Resorts World Is Spectacular Despite Hiccups

Resorts World, the first (mostly) ground-up casino megaresort in a decade on the Las Vegas Strip, opened June 24, 2021.

We say “mostly” because Resorts World was built on the bones of the abandoned Echelon Place project, and even more significantly, on the site of the former Stardust.

The opening of Resorts World, first announced March 2013, isn’t a time for history lessons, though. It’s a time for jubilation and possibly involuntary protein seepage because Resorts World is downright mind-blowing.

Resorts World casino

There’s simply nothing like that new casino smell.

Resorts world cost $4.3 billion, making it the most expensive casino resort ever build in Las Vegas.

It shows.

The Las Vegas Strip is currently 64% more bling. Bonus: Googie stars!

Here’s some video to wet your bamboo flute.

Ever since the resort opened, we’ve sat down daily to try and share our thoughts about the soft opening (June 24, 2021) and the grand opening (July 4 weekend), and have been overwhelmed by the task.

That’s because Resorts World is so much everything.

For starters, the physical space is glorious. The entrances. The casino. The restaurants and lounges. Even the “mall.”

Sorry, Flamingo. There’s a new bird in town.

A phrase we’ve used a lot in the build-up to Resorts World is “spared no expense.”

The owner of Resorts World, Genting Group, has very deep pockets, and it’s clear there was a decision not to cut corners on this endeavor.

Resorts World is over-the-top, and its extravagance is a throwback to the days when Mirage and Bellagio and Wynn inspired wonder around the world.

The resort’s high limit lounge is so beautiful, we’ve visited several times and we aren’t really a high limit person.

This will be our den if we ever become a sultan.

Being in this space just makes you feel special. And that’s what Las Vegas is all about. It’s how places and experiences make you feel.

Resorts World has a way of making everyone feel like a high roller, whether or not one’s bankroll warrants that designation.

You may just want to skip our words and go straight to the photo gallery, our biggest ever.

There’s just so much to see and do at Resorts World, we’d need a bigger Internet to describe everything.

Insert gratuitous cocktail server uniform photo here.

Fun fact: The cocktail servers at Resorts World wear necklaces with their names.

Thanks for putting up with our nonsense, Selena.

We haven’t even talked about the restaurants yet!

There are a staggering 40 restaurants and bars at Resorts World, although not all are open yet.

The food court alone is worth a visit to Resorts World, as the sheer variety of the fare is simultaneously mind-boggling and utterly daunting.

It would be difficult for us to love this more. Shout-out to “Blade Runner.”

There’s a bit of a learning curve at the food court, but the prices are reasonable, everything we’ve tried has been great and if you’re into EDM (electronic dance music), you’ll love it even more. (There’s a DJ blasting music throughout.)

The food court ordering system falls neatly into the “room for improvement” category. There are no prices posted at the individual food stalls, and once you order via touchscreen, it’s challenging to figure out which of the 16 restaurants you ordered from and collecting your food can be an adventure all its own.

We should also mention the food court needs ice. Everyone’s drinking warm $5 sodas and it’s sub-optimal, as the kids say. Look, some kid said that once. Ironically, but they said it.

Order food from any of the one trillion food court restaurants via these touchscreens.

Check out all the Resorts World restaurants and bars here.

One of our favorite surprises at Resorts World is the hidden speakeasy in the food court. The storefront looks like a gift shop, but one of the shelves is a doorway to a cozy little lounge called the Here Kitty Kitty Vice Den.

It’s like Omega Mart, but without the subtext.

Here’s a quick video to help find the hidden lounge. It’s magical.

Where do we go next?

The lounges, of course. That’s where the liquor is.

The Crystal Bar (in the center of the casino) at Resorts World is a jaw-dropper. So, just like every other part of Resorts World.

All those lights and your eye went to the red dress. Human beings are fascinating.

Another lounge, Gatsby’s, has been packed during each of our visits.

The colors change, so it’s like 50 lounges in one.

