Area 15, touted as an “immersive art and entertainment district,” is getting a new bar, but with a twist. It’s also a balloon ride.
The new bar, called Rise, is slated to open in fall of 2021.
Rise will double as a thrill ride, courtesy of a tethered balloon.
Guests will be lifted 131 feet into the air, which seems very specific, but we are a global leader in snark, not a global leader in tethered balloon structures.
Viagra co-branding opportunity here, Area 15. Just saying.
Guests will be lifted via a 16-person gondola and enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the Las Vegas Strip.
Tickets are $18 for adults, $12 for children. We assume the kids won’t get to have cocktails, which is one of the reasons it sucks to be a kid. Another is parents yelling at you while you’re trying to enjoy playing sports. These idiots need to STFU, seriously.
Most media reports about this new bar attraction featured cutting and pasting from the news release. In fact, we couldn’t find even one story that mentioned this is a tethered balloon, despite the fact the news release clearly says, “Manufactured by Aerophile, the global leader in tethered balloon structures, Rise will be the first of its kind built in the United States.”
At which point somebody, anybody, needed to say, “What could possibly go wrong?”
That’s why you have us.
What could possibly go wrong?
Don’t miss the sweet art just outside the entrance to Area 15 while you’re there. Sorry, “Art Island.” Marketing!
In a longstanding tradition of Las Vegas media having very short memories, nobody mentioned the fact Las Vegas already tried a tethered balloon attraction. It was called Cloud Nine.
Cloud Nine was across from Mandalay Bay and closed after high winds trashed the balloon. Thankfully, nobody was injured.
Cloud Nine seemed like a good idea at the time.
We are sure Rise and its builders and operators are well aware of the sometimes fierce winds in Las Vegas, so this new bar attraction will go off without a hitch.
Rise definitely fits with the quirky offerings at Area 15. The interactive mall sits just off the I-15, just west of the Las Vegas Strip.
We initially predicted Area 15 would be a colossal failure and an embarrassment to malls everywhere.
Then we actually went, and realized it’s awesome.
The anchor of Area 15 is Omega Mart, a massive, mind-bending art exhibit with a mysterious twist. Omega Mart is easily the best non-gambling thing to do in the history of Las Vegas. Mainly because Nevada brothels aren’t technically in Las Vegas.
Area 15 also features a 360-degree Van Gogh exhibit, Particle Quest (augmented reality), Wink World ( psychedelic art house), Oz Experience (more virtual reality), Haley’s Comet (indoor zipline), Birdly (flight simulator), Brainstorm (more interaction), Lost Spirits Distillery (we don’t exactly know what it is), Dueling Axes (ax throwing with a full bar), Five Iron Golf (golf simulator),
Virtualis (free roaming virtual reality) and Museum Fiasco (badass “immersive sound and light spectacle”), among others.
Here’s a look at Museum Fiasco.
Area 15 isn’t your grandpa’s shopping mall, and the venue continues to serve up new ways to entertain and intoxicate.
As we have heights challenges, we may not personally do the Rise experience, but it’s sure to give guests a new perspective of the Las Vegas Strip, along with copious libations, so we’re onboard.
FlyOver Las Vegas opens on the Las Vegas Strip on Sep. 1, 2021.
FlyOver, described as an “immersive flight ride” and “multi-sensory journey”, takes riders on a scenic tour of either the “Real Wild West” or Iceland.
Because if something isn’t “immersive” and “multi-sensory,” why even bother?
We were hoping for Las Vegas flyover option, but that’s apparently not in the cards for now, despite the promotional photo provided by FlyOver.
Actual things you’re “flying over” may vary.
Still, the FlyOver flight simulation ride sounds like fun.
Riders sit in a moving platform with “six degrees of motion,” which we’re pretty sure is about the same as the typical nursing home resident, but let’s not get bogged down by details.
Riders will see stunning visuals on a 52-foot spherical screen.
The “multi-sensory” part comes special effects like wind, mist and location-specific scents.
One can only imagine what the “Real Wild West” smells like.
FlyOver was supposed to be in Las Vegas awhile back, but the pandemic left everyone hanging.
At the start of the ride, guests will be treated to a six-minute pre-show from Moment Factory. Moment Factory has done some amazing visuals, including in places you might be surprised by. For example, Moment Factory did the content for a high-definition billboard outside the Forum Shops. It’s a stunner.
FlyOver is even more enticing because there will be a full-service bar, the Lost Cactus, with craft cocktails and bites.
FlyOver is located at Showcase Mall, in a space formerly occupied by movie theaters and a shoe store, next to the Hard Rock Cafe.
