The Linq Gets A Circle!

High Roller Ferris Wheel At The Linq Las Vegas
High Roller Ferris Wheel

When The Linq was introduced a couple years ago I used to joke that it may not be real. Ground breaking was delayed a couple of times and little was happening. Well, The Linq exists. There is construction happening and some empty buildings waiting for some exciting tenants to move in, there’s a website and a huge circle (photo above) that will eventually become a ferris wheel. So they say.

The Linq was rumored to be opening in the summer of 2013 but Caesars Entertainment never confirmed that.

Then The Linq was supposed to open in December of 2013.

Now The Linq will open in phases beginning in December 2013. A few stores will open in December. Some more will open in 2014 and the NAME TBD Ferris Wheel is said to open in the 2nd quarter of 2014.

One day The Linq sounds like it can be a cool mall area to hang out and grab a drink and the next day there’s an announcement about a hat store and this sounds like the corniest place on earth. It’s enough to make a cynic go to a casino and drink soda!

Regardless of how I feel about The Linq…

The giant ferris wheel is big and destined to become the new focal point of the Vegas Strip – for better or worse.

 Photo: Caesars Entertainment

Desperate For Cash Caesars Offering Naming Rights For Ferris Wheel

High Roller at Linq Las Vegas Sponsored By "Word"
High Roller Sponsored By “Word”

Caesars Entertainment is under mounds of debt and keeps losing money. They’re hotel rooms in Las Vegas are in disrepair and have bugs crawling all over and they’re possibly on the verge of filing of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

In order to stave off the inevitable Caesars has decided to put naming rights up for sale to any the highest bidder for their precious Linq Ferris Observation Wheel.

“We have already received interest from big brands for the naming rights of this landmark, but given its significance on the Las Vegas landscape, we continue to search for the right brand to feature as the name of the wheel,” said Dan Burgner, executive vice president of Caruso Affiliated (The company in charge of The Linq).

I don’t believe anything the Caesars PR machine churns out so I’m assuming that they’ve received as much “interest from big brands for naming rights” as I have for my car.

Okay, I’ll settle down. In today’s commercialized market there’s no reason Caesars shouldn’t be shopping naming rights for The Linq Wheel. Nobody riding, or making pee pee, in this wheel will care what the name is. All that they’ll be concerned with is how long it takes for the ride to reach the top so they can enjoy views of beautiful Las Vegas.

If anyone wants to start a kickstarter to buy naming rights for the Linq Wheel let me know!

Photo: Caesars 

Aria Marquee Is A Symbol Of The Changing Vegas Strip

Aria Marquee At Night
Aria Marquee At Night

I find a lot of things in the Vegas media funny. Las Vegas is the #42 television market but plenty of people in the media and marketing departments acts as if Vegas is a top 5 market. When I saw press releases and news stories about the Aria marquee I laughed. It’s a sign. In what major market does mainstream (and non-mainstream) media go nuts over a sign? None.

I’ve seen the Aria marquee a handful of times and just thought it was another sign and nothing really special. It’s just a sign but how I thought about the Aria marquee changed a few weeks ago when I was driving to New York-New York to meet a friend for a drink. I was passing the Aria marquee around dusk and it was almost magical.

The mall across the street on the Harmon Corner has a bright huge sign that’s more annoying than useful or interesting since it’s all advertising. I don’t need or want to see advertising that big. It’s distracting and dangerous. The Cosmopolitan has a pretty cool marquee by the boulevard pool but that’s because the content on it is interesting. Sometimes you’ll see ads for the hotel and other times you can see concerts. The concept is great but the marquee is tiny compared to the Aria marquee. You can fit about 4 marquees from the Cosmo inside of the Aria marquee.

The Aria marquee is huge and juts out onto the strip. When I passed by the Aria marquee it was showing casino chips and other cool video snippets like the astronaut above. There was nothing obscene or overly promotional on the sign. It’s just a cool big sign that’s as obnoxiously large as you’d expect from the Vegas Strip (for better or worse).

The Aria marquee isn’t the dawn of the new Vegas strip but it is a sign (pun intended) that a new strip is coming.

Between the giant ferris wheel of The Linq being built across the street from Caesars PalaceThe Quad vortex lighting being installed right now, Gansevoort construction across the street from Bally’s and the park area in between New York-New York and Monte Carlo there is a lot of construction on the Vegas strip. This doesn’t even touch on the north strip construction going on.

The Aria marquee reminded me about all of this and also reminded me that the way see the strip will change drastically over the next few years. Enjoy the memory of the Vegas strip you grew up with because it will be drastically different by this time next year.

The Vegas Strip Of The Future Will Feel More Like A Strip Mall

Las Vegas Is Becoming A Strip Mall
Strip Mall!

I grew up in the Bronx, NY. We didn’t have malls. We had stores on streets and even had a few shopping centers. I had to drive 20-30 minutes to the nearest mall. It was like a whole other world. I wouldn’t say it was awesome but it was different and that was cool. It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I knew what a strip mall was.

Strip malls weren’t cool then, have never been cool and aren’t cool now. That doesn’t matter in Las Vegas. Vegas is the greatest place on earth but it’s never really been “cool”. That’s okay. Caesars Entertainment has been developing The Linq over the past year and that should be finished by the end of the year. Call it what you want but The Linq is essentially a glorified strip mall set between casinos.

