We’re slowly sliding to the end of the year. Hopefully, you’re having a great holiday season. Las Vegas is always fun around this time of year, especially Las Vegas New Year’s Eve. Tourists tend to stay away from Las Vegas until after Christmas Day. After that, it’s a different ballgame.
The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is one of the busiest of the year in Las Vegas. Regardless of your religious preferences, there’s so much holiday joy all over town. People are having a great time from local bars to the shiniest bar on the Vegas Strip.
Speaking of shiny bars on the Vegas Strip, the renovation of Vesper Bar at the Cosmopolitan is complete. The turnaround was pretty quick here as the space was mostly empty when I visited the Cosmopolitan 10 days ago.
Let’s get to the biggest party of the year in Las Vegas…
Las Vegas New Year’s Eve
As you probably know, I grew up as an east coast snob. I was born and raised in New York City and typically think that things from New York City are superior to most other places. Since moving to Las Vegas my stance has changed on a few things. New Year’s Eve is one of those things that I feel differently about.
Spending New Year’s Eve at or around Time’s Square in New York City is thought of as the pinnacle of celebrating the new year. Since moving west, I’ve seen the light and there are so many great places to enjoy the end of the year.
Las Vegas is pretty spectacular on New Year’s Eve. The Vegas Strip closes to vehicular traffic and you can sort of roam freely – well, at least more freely than you could if there were cars. Holiday’s are always a party in Las Vegas but New Year’s Eve is particularly turnt.
There are parties and big-name entertainment everywhere you look. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority put together a list of some of the things you can enjoy in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve. There’s a lot listed but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Pinnacle of New Year’s Eve Night
The pinnacle of New Year’s Eve night is fireworks above the Vegas Strip. The huge show will include choreographed fireworks shot from the roofs of MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace Las Vegas, Treasure Island, The Venetian and The Palazzo, and The Strat. While not my thing, people seem to love fireworks.
There are also fireworks at the Plaza and a party at the Fremont Street Experience if you prefer to hang in downtown Las Vegas. Both scenes are pretty crazy and a fun time if you’re into crowds.
The locals casinos are busy but aren’t as chaotic as the touristy areas. The best part of the day and night is that you don’t have to be bundled up unless you decide to stand outside all night.
While New York City is still the best for a lot of things, I’ve seen the light on New Year’s Eve. Warmer climates and entertainment hubs like Las Vegas are also great times. Personally, I’ll see the touristy parts of Las Vegas next year. There are way too many drunk locals and California drivers in town for me to deal with.
Circus Circus Sale Complete
MGM Resorts announced the sale of Circus Circus in October. A few weeks ago new owner Phil Ruffin shared some of his plans for the property. Well, the deal is officially complete and Ruffin is wasting no time putting his stamp on things.
He’s already upgraded many of the table games. There are now $10 3:2 blackjack games that are signature games at Treasure Island. He also removed the Triple Zero roulette and increased craps odds from 2x to 3x-4x-5x.
Ruffin has also handed over control of the Circus Circus sports book to William Hill. After the Super Bowl, the sports book will receive an upgrade with new TV’s, seating, and more. The renovation will be completed in time for the first weekend of March Madness. Ruffin also plans to renovate the main casino floor and Slots-A-Fun.
Players Club Card Kiosks
I recently made my first visit to Ellis Island. As one does, I signed up for a players club card when I arrived. The procedure was new to me as there are two self-serve kiosks to sign up or reprint players club cards. The process was easy and efficient. I’m surprised that I haven’t seen these machines in other casinos in Las Vegas.
Well, it turns out that Caesars is now using similar kiosks to enroll and reprint players club cards. An eagle eye spy saw a machine at the Rio on a recent trip. This promo video for Horseshoe Baltimore is showing an all-new players club area with a variety of kiosks.
I’m all about not waiting in line for quick answers and tasks. This kind of automation works for me. The downside is that this is just another way robots are taking over Las Vegas.
It seems as though we’ll have a few more weeks without too much big news in and around Las Vegas. Once again, we have a slew of short informational nuggets with all the news you need.
- Wynn Resorts extended the contract of its CEO, Matt Maddox, through 2022. Read more here.
- Flat fees are now being offered in taxis going to and from LAS. Recently, I’ve had a few people tell me that they’ve opted to take cabs instead of Lyft/Uber because the ride hailing area is such a cluster. Maybe this will stop the long hauling that I hear is still happening. Read more here.
- Bad news if you’re a fan of SuperShuttle as a cheap way to get from LAS to your hotel. The company is going out of business. Read more here.
- The bridge connecting Park MGM to the east side of the Vegas Strip should be open around December 23. I give it two weeks before the escalator breaks down. In other bridge news, look for a bridge to be built from The Linq to Caesars Palace Las Vegas. Call me lazy, but I like the few streets I can actually cross without hiking up the broken escalator stairs. Read more here.
- Speaking of December 23, Eater says Diablo’s Cantina at The Mirage will be opening that day. Read more here.
- Bugsy & Myer’s Steakhouse will be opening early next year at the Flamingo. Read more here.
- ZZ Top is returning to The Venetian and The Palazzo for another short residency. Read more here.
- Las Vegas residencies are now down to two shows in a calendar year. Bill Burr is taking his show in Las Vegas on the road from the Park Theater to another casino. He now has a residency at the Cosmopolitan. Read more here.
- While sports betting is growing online and via mobile there’s still a customer base for physical parlay cards in Las Vegas. This story from ESPN is a fun read if you’re into sports betting.
- Since we’re talking about sports, William Hill is the first Nevada sports book operator to offer season win totals for the 2020 MLB season. You can see the info here.
- There are more Chick Fil A restaurants opening next year in Las Vegas. Read more here.
- Sometimes the Vegas Strip can be overwhelming. Blu room at The Venetian might be a good place to visit if you get stressed out on your next trip. Read/See more here.
- Lee Canyon is open for the season. Yes, you can ski or snowboard about 30 minutes away from the Vegas Strip. Read more here.
- Psycho Las Vegas has added a slew of new bands to the show at Mandalay Bay next year. Blue Oyster Cult, At The Gates, and others are listed here while Thursday, Pinback, and others are here.
- According to the Bern, MGM Resorts didn’t pay taxes last year. He listed a bunch of companies that didn’t pay taxes here.
- How about some casino real estate rumors? GLPI and VICI might be merger partners in the future. Read more here.
- The southwest area in Las Vegas is booming. There’s a massive shopping area from the people that built Town Square breaking ground next year. Read more here.
- Eater has some 2020 restaurant openings to look forward to. I cannot wait for Majordomo and will be there early next year. Read more here.
- The Golden Tee World Championships are returning to Las Vegas next year! See more here.
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