Tickets are $34 for adults, $24 for children 12 and younger. Get tickets online at the official Web site.
We’re rooting for FlyOver Las Vegas, but in a town with so many great diversions, they have their job cut out for them.
Showcase Mall is a challenging location, but that’s not always a factor in whether an attraction will succeed or fail. Downtown’s SlotZilla zipline continues to print money, while the Fear the Walking Dead walk-through attraction at the base of the take-off tower tanked.
There’s a lot of competition for those attraction dollars, including a slew of interactive goodness at Area 15, an offbeat experiential mall about five minutes west of the Las Vegas Strip.
The latest addition to Area 15 is Virtualis VR, a “free roam VR experience.” While FlyOver sounds fun, images projected on a screen seems rather quaint when virtual reality attractions are cropping up everywhere. Coming soon, Illuminarium.
There’s something for everyone in Las Vegas, so we’ll see if FlyOver Las Vegas takes off.
A beloved downtown casino, Main Street Station, has been closed since March 2020 due to the pandemic.
Finally, plans for reopening Main Street Station, owned by Boyd Gaming, are moving forward.
Main Street Station reopens at 6:00 a.m. on Sep. 8, 2021.
Main Street Station completes us.
Boyd’s downtown casinos were hit hard during the pandemic, mainly because a good part of their business relies upon visitors from Hawaii.
Hawaii had tight travel restrictions, so Boyd was forced to keep Main Street Station closed until business conditions improved.
The announcement Main Street Station will reopen is a pretty good indication business conditions have improved.
Today’s thing we will never take for granted again.
Because Main Street Station has been closed, it hasn’t been able to take advantage of an influx of customers visiting its new neighbor, Circa Las Vegas. That’s likely to change now.
Let’s Boar’s Head again!
We have no idea why it’s called Boar’s Head Bar given it’s the entire boar.
Main Street Station is an old-school casino, and is known for its player-friendly games, restaurant values, on-site brewery (Triple 7s Brewery) and the fact you can relieve yourself on a piece of the Berlin Wall in the men’s restroom.
We are not making this up.
Take that, Communism!
Some of the collectibles at Main Street Station include street lamps from the town square in Brussels, Belgium; stained glass from Lillian Russell’s (she was huge in the 1890s) mansion; columns from the Windsor Barracks; bronze doors from the Kuwait Royal Bank; chandeliers from the Coca Cola building in Austin, Texas; and a chandelier from the Figaro Opera House in Paris.
One of our favorite hidden treasures at Main Street Station is Winston Churchill’s snooker table. Take the elevator with the “Lift” sign to the second floor.
Not your typical casino attraction.
Main Street Station is quirky AF and we love it.
For more than a year, there’s been a high level of interest in when Main Street Station would reopen. Boyd is hoping that interest translates into renewed interested in this downtown gem.
In some bonus good news, the casino’s popular Garden Court Buffet will return! The “all-you-can-eat experience” will be open daily for brunch (8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.) and dinner on Friday and Saturday (4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.).
We are happy to be able to fill your gullet with all this good news.
We’d love to see a splashy reopening celebration to mark the return of Main Street Station. And by “splashy,” of course, we mean us having a two-hour craps roll. Or fireworks or whatever.
We can’t wait to get inside Main Street Station again!
The shiny new Resorts World on The Strip has hogged the spotlight recently, but there’s another downtown gem that’s brand new, too: Circa Las Vegas.
While we Tweet about Circa a lot, as it’s basically our home away from home, we haven’t blogged about it much. It’s time to fix that.
Circa opened in Oct. 2020, so it’s about time we give you the must-do list at this new downtown casino, starting with a particular dish at a particular restaurant we may or may not consume upwards of four times a week. (We’ve talked about the dish so much, some have even suggested we secretly work for 8 East or Circa. These people are boneheads. We have no business relationship with Circa or any other Las Vegas casino.)
Here are 69 things to do at Circa Las Vegas, the first new downtown casino in, oh, ages.
1. Get Brisket Fried Rice at 8 East
What we love, we love, and this dish has become our obsession. 8 East restaurant is from the owner of Le Thai, another great restaurant on Fremont East, Dan Coughlin. The brisket fried rice at 8 East isn’t just great, we think it’s the best dish in Las Vegas, ever. We recommend it “Vital Vegas-style,” with chicken skewers mixed in, hold the sticks.
There are reportedly other things on the menu at 8 East. You do you.
