In 2016 free Wi-Fi should be a right, not a privilege. The majority of people in the world today have at least one mobile device that uses Wi-Fi. Las Vegas may be a forward thinking city in many aspects but they’re a little behind the times when it comes to technology. In Las Vegas Wi-Fi is treated like a privilege and that’s not cool.
I’m a freelance worker and travel around Las Vegas working in some way shape or form. I use Wi-Fi on my phone, tablet and/or laptop everywhere I go for work and for play. I’m not a normal person when it comes to Wi-Fi but even when I’m out for fun I use Wi-Fi. Using photo and video sharing apps like Instagram and snapchat without Wi-Fi is slow and inefficient. Communication in my life, and the life of the majority of visitors to Las Vegas, is tied to a mobile phone and maybe a tablet.
Wi-Fi is expanding in Las Vegas but it’s still not ubiquitous as it should be for such a forward thinking town that depends on tourism. Just about every hotel room in Las Vegas has Wi-Fi included in their resort fee. This is great but it’s really just the beginning. Who’s coming to Las Vegas just to sit in their hotel room? The fabulous pictures and video aren’t taken inside of a Las Vegas aren’t in a hotel room. There’s so much awesome to see and do in Las Vegas that in-room Wi-Fi isn’t enough.
Every MGM Resorts hotel has free Wi-Fi on the casino floor for anyone to use. The free Wi-Fi is slow but it usually works. The Wi-Fi connection in some of these resorts isn’t strong enough to reach outside. Still it’s something. MGM Resorts Wi-Fi is the exception and not the rule of Las Vegas casino Wi-Fi. About half the hotels on the Vegas Strip have free Wi-Fi and even less offer it in downtown Las Vegas. SLS Las Vegas usually has blazing fast Wi-Fi on the casino floor but that’s the one great example of casino Wi-Fi. Most properties offer coffee shop speed at best.
A recent visit to Monte Carlo showed a very strong signal that reached well outside of the casino floor. This was and is great for quickly sharing photos and video outside on the Vegas Strip. It will come in handy when The Park opens in April. Similarly, free indoor-outdoor Wi-Fi is a great selling point for The Linq casino and shopping promenade.
There’s now a free Wi-Fi option for everyone outside on the Vegas Strip. In December, Vegas Media Networks launched sponsored public Wi-Fi on the Vegas Strip. The free Wi-Fi covers a 4-mile stretch outside from of Wynn to Mandalay Bay. Once you enter a property your accessibility to Wi-Fi will change.
Downtown Las Vegas is the similar to the Vegas Strip. A few properties offer free Wi-Fi but the majority don’t. You may be able to access free Wi-Fi from LV.net which covers around three square miles in Downtown Las Vegas.
Sharing photos and videos should be encouraged in Las Vegas. Free Wi-Fi will only help remind visitors to promote the beauty of Las Vegas. We’ll get there. Let’s just hope it’s sooner than later.
The Park Set To Officially Open On April 4
The Park is the land in between New York-New York and Monte Carlo that was formerly used exclusively as a conduit to reach the Monte Carlo Porte Cochere and self-park garage. The space still offers this access but will also be a pedestrian area that leads to T-Mobile Arena which will open later in the week.
The Park is a good use of space similar to The Linq promenade which used to be an alley between Flamingo and Imperial Palace. The Park will mainly be a way to walk to the T-Mobile Arena from the Vegas Strip but the area will offer much more than just a pathway.
The Park will have places to eat, drink and simply hang out. This is intended to be a place where you can enjoy yourself inside and outdoors. The landscaping will consist of traditional southwest native plants and cooling elements so you can enjoy the area all year around. Mature trees, vegetation, water features and artfully designed shading structures will offer a little respite from the desert sun.
The Park will feature patio-style seating which is meant to encourage a genuine social environment. Some of the seating alcoves will be part of large planters will provide areas for relaxation. The Park will also marry the outdoors with the indoors. Many, if not all of the restaurants at The Park will have outdoor seating so you can enjoy the sun, shade and moonlit sky at night.
Restaurants at The Park will range from fast-casual to mid-level. This is to say that everything will be affordable. There are no fine dining options planned for The Park.
Here’s an overview of the confirmed restaurants:
Shake Shack (Already Open) – The much-beloved Shake Shack is considered a modern day “roadside” burger stand known for its all-natural burgers, flat-top dogs, frozen custard, beer, wine and more. The restaurant features a wraparound patio that overlooks either The Park or New York-New York’s Brooklyn Bridge.
