Category Archives: Things to Do in Las Vegas

Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas Gets Light Show

The Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas boasts some new bling. And, yes, we’re fully cognizant of the fact people haven’t used the word “bling” since 2008. You get the idea.

The Strip resort spent about $1.7 million installing lights on its Eiffel Tower replica in honor of the casino’s 20th anniversary.

The light show was unveiled with the requisite hoopla on Feb. 27, 2019, despite the fact the resort’s anniversary isn’t until Sep. 1. Paris opened on that date in 1999. Never let facts get in the way of a perfectly good hoopla!

Paris Las Vegas Eiffel Tower light show

The half scale Eiffel Tower at Paris has about 300,000 rivets. Yes, we counted.

The new light show runs every 30 minutes, from sunset to midnight.

The lighting system features “300 color washing Traxon ProPoint Wall Washer luminaires and more than 800 Traxon ProPoint Pixel luminaires.” In human words, that’s 300 colored lights and 800 strobes.

The lights are programmable and come in four colors (red, green, blue and white).

Check out our spectacularly slapped-together video of the new Eiffel Tower light show at Paris Las Vegas.


While the music in our video syncs with the light show, we aren’t entirely sure music accompanies the show at Paris. The best view of the light show is across the street at Bellagio, and they have their own music going to accompany the dancing fountains show.

And while we’re on the subject, it’s fairly obvious the Paris light show is meant to pull tourist eyeballs back across the street from Bellagio.

We’ve often talked about how surprising it is Bellagio’s Conservatory is still free, given trends toward casino cost-cutting, so it’s refreshing to see Paris creating a new free “attraction” for Las Vegas visitors.

The Eiffel Tower light show may not have the “wow” factor of the fountains (nothing does, really), but it’s a fun diversion and makes the most of a distinctive Las Vegas landmark.

Fremont Street Experience Announces Concert Series Schedule for 2019

Fremont Street Experience has announced its Downtown Rocks summer concert series schedule for 2019. Which we sort of just said in the headline, but we needed an opening sentence before the graphic, so there you go.

Fremont Street Experience concerts

The word “free” is music to our ears.

2019 Fremont Street Experience free concerts schedule:

googie May 24 – Good Charlotte
googie June 15 – Nelly
googie June 29 – Sugar Ray
googie July 4 – Eli Young Band
googie July 20 – Fuel, Toadies and Sponge
googie July 27 – Pop 2000 Tour hosted by Lance Bass, with O-Town, Aaron Carter, Ryan Cabrera and Tyler Hilton
googie Aug. 10 – Collective Soul
googie Aug. 17 – Buckcherry
googie Aug. 24 – Cheap Trick
googie Aug. 30 – The Wallflowers
googie Sep. 1 – I Love the ’90s featuring Vanilla Ice, Montell Jordan, All-4-One, Tone Loc and Coolio
googie Sep. 28 – Smash Mouth
googie Oct. 19 – Muddfest featuring Puddle of Mudd, Saliva, Trapt, Saving Abel and Tantric

Most of the free Fremont Street Experience concerts start at 9:00 p.m.

Fremont Street concerts

Free rocks. Shout-out to Mermaids.

When you’re visiting downtown for these free shows, look up. The Viva Vision canopy at Fremont Street Experience is getting a $32 million upgrade.

The upgrade is expected to begin in early May 2019, and will officially debut on New Year’s Eve. The light shows will continue to run during the upgrade, which will be done in eight phases, in 150-foot sections (starting at the west end of the canopy, near Golden Gate).

Here’s a look at what’s being replaced on the Fremont Street Experience screen.

Viva Vision LEDs

Fremont Street Experience debuted in 1995 and got an upgrade to its old-timey LEDs in 2004. They’re old-timey again.

Full disclosure: We work in digital marketing at Fremont Street Experience as our day job. Our opinions are our own, despite the fact we haven’t really expressed any in this blog post. Though, we like Cheap Trick a lot. And that “All Stars” song from “Shrek.” And we are also a big fan of light shows.

Get details about the free concert series at the official Fremont Street Experience Web site.

Confirmed at Last: The Strat to Build Dizzying New Observation Deck

It’s been more than two years since we first shared rumors The Strat (formerly Stratosphere) would get a thrilling new attraction, and now it’s come to pass.

