Category Archives: Las Vegas

1OAK Nightclub at Mirage to Close Per Sources

It seems the days are numbered for 1OAK Nightclub at Mirage, as a source says employees have been told the venue’s last day of operation will be March 28, 2020.

1OAK Nightclub opened on New Year’s Eve 2011.

1OAK nightclub closing

Not a bad run, 1OAK, when 80% of nightclubs close in their first year.

Prior to 1OAK, the space was home to Jet Nightclub. Jet closed Sep. 6, 2011.

Should the closure come to pass, 1OAK joins a string of nightclubs to shutter in Las Vegas recently, including Intrigue at Wynn, Hyde at Bellagio and Kaos at Palms.

Here’s a fascinating interview on KNPR about the changing landscape of nightlife in Las Vegas, and we’re not just saying that because we were the one being interviewed.

1OAK Nightclub covers 16,000-square-foot and has a New York theme. As with all 1OAK nightclubs, artist Roy Nachum designed the space.

The club is operated by The Butter Group. While 1OAK stands for “one of a kind,” there are others, including in L.A. and New York City.

No official announcement has been made Mirage, or its owner MGM Resorts, about future plans for the 1OAK Nightclub space.

If you’re bored, check out our 10 Surprising Things About Las Vegas Nightclubs.

MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay Sold for $4.6 Billion

MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay have been sold for $4.6 billion. Which is only news to you if you don’t read headlines, but whatever.

According to a news release, MGM Growth Properties (MGP) and Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust (BREIT) will co-own the resorts. MGP will own 50.1% of the joint venture, and Blackstone will own 49.9%. Blackstone also owns Cosmopolitan.

Yeah, not exactly sexy, but news is news.

Mandalay Bay

Customers won’t notice any changes at Mandalay Bay, so don’t freak out.

The bottom line is this deal is similar to the recent sale of Bellagio in that MGM Resorts will continue to operate the resorts.

The sale of MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay are part of a larger “asset light” strategy on the part of MGM Resorts. It also seems to be part of a larger “boring us to death” strategy involving REITs, lots of initialisms and companies paying themselves rent.

MGM Resorts’ initial annual rent will be $292 million. Which shouldn’t be a big deal until the recession hits, then everything goes to hell in a handbasket.

MGM Grand

MGM Grand is the green one.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

Lyft Art Park Closes on Fremont East in Downtown Las Vegas

It was weird while is lasted. With zero fanfare, the quirky Lyft Art Park downtown closed and disappeared shortly after the calendar flipped to 2020.

And, yes, we understand most calendars don’t “flip” anymore. Your smartassery is duly noted.

Here’s the former home to some seriously offbeat art. The space has returned to its former glory as a parking lot next to Park on Fremont restaurant.

Lyft Art Park closed

It wasn’t paradise. And this parking lot was already paved. Can you believe that song came out 50 years ago?

The Lyft Art Park opened on Sep. 26, 2018, and featured a rotating collection of larger-than-life art pieces, many imported from Burning Man.

Featured art included a 30-foot ballerina, a massive polar bear and an out-sized robot.

Lyft Art Park ballerina

This statue, called “Euterpe” (named after a Greek muse), was on point.

Other pieces featured at Lyft Art Park included a bug thing, a cab thing, a trailer thing and several other things we can’t even describe as well as those.

Some of the art pieces have made their way to nearby locations.

The giant Flamingo now sits next to the Downtown Container Park.

Lyft Art Park flamingo

Lyft Art Park’s giant flamingo has flown a few blocks east. Yes, flamingos fly. Trust us, we are a photo caption.

The recycled lion is on temporary display in the porte cochere at the Plaza casino.

Plaza lion

Bonus points for reading our mind on that sign, Plaza.

It’s weird how you can take something for granted, then when it’s gone, miss it a lot. Like a short refractory period.

We took Riviera for granted, too, and we miss it now that it’s a parking lot. The former New Frontier site is going to be a parking lot as well.

The point is, enjoy things while you can, because nothing lasts forever. Thanks a lot, diminished testosterone levels. Or whatever we were originally talking about.

Days Are Numbered for Cirque’s “R.U.N.” at Luxor

A wildly expensive and polarizing Cirque du Soleil show, “R.U.N.” at Luxor, looks to be closing after April 2020, according to a source.

