LAS VEGAS Area Attractions
Las Vegas, Nevada
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(5/22/13) While progress on the High Roller giant wheel is moving slowly, a reader did send us a new look at the current state of the LINQ (MORE...)
(5/17/13) Screamscape sources tell us that Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas will offer “Xpress Bands” (MORE...)
(5/16/13) According to a report posted at TMZ “The Uprising Creative” design company has filed a $50,000 lawsuit against the Goretorium (MORE...)
(5/13/13) Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas will undergo a staggered opening schedule to help avoid the strains of large crowds pounding the park on opening day. (MORE...)
Las Vegas News - (5/3/13) Another ZipLine project is coming to Las Vegas… this one from Stan Checketts who will install the VooDoo Zip Ride at the Rio. This is reported to be a version of his Soaring Eagle attraction that will fly between the Rio casinos two towers and then back again, 350 feet in the air. The launch platform will be built onto the VooDoo Lounge’s outside deck up on the 50th floor of the Masquerade Tower.
(4/19/13) According to VegasChatter, the front of both New York-New York and the Monte Carlo casinos are going to get a dramatic $100 million facelift over the next few years. The goal is to create a new outdoor retailing and dining experience that will run from NY-NY all the way down to CityCenter. Included in the plans are a new 2-story Hershey’s Chocolate World flagship stone (right across the street from the M&M World no less) as well as improvements to Nine Fine Irishmen, the addition of Double Barrel (a roadhouse restaurant & bar), 800 Degress Neapolitan Pizzeria, Shake Shack along with a new peaceful park in between the two areas.
(4/3/13) The former Playboy Club at The Palms has now been transformed into a new lounge area… with a unique twist called The View: Lounge & Rec Room. Located up on the 52nd Floor, the posh lounge features one of the new views of the Las Vegas Strip as well as plenty of billiard tables, shuffleboard and a ton of old-school board games like Checkers, Connect Four, Jenga, Dominoes and more.
(3/4/13) MGM Resorts has announced new plans to build a 20,000 seat privately funded indoor arena just behind the New York-New York and Monte Carlo casinos, along with their partner AEG. Look for the arena to host Boxing, MMA, other sports events as well as concerts. The new MGM-AEG arena will not affect the current plans for the UNLV Now arena, which is designed to host even larger events between 25,000 – 60,000 people. For comparisons sake MGM’s current Grand Garden Arena at the MGM Grand holds 16,800 seats, the Mandalay Bay Events Center has 12,000 seats and the Thomas & Mack Center has 18,776 seats.
(2/22/13) An interesting comment by the Chairman of MGM Resorts International came out this week when he said he wouldn’t be opposed to selling off one or more of their properties (in Vegas or anywhere else) if the numbers worked out right. Of course they also said that nothing was currently planned, though I do have to wonder why it was brought up at all unless there had been offers made or they were hoping to get some. Apparently they have been approached about possibly selling off some of the non-gaming assets at City Center, which would be used to pay down their $1.85 billion debt on that project.
In other news Caesar’s Entertainment announced that they will start adding “Resort Fees” randing from $10-25 starting March 1st, claiming these will cover the costs of WiFi, local calls and fitness centers. According to the company’s director, Gary Thomson, this is “something guests asked for.” (And when Gary gets a swift kick in the groin by an angry guest over this, he’ll know that he asked for that …)
According to this article Caesar’s has been charging guests individual fees for these kind of features, which is kind of ridiculous as well. If this was the Vegas of the last decade where you could stay at most casinos for less than $49 a night I could see some truth in this, but these days your lucky to find a good for less than $100 a night, and free WiFi is a staple of a good number of big hotel chains these days. Heck, even Walt Disney World now offers free WiFi not only in their resorts, but in the theme parks themselves. And local calls? Don’t make me laugh when 95% of guests don’t go anywhere without a cell phone in hand. As for the fitness center… please… if your resort is going to have one, charging for that is like charging extra to use the pool. This is dirty greed, plain and simple.
According to Thompson, “This is in response to the increasing demand from our guests to provide a package price instead of the inconvenience of separate fees.” Umm… see how he twisted that? Anyway, it seems that either way, you’ll be paying fees… either included in the basic price or ticked off separately as you use them. I’d rather have a choice for what I pay for myself, but then again I still miss the Vegas of old which had cheap rooms, cheap food, and cheap rates for just about anything else you could want…except for the cab rides.
(2/14/13) While The Light Group makes final preparations to open The Light nightclub on April 26th at Mandalay Bay, they also have targeted your stomach with the opening of Citizens Kitchen and Bar, also at the Mandalay Bay. A fun write-up showing off the new location and food highlights can be found over at Thrillist this week. (Note: Light Group will open a Japanese restaurant also at Mandalay Bay later this year.) Citizens offers Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner options and looks to have a diverse and interesting menu posted on their official website.
(1/14/13) The lions that were formerly on display at the MGM Grand casino have returned in a new location off the strip and is now open to the public. You can find out more at LionHabitatRanch.com who also offers a Trainer for a Day program.
I’ve also heard that the current contract Monte Carlo has with the Blue Man Group will come to an end on April 30th. No word on if they will renew or if the BMG will relocate to a new casino elsewhere in town, but April 30th is also the last date you can buy tickets for in advance.
Also possibly of interest to select SoCal visitors on the way to Vegas will be the possible start of a new rail service from LA to Las Vegas called the X Train. The journey wont be any shorter, as the trip is expected to take 5 hours, but the trains are expected to offer a more party style atmosphere while they travel and drop everyone off in Downtown Las Vegas near Fremont Street. A ticket to ride the X Train is expected to cost $99 each way however, which is down right expensive in my book, especially considering that many groups who drive to Vegas will pool together for gas money and can make the round-trip drive for the entire group for less than the cost of one person’s round-trip ticket on the X Train. Perhaps they should try to offer up a price point at about half the cost of a plane ticket instead.
(1/9/13) Good news for Las Vegas visitors today, as MGM Resorts & Casinos announced that they are adding free WiFi networks to their casino resorts this year. The system is already turned on at Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage, and will be added later this year to Monte Carlo, New York-New York, Luxor and Excalibur.
(11/21/12) The new Cirque Du Soleil branded nightclub coming to Mandalay Bay will be called Light which has launched a preview website at HaveYouSeenTheLight.com. Look for it to open in March 2013. If the name sounds familiar, Light first opened about a decade ago at the Bellagio and closed down in late 2007. The first version of the club was not affiliated with Cirque however.
(11/15/12) We’ve got a very well versed readership here at Screamscape, one that never ceases to amaze me. I had well over a dozen different messages sent in from readers who had seen the Evil Dead The Musical show… if not in Las Vegas, then in other venues across North America. Bottom line from them all was that while it is campy and somewhat cheesy… if you’re a fan of the Evil Dead films you will not only love it, but you really need to pay the upcharge fee for the front 2 or 3 rows to be in the Splatter Zone where you will get a good coating of fake blood.
