LAS VEGAS Area Attractions
Las Vegas, Nevada
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(8/7/15) Las Vegas Monorail May Look Into Expanding Once Again (MORE...)
(7/26/15) Poolside Fire Erupts at Cosmo Hotel (MORE...)
(7/23/15) Special 3-Day Show Coming to Bellagio Fountains Next Month (MORE...)
(7/17/15) Blue Man Group Return To Luxor and More (MORE...)
Vegas is known worldwide for its huge hotels and casinos, mixed with top attractions, rollercoasters and more. The hotels and casinos are a huge draw with many getting their buzz from gambling, but did you know you can also play online in the US. Top games include slots, craps and perhaps for the thrill seeker - poker. Poker is a popular live game, but is huge online as you can see at PokerSites.us. Whether for gambling or leisure, enjoy!
Las Vegas News - (8/7/15) When people who visit Las Vegas think of the Las Vegas Monorail they usually think of one thing... "Why the heck doesn't this go to the airport!?" Plans have been drawn up and scrapped at least twice now to do just that, but financial troubles for either the monorail, or the world in general, have squashed those plans time and again.
The good news is that plans to expand the monorail are likely to rise up once again, this time as a reaction to the purchase of the Riviera by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which have long term plans to expand from the current site over to the strip on the former Riviera casino site, and they are sure to include a want for more monorail stops at the new facility. Of course an expansion from the MGM Grand to finally run down to the airport is also likely to be in play as the most requested feature of the Monorail line, as well as a once proposed expansion that could see it extended to run down to Mandalay Bay as well. Cross your fingers they finally get this thing done.
(7/26/15) A huge fire broke out on the rooftop pool of the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. In dramatic fashion the black smoke drew attention from all over the strip as the poolside fire was fueled by fake palm trees and poolside cabana structures, and caught on video by many tourists from nearby hotel room windows that offered a perfect view of the blaze such as the video below shot by a guest staying at the nearby Vdara and posted to Twitter. Firefighters had the blaze out about 30 minutes later and all is well, with no one burned and only one guest treated smoke inhalation. The exact cause of the fire has yet to be determined.
(7/23/15) For those of you who may be in Las Vegas from Aug 14 - 16, you may be in for a special treat as the Bellagio fountain show will take on an entirely new look for those days. As part of a celebration of Japanese culture, a "Kabuki" show will take place over the waters in front of the famous casino that will feature "larger-than-life animation and water choreography" as part of a performance of the Kabuki work, "Koi Tsukami". Huge Koi fish will be projected onto the Bellagio fountains that will engage in battle with a live actor standing on a 165 foot stage built into the lake as part of this new 30-minute long show. The number of shows will be limited as well to 9:15pm on Aug 14, 9:15pm and 11:30pm on Aug 15 and 9:15pm and 11:30pm on Aug 16th. Three nights only, so if you are in Vegas on those days, don't miss it.
(7/17/15) MGM Resorts has announced plans to build a new 5,000 seat performance theater at the Monte Carlo casino. This is in addition to the large 20,000 seat arena that is already under construction between the Monte Carlo and New York, New York casino properties. Along with this move, the current Blue Man Group show at Monte Carlo will move back to the Luxor casino and re-launch with a new updated version of their show.
(6/27/15) Plans for a new casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip called "Alon Las Vegas" were filed with the county. According to this article, the Alon casino would take over the site of the former Frontier casino and feature a two-tower 1,100 room casino resort just north of the Fashion Show Mall. The plans also show a large performance theater space, a nightclub, ballroom and pool so far.
(6/25/15) Some fun new pictures from Las Vegas have been posted this week to the new Casino Lovers Digest site. The list includes demolition of the Harmon tower at City Center, construction at Resorts World Las Vegas, construction on the new Lucky Dragon casino (going in next to Allure) as well as the Las Vegas Arena.
(6/15/15) While Vegas is known for hosting some pretty large and successful events all year long, it seems one of the latest attempts to create a new music festival has failed miserably. According to this report the first Rock in Rio USA music festival is taking a $28 million loss, plus MGM Resorts who partnered with them is also said to have taken a $45 million loss for building the 40-acre site for the event at the corner of Sahara Ave and the Strip, though they always hoped that they would be using this same infrastructure to host other events on the same site down the line.