Stratosphere Gaming LLC has filed for permits to build “a new observation deck for the Stratosphere,” one we believe will boast some of the same qualities as the wildly popular Grand Canyon Skywalk.

Here’s an exclusive first look at plans for this new attraction at The Strat.

Stratosphere skywalk

The observation deck will be clear. “Aiee,” as the kids say.

Back in 2016, we slapped together an amateurish rendering of what we felt the new observation deck would look like.

Come to find out, we weren’t that far off!

Strat glass walkway

We are a blog, not a renderer. Clearly.

The new observation deck will protrude over the edge of The Strat, much as its existing thrill rides do, Insanity and X-Scream.

A third ride, the Big Shot goes straight up. Skyjump (with a controlled free fall) goes straight down.

Skyjump sign

We feel woozy just sharing this photo.

The permit mentions “glass platforms and connection to supports,” “glass exterior walls and barrier walls” and “cable ties and actual connections to plates/supports.”

That leads us to conclude something will definitely be dangling at The Strat.

This image from the plans shows the platform will be supported by cables.

Strat skywalk attraction

Is it weird our palms are sweating just looking at a blueprint?

The observation deck permit has already had an Architectural Review (approved) and Case & Public Planning (whatever that might be, also approved).

The permit mentions installation of the new Strat observation deck will require the use of a crane.

The Strat casino

We just realized “Start” is an anagram for “Strat.” Most useless photo caption, ever.

A comment in the permit states, “Planning does not require a formal administrative review as the proposed observation deck does not change the overall intensity of the Stratosphere or its primary use.”

They’re kidding, right? That must have some legal meaning we don’t quite understand, because if they think an observation deck that extends over the edge of The Strat doesn’t “change the overall intensity of the Stratosphere,” they done lost they minds. As the kids say.

While we’re not a heights person, the new “skywalk” at The Strat has the potential to make a huge splash, benefiting the resort (in the middle of a huge rebrand to The Strat Hotel, Casino and Skypod), downtown (where we work in digital marketing as our day job, by the way, opinions are our own) and Las Vegas overall (the new attraction is likely to make headlines worldwide).

The existing thrill rides at The Strat are a huge moneymaker, and this new “Skypod Walk” (spitballing here, no name has been announced) will absolutely raise the bar. By about 870 feet, actually.

Like we weren’t going to update this to include the resort’s new name. See more casino chips we’d like to see.

Adrenaline junkies are sure to consider a transparent walkway hundreds of feet in the air a Las Vegas must-do, like the coasters at New York-New York and Circus Circus, Vegas Indoor Skydiving, the Richard Petty Driving Experience and downtown’s SlotZilla zipline.

While we won’t necessarily walk the new glass platform slated for The Strat, because we are a giant baby, we will certainly have to check it out as we feverishly cling to a wall as far away from the ledge as possible.

From what we can tell from the architectural drawings, the new see-through observation platform will extend from the Strat’s “skypod” on the side closest to Las Vegas Boulevard, above the hotel’s porte-cochere area.

The design of the new observation deck was done by a company that operates out of Las Vegas and California, Sparo Design.

It’s unknown when the new “skywalk” observation deck (or whatever it’s eventually called) at The Strat will begin construction, or when it will open.

When it does, expect a line. People be kray.

Chinese New Year Means Days of Swine and Roses at Bellagio Conservatory

The newest seasonal display at the Bellagio Conservatory is up and this time it celebrates The Year of the Pig in honor of Chinese New Year.

Or, as Chinese New Year is known in Las Vegas, “The season of kissing up to Asian gamblers.”

Bellagio Chinese New Year

Yeah, it’s a weird one. Just go with it.

Bellagio’s Chinese New Year motif has one of the quickest turnarounds of all the seasonal displays as it’s right on the heels of Christmas.

Because of the fast turnaround time, many of the items in the Chinese New Year display are more statue than plant, but it’s still impressive and one of the best free things to do in Las Vegas.

Bellagio Chinese New Year

In China, red symbolizes fortune and joy. Fun fact: Fortune and Joy are two of the most popular stripper names in Las Vegas.

Bellagio’s horticulture staff of 120 people go to great lengths to research every inch of the Conservatory’s 140,000-square-foot display to ensure the accuracy of a lot of things we have no clue about.