Beerhaus (Details to be released soon) – This is intended to be a fun and unpretentious beer garden, this bar and restaurant will be highlighted by its outdoor spaces and vantage points of all The Park’s activity. You’ll be able to enjoy in sustainably raised farm-to-table meats, an impressive regional craft brew list, live music and games like bocce ball, darts and outdoor ping pong.
Sake Rok – Sake Rok is being called a “theatrical hotspot” that “will thrill guests with more than just its array of delicious sushi, Japanese cuisine and private sake label.” The description sounds more than interesting so let’s just quote MGM Resorts here: “By night, Sake Rok will transform into a high-profile social dining extravaganza, immersing guests in an experience part culinary, part performance and completely unexpected. Inspired by Japan’s vibrant pop culture and fashion movements, interactive servers will invite guests to partake in restaurant-wide sake bombs while doubling as entertainers, spontaneously breaking into dance and lip-sync serenades.”
Bruxie – This is a fast-casual, gourmet waffle restaurant born out of Orange County, CA. Bruxie’s breakfast sandwiches use a light, airy authentic Brussels Waffle known as the “Bold Fold.” The Waffle is crisp, lightly yeasty and not sweet – reminiscent of freshly baked bread. I look forward to trying it if only to compare to DuPar’s.
More restaurants, such as Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, have been rumored to be opening in the future. T-Mobile Area will have its first concert on April 6. The Theater at Monte Carlo is scheduled to open this winter.
The Park has a really nice website with more information and more renderings. The one thing missing from The Park website is information on where to park and how much it will cost. That information will be released shortly before the opening.
As I write this my friends on the east coast are bracing for a major snow storm. Meanwhile, Las Vegas is getting ready for the best time of the year. Spring is almost upon us. Just a few days ago the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that flowers are already starting to bloom in Death Valley. Sure, Death Valley is way too hot a bit warmer than Las Vegas but temperatures in the Las Vegas valley are already into the 60’s and the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s are right around the corner. One can’t help but be excited to spend time outside.
Spring is an important season in Las Vegas. It’s the link between the chilly winter and the deliciously hot summer. Sure, the fall has nice temperatures but they appear and disappear before you realize that it’s fall. The temperatures in the spring seem to last longer as they warm up. The spring is the perfect time of year to enjoy some outdoor activities in Las Vegas since the summer might get a little too hot for some people to enjoy time outside. Here are a few things to do before the sun starts sweltering.
Hike Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon is about a 20 minutes drive from the Vegas Strip but it feels as though you’re in an entirely different world. The actual Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is made of almost 200,000 acres and located in the Mojave Desert. The desert gets a bit hot during the summer which makes the spring the best time to walk through Red Rock Canyon. There are 19 different trails ranging from less than a mile to 6 miles to explore. During your hike(s) you’ll enjoy rock formations, plants and wildlife.
There are multiple hotel-casinos in the area if you’d like to hike during the day and cut loose with a little Las Vegas style fun at night.
Ride an ATV
One of my first trips to Las Vegas was for a bachelor party. Planning an afternoon activity that couldn’t be done back home wasn’t difficult. We quickly settled on driving ATV’s around the desert. The afternoon that we planned on going for a drive ended up being one of the hottest days of the year in Las Vegas. The operator refused to let us cruise the desert and we were all disappointed. This was the kind of thing we’d only get together to do in Las Vegas. All wasn’t lost the day was spent drinking and gambling. Oh, the horror.
If you’re curious to try riding an ATV in the desert you might want to do it before the summer temperatures reach their peaks.
Explore The New Downtown Las Vegas
#DTLV as the cool kids call it is more than just the casinos under the Fremont Street Experience. The Fremont Street Experience is great but there’s much more to explore downtown than ever before. Walk over to the Arts District to enjoy some local art. Head to Downtown Container Park and do a little shopping and have lunch al fresco while the kids play in the park area. If you’re really open to exploration then you might want to head even farther away from the Fremont Street Experience and grab a book at The Writer’s Block and read at Makers & Finders one of Las Vegas’ most popular new coffee shops.
Downtown Las Vegas now offers a good amount of Vintage Vegas with a growing urban population. The changes are even more interesting if you been to downtown Las Vegas but haven’t left the casino area in a while.
Downtown Las Vegas has become a destination for eating. This wasn’t always the case. There have always been restaurants to fill the stomach but very few were the kind of dining experience worth traveling for. That’s no longer the case as there are great dining experiences available for every time of the day. Here’s my perfect day of dining in downtown Las Vegas. You may have seen some of them mentioned on this blog before.