Despite the original projections of hosting 320,000 guests over the four day period, apaprently only 130,000 tickets were sold, as the popular event from Brazil & Portugal was unable to gain any brand traction in the US. Initial plans had the event set to return in 2017, and while no one is talking just yet, many suspect that the first Rock in Rio USA will end up being the last.
(6/9/15) Looking for a bit of zombie themed fun the next time you visit Las Vegas? I just heard about an attraction called The Zombie Apocalypse Experience, which offers an "interactive recreation" of what an actual Zombie Apocalypse would be like. To survive, you join the Zombie Assault Team and are tasked with clearing out four different infected zones of dead-heads... without getting eaten alive of course.
To accomplish this task you are given a .50 caliber paintball shotgun, perfectly tuned to complete your task. While the zombies are not intelligent enough to shoot back at you, they will move quickly, so wear comfortable shoes, move quickly and stay alive. You need to be at least 10 years old to experience the Zombie Apocalypse and the experience is said to take betwen 30-45 minutes. If you've had the pleasure of trying this out, I'd love to hear more, otherwise you can find out all the official details here.
(5/5/15) The infamous Riviera Casino in Las Vegas closed down on Monday forever, to make way for an eventually expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center as it extends towards the Strip. The Las Vegas Sun takes a final look at the Riviera and it’s 60 year history along with a few photo galleries to remember it by. Meanwhile, look for the casino to be imploded sometime later this summer.
(4/17/15) Believe it or not, a new musical show based on the Duck Dynasty family has opened at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas this week. The show is called “Duck Commander Musical” The musical show tells the rags to riches story behind the now famous Duck Dynasty family, all in about 90 minutes in the casino’s Crown Theater, with shows every day except Wednesdays. You can find out more at the show’s official website.
(3/9/15) A great little photo update showing off projects under construction all over Las Vegas right now can be seen at CasinoLoversDigest this week. This includes a look into the construction site for the Rock in Rio USA concert/festival area now under construction, the opening of the new outdoor Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally's, an outdoor preview of the revamped Zumanity show from Cirque du Soleil in front of the Statue of Liberty at the NY/NY Casino, the new arena under construction behind NY/NY and much more.
(2/21/15) it's official, the Las Vegas Tourism Authority
has given their OK for the $182.5 million deal to purchase the Riviera hotel in order to demolish it to make way for a huge expansion to the Las Vegas Convention Center that will push the famous site all the way over to have an entrance off the Las Vegas Strip itself. The Riviera will close down forever on May 4th, 2015.
(2/18/15) It is official... the Las Vegas Tourism authority did confirm their intent to buy the Riviera casino and tear it down to help make way for long term expansion plans for the Convention Center. They will meet again this Friday to make their final discussion of the plan and probably vote on going ahead with the $182.5 million purchase. The Clark County Commission has already voted to approve issuing $185 million in bonds for the authority to fund the purchase.
(2/16/15) According to the local news, the famous Riviera casino in Las Vegas may be ready to sale off into the pages of local history books. If the rumors are true the casino will be sold and demolished by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and the site reused for "convention center expansion activities".
Given the location, I'm not quite site I understand why it would be used for the convention center, since the Riviera's narrow property runs from the strip, almost directly across the street from Circus Circus and runs back almost to Paradise Rd, where it would bump up against the old Flamingo Hilton property, next to the convention center. So unless they are wanting to add another major wing for the convention center across the street, I'm just not seeing what they might use the Riviera site for.
(1/30/15) According to this article, if you had been following the Social Media efforts of the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, they just parked a huge construction crane out front for a time to lift something large and heavy up to the resorts pool level, which is actually on the roof front portion of the casino, six stories high.
According to the report, the crane lifted up a new FlowRider stationary surf wave machine up onto the pool deck level.
(1/28/15) February must be the unofficial implosion month in Vegas this year, because in addition to the Clarion being taken down, a failed residential tower project towards the Western edge of the valley called the The Gramercy or ManhattanWest on Russell Road will be imploded on February 15th at 8am.
(1/23/15) The local news in Las Vegas reports that the 12-story Clarion Hotel & Casino, just off the Strip, will be imploded early in the morning of February 10th, sometime between 2am and 3am. The casino has gone by many names in the past, though perhaps the best known for it's run as the Debbie Reynolds Hollywood Hotel, and for briefly being owned by WWE for a short time who decided to re-sell it before going through with plans to give it a Wrestling themed makeover.
(1/18/15) On Jan. 1st, 2015...
