Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cloud Nine is Closed Permanently

Cloud Nine - the balloon ride attraction near Mandalay Bay has closed again, and this time it looks to be permanent. Cloud Nine opened about a year ago and operated for about six months before it was forced to close because of damage caused by high winds. The attraction recently re-opened but apparently didn't draw enough interest to continue operations.

From the Cloud Nine website:

"The Cloud Nine Balloon Ride in Las Vegas has closed is no longer in operation. We want to thank the thousands of customers who had the opportunity to fly with us over the skies of Las Vegas. We bid you a fond farewell."

The balloon was an interesting concept, but there were many pitfalls surrounding the project. High wind days made for an uncomfortable ride, if they were even able to take off at all. The cost and location also might have been drawbacks. In the end I think most people prefer to take in a view of the Strip from a high floor in an enclosed building.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cosmopolitan Opens

After over five years of construction, and after the property was foreclosed upon by eventual owner Deutsche Bank, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas opened to the public last night.

The opening seemed to have gone pretty smoothly. Big time VIP's were in the house including Steve Wynn, and Jim Murren. Brandon Flowers performed a few songs and party goers drank and gambled the night away.

There were a few accounts of hotel rooms not being ready on time, confusing parking garage signage and the music being too loud in the casino. Nothing too tragic for an opening of this size and scope.

It's great to see Cosmo open. Now it's on to the next major hotel opening in Las Vegas. Fontaine... never mind.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Zappos, Lady Luck and City Hall - Downtown 2012

Many people will be looking forward to the year 2012 in downtown Las Vegas. Three new developments opening around the same time are expected to spark an economic boom of sorts near Fremont Street.

A new City Hall is being built, which should be done by 2012.

The old City Hall building will then be occupied by online retailer, which has agreed to lease the property for at least 10 years. The Zappos move will bring 1000 employees to the area.

Around the same time as the City Hall switch, Lady Luck should be re-opening. The owners held a press conference this week re-affirming plans to remodel and open the property in 2012 under a different name.

It's nice to see some good news for downtown, even though it's over a year away. I had my doubts about Lady Luck, but the City Hall and Zappos development makes the whole area more attractive, which should give the Lady Luck owners some incentive to open the property.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cosmopolitan Art-o-mat Vending Machines

A unique feature at Cosmopolitan is their Art-o-mat vending machines. These restored cigarette vending machines will allow visitors to purchase small pieces of original, signed artwork.

I heard the price was going to be $5.00, but some of these pictures of the machines going into Cosmopolitan say $20.00. I'm guessing different machines and items will have different prices. The machines look pretty cool and I think they'll be popular amongst the artsy Cosmo crowd.

Pictures from Art-o-mat Twitter.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gordon Ramsay Restaurant in Paris De-Theme?

Gordan Ramsay will be opening a new restaurant at Paris Las Vegas in 2011. Robin Leach is reporting that Gordon Ramsay Steakhouse will replace Les Artistes, which will be closing.

The opening of Ramsay's restaurant won't be the only change. According to a Leach source, Paris will be removing some of the theme of the resort:

"I think you will see Caesars slowly taking away the French overtones of the Paris with these moves. Obviously, with the Tour Eiffel right there in the casino, you can’t ignore the French theme. But ‘les directions’ will become the directions in every way, and the staff will slowly phase out the French-language greetings."

This is an interesting move. It certainly has been a trend in Las Vegas to remove the overt themes from the resorts, but I don't know if that has been a popular move with tourists. As "tacky" as the themes may be, a lot of people still like them. I think if you're going to have a themed resort it's better to go all out with the theme than to go half way with it.