Monthly Archives: September 2017

Wynn Las Vegas Reveals Wynn Plaza Shopping Complex

It’s been months in the making, but it seems Wynn Las Vegas is now prepared to show off its snazzy new Wynn Plaza shopping complex.

Wynn Plaza was built at a cost of $54 million and provides 75,518-square-feet of additional luxury retail space to the resort, making the most of some previously unused land in front of Wynn.

Here’s a look at the facade of Wynn Plaza.

Wynn Plaza’s design was inspired by inspired by Avenue Matignon in Paris, wherever that might be.

Wynn Plaza is expected to open soon.

If you like construction photos of fancy new Las Vegas buildings, we’ve got you covered.

We’d have stopped to take more photos, but shopping.

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Caesars Palace Reveals Addition to Iconic Fountains and Everything is Ruined

It’s either a creative way for a casino company to generate revenue from “unproductive” space or a swift kick to the groin with a steel-toed boot: Caesars Palace has unveiled a new addition to its iconic fountains and our Las Vegas WTF meter is about to have a meltdown.

First, let’s take a look at what was arguably one of the most spectacular photo ops in all of Las Vegas.

Caesars Palace fountains

Soak it in. Stunning, right? You might even say jaw-dropping. Now, take a deep breath.

The image above is one of the things that pops into our mind when people say “Las Vegas.” The other is boobs, but that’s probably just us.

On Sep. 28, 2017, Caesars Palace debuted a Samsung Galaxy Studio sitting atop its fountains. The fountains, we should mention, an estimated 20 million people a year stroll by along Las Vegas Boulevard.

Here’s a look at the Samsung Galaxy Studio that will reside on the Caesars fountains through the end of January 2018.

Caesars Palace fountains

We wish this has been done with Photoshop, but sadly “ani.” That’s “no” in Korean. Samsung is a South Korean company. Please try and keep up.

The Samsung Galaxy Studio is a place for guests to get “hands-on experience exploring the latest Galaxy products.” The pop-up shop has a virtual reality theater, offers customer care for existing customers, boasts interactive art installations and has a retail component.

This location is, honestly, possibly the best location in the world if you’re Samsung.

But here’s the thing.

Just because Samsung offered Caesars a metric hell-ton of money to have a store on their fountains doesn’t mean the offer had to be accepted.

Maybe we’re naive or overly romantic, but it feels like the Caesars bean counters have flagrantly shat upon the entire history of one of Sin City’s most venerable megaresorts? And how mad must we be to use the word “shat” for only the second time in the history of this blog?

What dollar amount has been assigned to an epic Las Vegas photo op that’s been taken and shared by millions of people around the world?

And, trust us, just because this particular use of the space is temporary, there’s no way this is a one-off.

Granted, we are a blog. We don’t have to pay salaries or answer to shareholders. Caesars Entertainment, owner of Caesars Palace, is slowly, finally emerging from bankruptcy. It’s a business. We get all that.

We also don’t have to like it.

Caesars

Why do you insist upon making us weep, Gaius? That’s really his first name, so spare us the hate mail.

It was all fun and games when an April Fools’ joke about Bellagio’s fountains being converted into retail space from our friends at Vegas Bright went viral. It was so believable, many reported the story as fact, and we even went on TV to talk about it.

The recent monetization (which we’re still not convinced is a real word) of “idle space” at Caesars is an illustration of how such stories can gain momentum. Because when things like this happens, in the words of Billy Crystal, “It’s not fun, it’s not funny.” If you think MGM Resorts hasn’t pondered a scenario similar to the one at Caesars Palace for its own fountains, we have a half-scale Eiffel Tower to sell you.

Update (9/30/17): Our friends at KTNV did a follow-up to our story, and included our thoughts, so it’s well worth a look, because you can never get too much us.

In the story, Caesars Entertainment says, “The Samsung Studio is a temporary structure where guests can experience the newest in Samsung products and an interactive virtual reality experience. With only five locations in the U.S., Samsung has selected Las Vegas for this surprise and delight attraction and Caesars Palace is excited about bringing this experience to its center Strip location. Additionally we are receiving positive feedback from our guests and passerbys.”

