Saturday, November 28, 2015

New Resorts Opening in Macau Downturn

Encore, Aria, and Cosmopolitan are three of the newest casinos in Las Vegas. All three are considered successful, but they opened right in the middle of a severe slowdown in Las Vegas which didn't make things easy.

History might be repeating itself in Macau, as that city faces a downturn right as major properties are set to open. Studio City just opened, while Wynn Palace will be opening next year followed by The Parisian after that.

A recent New York Times article did a good job of chronicling some of the issues in Macau. The government restriction on table games at Studio City prompted Steve Wynn to show frustration. Macau's junket operators have also been under fire lately. A possible smoking ban could be another hurdle for Macau casinos.

I tend to be pretty optimistic on the future prospects in Macau. Somewhat like Las Vegas I think these new upcoming resorts might have a rough start but should find their footing eventually.

Even with the recent downturn Macau is still a much larger gaming market than Las Vegas. I think some of the government regulations will ease with time and these issues will be seen as minor growing pains. We shall see.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Monorail Expansion Talk

It's a slow Las Vegas news day on this Black Friday, so I had to take a look around to find something to blog about.

I came across this article from two weeks ago about the Las Vegas Monorail and a possible expansions to the line.

Everyone wants to know when the monorail will be expanded to the airport, but the article concluded that an expansion to the airport probably isn't economically feasible. Not to mention opposition from taxi cab companies.

An expansion to Mandalay Bay might be on the table soon though, along with a station at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. If those two expansions are completed the monorail would link the three major convention centers in Las Vegas.

The monorail has struggled with ridership due to its out of the way location behind many of the hotels it serves. Ten years after it opened it's still operational though, and seems to have found a niche serving conventioneers. Linking the convention centers makes sense in that regard.

Not mentioned in the article is a possible monorail expansion downtown to Fremont Street. Although it's probably not happening anytime soon due to cost and routing issues, this would be the most exciting monorail route for the average tourist. Being able to travel quickly between the Strip and Fremont Street for cheap would be ideal. Maybe we'll see it someday, but I'm not holding my breath.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

SportsCenter Las Vegas Themed Opening

The new SportsCenter starring Scott Van Pelt has a Las Vegas theme as part of the opening sequence.

Van Pelt is a known fan of Las Vegas and frequently discusses betting on his show - rare for the family friendly ESPN. He was featured on one of those Travel Channel shows about Las Vegas a long time ago.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Beer Park by Budweiser at Paris

The beer garden concept has been making its way around Las Vegas to varying degrees of success. Umami Burger at SLS has one, and there's one downtown at Plaza. A beer garden is also being planned for the new MGM Resorts Park development.

This week renderings have been making the rounds of a new beer garden planned for Paris Las Vegas that will be taking over the Chateau Nightclub space. Beer Park by Budweiser will essentially be a huge indoor-outdoor sports-bar featuring 100+ brews (likely all Bud brands).

On paper the beer garden concept seems like a good idea. Cold beer, sports on TV, outdoor bar space. All that stuff is great but there's something about it that doesn't seem to fit into Las Vegas in my mind. It will be interesting to see how these concepts play out in the coming years.

Renderings: Beer Park.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

SkyVue Land For Sale

UPDATE: This is old news as the site has been for sale since early May.

The site of the failed SkyVue observation wheel project on the south end of the Strip is for sale for $385 million, officially ending any hope that the wheel will be completed someday.

When plans were announced for an observation wheel back in 2011 - I questioned whether the developers would be able to raise the $100 million needed for the project.

When the High Roller wheel opened at The Linq there really wasn't a point in opening a second wheel in Las Vegas, despite SkyVue having started construction with two giant concrete pylons.

The 38.5 acres of land for sale is directly across from Mandalay Bay. It seems like MGM Resorts International (or perhaps their new REIT) would be interested in picking up this land since it's near their other properties.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Wynn Buffet Reopens

The Wynn Buffet has reopened after undertaking a month long renovation and expansion project.

I'm having a little trouble putting my finger on exactly what's different now, but the Wynn Buffet webpage had this to offer:

Indulge in a feast for all your senses amid the resplendent surroundings of the all-new buffet at Wynn. Sample tastes from around the world at the 15 live-action cooking stations presenting rotisserie grilled steakhouse cuts, coast-to-coast seafood and over 120 new dishes, all artfully presented. Newly reimagined d├ęcor and impeccable attention to detail imbue what is traditionally a casual dining experience with a fine dining sensibility. The finale is provided by the sweet patisserie, featuring warm pastries, chocolate fountain dipped specialties and an assortment of cakes and confections made daily by our dedicated pastry chefs.

The Wynn buffet has always been one of my favorites, and is unarguably one of the best in Las Vegas. I am looking forward to seeing what it's like after the changes. Hopefully they are for the better.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Vegas Dad GoPro Video Probably Fake

A viral video is making the rounds of a dad in Las Vegas who "accidentally" filmed his entire vacation with a GoPro camera pointed in the wrong direction (back at himself).

As funny as this premise is (or isn't) - it's probably fake. Even if someone were dumb enough to point the camera in the wrong direction, why would they use a selfie stick while attempting to point the camera in a non-selfie direction?

Fake. So fake.