Here’s an overview of newly opened hotel and event venues in Las Vegas for 2019, as well as a look at upcoming renovations and projects underway throughout this year and beyond.
Las Vegas Center Strip
The 389-room, non-gaming Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas rebranded as the five-star Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas in summer 2018.
Wrapping up two years of upgrades in 2018, Palazzo Las Vegas 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 reportedly will start in late summer or early fall 2019 and is projected for a 2020 opening.
Las Vegas North Strip
As reported in November 2018, Wynn Resorts 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 cycling center.
Announced in February 2018, The Drew Las Vegas, reviving the unfinished Fontainebleau, combines The Drew with Marriott International’s first Edition in Vegas and first JW Marriott on the Strip. Targeting 2020, 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 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, 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 space.
Acquired in April 2018 by Alex Meruelo, owner of the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nev., SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino 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 purchased the shuttered, bankrupt Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino Las Vegas 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.
Downtown Las Vegas
Circa Las Vegas 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 completion circa-2020.
The same month saw Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino 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, 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.
In October 2018, Boyd Gaming Corp. filed paperwork for a major expansion and renovation of Fremont Hotel & Casino. 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.
Last upgraded in 2004, the Fremont Street Experience 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 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, 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 exhibition.
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