New Years Day... a holiday known also as National Hangover Day, the Madame Tussauds Las Vegas attraction opened a new addition called The Hangover Experience, themed after the famous movie series. The new themed room replicates the notorious hotel room, a smashed replica of a Las Vegas Metro police car, a wedding chappel and a new figure of Alan (Zach Galifianakis) in costume will join the existing Phil (Bradley Cooper) figure.
(1/12/15) As previously reported, Caesar's is expected to file for bankruptcy on January 20th. According to the local news, the casino giant claims that they have already gained supported from a signifigant number of their creditors to go through with a $18.4 billion debt restructuring plan that would see the companies debt reduced to $8.6 billion.
In other interesting news, a division of the Blackstone Group has purchased the struggling Cosmopolitan casino resort for for $1.73 billion, with the deal already being approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission. According to the article The Cosmo has yet to turn a profit since it opened back in December 2010.
(12/28/14) Our friends at Theme Park Adventure report that the Excalibur casino have opened a brand new Buffet this week, which is good as I think I’ve eaten at the Excalibur buffet many times over the years and it was always the same… perhaps one of the oldest Buffet areas I had seen in one of the major Vegas casinos on the strip, so change is good!
(12/24/14) Christmas break is here… and if you have decided to take a trip to Las Vegas, it isn’t all just slot machines and red-nosed black-jack dealers. There is still some great holiday themed fun to be had in Las Vegas this time of year it seems.
For example, check out Caesars Chalet, where the casino has installed a large ice rink and winter lodge atmosphere for you to hang out in, complete with skate rentals, fake snow falling… and of course an assortment of fun holiday beverages like toasted cinnamon shots, Irish coffee, and Frozen Hot Chocolate.
If you are looking for a little more thrill, cross the street over to THE LINQ to check out WINTER PARQ, where they have set up a 30 foot tall structure for you to go snow tubing down right in the shadow of the 550 foot tall High Roller wheel.
While light displays are everywhere in Vegas as part of the norm, if you are passing by the Bellagio I’m told that the casino’s indoor Conservatory area has been transformed for the holidays to feature a very special Christmas display, along with what they are promoting as the tallest Christmas tree on the Strip.
And if you happen to be in Vegas on New Years Eve… there is no shortage of entertainment to be had, just keep in mind that the famous Strip itself actually shuts down to traffic on New Years Eve due to the sheer numbers of people on site, so be prepared to hoof it, or plan to take the Las Vegas Monorail as your primary mode of transportation.
(12/23/14) Lets travel back in time to the Las Vegas of the mid 90’s today with ParkJourney, as they recall perhaps my favorite era of Las Vegas… one when almost every major casino was trying to build theme park style attractions into their properties, or themeing their properties to become something more like a themed land. The era of the MGM Grand Adventures theme park, the opening of Luxor, Excalibur, The Circus Circus AdventureDome, the start of construction on the Stratosphere tower and much more! A decade later, most of the attractions were gone, or on the way out, but a few still remain.
(11/6/14) The Goddard Group posted some fun pictures of an attraction that was never built on their Facebook page this week. This one will be something familiar to fan’s of Las Vegas, as the Treasure Island casino was apparently looking to cut-back their costs for the Sirens of T.I. show a few years ago, and asked Goddard Group for suggestions.
Unfortunately their idea was passed on, but sounded like it would have been a great return to the more action oriented pirate show concept that the lagoon was built for, transforming the sinking Brittania ship instead into a hunated “Ghost Ship” that would rise from the depths, populated by a virtual ghost crew to be acheived through projection mapping and other visual effects. Ghost actors don’t need stunt doubles you know… so I can see the cost savings that would have taken place, while bringing back the action concept from the original show before all the “T.I.” and “Sirens” garbage was added.
(10/28/14) Want to see the ultimate Pirate paradise vacation home? You’ve got to check out the video below of a family’s private vacation home in Boulder City, NV that has taken the Pirates theme to a whole new level. It’s beautiful, wonderful, amazing and I’d stay there in a heartbeat… only therein lies the rub. We can’t stay… this 20 bedroom wonderful was built for his family to enjoy only.
Hmmm…. I wonder if they’re open to adoption?