There’s something for everyone at Resorts World, including at country bar, Dawg House, with live entertainment and some food. Skip the disappointing $15 grilled cheese sandwich and hit the food court. That said, the tater tots are great drunchies food.

Dawg House and the casino’s Crystal Bar are about the only places we’ve found with bartop video poker, if you’re into that. The pay tables aren’t going to win any awards, but you’re on The Strip.

Dawg House has a red light, green light system on its machines, so don’t expect to get something for nothing.

Overall, slot machines aren’t really an emphasis at Resorts World.

Resorts World is a table games casino, and the resort is going for whales. We’ve already heard tales of one high roller dropping $8 million at Resorts World in the first couple of weeks. When we went to the cage, the cashier said the player in front of us had just deposited $500,000 cash in “front money.”

Insert gratuitous photo of Resorts World chips here.

That means baccarat over Buffalo, although there are plenty of options for most recreational gamblers.

Stadium gaming is a thing.

Speaking of gambling, this is probably a good time to mention Resorts World has the option of cashless gambling.

The cashless system at Resorts World has been touted as easy and seamless. It is neither of those, and we’ll probably devote a future story to how it all works.

This video isn’t particularly helpful, but we’re sharing it, anyway.

In the simplest terms, guests can pay for gambling, or presumably anything at Resorts World, via mobile device.

You install the Resorts World app, load up the app with money (cash at the cage or directly from your bank account), then at a slot machine or table, you can transfer the funds to the game. Your winnings go back onto the app, or you can turn your digital dollars into hard currency at the cage. (Tip: If there’s a line at the main casino cage, look for a smaller cage in high limit.)

There’s a small fee (2.95%) for loading up your app (about the same as using an ATM), but just about everything else is free. Moving money from the app back into your bank account also incurs a small fee.

You can do a lot with the Resorts World app, but you have to “verify” your account in person.

Once you get past the hurdles of signing up, it’s actually very convenient to go cashless in a casino.

It’s important to note the cashless system is optional. There’s a surprising amount of confusion about this, actually. Cash is still king in Las Vegas, and no Las Vegas resort is turning down money.

Let’s just say demand for joining the Genting Rewards loyalty club program on opening weekend was strong.

In the realm of loyalty club cards, it’s worth mentioning Resorts World has a cool feature for slot players using their cards (or who are connected to their account using the app). Players have the option to reserve their slot machine if they need to step away. The higher your loyalty club tier, the more time you can reserve the machine. No more “savsies”! This function locks up the machine until you return.

The end of leaning chairs to save machines is near, finally.

There are amazing discoveries around every turn at Resorts World, and a number of venues have yet to come online.

Just when you think you’ve seen everything, you find yourself in The District, the shopping promenade. Here, you’ll be hit with another tsunami of great places not only to shop, but to dine and hang out.

In The District, you’ll also find a new addition to the list of best photo ops in Las Vegas: A gigantic video globe.

It’s like the MSG Sphere had a baby.

Resorts World is vast, so set aside some time to explore. Like August through October.

Resorts World is so big, it’s not just one hotel, but three. Resorts World has a Hilton, Conrad and Crockfords. Each has its own entrance and amenities, it’s three experiences in one.

During your visit, make sure to check out all the art. Resorts World has assembled a seemingly endless variety of art, and one of our favorite pieces is a Volkwagon bug smushed into a ball.

The MSG Sphere really gets around.

While our enthusiasm for Resorts World should be evident, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention there were a number of glitches during the resort opening, and some persist.

Many of the problems were technical. Many were caused by the sheer crush of visitors. Parts of the resort weren’t finished in time for the opening, and some are months away from being completed.

But Resorts World is a massive undertaking. No Las Vegas megaresort has ever opened flawlessly, and it’s taken some time to work out the kinks.

Parking is currently free at Resorts World, but hotels don’t put up these gates for no reason, so give it a minute.

