Immersive Pop-Up Experience Happy Place Now Open At Mandalay Bay

Happy Place Las Vegas
Happy Place Las Vegas
Photo Credit: Lexi Colvin

Press release: LAS VEGAS (Aug. 23, 2019) – HAPPY PLACE, an interactive, immersive pop-up experience with larger-than-life installations and multi-sensory themed rooms, is now open at its newest location in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. On a mission to spread happiness across the world, “the most Instagrammable pop-up in America” (Urban Daddy) has helped people of all ages “find their happy” while exploring multiple vibrant rooms.

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HAPPY PLACE was joyfully welcomed to Las Vegas with a grand opening event on Thursday, Aug. 22, which was attended by local celebrities including Adam London, David Goldrake, Hans Klok, Jabbawockeez, Marc Savard and Xavier Mortimer, as well as the casts of Australian Bee Gees, FANTASY, FRIENDS! the Musical Parody, Legends in Concert, Tenors of Rock, Thunder From Down Under, X Burlesque, X Country and X Rocks. With bites and beverages provided by House of Blues, smiles were contagious throughout the night.

HAPPY PLACE features 15,000 square feet of playful spaces and cheerful moments including a Super Bloom room filled with 40,000 handmade gold flowers for the perfect photogenic floral backdrop, an Upside Down room that defies gravity and bends reality, six-foot tall X’s and O’s covered in thousands of mirrored squares and surrounded by red lips, the World’s Largest Indoor Confetti Dome, a Giant Rainbow complete with a Pot of Happiness into which guests can jump, the signature Rubber Ducky Bathtub of Fun, the wildly popular Cookie Room, which is like stepping inside of your favorite chocolate chip cookie complete with the aroma of fresh baked cookies, the just-added life-size Unicorn named Cornelius, plus other photo-friendly fantasy rooms. Turning Sin City into “Grin City,” HAPPY PLACE’s popular backyard is Las Vegas-themed with its own take on the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign with five-foot HAPPY letters and a 10-foot tall slot machine where guests can slide into a jackpot of coins.

Happy Place Las Vegas
Happy Place Las Vegas
Photo Credit: Lexi Colvin

HAPPY PLACE at Mandalay Bay also features its Lemonade Stand, where net proceeds benefit a different local non-profit each month, starting in September, with the Tyler Robinson Foundation. TRF is the nonprofit organization of the GRAMMY Award-winning band Imagine Dragons and is dedicated to supporting children battling childhood cancer. Additional local non-profit partners for future months will be announced soon.

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With the perfect background to countless once-in-a-lifetime moments, HAPPY PLACE offers an extraordinary whimsical experience for groups of all sizes and ages, from birthday parties to date night to bachelorette parties. The pop-up has been the site of more than a dozen marriage proposals and prom-posals plus hundreds of first dates and private parties.

Happy Place Las Vegas
Happy Place Las Vegas
Photo Credit: Lexi Colvin

General admission tickets start at $30 plus additional fees at HappyPlace.me/tickets. Family or Group Four Packs also will be available at select sessions. Based on sold-out runs in previous cities, HAPPY PLACE advises guests to book in advance. The exhibit is available for private bookings.

HAPPY PLACE FACTS

Las Vegas Address:
● The Shoppes at Mandalay Bay, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89119

Las Vegas Hours of Operation
● Monday through Sunday: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

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Minus5 Ice Bar At Mandalay Bay Makeover To Debut In 2016

Minus5 Ice Bar
Minus5 Ice Bar

Minus5 Ice Bar at Mandalay Bay is one of the few bars that people are surprised I’ve never been to. I like the cold, I like vodka and they have both. It should be something I like, but I’m too lazy to deal with the cold temperatures.

Anyway, Minus5 Ice Bar will unveil a new look next year. Maybe it will be time for me to suit up and check it out. Here are details on the changes from the press release:

Minus5 Ice Bar, the company that launched America’s first ice bar, is gearing up for the new year with a complete makeover of its flagship location inside The Shoppes at Mandalay Place. Slated to be unveiled early 2016, Las Vegas’ original ice bar will offer guests a newly renovated venue with 100% new material and a frosty, winter wonderland that is double its original size.

