With a week and a half to go until Christmas, the casinos are pulling out the stops. Taking holiday spirit(s) literally, all drinks are $2 casino-wide at South Point, or just $1 if you pay with players club points.
During December many Las Vegas shows go "dark" to allow cast members to take extended holiday vacations. If you're visiting between now and New Year's and have your heart set on seeing a particular show, make sure to check that there will be performances during your dates.
The holiday season is always a prime time to find a low room rate in Las Vegas, and this year is no exception. Last week the researchers at the Las Vegas Advisor canvassed every casino in town, looking for the best leads on lodging in December.
The first legal online poker site to open in the U.S. has closed. After ceasing operations in New Jersey in September, Ultimate Gaming pulled the plug in Nevada last week, ending an 18-month effort that failed to gain traction.
The recently closed Clarion casino, on Convention Center Drive just east of the Strip, will be imploded Jan. 13, clearing the way for a planned "mixed-use resort." The new owner, Lorenzo Doumani, who paid just $22.5 million for the 6-acre property, plans to hold an implosion party at 12:01 a.m.
In what some are calling a strong sign of better economic times in Las Vegas, the long-awaited debut of Downtown Summerlin took place this month. It was originally slated to open in 2009, but was mothballed until last year due to the economic downturn.
A new Harley-Davidson dealership has opened on the Strip. The $18 million, two-story, 55,000-square-foot "flagship" dealership is just north of the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign, on the spot where the Klondike casino used to stand.
Over the past few years, the casinos have scaled back their football parties. But even as options disappear, there are still plenty of good parties to choose from. The best in town is at South Point, where on Monday and Thursday nights a big crowd gathers in the showroom.
The Clarion, located on Convention Center Drive just east of the Strip, has closed. Although it ended its run as an under-the-radar slots-only operation, the casino-hotel with 193 rooms had nearly a 45-year run as the Royal Inn, Royal Americana, Paddlewheel, Greek Isles and, most notably, Debbie Reynolds Hollywood.
Delano Las Vegas has opened on the south end of the Strip. The second high-profile opening in a month, following SLS Las Vegas, is the result of an $80 million transformation of the former THEhotel at Mandalay Bay.
Football season is here, and in Las Vegas that means promotions, parties, betting specials and, especially, football contests. For the fifth year running, the best contest in town is "Pick the Pros" at the Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, Sam's Town, California and Fremont casinos.
The $415 million SLS Las Vegas opened on schedule at midnight on Aug. 23. Located on the far north end of the Strip, the hotel's 1,620 rooms are situated in three renovated towers that were built in three different decades at the former Sahara, which closed in 2011.
James Packer's Crown Resorts Ltd. has announced plans to build a megaresort located center-Strip on the site of the former New Frontier. It's at least the third attempt by Crown to set up shop in Las Vegas.
MGM Resorts International has announced that it will build an outdoor events venue on the north Strip. The complex will be built on a 39.6-acre parcel located on the southwest corner of the Strip and Sahara, just north of Circus Circus.
Caesars Entertainment has announced that The Quad is getting yet another moniker. The new name will be the Linq Hotel & Casino, which will brand the resort with the bar and entertainment district of the same name that opened at mid-Strip earlier this year.
Summertime in Las Vegas traditionally means low room rates and the summer of 2014 is no different. A survey conducted last week turned up 52 hotel-casinos with rates of $50 and below, one fewer than last year's total.
After debuting with pricing that was labeled a bit too rich, some discounting has been instituted for the High Roller observation wheel on the Strip. It's still $34.95 for adults to ride at night (after 6 p.m.), but it's now $5 less at $19.95 for daytime rides.
Rumor no more, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has been sold. The south-Strip resort was purchased by Blackstone Real Estate Partners for $1.73 billion, well under the $3.9 billion seller Deutsche Bank spent to complete the Cosmopolitan after assuming ownership in 2008.
With necessary approvals now in hand, construction on Resorts World Las Vegas is set to get underway this summer. The $4 billion first phase will open with 3,000 hotel rooms, a 4,000-seat theater, 30 restaurants and bars, and an "elaborate garden attraction."
The Las Vegas pool season officially kicks off Memorial Day weekend, with the party pools in full swing throughout the city. Unlike the days when you had to be a hotel guest to get into a casino pool, there are now 31 that are open to the public.
The steady stream of improvements at Mandalay Bay continues with a pending $66 million expansion of its convention center that will add more than 350,000 square feet, putting it over 2 million total and advancing the facility from the seventh to the fifth largest in North America.
There's been almost no publicity, but the casino at The Crom-well has opened. The new high-end resort at the center of the Las Vegas Strip debuted quietly last week in supersoft mode, but the casino games and big center bar are completely accessible to the public.
Red Rock Resort on the far west side of town is getting a makeover. Already one of the swankiest of the "locals casinos," the $35 million renovation will concentrate on restaurants, suites and the spa.
The reservations lines are open at SLS Las Vegas, the north-Strip resort at the site of the old Sahara. The first night for booking is Aug. 25; rates are $109 weekdays and $139 weekends, with a two-night minimum.
