What a year! 2005 saw big changes for Las Vegas, world-wide gaming and this little Web site.
In Las Vegas, 2005 saw the return of Steve Wynn with Wynn Las Vegas. We saw the completion of two mega-mergers, MGM Mirage + Mandalay and Harrah's + Caesars. The jury is still out as to how that will impact the Strip.
MGM Mirage announced major components of their Project City Center initiative. Las Vegas Sands unveiled the Palazzo resort concept. The Las Vegas condo boom, while still very strong, showed some signs of too-rapid expansion.
Las Vegas turned 100 years old and the city celebrated with a big party in July.
So, what were your favorite Las Vegas stories of 2005 and why? Read more and comment after the jump.
Several properties continued to upgrade and refine their product. The Mirage underwent massive surgery, just now opening the latest food and beverage outlets. The Aladdin continues to threaten to become Planet Hollywood and while most of the facelift still lies in the future, Starwood had excellent results operating the hotel, raising occupancy.
The Golden Nugget was sold (again) and the impending resurgence of downtown remains impending.
Outside of Las Vegas, Macau development continues with many plans announced and some under construction. 2006 will see the opening of Wynn Macau, an important milestone for the Special Administrative Region.
Here at RateVegas.com and the blog (we collect stats for both sites together), we're seeing readership go way up. We had a 1000% increase in our daily readers from this time last year. The photo site is getting a lot of hits as well. There is a RateVegas.com re-design in progress that I think will help even more. The focus is on readability and content. I'm actually removing some of the ratings choices - streamlining the whole site while keeping what makes it unique - user submitted reviews and a very useful 'Reader Question' area. Over 100 people are subscribed to the RSS feed for this blog - a delivery method that is picking up steam as well. Our semi-regular series, 'Stripping', hooked a lot of readers. It's coming back soon with the next installment, we haven't given up.