The revamped location will feature more than 120 tons of fresh 100% pure Canadian ice and a 1,300 square-foot ice bar, making this location the largest permanent ice bar in the world. The Minus5 team of award-winning ice carvers are busy at work creating an all-new space, giving guests a new reason to visit one of the coolest bars in Sin City. Their museum-quality carvings will amaze visitors with an eclectic mix of replica-inspired sculptures such as the Las Vegas Skyline, the Iron Throne from HBO’s Game of Thrones, and much more.

“Locals and tourists alike have been huge supporters of Minus5 since we first opened our doors seven years ago and we cannot wait to showcase our brand-new space, filled with truly spectacular sculptures,” said Noel Bowman, president of Minus5 Management. “We’ve almost doubled the size of our space due to its popularity and high demand for private events.”

The warm space adjacent to Minus5 Ice Bar, known as the Ice Lounge, will also offer a new look and experience in a larger space. The newly expanded 3,000 square-foot lounge will feature seating for up to 500 guests on a flow, including a 20-seat bar and two private rooms that can accommodate up to 80 guests each, making it a great destination for private events.

“Minus5 is a totally unique location for those looking for a memorable Vegas experience with a small or large group of friends, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and corporate outings,” Bowman continued. “It truly is the coolest experience in Las Vegas.”

Photo: gurutotheoutdoors.com

New Name For Monte Carlo, Excalibur Expansion, Crystals For Sale, REIT and More From MGM Resorts Earnings Call

Jim Murren, CEO MGM Resorts
Jim Murren

Earlier today I listened to the MGM Resorts quarterly earnings call. The company has so much going on that they’re easily the most fascinating of the Vegas casino companies to follow.

You can read press releases and listen to the MGM quarterly earnings call here for specifics. Below are my notes with lots of information.

  • Jim Murren said MGM would like to participate in DFS in the future. They’re waiting for clarity in the area. This was last question asked if you’d like specifics.
  • Excalibur is underperforming and Jim Murren discussed idea of mid-scale retail expansion on the Vegas Strip to draw people into property.
  • Murren restated that Monte Carlo will have a new name next year. Outlook is very optimistic for the property.
  • Small note given to the fact that customer booking windows are growing
  • Crystals still on the market by MGM Resorts. There’s plenty of interest. They’re sorting through investors. Murren says it’s worth over $1 billion.
  • Mandalay Bay now has the 5th largest convention center in the US after recent expansion. Details on the expansion here.
  • 2016 should be best year ever for conventions at MGM Resorts. Even with Mandalay Bay expansion they still don’t expect to have enough capacity.
  • Press release on MGM REIT
  • MGM Resorts keeping 2 most profitable properties in Las Vegas out of the REIT (Bellagio & MGM Grand).
  • MGM REIT will be called MGM Growth Properties and be a separate stock offering planned for Q1 2016.
  • MGM Arena not part of REIT because it’s a partnership with AEG. REIT doesn’t include any partnerships like City Center.
  • Non-luxury MGM Resorts properties growing faster than luxury. For example REVPAR for non-luxury up 14%, lux up 6%
  • Aria hotel EBITA up 23% Year over Year. Vdara 0ver 40% EBITA increase.
  • MGM Detroit EBITA only ranks behind Bellagio, MGM Grand & Mandalay Bay. Better than The Mirage, New York New York, etc.
  • MGM hotel rooms had a 96% occupancy rate last quarter. Up 1% from same period last year.
  • Average Daily Room rate for MGM hotels was $141 last quarter. That’s up $10 (8%) from same time last year.
  • Circus Circus is interesting opportunity for MGM seemingly because it’s 100 acres of land on the Vegas Strip.

Mandalay Bay Sports Book On Deck For Renovations

Mandalay Bay Sports Book
Mandalay Bay Sports Book

Hidden deep inside an awesome #LongRead article called “Evolution of The Sportsbook” on Covers last week was a nugget about which MGM Resorts hotel will renovate their sports book next.