And there is a lot of blood to be spilled… characters die, limbs hacked off, stabbings, chainsaw spray and more. Apparently the soundtrack from one of the productions is even available on iTunes featuring classic tracks like: “Cabin in the Woods”, “Look Who’s Evil Now”, “Boomstick”, “Good… Bad… I’m the Guy with the Gun” and “What the F**k Was That?”
Sounds like a good way to spend an evening… have a few drinks, try out the Goretorium down the street and get covered in the blood of the Deadites at Evil Dead: The Musical. I may have to check this one out next time I’m in Vegas.
(11/14/12) Add this to the list of things I never thought I would see in my life, but apparently there is an Evil Dead: The Musical show running at the Planet Hollywood casino in Las Vegas in the V Theater. They are billing it as the “Ultimate 4D Experience”. Much like that guy in Dirty Harry… “I got’s to know!” Has anyone seen this yet? Dare I ask… how is it? I love me some Evil Dead, but a Musical? Just not sure how that works out.
(10/24/12) Good news for classic Video Game fans in the Las Vegas area, as the owners of the Hi Scores Bar-Arcade (aka: a BarCade) have reported that their first location in Henderson has been so popular, that they are looking to expand into as many as five new locations throughout the Las Vegas Valley, as well as new locations out of state. Hi Scores opened just a month ago, and has successfully modified the formula from Vegas’ first BarCade, Insert Coins, which opened downtown in Summer 2011.
Unlike Insert Coins, which they claim has a more ‘club’ feel to it, Hi Scores is all about having a fun atmosphere, and actually offers their collection of video games to play for free as a way to keep the customers happy and never ready to leave. Hi Scores sounds like a blast… and has definitely made my list of places to visit during my next trip to Vegas. Check out a video showing off Hi Scores in action below.
(10/5/12) How the mighty have fallen… I’m told that the LVH Hotel, formerly known far and wide as the Las Vegas Hilton, has now defaulted on it’s $252 million mortgage and will be put up for auction in November. The hotel / casino will remain open for business however. (See? They never should have closed down the Star Trek: The Experience attraction!)
While we’re talking about Vegas… USA Today has picked their own list of Vegas’s Top 5 Buffets.
#5 – Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitian
#4 – Studio B at the M Resort/Spa/Casino
#3 – The Buffet at Bellagio
#2 – The Buffet at Wynn Las Vegas
and #1 – The new Bacchanal Buffet that just opened at Caesars.
Fall 2012 - Eli Roth’s Goretorium - (5/16/13) According to a report posted at TMZ “The Uprising Creative” design company has filed a $50,000 lawsuit against the Goretorium, claiming that the attraction has yet to pay their outstanding bill. An interesting note however, as the end of the report also claims that March was Goretorium’s first break-even month since October.
(12/31/12) A local area reader has a tip to pass on to those interested in visiting Eli Roth’s Goretorium. If the sticker-shock of a normal ticket price (upwards of $35) is a bit much, I’m told if you ask at many of the various half-price ticket booths around town, you can get in for as low as $17.50, so shop around!
(12/11/12) Vegas attraction fans, the first ever Christmas edition of the Goretorium (featuring killer elves and Santa’s evil twin) will be open to guests from December 14th through to December 28th. The Goretorium will also put on a few other special events this month, including their End of the World Party on December 20, celebrating the end of the Mayan colander and assuming we all survive that, there will be a New Years Eve “Vampire Masquerade Ball” held on Dec. 31st.
(10/15/12) One of our readers sent in a great brief review of Eli Roth’s Goretorium. Here is what they had to say…
“It's starts out REALLY well. You begin through the Delmont Hotel lobby. Nicely themed. Not Tower of Terror-nice, but still nice for a haunt. You then make your way into an elevator, promising to take you to the top... of course, things never go as planned. Your elevator makes it way down to the basement where the haunt begins. The haunt, overall, is well done... Solid theming and some good scares. There are even a couple interactive spots here and there that add an element not present in other haunts. I strongly encourage anyone that goes through to take it slow... take in all the theming you can, because.... and this is my one MAJOR complaint.... IT JUST RANDOMLY ENDS. You make your way through a room full of inflatable walls, where you can't see what's ahead of you. The whole time you're wondering "what's coming next?!?!?", and then, ALL OF A SUDDEN, you're outside the nightclub on the Strip, and it's all over. I walked through thinking "hey, this isn't bad" and when it ended, I was VERY disappointed. Also, in true Vegas fashion, it's WAAAAAAY overpriced. $40 per person for a 10-minute experience. YIKES. And we were taking our time walking through. It's worth checking out once, but see what coupons or deals you can find before going in.”
(10/1/12) I’ve got an update tonight on the snafu that took place during a preview event at the Goretorium last week where a few hundred people were left outside with no explanation. According to a letter I received from an anonymous source at the Goretorium, the free sneak preview event from 9-11pm at the Goretorium on Wednesday was actually a special event put on by Seven Magazine, who were the ones who both promoted the event handed all the RSVPs. You can read the letter below:
“This was the ad published in Seven magazine for people to RSVP through the media group listed on the advertisement. I believe the amount of RSVPs (meaning you got an email) that were given out is being looked into, but the RSVPs were not given out by the Goretorium. Also it is important to note, many people do just try to get into free events without one by "just showing up". It is also very common for people to wait in long lines for haunts, events, nightclubs, and everyone that showed early did get through. Goretorium is looking into this, but again, in my humble opinion, this was not Goretorium’s fault, this was a free event and those who received an RSVP should contact the company that emailed them confirmation, to see if it was overbooked and why. Those of us that work for Goretorium in the haunt, and the rest of the facility want everyone to enjoy their experience at the only professional haunt open 365 days a year. We love our job, our team and this whole project is for horror fans around the world that don't want to celebrate Halloween once a year. I know Goretorium is doing everything they can to figure out what happened. Please be patient and everyone appreciates your feedback, but those who were upset about the free event should contact the media company that overbooked.”
(9/28/12) One of our readers returned after an un-successful attempt to get into a free RSVP only preview of the Eli Roth’s Goretorium held on Wednesday night from 9-11pm. Seems this was a limited offer, and to get in you had to email the Goretorium and get a confirmation that you were on the list for the free preview. Our reader got into the back of the already very long line at 8:45pm, which simply failed to move more than a few feet all night long. At 11pm, security came out to the crowd and simply said, ‘We’re Closed!” and shut and closed the doors in the face of the 200+ people who had been waiting outside all night for an event they RSVPed for.
The problem seemed to stem from a second “VIP” line that had a steady flow of people going into the Goretorium, and thus keeping the fan line outside. All said and done… it sounds like they were trying to ensure they would have a big crowd for the press and cameras to see, but how they treated everyone afterwards seems just plain rude. No apology, or explanation, just the slamming of the doors. Considering most of these people were locals… the kind of people who you want to come to see the Goretorium and get a good word of mouth report going, this is very poor show. At the very least they should have given out free passes to come back another night.