It was beyond baffling that during the first week of operation, some venues couldn’t accept cash, while others could only accept cash.

Hotel guests had their own litany of problems.

Speaking of parking, here’s a tip that will spare you a trek.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, but we suggest if you were one of the people disappointed by Resorts World, give it a second chance.

We are a glass-half-full person, so we’re not going to let some minor inconveniences ruin our enjoyment of a shiny new casino resort.

Ultimately, Resorts World is a remarkable accomplishment in the realms of technology, design and construction. It fully warrants the hoopla.

Beyond those things, Resorts World is a symbol. It’s a symbol of a return to what Las Vegas does best. It makes wows.

Resorts World’s front yard still has a lot of work to be done.

Resorts World is also a symbol of what many expect will be a Las Vegas rebound following the pandemic.

It’s amazing Resorts World exists at all, and we’re going to support the endeavor in any way we can. Because we love when Las Vegas makes new places for us to eat, drink and gamble.

We look forward to probing all of Resorts Worlds’ many openings.

We feel like we’ve only begun to experience Resorts World.

We didn’t make it to the pool, or the nightclub or dayclub. The theater is still under construction. The steakhouse, Carversteak, doesn’t open until December.

While there may have been some rough patches for Resorts World when it opened, our town now boasts another world-class megaresort.

Dive into our exclusive photo gallery, and bask in the OMFG that is Resorts World Las Vegas.

36 thoughts on “Resorts World Is Spectacular Despite Hiccups

  1. David Brown

    Looking through the photo gallery and noticed the 2 different parking areas and obviously one is far AF! LOL. Can anyone park in the close lot or only hotel guests?

  2. SpinGuyVegas

    Excellent review and photos! Looking forward to checking it out in Aug.

    I noticed on one photo that it was an option to reserve a machine for 5 minutes. If that means you can lock down a machine to use the restroom or grab cash or whatever, that is a HUGE bonus. If it’s not, someone needs to make that option happen, lol.

    Again, great work as always.

    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      Nope, you got it right. That’s an option for players, and the higher up the tier levels you go, the longer you can reserve it for.

  3. William Wingo

    The chips look very nice: in fact, they’re the best-looking chips I’ve seen in three or four openings.
    OTOH, the dog/rabbit/hippo sculpture is just plain kinky; and as for the food court prices being “reasonable,” let’s just say that I’ve heard differently.
    And John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) also “spared no expense” on Jurassic Park (1993), and we all know how that turned out.

  4. Janet

    To be completely honest, I am NOT impressed with the decor, atmosphere, or vibe at resorts world at all. Restaurant offerings look promising though…as soon as they’re all open. It’s a bit disappointing they opened with some much still unfinished. With the deep pockets of Genting, I think they would have made a better impression to follow Steve Wynn’s example and not open until everything is finished and perfect. You only have once chance to make a good first impression. The impression I got during my visit is amatuerish and unprofessional.

    1. Dennis Bahr

      It was like being on a convention floor with gaming machines.. My son was drinking a beer and had just finished dropping $20 in the poker machine at the bar..A waitress walked up to us and said we could sit there for now because it was the opening but couldn’t in the future without gaming or drinking.. No one was sitting in that area. It was near the sports book area but not in it. There were 4 of us.

  5. Alan

    I visited the Monday after the soft opening (June 28 I guess?). It was quite full of people checking it out.

    I wasn’t overly impressed. To me it felt a lot like Aria but brighter. I didn’t see anything that really seemed new or different. Cashless gambling isn’t impressing me. Not really any game changers.

    The food hall was nice but the fire alarm kept going off.

    I played some slots and got one drink (about 30 minutes after ordering it) that was terrible. The cocktail waitress was extremely rude as well, lecturing me that I can’t change machines after placing an order even though I was literally at the same bank of machines, just one seat over.

    I’d like to go any stay for a few nights to really experience the property.

