Monthly Archives: December 2017

Wynn Resorts Confirms Purchase of Alon Site

Wynn Resorts has officially confirmed it will buy the former Alon project site, and it’s a pretty big deal.

Wynn Resorts said the purchase, which includes the acquisition of 38 acres of prime real estate on the Las Vegas Strip, cost $336 million.

Fun fact: El Ad Properties paid $1.2 billion (yes, with a “b”) for the land in 2007 from bajillionaire Phil Ruffin, owner of Treasure Island.

The asking price for the Alon site was $400 million.

Alon Las Vegas

It’s not much to look at, but wait and see what Steve Wynn has in store.

We’d like to set aside this sentence for some self-panegyrizing, as we were the first to report Wynn’s purchase of the Alon site back on Dec. 6, 2017. And, no, we were not aware “panegyrizing” was a word until 12 seconds ago.

A release issue by Wynn Resorts contained a number of tasty nuggets: “The agreement completes a unique assembly of contiguous real estate of approximately 280 acres that spans from the Las Vegas Convention Center on Paradise Road from the east, to Industrial Road on the west. The combined frontage on the Las Vegas Strip is over 3,500 feet, including rights to approximately 1,000 acre feet of water. It is adjacent to nearly six million square feet of convention and exhibition space. The average cost of the full assembly of 280 acres is less than $3 million per acre.”

The most intriguing part of the news release, of course, alluded to future plans for the Alon site (before that abandoned project, it was the site of the New Frontier casino).

Wynn funny chip

The Wynn empire just expanded. Again.

The release boldly states: “The future development of the land will further change tourist visitation patterns in Las Vegas drawing more visitors to the north end of Las Vegas Blvd. and its collection of luxury resorts, including the existing Wynn Las Vegas and the Paradise Park development slated to begin construction in January 2018 on the site of the former Wynn Golf Course.”

That Steve Wynn is quite a tease.

The Wynn Resorts purchase isn’t completely straightforward. Wynn is buying 18.4 acres from its previous owner, Crown. It’s renting another 16.2 acres from the Elardi family (they were leasing it to Crown). A small piece of the Alon land is being sold by Phil Ruffin, owner of TI.

The purchase of the Alon site is yet another sign the north end of The Strip is experiencing a boom. Check out everything new along that stretch of the world’s sexiest boulevard.

We’re talking about Las Vegas Boulevard. Please try and keep up.

Confirmed: New York-New York’s Roller Coaster Will Go Virtual Reality

It was way back in August 2017 when we first, and solitarily, reported New York-New York’s roller coaster would be converting to a virtual reality ride.

Now, we’ve got proof it’s true.

New York-New York has tipped its hand by putting up signage that gives instructions for riders on the next iteration of the popular thrill ride.

Unfortunately, no photos are allowed on the roller coaster platform, so we aren’t able to share the photo below.

virtual reality roller coaster

Do you know this blog at all?

That’s right, the Big Apple’s virtual reality system is currently undergoing testing and the roller coaster is expected to go full VR in January 2018.

From what we hear, virtual reality will bump up the ride’s current price by $5, to 20 bucks.

Rider operators have shared there will no longer be a lower-priced, non-VR ticket option, although we trust guests won’t be forced to don the sex-magnet virtual reality goggles if they’d like to just gaze upon The Strip in the (yawn) traditional way.

Las Vegas roller coaster

Let us know how it goes. We are not a heights person. Not to mention our morbid fear of goggles.

The addition of virtual reality is a cunning way to increase Big Apple’s ticket price (known in retail parlance as the “per cap,” or the average amount spent by a customer).

The Big Apple roller coaster is hugely successful for New York-New York and its parent company, MGM Resorts, with 1.4 million riders each year.

There’s still been no official confirmation the New York-New York roller coaster will convert to virtual reality, but as we’ve said before, if it’s in a news release, it’s too late.

Sneak Preview: A.Y.C.E. Buffet at Palms

The new A.Y.C.E. (“All You Can Eat”) buffet at Palms doesn’t officially open until Dec. 22, 2017, but who the hell can wait? Did we mention it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet?

We popped in for a security breach on an employee “play DAY,” and A.Y.C.E. looks great.

AYCE buffet Palms

Gluttony has a new home, A.Y.C.E. buffet at Palms.