(8/24/12) Behind the Thrills got the chance to chat with Eli Roth about the Goretorium project opening soon in Las Vegas.
(8/15/12) A pretty gruesome teaser trailer for Eli Roth’s Goretorium has now been posted to the official website.
(8/6/12) We will see Eli Roth’s Goretorium open on Sept. 27th on the Strip. According to the press release, The Goretorium will be open year round and promises to create the most intense live terror experience a person can have. “The multi-level maze of frights submerges visitors into the tale of Sin City’s most deadly mythical hotel and casino, The Delmont. The self-guided horror experience begins in the lobby of the Delmont and unveils gruesome and ghastly sights of past hotel guest victims and the serial-killing family behind the deeds at every turn. Employing high-tech Vegas showmanship with old-fashioned scares, the terrifying labyrinth of live actors, animatronic frights and stunning special effects is contained in a vintage hotel setting that rivals Hollywood’s best movie sets.” Look for it across the strip from City Center off Harmon. Goretorium will also feature a themed bar called Baby Dolls, which will feature caged zombie go-go dancers with periodic live feedings! There will also be a unique horror themed retail shop and an event space with it’s own private bar called Bloody Mary’s.
(5/2/12) An exciting new attraction is on the way to Las Vegas… Eli Roth’s Goretorium is slated to open on September 27th. This wont be for little kids… this promises to be a very high end haunt, and one that promises to run 24/7 all year long. The multi-leveled Goretorium will be placed near the corner of the Las Vegas Strip & Harmon, which I believe would place it across the street from City Center.
2013 - Mandalay Bay - Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque de Soleil - (2/25/13) As expected, Cirque Du Soleil announced their new Michael Jackson themed show coming to Las Vegas this past week. It will be called “Michael Jackson ONE” and begin preview performances at the Mandalay Bay on May 23rd.
(3/22/12) The word from Screamscape sources is that the new resident Michael Jackson themed Cirque show coming to Vegas will actually not be the same show as the current “Immortal” touring show. While certain acts and popular songs from Immortal may carry through to the new show, it will essentially be an entirely new production, and is expected to have a different name to reflect that as well.
(11/4/10) As expected, Cirque du Soleil announced Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour show this week, the show that will server as the creative starting point for the next big Las Vegas Cirque show in 2012. Click here to see the preview video.
(10/29/10) Cirque du Soleil has released a teaser video for their big announcement on Novemeber 3rd about a new show where “The legend lives on”. While they don’t come out and say it, this is most likely for the new touring Michael Jackson themed show in 2011 that they announced back in April, which will be followed by a Vegas based version in 2012. Check out the video below.
(5/22/10) Screamscape has been told that the new Michael Jackson themed Cirque show will actually take the place of The Lion King at Mandalay Bay which will be ending it’s run by then.
(4/21/10) Cirque du Soleil and the estate of Michael Jackson have come to an agreement to create a new touring Cirque show based on the King of Pop’s music and dance starting in late 2011, followed by a new Las Vegas based show in 2012. According to the article the Vegas deal was signed with “MGM Mirage” though no specific hotel was mentioned. Still… I’ve got to wonder if they would be ready to retire any of their Vegas shows or if a new facility would be built at an existing property. I’ve also heard that the long running Lance Burton magic show at Monte Carlo will end it’s run in September 2010, so perhaps this may become the show’s new home. Of course the reviews of the Criss Angel show were always less than stellar as well, and Zumanity was never really a huge hit so anything can happen. Anyone know more?
2013 - Madame Tussauds Update - (12/22/11) Madame Tussauds in Las Vegas is slated to undergo a two-phase makeover, updating the attraction to the current brand standards, as well as adding some new attractions and rooms. These updates are a way to stay competitive with the other attractions in Vegas.
The remodel will take two years to complete, with the first phase focusing on the front entrance area, a re-theme of the Speed room and expansion of the Sports room. Phase 2 will update the Music room, add a Historical figure room and a Behinds the Scenes area to show off how the figures are made. The entire project will be accomplished without closing the attraction to guests.
2013 - Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas - (5/17/13) Screamscape sources tell us that Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas will offer “Xpress Bands” for a price to reduce your wait times for the attractions. From what I’m told these will be armband system developed by Lo-Q.
a lot of work left to do, the dry weather should help speed the project along. A nice collection of 10 photos from the inside were also put online by the LVSun and a few more can be found here. The crews are now working 7 days a week to ensure the park is ready to open by Memorial Day weekend.
(5/13/13) Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas will undergo a staggered opening schedule to help avoid the strains of large crowds pounding the park on opening day.
May 25-27: Open for Gold Pass holders only from 10am to 8pm
May 28-31: Season Pass and Gold Pass holders only from 1pm to 7pm
June 1-2: Season Pass and Gold Pass holders only from 10am to 8pm
June 3 to Sept. 30: Open for single day admission tickets, groups and all pass holders. Typical hours of operation are expected to be 10am to 8pm on Fri/Sat and 10am to 6pm all other days, with the exception of July 4th which will be 10am to 8pm as well.
(4/24/13) A new construction report from Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas can be found here as many of the park’s slides now appear to be in place as the park races towards the grand opening set for Memorial Day Weekend.
(3/11/13) One of our readers swung by the site of the new Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas and took a few pictures from the outside. While there is
(1/23/13) Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas announced the winning name for their new wave pool was Red Rock Bay.
(1/18/13) Wet ‘n Wild Las Vegas wants you to vote on the name for the park’s new wave pool. You can choose between: Cactus Curl, Mojava Monsoon, Neon Beach, The Ragin’ Rebel and Red Rock Bay. You can also see construction pictures here.
(12/21/12) Construction has officially begin at the Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas waterpark site. The local news has posted a few pictures of the current progress at the site of the future waterpark.
(10/9/12) Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas has been confirmed as opening in May 2013, a new $50 million waterpark project that will feature more than 25 slides and attractions, including North America’s first Rattler slide. Check out all the details at the official website and watch the new promo video to see what the park will look like.
(10/5/12) The local news reports that plans for Splash Canyon are back on track and will make a new announcement about the park’s new plans and a new name for the park (ahem... Wet ‘n’ Wild: Las Vegas) sometime on Thursday as they shoot for a 2013 opening date.
(7/30/12) Screamscape sources tell us that Wet ‘n Wild is coming back to Las Vegas, but this time with an extra Apostrophe, so it will be called Wet ‘n’ Wild Vegas. This is not the same old Wet ‘n Wild that used to reside on the Las Vegas strip for decades however but is from Village Roadshow Limited, an Australian company that owns several theme parks down under on The Gold Coast as well as the new Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix waterpark that just opened a couple of years ago in Arizona. Village Roadshow has already purchased the domain name, wetnwildvegas.com for the new waterpark, reserving it back in May and finalizing the registration just a couple of days ago. Currently the website is blank of any content at all, but I suspect we’ll see something pop up very soon.
