The Five Most Disappointing Things in Las Vegas Right Now

Las Vegas is epic in so many ways, but it’s not infallible. Here, then, are the five most
disappointing things in Las Vegas right now.

1. “Hoto” in the Shops at Crystals

MGM Resorts has a serious crush on Japan (and Japanese high rollers) at the moment, and that’s manifesting itself in interesting ways. Recently, the company hosted a kabuki show on the lake at Bellagio. Now, a work of art by a Japanese artist has found a home at the Shops at Crystals, part of CityCenter. Behold, “Hoto.”

Hoto art at Crystals

When we first saw Hoto (which translates as “treasure pagoda”) in person, we were overcome with emotion. That emotion was WTF.

Seriously, if you can look at this alleged work of art and think of anything other than it resembling a dildo for a giant robot, you’re infinitely more evolved than we are.

Hoto art Las Vegas

Hoto is inlaid with 3,827 LED numerical displays. Which, in a wild coincidence, is the exact number of ways we think this is stupid.

The giant robot dildo is the work of Tatsuo Miyajima and is said to represent “his belief every life is important as well as his hope for inter-connectedness across the globe creating peace and community.” All due respect, Tatsuo, but time for a new prescription.

Bonus WTF: Alert reader Chris R. notes Spanish-speaking visitors to Crystals may take offense at “Hoto.” “Joto,” pronounced similarly in Spanish, is a well-known slur for homosexuals.

2. “Starburst Light Spectacular” at Grand Bazaar Shops

Ever since the Grand Bazaar Shops opened at Bally’s, we’ve described it as looking like a rainbow fell into an industrial blender. And while the whole fiasco is disappointing, the grandest of disappointments at Grand Bazaar Shops is what’s been trumpeted as the Swarovski “starburst light spectacular.”

Those are the words of the Grand Bazaar Shops, not ours. Here’s the starburst in question.

Swarovski starburst

They’re doing “spectacle” wrong.

Initially, the starburst spectacular was called the “Swarovski Midnight Celebration.” In fact, though, the spectacular takes place at 9:00 p.m. But this is not the time to get bogged down by specifics!

Here, then, is the “Swarovski Starburst Light Spectacular” at Grand Bazaar Shops.

We would rather endure a rectal exam from Wolverine than watch this nonsense again. Just skip it and your Las Vegas visit will automatically be 80% less “meh.”

3. “Fall of Atlantis” in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace

We had high hopes when the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace announced its “Fall of Atlantis” attraction was being renovated.

The renovation, unveiled in Dec. 2013, did little more than unnecessarily prolong the life of a cheesy marketing gimmick that should’ve been euthanized back in the ’90s.

Fall of Atlantis

Ever stub your toe in the middle of the night? This is less entertaining.

If you’re looking to cure your insomnia, watch “Fall of Atlantis,” below. Fair warning, though, it’s seven minutes of your life you’ll never get back.

That sound you hear is Walt Disney spinning in his grave.

4. “A Gift From the Earth” at Bellagio

The wooing of Japanese whales isn’t restricted to the aforementioned giant robot dildo. Oh, no, there’s also an awesome work of art outside Bellagio pandering to (sorry, catering to) the Japanese market. It’s called “A Gift From the Earth,” from Japanese sculptor Masatoshi Izumi.

The art installation is made up of large rocks representing wind, fire, water and land. But mostly land, because honestly, they’re four large rocks.

Bellagio Gift From the Earth

Somebody at Bellagio got punked.

The Bellagio says the stones were “meticulously hand-carved from basalt over the course of 18 months.”

We can tell you right now, the only one not disappointed by this display is artist Masatoshi Izumi, because he cashed what we can only assume was a sizable check for digging up four rocks and convincing people they’re art.

5. Sex With This Las Vegas Blog

Easily the biggest disappointment in Las Vegas at the moment.

Stopwatch three seconds

Somebody had to say it.

So, have you been disappointed in Las Vegas recently? We’d love to hear how. Drop us a line, Tweet at us or post a comment.

21 thoughts on “The Five Most Disappointing Things in Las Vegas Right Now

  1. Tupan Shraz

    The Walmart on Charleston and Decatur makes you lose faith in humanity and takes 5 years off your life it’s so sadly, grossly disappointing.

  2. MikeJenkinson

    The Grand Bazaar Shops in general were the biggest disappointment for me in Vegas. The shops are tiny and cramped and comfortably can fit 2 customers at a time; the layout makes it look like you’re walking down prison hallways. I thought it had a lot of potential when I first heard the idea, but the first time I got to walk through after it opened … so much “meh.”

  3. LVBigBear

    I tried to watch your video of the “Light Spectacular” but at about the 42 second mark I realized I had some important paint to watch dry.

  4. Scott J

    If I have to care about rocks, I prefer the entrance to Delano. As for the Grand Bazaar Shops – I guess small stores are in (Container Park, Pawn Plaza), but its like walking between storage units. I didn’t realize the Swarovski ball did anything. And, now, a CVS will only make it worse!