Technically it won’t be next since Monte Carlo is closing and moving their sports book but it looks like Mandalay Bay is on deck for some well deserved changes.

Rood said Mandalay Bay will hopefully get that treatment next spring or summer, with a completion date ahead of the 2016 football season.

This isn’t a proclamation that Mandalay Bay will definitely have their sports book updated but it does fit into a timeline I heard about last year. This would make sense since for MGM Resorts as they’ve updated almost every facet of Mandalay Bay in the past few years (See Delano here, Mandalay Bay here).

A Mandalay Bay renovation would also make sense since MGM Resorts has renovated their other larger sports books at The Mirage, Bellagio, Aria and (soon) Monte Carlo, in the past few years.

The Mandalay Bay sports book space is huge and could be great but is very very dated. The TV screens and seating may be the same from when the property opened in 1999.

The Mandalay Bay sports book ushered in a whole new VIP level of sports book experience years ago. They were one of the first sports books, if not the first, in Vegas to offer bottle service (see Vegas Chatter article). You now see this type of VIP service available at many different sports books around Vegas.

Photo: ATI-AV

Random Vegas Info From MGM Resorts

Random Vegas Info from MGM Resorts
Random Vegas Info from MGM Resorts

I’m easily amused. I find random information like the infographic above and the notes below fun and relatively useful. Thanks to this blog post you can now amaze your friends with useless Vegas knowledge from MGM Resorts like:

“Hey, did you know that Nine Fine Irishmen at New York-New York served 100,000 pints of Guinness?”

  • 7,982,550 pillows fluffed at MGM Grand
  • 3.2 million people who visited The Adventuredome at Circus Circus
  • 1 million Hershey’s Kisses distributed across Las Vegas to celebrate the opening of Hershey’s Chocolate World at New York-New York 
  • 729,753 pizza slices served at Shawn McClain’s FIVE50 Pizza Bar at ARIA
  • 267,436 toilet paper rolls used by the Blue Man Group at Monte Carlo
  • 100,000 pints of Guinness gulped at New York-New York’s Nine Fine Irishmen
  • 96,719 pounds of crab legs cracked at The Buffet at ARIA
  • 52,640 massages and facials enjoyed at Spa Bellagio
  • 46,363 margaritas sipped at Hecho en Vegas at MGM Grand
  • 34,580 costume changes by the Jabbawockeez at Luxor
  • 11,336 shows performed by The Fountains of Bellagio
  • 8,464 ice cream flavor combinations offered at BLVD Creamery since its May 2014 opening at Monte Carlo
  • 5,704 corks collected at Rock ‘n Roll Wine Amplified Festival at MGM Resorts Village
  • 5,472 roses distributed by Boyz II Men during “I’ll Make Love to You” at The Mirage
  • $5,000 – The most expensive dish purchased; 26 Fleurburgers sold at Fleur in Mandalay Bay
  • 1,117 ice buckets in the shape of FDR’s hat box, in the suites at Delano Las Vegas
  • 520 victories at Excalibur’s Tournament of Kings
  • 360 pounds of caviar spooned at The Buffet Bellagio
  • 3 new white lion cubs at Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage

 

Top Dollar: My Favorite Slot Machine

Top Dollar Slot Machine Bonus
Top Dollar Bonus

Over the years I’ve written about the original Top Dollar reel slot machines a lot. They’re by far my favorite slot machine and probably the game that got me into playing slot machines. Most 3 coin reel slot slot machines are boring but the loud and obnoxious bonus round totally fits what I like in a slot machine. Check it out.

If you search Top Dollar slot wins on YouTube you’ll notice that many of the people playing Top Dollar are loud and kind of obnoxious – just like the game. And like the Top Dollar slot machines everyone is having fun. When I get a bonus (see photo above) I’ll usually throw my hands in the air and dance a little.