Now the next question everyone is wanting to know about exactly is WHERE? Just where will the new Wet ‘n’ Wild Vegas set up shop? Apparently the group has either partnered up with, or simply bought out the Splash Canyon Waterpark project that was delayed from 2012 to a 2013 opening. I’d look for a big announcement about this all to hit the media very soon.
(2/2/12) The local news reports that the plans to open Splash Canyon in 2012 have hit a little snag. Red Tape caused the project’s start date to get delayed to the point where it wont be ready in time, despite the fact that the park’s preview website was already selling season passes. Look for them to try to open in 2013 if all goes well.
(11/15/11) The new waterpark coming to the Las Vegas area next year now has a name… Splash Canyon. Right now the plan is to try and open the new waterpark on Memorial Day Weekend 2012, and is located at 7055 S. Fort Apache Road, near the Durango exit off I-215 in SouthWest Vegas. The official Splash Canyon website can be found here.
(8/29/11) For anyone wondering, the new waterpark approved for the Las Vegas area is said to be built somewhere near the interaction of Fort Apache Rd. and Warm Springs Rd, which should place it somewhere in this area, several miles to the west of the Strip and I-15, but not far from an extra off the Las Vegas Beltway.
(8/9/11) According to the local news, approval was given to move ahead with a new waterpark project in the Las Vegas area. They are keeping the name a secret, but according to the article the Howard Hughes Company, who is behind the small chain of Hawaiian Falls waterparks in Texas, is also behind this project. They hope to have the park ready by Memorial Day weekend 2012.
2013 - Fremont Street Zipline - (11/16/12) The guys at CoasterCrew talked with Skyline, the people making the new perment ZipLine experience coming to the Fremont Street Experience. They are going to make a big structure themed as a giant slot machine when it opens in mid-2013. Door panels will open as the riders zip out of the tower on one level, and on the top level they will introduce a new experience where riders will be launched for the first time at the start of their ride from the top of the tower in a superman style prone position. They describe it as essentially being shot out of a canon on your flight down through Fremont Street. They expect to start construction on this new permanent attraction shortly after the start of the new year.
2013 - High Roller / LINQ / The Quad - (5/22/13) While progress on the High Roller giant wheel is moving slowly, a reader did send us a new look at the current state of the LINQ shopping area which is alread
y looking good… though the path is a big on the narrow side if things get crowded in there.
(4/29/13) I’ve got a few new pictures of the High Roller wheel under construction in Las Vegas, taken by our own Staff Member Mark a couple of weeks ago. If you think the legs for this thing is massive, wait until they start to put up the wheel structure itself.
(3/7/13) On March 1st the first phase of The Quad quietly opened to the public and one of our local readers sent in some pictures to share. From what I’m told, if you have ever been in the old Imperial Palace, the new look of The Quad is very different. Currently they are set up and running the site as two separate casinos… the new one that just opened and the remainder of the old casino, which will soon be walled up to transform it as well.
(2/25/13) I’ve got three new pictures sent in by a pair of readers this week showing off the progress being made to the High Roller wheel. From what I’m told, they are up to the height of the hub area, which will be the focus of the work for the next few weeks, which is around 280 feet tall. (Taller than the old 250 ft Skycoaster that used to sit at the MGM Grand for comparisons sake.)
(1/16/13) Las Vegas Weekly takes a up close look at what we can expect from the LINQ when it opens at the end of 2013, creating a new open-air entertainment corridor of attractions between the Flamingo and The Quad (formerly: Imperial Palace). The article also features a long list of confirmed tenants for LINQ including FAME (a 2-level Asian restaurant), Ghiradelli, something called Style Bar (combo bar & salon for women), Sprinkles cupcakes, Tilted Kilt, Starbucks and something called Brooklyn Bowl… an XL sized version of the original New York facility which mixes together a huge bar, bowling alley, restaurant and concert hall.
(1/7/13) One of our local area readers sent in three new pictures of the High Roller giant wheel going up at The Quad. From what I’m told the huge supports at already 192 feet up in the air, with a final 60 foot section needing to be added to connect to the huge central hub piece, which is also on site and seen in one of the images.
(11/30/12) Several more pictures of The Quad / LINQ construction site can be found here, showing off some interesting interal views as the walls between resorts come down to merge into a new single space.
(11/27/12) A reader has sent in a large update of construction photos showing off High Roller, LINQ and how Imperial Palace is being transformed into The Quad (which now seems to be pushing the “Q” part of the name more than “Quad” on the promotional materials. It’s kind of amazing how they are going to make use of this once narrow looking space to funnel the Tourist masses as they flow from Harrah’s, into LINQ and then into The Quad. Check it out.
(11/26/12) A new picture of the High Roller wheel and nearby LINQ mall development has been sent in by one of our local area readers.
(11/12/12) I’ve been sent another view of the High Roller giant wheel going up behind The Quad, this time from a different angle.
(11/5/12) One of our local Vegas area spies sent in a great new pictures of the High Roller wheel making a bit of progress as seen poking out from behind the back side of Harrah’s Monorail Station. In addition to the basic structure holding the loadind/unloading end of the wheel at the bottom, they’ve now connected it up to the multi-level entrance building for the attraction connected to it.
High Roller could end up being the only Giant Wheel in Las Vegas, as rumor has it that all work on SkyVue may have stopped, and construction equipment pulled off the site. Anyone else know more?
(9/21/12) It is official… the Imperial Palace is being officially renamed and given perhaps the worst name I’ve ever heard of for a Vegas casino. Say goodbye to Imperial Palace… and meet THE QUAD. Yes…. THE QUAD, where a giant “Q’ will now become the casino resorts icon. The current Asian theme will be scrapped for a generic “contemporary” look. Ummm… so it will be theme-less, generic and as boring to the eye as the rest of the Strip is becoming?
QUAD… Hmmm… nope… it just doesn’t roll off the tongue, does it? If anything you almost have to grunt when you say it… like it’s a angry word or something. I just don’t know… QUAD… nope… still don’t like it. Look for the conversion of Imperial Palace to be complete by December 2013… in the meantime I’m going to go contemplate taking a Quad.
(8/2/12) A new progress picture of steel for the High Roller wheel was sent in this week. Looks like the first sections of steel for the loading area have been put up, with the wheels giant cabins expected to slide non-stop in between.
(7/30/12) Caesars Entertainment reports that they have obtained the final permit needed to build the world’s tallest observation wheel in Las Vegas. The giant wheel that is part of the Project LINQ expansion will stand 550 feet tall and fit in between Harrah, Imperial Palace and The Flamingo casinos. With a total height of 550 feet, the High Roller will dwarf the 443 ft London Eye and just hedge out the 541 ft Singapore Flyer. It will also be taller than the 500 foot SkyVue wheel already under construction on the south end of The Strip. The High Roller will be oriented to run parallel to The Strip itself and take 30 minutes to make a round trip.
(7/23/12) Time for a little update from the Imperial Palace… what may become known as The Quad, though another reader took a survey where they asked for opinions on the use of the name Hotel 3535 instead. (WHA?????)