Palms, part of Red Rock Casinos (a/k/a Station Casinos) has undertaken a massive $485 million renovation, including new restaurant offerings, and A.Y.C.E. is part of that plan.

Check out our epic overview of 22 new things coming to Palms resort.

As is the law in Las Vegas, Palms says of the new buffet: “Worldly cuisine presented in an innovative, technique-focused fashion will be the signature of A.Y.C.E., which will host guests in an open food hall setting.”

AYCE buffet Palms Vegas

During NFR, “A.Y.C.E.” stands for “All y’all, come eat!

Seriously, Vegas can’t help itself. Here’s more: “A.Y.C.E. will define the Vegas buffet not only with elevated and eclectic food displays but also in its modernized presentation, where we focus on the method of preparation.”

So, yeah, it’s a Las Vegas buffet.

Thankfully, Las Vegas tends to get buffets right. Judging by the interior design, A.Y.C.E. is hitting a lot of the right notes.

AYCE Palms Vegas

Decor touches include old-timey portraits with playful graffiti.

A.Y.C.E. features seven food stations, all of which sound like varieties of weed.

1. The Greenery features seasonal salads and fruits. This station is right up front, but don’t fall for that old trick! Buffet pros skip salads and head for all things meat.

2. The Hearth features a brick oven for casseroles, pizzas, whole fish and English pasties. English pasties, of course, are very popular with pole dancers in London.

AYCE buffet Palms Las Vegas

We love pizza, so at A.Y.C.E., home is where The Hearth is.

3. The Roastery has a rotisserie and wood-burning grill to make a variety of international fare like braised oxtail poutine, French onion beef sliders, calamari steaks, chicken teriyaki and quesadillas.

4. World Pan has more international fare like vegetable paella, Moroccan lamb, dim sum and other Asian favorites.

AYCE buffet

The World Pan station may be familiar because of its famous father, Peter.

5. Smoke & Fire is for meat-lovers, with glazed ham, ribs, hot links, smoked brisket and others.

6. Revival will focus on healthy dishes, with vegan, vegetarian and anti-inflammatory cuisine. Personally, we prefer our buffets inflammatory, but we’re open to trying it!

7. Sweet & Light is the dessert station, also known as “Where this blog begins and ends every all-you-can-eat buffet.”

AYCE buffet

Biggest. Earrings made of plates. Ever.

A.Y.C.E. will be open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

We can’t wait to put on our expandable-waistband pants and try the new A.Y.C.E. buffet at Palms. The resort’s former Bistro Buffet was in need of a serious do-over, and this appears to be one of those.

Before you visit A.Y.C.E., don’t forget to check out our 10 Ways to Make the Most of a Las Vegas Buffet.

A.Y.C.E Buffet at Palms

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MGM Resorts WNBA Team Will Be Las Vegas Aces

When news broke that Las Vegas was getting a WNBA team, we were the first to share who bought them: MGM Resorts.

Now, we’ve got the early scoop on the team’s new name.

Despite reports otherwise, we hear reliably when the WNBA’s San Antonio Stars relocate to Vegas, they’ll be known as the Las Vegas Aces.

George Wallace

Granted, this photo of former Las Vegas headliner George Wallace has virtually nothing to do with this story, other than the basketballs. We’ll replace it with the Las Vegas Aces logo soon.

Las Vegas Aces is short, sweet and a far cry from the name of our new hockey team’s name that has little to nothing to do with Las Vegas: Vegas Golden Knights. They’ve done pretty well so far, so we’ll cut them some slack.

There’s nowhere to go but up for the Las Vegas Aces. The team had the worst record in the WNBA.

But there’s hope for our newest professional sports team. The Aces (has a nice ring to it) won the draft lottery and will get the top pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft.

WNBA announcement

Sorry, WNBA Web site, we ain’t got time for all that.

The team will also have a top-notch coach, Bill Laimbeer, who can boast three WNBA championships in addition to his record of success in the NBA.

While we are not a sports person, the Internet says there was a previous American Basketball Assn. team called the Las Vegas Aces. They moved to Vegas in 2008, then relocated to Eatonville, Florida in 2011.

The Las Vegas Aces will play in the Mandalay Bay Events Center, starting in the 2018 season.

