Westgate Las Vegas recently upgraded their players club. The new WOW Rewards is more of a traditional loyalty program than the slot club it used to be. The new tiered customer loyalty program will reward guests for playing their favorite slots, table games, and sports bets. The new loyalty club will also reward for retail purchases and dining at one of the many restaurants at Westgate Las Vegas.
This upgrade of the Westgate loyalty puts it on par with the most popular casino loyalty clubs in Las Vegas. As surprising as it sounds, there are still slot clubs that don’t reward guests for all money spent at their casinos. Kudos to Westgate for the improvement to their loyalty/players club. You can find out more information at westgatelasvegas.com.
Casino players and loyalty clubs are a great way to get the most out of a trip to Las Vegas. Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your favorite casino loyalty clubs.
Sign Up For Casino Loyalty Clubs
You can earn points for benefits and complimentary items by using the card whenever you spend money. However, the benefits may start before you even begin to spend money. Some casino loyalty clubs will offer discounts at their casinos or with businesses that they’re partners with just for signing up.
MGM Resorts’ M Life Rewards members can receive hotel room discounts at their properties right away. Members can even earn discounts at businesses outside of casinos with the M Life Rewards preferred partners. The next step sounds like common sense but is often forgotten.
Use The Loyalty Club Card
Obviously, the more you use the casino loyalty clubs the more perks you’ll receive. Each tier of a casino loyalty club comes with its own set of benefits. Sometimes the benefits are as simple as complimentary room upgrades or larger discounts at participating outlets. Caesars Entertainment’s top tiers offer one of the best benefits.
Diamond and Seven Stars Total Rewards members do not have to pay resort fees on hotel rooms. This is a legitimate saving with a value of $35-$39 per night. This is a unique benefit that only Caesars Entertainment guests receive. No other casino loyalty clubs offer complimentary resort fees.
Earning points in a casino is easier than ever. Just make sure to present your card when paying for meals, shopping or anytime you spend money. The person you pay should remind you to present your card but they might forget.
Of course, using the casino loyalty cards still, work when gambling. You should use the card every time you spend money…sometimes…
Don’t Always Use The Loyalty Club Card
Loyalty club offers from casino operators are based on how much you spend every day. Sometimes it may make sense not to use the loyalty club card every day. Offers are given to guests based on their average daily spend. You can easily alter your average by only spending a few dollars one day during a trip that you’ve previously spent more heavily.
For example, you might want to skip using the loyalty card if you’re leaving Las Vegas after a $100 breakfast (breakfast can add up for a family of four). If your average daily spend for the trip was $2,000, it might make sense not to use the card on that final day. On this 3 day trip, the lower spend could take your average spend from $2,000 (for two days) to $700 (for three days).
Since you’re just a number to the computers this could have a negative impact on the offers you receive from the casino. There are some gamblers who pay such close attention to this that they won’t even use their card when playing lower limits games since it will hurt their average.
You’ll want to use the card most of the time but sometimes it might not make sense. Keeping your average spend high will generate better offers to return to Las Vegas. Who doesn’t want better offers and complimentary gifts?
There was a burger boom in Las Vegas about five years ago. It seemed as if burger joints were the only kind of restaurants opening. It’s probably not a coincidence that the burger explosion came around the same time as high-end steakhouses were also booming in Las Vegas.
The burger restaurants offer a less expensive option for beef eaters. At the same time, the burger restaurants allow restaurant owners a chance to fancy up the burgers and charge more money. Hopping on a trend is nothing new in Las Vegas.
This is typical for Las Vegas, a city never afraid of moving to and from what’s popular around the world. The trend towards burger restaurants has slowed down. Fewer burger restaurants are opening and only the best from the boom survived the trend.
Today, there are plenty of good burgers in Las Vegas but there are few great burgers. Here are three great burgers you’ll find in Las Vegas. We’ll add a great value burger too because it’s a nice day to be outside in Las Vegas.