  6. Andrew

    I love it already. Yes, the place looks like one giant and cold shopping mall with restaurants and a casino crammed in it but we all have to understand that Las Vegas will never ever have another Steve Wynn type of developer, times are changing so this is the future. We’ve all had a glimpse of it with City Center back in 2009. My son is 5 years old and melts at everything chinese, he love chinese food and chinese people, these places are built for his generation. Look forward to visit !

  7. Michael Alexakis

    I do not disbelieve you assertion that Resorts World is not focused on slot machines, that it is a “table games casino looking for whales”, but since it is so against the grain of what expectations are for the modern casino, I am asking for the statistics you used to figure that out. The old website Cheapo Vegas used to give you the casinos square footage and number of slot machines, before they unfortunately turned into a hotels dot com wannabe… Of course the table minimums at Resorts World are likely stratospheric, but it would be an interesting development for us diehards if there is a math basis for your assertion… I am no whale, I am a Minnow, as in SS Minnow, I will do a three hour tour of Resorts World…

    1. theebigjuan

      I forgot about Cheapo Vegas. What a great site it was. Started going to Vegas in earnest a little over a decade ago and it was an invaluable source of humorous intel. We still laugh at their review of a Criss Angel show as “an unmitigated suckfest.”

      1. Michael Alexakis

        Cheapo Vegas was hilarious and helpful, then overnight they turned into corporate shills trying to sell ice to Eskimo’s… All good websites sell out eventually, we will know the Russians got to Scott when he stops pushing chicken parm and turns to borscht…

        1. J Man

          Loved old CheapoVegas. Their review of the Western (back when it existed) was about the funniest thing on the internet.

          1. theebigjuan

            The week old pizza at the Western was the best. If I remember you had to have a manager to hand pay any “jackpot” over $50

          2. Jason Pierce

            I was lucky enough to go to the Western based on the El Cheapo Review. It was the most foul place id ever seen.. AND I LOVED IT!!!!

    2. Ted Newkirk

      I went to many of their infamous soirees. Got to know them pretty good.

      One night, a bunch of us went to The Western to try out Lucky Ned’s gambling system for blackjack on a $1 table. We HAD to play the way Ned noted:

      The penny slot tournaments at Gold Spike were hilarious. We took over the penny slot area and had a tournament.

      I was referred to in those trip reports as “Ted Newkirk of Ted Newkirk fame…”.

    3. Michael Bluejay

      CheapoVegas was the inspiration for my own site, over 20 years ago. The new owner tried to get me to publish a guest post. Even though I’ve never accepted any guest posts, I would have jumped at the chance to have an original article by Matt or Stinky, but that’s not what was being offered.

      I do list the square footage of the gaming areas for the casinos (click my name for the link), but not the number of slots, although now that I see that there’s interest in that, I’ll add it to my to-do list.

      BTW, since there are Cheapo fans here, I hope someone has a link for the old Lucky Ned story that I’ve been unable to find, something like, “Let me tell you a story. Once there was a guy, not too handsome, but not too plain, [then a bunch of uninteresting details about that guy, and then:] Well, would you believe that guy was me?”

  8. Jeff

    The cashless gaming intrigued me until I saw the 3% transfer and another small fee to transfer back. No thanks. I’ll stick to cash that I can get from my bank in advance for free. Otherwise, looks fun!

  9. Lisa

    We visited the first weekend, (1st trip since COVID) and it was extremely busy. We will give it another shot in October. Hopefully by then, there will be better pedestrian walkways to the entrance. Seems like the sidewalks for walkers were an afterthought.

  10. Bill W.

    I’ve been three times now (due to out of town visitors) and it’s a waste of 4 billion dollars. Nothing remotely interesting, except maybe the globe. Sterile as a mall without any sense of place. The restaurants are stupid expensive and no better than what you get in Chinatown. The original renderings were so creative with a Great Wall and other theming, but it’s like somebody told them to strip it of anything that might make people want to go to that part of the Strip. Having been to other Resorts Worlds this one is a total disappointment. It’s like they thought they were opening a place in Iowa and not Vegas.

