Bally’s Flea Market Coming Soon

Bally's Las Vegas Grand Bazaar Shops
Bally’s Grand Bazaar Shops

Vegas Chatter has been sharing news about Bally’s Grand Bazaar Shops for a while but the info wasn’t anywhere else. They had renderings and everything, so surely this was legit. Right? Right.

Well, last week went live with less information than Vegas Chatter had been reporting. At least they have nicer renderings then this.

Ballys Grand Bazaar Shops Night

Bally’s Grand Bazaar Shops is going to be 175 glorified flea market booths set up in front of Bally’s. I envision this to be like a less forced Harrah’s Carnival Court since you can walk past it if you don’t want to deal with the people shopping.

Caesars Entertainment has decided that low brow temporary shopping is the right way to monetize the space between the Bally’s casino/hotel and the street. Some companies may have looked into a long-term infrastructure expansion of the building but that’s probably not possible when you’re saddled with huge amounts of debt.

The Grand Bazaar Shops may not be the best way to expand Bally’s to the street but it should work for the typical Vegas tourist and typical Caesars customer who is your average American consumer. They’re not looking for anything too fancy. In Vegas they buy  the cheapest booze they can find (usually in the ugliest containers they can find) and playing the cheapest games in the casino.

The average Caesars customers are not the same people staying at Wynn or The Venetian or Cosmopolitan. Instead of elevating Bally’s by making a beautiful property, Caesars has decided to meet their customers at their spending level. A flea market may not be the worst idea – for Caesars and Bally’s. It’s a different story for me.

Bally’s has been my go-to for cheap gaming in that area of the Vegas strip. When friends walk into the Cosmo on a Saturday night they see $25 blackjack minimums and say they want to go somewhere with lower minimums. Planet Hollywood and Paris are usually too crowded for a few people to get in on a game but Bally’s usually has room. They don’t care that they’re playing 6:5 blackjack, they just want to drink and gamble.

Two weeks ago I loved the idea that Bally’s would be renovating the South Tower into the Jubilee Tower. I’m less excited about Bally’s today. The renovations should be cool but non-gaming entities invite families. I’m not sure I see myself wading through the families buying cheap Vegas swag just to get to my hotel room or to play $10 6:5 blackjack. I’d rather deal walking through their broken people mover than mass of humans.

This week I wrote about the average Vegas tourist and the gambler for Against The Number. I’m the latter. Even as a tourist I was never a tourist. That’s just not my thing. I’m also not a shopper. I have amazon if I want to shop. Non-gaming attractions bring families and tourists alike. I don’t need to deal with their derpy derping on my way into the casino.

My Vegas Strip Mall is full of casinos, not shopping. Downtown Vegas may be crowded but it’s seems like there’s not a day that goes by where it doesn’t seem more and more like my kind of strip mall.

The Linq Adds Reason To Avoid The East Side of the Las Vegas Strip

Linq Las Vegas Rendering
Linq Rendering

While The Linq may be a good thing for Ceasars and a good thing for Vegas with added jobs it’s not something that remotely interests me. In fact, The Linq will probably push me away from Caesars properties.

I’m not alone in my distaste of tourists and families clogging the strip – especially around Harrah’s Carnival Court area. This project seems as if it will only clog traffic on the east side of the strip even more. The west side of the strip is already more walkable, even with the Bellagio fountains and Cosmopolitan opening. That will probably continue as Linq opens and the draw of something new on the east side of the middle of the strip will bring even more people and do enough to have me avoid the properties.

Heck, it was annoying walking from Planet Hollywood to Bellagio just a few weeks ago with all the tourists stopping for no reason or to take photos. After stopping 5 times or so for people taking pictures my friend decided to try to photo bomb all the tourist to make things interesting. Also of note is that tourists in Vegas don’t stay to the right so you can pass on the left.

I’m a New Yorker – I’m always in a rush to get from point A to point B, even if I don’t have a reason to rush. The people impeding my progress will only grow if Project Linq gets built and I will not deal with them.

So, while Caesars master plan for Linq may appeal to the masses of middle America that like to shop at malls and be seen in crowds I won’t be a part of it. I’m not sure that free rooms and free drinks at the Diamond Lounges will be enough for me to want to deal with people. Odds are my strip fun will go elsewhere when Project Linq is completed.

UPDATE: There’s a Linq press thing happening right now. We’ll see what comes from it.