Not all burgers at Holsteins are created equally. After sampling various burgers when they first opened I finally found a great burger here. The Gold Standard is the only burger I eat at Holsteins. This dry aged beef sirloin burger with smoked bacon, aged goat cheddar cheese, baby arugula, & garlic-chive aioli (hold the tomato confit) is phenomenal.
Not only is it the best burger at Holsteins but it’s one of the best anywhere in Las Vegas. The combination of flavors is unique and delicious. At nearly $20 this is a pricey burger but it’s fantastic.
Downtown Las Vegas
I usually visit Pizza Rock for the fantastic Happy Hour deals. However, the best thing I’ve eaten at Pizza Rock that doesn’t have marinara sauce might the Burrata Burger. This burger is made with certified Angus Beef, Burrata Cheese, Crispy Bacon, Arugula and Balsamic Reduction (hold the caramelized onions). The burger comes with a side of their fantastic garlic fries. You might need a pack of gum if you have too many garlic fries. Seriously.
You’ll find cheaper burgers in downtown Las Vegas but it will be difficult to find a better burger.
You’ll find this steakhouse chain at the Town Square Mall (south of Mandalay Bay) and near Summerlin (15 minutes west of the Vegas Strip). Forget the steak and visit during happy hour where they have one of the best burgers in Las Vegas for less than $10. The Prime Burger has Wisconsin cheddar cheese, peppered bacon and comes with a side of double-cut shoestring potatoes.
In addition to a great steakhouse quality burger for less than $10, you’ll find beer and wine specials during their 5 pm – 7 pm Happy Hour (weekends included!)
Value Burger On The Vegas Strip
In & out (The Linq)
This isn’t the best burger in Las Vegas. However, In and Out Burger at The Linq (specifically) is a great value. A single burger at In & Out at The Linq is just over $3 (double double is just under $5). Shakes are less than $3. You won’t find a burger and shake meal of this quality for this anywhere else for the price.
Remember, In and Out Burger is a fast food chain. The price point compares to McDonald’s and Burger King. The prices do not compare to fast-casual burger restaurants Shake Shack or Five Guys. Their burgers cost about twice as much as In and Out Burger.
You’ll save about 20% on In and Out Burger is you venture off the Vegas Strip but that might not be as convenient.
The Vegas Strip is still the destination for most people visiting Las Vegas. However, there are more people looking at casino-hotels elsewhere to save a few bucks. The great news about is that the off-strip properties hear you and are upgrading their casinos and their hotels.
Recently a few off-strip Las Vegas casinos announced hotel room renovations and upgrades. Let’s take a look at some of the hotel room renovations you can expect to find all around Las Vegas today and tomorrow.
Downtown Las Vegas: El Cortez
The latest hotel to announce room renovations is the El Cortez. The iconic casino in downtown Las Vegas has already started renovating 73 of its Tower Rooms. The rooms will feature upgraded living space and bathroom. The new rooms will debut in late summer 2018. In addition to the hotel rooms, the hallways are also receiving a facelift.
The refreshed hotel rooms will offer a warm, modern design blended with a bit of whimsy while incorporating a splash of Spanish Colonial style. To this untrained eye, the renderings of the new hotel rooms have a modern vintage feel to them.
Highlights of the redesigned rooms include black and white floor tiles, traditional style rugs, carved wood details and modern accent furniture. The rich tones of fabric and the vintage Las Vegas inspired artwork to give the room a comfortable feel.
Guests will see a large monochromatic mural of the vintage Downtown Las Vegas skyline with a vivacious pop art graphic layered on top in the hallway. This is a very cool touch of art similar to what we’ve recently seen at the Plaza hotel and all over downtown Las Vegas.
Off-Strip: South Point
While this hotel-casino is technically on Las Vegas Boulevard, it’s not a part of the Vegas Strip. The South Point recently announced that they will be renovating and upgrading all 2,049 rooms and 84 suites in the three hotel towers over the next few years.
