Both the city of Las Vegas and the resort operators within are infusing millions of dollars into renovations to remain on the cutting edge. By the end of 2017, Caesars Entertainment will have renovated 40 percent of its local room inventory, including the Planet Hollywood Panorama Suite (pictured).
• In early January, the Las Vegas and North Las Vegas city councils approved a 0.5 percentage point hotel room-tax increase that will help pay for the Las Vegas Convention Center expansion.
• In nearby Henderson County, an additional 0.5 percentage point room-tax hike will take effect in March to help fund a new football stadium, which could become the home for the UNLV team and the Oakland Raiders.
RIDE THE RAIL
Event planners now can build Las Vegas Monorail fares into show badges, following a successful debut of the technology during this year's CES. Attendees need only to scan their badges and ride.
MGM Resorts' newest venue on the Strip, the Park Theater
at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, officially opened last December with performances by classic rock legends The Pretenders and Stevie Nicks. The intimate 5,200-seat venue, adjacent to The Park and Aria, marks the first phase of the Monte Carlo's transformation. Over the next two years, the resort will be divided into two properties, the Nomad Hotel Las Vegas and the luxury Park MGM. Guest rooms will be fully redesigned for both, as will the food and beverage offerings. An Italian marketplace on the premises, Eataly, will consist of cafés, to-go counters and full-service restaurants, as well as retailers of Italian-theme goods.•
The 289-room W Las Vegas
opened on the North Strip in December, inside the SLS Las Vegas resort. The new hotel-within-a-hotel is a conversion of the Lux Tower, one of three towers on the site. The other two, comprising 1,324 rooms, continue to operate as SLS Las Vegas, a Tribute Portfolio Resort. The property offers its own welcome desk and the signature W Living Room lobby and bar area. Seating nooks there reference the Sahara, which originally occupied that site on the Strip. Philippe Starck designed the chic guest rooms in collaboration with design firm Gensler. The hotel offers 15,000 square feet of meeting and event space spread across three floors, which complement the 80,000 square feet of space available at SLS. The rooftop is home to the WET Deck, which includes a bar, private cabanas, and panoramic views of the Stratosphere and the desert mountains. •
The 2,550-room Harrah's Las Vegas
completed renovations last fall on its Valley Tower. The revamped structure now sports modern décor with warm tones of gray and purple accents in its 600 guest rooms and 72 suites. All guest rooms feature backlit vanities and new beds, tables, desks and chairs. All suites provide separate bedroom, living room and dining areas, and offer bathrooms outfitted with whirlpool tubs. Self check-in and check-out kiosks are available for all guests who wish to bypass the front desk.•
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority unveiled the new Diamond Lot
at the beginning of the year, a parking and outdoor exhibition space that marks the end of Phase I of the ongoing Las Vegas Convention Center District project. The lot, which was developed on the site of the former Riviera, includes 20 acres of outdoor exhibit space, 3,100 parking spaces, three acres of landscaped walkways and four power-source locations, along with telecommunications and surveillance capabilities.
The Nevada State Legislature approved funding for the Convention Center District in October 2016. All told, the project will add 600,000 square feet of exhibit space to the convention center, plus new meeting rooms and a full facility renovation. •
A pop-up business lounge debuted early this year in The Venetian|The Palazzo Congress Center,
sponsored and staffed by Las Vegas-based Zappos. The 1,170-square-foot lounge, with furnishings by Restoration Hardware, provides a collaborative workspace in the heart of the properties' meeting and convention area. The space is enclosed to block out noise but is surrounded by glass to encourage passersby to come in and work. Amenities include WiFi, charging stations, four private phone rooms and a private conference room that can seat six.•
Celebrity chef Robert Irvine, host of the Food Network's Restaurant: Impossible,
rapelled 22 stories down the side of the Tropicana Las Vegas
last May and subsequently announced that his first restaurant on the Strip would open inside that resort. Irvine will be the Tropicana's first celebrity chef when his modern American restaurant, as yet unnamed, opens this July.