DuPar’s Restaurant & Bakery at the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino offers traditional cafe style food around the clock. The menu is huge and offers just about anything your mood could want. In my eyes there are only two things on the menu: pancakes and orange juice. The orange juice is fresh squeezed in an old fashioned juicer (like this). When you sit at the counter you may actually smell the juice as it’s made. YUM-O! The other item are the light, fluffy and most delicious pancakes I’ve ever had. They’re so good that I won’t eat pancakes anywhere else.
There are plenty of places to get pizza in Las Vegas but none really move the needle like Pizza Rock. They have multiple ovens for different styles of pizza but there’s one pizza that’s far and above the rest. The New Yorker is made in their 700 degree brick oven with all fresh ingredients including sliced mozzarella, tomato sauce, house link sausage, garlic, mini pepperoni and fresh ricotta. The pie is barely charred which allows for a delicious crunch dough base and crust. Veggies can just get a plain pie but make sure it’s from this over. The combination of dough, sauce and cheese is fantastic.
Coffee makes the day better and The Beat has one of the best cups you’ll find in downtown Las Vegas. There are plenty of places to caffeinate but none have the relaxing environment that you’ll find at The Beat. You can sit back and listen to vinyl records (like actual records which sound amazing) while you enjoy a cup of coffee and a snack. The Beat offers a different environment than you’ll find elsewhere on Fremont Street and that’s a good thing.
Not only is Andiamo one of the best steakhouses in downtown Las Vegas but it’s one of the best in all of Las Vegas. The Italian steakhouse offers steak and seafood that you’d find at a traditional steakhouse alongside Italian favorites like gnocchi and risotto. What sets Andiamo apart from other steakhouses, besides the great food and service, are the prices. While still a fine-dining restaurant you can find steak prices as low as $42 for a bone-in New York Strip.
Nacho Daddy might be best when it’s 2 a.m. and you’re ready to wind the night down but you’re not ready to stop altogether. Likewise, it’s the perfect restaurant to start or restart the evening. An order of street tacos and Dos Equis beer will cost about $10 and it’s it has just enough enough food and drink to reset the night or slide over to the off-ramp and end the night.
The last great recession in the United States was between 2007 and 2009. Las Vegas was hit harder by the recession than most cities in America. Progress in Las Vegas slowed everywhere from housing to casino construction. While CityCenter opened at the end of 2009 there weren’t many new buildings or businesses opening on the Vegas Strip at that time.
Fast forward to 2015 and Las Vegas saw a record 42 million visitors. Today new hotels, casinos, bars, nightclub and restaurant concepts are racing to open. The T-Mobile arena on behind New York-New York and Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino will be opening later this year while the Cosmopolitan is upgrading just about everything on site from hotel rooms to the casino floor.
The progress we’re seeing in Las Vegas to offer the newest and best products are impressive. Las Vegas in 2016 won’t be the Las Vegas that we saw in 2008. Heck, Las Vegas won’t be the same as it was in 2014. Not only is Las Vegas different but so is the attitude of the average person visiting Las Vegas.
Visitors to Las Vegas are younger than they’ve been in years. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority the average age of those visiting Las Vegas is has decreased significantly since the recession ended. In 2014 the average age of someone visiting Las Vegas was 45.2. This age is down from 49.2 in 2010. New data from 2015 should be released soon and this trend should continue.
Visitors to Las Vegas are different today than they used to be. Visitors have different expectations than generations before them. MGM Resorts has taken note of customer demand and recently released consumer trends that they’re seeing at their properties in Las Vegas. Here’s a quick look at some of the trends they’re seeing in dining, drinking and in their hotels:
Mastering the Classics
Tableside Beverage Service
These are trends that you won’t only see at MGM Resorts hotels but you’ll see all over the strip this year. You’ll find tableside cocktail preparation up and down the Vegas Strip including various restaurants at Aria (BARDOT Brasserie, Carbone and Sage), CliQue Lounge at the Cosmopolitan and all the way north at Bazaar Meats at SLS Las Vegas. This is a way to show off the artistry in creating craft cocktails. Millennials are looking for a special experience when they go out and this is a great way to offer something memorable and sharable.
It’s great to see many fine dining restaurants go back to basics. There was a time recently where every dish had to include a foam or some kind of over the top accessory to go with every dish. Simple and good food can be found everywhere from the fine French dining at Alain Ducasse’s Rivea at Delano Las Vegas to the casual atmosphere when dining the Northside Cafe at SLS Las Vegas.