“R.U.N.” opened on Oct. 24, 2019 at a staggering cost of $62 million.

RUN

It’s a blog, we don’t have to be neutral.

“R.U.N.” has received scathing reviews since its debut, with many declaring it the “worst show ever in Las Vegas.”

On TripAdvisor, the show has received 115 “terrible” ratings, and 31 “excellent” ratings, although a good deal of the “excellent” ratings are of questionable origin.

For example, many use the same or similar terminology (“immersive!”), and are written by first-time reviewers using generic profile photos. Another common theme among the dubious raves are claims audience disappointment with the show is due to it not being a “typical Cirque show.”

We can’t disagree, as typical Cirque shows are “enjoyable” and “entertaining” and tend to not feature torture sequences.

Here’s a taste of “R.U.N.” Warning: Viewing this video may cause nausea, headaches, vomiting and an uncontrollable urge to, well, run.

There has been no official announcement or confirmation of the closure of “R.U.N.” by Cirque du Soleil or Luxor (owned by MGM Resorts).

A source shared an internally-distributed schedule of upcoming performances of “R.U.N.,” which abruptly ends after its April dates.

RUN Luxor

“R.U.N.,” it seems, has run out of gas.

There’s been speculation that because of the show’s $62 million price tag, it would be disastrous to simply pull the plug on “R.U.N.” There’s a chance the show could close temporarily for an overhaul to try and salvage it.

There’s also a chance Cirque has realized it misread the market and will cut its losses to stop the bleeding.

While it’s no fun when a show closes and performers and crew members lose their gigs, it’s also no fun when customers feel ripped off after seeing a Las Vegas show, especially one from a respected company like Cirque du Soleil.

“R.U.N.” was a noble, but misguided and poorly executed, attempt to reach a new audience for Cirque. Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that audience actually exists.

Circa Resort Construction is Halfway to Completion

Circa Las Vegas has made impressive progress during its first year of construction, and we’ve got a look at the current state of the new hotel-casino downtown.

The $1.2 billion Circa is expected to open in December 2020. The project broke ground on February 19, 2019.

Circa Las Vegas construction

Downtown’s about to get some new shiny.

Here’s an amazing fun fact about Circa: Since Oct. 3, 2019, Circa has been adding a floor per week.

The 44-story, 500-foot-tall Circa will eventually have 777 rooms, but will open with closer to 500 rooms, plus 71 suites. The final mix of rooms and suites will be based upon demand.

Among the new resort’s features will be what’s billed as the “world’s largest sports book.” Gird your loins, Westgate.

Here’s a look at the space where the sports book will reside when it slides into home. Or something.

Circa sports book

They’ll probably spruce it up a bit before opening day.

The three-level Circa sports book, expected to cost about $20 million, will have a 78 million pixel high-definition screen.

Here’s a rendering of the finished product for comparison purposes, reversed angle from the perspective above.

Circa Las Vegas

Consider it spruced.

The jewel of Circa will be its rooftop pool complex, with six pools open 365 days a year. It’s projected the pools will be able to serve about 4,000 people a day.

The video screen at the pool will have 14 million pixels.

Here’s the owner of Circa, Derek Stevens, showing off his baby. Stevens and his brother Greg also own The D and Golden Gate.

Circa Las Vegas Derek Stevens

We were the first to quote Derek Stevens as saying, “Downtown is under-pooled.” He’s determined to remedy that.

Here’s the rendering of what the pool deck will look like when it’s completed.

Circa Las Vegas

Good luck escaping the sports at Circa.

It was a blast being among the first to walk around the future Circa casino, where we fully anticipate making regular donations.

Circa will have 1,350 slot machines and 49 table games.

Here’s a “before” shot of Circa’s casino!

Circa Las Vegas casino

Savsies on Wheel of Fortune.

During our tour, we spotted an area we’re pretty sure will be the home of Vegas Vickie upon her much-anticipated return to Fremont Street. She is set to be a featured part of Circa’s
lobby.

Circa

The Circa lobby will have a moon roof.

From what we can tell, the Vegas Vickie sign is so tall (40 feet), she’ll actually extend beyond the ceiling of the casino, protruding through an opening in the ceiling.

