Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

Thanks to Mike for another installment of 'Strip Walk', or semi-regular feature that focuses on Las Vegas Strip construction progress.

Lots of great new info here and of course, we've got photos:

Plus, TWO new videos:

City Center


This may be the last Strip Walk for awhile, so enjoy!

Let's march from north to south today...

Wynn Las Vegas: As has been said, the Gaultier shop is gone, and will be replaced with Alexander McQueen sometime in December. But wait, Chocolat is gone as well. It's to be replaced with Vertu, which is a high-end cell phone line owned by Nokia. Mm, back to selling electronics at the Wynn again. Gizmos, anyone? In a bit of cross-promotion you know they'll point out, Vertu makes a Ferarri-branded phone. Can we get a special Wynn Limited Edition with the ever-present signature engraved into the handset? Maybe a little voiceover action from the man himself on the outgoing message? "Hi, I'm Steve Wynn, and this is our voicemail system." All over this site, iPhones would suddenly find themselves in garbage bins, asking themselves what happened.

Encore: I'd say the construction signs are pretty much everywhere. Most important is that the low-rise structure is two floors high and already they're working in there. There isn't anything special in there yet, so I'd say you'll have to wait a bit longer if you want to plot out where Tableau 2 (assuming there's going to be one) and the other stuff will go.

Treasure Island: I thought the wall was gone, but there it is. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, this is a construction wall by a section of tables in the middle of the casino. It's directly across from the room elevators. I can't get a picture of it, because it's smack-dab in the middle of some heavy table game action and all the worrying that goes on over that sort of thing, but if you get into this hotel take a look. I'm sad to say I don't know the Treasure Island casino this well, since it's always taken my money so quickly that I can't afford to get too deep into it. But it's a very constructioney looking sort of wall.

Mirage: A new fishtank has been revealed, filled with all sorts of aquatic wildlife, located just behind the reservations hosts (who are also caught in the wild.) There's quite a collection of critters here, some of them occasionally shooting unhappy glances at the Kokomo's seafood restaurant on the other side of the lobby. This tank seems significantly brighter than the last one! It's better than the one at your doctor's office! There's pictures! I've run out of things to say! Glub, glub, glub...

Palazzo: "Look ma, no cranes!" Well, almost. The last crane bolted to the structure is going down finally, but more cranes have gathered out front to help get the strip-facing facade ready for prime time. Along Sands Ave, there's still a welders paradise back there although there's a few structural shapes (in particular this downward curving shaped mess of steel) in there. Also in the Sands Ave side, if you look real close in the windows, are some running lights. And not just construction lights, but actual lights like the kind you'd have in the place when it's open. They're roundish and inoffensive. The bottom third of the tower is lighting up at night, but I haven't been nearby while it's late enough to see what's lighting up on the ground level.

Paris: It's time for me to once again point out something Not Good as far as maintenance at a resort. Some months ago, the marketing powers of Harrah's decided to advertise The Producers on l'imitation de Arc de triomphe de l'Étoile. Banners were attached to steel supports that were drilled into the arc. The banners are gone, the steel rods are going, and at the very least they made SOME attempt to cover up the holes they made in the tower, but they did so by putting blanks in the holes, and the effect is pretty ugly. I realize this is one of those times where my wish for better maintenance doesn't come true, similar to that big piece of the Bellagio's roof decoration disappearing, but oh well. I complain because I love.

planet hollywood, all lower-case because the renovation budget didn't have room for capital letters: Trader Joe's has opened [ed: Trader Vic's?], offering tropical island food with all the authenticity of the Polynesialand hotel at Disney World. The marketing seems fun and tacky, but the entrance I saw looked kinda formal. And speaking of that mouse, Orlando favourite Earl of Sandwich is supposed to be open according to signage but I can't find it yet.

NY-NY: A floor to ceiling curtain now covers the Pour24 bar project from my prying eyes, placed just too far out of reach behind the wall. You'd think somebody important somewhere actually sees these pictures I take.

Mandalay Bay: A whole buncha slot machines have been removed(!) and a wall included a cocktail waitress corridor has been covered up with advertising for a new tattoo parlor inside Mandalay Bay. This is located right near the free shuttle exit in the same part of the building as House of Blues. If you were coming off the free shuttle, it's to your right just as you get down the stairs. This works (well, I suppose) as an attraction at O'Shea's because it's right on the street, and it works at Palms because of celebrity cachet and the fact that there's not much else to do in the area immediately around Palms, but at Mandalay right next to the Ye Olde Pharaoh's JungleTram? I'm skeptical.

Cranes n' Things: Since I like to shamelessly promote myself, Yours Truly has recently written reviews of Regale (Excalibur), Bay Side Buffet (Mandalay Bay), and found a bargain worth talking about at Sherwood Forest Cafe (Excalibur). Hm, I've now eaten at all but two places at Excalibur, and the ones I haven't tried are a fancy steakhouse and Dick's which is actually a chain. Maybe I should move onto a new place to punish my intestines?