One of the biggest trends you’ll see in Las Vegas is the increase of technology being used. Tech won’t only be used for convenience but it can help every visitor curate a personalized experience. New tech can be found everywhere from the tablets inside the hotel rooms at Aria to the self check-in kiosks at The Linq.
It’s an exciting time in Las Vegas right now. Just about everything is changing and there are so many new things to try. Even classic properties like the Bellagio and The Mirage are offering new amenities to their customers. Las Vegas is always reinventing itself but we’re currently in overdrive and it’s great to experience firsthand.
Las Vegas is a strange place. We regale our victories over the casino while we cheer when their business generates more revenue from other customers. Traditional relationships are typically more adversarial. If someone is the enemy once they’re almost always the enemy.
Just before New Year’s Eve, a headline in the Las Vegas Review-Journal read “Las Vegas smashes tourism record.” While much of the Las Vegas media seemed excited by this news all I could see were dollar signs. Lots of dollar signs.
Shortly before the end of 2015, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced that visitation in 2015 had surpassed 42 million. This number was released before accounting was complete for anyone visiting for New Year’s Eve. There were over 300,000 people predicted to be in Las Vegas for the holiday weekend. This record bested last year’s record visitation of 41.1 million people.
Record breaking visitation is great news for businesses in Las Vegas. Customers might want to be happy for their favorite businesses in Las Vegas but shouldn’t get too excited by the news. In fact, this news should raise flags for anyone planning to visit Las Vegas in 2016.
Most every business in Las Vegas operates on supply and demand. Simply put the greater the demand for hotel rooms, show tickets, restaurants, bars, etc. in Las Vegas the more money those businesses can charge for their service or product. The increase in visitors to Las Vegas will likely coincide with higher prices in the future.
The Good Ole Days
The last US recession began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009 and it hit Las Vegas harder than most cities. Casinos were quieter, wagers in the casino were smaller, hotel rooms were less expensive and it took years for businesses to get back on their feet.
In the past few years it was easy to see that visitation to Las Vegas was getting back to normal. New restaurants and bars were opening and almost every hotel room in town has been renovated. All of this construction would eventually be paid for by customers.
Prices On The Rise
In recent years we’ve seen the price of burgers go from around $5-$7 to $10-$15 dollars. At the same time we’ve seen the price of a domestic beer increase from $5 to $7-$8. We’re starting to see hotel room prices make the same climb in price. In November the average daily room (ADR) rate increased 7.3% to $121.77. During the same period hotel room occupancy across Las Vegas increased by 2.7% to 86.4% (Source LVRJ). November wasn’t an anomaly as hotel rates have been showing an increase each month from the previous year. Many hotels on the Vegas Strip have been regularly booking over 90% of their rooms each month.
The increase in visitors isn’t only because Las Vegas is a great place to vacation. November showed almost a 40% increase in convention attendance. While this month was an anomaly for the year it won’t be in the future. Mandalay Bay just completed a major expansion of their convention space and the Las Vegas Convention Center and Aria are both preparing to expand their convention space. More conventions in Las Vegas means that hotel room occupancy will continue to increase.
All of this shouldn’t freak anyone out too much. Recovery to more natural pricing a natural progression when business improves. Tourism numbers in Las Vegas are often looked at and praised because the greater revenue means better amenities. That’s true and there have been many improvements in Las Vegas in recent years. Just consider this a heads up that prices will be back on the rise in Las Vegas the next time you visit.
We’re entering an age where technology can expedite activities that used to require a person. Caesars Entertainment recognized that this trend was beginning a few years ago and tested self check-in at the Flamingo. The idea may have been a little ahead of its time as it was removed shortly after being introduced.
Have no fear if you’ve missed this technology as self check-in was reintroduced by Caesars Entertainment at The Linq Hotel last year. Self check-in at The Linq has been popular and the idea is expanding to other Caesars properties this year with more planned for in the future.
Caesars has brought self check-in back to the Flamingo and is debuting the technology at Caesars Palace. Caesars’ rollout of its new kiosk program is the latest stage in a technology solution to completely automate the check-in process, eliminating wait times and allowing you to start enjoying all Las Vegas has to offer even faster.
You may have noticed that Caesars Entertainment has been working on improving their tech offerings in the past year. They recently introduced keyless hotel room entry and The Cromwell, mobile check-in at various hotels and a new Total Rewards App that you can use many ways in Las Vegas, including self check-in.
