Many thanks to Mike Ch for another installment of our 'Strip Walk' feature. This time we have shots of Encore, Echelon, Fontainebleau, City Center, the Mirage Volcano, Bellagio, Palazzo and more. It's great stuff.
The photos are available here: http://www.ratevegas.com/photo/most_recent
Mike's info follows after the jump. Enjoy!
Fontainebleau: This project has been growing quite a bit in the past several months, but I've given it little attention because it's placement/design makes it hard to tell what I'm looking at. A hotel tower footprint, a parking garage skeleton, and at least one other structure seem to be going up simultaneously. A glass curtain appeared on the bottom floor of the hotel tower recently, so hopefully in the next six months we'll have a solid idea of what this is going to look like in the skyline. For now, it continues to look like a mess of steel with a strip of glass along the Riviera side.
Echelon: Hey, you can see the progress now! Pillars stick up over the fences and you can see a general shape in the ground from the Wynn garage, so in a year or so we should have a better idea of what this should really look like.
Encore Suites at Wynn Las Vegas: The day I went out and took photos for this column, they began putting letters on the tower and stopped early as high winds kicked up. They should be at least halfway done by now. Exterior walls for the parking garage side of the casino level building went up a couple weeks ago, and the strip-facing side is becoming more elaborate. There's a big of a slanting roofline as you can tell from the garage, though it's not dramatic enough to be very noticeable from the street.
Wynn Las Vegas: A lot of fences around the front yard were taken away to move some cherry pickers into position around both sides of SteveVision. I can only guess the jumbotron is getting it's maintenance for the year. Inside, the Wynn Classic tournament ate up a bunch of slot machine floor space near the sports book.
Palazzo: A sign proudly announces that it's all open now. The Jersey Boys theatre area is still mostly walled and curtained. What little is visible doesn't inspire much confident, with columns that appear to be covered in a disco-ball like reflective material in an otherwise blank room. Obviously it's way too early to tell what the final product is going to look like, and the area seems to only be open at all for employee access. In the meantime, I'd like to say that the visual look and style of Palazzo's Grand Lux Café is very appealing, and I was never comfortable in the Venetian's. There's a sort of espresso/pastry bar next to the restaurant.
The Mirage: Volcano has been torn apart, lake out front has been drained, and the one over the walkway has been drained too. The walkway has been removed so guests are directed around the sidewalk to that entrance. Inside, the Burger place is still highly walled, so don't count on seeing it soon.
Caesars Palace: There's an Apple Store scheduled to go into the Forum Shoppes, so I went in to look at the walled up locations and guess where it will be. It will allegedly be in the back by the Atlantis showpiece, and the only space that seemed large enough is outside that showroom, next to the GAP.
Bellagio: Yellowtail shouldn't take long to build. I hope it doesn't take long, anyway, as the construction wall is pretty tacky by Bellagio standards. Similar to the kind of walls up around Luxor a year ago, a plain wall with a giant advertisement for the new place on it, right between the entrances to Le Cirque, Prime, and Picasso.
Planet Hollywood: Construction of the Westwood tower in back is really taking off. Glass curtain going up and everything. I'll try and get a picture the next time I go past on the monorail.
CityCenter: It's kind of unfortunate that I don't have too many easy ways of getting rear shots, because that's where a lot of the action is right now. Up front, guys in a pit continue to move dirt around. It might just be me, but it seems like the other towers have stalled a bit while Veer gets underway. Peoplemover track snakes out from Bellagio and behind the Harmon.
Monte Carlo: Peeked through the doorway of Brand Steakhouse. It's basically still a construction zone in there, so maybe another month? Out back, you're asked to stand out in the path of taxis in the areas where they're still afraid of material coming off the roof. They've been patching it up quicker than I expected, though.
NYNY: Good grief. The old high limit area is basically gone and the phony facades in the wall are being torn up. The old Big Apple Bar space is GONE, completely. They brought down some sides of the big walls that hid this place from view when I was last here, so from the upper level you could snap pretty clear pictures of the empty space back there. Either way, they're mostly done tearing stuff down and the space looked like an empty cavern, probably not unlike what the whole casino looked like during construction once upon a time.