Whatever they are going to call it, a large crane is now on site next door for Project Linq, with large footers poured and in place for Las Vegas’ second giant wheel project. So with construction moving full speed ahead, it does look like Las Vegas will indeed really become home to two giant wheels.
(7/11/12) VegasTripping has posted some new artwork showing off the new and improved look on the way for the Imperial Palace. There is also a possible new name for the resort being tossed out on select guests ears during customer surveys… The Quad. Ummmm… yeah. The Quad. That just so does not sound like a fun place to visit. Lets hope they toss that name out in favor of something else.
(5/1/12) By the time you read this it may be too late, but a section of the Las Vegas Strip will be shut down tonight to allow for the implosion of the O’Sheas parking garage to make way for Project Linq. The implosion is planned to take place around 2:30am on May 1st.
(1/31/12) VegasInc reports that construction on Project Linq has started. According to the report Linq is expected to be open by late 2013.
(9/12/11) From what I’ve been told Caesars Entertainment’s “Linq” project across the strip from the resort is officially on the way and looking to open by 2013. The highlight of the attraction project will be the giant wheel which this article claims will be bigger than the Singapore Flyer and will take 30 minutes to make a single revolution inside one of the 40 passenger cabins. O’Sheas will be closed to make way for the Strip side entrance to Linq, which itself will be branded and linked to their existing Imperial Palace casino next door, which will also receive some needed updates. Construction will begin in 2012.
(6/1/11) I’ve got a few more details about the proposed giant wheel from Caesars. To be clear… it’s not going into Caesars… but will actually become a little development project proposed for a site across the street between Imperial Palace and The Flamingo called Project Linq. The idea is to essentially revamp the O’Shea’s site and nearby alleyway into a new pathway full of shops, restaurants, bars and other entertainment options, with a giant wheel set into the back end (near the Monorail beam) which will act as a giant visual anchor for the project.
(5/30/11) According to this article, Las Vegas has two potential giant wheel projects in the running…the already announced Skyvue and another one at Caesar’s Palace which is to be part of their overhaul to the old Octavius Tower project.
2014 - Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas - Under Construction - (4/29/13) Some unfortunately news for those in Las Vegas who were waiting for Cowabunga Bay to open, I’m sorry to report that the park will not be ready to open until 2014. The opening has been pushed back due to construction delays caused by some difficulty in obtaining certain materials as well as a slow down caused by the discovery of ‘caliche’ in the ground during excavation. If they pushed, they could get it open by August, but it does no good to rush to open for the very end of the waterpark season, so they’ll slow down, get everything right and open it in 2014 instead.
12/5/12) The big announcement for Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas took place on Tuesday showing off the final layout of the new Vegas area waterpark attraction, as well as serving up all the details on the various attractions. The new Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas park will cost $23 million and feature a fun ’60 beach-themed environment on a 23 acre site at Galleria Drive and Gibson Road.
(3/11/13) Several construction pictures showing off the formation of the lazy river, pools and infrastructure going into place for the new Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas can be found on their Facebook page.
(12/7/12) Lots of new concept artwork has been released from the new Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas, showing off the park’s great collection of slides and attractions. Including an interesting shot of the park’s racer slide, which drops below ground level and then goes uphill at the end. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one do that before anywhere else.
The park will have three themed areas: Aloha Shores near the kiddie play area, Surf City USA with a retro California look and a Boardwalk themed area. Attractions will include a 33,000 sqft wave pool, the first of it’s kind Wild Surf slide, a lazy river, a very tall multi-lane racing slide and more. They are planning to have it finished and ready to open by Memorial Day weekend, 2013.
(11/15/12) Catch a peek at Surf Safari, the name of that strange new half-pipe / funnel hybrid slide as seen in the layout for Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas. It will be built by Polin and I believe this will be the very first one when it opens in 2013. Check out the model on display at the IAAPA show, as posted to the park’s Facebook timeline.
(11/12/12) Screamscape has obtained some leaked layout plans showing off the new Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas waterpark opening in Henderson by late Spring 2013. Unlike the first Cowabunga Bay in Utah, the Las Vegas version will be a full sized waterpark.
From what I can tell the park appears that it will have a large water fortress / play structure that will include at least half a dozen body slides. There is also a kiddie play pool area, a tower with two larger raft slides, one of which seems to have a unique half-pipe looking feature, a wave pool, matt racers, a tube slide complex, a double sided Flow Rider stationary surf wave and instead of an old-style lazy river, it looks like they will offer one of the high speed current rivers, which are a lot more fun.
From the layout it looks like the park was designed from the start with a large number of private cabanas for guests to rent either around the wave pool or off to to the side in a quiet little area listed as an Adult Pool. I’m also happy to see that there looks to be ample room set aside for future expansion down the line as well.
(10/10/12) A news letter sent out to industry people who visited the Polin booth at the WWA tradeshow mentions that Polin is excited to announced they will be a supplier for the new 22-acre Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas park opening in May, 2013. “Plus what is most exciting is the new ride we are creating for the park. The details of the new attraction are to be announced.” It goes on to mention that the details about their new themed attraction concept will be put on display at IAAPA next month in Orlando.
(9/26/12) The local Las Vegas news has discovered that the water park project in the Henderson area will actually be a new waterpark project called Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas, as part of the partnership with Shane Huish who owns the first Cowabunga Bay in Draper, Utah.
(11/22/11) Details about a second waterpark (22 acres) planned for the greater Las Vegas area, this one in Henderson, have been posted to the Las Vegas Sun.
2014 - Skyvue Las Vegas Super Wheel - (1/29/13) The local news reports that as of last Thursday, the 11 companies who had filed liens against the SkyVue giant wheel project had filed motions to have then liens discharged. Now lien-free, the SkyVue project can move ahead to complete the financing to finish the project. Giant parts and pieces under construction for the SkyVue are slated to start arriving in Vegas in May. So it looks like Las Vegas will end up with two giant wheels after all as SkyVue rumbles back to life.
ar the SkyVue construction site. A new photo shows off the state of the track... looks like the blue is fading quickly in the elements.
(1/18/13) As rumored on Screamscape several weeks ago, the local news has confirmed that the Skyvue giant wheel project has run into financial problems, and all eight companies who have worked on the project so far have filed liens on the property totaling $5.4 million. Meanwhile Skyvue claims to be very close to securing new funding that will solve the problem and get things moving once again. So for now we wait and see.
(11/30/12) Two of our readers staying in Vegas this week have confirmed with their own eyes that the pieces of Speed: The Ride are still on site across the street ne
(11/28/12) Anyone in Vegas feel like checking in on the old Speed: The Ride coaster tracks, once seen on the ground near the SkyVue wheel project area? I’ve heard from one reader that they did not appear to be visible on the site when they looked this past week. If they have been moved off-site for some reason, I’m curious where they could have ended up.