2. Take a Selfie With Vegas Vickie
Vegas Vickie nearly met her demise when the Glitter Gulch strip club was demolished to make way for Circa, but Circa’s owners, Derek and Greg Stevens, rescued her and ponied up for the good folks at YESCO signs to give her a complete overhaul. The 20-foot-tall Vegas Vickie is now the centerpiece of Circa, and a selfie with this Vegas icon is an absolute must.
If Vegas Vickie’s not on your phone somewhere, you may not be Vegas enough.
3. Hit the Vegas Vickie’s Cocktail Lounge
Circa has made the most of Vegas Vickie with its modest but classy Vegas Vickie’s Cocktail Lounge. The other bars at Circa are more about fun, but this is where the mixology happens. The vibe is lively, but more subdued than the party bars elsewhere at Circa, and the backdrop of Vegas Vickie is a jaw-dropper.
We love the fact we were barely judged for ordering a Captain and diet. Barely.
4. Dine at Barry’s Downtown Prime
Barry’s got off to a rocky start with us, as our first visit was marred by “flame control issues” (our steak was burned), but the crew apparently worked out the kinks as our most recent visit was stellar. Barry’s has elements of a classic Vegas steakhouse, with a mix of modern flourishes. For a relatively small resort, Barry’s takes up a lot of space, so check out all the various rooms, perfect for private events like bachelor parties and divorce celebrations. They should totally combine those events, come to think of it.
Dear steak, please get into our face immediately.
5. Behold the Sportsbook
It’s a little-known fact we don’t sports. Despite that, we strongly encourage you to visit the sportsbook at Circa. First, our Twitter account is featured on the sportsbook Twitter wall. Second, we have never seen more grown men openly weep tears of joy than upon seeing Circa’s sportsbook for the first time. It’s a place for sports lovers designed by sports lovers, and it’s mind-blowing. Beyond the massive screen, the energy here during a sportball event is like nothing we’ve ever seen, except maybe at Chippendales. Sort of a different energy, but you get what we mean. To a person, we hear from sports fanatics this is their Nirvana, so we’ll take their word for it.
Deep breaths, sports fans, deep breaths.
6. Notice the Floor Vents
Unlike most buildings, the HVAC system at Circa blows fresh air up from the floors, rather than down from the ceiling. This innovative system is very good at sucking cigarette smoke upward, and unless some dope with a cigar is right next to you, you’d think Circa is non-smoking. It’s a big plus for those of us who don’t love our hair and clothes smelling like smoke when we get home. Worth noting: Ladies, careful with those stiletto heels. They’re working on it.
What goes up (including cigarette smoke), must stay up, and we couldn’t be happier.
7. See Some Impressive Busts
Next up, Legacy Club. This rooftop lounge has incredible, must-see views, but we wanted to make a joke about busts, so here we are. If you’re into Vegas history, visit Circa’s Legacy Club and check out the busts! The wall of Vegas luminaries is the first thing you’ll see as you exit the elevator. If you don’t know these dudes, you don’t know Vegas.
The busts include 10 admired Las Vegas pioneers and also Steve Wynn.
8. Strike Gold at Legacy Club
Once you’re at Legacy Club, make sure to seek out the display containing 500 bars of gold. No, they’re not solid gold, but nevermind all that. It’s 1,000 ounces of free photo op right there!
Insert innocuous photo caption that doesn’t piss off Steve Wynn apologists here.
9. Mingle with the Flair Bartenders
The lovable goofballs at Circa’s party bars make it look so easy, but it’s not, and this makes them some of our favorite people at Circa. Tip generously and you’ll see things you’ve never seen human beings do. They are the engine that drives the festivities at Circa, and many migrated from other well-known bars in town, so you may see some familiar faces. We typically hate anything that slows down the delivery of our beverages, but the flair bartenders at Circa are so talented and hilarious, we make an exception.
10. Do the Pool
Again, we don’t pool. We “misplaced” our Ab Roller in 2004. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pool, especially when it’s the Circa pool. “Pool” doesn’t really do it justice. It’s part pool, party dayclub and part sports viewing amphitheater. It’s so cool, some guests stay in their rooms and watch games at the pool (tuning into the audio via the Tunity app). Ask about cabanas and whatnot. Circa’s six-pool complex is open 365 days a year.
There are a few blackjack tables on weekends, but it’s really about the sports.
11. Play Video Poker at Overhang or Megabar
Megabar is billed as the longest bar in Nevada, and Overhang is touted as the bar where we can usually be found. Either spot is a great place to not only play video poker (the pay tables aren’t the best in town, but not the worst, either) but also to people-watch. The drinks are poured from bottles (as Circa doesn’t have guns), a big deal for us. Also the bartenders “free pour,” which means no jiggers or short pours unless you’re a jerk.