First, it’s “passersby.”

Second, claiming there’s been positive feedback from guests and passersby about a Samsung pop-up store is easily one of the most absurd things we’ve ever heard, and we’ve heard a lot of absurd things, trust us.

We’d love to hear your thoughts, even if you think we should get over it, so share a comment.

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Rumors Swirl San Diego’s Kaaboo Music Festival is Coming to Las Vegas

In a major coup for the Las Vegas music scene, word is MGM Resorts has struck a deal for the San Diego-based Kaaboo music festival to come to Las Vegas.

Ever since the disastrous Rock in Rio USA festival in 2015, MGM Resorts has been looking for partners to fill up its under-utilized MGM Resorts Festival Grounds just west of SLS Las Vegas.

We initially reported rumors the festival would move from Del Mar to Vegas, but a more likely scenario would be an offshoot of the main festival confirmed for September 14-16, 2018 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

A Kaaboo music festival representative says rumors of a festival relocation are premature: “Kaaboo has no plans to relocate from San Diego to Las Vegas. Kaaboo Del Mar is officially scheduled for September 14-16, 2018 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar, California. While Kaaboo is in the early stages of exploring expansion opportunities for additional locations around the U.S., there are no definitive plans for a Kaaboo event in Las Vegas at this time.”

Hey, it’s not the first time we’ve been premature.

Kaaboo Las Vegas

A Millennial tells us an offshoot of Kaaboo in Las Vegas would be “bomb.” Given the event’s name, M Resort should jump all over it. We’ll wait.

What’s Kaaboo? We actually had no idea until approximately 12 minutes ago. Let’s learn more together, shall we?

According to the festival’s founder, entrepreneur Bryan Gordon, “Kaaboo is a fictional world.” Which doesn’t help a whole lot, to be honest.

Kaaboo describes itself as having been “created by music lovers for music lovers.”

But wait, there’s more.

Kaaboo says it’s “an adult escape, uniquely curated to appeal to all five of your senses, with world-class music, hilarious comedy, incredible cuisine, craft libations, inspiring contemporary art and personal indulgences.”

Coincidentally, Personal Indulgences was one of our favorite folks bands in the 1970s.

Find out more about Kaaboo at the official site.

Here’s a little Kaaboo 2016 action, because everything’s better by drone.

The first installment of Kaaboo took place in Sep. 2015 and featured a whopping 100 acts.

The most recent Kaaboo took place in Del Mar, Sep. 14-16, 2017. Kaaboo’s line-up this year was “yuge,” and there’s no reason to think the acts won’t be just as big when Kaaboo comes to Las Vegas. Kaaboo 2017 featured Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Muse, Weezer, Kesha, Garbage, Jane’s Addiction, Ice Cube, Alanis Morissette and a metric hell-ton of others.

Kaaboo Las Vegas

Anyone else seeing cross-promotion potential with Cirque du Soleil here? Because “Ka.”

If this rumor proves true, a Vegas edition of Kaaboo is going to be a very big deal.

It’s not only great news for music lovers (and comedy lovers and arts lovers), it’s fantastic news for neighboring casinos like Lucky Dragon and SLS Las Vegas and the Stratosphere.

It’s also fantastic news for MGM Resorts, still stinging from the lameness foisted upon it by the organizers of Rock in Rio USA.

As further evidence Kaaboo is in talks for a Vegas iteration, MGM Resorts was a sponsor of this year’s festival in Del Mar, and shared what seemed to be a random Tweet related to the event. Given our scoop, it’s not so random after all. In poker, it’s what’s known as a “tell.” Because Vegas.

Rock in Rio site

Here’s the MGM Resorts Festival Grounds prior to Rock in Rio USA. We’re still trying to get that taste out of your mouth.

We look forward to hearing more about Kaaboo’s plans for Las Vegas.

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Cromwell Rolls Out Eatwell Snack Bar, Sports Book and Enticing Games

For a small, boutique hotel, The Cromwell has made some big moves recently.