(11/26/12) We have received confirmation from a local source that there is no activity at all going on down at the site of the SkyVue giant wheel project across from Luxor and Mandalay Bay. No major pieces of construction equipment are on site, and nothing has progressed since the last photos. The site does still employ a security guard at the entrance however, so it does seem to indicate that at least someone intends to keep the project alive for the time being, once they work through whatever issues are taking place.
(11/6/12) A reader pointed out that while the webcam for the SkyVue giant wheel project in Las Vegas is still active, it seems pretty clear that currently there has been little to no activity on the site as of late.
(6/22/12) A reader who stayed at the Mandalay Bay this past week snapped a great shot of the giant wheel under construction across the street. Thanks to Rob for the pic!
(5/29/12) A reader just returned from Las Vegas and sent in a great photo showing off the massive SkyVue wheel project going vertical. Look carefully… see something extra in the background? Yep…zoom in tighter and you can find a huge pile of Speed: The Ride track and supports sitting in the lot just next door. Bonus!
(5/23/12) The giant columns are for the SkyVue wheel in Las Vegas are now going up. Check it out here.
(3/14/12) Concrete has started to pour this past week on the site of the SkyVue giant wheel in Las Vegas, which finally moves this project from the realm of just being an idea to being real. According to the Las Vegas Sun, who has nice pictures of the huge concrete pour job, they are planning on having the 500 foot tall SkyVue wheel open by July 4th, 2013.
(5/26/11) An animated video preview of the new Skyvue Las Vegas wheel can be seen below.
(5/24/11) The latest plans for adding a giant wheel to Las Vegas have now supersized the project. According to this article, the new name is Skyvue Las Vegas Super Wheel, which will stand 500 feet tall (bigger than the London Eye) and open as early as 2013 as part of a $100 million privately funded project that will also include at least one roller coaster and 200,000 sqft. of retail and entertainment space.
Site clearing was said to have begun on Monday, which will also include the demoltion of a 1950’s era motel on the site. The wheel itself will offer 40 gondolas, each able to hold up to 25 passengers, and will be available to be reserved for private events.
(3/4/11) Plans for that mini amusement park attraction on the south end of the Strip were approved according to this article. The developers plan to have the attraction open by 2013 if all goes well, and in addition to the 500 foot giant wheel, they are also planning “several rollercoasters”. Call me a skeptic, but somehow I’m thinking they’re looking at kiddie Dragon Wagon coaster and not a serious thrill machine, but I hope I’m wrong.
(2/21/11) According to the local news, a new plan is being proposed to build a small amusement park with eight rides (including a very large Sky Wheel) on the south end of the strip across from Mandalay Bay. (This is said to be the site of the former Cloud 9 balloon ride) They are also planning a small convention center and a retail/restaurant site on the property as well.
There are pros and cons to building an amusement park in Vegas and unfortunately the article is quick to point out the failure of the MGM Grand Adventures park. Of course they also fail to point out that MGM Grand Adventures failed due to poor management choices, lack of investment, and a general ineptitude of the powers that be who were in control of the property to even have a clue as what to do with the park once they had it. MGM Grand Adventures could have been a big success I think with some different people behind the wheel of the bus. Meanwhile Circus Circus has had the successful Adventuredome up and running for years.
No real details were given about this proposed park however, and with only 8 rides, it’s hard to tell what given market they would even attempt to target. Kiddie Rides, coasters loving thrill seekers, indoor themed attractions or an outdoor carnival style atmosphere? Some may work in Vegas… some wont. More on this as I find out.
2013/2014 - Circus Circus - New COASTER & Water Play Area - (4/29/13) A few construction pictures from Circus Circus posted to Behind The Thrills shows that they have removed most of the old Rim Runner ride so they can prepare to add the new El Loco coaster to the dome.
sed water ride being broke open and the rock fašade work removed as they remove the ride. They also tell me that the snack stand that stood between the Sand Pirates’ queue and the ticket booth has also been removed.
(4/12/13) Are you ready kids? The new Spongebob Squarepants 4D – The Great Jelly Rescue attraction will open at the Circus Circus Adventuredome later this year.
(2/18/13) A reader sends in another picture of the former Rim Runner site inside the Adventuredome, showing off the flume walls of the clo
(2/11/13) The Adventuredome posted a picture of Facebook showing off approximately how El Loco will look once added inside the dome. While this is a photoshop job adding one of the other El Loco coasters into the dome, I’m told that the final layout of the coaster will be somewhat customized, as to fit it all into the footprint.
I’ve heard unofficially that while the coaster will have an onboard soundtrack like Green Lantern, it will use a new style car that will feature the same 2 rows of 2-seats across as the original El Loco coasters, but will have the onboard audio and more open cars with the newer lap-bar restraint system used on the Green Lantern coaster in Australia.
Meanwhile inside the big pink dome, they are not wasting any time removing the Rim Runner to make room. A reader reports in that they have already removed all the boats from the dome and have already removed the chute portion of the big drop from the rock fašade, which you can see in photo they sent.
(2/8/13) Circus Circus has officially announced their new roller coaster coming to the Adventuredome, and they will actually just call it “El Loco”. Made by S&S Worldwide, the new coaster is expected to be ready to open for guests by December 2013 and will be only the second El Loco style coaster in the US.
This El Loco will have a few new surprises however, including a customized soundtrack and after rising 70 feet on the lift hill they will hit –1.5 G during the beyond-vertical first drop. Other unique elements include a 45║ outward banked turn and a 180║ turn that “races over the edge into a barrel roll”. El Loco will feature four-seater cars, but they were not specific about if these were the standard El Loco cars that have 2 rows of 2, or the newer 4-across seating cars that were used for the Green Lantern version in Australia. We hope to have more details here soon.
(2/4/13) Screamscape sources tell me that yesterday (Feb. 3rd) appeared to be the last day of operation for the Rim Runner water ride at the Adventuredome. The ride has now been removed from the list of rides on the official website as well and demolition is expected to begin soon, as the ride will make way for a new rumored S&S El Loco style roller coaster expected to be open by November.
(1/2/13) An online article at ParkWorld magazine mentions S&S Worldwide’s new projects for 2013 and also confirms the rumored new El Loco roller coaster on the way to Circus Circus in November 2013. It isn’t clear if the November timeline was for the start of construction, or the expected opening date.
(12/27/12) Screamscape sources tell us that Circus Circus may be adding a new coaster to the Adventuredome by late 2013. If all goes as planned, I've heard that they have hired S&S to design a custom El Loco style coaster design for the casino's enclosed theme park. Stay tuned for more!
(12/19/12) According to an update posted to Coaster-Net, the plans for a “waterpark” at Circus Circus sounds more like a fancy play pool area for the hotel than they do a true waterpark. Apparently the plans only call for a 21 foot tall play structure, two very short waterslides (65 and 90 ft) and a lazy river, along with a small collection of cabanas, snack stands and a retail store shop. Nothing was said about enclosing it either, so as I said, this sounds more like a fun play pool area for the hotel and not an actual waterpark project like what is being built at Wet ‘n’ Wild or Cowabunga Bay. They don’t mention an opening date, but mention a possible 18 month construction timeline which would see the new pool area ready by Summer 2014.
