Vegas News January 12th 2020
Sometimes the calendar (and Vegas News) moves so quickly and it takes some time to adjust to. It feels like we were just saying goodbye to 2019. Now we’re just weeks away from the Super Bowl and the year is almost over!
After “The Big Game” we’ll be saying goodbye to Hard Rock casino. Shortly after that, there will be new sports books opening in time for March Madness. Then it’s time for the NFL Draft in Las Vegas. At some point in the next six months, Caesars Entertainment should have a new owner.
The next thing you know it will be the summer and we’ll be looking forward to the Allegiant Stadium opening. There will probably a grand opening concert before the Raiders kick off their first home game in Las Vegas. After football season starts settling in, Virgin and Circa will be open. Before you can even blink, it will be 2021!
OH THE HUMANITY! How is the year already over?!
Meanwhile, I stressing about making plans for my first trip to Los Angeles in a few years. I’ve never been a fan of LA, but that changed when I decided to fly JSX for the first time. Now I can’t wait to get to LA!
JSX is a semi-private airline. A round trip ticket is less than $100 more than flying most airlines that aren’t Spirit. I decided to take a JSX flight to spice up my trip. I’ll report on the semi-luxury experience after the trip.
Okay, enough about me. Let’s get to the news in and around Las Vegas.
Say Goodbye To The Hard Rock
We all knew that the Hard Rock will be closing its casino doors forever after the Super Bowl. What’s surprising me is how emotional I’ve been getting about a casino I’ve barely visited since moving to Las Vegas. I don’t have really close ties to many casinos. Looking back, there’s one specific experience at the Hard Rock that I’ll never forget. This memory will keep the Hard Rock alive forever.
Trip Down Memory Lane – Goodbye Hard Rock Las Vegas
The first time I played craps was at the Hard Rock. The crew and the players were so friendly, helpful, and encouraging. The session lasted about an hour and I doubled my $100 buy-in. It should have been more but I was sheepish with odds because I’d never played before.
This game was an amazing experience that craps immediately became my favorite casino game. My first Hard Rock experience has been replicated for others over the years and it’s a major reason I’m such an advocate for playing craps.
Unfortunately, the Hard Rock became less than a hard-rockin’ casino before I moved to Las Vegas. It went from a casino that my friends and I would always leave the Vegas Strip to visit to an afterthought. At this point, I cannot wait for it to re-open as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas later this year.
Sorry for the tangent but that was cathartic. The Hard Rock isn’t charging resort fees if you want to stay at the hotel before it closes. The hotel is also throwing “The Last Great Party Weekend” from Jan. 30 – Feb. 2 to celebrate the property. This could be a good excuse to make one last visit and grab a chip for your collection.
I think I just talked myself into one last trip to the Hard Rock. Maybe I’ll bring the dude that used to spend his summer at the casino betting baseball there.
Sports and Sports Betting News
There’s a bunch of sports news in Las Vegas so I’ll just group it all together.
This week the Oakland Raiders removed “Oakland” from its social media accounts. It appears as though the Las Vegas Raiders will hit the social medias in March. Read more here.
Most sports books in Las Vegas still have free, first come first served, seating. That’s not the case at Caesars Palace where you’ll pay just over $100 to sit in the hallway behind the sports book bar to watch the game. As usual, there are many parties for the Big Game. I’m sharing some on my blog or twitter. Here are some Super Bowl parties at Caesars Las Vegas properties.
Check out the Vegas Big Game group on Facebook if you’re looking for advice and reviews on watching the Super Bowl in Las Vegas. The community is very helpful and there’s lots of information.
Penn National Gaming is in the rumor mill again. Last week we shared the news that the national casino operator sold the Tropicana. Now, Vox has a rumor that they’re buying Barstool sports. Their next earnings call should be chock full of info.
Las Vegas is getting a new sports book operator…kinda. MGM Resorts will be changing its PlayMGM app to the BetMGM app that New Jersey gamblers can use today. I’m not sure if this is good or bad but the app can’t be much worse. Read more about BetMGM coming to Nevada here.
According to Trip Savvy, Las Vegas is the fourth best place to visit this year. Why? Because Las Vegas is best for sports fans. Who knew?! Read more here.
MGM Resorts and Las Vegas Is Sustainable
You may have seen “MGM Resorts CEO: What Happens in Vegas No Longer Stays in Vegas” floating around online in the past week. The article was written by Jim Murren, the CEO of MGM Resorts. It’s sort of self-serving but also a good look at how Las Vegas has made more of an effort to be more sustainable.
The environmental definition of sustainability is “the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.”
We all know that casino corporations are always looking out for investors. It shouldn’t be a surprise that what Las Vegas casinos do for sustainability is to save money. While being sustainable can help profit, that isn’t the only reason for a company to operate with a greener mindset. That’s such a Gen-X term but I’m a Gen-Xer.
Some of the new practices by casinos are also better for the environment than older ways of doing business. This may not be a big deal for you but sustainability is meaningful for many consumers nowadays. These tactics are attractive to many younger customers today and future customers of tomorrow.
Quick Hits – Vegas News
The Vegas News quick hits section has been chock full of goodies lately. This week has some very useful news that you may have missed during the week.
- Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend will take place from April 9-11 at The Orleans. This festival usually sells out and always brings a fun group of people to Las Vegas. Read about it here.
- Ready to have your mind blown? Tacos el Pastor replaces the old Tacos el Gordo. Good luck remembering that when you’re not sober and looking for tacos. Read more here.
- The Drew (or Drew Las Vegas) may open by the end of 2022. I’ll believe it when I see work on the property. Read more here.
- Hakkasan Group announced residencies for 2020. They are in charge of talent at Hakkasan (MGM Grand), Omnia (Caesars Palace Las Vegas), JEWEL (Aria), 1OAK Nightclub (The Mirage), Wet Republic (MGM Grand), and Liquid (Aria). Read more here.
- Little known fact, Bryan Adams performed at the first three concerts I attended. He’s doing a limited engagement this year at Wynn. Read more here.
- Millennial homebuyers might like Las Vegas. Read more here.
- Get ready for Chinese New Year. The Bellagio display is open. There’s a lot going on to celebrate the occasion. Read and see more here.
- The Caesars Entertainment blog has a list of Happy Hour deals at some of its properties. Read more here.
- Hubert Keller has a new show focusing on Las Vegas restaurants on PBS. Read more here.