We’re going to go behind the scenes a little this week. Following Las Vegas closely can be exciting. We hear about news before it’s news and everyone else knows what’s happening. However, there’s a downside being first to know everything.
The first announcement is often only a precursor to an official announcement down the line. That official announcement is usually followed by an early preview than a groundbreaking. Once construction begins there are updates until the project is finally open two or three years later. This cycle doesn’t even include rumors that don’t come true. The Las Vegas news cycle can be long and obnoxious. We’re in the middle of this right now….
The Venetian/MSG Sphere
The Sphere at The Venetian was announced over a year ago. It took awhile for the company to address the arena. Earlier this year MSG and The Venetian revealed plans for the new arena and concert venue. This week they elaborated on the plans for the venue.
How do you excite the media in Las Vegas? Show ‘em shiny new things. This week, Las Vegas Sands and MSG flashed pretty new renderings and more information about the venue that should begin construction soon. The Sphere is legitimately a groundbreaking venue sonically on the inside and visually inside and outside. This article at Vegas Inc. has all of the impressive details.
The new arena is scheduled to open in 2020 so expect many more updates over the next couple of years. We’ll have plenty more reasons to share news about the arena so I’m not going to get too crazy until there’s actual progress. There’s only so much teasing (Wynn Paradise Park and Wynn West to name a couple close examples) that anyone should handle.
All States May Legalize Sports Betting Now
I won’t dive too deep into the weeds on this Supreme Court ruling that ended PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) this week. The short version is that states around the country may now legalize sports betting. Mississippi, Delaware, and New Jersey are expected to be among the first states to offer sports betting. There’s already a sportsbook at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.
The effect on Las Vegas should be minimal as sports betting revenue is only about 3% of gaming revenue and less than 1% of overall Las Vegas casino revenue. However, since some people will be able to bet on sports at home this will be another negative (along with all the fees) when deciding on whether or not to visit Las Vegas.
Instead of visiting Las Vegas there will be some people who may decide to stay local and save money to watch and wager on the Super Bowl or March Madness in New Jersey or wherever. However, plenty will keep their annual visit to Las Vegas around these events too.
After all, who’s going to New Jersey for Spring Break during March Madness? Brrrr.
NCAA Championships May Come To Las Vegas
Speaking of March Madness in Las Vegas, the games may actually be coming to Las Vegas. Since PASPA was repealed, the NCAA has temporarily lifted its ban on states that allow single-game wagering from hosting championship events.
The long and short is that the NCAA basketball tournament, College Football Playoff, or any NCAA championship can take place in any state, including Nevada, moving forward. That could change given the temporary status but that seems unlikely as states begin to legalize sports betting.
Las Vegas Arch and Sign
This new arch and sign will not be replacing the “Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas” sign everyone recognizes as the official sign of Las Vegas. The Las Vegas arch and sign will be more like an entry to downtown Las Vegas.
While the rendering looks nice, it’s not accurate. The image above almost looks as if the arch and sign are located in front of the Stratosphere. Your new entryway to downtown Las Vegas and location to grab a pic for Instagram or Facebook will be at 1800 Las Vegas Boulevard. That’s just a quick walk north from the Strat towards downtown Las Vegas.
There aren’t too many news Quick Hits this week. However, these are sort of all over the place this week and interesting as always.
- Something about eSports and a Guy Fieri taco stand opening at Rio All-Suite Hotel. Read more here.
- FlixBus has rides from LA to Vegas from $2.99 each way (plus $2 fee for a total of $4.99). Read more here. Find tickets here.
- Blackstone sold their final stake in Hilton. They made a ton of money on the deal. Read more here. The article has lots of interesting information but no details on the future of the Cosmopolitan.
- Mandarin Oriental will become a Waldorf Astoria in September. The good news is that the Mandarin Bar will remain! It will have a new name but the space will still be home to the bar with great views. Read more here.
- Stevie Wonder is doing a national residency with MGM Resorts properties around the country. He’s playing five shows in Las Vegas in September. Read more here.
- Wynn Resorts isn’t selling their Boston Harbor casino. Read more here.
Palms is Getting Sassy
This week Palms Casino Resort revealed the phase one updates to the media. Unfortunately, I missed the preview do to illness but everything I saw looks great (Vital Vegas has pics here, here, here, and here. This isn’t another Station Casino.
Palms Casino Resort is a unique property for the company. They’ve brought in new outside partners that are delivering something new for the company to create a very different experience. Check out this sassy sizzle reel.
We shared a quick update on phase 1 renovations at Palms last week. Renovations will continue into 2019. Look for a new nightclub, restaurants, and hotel rooms in the Fantasy Tower.
Podcasters After Dark – May 26th 10PM
Seats assigned by purchase date, ORDER EARLY for the best seats! 🎙Podcasters After Dark!🎙 Saturday, May 26th in 🎰VEGAS🎰 at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino. Sponsored by The Bettor Life Podcast by Timothy Lawson. The evening features podcasters from Vital Vegas, You Can Bet on That and Travel Fanboy with your host Mr. Rosenthal and a special intro by our good friends at Vegas Confessions Podcast. Plus Moe (DJ) Cosagio (Vegas Untz) DJ’ing for the night!
[LAST CHANCE] ZorkFest – Memorial Day Weekend
Featuring Anthony Curtis of Las Vegas Advisor talking about “The LVA Way.” Also, Gilbert Ott of God Save the Points, Richard Kerr of Award Travel 101 and much much more. You do not want to miss this! Be sure to check out the BIOs of all the great ZorkFest speakers and our detailed schedule page. Travel Smarter!
[Great Opportunity] May 27th – Award Travel 101 Bootcamp
Sunday, May 27th – 10am
Award Travel 101 Bootcamp — 3 hour intensive boot camp taught by Richard Kerr and Howie for anyone who wants to learn the basics of award travel and set themselves up for their first award trip. Our teaching will start with all attendees selecting a travel goal to attain with points and miles and working them from the ground up to achieve that goal. Throughout the course we give practical examples/applications of the methods using attendees goals.
• The FICO score and the right ways to obtain/utilize credit cards while protecting credit score
• Transferable versus fixed redemption currencies and how to use them
• Hotel and Airline Loyalty Program basics
$99 per attendee. Each attendee gets 1 year of AwardWallet Plus ($30 value).
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