(12/13/12) Circus Circus has filed paperwork with the county to request a zoning change on a large 22.3 acre section of their existing 49.5 RV park property to add a new water park. According to the agenda filed with the county it looks like the new “recreational facility” (aka: water park) will take up 5.5 acres. Based on the size, I can only hope we are looking at an indoor waterpark project, which only makes sense, as Circus Circus is known for their giant pink Adventuredome, so an enclosed waterpark that can run year-round is definitely the way to go here. (Otherwise, with two other waterpark to complete against opening in 2013, anything less would be a shortsighted investment…) If anyone is planning on attending the Jan. 9th meeting to find out more about the project, please do report the details to us.
2014 - SLS Las Vegas - (2/19/13) The local news reports that construction will soon begin over at the former Sahara casino site on a new $400 million casino project. The reborn casino will be named “SLS Las Vegas” and you can view the official website here where they say the 1,600 room resort will open in 2014.
2016 - Resorts World Las Vegas - (3/7/13) The latest word on what Genting has planned for their Resorts World Las Vegas project includes plans for a live Panda exhibit, a replica of the Great Wall of China, a 7.5 acre indoor water park, theaters and ‘other family-friendly attractions”. They hope to restart construction on the stalled Echelon site sometime in 2014 in order to get the first phase open to guests in 2016.
(3/5/13) Boyd Gaming’s grand Echelon site (formerly home to the Stardust) has been sitting idle since they halted construction back in 2008, but now a deal has been struck to sell the site to the Genting Group (known for the huge Resorts World Sentosa project in Singapore, home to Universal Studios Singapore) for $350 million. Genting will build Resorts World Las Vegas, their own $2 billion casino complex on the site that will start off with 3,500 rooms and a 175,000 sqft. casino. The plan is to open Resorts World Las Vegas in 2016 along with a 250,000 sqft retail mall and a 500,000 sqft convention center, a show theater and more. Genting will try to incorporate as much of the existing infrastructure leftover from the start of the Echelon project into Resorts World.
???? - London Themed Thrill Park - Planning - (3/22/13) Lets say you want to build a new attraction in Las Vegas. Lets say that you have a site picked out and money burning a hole in your pocket and you are ready to go ASAP. What is the one thing above all else you absolutely should not build in Vegas right now? If you said another “Observation Wheel”, you are correct!
That said... that is exactly what a new group is proposing to do. According to the Las Vegas Sun a group approached the zoning commission with plans this week to build something called The London Thrill, which could be the third such Observation Wheel in Las Vegas (if the stalled SkyVue project comes back to life across from Mandalay Bay). There is good news with this project however... as the London Thrill is just “one component of an entire park” to be constructed on the east side of the Strip, south of Harmon Ave, on a site currently being used by a few retail stores, a parking lot, a McDonalds and Tasti D-Lite (see it here). The entire mini-park project, estimated to cost $50 million, would be given a London theme. As for their zoning request... it was approved. Lets wish them luck and I hope to find out more about this “London themed thrill park” soon.
???? - Excalibur/Luxor Zip Lines - Proposed - (4/10/12) The latest word on the proposed ZipLine attracion to link Excalibur and Luxor claims that it will feature three lines, with the highest launching from the tip top of the Luxor pyramid itself and landing on the roof of Excalibur’s South Tower, 238 feet in the air. The second line would zip from here back towards a platform on Luxor’s east tower. Finally guests would strap onto the longest of the three lines for a 1440 ft run to a landing platform on the roof of Excalibur’s tram station. The FAA still has to weight in on the project due to the proximity to the airport, but there isn’t expected to be any opposition.
(4/5/12) MGM / Mirage Resorts is looking into possibly adding a large zip-line complex that would include several zip lines running between the Excalibur and Luxor casinos, ranging from 340 ft to 1400 ft in length. The article goes on to say that the casino’s may start to look into adding upcharge attractions like this again to their lineups as a way to make up for lower gambling revenues.
???? - Speed: The Ride Returns - Planned - (3/20/13) For anyone wondering… the pieces of Speed: The Ride are still sitting in that lot across from Mandalay Bay. You can see a few new pictures taken this past week over at TPR.
(5/2/12) Theme Park Review has posted a new set of pictures of Speed – The Ride pieces being moved to their new home across from Mandalay Bay.
(4/24/12) More pictures of Speed coming down and being moved to a new home down the Strip have been posted to Theme Park Review.
(4/23/12) Pictures showing off Speed: The Ride being taken down have been posted to Theme Park Review this week.
(4/19/12) Concept art and some new details about the new home for Speed has been found on the Blog for the construction company doing the work. They claim that they are working with Premier Rides to reinstall Speed and will reuse as much of the old coaster’s layout as possible. The starting section (Launch, turn & loop) and the spike finale will remain, but the middle section of the ride will be redesigned to navigate the new site, navigating around existing structures, and will allow for “new and exciting curves and bends to be added to the ride”. So when Speed reopens… it will essentially be a new ride all over once again. The builders also reveal that a new nightclub and concert venue will be built into the area as part of the overall project that will include an on-site radio station and a new two-story restaurant space.
(4/18/12) This article claims that Speed: The Ride at the Sahara will be moved to a new site at the south end of the strip where it will be reinstalled at the Akita Plaza (northeast corner of Las Vegas Blvd & Four Seasons Drive across from Mandalay Bay). If I’m not mistaken, this will put Speed down almost next door to the new SkyVue Las Vegas Super Wheel project, which would be quite fitting.
(4/16/12) Word from our local Las Vegas readers is that Speed: The Ride has started to come down at the Sahara Casino. Cranes are on site and working on removing the spike tower at the moment, but I have not seen a clear enough close-up of the work to know if they are taking it down carefully (to sell to a new owner) or if they are simply ripping it apart for the scrap pile.
(11/3/11) The Las Vegas Sun reports that the owners of the Sahara have filed permits to completely renovate the casino and reopen it, rather than implode it and start from scratch. One catch however… the plans confirm that the coaster, Speed: The Ride, will not be part of the new casino when it reopens. So now we get to wait and see if they take it apart carefully to sell it or if they demolish it for scrap metal.
???? - Las Vegas Monorail Airport Expansion - (6/20/11) While the Las Vegas Monorail began it’s filing for Bankruptcy over a year ago, they will return to court this week to seek permission to have it’s reorganization plan voted on by the creditors. The situation is a bit complicated of course, but the bottom line is that the Las Vegas Monorail knows that if they are ever to become financially stable they must either get the funds to expand or shut down completely within the next eight years.