To start, The Cromwell unveiled a new snack bar, Eatwell.

Cromwell Eatwell

Eatwell at Cromwell. If you want to self-park, it’ll have to be at the Flamingowell.

Eatwell is open 24 hours a day, and has a variety of grab-and-go goodies like sandwiches, pastries, salads and pizzas.

We went for a sandwich, mainly because sandwiches are a metaphor for love. Or something.

Eatwell at Cromwell

One cannot live by cavorting alone, even in Vegas.

We’re pleased to report the food quality is solid at Eatwell, and the prices are reasonable.

Here’s a peek at the Eatwell menu.

Cromwell Eatwell menu

If you actually read the “Healthy Alternatives” section, we can’t be friends.

We have no idea what these things on the ceiling are, but we are a blog, not a snack bar design firm.

Cromwell Eatwell

We’re pretty sure you can become pregnant just walking under these.

Caffeine fans will rejoice in the knowledge Eatwell offers a full selection of Starbucks coffees.

Here’s a gratuitous photo of some cookies.

Cromwell Eatwell cookies

Don’t think of them as cookies. Think of them as fuel for your bad Las Vegas decisions.

The Cromwell has also opened a new race and sports book.

We have never personally understood why they’re called race and sports books. A race is a sport. If you’re going to call it a race and sports book, you could just as easily call it a game and sports book, or possibly a match and sports book.

Cromwell sports book

It’s not the size of the sports book that counts, it’s whether you cover the spread.

The new sports book at Cromwell has a tiny footprint, but sports books aren’t huge moneymakers for casinos, so the size is proportionate given the limited footprint of the resort.

The Cromwell used to be Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, and before that it was Barbary Coast and Empey’s Desert Villa. Prior to that, it was a small collection of tumbleweeds.

The new sports book can accommodate about 50 people or 75 if they all inhale at the same time.

The Cromwell sports book boasts a 32-foot-long, nine-foot-tall LED video wall.

Beyond these sweet new amenities, The Cromwell has made a serious play to attract gamblers.

Among the new offerings is a single zero roulette table. Single zero roulette, also known as “European roulette,” is often reserved for high limit rooms, but Cromwell has a table on its main casino floor.

Because photos aren’t allowed at live games, we won’t be able to share the photo below.

Cromwell single zero roulette

The house edge in a single zero roulette game is 2.7%. With two zeros, it’s 5.26%.

Unlike double zero roulette games, the minimum bet on the single zero game is $25. Better odds, higher minimums. In Vegas, that’s a thing.

On the other end of the spectrum, Venetian has a $5 roulette table with three zeros. We are not making this up. Remember, the more zeros, the more suck for players.

In addition to single zero roulette, Cromwell also offers 100x odds on craps.

Nobody ever actually takes advantage of 100x odds, but it’s great to know you could if you inherited money from a rich uncle. Possibly, one named Sheldon.

Cromwell casino

Thanks to the good folks at The Cromwell for not asking security to give us The Taser Experience during the taking of these photos.

But wait, there’s more.

The Cromwell is also touting its EZ Baccarat. We’re pretty sure we played EZ Baccarat at Lucky Dragon, and it was, as promised, easy. One benefit of this version of baccarat is it “eliminates the taking of the 5% commission after every winning Bank hand.” Whatever that might actually mean.

Also being talked up are The Cromwell’s 3-to-2 and double deck blackjack games.

During our visit, we saw three open 3-to-2 double deck blackjack tables, two with $25 minimums and one at $15. Shoe games had minimums ranging from $10 to $25.

The Cromwell also lists among its new “enhancements” a “re-imagined” Interlude bar (if you’re not a fan of live music, this is a great place to not be a fan of it), a new high limit slot area called The Abbey, and keyless access to hotel rooms.

Cromwell casino bar

Our liver breaks into song whenever it sees Cromwell’s casino bar.

