This Resorts World Las Vegas Rendering Video Looks Sweet

Resorts World Las Vegas Rendering
Resorts World Las Vegas

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Resorts World Las Vegas. Renderings of the new hotel coming to the Vegas Strip have been out for a while. We already know what Resorts World Las Vegas is planning but this EB5 rendering video gives a little more insight as to what the property should look like when it’s finished.

If you’re impatient just skip to the 1 minute mark so you can get to the property highlights. Here are some quick hit notes:

  • The Asian theme will be specifically Chinese.
  • The roof deck bar looks awesome.
  • There will be two shopping areas. The Great Wall Passage Way (shopping) looks cooler than most mall areas in a casino.
  • 4,200 seat theater will focus Chinese type events like Dance and Martial Arts.
  • Gardens look like Wynn with more water features.
  • What’s up with that balloon elevator thing on the north side of the hotel?
  • The porte cochere looks as if it will be closer to I-15 than the Vegas Strip.

PS: You can see more Resorts World Las Vegas rendering photos at the bottom of this post.

A Trip To The Downtown Container Park

Praying Mantis At Downtown Container Park
Praying Mantis At Downtown Container Park

It’s rare that I agree with my first impression days after the fact but this is how I see the Downtown Container Park. Downtown Container Park just opened in Downtown Vegas on Fremont Street a block past El Cortez.

Downtown Container Park is essential an outdoor mall where the stores are all in storage containers. The mall surrounds a giant treehouse park area. The property has free wifi and a nice little grassy area with a stage for musicians to perform.

I don’t love Downtown Container Park and I don’t hate it. It’s a mall. It’s not a traditional mall but it has all the contents that you’d find in a traditional mall. It’s a place for people to shop and eat or for parents to bring their kids to play during the day. At night the restaurants will cater to the anyone who would like to eat and drink outside.

Let’s take a little tour and discuss specific parts of the Downtown Container Park.

3 Levels

The containers are stacked 2 and 3 levels high. The containers aren’t very big which could make this a tight squeeze if it gets busy. The height makes for some pretty cool views if nothing else. Thankfully all of the food and drink are located on the ground level.

Downtown Container Park Las Vegas

Metal Chairs and Metal Tables

As Scott from Vital Vegas likes to say “What could go wrong?”

The combination of metal tables, metal chairs and limited shade in the park seem like a horrible mix for summer in Las Vegas. Since the only seating for Downtown Container Park is outside this could pose a major problem.

Maybe this is why they rushed to open an outdoor park/mall in time for winter.

Downtown Container Park Las Vegas

Treehouse

The treehouse slide and park is set in the center of all the containers at Downtown Container Park. This area looks like a really cool place for kids to play. It also offers some of the only shade in the Downtown Container Park. Kids 1 – Adults 0.

Downtown Container Park Las Vegas

Dat Slide

Another view of the treehouse slide at Downtown Container Park. Weeeeeeeeee!

Downtown Container Park Las Vegas

Water Fountain

I can’t remember the last time I saw a water fountain that wasn’t from the 1920’s. This is a nice addition to the park area although the metal may become a health hazard in the summer.

Downtown Container Park Las Vegas

Stage

The stage area at Downtown Container Park looks pretty cool. It should fit legit bands at night and kids stuff during the day. This could be a great outlet for Downtown Project to preview bands for at no charge as a way to promote Life Is Beautiful Fest 2014.

Note that the grass is real. That’s a big deal for the Vegas locals.

Downtown Container Park Las Vegas

Big Ern’s

Big Erns BBQ was one of the few outlets to open before the Downtown Container Park was officially open. Early word is that the BBQ is legit. They also serve New Belgium beer. This sounds like a perfect combination. I hope to try this out before the winter comes to town. (UPDATE: I went here yesterday and wasn’t impressed. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good.)

Downtown Container Park Las Vegas

Gang Signs

The Llama is the unofficial mascot of Downtown Project. If I was cynical I’d say that this was placed near the front of the Downtown Container Park to keep non-DTP people out. But that’s if I was a cynic and believed that DTP was really a cult. I mean, seriously.

Downtown Container Park Las Vegas

Conclusion

Downtown Container Park is a nifty little space that essentially takes up one city block. I think that Downtown Container Park could be a cool place to grab lunch and work a little (since they don’t open until 11am), bring the family for play time and shopping or to grab a few drinks at night while watching a band on the big stage. It’s another thing to check out when you’re visiting Downtown Vegas.

