Low Budget Megaplex in Las Vegas

In 2007 Boyd Gaming changed the Las Vegas strip.  They put an end to the Stardust and planned to replace it with a megaplex called Echelon Place.  Complex on the complex was flying last year as there were plans for multiple hotels, a theater, shopping and more.  The idea wasn’t too different than that of CityCenter.  As of last week it looks as if those plans are on hold temporarily or forever.

Echelon Rendering
Echelon Rendering

When Boyd Gaming reported earnings on October 27 they mentioned that Echelon, which had already had construction suspended, would be on hold for 3-5 years.  At the same time they said that they still remained interested in buying all or part of Station Casinos’ assets.

The economy may turn around, but it will likely take more than a few years for it to get back to where it was two years ago.  If Boyd ends up obtaining some or all of Station’s casinos then I don’t know that there will be a desire to have a brand new, upscale asset as part of their portfolio.  If they do complete it they may have to find different partners to be involved.

I just had a fun mental picture of what a low budget megaplex may include if Boyd decides to built the complex, but switch focus.  I’m not an artist, but here’s my rendering since I can’t upload the file for some reason.

For a full timeline of events with Echelon, head over to Vegas Today and Tomorrow.

Palazzo, Encore and Ritz-Carlton Get 5 Diamonds

Las Vegas is now home of three new AAA Five Diamond Award winning hotels.  The good news is that I’ll be staying at one of them!

The latest additions include The Ritz-Carlton at Lake Las Vegas, Encore Las Vegas and the Palazzo in the hotel category. Nevada now has eight Five Diamond properties, trailing only California and Florida.

Other resorts earning the coveted award are repeat winners. The list includes the Venetian, Bellagio, Skylofts at MGM Grand, Wynn Las Vegas and Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, an 11-time winner of the Five Diamond award.

I’m happy to know that my selection of hotel for my next Vegas trip, Palazzo, has won this kind of accolade.  Superior service goes a long way in winning my affection and business and the bar was just raised a little higher.

The Five Diamond Award reminds me of “Ocean’s 13” which is a must watch every time I see it channel surfing.

CityCenter A Go Go

The hoopla continues as we get closer to CityCenter opening in December.  Day by day, my excitement is actually building.  I didn’t think that would happen, but it is.  Rather than try to encapsulate what I’ve been reading, I’ll just pass the links on so you can read directly from the sources.

Vegas Tripping
A Look Inside Aria
New CityCenter Photos
Aria Flip Book
A Look at Aria’s Casino Layout

Rate Vegas
Thoughts on the Inside of Aria

Las Vegas Sun
Comparing CityCenter room prices with the rest of the strip
CityCenter value slashed 31% by MGM-Mirage

Garth Brooks Signs Big Deal At Wynn

The big casino news this week was that Garth Brooks signed a 5 year deal to perform at Wynn Las Vegas.  It will cost $125 to see a man, his hat and his guitar.

In the meantime if you want Garth Brooks tickets click here.

This has been rumored for a couple of months.  I don’t like country music so I won’t be going to see this show, but I think that my parents would like to see Garth Brooks and when they make it out to Las Vegas for the first time I will hook them up with tickets.

In more attractive show news Carmen Electra finishes up a brief stint getting naked at Crazy Horse Paris at MGM Grand this weekend.

Fontainbleau Update

Fontainbleau in Las Vegas still is not finished being built.  There have been reports of Penn National trying to buy the unfinished casino hotel on the cheap.  The casino is said to be about 70% complete – mostly the shell from what I can tell.  Here is a long video showing the current state of the building.

Vegas Tripping found some renderings of possible restaurants if Fontainbleau; which include Burger Bar and Saddle Club.  Check out the story for pictures and details.

CityCenter Opening Details

CityCenter opening details have emerged.  The mega complex will open in four parts and supposedly be bigger than any other hotel opening(s) on the Las Vegas strip.  The more I look at pictures of the complex the less I like the look of it.  At the same time the more I hear about it the more in awe I am of its magnitude and I can’t wait to visit.  Details below from KVBC in Las Vegas.  Thanks to Vegas Tripping for the tip about the video.