When I was at Flamingo a few weeks ago I played this quarter game to start off my day of gambling. I like to ease into a day of gambling with a lower limits machine even though I prefer the $1 or $5 version of this game. I’m usually just not ready for human interaction and don’t like to risk much the first thing in the morning or afternoon.

These Top Dollar reel slot machines are slowly disappearing from casinos. New casinos opening don’t want the older machines and older casinos don’t want to seem old. There are new versions of Top Dollar but they aren’t as fun.

You won’t find this Top Dollar slot machine in the regular casino at Cosmopolitan or Downtown Grand and probably won’t find it when SLS Las Vegas opens. You may find Top Dollar in some of their high limits rooms though. You’ll also be able to find Top Dollar in larger casinos with sections of older machines like Flamingo or Mandalay Bay. Get em while you can!

Pat Riley Loves Blackjack!

That's Pat Riley Playing Blackjack
That’s Pat Riley Playing Blackjack

I enjoy keeping track of famous people gambling. Pat Riley was in Las Vegas this week to meet with LeBron James in an effort to keep LBJ playing for the Miami Heat.

What’s a fella to do while killing time in Las Vegas? Play a little blackjack!

Pat Riley was at Mandalay Bay playing blackjack out in the open with the common folk. From what I can tell it looks like he was playing a $15 or $25 table with cards dealt from a continuous shuffle machine (CSM). This feels like the ultimate “I gotta kill time” blackjack game.

Sources report that there’s no information is Pat Riley won money or if LeBron James is staying in Miami…yet.

Photo: Busted Coverage via the twitter

Anchorman National Scotch Day Celebration At Foundation Room

View from Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas
View from Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay

I get event listings for various venues around Vegas every day. Most of them are things you can find at any Las Vegas website so I disregard them. However the Anchorman National Scotch Day Celebration at the Foundation Room sounds like fun.

  1. Drinking scotch is new to me and excites me.
  2. The view (above) from Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay is one of the best in Vegas.
  3. Anchorman is fun.

More than anything else this event is just a fun excuse to visit the Foundation Room. Here are the details:

Continue reading “Anchorman National Scotch Day Celebration At Foundation Room”

The Case Grows To Stay Away From The Middle Of The Vegas Strip

Grand Bazaar Shops Bally's Las Vegas
Grand Bazaar Shops

I love Vegas but I don’t love masses of humanity in my way. I’m a New Yorker and always in a rush even when I don’t have somewhere to be. The Vegas Strip is already too crowded with slow walkers and tourists just stopping for no reason. Blech.

As details about the Grand Bazaar Shops in front of Bally’s continue to emerge my desire NOT to be near that part of the strip grows too. You may know that from a blog post from last year about the Grand Bazaar Shops.

Vegas Chatter dug up some of the fancy flea market vendors that will be at the Grand Bazaar Shops and they’re exactly what you might expect from a flea market – jewelry, handbags, sunglasses and other stuff you’d find at a rest stop in New Jersey.

Check out these hideous renderings of the Grand Bazaar Shop.

On a side note, who let Caesars artists into a Bellagio to sketch that point of view?

While people stop on the, already crowded, Vegas Strip to look and decide whether or not to check out the “stores” they’ll just be in standing in the middle of the sidewalk clogging traffic. At least the Park area in between Monte Carlo and New York-New York and The Linq are designed to draw people away from the Vegas Stip.

The sidewalks can’t be widened because there’s already too much car traffic on the Vegas Strip so the human traffic will only get worse. The only way to avoid traffic in the middle of the strip is to avoid it.

Thankfully Delano Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay will complete renovations soon. Some of the hotel rooms at Delano Las Vegas are already finished. We should expect the public spaces to be completed on time. SLS Las Vegas is working 24/7 to ensure that they will be opening at the end of summer. Both of these hotels on opposite ends of the Vegas Strip give a good excuse for someone like me to avoid the middle of the crush of people in the middle.

I understand that not everyone is like me. There are people who actually like to do things other than eat, drink and gamble when they’re in Vegas. GASP! I understand the Vegas Strip’s need to evolve but I’m happy that there will still be new hotels and casinos for people like me to enjoy.