The High Roller is rolling at center-Strip. At 550 feet the main attraction at the new Linq restaurant and bar district is the tallest observation wheel in the world, five feet higher than the Singapore Flyer.
The co-headliner (along with the High Roller observation wheel) of the center-Strip Linq development has opened. The Brooklyn Bowl is a 78,000-square-foot multilevel bar, restaurant, bowling alley and live-music venue at the center of The Linq.
It was technically a swing and a miss, but it wasn't a miss by much. After running slightly ahead of pace for 11 months, Las Vegas had a relatively slow December, causing the 2013 visitor count to land at 39.67 million tourists, just below 2012's record total of 39.73 million.
The second phase of the Linq restaurant and entertainment complex at center Strip debuted Friday. But while the entire Linq campus is accessible to the public, individual components will continue to open over the next couple of months, leading to a grand opening in late spring.
Downtown's Plaza is building a 3,500-seat arena on its roof to host the Las Vegas Wranglers hockey team. The 45,000-square-foot fabric-shell structure will occupy the area that's currently home to the Plaza's tennis and basketball courts, plus the pool (the latter of which is slated to remain).
Nevada's sports books took in $119.4 million in bets on the Super Bowl, resulting in a win of $19.7 million, or 16.5 percent. The "handle," which is the total amount bet, was a record, topping the previous high of $98.9 million set last year.
A unique retail area called Container Park has opened in downtown Las Vegas. Located in the Fremont East entertainment district, the development features boutiques, art galleries, bars and restaurants housed in stacks of recycled shipping containers.
After several years with only minor additions, Las Vegas is poised for a 2014 with multiple major openings. Leading off will be The Linq, the center-Strip restaurant, bar and nightclub district that debuted partially at the end of last year and will stage its formal opening in March.
The front section of The Linq opened Dec. 27 with O'Sheas casino, a few restaurants and a retail store in operation. It's only a preview of what the center-Strip restaurant, bar and nightclub district that is sandwiched between the Flamingo and The Quad will be when it's completed in March.
Information about the official New Year's Eve fireworks display in Las Vegas has been announced. Known as "America's Party," the show will encompass both the annual fireworks show on the Strip and live entertainment downtown at the Fremont Street Experience.
Not one, but two new shopping malls are on their way to Las Vegas casinos with Strip addresses. The Grand Bazaar at Bally's will host more than 150 stores in the setting of a 21st-century bazaar. The mall will be built on about two acres fronting the casino and is expected to open in fall 2014.
With a week to go until Christmas, the casinos are pulling out the stops. New skating rinks have been opened at Caesars Palace and downtown's Gold Spike, bringing the total of ice rinks in the desert to four (along with the Venetian and Cosmopolitan).
During December many Las Vegas shows go "dark" to allow cast members to take extended holiday vacations. If you're visiting between now and New Year's and have your heart set on seeing a show, make sure to check that there will be performances during your dates.
The holiday season is always a prime time to find a low room rate in Las Vegas. Last week the researchers at the Las Vegas Advisor canvassed every casino in town, looking for the best leads on lodging in December.
It's been announced that the hit musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" is heading to Las Vegas; however, where it will land is still unknown. With ticket sales dwindling for the Broadway production, the final curtain is set to fall there in January, with plans for a Las Vegas debut sometime in 2015.
The oddly named Westin Casuarina is now Max Casino. While it sounds a little like changing from one strange name to another, there's a certain logic in it, given that many will always remember the property as the Maxim.
Las Vegas’ newest casino, the Downtown Grand, opened on schedule Oct. 27. The former Lady Luck casino has undergone a $100 million makeover to create an entirely new resort, with 650 rooms in two towers, a rooftop pool and several restaurants and bars, including the Art Bar, which features replicas of famous paintings.
The former Barbary Coast and Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon will not become the Gansevoort Las Vegas after all. In a surprise move, Caesars Entertainment has cut ties with the Gansevoort Hotel Group after Massachusetts regulators denied Caesars a gaming license over the association, citing concerns with a Gansevoort investor.
Big projects are heating up all over town, but at least one has been delayed. The transformation of THEhotel to Delano Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay will miss its deadline, which was originally announced for the first quarter of 2014.
Las Vegas has its big openings and it has its small ones. One of the latter took place recently with the debut of Wildfire Valley View, a small "locals" casino on Valley View Boulevard, about 3 miles west of the Strip. It's the fifth in the Wildfire chain, which is owned and operated by Station Casinos.
Football season is here, and in Las Vegas that means promotions, parties, betting specials and, especially, football contests. For the fourth year running, the best contest in town is "Pick the Pros" at the Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, Sam's Town, California and Fremont casinos.
A District Court judge has ruled that the Harmon tower at CityCenter is unsafe and can be demolished. A pending lawsuit between MGM Resorts International (MRI) and the project's general contractor had blocked the demolition until now.
Following announcements of observation wheels, roller coasters and zip lines going up all over town, an Australian entrepreneur says he wants to build a wakeboarding, snowboarding, surfing and white-water rafting experience in the vicinity of the Las Vegas Strip.
