Just under a year ago it was “out with the old and in with the new” in Las Vegas. The Riviera closed it’s doors on May 4th and a day later Resorts World broke ground on what was proposed to be a mega casino-resort. Almost a year later the Riviera is a part of the same “out with the old and in with the new” motto, as there’s now a timeframe for the demolition of the property while eyes look south on the Vegas Strip for another new project that will take Las Vegas into the future. While The Park and T-Mobile Arena aren’t groundbreaking ideas they are an example of what many visitors to Las Vegas are looking for – new dining and bigger entertainment.
Riviera Won’t Be Around Much Longer
In this week’s Sunday News, we briefly discussed that the Riviera would be demolished. Part of the demolition would be construction crews bringing down some of the smaller structures while the two larger buildings will have the implosions that fans of Las Vegas have come to love over the years.
The plan by Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and its contracted demolitions experts, W.A. Richardson Builders LLC, calls for the Monte Carlo and Monaco towers to be imploded separately in June and August, respectively. Meanwhile, they plan on demolishing the low-rise buildings on the site with more traditional construction crews and equipment. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal the plan will be heard by the LVCVA on April 12 and the demolition process at the Riviera could begin by April 15 if approved.
Expect the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to make a big deal of the implosions. After all, it’s their job to bring people to Las Vegas so any flair they can provide will be used. Stay tuned for specific implosion plans and dates if you like to see big booms in Las Vegas. Chances are good that you’ll see the information an upcoming edition of TravelZork Sunday News.
The Park Takes The Fun Outside
Nothing is the same today as it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Las Vegas and the people visiting Las Vegas both resemble that remark. In general (this means many, not all) visitors to Las Vegas today are looking for a different experience than those who came before them. I look at myself and I rarely want the same things that my parents want.
One of the great assets Las Vegas has is the ability to enjoy the outdoors just about every day of the year. It never really gets too cold in Las Vegas. Even in the winter when it get cold it never gets really cold in Las Vegas. Then again this is coming from someone who grew up the east coast. Casino and hotel operators are looking for ways to maximize their land and what they offer their customers so they’re looking outside to unused land they already own. This week, MGM Resorts took the action we’ve come to expect to see inside of a casino to the outdoors.
This week The Park opened outside of New York-New York. When you look at this from the point of MGM Resorts as a business decision this maximizes the revenue potential of land that wasn’t used as anything more than a service road in the past. Looking at The Park from a customer point of view it provides a handful of new restaurants to choose from and plenty of outdoor seating to just relax and drink coffee or a cocktail.
While The Park is being billed as a new and unique concept in Las Vegas, I see it more as an extension of New York-New York with the restaurants outside instead of inside. Frankly, a little fresh air in Las Vegas can be a good thing. I think MGM Resorts put together a nice array of dining options after sampling food from a variety of the moderately priced casual restaurants.
I was happily surprised by the waffle sandwiches at Bruxie and not only impressed with the beer selection at Beerhaus but pleasantly surprised by its food. Beerhaus offers a variety of games like foosball, shuffleboard and some table games that make it a great stop on the way to an event at the anchor of The Park, T-Mobile Arena.
Bigger And Better Entertainment
T-Mobile Arena is an anchor to The Park similar to the way the High Roller Observation Wheel is an anchor for The Linq promenade in between The Linq Hotel and Flamingo. All of the shopping and dining at each open air space is designed to draw to or keep you close to the anchor of each area. The main difference between the two areas is that The Linq has more of a mall vibe while The Park is closer to a cityscape that has restaurants on one side and a more relaxed park-like feel with seating, greenery and water features.
T-Mobile Arena is set to take entertainment to the next level in Las Vegas. It’s already doing that with a string of shows from country music superstars George Strait and Garth Brooks. These are the kind of concert runs that are exclusive to Las Vegas and probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Looking forward their partnership with AEG in building T-Mobile Arena should bring even more big name acts to Las Vegas that might normally just book elsewhere.
MGM Grand Garden Arena did a fine job being home to large events in Las Vegas for over 20 years but it became dated. T-Mobile Arena is larger (20,000 seat capacity) and more technologically advanced than any other arena in Las Vegas. It will be the home of any large event that comes to Las Vegas and is being touted as the future home of an NHL franchise.
The More Things Change…
The old adage of the more things change, the more they stay the same isn’t always true but in the case of Las Vegas it’s sometimes close. This tourist market doesn’t stray too far from what customers want. Years ago visitors to Las Vegas wanted larger casinos, hotels and entertainment spaces so the Riviera was built. Today they want bigger entertainment options and more places to party so The Park and T-Mobile Arena is open. It’s not quite the same but it’s not all that different.
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Scott Roeben of Vital Vegas
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