Learn more about the Grand Bazaar Shops here.

Get Ready For Delano Las Vegas At Mandalay Bay

Delano Las Vegas Lobby
Delano Las Vegas

In case you’re not familiar with the Delano it’s a luxury boutique hotel in South Beach and it’s now another new hotel coming the Vegas Strip. Delano Las Vegas is replacing The Hotel at Mandalay Bay. Judging by the press release below and the renderings in the video it looks as if The Delano will be a nice place to relax and hide from the kids that overtake Mandalay Bay.

As I was saying at dinner last night I end up at Mandalay Bay a lot because they hold a lot of conferences which friends often attend. I rarely look forward to going there but if I have access to the Delano common spaces that might change. Check out the video and details below.

Press release:

Fusing the chic style of the iconic South Beach brand with the vibrant energy of the Las Vegas Strip, Delano Las Vegas will come to life at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino later this year and is now accepting room reservations for stays beginning Sept. 1 via delanolasvegas.com or 877-632-5400.

View high-resolution photos and video here: http://prn.to/1m9v4eD

Anchored by intimate yet energetic public spaces and sophisticated accommodations, the non-smoking, all-suite boutique hotel will appeal to the most discerning travelers from around the globe. At Delano Las Vegas, guests will discover a blend of personalized service and effortless luxury coupled with unexpected elements of individuality and high-concept design.

“Delano guests will be wowed by the introduction of this very special destination,” said Matthew Chilton, general manager of Delano Las Vegas. “Dynamic public spaces will serve as social hubs where guests will want to linger and socialize while the clean design of the suites will create a quiet escape.”

Blending eclectic details to create an atmosphere that is playful and filled with energy, the stylish public spaces will be highlighted by a sleek new lobby featuring three distinct social spaces – a unique coffee bar, sophisticated lounge and café concept. Upstairs and away from the action, Delano’s 1,100 guest suites will provide a luxurious retreat.

Public Spaces

·        A Grand Arrival. As guests approach Delano Las Vegas’ expansive stone entry and wood-slatted gate, they will encounter an extraordinary divided boulder from the Nevada desert, certain to become a signature element of the hotel. Guests will venture down a striking walkway featuring colors and textures inspired by the layered landscape of the Mojave Desert, inviting them to drift further into Delano Las Vegas’ alluring escape.

·        The Journey Begins. Entering through an oversized etched wooden doorway, guests will see an inviting pathway of stone surrounded by towering columns enveloped in Delano’s iconic white sheers and statement mirrors. At the end of the corridor, a stunning piece of artwork comprised of small rocks suspended from the ceiling with a sculpted opening will reveal a glimpse of what lies beyond. A sleek black reception desk highlighted by a golden patchwork art piece overhead will welcome guests.

·        Sunrise to Sunset. Situated just off the main lobby, 3940 Coffee + Tea will provide guests with a space to meet and mingle from day to night. The bar will serve gourmet coffee and tea from Grand Avenue Specialty Coffee, a company dedicated to providing a superior coffee and artisanal tea experience. Fresh squeezed juices and breakfast pastries such as warm scones, savory and sweet crepes, and cronuts with house-made jams will be served throughout the morning. Each afternoon, a tea cart will offer the finest selection of loose-leaf tea served alongside traditional accompaniments like petite pastries and finger sandwiches.

In the evening, guests at 3940 will enjoy craft cocktails, wine and beer complemented by signature small plates featuring organic, sustainable and locally sourced ingredients. The space will feature mid-century modern furniture, plush sofas, communal seating and an inviting marble fireplace. Inspired by the shaded area of a sun-drenched desert, the ceiling will boast a unique lighting feature that illuminates the space with a patterned glow.