Bigass Bar was already taken.
12. Meet the Owner
One of the distinguishing characteristics of Circa is the owner, Derek Stevens, can often be found sitting at Megabar chatting it up with guests. It’s pretty evident the affable owner built this place around his passions, so it makes sense he’d hang out and enjoy the fruits of his labor. Our advice: Be polite, don’t close-talk or pitch anything, keep it brief and avoid shaking Derek’s hand too hard (he meets so many people, he has to ice his hand on the ride home). If you’re offered a cocktail, accept it. Derek Stevens is straight-up one of the coolest guys you’ll meet in Las Vegas, despite being a bajillionaire.
Derek Stevens doesn’t just love Vegas, he’s making more of it.
13. Grab a Hand Pay in High Limit
One of our guiding gambling stragies is to occasionally play an “uncomfortable denomination.” That’s because most of our hand pays (jackpots exceeding $1,200) have been on higher denomination machines. Circa has quite a few machines that have proven lucky for us, so stop by high limit during your Circa visit. We love the video poker machines and classic Top Dollar slots, and when drunk enough, even try the $100 Wheel of Fortune machine occasionally. Drink service is quick and friendly, and the attendants are a riot.
Yes, unpretentious and fancy can peacefully coexist.
14. Schmooze a Dancing Dealer
Circa has some of the best dealers in town, and many aren’t your typical casino dealers. Specifically, they sometimes step away from the table to dance. Dancing dealers have graced the casinos at The D and Golden Gate (also owned by Derek and Greg Stevens), and the formula continues to pay dividends at Circa. Why? Gamblers play longer when there are dancing dealers. It’s not rocket science.
Yeah, our whole list could’ve been the fried rice and the dancing dealers, but we go the extra mile for you.
15. Check Out Garage Mahal
Yes, it’s a parking garage, but it’s also sort of a thing. Rideshare drop-offs are a dream, as the building was designed around it. Parking is expensive at Garage Mahal, so join the loyalty club. Players who are in the top two tiers don’t pay a penny for parking.
Doing a parking garage across the street freed up space for more awesome at Circa.
16. Snag a Drink Cup at Circa Bar
There are some Fremont Street traditions that aren’t negotiable. You have to get a collectible slushy recepticle. The Vegas Vickie cup at Circa is an all-time favorite, if you exclude the dancing dealer cup at Golden Gate, of course.
Our “after” photo of this drink vessel was a lot blurrier, so enjoy the “before.”
17. Notice All the Kids There Aren’t
It’s so glorious, you might just miss it. Circa is a 21+ resort, so no ankle-biters! No kids under foot, no kids peeing in the pool, no unruly brats in the restaurants or even walking through the casino. The one exception is kids are allowed to visit Barry’s, but in our more than 190 visits, we’ve never seen a child at Circa. Talk about Nirvana.
Probably not the official Circa logo.
18. Devour a 99-Cent Shrimp Cocktail
Yes, Circa made a big deal out of bringing back the 99-cent shrimp cocktail. Yes, a lot of people ordered it. Yes, they lost a lot of money. Yes, they added a lot of small print. Still, it’s the original cocktail sauce recipe from Golden Gate, and it’s still 99 cents, you just need to order an entree at Saginaw’s Deli. And you can only get this deal between 3:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. You can get it for $11 anytime without all the hoops to jump through.
Circa. A little bit throwback, a little bit throwforward, which should be a thing.
19. Snap a Pic of Our Plaque
Derek Stevens doesn’t just have money and vision, he has heart, a sense of humor and he’s also a great marketer. Next to Megabar, he put up a plaque thanking various online communities for their support of Circa and his other casinos, The D and Golden Gate. That was a smooth move, and it’s another example of how Derek and his team go the extra mile to win friends and influence people.
“Online leaders” is going on our LinkedIn profile.
20-69. Order Brisket Fried Rice at 8 East 50 More Times
You really thought we were going to list 69 things? We are a very busy person and while blogging is a hoot, we’d rather be at Circa doing the things on this list. That includes, of course, ordering the brisket fried rice and badgering others at the 8 East bar to do so as well. Why? Because they love it, and we like taking credit for their great dining experience.
Circa and Resorts World and Virgin Las Vegas have given visitors new places to explore as Vegas begins to hit its stride again.
Each has a character all its own, and while we love all these places, Circa is our go-to spot.
Circa is a bridge between the old-school, gritty places we love downtown and the sprawling, opulent resorts on The Strip. Prices at Circa are a little “elevated” compared to the typical downtown joint, but it’s also a better experience. There’s something for everyone in Vegas, after all.
You sort of can’t miss it.
