Everything in life changes and nothing stays the same forever no matter where you live. If you’re lucky a favorite business back home will last a lifetime. That’s not quite the case with businesses on the Las Vegas Strip.
A very successful business on the Vegas Strip might last 7 to 10 years but that’s rare. Even successful businesses change after 5 or 6 years. The name might remain the same but the product offered will change to meet customer demand. Nicer hotels (think luxury) on the Vegas Strip will usually refresh their hotel rooms every 5 to 6 years. Restaurants, bars and nightclubs might have a shorter time frame before being refreshed.
According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority about 16%-19% of the visitors to Las Vegas annually are making their first visit. New visitors want what’s hot today, not 5 years ago. Returning visitors are just as fickle when choosing a place to eat, drink or party than they are on where they choose to sleep.
When the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas opened in 2010 it was marketed as the Las Vegas hotel and casino that offered “The Right Amount Of Wrong.” The idea was that they were offering a very different experience than you might be used to in Las Vegas. They did offer something different but it wasn’t a profitable combination. After years of not making money, the Cosmopolitan was sold to the Blackstone Group and has changed their focus a little.
The curious class is still welcome at the Cosmopolitan but so is Joe Gambler who might not have felt welcome before. The hotel and casino is still offering unique restaurants and bars and beautiful hotel rooms. They’re just mixing their offerings to appeal to more people to help the bottom line.
Here’s a look at some of the changes you’ll see at the Cosmopolitan 5 years after if first opened:
The best example of finding a mix between Joe Gambler and the younger customer at the Cosmopolitan is the new sports book on the first floor. The space perfectly fuses the fun Cosmopolitan vibe with a place for traditional gamblers to bet on sports, video poker, blackjack and roulette. This is the perfect combination of sports bar and casino
Financially this is a win for the Cosmopolitan. The 21 video poker machines at the bar alone are expected to generate more revenue than the 120 slot machines that used to occupy the space. Additional gaming revenue should come from the 6:5 blackjack tables. The Cosmopolitan has also doubled the rent paid by the sports book operator, CG Technology since the space is twice the size of the old sports book. (Also see Cosmopolitan Identity Players Club.)
The sports book is one of the closest to the Vegas Strip so gamblers can just run in and place a wager and head back out to grab an Eiffel Tower slushy drink while exploring the Vegas Strip. The new Starbucks is located right next to the sports book and is even closer to the Vegas Strip.
Starbucks might be the most basic coffee shop brand in Las Vegas but it appeals to the mainstream visitor that the Cosmopolitan is looking for. Like the sports book, this makes use of space that didn’t generate much revenue in the past. In order to make Starbucks fit the Cosmopolitan brand, it was spruced up by adding an art installation from Georges Rousse.
On the surface, this coffee shop may not be interesting but it allows the Cosmopolitan to have one of the most accessible Starbucks on the Vegas Strip. The Starbucks brand might not seem as though it fits the Cosmopolitan aesthetic but it works. The unique art concept couldn’t be done at many other casinos on the Vegas Strip than the Cosmopolitan.
These changes are both located in the southeast corner of the Cosmopolitan. You might never know these changes happened unless you drink Starbucks (Ve Bene is still open on the by the West Tower, bet on sports or take a photo in the big red high heel shoe.
Gaming additions don’t stop here as an additional high limits lounge called the Talon Room will be opening on the second floor. The center of the casino floor has a brand new high limits slot room which will appeal to high-end gamblers while they’re renovating the current high limits table games room.
The Cosmopolitan also refreshed the bar in the center of the casino. CliQue Lounge now operates in the space formerly known as Book & Stage. The mixology lounge replaces the live music and sports book overflow lounge that isn’t as necessary today as it might have been 5 years ago.
Since opening, the Cosmopolitan has been known for high-quality restaurants of all varieties. Even though some concepts have been successful, there’s sometimes a need to infuse new blood into an older concept.
Their sushi restaurant option is a great example of moving a concept forward. Some properties in Las Vegas might have been satisfied with the success of Blue Ribbon Sushi. The restaurant and sushi bar still get rave reviews but the Cosmopolitan will be bringing in a new sushi restaurant to elevate the experience of sushi fans. Later this year high-end Japanese restaurant, Zuma, will fill the void left by Blue Ribbon closing.
The second floor Va Bene coffee shop location closed when Starbucks opened. It will be replaced with a quick serve breakfast hotspot from Los Angeles called Eggslut. Renowned chef, David Chang, will open his first restaurant in Las Vegas, Momofuku, later this year. Tao Group recently opened Beauty & Essex in the restaurant space formerly occupied by Comme Ca. Circling back to Blue Ribbon Sushi, expect that the same restaurant operators will announce a new concept for the space later this year.
When the Cosmopolitan first opened its restaurants were a major attraction for those not necessarily looking for a casino just to gamble (GASP!). The new dining options might invigorate that line of thought while the casino upgrades might, just might, give big spenders a reason to do a little gambling.
One of the seemingly unnecesarry renovations is taking place at Chandelier Bar. The first level of the beautiful bar will be closed most of the summer. This is one of my favorite bars in Las Vegas, so I can’t wait to see what they have planned for an already perfect bar.
New And Refreshed Hotel Rooms
The hotel rooms at the Cosmopolitan have among the highest ADR (Average Daily Rate) and occupancy rates in Las Vegas. After a few years of operating some of those rooms might be showing a little wear and tear. An easy way to keep rates high and offer guests something new is to refresh and offer new hotel room product.
The new City Studio rooms are the evolution of their base City rooms. These rooms might be considered (junior) suites in other hotels but not the Cosmopolitan. They offer a higher level of suite than just a larger room. In addition to the infamous terrace and wraparound terrace suites the Cosmopolitan is now offering Executive Suites, refreshing its Lanai Suites and will be adding East Tower Penthouse Suites to their room collection.
The hotel rooms at the Cosmopolitan have always been great but the added variety will continue to set the property apart from everyone else in Las Vegas. You can see their room options here.
The More It Changes The More It Remains The Same, Kind Of
There have been a lot of changes at the Cosmopolitan since being acquired by Blackstone. The property has taken some of the focus from creating a unique experience and has started to look at generating revenue in a more traditional manner. Coincidentally, as gaming revenue has increased the overall financial results followed. The Cosmopolitan has been seeing their first profitable quarters since opening. The new restaurants and hotel rooms should keep those revenue sources at the top of their game.
The Cosmopolitan may not offer the “right amount of wrong” exclusively but the property still offers a similar environment. This isn’t the same cutting edge property that it was upon opening but the Cosmopolitan still offers a different experience than any hotel and casino on the Vegas Strip. It’s not easy to reinvent a property while keeping what made it special but the Cosmopolitan has done that.
Other articles about the Cosmopolitan you might find interesting:
Sunday News | Changes at Cosmopolitan and SLS while Mr. Las Vegas may return to The Vegas Strip
Hotel Review: The Cosmopolitan Lanai Suite
Cosmopolitan Identity Players Club