Caesars Entertainment is also developing the Bally’s Grand Bazaar (details here and here) a little bit south on the strip from The Linq. Now Vegas Tripping is reporting that MGM Resorts will be creating The Park even further south on the Vegas strip in the area around Monte Carlo and New York New York.

We can confirm that the park will occupy Rue de Monte Carlo, including the CityCenter sales office and the entire parking lot behind and between New York New York and Monte Carlo.

Further, Vegas Tripping has details on the strip renovations planned for Monte Carlo. While The Linq will have a ferris wheel as the anchor of the shopping area The Park will have a brand spanking new arena that MGM Resorts is building in conjunction with AEG. A little north of Monte Carlo you’ll find Crystals mall next to Aria at the area formerly known as CityCenter.

My graphic skills are pretty bad but the future Vegas strip will look something like this:

Shopping > Casino > Shopping > Casino > Shopping > Casino > Shopping > Casino  

It sure seems like Vegas is remaking itself more towards being a family destination then it has since they started theming hotels in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

Great…more kids. I’m not the typical Vegas customer but that’s not what I want from Vegas.

Photo: Warren Temple Smith

No Pee Pee In Your Linq Pod!

I said that I wouldn’t expound about The Linq until Caesars Entertainment broke ground on the project in Las Vegas. Although I’m technically writing about The Linq, this isn’t so much about The Linq as it’s about the Ferris wheel pod that’s planned to be anchoring the project. A ride on the Ferris wheel should take around 3o minutes and that will cost you about $20 from what I’ve read.

The Linq is seemingly aimed at the mid-level Vegas vacationers. Those are the people you’ll see walking up and down (clogging) the Las Vegas Strip with yards of fruity alcohol beverage wrapped around their neck in guitar or Eiffel Tower shaped container. Last week Vegas Chatter peaked on a chat with Caesars Entertainment to confirm something fairly obvious, but kind of gnarly. There will be no way to go to the rest room if you need to during the 30 minute ride.

But, the most interesting question (at least to us) was made by at least three Facebook fans — will there be restrooms in the pods of High Roller, the giant observation wheel planned to anchor The Linq:

Is there bathrooms inside each pod?

When your up in the air having cocktails, You need a bathroom near.

While Greg didn’t answer the questions, the Flamingo’s Facebook team did… kinda:

Not 100% sure but pretty certain the pods on the High Roller will not have restrooms.

So, potty before pod or else you’ll be thinking about wee wee all wheel long.

Considering a good portion of the customers for The Linq Wheel Pod will be family’s with children or drinkers this poses a small problem.  Kids and drinkers both, often, have problems holding their bladder. 30 minutes is a long time to hold it in. If The Linq ever gets off the ground we have to expect that the rides will be shortened or there will be a lot of money spent cleaning up their fancy new ride in a couple years.

Dear The Linq: Show Me More Than A Picture

A lot has been made about the prospects of Caesars Entertainment building The Linq in Las Vegas this week. I’ve already said that Linq probably isn’t for me. The concept, if it comes to fruition, seems like it will be cool but I’ll believe when I see. I don’t see myself having any desire to visit more than once to see what it’s all about.

I’m not a mall person – I don’t shop at Abercrombie and Fitch for clothes or FYE for music and I don’t eat at Chili’s. It’s not me. I grew up in New York City and those places were not easily accessible for me and the people that frequent those stores are not the people I grew up with. To this day those are not the people I gravitate towards. However, for those people The Linq is likely to be heaven.

My first vision, if The Linq is actually completed, is of people drinking a sugar filled, almost boozeless, daiquiri out of a Ferris Wheel container they’re wearing around their neck. I envision it looking similar to a Flavor Flav watch chain.

I don’t get snarky here very often. It’s not my thing and I generally don’t like it. However, when it comes to mainstream media and corporate speak I am very cynical and often contrarian. Caesars says they will begin construction on The Linq in a month and have it completed in 2013. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Until work on The Linq begins, I’ll consider everything I see as just a rumor – kind of like the Octavious Tower at Caesars Palace being finished and open to the public. Until this project begins I’m declaring Ac2LV a Linq free zone – at least by me. Denver Gambler or someone else may have something to say about it, but I’ll keep my mouth shut until I see some action that I gives me faith I’m spending my time on something real .

I truly believe that The Linq can be a cool thing for a lot of people but I’m not going to waste space here for it until it’s more than just pictures and corporate speak. You can find info on Vegas Chatter, Vegas Tripping and Rate Vegas about The Linq.

Vegas Prepares For WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

From what I read people seem to find the countless rumors of a Ferris Wheel on the Las Vegas strip funny.  I’m not sure if it the Ferris Wheel or the same idea being repeated over and over that’s funny.  It’s probably a bit of both, but it seems as if the first straw has been drawn in the great Ferris Wheel battle.

The Clark County Commission approved the Skyvue Las Vegas Super Wheel project in March, and today with various public officials in attendance, groundbreaking ceremonies celebrated the clearing of the 11-acre site at Las Vegas Boulevard and Mandalay Bay Road.

The Ferris wheel is being touted as the largest in the Western Hemisphere and third tallest in the world. The project is also planned to include 200,000 square feet of restaurants, retail and entertainment uses.

I’m not sure this will ever be completed but the best thing about this, specific, project is that it’s on the south end of the strip.  I’m not a kid person and I expect this will be a haven for kids (again, if it’s ever finished).

On a business side, this would be great for that area as that end of the strip is littered with middle to low end properties that are affordable for families.  On the personal side, this only gives me reason to avoid that end of the strip – again, if it’s ever finished.