mayoral Proclamations. There were none of the trappings of a Las Vegas resort groundbreaking, but it was, indeed, just that.

That tingling sensation you feel isn’t numbness resulting from sitting at a slot machine too long, it’s the excitement of knowing a long-awaited Las Vegas resort is finally in the works on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. We’ve got all the exclusive scoop! Because having an “exclusive” is nearly as good as “having a life,” and that’s the story we’re sticking to.

Construction, or more accurately “deconstruction,” has quietly begun on a new hotel-casino from Derek and Greg Stevens, owners of Golden Gate and The D Las Vegas.

18 Fremont resort

“What construction?” you ask. We’re trying to build some suspense here, just play along for once.

Owner Derek Stevens has said he’s attended more than 50 design meetings for the new downtown resort. While it doesn’t have a name yet, its placeholder name is “18 Fremont.”

A modest demolition project, not easily seen by pedestrians on Fremont Street, marks the beginning of a major (and expensive) construction project which will make the new resort a reality.

The demolition is happening behind two closed shops, Blowout and Forever Flawless. Demolition crews are making quick work of the structure.

18 Fremont resort construction

Boom. Work on the next Las Vegas casino resort begins, sans hoopla, which would make a good band name.

Blowout and the Forever Flawless store (covering a tiny 0.08 acres) cost the Stevens brothers  a steep $13.5 million. Millionaires be crazy, as the kids say, but there was a method behind the madness.

The shops were a critical element of a series of acquisitions allowing for 18 Fremont to encompass a full block, spanning a stretch of Fremont between Binion’s and the Plaza casino.

18 Fremont casino

This is how the lot looked midday. Keep reading to see how it looked a couple of hours later. Suspenseful, right?

Mermaids and the Glitter Gulch strip club were also purchased by the Stevens brothers, along with La Bayou, currently site of an expansion of the Golden Gate casino.

The Stevens also acquired a parcel across the street from the Las Vegas Club, between Plaza and Main Street Station, for $7.5 million.

Yes, there will be a quiz.

18 Fremont construction

A couple of hours later and virtually nothing of the shops remains. They’re going to need a really big vacuum cleaner.

Why is the demolition of the Blowout and Forever Flawless shops so important to the 18 Fremont project? We won’t ruin the surprise. (Suspense!) All we can say is there’s equipment in motion at 18 Fremont and that’s enough to get us excited about what’s to come.

Derek Stevens and others involved in the project have been tight-lipped about specifics of the new resort, but Stevens has at various times hinted it’s likely to take downtown’s pool scene to a whole new level. On an episode of our podcast, Stevens described downtown Las Vegas as “underpooled.”

The casino will be the centerpiece of the resort, of course, but multiple restaurant and bar offerings will also be in the mix. Stevens has also said it’s likely the resort will have a spa, but relatively few specifics about the resort have been shared to-date. Hey, we’re working on it.

18 Fremont construction Las Vegas Club

Look closely. The shops are now see-through.

One of the existing Las Vegas Club hotel towers will be demolished and the other is likely to have more floors and rooms added. There’s a 99% chance the older tower will be taken down without an implosion due to the proximity to other structures and casinos. Sorry, no hoopla.

See below, in case that wasn’t the direction you were already going in.

las_vegas_club_towers_demolition

After watching failed casino projects like Alon, and seemingly stalled projects like Resorts World, it’s refreshing to see a Las Vegas casino project moving forward full steam ahead. Millennial translation: Nobody’s come up with a better way of saying “full steam ahead” since the steam engine, sorry.

18 Fremont demolition

Here’s a peek inside what was the Blowout gift shop. Their inventory now consists largely of debris.

This new resort represents not only hundreds of millions of dollars of investment, but also an entirely new place for us to drink Captain Morgan and diets and play Top Dollar. Just keeping it real.

Las Vegas Club demolition

The forever forgettable Forever Flawless. Anything that decreases the number of annoying salespeople chasing us down Fremont Street Experience (where we work in marketing as our day job) hawking face cream is fine by us.

Here’s a little help with where this demolition site is in relation to things you might recognize, specifically a strip club and some classic neon, including Vegas Vickie.

Las Vegas Club demolition

The good news is we can all start using “Glitter Gulch” again without feeling the urge to get a “Silkwood” shower.

Update (2/23/17): Things move fast in Vegas, and what a difference 24 hours can make. Here’s a photo to keep you abreast, and not just because we love using the word “abreast” as often as possible.

18 fremont construction

Did we mention these demolition guys don’t mess around?

It’s a pretty straight shot to Fremont Street now.

18 Fremont construction

Demolition guys must have really organized closets.

Demolition of the Blowout and Forever Flawless shops is expected to take just a few days (Feb. 24, 2017 is the expected completion date), but there’s much more in the works, so anticipate a cavalcade of security breaches in the months to come.

Update (2/26/17): Like we said, blink and you’ll miss it. We’re pretty sure we said that. Anyway, here’s another look at the site. Cleans up real nice.

18 Fremont construction

A good many great things begin in tiny spaces. Which sounds a lot dirtier than it is.

Yes, yes, there’s video. Demanding, much?

We trust this won’t be our last update about the 18 Fremont construction project, so visit this Las Vegas blog often. Hourly, if possible. No pressure.

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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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Plaza Casino Gets Second Eye-Popping Mural

Downtown’s Plaza Hotel has yet another massive mural adorning its hotel tower, and this time the art veers toward the ominous.

We recently wrote about the Plaza’s first larger-than-life mural, Cultivate Harmony, by Shepard Fairey. The hotel’s second mural is by Dean Stockton, also known as D*Face.

Plaza mural Las Vegas

The new mural is reminiscent of the work of Roy Lichtenstein. We knew this liberal arts degree would come in handy someday.

The latest mural, “Behind Closed Doors,” has a bit of a story behind it. The image is apparently that of a woman who came to Las Vegas with her husband and her lover. She murdered her husband, leaving him in the desert. When she comes back to her room expecting to find her lover, she’s haunted by her dead husband instead. Read more.

While massive, “Behind Closed Doors” can be tricky to see from ground level. (It’s on the south side of the Plaza’s hotel tower.) One of the best views is from the hotel’s pool deck, complete with 16 pickleball courts, but we’ve got an even better one. We couldn’t resist. We love pop art.

The two Plaza murals join dozens of others throughout downtown Las Vegas, mainly thanks to the Life is Beautiful music festival.

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