The Hacienda casino, about 15 miles outside of Las Vegas near the Hoover Dam, has been sold. Bigger news than the sale itself, though, is who the casino was sold to. The buyer is the Dotty’s chain of slot and video poker parlors.
The Lift, about three miles west of the Strip on Valley View Road, closed its doors last week, and construction is expected to begin immediately on the conversion that will make it fifth in the Wildfire brand.
A major thunderstorm with heavy winds, including a 71 mph gust, hit Las Vegas on July 19, resulting in snapped power poles, uprooted trees and flash floods throughout the city, including inside Strip casinos.
Another month, another new thrill ride. Coming only a couple of weeks after the announcement of the Rio's new tower-to-tower zip line, US Thrill Rides LLC has submitted plans to build a $100 million combination roller coaster and observation tower.
Summertime in Las Vegas traditionally means low room rates, and the summer of 2013 is no different. A survey conducted last week turned up 53 hotel-casinos with rates of $50 and below, one more than last year's total.
The World Series of Poker at the Rio in Las Vegas is at its halfway point, with most of the premier events scheduled over the next couple of weeks. • Also: Big Al's moving • Bellagio summer •
Carmine's coming • Wet 'n' Wild Vegas
Construction is poised to begin on the Strip's next attraction, Hershey's Chocolate World, which will be built inside New York-New York as part of MGM Resorts International's $100 million retail and entertainment district. • Also: 88-cent oysters; twofer for dads; rebates down; more
A zip line-style "thrill ride" that will span the two towers at the Rio has been announced. The "Voodoo Skyline" ride will start from the casino's 50-story Masquerade Tower and run 845 feet at speeds of up to 33 mph to the 20-story Ipanema Tower.
After years of operating with what may be the worst casino name of all time, Terrible's is finally changing its name. As of July the new name of the casino on Flamingo Road east of the Strip will be Silver Sevens Hotel & Casino.
The Las Vegas pool season officially kicks off Memorial Day weekend, but most of the party pools are already in full swing. Once you had to be a hotel guest to get into a casino pool, but now 29 are open to the public.
South Point has announced that it will build a $30 million bowling center that will host seven big-league tournaments, along with bowling expos, conventions, and smaller tournaments, under a 12-year deal with the United States Bowling Congress.
UltimatePoker.com became the first online site to open for legal, live, real-money poker this week. While the current operation is being referred to as a "beta test," you can play for real money if you are over 21 and in Nevada.
MGM Resorts International says it will convert the sidewalk space in front of New York-New York and the Monte Carlo into a $100 million park and public promenade, apparently inspired by New York City's Madison Square Park, complete with popular vendors from the original, including a Shake Shack burger stand.
While plans for recently announced bigger Las Vegas projects continue to be formulated, two ongoing renovations are coming to conclusion. The second phase of a big room-remodeling project at Bellagio has been completed, with makeovers of 928 rooms in the Spa Tower.
The Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority has approved the first phase of a $2.5 billion makeover of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Phase I of creating the "Las Vegas Global Business District" consists of planning only, and is budgeted at $150 million.
Making up for a brief respite last year, when the average price of a Las Vegas show ticket declined slightly, prices have jumped up this year to an all-time high. We researched ticket prices from 93 shows, and this year's average comes in at $80.22.
Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon will reopen with the high-end Gansevoort brand, famous for attracting a celebrity clientele in New York City. The resort will be renamed Gansevoort Las Vegas and will have 188 "Parisian apartment-style" rooms, including 19 suites.
Stealing some of the thunder from a recently announced stadium planned for the University of Nevada-Las Vegas area, MGM Resorts International has announced that it will build a 20,000-seat indoor sports and events arena on land it owns behind the Monte Carlo and New York-New York.
In the most significant Las Vegas development in several years, Malaysian-based Genting Group is buying the stalled Echelon property on the north Strip from Boyd Gaming Corp. and will build a $2 billion resort called Resorts World Las Vegas.
In a surprising change of policy, Caesars Entertainment casinos in Las Vegas, have begun charging resort fees to hotel guests. A resort fee is an added daily charge for amenities and services, such as internet hookups, fitness-center access and bottled water in the rooms.
Bill's Gamblin' Hall and Saloon, located at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, closed earlier this month. The casino will undergo a $180 million renovation and transformation into a "boutique resort," featuring a rooftop pool and a new night-life attraction overlooking the Strip.
Nevada's sports books took in $98.9 million in bets on the Super Bowl, resulting in a win of $7.2 million, or 7.3 percent. The "handle," which is the total amount bet, was a record, topping the previous high of $94.5 million in 2006.
The first big Las Vegas opening of 2013 takes place this week, when the Nobu Hotel opens at Caesars Palace. The 181-room hotel-within-a-hotel is in the former Centurion Tower and promises the ultimate in luxury and customer service.
Several years after Wet 'n Wild on the Strip closed, no fewer than three water parks are now poised to operate in the Las Vegas area. On the west side of town, Wet 'n' Wild Las Vegas (no affiliation with the original) is already under construction.