The saying is that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” In Las Vegas, this is half true. The underlying experience may remain the same for many. However, there’s certainly a lot of physical change that you can actually see happening every day in Las Vegas.
You probably already heard the rumor that MGM Resorts was considering filling in the fountains at Bellagio. Well, that was quickly shot down by MGM Resorts reps. Unfortunately, this could happen eventually.
Walking into a Las Vegas casino-resort that was around 10-20 years ago is often a different experience today than it used to be. Themes, shows, bars, restaurants, design and just about everything in Las Vegas changes.
Monte Carlo is still open but being renovated to become Park MGM. The new casino-resort will use the bones of Monte Carlo but everything will be different. Walking through the property today is manic with all of the construction. This casino hasn’t resembled the original Monte Carlo theme for a few years so it won’t entirely be missed.
Las Vegas is always evolving and sometimes changes can creep up. After news that SLS Las Vegas was sold I hopped over to grab a chip in case the name changes. The sale of the casino on the north end of the Vegas Strip should be approved in the 3rd quarter of the year (July, August, September). I wanted to make sure I had a memory of the casino that was only open for a few years.
There may not be any other official changes planned with existing Las Vegas casinos but that doesn’t mean properties aren’t discussing changes. Always keep an eye on the old because that’s what usually goes away first.
Here are a few casinos you might want to visit on your next visit to Las Vegas. Nothing is planned for these properties but it’s always good to get those memories while you can.
Excalibur and Luxor – Renovations at Excalibur have been in the rumor mill for over a year. It’s entirely possible the castle theme changes sometime in the next few years. Last year MGM Resorts CEO, Jim Murren, said the company would no longer be theming their properties so expect something simple.
Even though Luxor has been slightly de-themed on the casino floor over the years it still has a theme. There aren’t rumors about this property but it’s next door to Excalibur so it’s something to keep an eye on.
The Mirage – In 2015 MGM Resorts reduced the number of volcano explosions outside of The Mirage. The lava is only seen twice each day during the week and three times on the weekend. Since that time almost the entire casino floor has been renovated.
The Polynesian theme still exists but it’s somewhat muted. If I remember correctly, less than 10% of volcano viewers actually walk into the casino. Maybe MGM Resorts would consider removing the volcano at The Mirage if they’re really looking to decrease a Strip-front attraction.
Circus Circus – Rumors about this circus themed hotel have been around for as long as I can remember. This is still a great value hotel for families today. However, the property has been a bit run down for about the six years I’ve lived in Las Vegas. There aren’t any rumors about this property changing at the moment but it’s old and something’s gotta give at some point.
Bellagio – The fountain show is iconic and may never go away. Then again it might go away someday. This casino has some of the most beautiful free attractions in Las Vegas. The Chihuly blown glass in the lobby, conservatory and botanical gardens and the world’s largest chocolate fountain are just a few things to see at Bellagio today. You should see them while you can. Hey, ya never know.
Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.