·        Urban Kitchen, Classic Comforts. Located just steps from the Delano lobby, a new culinary destination will blend natural design elements with industrial materials to exude a warm, comfortable simplicity that quietly entices guests to savor each bite and treasure every encounter. Creating an essence of “historic farmhouse meets urban kitchen,” this new outpost, whose name will be shared in the coming months, will serve breakfast and lunch with an elegant combination of classics, comfort food and seasonal specialties centered around fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

·        Cocktails and Conversation. An eclectic lounge with a sophisticated vibe, Franklin will feature nightly entertainment including special live performances and sounds from up-and-coming DJs in an intimate environment perfect for socializing. Craft cocktails will complement small plates such as flatbreads, hand-selected cheese and charcuterie. The lounge will incorporate gold lighting accents, deep shades of blue and bronze hues with navy sheers that drape from the ceiling and sparkle with glistening lights to create the illusion of fireflies in the evening sky.

Top Floor Dining & Lounge by Alain Ducasse

·        View From Above. Situated on the 64th floor of Delano Las Vegas and boasting extraordinary views of the Las Vegas Strip, Rivea will serve French and Italian cuisine from internationally celebrated chef Alain Ducasse. Inspired by the many years Ducasse spent visiting the delectable food markets of Italy and Provence, Rivea will feature the flavors and colors of the Riviera in a smart, vibrant and casual setting. The lounge adjacent to Rivea, with its stunning panoramic views of the city visible from intimate indoor nooks and an expansive outdoor patio, also will take on a new personality. Taking over the space that is currently miX, Rivea and the new lounge are expected to open winter 2014-2015.\

Guest Suites

·        A Moment to Savor. Paying homage to Delano Las Vegas’ surroundings, artwork throughout the guestroom corridors will depict classic desert roadside scenes, while deep blue and gray tones will create a hushed and mysterious aura. In contrast, the bright and airy atmosphere of the suites will make the entrance a moment for guests to savor.

·        Thoughtful Luxury. Featuring a clean color palette of whites and neutrals, the suites will incorporate Delano’s iconic window sheers, crisp white linens and oversized tufted headboards, updated with playful gold accents. Anchored by a gray geometric print carpet, each room will showcase an array of rich textures and fabrics. Drawing inspiration from South Beach, photography of seductive underwater scenes will adorn the walls while floor-to-ceiling windows will provide sweeping views of the Las Vegas skyline.

·        Modern Touches. Boasting one of the highest standard room square footages of any hotel in the city (725 square feet), each one-bedroom suite will feature a private bedroom with contemporary light-wood armoire, bold lighting fixtures and a spacious spa-style bath. With a 46” flat-screen TV, wet bar, desk and its own powder room, the adjoining living room will offer a plush retreat that doubles as an entertaining area or impromptu meeting space.

Pool and Spa

·        Under The Sun. Delano Las Vegas will feature its own private pool just steps from the sand and surf of Mandalay Bay Beach and wave pool. Embracing the laid-back South Beach lifestyle, Delano Beach Club will offer guests an exclusive locale to relax in the sun and is scheduled to open in 2015.

·        A Rejuvenating Escape. With the opening of Delano Las Vegas, BATHHOUSE Spa will introduce several signature services including the Double the Pleasure Massage, performed in synchronicity by two massage therapists. BATHHOUSE also will debut a new collection of Global Journeys that will guide guests through a series of exquisite treatments reflecting traditional rituals from regions around the world including India, Asia, Europe and a “Taste From the Islands.”

Delano Las Vegas is a partnership between MGM Resorts International and Morgans Hotel Group and will come to life in place of THEhotel at Mandalay Bay. Design teams from both companies collaborated to create the vision for all venues and suites. The teams were led by Joyen Vakil, senior vice president of design and development for MGM Resorts International and Verena Haller, senior vice president of design for Morgans Hotel Group.

The transformation of Delano Las Vegas began earlier this month with the opening scheduled for September 2014. The debut of the boutique hotel will mark the culmination of Mandalay Bay’s property-wide evolution, which includes collaborations with brands such as Cirque du Soleil, The Light Group and Four Seasons in addition to Morgans Hotel Group.

For additional information and high-resolution images of Delano Las Vegas, please visit the Mandalay Bay digital newsroom or follow on Facebook and Twitter.