For example, part of the Conservatory features a representation of the grounds at the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, a Buddhist temple in Guangzhou, China.

Bellagio Conservatory

Warning: Saying “Guangzhou” out loud is likely to hemorrhage your larynx. And not in a good way.

There’s also flower pagoda guarded by two Chinese Fu dogs (“Foo” in English) that appear to have left in their hair curlers too long.

Bellagio Chinese New Year

Not even remotely a dog, bro.

Chinese Fu dogs are a giant scam because they’re not dogs, they’re lions. They’re also very good luck, so we’ll give them a pass.

How meticulously do the wizards at Bellagio research their displays? Well, if you screw up the position of the Fu dogs, you’re out of luck.

According to feng shui, when looking at the lions, the one with a ball (male) is on the right and the one with a cub (female) is on the left. Bellagio nails it.

Bellagio Chinese display 2019

You’re going to need more storage space on your smartphone.

The entryway to the Conservatory features a giant jade decoration.

Jade is said to represent the six virtues in Asian culture: Benevolence, righteousness, wisdom, bravery, Grumpy and Sneezy.

Bellagio Conservatory

What an awesome entrance to the Bellagio buffet this would make.

On the north side of the Conservatory stands a replica of a bronze sculpture, “Lotus Flower in Full Bloom.”

The original stands in Golden Lutus Square in Macau, China.

Bellagio Conservatory

It’s important to note this statue in no way resembles an attachment for the Magic Wand massager.

Given it’s the Year of the Pig, the star of the show is a massive pig, or more accurately, an “Earth pig.”

The pig is 22 feet long and 12 feet tall and is far more adorable than a 22 foot long slab of bacon. We trust you are feeling an appropriate amount of shame and regret right now.

Bellagio Chinese New Year

Sorry. Didn’t mean for you to hear that buffet comment.

As always, the Bellagio Conservatory is a feast for the eyes and remains a Las Vegas must-see.

We’re honestly astonished the Conservatory is still around. Other free attractions have either gone away (like “Sirens of TI” at Treasure Island and Rio’s “Masquerade Show in the Sky”) or cut back on their hours (like the volcano show at Mirage), but the Conservatory at Bellagio keeps delivering the goods.

Conservatory Chinese New Year 2019

Just as Fu dogs are lions, so too are these, although people sometimes mistake them for dragons. Bonus: Eyelashes are on fleek.

The hard fact is such free attractions don’t really provide much value to a casino. Back in the day such attractions would draw crowds, and many in those crowds would stay and gamble.

Today, not so much.

The vast majority of people who visit the Conservatory are just there to look. It’s a loss-leader for Bellagio (and its parent, MGM Resorts) that’s becoming increasingly difficult to justify as MGM Resorts and other casino companies become more and more focused on the bottom line.

The takeway: Get your feng and your shui in gear and enjoy the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden while you can.

Chinese New Year Vegas

We never got why Asian travelers would want to see things they could see back home until we ate at a Burger King in Paris.

The Chinese New Year display runs through March 9, 2019. Next up is the spring display, Mar. 16 to June 1, 2019.

If you’re a fan of the Bellagio Conservatory, as we are, avail yourself of our massive collection of Conservatory photos covering the last six years of eye-popping displays.

Bellagio Conservatory Chinese New Year 2019

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Bonnie Springs Ranch Reportedly Sold, Set to Close

A popular Las Vegas attraction, Bonnie Springs Ranch, has been sold and will close.

Upon news of the sale, we contacted the Bonnie Springs Motel and were informed while employees haven’t been officially notified of the sale, the motel won’t take reservations beyond Feb. 2019.

Bonnie Springs Ranch

Bonnie Springs Ranch was a portal to another, much sweatier, time.

According to sources, Bonnie Springs Ranch will be leveled by April, including its zoo and buildings.

Bonnie Springs Ranch is touted as a replica of an Old West town and is located in the Red Rock Canyon area, 20 miles west of Las Vegas.

The ranch spans 63 acres.

Bonnie Springs Ranch

Let’s just say Bonnie Springs Ranch has a lot of old-timey charm.

The “Bonnie” in Bonnie Springs Ranch comes from Bonnie McGaugh, the woman who purchased the ranch in 1952.

McGaugh, a one-time dancer and showgirl, passed away in 2016.