Circa is an irresistible destination, whether or not one enjoys sports or pools. The energy is great, and Circa got to cherry-pick its team (it opened during the pandemic).
Give our must-do list a try and let us know what you think. Even if you’ve never considered visiting downtown, Circa’s a great reason to take the leap.
The surprises just keep on coming at Resorts World, the newest casino megaresort on the Las Vegas Strip.
Resorts World, which opened June 24, 2021, recently installed a sign that’s an homage to the classic Stardust casino.
This is like an erotic massage for the eyes.
The Stardust sign replica has special significance at Resorts World, because the new hotel was built on the former Stardust site.
Considered one of the worst days in history of Las Vegas, The Stardust closed on Nov. 1, 2006. Stardust was imploded on March 13, 2007, to make way for Echelon Place, a project abandoned in 2008 due to the Turkish lira plunging in value or whatever. We are a Las Vegas blog, not a historian.
Stardust lives on, however, both in our heart and at Resorts World!
As with most things in Las Vegas, the sign is even better when it’s lit. Take a look.
We sort of went into Googie star shock, actually.
Googie stars are, of course, stars designed in the Googie style of art. The futurist art, inspired by the Space Age, was used extensively from the 1950s to the 1970s, and made its mark in Las Vegas.
Shout-out to Steelers fans. This isn’t a sports reference, it’s a Googie reference.
The iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign was influenced by the Googie architectural style, as was the La Concha motel lobby (now the visitors center for the Neon Museum).
The original Stardust sign, though, was the most Googie thing, ever, and we fell in love with it during our first visit to Las Vegas.
The new Stardust sign replica at Resorts World does a solid job of rekindling that love.
Don’t be one of those people who points out they spelled it “fampus.” Those people are annoying.
The original Stardust sign cost $500,000 and was designed by Paul Miller of Ad-Art. The roadside wonder was installed in 1968.
The six figures-plus Stardust sign was made for Resorts World by a company called Kevin Barry Art Advisory. The L.A.-based company “is a collaborative team of advisors and artists that curate, create, and implement visual storytelling for global clients.”
And the story of the Stardust is a great story to tell.
Among its star turns, Stardust was featured in the movie “Casino,” although in the film it was called The Tangiers.
Stardust was also the setting of a spectacularly bizarre TV series, “The Frank Rosenthal Show,” hosted by mobster “Lefty” Rosenthal. Check out some weird facts about a colorful dude.
The Stardust was mobbed up until the Boyd family bought it in 1985.
But back to the Stardust sign!
Stardust’s official advertising slogan in 1983 was, “Yeah, we’re skimming, what you gonna do about it?”
The Stardust sign at Resorts World has 1,500 LED lights and boasts more than a mile of wiring.
“LED” is Latin for “less sexy than neon, but it’ll do in a pinch.”
At 2,800 pounds, the sign was a bear to transport and had to be disassembled for installation.
The sign is located near the Las Vegas Blvd. entrance to the resort and sits near Red Tail sports lounge and Fuhu restaurant, or Venue Fuhu as they call it at Resorts World. It’s an area the resort has dubbed The District.
When it opened, Stardust was the world’s biggest hotel. When Resorts World opened, it was the most expensive in the history of Las Vegas.
The sign is surrounded by stanchions at the moment, but it sounds like Resorts World is having the pedestal revamped to decrease the chances of boneheads climbing on or otherwise mucking with this beautiful artwork.
There’s a lot of great art throughout Resorts World, but the Stardust sign is a highlight.
It’s a wonderful hat tip to Las Vegas history, and a reminder our modern casinos stand on the shoulders of giants.
If you’re a true Stardust fan, you’ll also want to check out another piece of Stardust-inspired art near the Starbucks.
Nobody really noticed the juxtaposition between Vegas now and Vegas then, but that’s why there’s a us.
The Stardust sign at Resorts World is open to the public and free to view.
Of course, you can see pieces of the original Stardust sign at downtown’s Neon Museum.
If you ever see us in an eye patch, it’s because we tried to cuddle with this sign. In 1991, this epic font was replaced with (wait for it) Helvetica.
If that’s still not enough to satisfy your Stardust itch, you can literally touch history by playing slot machines from the Stardust at the Orleans casino. Orleans is owned by the aforementioned Boyd Gaming. The company also has a social casino app that uses Stardust branding.
Another fun fact: Resorts World saved about 100 trees from the Stardust. No, really. They’re planted all around Resorts World, and some are said to be a century old.
Stardust lives on! Big thanks to Resorts World for the eye candy, the photo op and the memories.
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.
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.
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.
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.