Downtown Project has been doing a lot of development for a local community that they’re helping cultivate. It’s going to take some time to see if this works out as they intend. I’m not sure that I entirely understand the vision but that’s fine. I’ll enjoy the new life they’re breathing into Downtown Vegas.

Will other people? Time will tell.

Cover Photo: Vegas.com

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 www.grandbazaarshops.com 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 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

The Linq Announces Exciting Tenants

Caesars Entertainment announced some more tenants for The Linq and it’s as exciting as you’d imagine.

…the Yard House restaurant aims to slake the thirsts of beer fans, while the Asian-themed F.A.M.E.— for food, art, music and entertainment — market will offer sushi, dim sum, noodle bowls and robata grill foods to patrons in lounge seating and street art from urban Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore and Seoul.

Other tenants include Sprinkles, a Los Angeles-based cupcake and ice cream shop; Flower and Barley, a brick oven pizzeria; Koto, an oddities and gifts store with outlets in Miami and Aspen, Colo.; and Off the Strip, a bistro and bar.

Caesars customers tend to be your average consumer. People from the coasts might say that Caesars markets to middle America. These are the blandest of the bland consumers. Your average mall shopper.

This person is the polar opposite of who The Cosmopolitan is trying to reach. Caesars customers are not young, cool or looking for anything new and interesting. I like Yard House, but this is a perfect example of what Caesars customers want. They play classic rock and serve beer. What says middle America more than that?

It’s cool, we’re not all the same and that’s cool.

Caesars has filled 12 of 18 spots in The Linq shopping and eating area with a year or so to go before opening. This seems very similar to the rate MGM acquired tenants for Crystals at City Center. That’s not bad.

I’m not going to predict success or failure until The Linq is open (if it opens), but the initial tenants show me that Caesars knows who their customer is.

There are still 6 spots left at The Linq and I’m hoping for Speaker City to be one of them.

The Linq Should Be Open By December 2013 And Nobody Cares

I haven’t seen a solid opening date for The Linq until earlier this week when Vegas Chatter revealed this image they received from an email.

The Linq December

 

This just means that we can expect construction on the Las Vegas Strip to continue for most of next year. If the Bally’s Grand Bazaar actually breaks ground this quarter (don’t hold your breath) we can expect even more traffic on the strip. That’s awesome.

The strange thing about The Linq is that it’s this major strip project but nobody seems to know what it is or care. Comments on Vegas Chatter for articles on The Linq are empty unless they’re talking about the ferris wheel. Maybe a handful of Vegas travelers I know on the east coast have a clue about this until they run into traffic on the strip.

Every time I mention The Linq to random people I have to explain that it’s the reason that there’s so much traffic on the strip. Or it’s the thing where O’Sheas used to be. After they say “O’Sheas is gone?” nobody even asks what The Linq will be.

I’m fascinated by The Linq and initially thought that The Linq is a perfect match for the typical Caesars customer. I still think that’s the case, but find it interesting that few people outside of Vegas locals, media and nerds have a clue about something that is, potentially, changing the Vegas Strip so drastically.

Top 10 Non-Gambling Things to do in Vegas

I do a few things when I’m in Las Vegas vacationing.  I eat, I drink, I gamble.  I repeat those a few times throughout the day and that’s how I roll.  I’m pretty simple.  You can switch coffee for vodka as AM turns to PM.  I saw a list of the “Top 10 non-gambling activities to do in Vegas” and since I do things differently I figured I’d pass on the list to people that may roll differently than I do.

By the way, even though I live in Vegas now I still take some vacations in Vegas because it’s still fun.

10. Shoot a machine gun
9. The rides at the Stratosphere
8. The New York-New York Hotel & Casino roller coaster
7. Shop till you drop
6. Visit the Pawn Stars store
5. Hit the pools
4. Neon Museum Boneyard
3. Wynn Buffet
2. Signature Vegas attractions
1. Wander up and down the Strip at night with a large alcoholic beverage

The one activity I’ve done on this list is shop till I dropped. I like to treat myself to some things every now and again and there is plenty of shopping in Vegas for a guy or a girl to do.  Even now I hit the strip to explore the shops a little.  After all, the Apple stores are located on the strip.