The first phase of the renovations will begin in April. The hotel already has 100 renovated rooms on sale but you won’t be able to stay in a new room until May. More rooms will be available as the year continues with completion of this 630 room phase slated for September. The three-year renovation at South Point will refurbish one hotel tower in each of the next three years and should be complete by September 2020.
The guest rooms will offer a refreshed look with new Bernhardt furniture. New room features include beds, dressers, nightstands, chairs, sitting tables, and lounge chairs with an ottoman. “We live in a city that is continuously evolving and we are always looking for opportunities to improve our guests’ experiences to set us apart from other properties,” said Ryan Growney, General Manager of South Point.
Available: Summer 2018 – 2020
Near Strip: Ellis Island
We’ve already highlighted the Ellis Island hotel renovation but this kind value and proximity to the Vegas Strip bears repeating.
“Every hotel room was renovated and features all-new tile, carpets, bathrooms, and furnishings. Thankfully, the rooms were designed with today’s traveler in mind. Each room has USB chargers on bedside tables, mini refrigerators, and safes included free of charge. In today’s Las Vegas you might have to pay extra for the refrigerator and/or safe for your room.
Those refrigerators should come in handy since Ellis Island is famous for their dining specials. You can order way too much food for way less than $20 and save the leftovers or a late night snack. So, you have an affordable meal that doubles as a “free” snack. Deals are deals and saving $5 on a late night slice of pizza is a good deal.”
The transformation of Monte Carlo to Park MGM is the major construction that we’ll continue to see on the Vegas Strip throughout the year. On their most recent earnings call MGM Resorts International CEO, Jim Murren, said the entire renovation wouldn’t be completed until the fourth quarter of 2018. That means the property will be under construction until October, November or December.
MGM Resorts says that they consider 2018 a “ramp up” of activity for Park MGM. This long renovation process is already showing some new parts. There are new restaurants, bars, and hotel rooms open and available at Monte Carlo/Park MGM. The new swimming pool complex will be open on March 5.
MGM Resorts expects NoMad, the luxury hotel inside of Park MGM, to be a work in progress until the end of the year. Murren went on to say that there would be construction at the Vegas Strip entrance until late 2018. The company doesn’t expect Eataly Las Vegas to open until “late 2018.”
Construction All Around Las Vegas
Las Vegas seems as though it’s beginning a construction boom. There are construction projects already started or about to get started all over town right now. Let’s take a look at some of the hotels and entertainment venues that will begin or are already under construction.
The Drew, formerly Fontainebleau, will begin construction to finish the partially build casino-resort on the north end of the Vegas Strip later this year. They expect to be open by late 2020.
Wynn Resorts has already started preparing the foundation for the Paradise Park expansion. You can already see work underway on the land that was once home to the golf course. They have also said that construction should begin on a new hotel across the street next to Fashion Show Mall this year as well.
Genting says that Resorts World will finally begin construction this year next to that new Wynn tower. Of course, they broke ground on construction in 2015 so put this on ice until you see work actually taking place.
Back across the street on the Vegas Strip, we should see the Las Vegas Convention Center expansion begin this year as well. You can read more about the two phases of the expansion project here.
Construction on a new football stadium is already underway. The stadium is on the opposite side of I-15 from Mandalay Bay. This will be the future home of the Oakland Raiders and will open in time for kickoff of the 2020 NFL season.
Las Vegas Sands first announced that they would be building a performance arena behind The Venetian and The Palazzo a couple of years ago. Construction on the MSG Sphere should begin this summer. You can read more about the venue here. It sounds fantastic for audiophiles.
The Vegas Strip isn’t the only part of Las Vegas that has plans. The destruction of Las Vegas Club in downtown Las Vegas is complete. Construction on an unnamed casino-resort is expected to begin this summer.