While she purchased the ranch in 1952, the ranch’s history dates back to 1840, or approximately “like a bajillion years ago” in Millennial years.

Fun fact: The zoo at Bonnie Springs Ranch started when the owner took in two two pygmy goats from (wait for it) Wayne Newton.

Bonnie Springs Ranch

Tweren’t nothing fancy, but people seemed to like it.

Wikipedia mentions speculation Bonnie Springs Ranch is haunted, but we won’t elaborate because ghosts don’t actually exist and there’s already plenty of stupidity in the world.

Here’s us talking about the rumored sale of Bonnie Springs Ranch on Channel 8, because we sort of always have to make things about us.

Bonnie Springs Ranch

Racial sensitivity, be damned, we’re having a rootin’-tootin’ good time!

It’s unknown what plans the buyer of Bonnie Springs Ranch might have for the sprawling site, or its zoo animals or Old West artifacts.

Update (1/8/19): A source tells us Bonnie Springs Ranch was sold for $25 million. Following our scoop, NevadaCurrent.com shared plans have been filed with Clark County to divide up the ranch into 22 parcels for residential housing. Documents show the buyer of Bonnie Springs Ranch is Joel Laub, former CEO of Astoria Homes.

Update (1/9/19): Our story has been confirmed by a number of sources. It’s expected the sale will be finalized in March 2019 when demolition will begin, but the buyer has agreed construction will not start until the zoo animals are relocated. Plans call for 20 homes to be built (each 2-3 acres), as well as a 25-room motel and 5,400-square foot event barn, whatever that might actually be.

Update (3/12/19): When will Bonnie Springs close? March 17, 2019. This was shared on the Bonnie Springs Ranch Facebook page.

Bonnie Springs Ranch

Bonnie Springs Ranch is riding off into the sunset.

Las Vegas 51s Renamed Las Vegas Aviators

The Las Vegas 51s minor league baseball team has a new name, the Las Vegas Aviators.

The team was purchased by the Howard Hughes Corporation in March 2017.

Along with the announcement of the team’s name change, the company also unveiled a new logo.

Las Vegas Aviators logo

Just screams baseball, doesn’t it? And possibly Ant-Man. But mostly baseball.

While the Internet was underwhelmed by the logo, let’s face it, the Howard Hughes Corporation has a bajillion dollars and doesn’t need the Internet’s approval.

The Aviators are set to play in a shiny new stadium about 15 minutes west of the Las Vegas Strip, in the master planned community of Summerlin. Which, we should say, was a genius thing to call it, because just calling it a “community” wouldn’t have helped the marketing department one iota.

The new Aviators stadium, called the Las Vegas Ballpark, is set for completion in April 2019.

Upon reflection, they probably should’ve called it the Master Planned Las Vegas Ballpark. Because marketing.

According to a news release, the team’s name change pays homage to the company’s namesake, Howard Hughes.

Howard Hughes, of course, was a noted business magnate, pilot, film director, racist and crazy person. No, really, super racist.

Among his many accomplishments, Howard Hughes is credited with helping turn Las Vegas from a den of inequity run by organized crime to a den of inequity run by bean counters.

Hughes owned six Las Vegas casinos: Desert Inn, Castaways, Frontier, Sands, Silver Slipper and Landmark. Howard Hughes had an uncanny ability to choose casinos which would someday no longer exist.

There’s no word yet on what the Aviator’s mascot will be, so here’s our suggestion.

Las Vegas Aviators mascot

Note: If they don’t use “Wowie Howie” as a mascot name, cannabis is now legal in Las Vegas. Just saying.

The Las Vegas Aviators name was presumably chosen from “hundreds of names submitted by the general public.” David R. Weinreb, CEO of The Howard Hughes Corporation, said, “The Aviators was a popular name nominated by many Southern Nevadans.”

Back in Howard Hughes’ heyday, that assertion would’ve been described as “malarkey.” Or possibly “bunk.” Or even “hooey.” Adorable, nevertheless.

Still, it was time Las Vegas’ Triple-A baseball team got a makeover.

There’s been an inexplicable explosion of interest in sports in Las Vegas recently, including rumors of efforts to bring a Major League Baseball team to Sin City. We should know, they were our rumors.

Adios, Las Vegas 51s. Hello, Las Vegas Aviators.

Please get the hot dogs right.