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Exciting Developments for Las Vegas in 2018

Learn about all the exciting developments from the Las Vegas Strip to have happened this year and whatthe future holds.

Since the first casino opened on the Las Vegas Strip, the El Rancho Vegas, in 1941, the city has been continually changing and developing. 

New venues are opened while old ones are closed. The hotels, restaurants,nightclubs and casinos are always changing, and this is what keeps Vegas fresh, alive and exciting.

Thisyear is no exception, there have been numerous developments along the Strip already and many more areset for the second half of the year. From new residencies to new restaurants and museums, there is plentyto look forward to. Read on to find out about all that is taking place in 2018. One of Las Vegas’ mosticonic resorts is undergoing major renovations and a number of new restaurants are set to open.

Theyare maintaining the basic structure of the Monte Carlo, but are gradually remodelling it into the ParkMGM, a brand new resort that will sit alongside the Park Theater and the Park outdoor promenade, whichare already in place.

The renovations are set to include a version of New York’s NoMad Hotel, whichwill effectively turn it into two hotels in one. Absolutely everything at the Park MGM, from the hotelsto the swimming pools, is being redone. Furthermore, the courtyard that faces the Strip will be replacedwith a huge entrance that will house the Vegas debut of the Eataly retail-restaurant hybrid.

There arealready a few new restaurants welcoming diners, Bavette’s, a Chicago style steakhouse serving primecuts and seafood opened last year, and Primrose, which offers guests a drawing room lounge and outdoorpatio. Later in the year, a restaurant is on its way from Chef Roy Choi and will be inspired by Koreatownin Los Angeles. You can find most things on the Las Vegas Strip and later this year you will even beable to find a huge zip line.

Under construction at the moment is Fly LINQ, a new attraction that willallow you to fly more than one thousand feet above the dining, entertainment and shopping space at TheLINQ outdoor promenade. It is set to be a massive attraction. The 122-foot tall Fly LINQ tower will givespace for up to ten people to soar along the line side by side at speeds of up to 35 mph. It is similarto Slotzilla, on Fremont Street, and it will give you the option of flying horizontally, Superman style.There is also a good chance that tickets will be bundled with the nearby High Roller observation wheel.This exiting attraction is due to open before the end of this year.

If you are a fan of Gordon Ramsay’stelevision shows then you are sure to love his latest restaurant to open in Las Vegas. Normally new restaurantsare inside hotels and casinos, however, Ramsay’s fifth Vegas restaurant is right in front of , justby the sidewalk, in a building that was once home to Serendipity 3.

The venue has been completely refurbished.It was gutted and then basically rebuilt from the ground up as a modern dining venue with contemporarydécor and huge floor to ceiling windows that look out onto the Strip. There you will see the televisionshow’s logo, the bronze HK sign and pitchfork, and the atmosphere makes it feel like you are almosteating on the show, complete with plenty of shouting between the chefs and kitchen staff.

The food isexcellent and it is an amazing venue. As you walk in a virtual reality version of Gordon Ramsay greetsyou, and you are immediately immersed in the atmosphere. However, be sure to book early, as this restaurant-come-tourist-attractionis immensely popular. Earlier this year Las Vegas got its first massive eSports arena dedicated to videogaming. The Luxor joined with Allied Esports to open the Esports Arena Las Vegas.

The arena is in the30,000 square foot space that was one home to the nightclub LAX. It is a multilevel venue full of brightlights, a huge LED video wall, individual gaming stations and telescopic stadium seating that overlooksa competitive stage.The arena even has its own television and production studio to stream events online.It was the first venue dedicated to eSports in Vegas and has already proved to be a huge success.

Competitivevideo gaming regularly draws in large crowds and they are only expected to grow. Furthermore, the venuewas even host to some of this year’s World Poker Tour events. At the arena, you will also find elementsof traditional Vegas nightlife, including a food and drink collection from celebrity chef José Andrés,a known fan of video gaming. Many very famous musicians have taken up residencies over the years suchas Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion and many more.

Now joining the list is six-time Grammy awardwinner, Golden Globe award winner, and Academy award nominee Lady Gaga.She is due to start a two-yearresidency at the Park Theater at the end of this year that is set to include 74 performances. A numberof big names have just finished, or are close to finishing, their Vegas runs, such as Britney Spears,Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, and Elton John, and Lady Gaga will be an excellent replacement. She hasreportedly designed a show especially for the relatively small Park Theater.

Tickets are not yet on sale,but as soon as they become available, they are widely expected to sell very fast. Wynn Resorts is oneof the greatest innovators on the Las Vegas Strip and their recently announced plans for a new outdoorvenue sound extremely exciting.

They will be removing much of the famous golf course and replacing itwith a new Paradise Park.The focal point of this new outdoor extravaganza will be a huge lagoon surroundedby sandy beaches and a mile-long walkway. Over the water it is thought that there will be a carouselwith a bar in the middle and there will also be a bumper car attraction with feature lights and soundeffects that respond to every collision.

A highlight of the Paradise Park is set to be the nightly waterparades featuring 30 foot tall animated floats. Furthermore, about 1,500 new hotel rooms will be builtinside a 47-story tower that will include suites, villas and lake views. There has been no confirmedopening date yet, but construction is underway.

Speaking about the project last year Steve Wynn said,“We have decided to take the theme of Carnivale and turn it on its edge and make a series of attractionsand interactive experiences that in some way have its roots in everything we grew up with carnivals.”Therehave also been plans announced for Wynn West, another resort on the opposite side of Las Vegas Boulevardthat will be connected by a pedestrian bridge.

