Latest + Greatest
➜ The 389-room, non-gaming Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas rebranded as the five-star Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas (
www.waldorfastori-alasvegas.com) last summer.
➜ Wrapping up two years of upgrades in 2018, Palazzo Las Vegas
( www.venetian.com/towers/the-palazzo.html) features a reimagined casino, refreshed guest suites and new F&B concepts that
include Bar Luca, Electra Cocktail Club and Hong Kong-based
fine-dining restaurant Mott 32.
➜ The roughly eight-month, $150 million conversion of Hard Rock
Las Vegas into Virgin Hotels Las Vegas ( https://virginhotels.com)
reportedly will start in late summer or early fall 2019 and is
projected for a 2020 opening.
➜ As reported in November 2018, Wynn Resorts (www.wynnmeet
ings.com) is pursuing a new direction for Paradise Park, the
proposed multibillion-dollar transformation of its golf course.
Instead of creating the intended swimming lagoon with white-sand beaches, the project now entails a Tom Fazio-led redevelopment of its 18-hole golf course, which lies between the Wynn
and Encore resorts, plus a new 400,000-square-foot convention
center, scheduled for late 2019 or early 2020. November 2018
also saw the debut of Wynn Plaza, a new 70,000-square-foot
high-end retail, dining and wellness complex. Tenants include the
fine-dining Cipriani Las Vegas restaurant and SoulCycle indoor
➜ Announced in February 2018, The Drew Las Vegas ( www.thedrew.
com), reviving the unfinished Fontainebleau, combines The Drew
with Marriott International’s first Edition in Vegas and first JW
Marriott on the Strip. Targeting 2002, the integrated property,
still under design, will reportedly offer 3,900 rooms and 500,000
square feet of meeting space.
➜ In 2018, the on-again, off-again construction of Resorts World
Las Vegas ( www.rwlasvegas.com) picked up pace, seeming to put
the $4 billion 3,400-room mega-resort on track for its announced
2020 debut. Progress has brought legal action, however. In
December 2018, Wynn Resorts sued the project for having a
“confusingly similar” design scheme to the Wynn Las Vegas and
Encore resorts just across the Strip.
➜ Announced in March 2018, Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower
( www.stratospherehotel.com), is undergoing a $140 million
property-wide refresh. The phased three-year project includes refreshing nearly half of the Stratosphere’s 2,427 guest rooms and
transforming 50,000 square feet of unused room into meeting
➜ Acquired in April 2018 by Alex Meruelo, owner of the Grand
Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nev., SLS Las Vegas Hotel
& Casino ( https://slslasvegas.com) commenced a $100 million multiyear revitalization in October 2018. The upgrade will
reportedly cover all 1,616 rooms in the resort’s three towers,
casino, outdoor pool and entertainment venues. The future of the
current restaurant collection, which includes L.A. sushi temple
Katsuya and Bazaar Meat from star Spanish chef Jose Andres,
has not been announced. Taking over the SLS’s former LUX Tower
in late 2016, the 239-room W Las Vegas is no more, following
the Marriott International brand’s departure this past August. The
tower has been rebranded the Grand Tower; paperwork filings give
“Grand Sahara” as the resort’s new name.
➜ In October 2018, primary lender Snow Covered Capital pur-
chased the shuttered, bankrupt Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino
Las Vegas ( http://luckydragonlv.com) for $35 million at auction.
Opened in December 2016, the 203-room Asian-themed new-
build casino succumbed to debt and competitive pressure. Future
plans are presently unknown.
➜ Circa Las Vegas ( www.circalasvegas.com) is Downtown’s first
new-build casino-resort since the California in 1975. Officially
announced in January 2019, the 777-room, 1.25 million-square-foot integrated project from Derek and Greg Stevens,
developer-owners of the D Las Vegas and Golden Gate Casino,
will include a 44-story tower and “the largest sports book in Las
Vegas history.” Reviving the historic corner of Fremont and Main
streets where the Las Vegas Club, Mermaids and Glitter Gulch
formerly stood, construction is slated to begin February 2019 for
➜ The same month saw Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino (www.
downtowngrand.com) begin construction on a new 495-room hotel tower. Aiming for completion in mid-2020, the expansion will
nearly double the resort’s room count to 1,124. Group options at
the property range from intimate chef’s table dinners for six to
outdoor block parties for 2,000.
➜ In December 2018, Plaza Hotel & Casino unveiled Core Arena
( www.plazahotelcasino.com/entertainment/core-arena), its
new permanent equestrian center. Located adjacent to the
historic 1,000-room resort, the venue aims to take advantage
of Las Vegas’ annual hosting of the National Rodeo Finals each
December and will be available for outdoor events throughout
➜ In October 2018, Boyd Gaming Corp. filed paperwork for a major
expansion and renovation of Fremont Hotel & Casino (www.
fremontcasino.com). Upgrades for the 1956 property include
reconfiguring its current 447 rooms to 227 larger and upgraded
spaces and building a new 509-room hotel tower.
➜ In March 2018, plans were announced for a joint venture
between the City of Las Vegas and International Market Centers
(IMC) to build a new $76 million, 350,000-square-foot expo and
convention center adjacent to IMC’s World Market Center Las
Vegas ( www.wmclv.com).
➜ Last upgraded in 2004, the Fremont Street Experience (www.
vegasexperience.com) is investing some $32 million in a major
enhancement of its signature LED Viva Vision light display. The
upgrade, scheduled for 2019, will reportedly boost its current
brightness seven-fold, allowing for daytime programming plus
new content offerings and interactive elements.
➜ The Neon Museum ( www.neonmuseum.org) is collaborating with
celebrated director, artist and animator Tim Burton on an exhibition of his original fine art. Scheduled to run from October 15,
2019, through February 15, 2020, the installation will be staged
in multiple locations throughout the museum.
➜ Opened in October 2018 at The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement (https://themob
museum.org), The Underground is a basement-level speakeasy and
distillery offering event hosting for 130 guests. Exclusive spaces
include The Fitting Room, a 10-person VIP hideaway. For fun,
access is granted by giving a provided password through a slot
in a secret door. Along with custom cocktails, the venue features
focal points of the museum’s new interactive Prohibition history