Some construction is less exciting than other. While MGM Resorts is already opening some of their convention center expansions and upgrades Caesars Entertainment is just getting started. Construction on a meeting and convention area behind Harrah’s, The Linq, and Flamingo is set to begin later this year.
18 Fremont (Las Vegas Club)
Harrah’s/Linq/Flamingo Convention – Caesars Forum
MGM Grand Convention
Sands/MSG Concert Hall
Wynn Paradise Park
Last summer I spent a week at Planet Hollywood on the Vegas Strip. This trip was the first time I noticed Lightning Link slot machines. There was a small bank of four machines near Earl of Sandwich. Almost every seat was occupied whenever I walked by the game. I finally found an open game and didn’t understand why the game was so popular. The unbranded themes aren’t spectacular like other slot machines.
I later realized that Lightning Link is a unique slot game. They offer player-selectable multi-denominations so you can play limits from a penny to multiple dollars per line. The real hook for these games seems to be the multi-format jackpot offerings that combine both link and small area progressive jackpots. The patented new jackpot mechanic offers unique and innovative gameplay and jackpot trigger methodology.
Another unique thing with Lightning Link is that this isn’t just a single slot machine theme. Lightning Link has a mix of games that appeal to a wide range of players. After that vacation, I noticed that the bank of eight Lightning Link slot machines at Red Rock was always crowded.
I decided to play again. I got a large bonus and understood why people liked the game. The Bonus Rounds that tie the games together is unique. The different Lightning Link games aren’t what I look for in a slot machine but at least I understand why people like the game. The Bonus Rounds can be very lucrative and that’s always fun.
Lightning Link Las Vegas Takeover
These slot machines always seem to be busy in every casino in Las Vegas. Lightning Link slot machines are the most popular premium slot machines in casinos today according to the most recent Eilers-Fantini Quarterly US Slot Survey. It’s probably not a coincidence that the related Dragon Link slot machines are third in the survey. Like I said, the bonuses are what make these games popular.
In early 2018 Rampart Casino expanded their slot floor and added 31 Lightning Link slot machines. At the time, this was the casino with the most Lightning Link slot machines in Las Vegas. “This is one of the most buzzed about games I’ve seen in my 28-year gaming history,” said Rampart Casino’s Director of Slots Jim Mahnesmith. He continued, “The trend’s growing not just in Las Vegas, or even the States, but around the world.”
The crown for most Lightning Link slot machines in one casino ended a few weeks later when Silverton Casino opened the first Lightning Link Lounge. The new lounge is home to 36 Lightning Link and Dragon Link slot machines.
“Our players have loved Lightning Link from the minute the first game arrived on property. Ever since, we have had more and more demand for the game, and it grew to the point where it made sense to dedicate a space to this incredibly electrifying game,” said Bryan Binek, Silverton’s Executive Director of Gaming and Operations.
“Players everywhere love Lightning Link. A Lightning Link Lounge is particularly fun because, with a game designed to build excitement, when several banks are centralized in a dedicated area, the levels of fun increase,” said Jon Hanlin, Aristocrat’s VP of Commercial Strategy, Gaming Operations.
Keep An Eye Out For Lightning Link
I’ve been experimenting with different Lightning Link games since learning about their popularity. There’s something about the Bonus Round. The Bonus appears often enough to keep the game interesting. Large jackpots don’t seem to happen often (to me)there are enough small jackpots to keep the action going.
Lightning Link games are definitely slot machines to look out for. The variety of themes means that there should be something for most slot machine players.
You may be familiar with Fontainebleau as the massive unfinished blue glass casino near SLS Las Vegas. Construction on Fontainebleau started in February of 2007 and stopped in 2009 when the project ran out of money and went into bankruptcy. The building was purchased last year by developers and construction will resume this year.
The development firm Witkoff has partnered with Marriott and is planning to open the big blue casino-resort now named The Drew in late 2020. The Drew Las Vegas will debut the EDITION brand by Marriott in Las Vegas. This will also mark the Vegas Strip’s first JW Marriott. The resort will feature nearly 4,000 rooms and suites, 20 restaurants, and over 500,000 square feet of convention space. Once open, Marriott International will operate the hotel.
