Monday, January 02, 2012

Top 5 Vegas News Stories of 2011

Now that the calendar reads 2012, I thought I'd attempt to recall some of the top Las Vegas news stories of 2011. These are more or less off the top of my head, so I might have forgotten something, but here goes:

5. Absinthe opens to rave reviews.
Usually shows open and close in Las Vegas with little fanfare, but Absinthe got such great reviews that it really opened some eyes. I can't remember a show that has received almost unanimous positive reviews in some time.

4. Plaza renovation leads downtown resurgence.

The Plaza hotel on Fremont Street purchased the Fontainebleau's furniture and used it to complete a major renovation project, which included a makeover of rooms, public areas and a few new restaurants. Along with the improvements at Plaza, many new bars and restaurants on Fremont Street made downtown a fun place to hang out in 2011 and beyond.

3. Cosmopolitan opens.
Technically Cosmopolitan opened during the last few days of 2010, but it was the talk of the town for much of 2011 as visitors got to experience it for the first time. Despite some issues with long check-in lines, the property has received high praise for its uniqueness and many drinking and dining options. That being said, it struggled to make money because it has attracted a largely non-gaming crowd.

2. Project Linq.
The Caesars Entertainment Project Linq has been talked about for a few years now, but in 2011 the project pushed full steam ahead. We learned many details of the project, including the news that O'Sheas will be closed in its current form and re-located, likely being incorporated into Imperial Palace, which will also be re-named.

1. Sahara closes.
On May 16th 2011 Sahara closed after nearly 59 years of operation. A month after the closing, a huge liquidation sale was held on the property where visitors could take home a piece of Las Vegas history while walking around the joint for one last time. The Sahara's owners have a plan to re-brand and re-open the hotel in 2014, but we'll just have to wait and see if that happens.