  5. Stephen Hayden

    Neonopolis is my biggest disappointment in Vegas. It’s a hole, people don’t even realize it’s there anymore. Wish they’d bring the theater back, thousands of people working downtown now, and I’d think the downtown revitilization work has increased foot traffic. Otherwise you’d need to bring 1/3 of the building down to open it up and make the thing more accessible.


    The first thing I thought of the Hoto was a Dalek from Doctor Who, but I guess those just look like robot dildos too.

    And yeah, if you happen to be around anyone Hispanic and say “let’s go check out the Hoto” you’ll either get a chuckle or a sneer.

  7. Jessalynn Strauss

    The only saving grace for the Fall of Atlantis is that there’s a Fat Tuesday located right next to it. If you can slurp down a couple of those 190 Octane slushy drinks beforehand, that show is moderately amusing.

    1. Dave

      The show is free.

      You can’t ask for much more these days. I actually liked it. Without the show it’s just empty space and it always has a crowd – who linger waiting for it and spend money on the vendors for ice cream and drinks.

      But I’m pretty sure the bean counters are going to cut it – to save money on electricity.

      Vegas has become an absolute joke.

  8. Charles Higgins

    As one Total Rewards member who enthusiastically visits LaLaVegas 2 – 3 times per year, this is a reasonable topical locale to whine and bitch about the management inefficiencies of Caesars Entertainment for players. Gary Loveman’s tentacles remain. Caesars apparently has tons of “Casino Marketing reps” who are tasked with setting up hotel reservations attached to TR gaming/ dining offers. In 3 years time over several Vegas trips, it has never been “smooth” nor uneventful through these Caesars reps…there’s always some sort of hair-in-the- food situation. I don’t believe in all cases these experiences are due to specific rep incompetence( though at times that has applied), but rather an incompetence of the system/s they depend on to get things done efficiently. Further, it’s really difficult to find a decent blackjack game (with truly player-favorable rules) unless one plays $100 table minimums at any Caesars property. On the other hand, Caesars Palace is pretty and cute.

    1. Scott Roeben

      Thanks for your thoughts, Charles. Had hoped things would improve with new leadership, but seems to be more of the same. The culture needs an overhaul, but existing management is entrenched. Or so I’ve heard.

      1. Charles Higgins

        Thanks, Scott…no worries. Nothing’s truly easy and their practices won’t keep us out of Vegas. Hope your world is spinning right…Cheers…

  9. Dave

    Bean Counters cut corners on EVERYTHING. WORST gambling odds. Nickel and Diming everyone. Outrageous prices. Hotel wanted $10 to send a fax. Everywhere everyone has their hand out expecting big tips for doing NOTHING. Check in lines 5 hours wait. The REASON there are all these lines is because the Vegas owners CUT STAFF to “save money”. There should be 20 check in clerks – instead there are only 3. EVERYTHING CLOSES EARLY!!!!! You CANNOT find a nice 4 or 5 star diner ANYWHERE only cheap delis, pizza and fast food. Even the frozen drink stands close at 11pm! Everyone complains to the lowest level staff and management and they DON’T CARE. Only “I know, I know, we don’t make the rules they do sorry”.

    The place is just worth it anymore. The prices are high. 8/10 times you can’t get a dealer that speaks English because Vegas fired all the good staff and imported CHEAP 3rd world LABOR to boost corporate profits.

    There are drug dealers on the corners offering “party favors”. Homeless everywhere. Once you get off the strip it turns into a 3rd world Ghetto. Surrounded by housing projects with the 3rd world labor who work for nothing supported by YOUR tax dollars.

    Vegas is a place you would only go for business, or if you’re extremely rich, or if you want to go just once for a few days.

    Your in the dessert. But you can’t even get water for less than $5 bottle – when you need a gallon. They have taken ALL the fridges and microwaves out of the rooms to force people to spend money on the overpriced shoppes and diners.

    And get this – nobody wins money .. but when you do … they demand you fill out an IRS tax form or they refuse to pay you !!!!!! The IRS wants 25-50% of your gambling winnings IF you win and if you’re a foreigner they want 35% !!!!

    I watched a group of Ultra-Rich Chinese yelling at the cashier with the “host” trying to assuage them because they were demanding taxes on $100,000 in winnings and they were NEVER told about it. They are foreigners and you expect them to know about US tax laws ? That’s why they are losing business because in Macau it’s TAX FREE. You can bet your these people will never return.

    The people in corporate are just squeezing every last penny and when the economy goes down you are going to hear all these news propaganda sob stories about how Vegas is Losing billions.

    Their greed has gotten out of control and it’s pissing everyone off. At this point they are geared towards fly by night tourists who don’t gamble because of the terrible odds. THEY CHANGED ALL THE GAMES to give themselves a HUGE advantage. Then they say “people aren’t gambling as much anymore”. Gee I wonder why !!!


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