Two Blackbirds Hospitality, led by former Cosmopolitan CEO John Unwin, will oversee the launch and operations of The Drew. As an integrated resort, The Drew will be home to a casino, luxury hotel, convention facilities, entertainment, nightlife, retail and dining. The Drew will also have a bridge that connects directly to the Las Vegas Convention Center.
“The Drew Las Vegas will become a landmark property for Marriott International,” said Tony Capuano, EVP and Global Chief Development Officer, Marriott International. “The resort will give our more than 100 million loyalty members the chance to enjoy our brand of hospitality in one of the most exciting and popular cities in the world, whether the visit is for a convention or a leisure trip.”
“With Marriott International, we have the opportunity to leverage the world’s most powerful group and convention pipeline as well as an unmatched loyalty program to ensure we unlock the unparalleled value of this asset,” said Witkoff Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven Witkoff. “This acquisition, made in partnership with New Valley LLC, is a well-designed, structurally-sound project with a significant discount to both replacement cost and the implied public market valuations of comparable Las Vegas Strip resorts.”
The Drew could be the beginning of a renaissance of the North Vegas Strip. Rumors are that SLS Las Vegas will have a new owner soon. Wynn Las Vegas, despite ownership issues, has big expantion plans. Construction on Paradise Park is already underway on the land once home to the golf course. They’re also planning another hotel tower across the street next to the Fashion Show Mall.
But wait, there’s more when you look a little further down the pipeline. Resorts World continues to promise that they’ll begin construction on a new mega-resort across from Wynn Las Vegas. The owners of the land next to SLS Las Vegas might begin construction on All-Net Arena this year. Similarly, Lucky Dragon might see a new owner sooner than later.
Whew! That’s a lot of potential for such a small area. This is essentially just one block of Las Vegas Boulevard and the Las Vegas Strip. Keep your eyes peeled for more developments in this part of Las Vegas.
Every year the U.S. News & World Report puts together a list of the best hotels in the United States and around the world. They evaluated more than 24,000 luxury hotels across the USA, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda. This year, Las Vegas has 46 hotels on the list including 11 Gold badge winners.
These U.S. News rankings are the best of the best and only include luxury hotels which rate 4-star and higher. They use a unique methodology that combines each hotel’s industry awards with expert and guest reviews to come up with the rankings.
The highest rated hotel in Las Vegas is one that is not attached to a casino. Mandarin Oriental, part of the City Center complex (with Aria), ranks as the #9 hotel in the United States. The Aria Sky Suites, also part of City Center, is the second highest rated hotel in Las Vegas. This is considered a separate hotel inside of Aria and offers dedicated services (personal concierge) and amenities (private pool) just for their guests. You’ll actually find a few ‘hotel within a hotel’ concepts among the best in Las Vegas.
Many of the Las Vegas hotels that made the best in the United States are the names that you’d expect to see on a ‘best of’ list with one exception. Here are the other 13 hotels that make up the Top 15 best hotels in Las Vegas according to U.S. News & World Report:
4. Encore at Wynn Las Vegas
5. Wynn Las Vegas
6. Skylofts at MGM Grand
7. Four Seasons (at Mandalay Bay)
10. The Palazzo
11. The Venetian
12. Trump International
13. Delano (at Mandalay Bay)
14. Red Rock Casino
15. Vdara (City Center)
Every hotel on this list is a luxury resort in Las Vegas. All of these hotels are on the Vegas Strip with one exception. Red Rock Casino is in Summerlin which is about 20 minutes away from the other hotels.
Many tourists think of Red Rock Casino as another “locals casino.” Red Rock is a locals casino but it’s much more than just another off-strip casino. Red Rock Casino is one of the few properties away from the Vegas Strip that offer a true luxury experience. Unlike many other off-strip casino hotels you’ll find a spa, large pool complex, and environment that ranks up there with the casino-resorts on the Vegas Strip.