(10/20/14) It’s not huge news, but VegasInc reports that MGM Resorts has decided to sell off the Gold Strike casino in Jean… about halfway between the Stateline casinos and Vegas proper. They will sell the casino to JETT Gaming, but the article also mentions that last month MGM had also agreed to sell off their Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino near Boulder City (an 83 year old casino property built before the Hoover Dam) to a small real estate firm. While I’ve driven past the Gold Strike many times, this was the first time I’ve ever heard of Railroad Pass, or even MGM’s ownership of it. It is interesting that MGM now seems to be selling off some of their smaller and non-core properties.
(10/14/14) ThemeParkUniversity takes a special tour of the Freakling Brothers trio of haunts in Las Vegas (Circus of Horrors, Castle Vampyre and Gates of Hell) with camera in hand. Check it out!
(10/3/14) If you happen to be in Las Vegas between Oct. 15-19 and love trying new and unique food items… we’ve got the special event for you. The Las Vegas Foodie Fest will take place in the LINQ parking lot, under the High Roller giant wheel on those days featuring 40 of the nation’s best gourmet food trucks… oh… and White Castle. Click here for all the details!
(9/12/14) According to the Eater Vegas page, the former Goretorium location on Harmon Corner is being replaced by a new Rainforest Cafe location. Landry’s, the owners of the Rainforest brand, already run a Bubba Gump Shirmp location right next door, so this makes sense.
As for the existing Rainforest Cafe at the MGM Grand… well they speculate that the long-term lease at the Grand ended last December and they may be looking to make an exit to a new location, allowing MGM Grand to repurpose the old location into as many as 3 new high-end restaurant concepts.
(7/31/14) According to this article, GameWorks will return to Las Vegas today, July 31st, at their new location at Town Square at the southern end of the strip. The previous GameWorks location on the strip closed back in 2012. Now the chain is planning a comeback with the new 7,000 sqft Las Vegas location to serve as the new flagship location. This version will also feature an 8-lane bowling alley, 240-seat dining room, sports lounge and more.
(4/23/14) Deals have been signed with MGM, Cirque du Soleil and Yucaipa to bring a huge two weekend long music festival called Rock In Rio to Las Vegas every two years. It will take place in a new open air 80,000 capacity venue to be built on the strip. In addition to 100 acts performing on six stages, it will feature several attractions like a zip line over the crowd, a ferris wheel themed to look like a giant roulette wheel, city themed streets, food courts and more. The site, to be called City of Rock, will be built on 33-acres near the corner of Sahara Ave. as part of a $20 million investment. The event is already booked for May 2015, 2017 and 2019 so far.
The good news is that once built, the City of Rock venue will be available to be used for other huge outdoor festivals and events (music festivals, food festivals, UFC events, etc…).
The Rock in Rio music festival has been taking place for the past 15 years in various international locations, and will perform this May in Libson (Portugal) and feature The Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran, Lorde, Arcade Fire, Justin Timberlake and Linkin Park. If this sounds right up you alley, you’ve got time to make plans for the US debut, as tickets won’t go on sale until January 2015.
Fall 2014 - Slotzilla / Fremont Street Zipline - Now Open - (1/5/15) The local news reports a rider got stranded in mid-run on the SlotZilla attraction near Downtown on New Year's Day. Firefighters were call out with their big boom truck to rescue the rider from the zipline unscathed and apparently un-phased. Upon being returned to the company of his wife on the group he was apparently offered a limo ride back to their hotel on the strip, as well as a free top-notch dinner at a nearby restaurant in exchange for the inconvenience. The couple turned it all down, saying they just wanted to stay longer in the area and explore the rest of the Fremont Street Experience before returning to their hotel. SlotZilla returned to normal operations later on the same day and has experienced no further problems.
(9/8/14) Screamscape sources tell us that SlotZilla has finally now opened the top level 114 foot tall Zoomline which offers Superman style flying position flights down Fremont Street in addition to the regular 77 ft Ziplines. Check out the video below to see what it looks like when you launch out the top of Slotzilla!
2014/2015 - NY/NY and Monte Carlo Updates - (6/4/14) Despite the fact that Hershey’s Chocolate World in Las Vegas didn’t look like it was quite finished yet, tweets from MGM Grand report that it did indeed open yesterday at the NY/NY Casino.
Pictures of the new themed store can be found at ThemeParkUniversity.
(6/3/14) Correction! Theme Park Investigators went over to check out the new Hershey’s Chocolate World outside the NY/NY Casino and unfortunately, it appears the rumors on Facebook of a possible June 3rd opening are false, as the site still appears to have a bit of work left to finish before it will be ready for guests. Follow the link and check out the pictures.