While Wynn had to step down from the company followinga scandal earlier this year, before he did he promised that they would be “moving quickly” on buildingthe resort which will be located on a site next to the Trump International. Star Wars continues to behugely popular with more films, and spin offs arriving all the time. If you are a Star Wars fan in LasVegas then you can visit The VOID for an exciting new virtual reality attraction.

Titled “Star Wars:Secrets of the Empire”, the interactive experience allows groups of four people to explore a moltenplanet called Mustafar while disguised as Stormtroopers and guided on a secret mission by K-2SO (therobot from ).

The aim is to collect Imperial intelligence for the rebellion. Participants wear full VRgoggles and special equipment that allows them to walk freely in the 3D environment. Sports fans willbe aware that Las Vegas has now welcomed its second major league sports team.

Less than a year afterthe Golden Knights moved to the T-Mobile Arena, the San Antonio Stars from the WNBA have moved locationand changed their name to the Las Vegas Aces. They have been playing at the Events Center, a mid-sizedarena with a full capacity of around 12,000.

The Aces have changed ownership and are now controlled byMGM Resorts, and the move brought with it a new logo in black, red and gold, and plenty of new fan merchandise.While they have not been having a hugely successful season, their relocation to Las Vegas is still excellentnews for sports fans visiting the Strip. MGM Resorts International are set on rewarding success and thisis certainly the case at .

This year the hotel got rid of its famous restaurant Portofino, but has giventhe chef Michael LaPlaca and even bigger and better restaurant in a far better location. The brand newOsteria Costa has replaced the long-running Samba Brazilian Steakhouse. The venue, which has alreadyreceived rave reviews, can hold more diners than the Portofino and it is inspired by Italy’s AmalfiCoat.

On the menu is fresh seafood, pastas and pizzas baked in an open kitchen. The Portofino is nowbeing used for meeting and convention events, while it is not yet known what will be replacing the recentlyclosed Fin restaurant. While Las Vegas attracts people from across the world, there are also plenty oflocals who and more venues designed for locals are appearing near the Strip.Station Casinos is one companythat aims to attract locals and it has developed a total of 20 gaming properties across the Las VegasValley, but it has never had one directly on the Strip. However, the company is gradually moving closerto the Strip and in 2016 it purchased the Palms.

T less than a mile and a half away from the strip andit has been undergoing a full renovation that is costing $485 million. Some of the renovations are alreadycomplete and an impressive new buffet called AYCE is already open. In fact, nearly all of the restaurantsare being revamped and they have brought in a number of well-known chefs such as Bobby Flay. The Palmsis also getting a new rooftop lounge, a pool complex and a nightclub from the Tao Group.

Based on thescale of renovations it seems that the Palms will soon be appeal to far more than just local residents.Thecompany has also invested $191 million in renovating Palace Station, just a few blocks away from thenorth end of the Las Vegas Strip.

The casino used to have a number of very dated train decorations onits exterior, but these have now been removed and an art deco style covered entrance has been added.They are also working to add a new buffet, a bingo hall, a poker room, and completely redo the casinofloor. There are also plans for a cinema, outdoor event space, a swimming pool and many more hotel rooms.

The dining options are also being refreshed with a new Asian restaurant and a burger lounge. They areretaining the popular Oyster Bar, but they have removed Jack’s Irish Pub.The renovation of the Palmsis being completed in stages with more due to be finished before the end of the year.

All of the renovationsat Palace Station are due to be finished by the end of this year. Earlier this year a new show, OPIUM,opened at The Cosmopolitan. Set aboard a spaceship, it is an exciting variety show with a Vegas twist.The show is from Spiegelworld, the same people behind the hugely popular show Absinthe. Before the show,you are offered some “Spocktails” such as “Kiss My Asteroid” and the “Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster”and the show itself is a space spoof complete with jugglers and acrobats. The show has already provedto be a hit with audiences, it runs on four nights a week at 10pm and tickets start at $79.

For the last25 years Wolfgang Puck’s iconic restaurant Spago has been found at the Forum Shops at Caesars. However,the restaurant is now packing itself up and moving across to . It will be in the space that used to beoccupied by Todd English’s Olives. The move is a huge upgrade to a prime location off the floor ofthe Via Bellagio shopping area and has an up-close view of the famous Bellagio Fountains.

Full detailsare not yet known, but it is expected that the décor will be in line with the original Beverly Hillslocation, completely with leather furniture, brass fixtures and oak wood floors. After last year’sdeadly mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip there is a renewed focus on security at the casinos and othervenues.

Now casinos are beginning to make use of the latest technology to help and keep their guestssafe. Recently, became the first hotel in Vegas to make use of the PATSCAN Cognitive Radar MicrowaveRadar. Patriot One Technologies developed the device and it is designed to detect concealed guns, knives,other weapons, and even pressure cooker bombs on people who walk past it. The system can be hidden inwalls, doors, gates, and more, so that the general public are unaware of its presence.

Furthermore, thereare companies, such as FaceFirst, working on developing facial recognition technology for casinos andother public spaces. The systems use security cameras to recognise and identify individual faces in crowdsin real time using a vast database of digital information, such as police mug shots.

However, there aresome concerns about these systems infringing on privacy and their use is likely to provoke a fair amountof debate. This is just a brief roundup of some of the exciting plans for Las Vegas this year. Thereis much more going on and already plans are well underway for 2019.

If you think that you have alreadybeen to Vegas and have no reason to return, then think again. There is plenty more in the pipeline thatis sure to appeal to all kinds of visitors.However, in the meantime, why not where you can find all theexcitement of the Las Vegas Strip but without needing to leave your home. With a bit of luck, you mighteven win enough to fund your next holiday in Vegas.  

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