Red Rock Casino offers luxury amenities alongside the amenities you’d expect to find in a locals casino. The property offers entertainment for local customers like a movie theater and bowling alley. Additionally, the gambling rules are much better than most you’ll find on the Vegas Strip.
Red Rock Casino has been my local casino of choice ever since moving to Las Vegas because it offers the experience I want when I visit a casino. The property is beautiful and clean and the gambling is good.
The Vegas Strip is known for the great luxury casino vacation experience but it’s not the only place in Las Vegas you’ll find luxury. Red Rock Casino is one of the few great options if you’re tired of the Vegas Strip but don’t want to lose the luxury. Consider M Resort, Green Valley Ranch, and the Golden Nugget if you prefer luxury casinos but are looking to explore a new part of Las Vegas.
You can see the best hotel ranking from U.S. News & World Report here. You can see a specific list of best Las Vegas hotels here.
We recently tipped you off on a few different food events in Las Vegas this spring and summer. Well, now we have some details on one of those events. The 12th annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit will take place from May 10-13.
This year the food extravaganza will include a lineup of world-renowned chefs, master sommeliers and cutting-edge mixologists from Caesars Palace, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, The Cromwell, MGM Resorts International, The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas. Chefs participating in Vegas Uncork’d this year include Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, Gordon Ramsay, Guy Savoy, Julian Serrano, Lorena Garcia, Masaharu Morimoto, Michael Mina, Nobu Matsuhisa, Stephen Hopcraft and more.
“Las Vegas continues to redefine epicurean excellence by offering the most comprehensive collection of distinguished restaurants, chefs, and master sommeliers,” said Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing for Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Bon Appétit and look forward to providing our guests with unforgettable experiences alongside the world’s most sought-after chefs.”
Vegas Uncork’d continues to evolve, offering a wide range of cocktail-focused events, interactive experiences, and extravagant parties. This year’s event includes popular holdovers including the Grand Tasting at Caesars Palace and Picnic at The Park. New programming includes Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Palace, Sunset Clambake at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Raise a Glass to the Past: A Speakeasy Tasting and Distillery Tour at The Mob Museum, Chica “Mom-Mosa Brunch” with Chef Lorena Garcia and This Is How We Do It: The Cake Boss and Lisa Valastro Demo and Lunch at The Venetian and A CUT Above the Rest: The Ultimate Steak & Eggs Breakfast at CUT by Wolfgang Puck at The Palazzo Las Vegas.
Here are details on some of the new events at Vegas Uncork’d this year.
Sunset Clambake at The Cosmopolitan (Boulevard Pool), Thursday, May 10: As the sun goes down high above Las Vegas Boulevard, enjoy a one-of-a-kind seafood boil, at The Cosmopolitan’s rooftop Boulevard Pool. Dine on fresh lobster, shrimp, crab and of course, clams served family style with endless sides and spirits. A live band will perform while guests are invited to compete in backyard games.
A CUT Above the Rest: The Ultimate Steak & Eggs Breakfast at CUT by Wolfgang Puck (The Palazzo Las Vegas), Friday, May 11: For the first time ever, the award-winning CUT by Wolfgang Puck will prepare an exclusive steak and eggs breakfast—only for guests at Vegas Uncork’d. This memorable meal will showcase Wolfgang’s philosophy of offering only the finest selections of beef, cooked simply and presented beautifully. Your breakfast will be served alongside premium brunch cocktails and a selection of wines to enjoy.
Coffee & Cake with Giada (Caesars Palace), Friday, May 11: Be one of the very first to celebrate all things coffee at Pronto by Giada, the brand new fast-casual restaurant from Giada De Laurentiis. Guests will enjoy a coffee tasting and education from bean to brew with the experts from Counter Culture Coffee. Along with tasty small bites, including cake, that showcase Giada’s signature cuisine—Italian with a Californian twist.