Sometime soon I will check the Neon Museum, which looks cool and even though I’m not very nostalgic or into much touristy stuff it seems like fun.  There are a lot of NEVER on this list for me and I’m surprised that there is no “Take a day to visit downtown” on this list.  That’s always a top recommendation I have as it was something I almost always did on my trips to Vegas.  You can check the whole list here.

Thoughts On Cosmopolitan

I wanted to share some thoughts now that Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has been opened for a couple weeks.  Let me say this, in general, as someone with a marketing background I usually try to avoid all of the grand opening hype.  Most people will report nothing but the good at that point.

I prefer to let other people break in a property for a few days before I grace it with my presence.  I did the same with CityCenter last year (which I need to look back at 1 year later).  I’ll have more thoughts moving forward, but I’ll break my thoughts on the Cosmo today down like this:

Tall, Skinny, Ugly on the outside but Pretty Inside

I’m not enamored by the way the building looks on the outside.  However, once I looked inside of the building I saw lots to like.  There are plenty of modern features and beautiful, shiny crystals and chromes.  The Cosmo is bright inside, but not in a bad way.  Think the opposite of Aria.

The furnishings are things I’d love in my house, but I can never seem to find affordable, comfortable modern furnishings.  I guess that’s what $4 billion can do.

The profile of the building(s) are very tall and very narrow.  Every time I’ve walked through the place looked and felt crowded.  There were a lot of people just looking around and not gambling or eating or shopping so I’ll look into this again in 6 months after the curious people are gone.

It would be great if Cosmo remains crowded but with people spending money.  She’s pretty today, but we’ll see what happens after a little wear and tear.

Casino and Sportsbook

As I mention above, the casino is narrow and feels crowded but upon further inspection those were just people looking.  Maybe the feeling of being crowded will lessen with time as people quit gawking and/or hit the tables.

Each visit I’ve seen the tables and machines have all been fairly quiet.  Maybe 1 player per table on average.  Tables are pretty good for a strip casino: blackjack minimums are as low as $10 with 3:2 payouts for blackjack on all except double deck games.  As per Vegas Tripping the video poker pay tables are slightly above other strip casinos.

The sportsbook is TINY.  I could never see myself hanging out watching games here.  It feels more like a lounge than a sportsbook.  Planet Hollywood has a tiny sportsbook, but at least they have Blondies and the PBR bars in the Miracle Mile shops for overflow.

They also have a stage in the sportsbook with free concerts, that’s pretty nice but it will definitely get in the way of the gamblers.  I’m stoked for the free shows, but I wonder how the two will work together.

I’ve walked by the sportsbook about 4 or 6 times and only noticed sports on the TV’s once.  I’m not sure that’s always the case, but that’s what I noticed.

Lastly, there is no poker room.  I’m pretty sure this will change in time.  There’s really no reason not to have one except for differentiation.

Restaurants & Shopping

The restaurants and shopping are on the second and third floors. There are a lot of restaurants that seem as if they’ll be good.  My first dining experience was great!

Some friends and I split a bunch of small plates & appetizers at Holsteins.  Everything was fantastic.  In fact, this was one of the best meals I’ve had in Vegas in a while!  The beer list was huge and the prices weren’t insane like most casino restaurants.  I cannot wait for a return trip.

On another trip I tried Comme Ca.  It was ok.  Not priced too bad for a casino, but there wasn’t anything amazing about my meal.  I’m looking forward to trying the others – specifically the pizza place, China Pablano and Scarpetta.

Continue reading “Thoughts On Cosmopolitan”

Travel Trend: Upright Rolling Luggage

Last week I noticed that a travel trend was upon us with upright rolling luggage.  I noticed that a few people were using them last year when I visited Las Vegas and a little more were using on a recent trip to Austin, TX.

Last week in Las Vegas it felt as though every fourth person had an upright rolling bag.  I guess it’s less strain than tilting and pulling.

I have a travel golf club bag from years ago and with this feature and I never thought it would catch on.  It looks as though it has.  My big suitcase is a couple trips from going away and I’ll probably pick up one of these bad boys.  Check the link below if you’re thinking of buying.

Check out ‘Calvin Klein Thompson 21″ Wheeled Upright’ by Calvin Klein