Saturday, February 16, 2013

Rio Show in the Sky - Closing March 30, 2013

Rio's Masquerade Show in the Sky attraction will be closing for good on March 30th.

The show opened back in 1997 along with the rest of Rio's Masquerade Village expansion. It features dance and style from Brazilian Carnival, and Mardi Gras floats which are suspended on guide rails hanging from the ceiling. Guests can ride on the floats for a nominal fee, or just watch for free.

While it's sad to see an attraction like this close, I'm not surprised in the least bit. It was surely very popular at the beginning of its 16 year run, but I really don't think people were making the trip over to Rio just to see the show anymore. Showtimes had already been cut down to weekends only, and the cost of labor for the show performers couldn't have been cheap, especially for a financially depressed company like Rio's parent Caesars Entertainment.

That being said, it's one less thing on the list of "free things to do in Las Vegas" along with the recently closed Lion Habitat at MGM Grand. You have to wonder if providing a free attraction to bring people into your hotel is a viable strategy anymore, although I'm guessing it still works with the Bellagio fountains. Many of these attractions dated back to when Vegas was marketing itself as family friendly. Since the family friendly thing seems to be a thing of the past, many of these free family attractions are going to bite the dust.