Master Series: Old Homestead’s Private Selection Bourbon Dinner, Featuring Pappy Van Winkle (Caesars Palace), Saturday, May 12: Join the team at Old Homestead Steakhouse for a whiskey tasting like none other. Guests will have the chance to taste some of the best and rarest bourbons in the world—including the extremely exclusive Pappy Van Winkle. Paired with delicious culinary offerings from the Old Homestead menu—this will be an evening to remember for whiskey and steak connoisseurs alike.
Raise a Glass to the Past: A Speakeasy Tasting and Distillery Tour (The Mob Museum), Saturday, May 12: Step back into the years of Prohibition for a tasting and tour at The Underground, The Mob Museum’s brand-new speakeasy and distillery. Guests will taste a variety of Prohibition-era cocktails, moonshine from the Museum’s own on-site distillery, and delicious passed appetizers while listening to live jazz, exploring eye-opening exhibits and learning inside stories from expert educators.
Not all of the events are brand new. Some of the favorite events from previous years will return for Vegas Uncork’d in 2018. Here’s a preview of a couple returning events.
The Grand Tasting (Caesars Palace), Friday, May 11: The Grand Tasting is the signature event of Vegas Uncork’d, where over 2,500 food enthusiasts enjoy a tantalizing variety of signature dishes prepared by some of the world’s most renowned chefs. The five-acre Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace will feature more than 50 award-winning chefs and over 100 of the best wines and spirits from around the world.
Picnic at The Park with Masaharu Morimoto, Michael Mina, Julian Serrano, Shawn McClain, Roy Ellamar & More (The Park, located between Monte Carlo (soon to be Park MGM) and New York-New York), Saturday, May 12: Enjoy the second-annual Picnic at The Park, Vegas style! Featuring live music and some of MGM Resorts’ most notable chefs, this outdoor dining, and entertainment district provides an ideal backdrop for you to enjoy a fun, interactive afternoon picnicking with celebrated chefs.
The Neon Museum and Neon Boneyard offer special tours throughout the year. The latest tour, Brilliant,” is more than just a tour – it’s an experience. The museum describes Brilliant! as “Intelligent. Immersive. Illuminating.”
The new tour at the Neon Museum is all that and then some. Brilliant! brings audio and video to classic Las Vegas signs that truly create an immersive experience. The technology essentially brings 40 different signs back to the life they once had.
Yes, the iconic vintage signs seems as though they never stopped working thanks to designer Craig Winslow. Brilliant! uses 3-D audio and multiple projectors to create a shared augmented reality experience. Think of this like similar to the technology of Pokemon Go! but with vintage neon signs from throughout the history of Las Vegas for everyone in attendance.
If Winslow’s name sounds familiar it’s because he previously created a projection for the museum’s North Gallery last February. “Working with the Neon Museum’s collection has been a moving experience for me,” says Winslow. “Reilluminating these signs pays homage to their designers. It’s an honor to be able to give people a chance to see these signs exactly as they used to be” he tells VegasNews.com. Take a look at the awesome animation!
Brilliant! A Neon Museum Experience - YouTube
The audio portion of “Brilliant!” uses 24 speakers with 3D-sound. The visuals are created with eight different projectors that use 80,000 lumens of light. Together the audio and video create a 360-degree audiovisual experience. The technology allows the old, broken signs come to life. In addition to the resurrection of signs, the Neon Boneyard is splashed with iconic Las Vegas images and accompanied by the soundtrack of some of the greatest musical performers in history.
“The addition of ‘Brilliant!’ to the Neon Museum’s roster of offerings further defines our role in sign collection, conservation, restoration, historic preservation, research and learning,” explained Rob McCoy, president and chief executive officer, Neon Museum. “This is truly a first. Nowhere on the planet has anyone attempted to create what we are about to launch at the Museum” according to VegasNews.com.
