Vegas Seven

The Strip

  • The Strip

    Sean Christie Departs Wynn Resorts For a Yet-to-Be-Announced New Role in the New Year

    By Melinda Sheckells

    Prominent executive, who launched many landmark experiences during his more than 10 years at the company, leaves for a new opportunity.

  • The Strip

    Divide and Conquer

    By David G. Schwartz

    On the surface, it wasn’t unusual news when the ONE Group announced March 9 that it had acquired the Tropicana’s night- and dayclubs; most casinos outsource their club operations. But there’s more to the takeover than meets the eye. In recent years, casinos have gotten increasingly comfortable with subletting major pieces of their real estate, giving up control over operations in exchange for guaranteed rental income. MGM Resorts International, for example, delegated the redevelopment of the erstwhile Fontana Lounge in Bellagio to SBE Entertainment Group.

  • The Strip

    The Colossus of CityCenter

    CityCenter, despite its bravura architecture, is a bit of a mystery—a place that wants to impress you but stubbornly refuses to welcome you. Maybe it’s the oceans of glass, which look beautiful on the skyline but up close seem aloof. Or maybe it’s simply that designers chose not to sully the project’s lengthy front facade with a pylon sign. No big letters. No neon. No LED. And few clues as to what’s going on inside. The lack of a sign has rendered CityCenter somewhat mute.

  • The Strip

    Beer Pong Forever!

    By David G. Schwartz

    When the details of Caesars Entertainment’s $550 million Linq were announced last week, most people were riveted by what the project promises to bring to Vegas in June 2013: 200,000 square feet of outdoor dining and shopping, a new name and appearance for the Imperial Palace, and a 550-foot sky wheel (Caesars doesn’t want us to say “Ferris,” so … OK) as an anchor. But when I live-Tweeted news that O’Sheas was going to close in mid-2012 during the construction of Linq, eventually to be rebuilt as part of the no-longer-Imperial Palace, I was greeted by a deluge.

  • The Strip

    The Clean-up

    By David G. Schwartz

    By July 13, when six cases of Legionnaire’s disease at Aria hit the news, the hotel had already moved swiftly to eradicate the bacteria, inform guests and deal with the potential public relations repercussions. The response makes for an interesting case study of crisis management on the Strip.

  • The Strip

    Selling the Camel

    By David G. Schwartz

    National Content Liquidators, the company that’s helping the Sahara’s owners turn the old joint into an empty shell, has disposed of the contents of more than 300,000 hotel rooms in the past half century. Donald Hayes, the president of NCL, does about eight big hotel liquidation sales a year. For the buyers, these sales mean bargains and memories. For liquidation specialists such as Hayes, they mean helping property owners squeeze the last drops from the orange.

  • The Strip

    Sweet Home Excalibur

    By Jarret Keene

    Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Barbecue and Beers, which is set to open at Excalibur in August, resolves two debates. First, the forthcoming Excalibur eatery ends the Southern hard rock band’s simmering argument with Neil Young (revisit the lyrics to “Southern Man” and “Sweet Home Alabama”) by showing that, in fact, there’s always demand for Southern men(us), even in Vegas. Second, the felicitous union of second-gen classic rockers and the ever-vibrant Excalibur proves that it’s possible to double-jump a shark.

  • The Strip

    The Death of the Death Ray?

    By Sean DeFrank

    For about two weeks last fall, the hottest story in Las Vegas—literally—was the emergence of the “death ray” at the Vdara pool at CityCenter. The spark on the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s story on the “solar convergence phenomenon” created by the sun’s rays reflecting off Vdara’s windows grew—not quite literally—into a firestorm fanned by national and international media. Calls came from as far away as Japan and Australia.

  • The Strip

    Old-School New Media

    By David G. Schwartz

    It’s not easy for the little guy on the Las Vegas Strip these days. Of course, the little guy’s still a casino that makes millions of dollars each year, but compared with the megaliths owned by the big boys (MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment), places such as the Casino Royale are the neighborhood corner store. The problem is, there’s not quite enough business to go around these days. With the economic slump in its third year, competition for visitors is intense.

  • The Strip

    Another Shade of Blue

    By David G. Schwartz

    Last Wednesday, with a T-shirt slingshot and plenty of Twinkies, a new colossus had its formal debut on the Strip. In front of Fashion Show mall, a 15-foot statue of the Blue Man Group both trumpets the famous show at the Venetian and serves as a quirky attraction in its own right, allowing passers-by to see themselves on screen.

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