Read archived comments (11 so far)
October 31, 2007 11:00 AM Posted by Dave

Great report. Earl of Sandwich is on the south side of the p-ho casino--if you entered Miracle Mile from that side it'd be one of the first things you saw. I was there a few weeks ago and it looked like it was about to open, but I don't know what's happened since then.

October 31, 2007 11:13 AM Posted by detroit1051

Mike_ch, thanks for the videos. CityCenter Resort looks much closer to the Strip than I had expected. When CityCenter is done, Bellagio will look small in comparison.
The photos of the "Coming Soon" signs at Wynn, with all the little flowers on them, all of a sudden look dated to me. I'm interested in how much more contemporary Encore will be and whether Wynn Las Vegas will be redone to match Encore. After all, it will be about five years old when Encore opens.

November 1, 2007 10:34 AM Posted by Mike P.

For what it's worth the part of Palazzo's podium fronting on Sands that's still open steel framework is the theater, I think. You can tell by the sloping steel floor plates. I haven't looked at all of mike_ch's pictures posted on flickr yet, but here's one I took last week:

detroit - I remember a lot of commenters here were critical of how far the CityCenter hotel is set back from the strip when the first renders were released. I'm not a great judge of distances, but it's set back about the same distance as Bellagio, and like Bellagio pedestrians will be able to get there either through the retail area or a walkway next to the entrance drive.

November 1, 2007 12:24 PM Posted by detroit1051

Regarding TI, I got a Slots mailing from them today. I've never stayed there, but they want me! LOL. Suite, Limo service, comped show tickets, generous FreePlay. Anyway, the mailing announces the opening of a new High Limit Slots area on December 21. Is this what's behind the construction wall Mike_ch wrote about?
It says it's "at the center of all the action near the current high roller lounge and TI Players Club....the new room features even more of your favorite slot machines, a fully stocked buffet and bar as well your own private cashier and restroom....contemporary design..."

November 1, 2007 1:14 PM Posted by Hunter

Whoops. Sorry about the formatting problem. Damn editor.

Anyway, I'm sure the new slots area is exactly what Mike saw in there, yeah.

November 2, 2007 5:19 AM Posted by motoman

Nice photos, mike_ch

I especially liked the composition of "Palazzo, Wynn Las Vegas, and Encore." It is wallpaper worthy, and if you don't mind, I'd like to add it to my Vegas slideshow screensaver. Palazzo is coming along. Tourists and convention folk will be amazed and Wynn will seem too "understated" to them. But then mike, that's why I like Wynn so much in the first place... ;-)

It's amazing the Wynn water feature is still undergoing maintenance after a whole month. And the Mirage aquarium shots: the registration terminals are not installed? What is the status of that? Diablos still looks ridiculously out of place. And planet hollywood did an amazing job of transforming the faux Arabian Nights theme into something art deco, although the half-and-half look still remains inside the Miracle Mile.

Thanks mike for your continuing updates. If I ever get my early-Oct. shots sent in to Hunter, at least a few will be repetitive.

November 2, 2007 5:29 AM Posted by motoman

Speaking of photos, one I neglected to take was of the north entrance to the Riviera, where construction walls and signage indicated that renovations were underway. Bit of a surprise as many here have been awaiting news of its eventual and inevitable sale. As I recall, this is near their very temporary poker "room" in a slot area with a bar.

November 2, 2007 6:50 PM Posted by mike_ch

Moto, thanks for the positive comments, but you'll have to ask Hunter for your desktop. He has the full resolution copies, and the photos that I take that are related to construction are now technically his due to an agreement we reached a few months ago. Non-construction related photos, like Bellagio conservatory and other "ain't that pretty" subjects, aren't in the column anymore for this reason, I post them on my own Flickr profile.

That photo you mention with Encore/Wynn/Palazzo I decided counted as a construction photo, since 2/3rds of the hotels are under construction and, heck, I knew somebody here would appreciate it. :)

November 2, 2007 8:03 PM Posted by Hunter

Y'all are more than welcome to use any RV photos, from the main site or Flickr for any personal use.

If someone wants to use it on their site for commercial purposes, please contact me.

November 4, 2007 2:59 PM Posted by motoman

"...due to an agreement we reached a few months ago."

Wow, didn't realize things had gotten so formal here! ;-) Does this apply to all submitted photos, or is it that you [mike_ch] now are compensated for your fine work here, because you deserve it....

Thanks Hunter for your permission; I may have nicked a few other folks' photos in my screensaver montage, guess I'd better look up "fair use."

(Clarification: "water feature" under maintenance is the river in front of the Esplanade entrance, not the Lake of Dreams or any of the other waterfalls.)

November 4, 2007 3:08 PM Posted by Hunter

Heh, nah, it's really not that formal.

I wanted Mike to be able to contribute his Strip Walk stuff on a regular basis so I paid him a small stipend and so technically I own those photos but like I said before, feel free to use them for personal use for anything you'd like.

For the record, if someone has a commercial desire, just contact me: editor AT ratevegas DOT com