Unfortunately, the expansion they are seeking does not seem to include the one thing the line really needed to succeed, which would link the Monorail to the airport. Instead they apparently only want to be able to borrow $12 million to add two more stations along the existing line. As much as I enjoyed riding on the line when in town, the extremely high cost of that ride is what is really keeping the existing Monorail from making any money I think. As a form of mass transit, it needs to be cheaper to ride the Monorail from one end of the strip than it is to take a Taxi, and in many cases, it is not at the current prices. ($5 one-way, per riders. If you have a group, a Taxi ride is far cheaper and faster in most cases.) And if the Monorail is ever to be successful long term… linking to the airport is an absolute must… really it should have been done first before running down to the now closed Sahara, but that’s a moot point anymore.
(8/25/10) The Las Vegas Monorail has filed their reorganization plan as part of exiting bankruptcy, where it’s been proposed to remove $630 million debt from them, leaving the LVMonorail with just $18.5 million upon exiting. The monorail has never been able to meet the projections placed on it, and the failing economy just made a bad situation even worse. The LVMonorail does however make enough to pay for their operational costs. If the plan is not approved, the Monorail claims their only alternative would be to eventually cease operation altogether sometime between now and 2019.
(1/15/10) It seems like only a matter of time, but the Las Vegas Monorail has officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to restructure their debt. While the monorail makes enough money to operate, it only has enough extra cash to pay off some debts, claiming that they’ve been hurt by the 30% drop in convention visitors.
(6/25/09) Check out this interesting article about the Las Vegas Monorail, where they mention that while the system makes enough money to cover it’s operational costs, they are not making enough to pay back the large debt from the system’s creation. Could a government bailout for the Las Vegas Monorail be on the horizon?
(11/7/08) According to a posting from over the summer at the Monorail Society, the expansion plans for the Las Vegas Monorail are being shorted by one mile and taking a much more direct route straight to the airport from the MGM Grand down Tropicana. The revised plan would also remove three of the previously proposed stations that would service the Hard Rock, UNLV and the Thomas & Mack Center, but by cutting a mile of rail from the the budget, the savings should be enormous.
(1/5/07) Clark County has approved the first leg of the 3.5 mile extension of the Las Vegas Monorail to McCarran Airport that will be funded entirely by private investors. The new line will include stops at Terminal 1 and 3 as well as a detour over to stop at the Hard Rock and Thomas & Mack arena. Construction will begin in 2008 and completed by 2011, granting many guests to Las Vegas with a direct door to door route from the airport to their casino destination without the hassle of taxis or rental cars.
(2/9/06) The city has now put it’s support behind a huge expansion of the Las Vegas Monorail line that will favor building the expansion to McCarran International Airport first along with a new western route around the strip that will run close to I-15 from the Excalibur / Luxor area all the way past the Fashion Show Mall and then over to link up with the existing line near the convention center. All said and done the expansion may triple the overall length of the system and cost $1.3 billion ($500 million for airport run, $800 million for the western line expansion). If everything is approved and goes well, construction could start as early as 2007 and could open by 2010, just in time to serve the new Project: City Center and Echelon Place developments. You can see what the first draft of the proposed route looks like at Vegas Today & Tomororw.
The Sad State of Themeing In Las Vegas - (8/6/12) Looking back through some old news, it kind of hit me once again how sad and generic Las Vegas is becoming. While I’ve never been the kind of person to think Vegas should have been full of theme parks and kids in strollers, I always felt Las Vegas itself was like a giant theme park for adults. Instead of themed lands, there were themed casinos featuring themed rides and attractions spread out here and there, in between the shows and ringing sound of the slot machines.
There was Egyptian World (Luxor), Medieval World (Excalibur), Adventore World (Tropicanna) Roman World (Caesar’s), Pirate World (Treasure Island) Circus World (Circus Circus), and so on. Even if the theme of the resort wasn’t clear, there were many themed elements all around to enjoy, such as the lush oasis of the Mirage, the top notch Star Trek: The Experience hidden within the Hilton, along with their cool Sci-Fi themed casino room. The rides and sounds of Nascar over at the Sahara, the vertical thrills of the Stratosphere Tower, the huge themed indoor mall of the Aladdin, the incredible aerial Mardi Gras parade at the Rio, water fountains of the Bellagio, the city scapes of New York, New York, Paris and the Venetian, not to forget the old MGM Grand Adventures park. Even the Las Vegas Monorail joined into the theme park style fun, featuring one train that was themed as if it was taken over by The Borg (Star Trek villain), with themed dialog recordings on board along with the occasional ride-along characters taking a spin from Star Trek: The Experience. Once upon a time I’d say that the themed casino elements outweighed the old style serious gambling only casinos, but over the years more and more themeing has simply been dropped in favor of more generic casino space and resorts. While Luxor may look the same on the outside as it did so many years ago, a quick trip inside will tell you things have completely changed and the heart of the once themed resort has been ripped out.
Over the past few years the big movements in Vegas has been all about new shows and the building of generic time-share and condo towers far too close to The Strip as well as the rise of new unthemed resort clusters like City Center. Many such projects have stalled out in famous ways due to the economic depression, but there is life still pumping into Vegas in the form of some new attractions at last. In perhaps a reversal of everything that was wrong with Vegas, we now see the city giving birth of two epic Giant Wheel projects on opposite ends of the strip. The Stratosphere has not stopped adding new thrilling ride experiences to the massive tower with last year’s addition of Sky Jump, the most frightening thrill ride in Vegas letting guests plunge 108 stories to the ground and even the name Wet ‘n’ Wild seems poised to leap back into Sin City next year.
Before that however we will see Eli Roth’s Goretorium open on Sept. 27th on the Strip. According to the press release, The Goretorium will be open year round and promises to create the most intense live terror experience a person can have. “The multi-level maze of frights submerges visitors into the tale of Sin City’s most deadly mythical hotel and casino, The Delmont. The self-guided horror experience begins in the lobby of the Delmont and unveils gruesome and ghastly sights of past hotel guest victims and the serial-killing family behind the deeds at every turn. Employing high-tech Vegas showmanship with old-fashioned scares, the terrifying labyrinth of live actors, animatronic frights and stunning special effects is contained in a vintage hotel setting that rivals Hollywood’s best movie sets.” Look for it across the strip from City Center off Harmon. Goretorium will also feature a themed bar called Baby Dolls, which will feature caged zombie go-go dancers with periodic live feedings! There will also be a unique horror themed retail shop and an event space with it’s own private bar called Bloody Mary’s.
I’m hoping this is just the beginning. The start of another beautiful wave of themed entertainment to hit Sin City. What I’d really love to see is the rebirth of the massive Star Trek attraction that was ALMOST built in Las Vegas years ago. Designed by The Goddard Group, we would have seen the construction of a scale recreation of the Starship Enterprise itself, dry-docked on the Las Vegas Strip down at Fremont Street. You could board the Enterprise which would have served as a themed hotel, casino and attraction all in one. In the end the idea was nixed by a shortsighted exec at Paramount, but you can still check out the artwork and ready the story how this attraction almost made the leap off the drawing board here. I’d still love to see it brought back… I know I’d make the trip to Vegas to see it. Otherwise the Vegas of today has gotten just a little too generic.