Saturday, April 30, 2016

Zarkana Closes - Postmortem Review

April 30, 2016 marked the final performance of the Cirque du Soleil show Zarkana.

As I had wrote in a previous blog post - the show and showroom itself are being removed to make way for an expansion of the Aria Convention Center. In that blog post I said that I had always wanted to see Zarkana, and its closing might give me extra incentive to actually see it.

I did in fact see Zarkana during my recent stay at Aria. I really enjoyed the show and thought it was just as good - if not better than - the other Cirque shows I've seen (Mystère, , and Zumanity).

Zarkana didn't really have a strong plot or theme. Similar to Mystère it was more or less a collection of acrobatic acts and live music that Cirque shows are known for.

While I don't think that hurt the production value of the show - it probably hurt marketing efforts. It seems like every other Cirque show in Vegas has some kind of hook to bring people in.

Perhaps the biggest reason for the show's demise was the fact that Aria doesn't really seem to be centered around entertainment. The showroom was located well off the casino floor up an escalator. Zarkana and the property's first show Viva Elvis kind of felt like afterthoughts rather than a priority.

While getting rid of a showroom to add more convention space won't benefit the average Las Vegas tourist - it probably does make sense for Aria.

Monday, April 25, 2016

New Wynn Paradise Park Lagoon Details

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about Wynn Paradise Park - the new proposed development by Wynn Resorts which will include a 1000 room hotel with a large man-made lagoon as a centerpiece attraction.

Today a press release was issued giving more details about the project. The lagoon will be constructed by a Miami based company called Crystal Lagoons.

"A 38-acre Crystal Lagoon will be the centerpiece of the development that will feature 260,000 square feet of premium meetings and convention space, a 1,000-room hotel tower, a small casino and extensive dining and nightlife. The elaborate water attraction will include both daytime and nighttime entertainment elements. At night, the space will transform with an elaborate fireworks display that is launched from the 120 ft. center island and surrounding areas. The expansion will be constructed on approximately 130 acres of real estate that currently houses the Wynn Golf Club. The project remains subject to the approval of Wynn's board.

The man-made lagoon with crystal-clear waters and white-sand beaches will be the size of more than 30 football fields and close to the size of almost 100 Olympic-size swimming pools. The new Crystal Lagoon will change the Las Vegas lifestyle with by making water sports readily available, such as stand-up paddle-boarding, wind-surfing, sailing, swimming and more."

Also notable from the press release was information touting the environmental sustainability of the project. The lagoon would use significantly less water than the current golf course.

It certainly looks like an impressive project, and if the sample image below is any indication it will be a great place to hang out. New outdoor spaces are a trend in Las Vegas with The Linq and The Park developments recently opening. Wynn Paradise Park would take the outdoor entertainment concept to the next level.

In my blog post a few weeks ago I was pretty skeptical about the project actually happening, but now that we have more details I think it would be a great expansion. If anyone can pull it off Steve Wynn is that guy.

Image: Crystal Lagoons