Update (12/11/17): We decided to let George Wallace stick around, but here’s the official logo of the Las Vegas Aces.

Las Vegas Aces

We’re honored the Las Vegas Aces include our Vital Vegas initials in their logo!

If Las Vegas Aces sounds familiar, it might be because there’s a Triple-A baseball team called the Reno Aces. Then again, maybe it doesn’t sound familiar. Because Triple-A. Oh, and because Reno.

Auto Collections at Linq to Close After 36 Years

The Auto Collections at Linq Resort (formerly Imperial Palace) has been around as long as anyone can remember. The sightseeing attraction and auto auction will close on Dec. 30, 2017, after 36 years.

Cue the gratuitous car pics!

Linq Auto Collections

We about to get all up in the Auto Collections’ grill.

Auto Collections announced it lost its lease, which typically translates into “they tried to raise our rent, and we’re having none of that.”

Las Vegas Auto Collections

You know you’re a little turned on right now. Oh, get a vroom.

The awkwardly-named Auto Collections (most recently referred to as the Auto Collections Vegas Car Museum) has hosted millions of Las Vegas visitors during its 36 years of operation.

The venue served as both a tourist attraction featuring rare and exotic cars, while also serving as a showroom because most of the cars on display were available for purchase.

Auto Collections

Behold, a 1946 Delahaye 135MS Selborne Roadster, valued at $350,000. Yes, we took notes for a change.

Many of the vehicles that came through the Auto Collections were historically significant, while others appeared in major motion pictures, and others were owned by celebrities and dignitaries.

At any one time, the inventory of about 300 cars at Auto Collections was valued at about $100 million.

The Auto Collections were located on the fifth floor of the hotel, and occupied a whopping 125,000-square-feet of space.

Auto Collections

This 1925 Rolls-Royce was equipped for hunting Bengal tigers and other wild game. Where are we going to see this kind of weird crap, now?

The idea for a part-museum, part-dealership at Imperial Palace originated with Las Vegas legend and owner of Imperial Palace, Ralph Engelstad.

Engelstad loved classic cars nearly as much as he loved Nazis (no, really—the collection once had a Mercedes that belonged to Hitler), so he moved his car collection into Imperial Palace in 1981.

Auto Collections

The Auto Collections had muscle cars galore. This 1967 Ford Mustang (nicknamed “Eleanor”) was featured in “Gone in 60 Seconds.” Price: $375,000.

The Auto Collections at Linq have been a quirky fixture on the Las Vegas Strip, although one that often flew under the radar with visitors.

Due to the sheer size of the Auto Collections, and its challenging location on the hotel’s fifth floor, we have difficulty imagining who will take up residence in the space.

Auto Collections Las Vegas closed

As far as the eye can see, things we can’t afford.

Add Auto Collections to the long list of changes at this mid-Strip resort. Long gone are the dealertainers (although, some have made their way to Ellis Island), the dragon statues in the casino and Hawaiian Luau on the roof.

Next up, ziplines! Remember, the only constant in Las Vegas is change. And cleavage. But mostly that first thing.

Free 24/7 Magazine to Go Out of Print

A fixture in Las Vegas cabs, 24/7 Magazine, has confirmed it will go out of print after 20 years of operation.

The magazine’s final issue will be December 31, 2017.

24/7 magazine

Don’t you fret. Las Vegas casinos will find other ways to advertise.

Distribution of 24/7 Magazine, consisting mainly of advertising, was mostly done via Las Vegas taxis.

It’s estimated 24/7 Magazine had a monthly distribution of 450,000 copies. It’s owned by Verifone, the company that provides technology for electronic payment transactions.

It’s likely the demise of the publication was accelerated by the dramatic decline in taxi ridership due to the introduction of rideshare services Lyft and Uber to Las Vegas.

When we shared this story on Twitter, we expected a collective “meh,” but instead got some interesting responses.

24/7 Magazine

People who like Las Vegas really like Las Vegas.

Even throwaway magazines have their fans, and it seems 24/7 was a keeper for some Las Vegas visitors.

We were a frequent contributor to another longtime magazine, Today in Las Vegas, which also went under, so we’ve witnessed first-hand the financial challenges facing these publications.

We wish any displaced 24/7 Magazine employees all the best.