We couldn’t help but create this weak and entirely speculative image of where Vegas Vickie might go at Circa.

Vegas Vickie Circa

When we asked a friend at Circa which way Vickie’s leg will go, the reply was, “We don’t know.” If they don’t know, we sure as hell don’t.

Our mole got some sweets shots of Vegas Vickie during her renovation at Yesco Signs. She’s got a fresh coat of paint!

Vegas Vickie renovation

If you love classic Vegas signs, this photo gives a whole new meaning to “halfway to completion.”

Across the street from Circa is another key element of the project, deemed Garage Mahal.

The nine-story Garage Mahal structure will hold about 1,200 vehicles, but the big selling point is it’s the first parking garage in Las Vegas to be built around catering to rideshare services like Lyft and Uber.

Garage Mahal

In Persian, “Mahal” means mansion or palace. Because writing photo captions is hard.

More fun facts: More than 10.75 million pounds of rebar (emphasis on “bar,” because Vegas) have been installed at Circa to-date, as well as 12.2 million pounds of structural steel (emphasis on “pounds,” because you know how we are).

Circa is set to announce more about its bars and five restaurants in the next couple of months. Let’s just say the mix of cuisines will augment the already popular options at The D. Hint: Think “east,” both “coast” and “far.”

We haven’t heard much about non-sports entertainment at Circa, although a stage production called “Circa du Soleil” would have been absolute gold, marketingwise.

How is Circa coming along so quickly? Credit has to go to the stellar efforts of Steelman Partners (architecture and design), McCarthy Building Companies (general contractor) and Tre Builders (construction manager).

Oh, and the construction folks, of course. The total number of construction workers on Circa and Garage Mahal is about 600. Note: Safety vests are hawt. Are we right, ladies?

Circa

Oh, like we were going to write this entire story without a single use of the word “erection”? Do you know this blog at all?

Disclosure: We work in digital marketing at Fremont Street Experience as our day job, and The D and Golden Gate are member casinos of that organization. Our opinions are our own.

Update (1/7/20): The first windows have been put into place at Circa.

Circa windows

No panes, no gain.

Enjoy a few more photos of Circa’s construction, several of which are accidentally in focus.

Update (1/14/20): On Jan. 14, 2020, the pedestrian bridge between Circa and Garage Mahal appeared overnight, literally.

Circa

Overnight Bridge would be a decent band name.

Tropicana Looks to Be First Las Vegas Casino Sale of 2020

Our sources are awesome, and three tell us Tropicana Las Vegas is being sold.

We expect Tropicana to be the first big Las Vegas casino sale of 2020.

Tropicana hotel

The Trop cost $15 million to build. That hefty price tag (at the time) earned it the nickname “Tiffany of The Strip.” Seems appropriate a Las Vegas casino would have a stripper name.

The Tropicana is owned by Penn National Gaming, the same company that owns M Resort.

The COO of Penn, Jay Snowden, shared back in October 2019 the company had received unsolicited bids for the Strip resort. At the time, executives claimed a sale wasn’t “imminent.”

Now, we hear one of those offers has been accepted and the sale is under way.

Translation: The sale of the Trop is “imminent” AF.

The sale of Tropicana would fit into the recent trend in Vegas casino companies monetizing assets, as MGM Resorts has with Circus Circus and Bellagio, and Caesars Entertainment has with Rio.

The sale of Tropicana, predicted to be in the $700 million range, would take a nice bite out of Penn’s long-term debt of about $11 billion.

Tropicana Las Vegas

Trop has gotten some upgrades, but still has a touch of old-school Vegas.

Penn National Gaming paid $360 million for Tropicana in August 2015. The Trop was previously owned by Onex Corp. and Alex Yemenidijan.

When Penn purchased Tropicana, it nixed a planned $100 million expansion called “The Shops at The New Tropicana Las Vegas.” Some projects are better off nixed. Because shopping, meh.

What might have been. And what might have failed, miserably. Good call, Penn.

We quite like Tropicana, and recently enjoyed a visit to the Oakville Steakhouse and the new Trago Lounge.

It’s unknown what plans are in store for Tropicana following the rumored sale. All we know is if they screw with the stained glass ceiling in the casino, we riot.

Well, we riot on Twitter. You know, not real rioting. We have a tear gas sensitivity.