“As the owner and operator of our resorts, we have the capability of providing our guests with the latest in innovation and hospitality-focused technology, offering a more social and integrated experience,” said Tariq Shaukat, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Caesars Entertainment. “The launch of self check-in now joins the ranks of already successful innovation for our resorts such as eKey keyless entry at The Cromwell and our ‘play by Total Rewards’ app.”
Instead of waiting in long check-in lines (especially at Flamingo and Caesars Palace) you can now head to the check-in kiosk to begin the check-in process. You will verify your ID and submit payment information right at the machine. You’ll either receive a printed key if your room is ready, or if it is not ready you’ll receive an alert to return when the room becomes available.
Additionally, anyone who booked a reservation directly through Caesars.com will have the ability to begin the check-in process at home or on the way to the hotel, either through the web or through Caesars Entertainment’s “play by Total Rewards” app. You’ll receive a notification to proceed to the kiosk to get keys when your room is ready.
Here’s a promo video of how the process could work.
This technology might not be for everyone so you don’t “have to” use the kiosk to check-in. You can still stand in line and speak with a human if you prefer. The downside of checking into a hotel in Las Vegas using a kiosk essentially removes the possibility of getting an upgrade by using your charm or a $20 trick.
Maybe Caesars or another hotel operator will add a bill acceptor to the kiosks so we can gamble $20 on a room upgrade. After all, this is still Vegas, baby!
MGM Resorts International announced that they will be introducing a fee to park or valet at most of their Las Vegas properties. The fees won’t begin until April when T-Mobile Arena opens behind New York-New York. We should learn the exact fee structure shortly before the opening date on April 6.
Here’s what we know about the MGM Resorts parking fees right now. There will be different fees for self-park and valet. There will also be a different fee for overnight guests and people visiting for a shorter period. Overnight self-parking fees will be $10 or less per night (this is in addition to the resort fee you’re already paying). Las Vegas locals will be given a grace period where they won’t have to pay any parking fees.
Details are sparse and rumors are wide on how you can earn free parking status through the M Life players club. Rumors have parking fees being waived for certain higher tiers and other rumors say that you just need to be an M Life member for free parking. Details will be released closer to opening date of the arena.
The fees will be applicable at Aria, Bellagio, Delano Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, The Mirage, Monte Carlo, New York-New York, Vdara. There will be no self-parking fees at Circus Circus, Signature at MGM Grand, Crystals Mall and Mandalay Place Shops. Mandarin Oriental and Veer Towers are on MGM property but are not a part of MGM Resorts so they won’t be subject to a parking fee. Parking fees will be based on the customer at a particular resort. For example, Aria will charge more than Excalibur. It’s interesting to note that Circus Circus will have free self-parking but charge for valet.
Parking fees will be based on the type of customer that visits at a particular MGM property. For example, Aria will charge more than Excalibur. There’s one interesting thing to note about pricing. Circus Circus will have free self-parking but there will be a charge for valet.
No other Vegas Strip property has joined MGM Resorts in charging for parking just yet. That said, they’re all keeping a close eye on how this works out for MGM Resorts. The outrage was high on the day of this announcement but things have seemed to have quieted down. At first glance, it seems as if the chances of parking fees spreading as quickly as resort fees are likely.
MGM Resorts also announced that they would be improving their current parking facilities and building a new self-park garage behind Excalibur. The new 3,000 space parking garage will serve T-Mobile Arena, The Park, and the Theater at Monte Carlo. Some of the spaces in the new garage will be reserved for MGM Resorts employees.
Current parking facility improvements include the following:
- Redesigned parking facility layouts to improve accessibility
- Parking guidance systems that will guide guests to available spaces
- Mobile technology allowing visitors to check space availability prior to arrival
- Upgraded lighting, LED signage, paint and striping
- Elevator and escalator upgrades and enhancements
- You’ll be able to check real-time availability of where you can find a parking space from a smartphone. This would allow you to quickly find a space by following new signage and LED lights. This probably isn’t something you should be looking at while you’re driving.
- Look for more details to follow in the coming months.
There are more free things to do in Las Vegas than you might think, but come winter time it’s understandable if you might not want to do them outside. That’s okay, some of the best free activities in Las Vegas are indoors. We’re not talking about window shopping and people watching (consider those a bonus), these are actual activities and things to see and do.