(4/4/14) The new Double Barrel Roadhouse at the Monte Carlo casino opened about a week ago and in addition to a menu full of tasty sounding food items, there are a few interesting one as well. The short list includes a crispy meatloaf that features bacon infused ketchup, something called, ‘Not Your Mama’s Chicken Pot Pie”, shrimp n’ grits, on site crafted wine coolers served in mason jars, “Pie-In-A-Jar” apple pie served a-la-mode in a mason jar and perhaps the most tasty sounding desert, Deep Fried S’Mores… a battered and deep fried version of your favorite chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker campfire treat, served with a heavy dusting of powdered sugar on top. I’ll place this near the top of my must visit list for my next trip to Vegas.
(8/2/13) New York, New York has closed their 300-seat Broadway Theater to allow for the expansion and remodeling of the entire front section of the casino opening in 2014.
(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.
2015 - Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas - Beach Blanket Banzai - Now Open - (4/2/15) A new video showing off the opening of the new Beach Blanket Banzai slide at Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas is embedded below.
2015 - Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas - Slideboard - Confirmed - (9/24/14) WhiteWater and Village Roadshow have announced that the first of their new Slideboarding attractions will open at Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas in 2015. According to the description. “Slideboarding is a waterslide that integrates gaming, skill, edge, and competitive sports into an experience that will define waterparks of the future. Slideboarding builds on the thrills of waterpark fun and adds in gaming in the same way we love to play today. It’s a waterslide that uses a state-of-the art ride vehicle with an S3 embedded game controller that when combined creates what we call a Slideboard. It uses a smart gaming system that knows who you are and tracks your progress/scores over your run down the waterslide as well as multiple runs thereafter. This system also posts the scores on the Scoreboards and on the home app and Slideboarding Website.”
2018 - Resorts World Las Vegas - (5/7/15) The local news reports that Resorts World Las Vegas officially broke ground this week for the huge new Vegas strip casino resort. They didn't go into too many details about what we can expect once it opens, only that project is estimated to cost $4 billion and carry a Chinese theme to it along with four resort towers, a 4,000 seat theater, aquarium, a giant panda exhibit, indoor waterpark and some kind of replica of the Great Wall of China. For now they are looking to open in 2018.
(3/25/15) According to VegasINC construction on the new Resorts World Las Vegas will finally kick into high gear on May 5th, on the site of the scrapped Echelon resort project. They hope to open the first phase in late 2017 if all goes well.
(8/1/14) Update - While the site in the photo is of the future Resorts World Las Vegas casino project, the construction seen on the site so far is not from Resorts World, but rather the leftover unfinished work started by Boyd for the failed Echelon Place casino. Resorts World will use some of this infrastructure to finish their project, while scrapping the rest where it doesn’t fit their plans for the site.
(7/31/14) One of our readers is in Vegas this week and had a great view of the new Resorts World Las Vegas construction site from their room. Check it out the picture they sent in.
(5/13/14) The latest news on Genting’s planned Resorts World Las Vegas casino resort is that they have been given the initial go-ahead to proceed through the process of obtaining a Nevada Gaming License and that the initial phase of construction on the 87-acre site will cost around $4 Billion, take about 3 years to open, and feature 3,000 hotel rooms, a huge casino, 30 food and beverage options, a 4,000 seat theater, a huge garden that will serve as the front entrance from the Strip, a “rooftop sky park” and observation deck from the top of the 674 foot tower (already FAA approved), a 50,000 sqft 58 ft tall aquarium, and possibly some kind of “studio tour” style attraction.
The project will take over the partially built Echelon project site, which was built on the site of the former Stardust Casino, and repurpose 80-85% of the existing Echelon structures already built. Overall the resort will have an Asian theme, with primarily bright red buildings and a Chinese Village themed shopping area. As for that rumored ‘studio tour’ attraction concept, it is being considered for a future phase of the resort and may be based on attractions and themes under construction at the 20th Centry Fox World theme park going into into Resorts World Malaysia.
As for those previous Panda Exhibit rumors... it is something that they may pursue bringing to Las Vegas, but there is a long and complicated process involved for anyone who wants to petition to the Chinese government to have a Panda exhibit.
(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.
???? - MGM-AEG Arena - Planning - (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.