The iconic signs are always beautiful but Brilliant! is a unique experience. Tickets for Brilliant! are $23 for most people. Locals, seniors, students, military receive discount tickets for $15. Brilliant! and other traditional tours may sell out so you’re always recommended to book a tour in advance.
Traditional Neon Museum Boneyard tours are only available to the public through an hour-long guided tour. Tours are available seven days a week. Tour times vary based on the season. Find out the current tour times and tours on the Neon Museum website in advance of any trip.
Traditional Neon Museum tours are priced differently. Here’s the current price structure.
Day tours are $15 to $19
Night tours are $22 to $26
Late night tours are $24 to $28
Brilliant! tours are $15 to $23
More people are visiting Las Vegas for conventions. A lot more people are visiting for a convention. In fact, while overall visitation to Las Vegas decreased in 2017, there were 5.2% more people in Las Vegas for a convention. Expect to see more business travelers in Las Vegas in 2018 and beyond.
MGM Resorts will be introducing new and upgraded meeting and convention spaces throughout the year. Not only are they introducing collaborative, innovative, and unique meeting spaces they will be offering all-inclusive incentive group packages for the first time. Even if you’re not visiting Las Vegas for work, this will matter to you. More on that later.
This year MGM Resorts will open meeting and convention enhancements at Aria, MGM Grand, Monte Carlo/Park MGM and Luxor, totaling approximately 900,000 additional square feet. When all expansions are completed by the end of 2018, MGM Resorts will have 4 million square feet of meeting and convention space. That’s more than any other company in Las Vegas.
Here are brief overviews of the new convention and meeting spaces MGM Resorts will open this year.
ARIA Convention Center Expansion
This new space will open in February. You may remember that this major expansion project began in May 2016 when the Viva Elvis show closed. The $165 million expansion at Aria includes an additional 200,000 square feet of technologically advanced, flexible meeting space across four stories, for a total of over 500,000 square feet.
MGM Grand Conference Center Expansion
This new space should also open around February. The $130 million expansion is adding 250,000 square feet for a total of more than 850,000 square feet when complete. This unique meeting and convention space will include Stay Well Meetings. This is the industry’s first-ever wellness meetings experience. It ties in nicely with the Stay Well rooms at the hotel.
Park MGM To Debut New Meeting Space
While the transformation from Monte Carlo to Park MGM isn’t complete yet, this new meeting space has already seen its first guests at a preview during the Consumer Electronics Show. The new 77,000-square-foot conference space will combine innovative, non-traditional spaces, an outdoor terrace, and flexible design. This space is intended to serve smaller meetings than some of the other MGM expansions.
Luxor, Delano, Mandalay Bay, and The Mirage Offering More Meeting Options
New restaurants, updated meeting spaces, and ballrooms offer new meeting opportunities at these four casino-resorts. These smaller spaces can accommodate meetings or dinner for as few as 10 people.
What Do Conventions And Meetings Matter For My Vacation?
While the actual spaces might not matter to you, the people they bring to Las Vegas will have an impact on your Las Vegas vacation. Meetings and conventions are typically held during weekdays. Sunday through Thursday are often the quiet periods in Las Vegas casinos. Not only are hotel rooms usually less expensive but tickets and reservations are usually more readily available.
Business travelers tend to stay in the hotel where their meeting or convention is being held. When occupancy is high, the hotel operator can charge more for rooms. If these new meeting and convention spaces are successful MGM Resorts should be able to charge higher midweek rates at these casino-resorts.
Caesars Entertainment is piggybacking on this idea. They’re building the Caesars Forum convention center behind The Linq, Harrah’s and Flamingo. When it opens, this could in turn increase hotel room rates at those properties.
The sky isn’t falling. Las Vegas is still one of the most affordable travel destination. However, finding deals might become more difficult to find. This Las Vegas convention calendar is a great resource to see if there are any events in town that might be off the radar of most media outlets.
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