The aquarium at Silverton is one of the unique attractions you’ll find in Las Vegas. This 117,000-gallon saltwater aquarium is located right on the casino floor just feet away from the blackjack tables. It’s okay, younger visitors are allowed to check out the 5,000 or so fish in the aquarium. There are over 150 different species of fish including small sharks, stingrays and exotic fish. If you visit at the right time during the day you’ll be treated to a mermaid show and/or fish feedings. Times vary so check with Silverton if you plan on visiting.
Big Elvis (Harrah’s)
This is one of the most popular free attractions on the Vegas Strip. Pete Vallee is a larger than life Las Vegas impersonator known as Big Elvis. This show is an institution with 7,000 performances under its belt. Big Elvis interacts with the audience, takes song requests and invites you to participate while performing the best of Elvis Presley alongside popular songs from the past 50 years. Big Elvis performs Monday, Wednesday and Friday at The Piano Bar inside Harrah’s.
CBS Television City (MGM Grand)
CBS Television City Research Center is one of the random but awesome free activities you can enjoy in Las Vegas. Sit down and relax while you have the chance to be part of CBS’s decision-making team by viewing and rating pilots and other television programs that they’re seeking input on. This is the kind of thing that you might be able to do anywhere in the world but it somehow fits nicely into a visit to Las Vegas.
It’s just about impossible to get bored of checking out the Botanical Gardens and Conservatory at Bellagio. This 14,000-square-foot floral playground rotates themes throughout the year so you’re not always in for the same botanical experience. In addition to the four seasons – spring, summer, fall and winter – Bellagio also creates a special display for Chinese New Year. Take a walk through the flowers just off the casino floor at Bellagio. This is a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else in Las Vegas. What more could you ask for in a free activity on the Vegas Strip?
Pinball Hall of Fame (Off Strip on Tropicana Avenue)
This is a fun way to get away from the action on the Vegas Strip. The Pinball Hall of Fame is a 10,000 square foot interactive museum. There are over 100 pinball and arcade games to look at and play. The vintage pinball machines are all restored to like-new playing condition and many of them still operate on just one quarter. The Pinball Hall of Fame is home to the world’s largest pinball collection and it’s free to the public. This is a museum experience that you should expect to find in Las Vegas and nowhere else in the world.
The Vegas Strip is constantly changing but there’s one hotel that’s stood the test of time very nicely. Over the years, the Bellagio has changed many of its features inside without losing the class and beauty that has made it one of the most popular casinos in Las Vegas since opening in 1998.
It’s been 17 years since Bellagio opened and it’s still one of the most popular properties in Las Vegas. According to a USA Today, the Bellagio is the most Instagrammed location in Las Vegas and the entire state of Nevada.
The beauty of Bellagio is no secret and the fountains and conservatory make for great locations to snap a picture or twenty. While these two locations at Bellagio remain the same as they’ve ever been the casino and hotel have actually changed a lot over the years.
Bellagio last renovated their hotel rooms in early 2012 when they finished refreshing the main tower. Instead of having the same look from opening there are now three different color collections: indigo and silver, plum and green, and butterscotch and amber. The Spa Tower hotel rooms were last renovated in 2007 so we should expect to hear about a renovation in those rooms within the next year or so. New hotel rooms debuting at Aria, Cosmopolitan, Encore and The Venetian last year mean that Bellagio will have to update to keep up with the competition.
2012 was also the year that Hyde Lounge opened its first Las Vegas location. The import from Los Angeles took over the 10,000 square foot space once occupied by early customer favorite Fontana Bar. The original bar and lounge is missed but Hyde hasn’t hurt the appearance of Bellagio as one of the premier casinos in Las Vegas. Hyde operates as a lounge in the early evening hours and a nightclub well after the sun goes down. The club is set right on Lake Bellagio and early entrants can gain access to one of the most beautiful sights in Las Vegas.
There have been a slew of restaurant changes at Bellagio in the past year with the most recent being Harvest by Roy Ellamar. This restaurant is different than any you’ll find at Bellagio and features New American cuisine with sustainable, inventive dishes; farm-fresh cocktails; and rare craft beer and wine. Harvest is a unique restaurant on the Vegas Strip and it hits just about every element that makes Bellagio so popular.
Most of the casino floor has the same look and feel as the original Bellagio but that changes when you enter the sports book. The sports book has been reinvented from a room with big chairs staring at TV screens to a sports book that has a more intimate, living room feel. Big couches and leather chairs are situated that you can easily converse with friends while keeping an eye on the games.