  11. David M.

    First of all, I really love the quality of the writing here on Vital Vegas. Every post is artfully crafted and witty! Lots of fun to read.

    Now here’s my perspective on Resorts World after visiting two days after they opened.

    I played craps and the staff were great. The walls of the craps tables are surprisingly low though — lots of dice went over the wall.

    The globe is spectacular.

    The self park garage is too far away, especially when the weather is hot. It’s an arduous slog though the heat to go from the garage to the casino. And you have to cross a
    four-way intersection that is chaotic. Cars coming and going each way, with pedestrians in the mix. It’s a mess and it’s dangerous. And there was garbage strewn about in the garage too.

    The food court dining options are awesome. Stuff you never see in other food courts, with several interesting Asian themed places.

    I would never waste over 3% of my precious gambling money for cashless gaming. My bankroll is small enough already with further reducing it for the convenience of going cashless. Besides, having a big wad of cash is one of the fun things about gambling in Vegas!

    I ate a lobster roll at the restaurant named Marigold. It took a long time for my food to come even though the restaurant wasn’t crowded at all. When it came, it was very mediocre and small. Very disappointing. Friendly bartender though.

    I didn’t get to check out the pool area but from what I’ve seen online it looks incredible.

    Overall impression: the place is ginormous, beautiful, and employees were all very friendly and enthusiastic about their work. I prefer places a bit more manageable in size though, like Mirage or Park MGM.

    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      Thanks for the kind words and I appreciate your thoughts. The self-parking situation was frustrating until I realized hotel parking goes directly into the casino.

  12. John dull

    It’s like city center with slot machines and 6/5 blackjack tables. And why does it seem that Asian themed casinos are always SO bright? I had to put on shades when I walked in, just like when I visited lucky dragon..

  13. MrBuzzKill

    I saw a lot of collars on men’s shirts (encouraging tho, it was after dark). Still, a stout injection of cammo cargo shorts and yoga pants. Lotsa drugstore T-Shirts. Men in flip flops at 9pm just like at Burger King. The staff looked sharp, tho. The customer’s appearance tells management exactly what they think of the place. No words are necessary. Are they dressed for an occasion? Is the place a special destination? Or did they just stumble in from Tacos Del Gordo across the street because they had nothing better to do?

    The customer’s appearance is a visual indicator that tells you what they think of your resort. Management must be feeling the ouch.

  14. Mr. Smith

    Three are a lot of videos on YouTube about this place including the pool areas as well as videos about several of the restaurants.

  15. Kurt

    Looking forward to checking out RW on our next trip. Cashless gaming sounds great so I wouldn’t have to figure out how to bring cash with me, but the 3% fee is highway robbery. In no way is that equivalent to an ATM free, unless you’re used to spending $60 to get $2k out of an ATM per trip. Even the crazy high strip ATM fees aren’t nearly that expensive.

    1. Mr. Smith

      And speaking of the ATM, if you want to get cash from your debit card, the fee is $9.99

      That is not a typo.

      1. Kurt

        If your gambling budget is $300 per trip I suppose it works out the same. I suspect most people gamble more than that. Even if you pay the exorbitant $10 ATM fee out of convenience, you can get $1,000 for that $10 fee. RW would charge you $30. Works out to $20 versus $60 if you take out $2,000. The ATM is much cheaper.

      2. Mr. Smith

        Yes you are correct. I should have mentioned that there are other places that are the same amount.

  16. Tom

    I believe cashless gaming also works when you have cash added to your players card at the cage (no charge) .
    When you leave you can cash out ( no charge).

    Do VitalVegas types see any value in that?

    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      Yep, if it’s a large amount of cash! Interacting with humans doesn’t feel high tech, however.

  17. scott

    15 bucks for a grilled cheese! Holy Crap!! I have overpaid for food before but good lord thanks out of hand.
    Even Disney is not that bad, yet.


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