Hate the Taxi Line at the Las Vegas Airport?

I hate the (always) long taxi line at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas – especially in the summer!  I’m not sure if the airport plans for every airplane to land at the same time, but it always seems as if baggage claim and the taxi line are both always packed.  People cheer when they land in Las Vegas no matter what time it is and the wait for a cab to their destination is excruciating.

If you are with a large party you take a limo at a similar cost.  There are always drivers stalking the baggage claim area for customers.  I’ve done this before and while the cost of a limo was only a little more than the cost of a cab, I’m not sure I’ll do it again.  Especially when travelling with a smaller party.

Vegas Chatter found a way to get around the long taxi line that doesn’t involve paying a little extra for a limo.

Find a Skycap. Let them know they can help you with your luggage. Give the guy a nice tip and tell him you want to go to Yellow #1. Here cab drivers will get pulled out of the long cab line servicing the regular folks in order to pick you up at Yellow #1. No waiting.

Now during super crowded times even this Yellow #1 tip can have a line behind it. What do you do then, or for that matter if you want to take no chances on waiting in line? When your plane lands and the pilot allows you to turn on your cell phone, Twitter Vegas Cabbie (he is the one who gave us the above tip in the first place) and tell him your flight just landed and you will gather your luggage and meet him at Yellow #1.

What a great idea.  I’m assuming that if you know where Yellow #1 is located you can probably skip the skycap and the tip and just head over and grab a cab.  I have a little time before my next trip to Vegas and I’ll be looking for info on how to bypass the line.  If I find any tricks, I’ll share them here as always.

CityCenter Opening Nears

The buzz surrounding CityCenter’s opening has been slowly growing for a couple of weeks.  You may know CityCenter as the mass of construction in the middle of the Las Vegas strip.  The property is being built by MGM-Mirage and will consist of multiple hotels, condos, casinos and retail space.  The project has had its up’s and downs, but the end of the long construction is nearing and the world will get to see for themselves soon.  I’m really looking forward to seeing how this all turns out.

To help feed the buzz, CityCenter started a youtube page and has been releasing teaser videos for the last week.  To keep up to speed on CityCenter check the youtube page regularly.  I’ll share information as I receive it.  Here are the first three videos of, and for, CityCenter.

THREE more videos after the jump

Continue reading “CityCenter Opening Nears”

Echelon On Hold For A While

Echelon has been a mess since day one it seems and now it’s been put on hold indefinitely.  Echelon was to stand where Stardust used to be on the Las Vegas Strip.  Construction has been halted for a year but now all equipment will be taken from the site leaving a shell of a casino sitting on the strip for at least 6 months and possibly 3 years.

Complete story and video on Las Vegas Now.

Beer Pong = Bling Pong

O’Sheas is one of the smaller, older, cheap casinos on the Las Vegas strip.  It’s not what I seek when I’m in Vegas, but they’ve done a really nice job creating a niche for themselves.  While cheap gambling and cheap beer can be attractive, you can go to any older casino to find that.

O’Sheas has become a favorite among college aged people because of one thing.  BEER PONG.  I was catching up on my Vegas news over the weekend when I saw an article on Vegas Chatter that went into some detail about how good of a money maker Beer Pong has become for O’Sheas.

The real shocker: the place rakes in more than $25,000 from it every week, and more than $100,000 per month.

No, that number didn’t come from management or an official press release (though the PR department did, in fact, confirm it). Instead, it came from the people who know best—dealers and pit bosses in the gaming pit closest to the beer pong action.

That seems like some pretty nice coin for Beer Pong and stands out to me because that’s not gaming income, which is something casino’s are always string for.  I would never imagine Beer Pong could bring in over $1 million a year.  Nice work finding your niche O’Sheas.

O’Sheas recently joined twitter and you can follow them for more info and specials.