There’s also Ivy, a “personalized virtual concierge service” provided via text, developed by a company called Go Moment. It’s sort of a bot that can field questions and requests related to housekeeping and room service. Such services are mainly a way for hotels to save money and cut down on call volume, but Ivy has gotten generally good reviews since the most common guest requests can be resolved more efficiently through automation. Fewer and fewer Las Vegas hotels have real concierges, anyway.

With its recent changes, The Cromwell has certainly gotten the attention of players, and despite ongoing challenges with unsavory elements at Drai’s Nightclub on the roof, the boutique hotel is drawing new interest from visitors seeking a welcoming environment with friendly service and odds you won’t find in many casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.

Enjoy more poorly-framed and inadequately-focused photos from The Cromwell.

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Bigass Excavator Bites Into Las Vegas Club Casino Towers

The demolition of downtown’s Las Vegas Club casino continues, and we’ve got exclusive photos and video to keep you in the loop on all the glorious carnage.

Las Vegas Club demolition

The housekeeping staff is really falling behind at Las Vegas Club.

North American Dismantling Corp.’s high reach excavator, nicknamed Bronto, has been working is way up and down Las Vegas Club’s southern hotel tower.

Las Vegas Club demolition

“Before” and “after,” all in one photo.

Here’s  the exclusive video thingy.

The best part is you can watch that video over and over again and you won’t go blind or get hair on your palms.

If you’re like us and can’t get enough of demolition photos and video, you’ll want to slide your eyeballs into our Las Vegas Club demolition archive.

While the focus of the Las Vegas Club demolition has been on the hotel towers, additional work has been going on nearby as well.

A portion of the facade has been cut away, resulting in a photo op sure to win us some sort of blogging award.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Or course we blog for awards. And groupies. But mainly awards.

The baseball player statue’s days are winding down, and it’s expected the figure will be taken down with the rest of the facade.

The demolition of the Las Vegas Club is part of a larger project taking down a number of structures at 18 Fremont to make way for a new casino resort.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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Wynn Resorts Expected to Pull the Plug on Surrender Nightclub at Encore

The nightclubs at Wynn and Encore have traditionally been huge moneymakers for Wynn Resorts, but rumors are Surrender and Intrigue haven’t been meeting expectations, so one has to go.

As a result, we hear Wynn Resorts will close Surrender Nightclub.

XS Nightclub

We’re fairly sure this is XS, not Surrender, but you get the picture. Pretty people. Over-priced hooch. Oontz.

Surrender Nightclub celebrated its seventh anniversary in June 2017.

While we are not a nightclub person, we can certainly appreciate the popularity of nightclubs and their impact on the culture of Las Vegas and the financial well-being of its resorts.

In Las Vegas years, Surrender had a solid run at Encore. We imagine the Wynn Nightlife folks will now focus more attention on the struggling Intrigue which opened in April 2016. Intrigue operates in the former Tryst nightclub space.

We personally suspect Intrigue is struggling because of its “social media-free zone,” but we’re probably biased.

Encore

We’re quite sure this is Encore. Hey, at least we’re batting .500. Babe Ruth only hit .342.

From the Surrender Web site: “Surrender Nightclub has upheld Wynn Nightlife’s expectations of only the highest levels of service and luxury since it opened its doors. There have been so many copies of the multi-award winning venue, yet no one has come close to truly duplicating this storied hotspot. This is due to Surrender continuing to evolve and redefine itself over the years to meet the needs of the ever changing Las Vegas nightlife scene.”

As with so many “storied hotspots,” it appears Surrender’s time has come and gone.

It’s unknown what might replace Surrender Nightclub, but we’re fairly sure it won’t be turned into an eSports arena as Luxor plans to do with its LAX nightclub space. Steve Wynn might be eccentric, but he’s no fool.

There’s been buzz the closure of Surrender is more a pause than a hard stop, and the club is being rebranded as Encore Beach Club at Night, as it occupies the same space at Encore Beach Club.

If you’re bored, and you clearly are because you’re visiting this Las Vegas blog, take a look at our 10 Surprising Things About Las Vegas Nightclubs.

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