MikeCh is back with another installment of Strip Walk, our column that features ongoing Las Vegas Strip construction projects.
This time he hones in on The Mirage, City Center, New York New York and Monte Carlo.
Photos are here: http://www.ratevegas.com/photo/most_recent
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This instalment of the Stripwalk is heavy on the usual pictures of buildings going up, but light on interior details. Why? There's little going on inside the casinos right now.
Mirage has still sealed off the old tiger exhibit and it's front-end is now more torn up and walled up than ever. Something I think is interesting is that the the concrete frame for the walkways used to be U-shaped so that the mechanics for the movator seems to be filled in. I guess the movator is being replaced with a simple walkway?
Caesars construction for the new tower is now quite visible from the road. Looking at the Bellagio lake from the road, it sticks up over the domes and such of the villa facade.
Monte Carlo opened their BRAND steakhouse last weekend. It was getting finishing touches on my last visit and so I did plenty of peeking behind the curtain, but didn't take any pictures because there was a dozen or more people milling around. Basically, it's the complete opposite of Blackstone's. Decor is the usual dark with dimmed lighting and modern lines that we've seen before at these Pure/Light/Nine/Whoever managed joints. However, there's a lot of mirrors being used, it's totally open to the casino whereas Blackstone's was closed off, and something about it just doesn't seem right to me. Maybe it's because of the logo artwork of a bull's snout is on the main wall sitting above everyone's heads. Classy. For what was one of the most highly rated steakhouses online (seriously, go look at the old reviews in it's RateVegas profile) this really seems like a step backwards. And I'm wondering who really wants their steakhouse to be an open-air side attraction from the casino, letting all the machine noise and smoke drift in. Steakhouses were nicely closed off for a reason.
Bellagio was making a summer conservatory with plenty of trains. Though it shares a lot of pieces with the old giant train-set summer display from 2005, it has a lot more flowers. People may remember the 2005 display as the one where recreations of famous buildings were all over the place, and giant canyon walls were erected, and trains were going all over the place, and there just wasn't much room for flowers. Think of that, but toned down. Moving racks were being rolled out with boxes of trains stacked up, as worker bees took trains out of their boxes and started lining them up on the tracks. I talked to a worker bee and asked if the trains were all new (they looked it,) and he said that 30% of the trains came from the 2005 display. The rest of them took too much of a beating being run endlessly day and night for the season the last time.
Yellowtail doesn't open until August now, so don't expect much news on that.
Cosmopolitan is starting to actually look like something. The residential buildings now curve around the Jockey Club and appear to have balconies. Either the project is smaller than I thought or I'm dreaming, but I thought there were supposed to be two large hotel towers rising out of this? There are two "sides" of the building, but their height is pretty unspectacular compared to CityCenter next door.
Cranes 'n' Things: Speaking of CityCenter, there's a ton of pictures of that including the topped off Vdara, the window panels going up on Veer and Harmon, and how the third Panorama Towers building across the freeway seems to toss aside the design of the first two buildings to go with something that looks very much like a CityCenter building. The result from the road is that it stands between Vdara and the resort itself when viewed from the Strip and where Harmon will eventually be., and since you can't see the freeway between them it creates an illusion that CityCenter has much more depth than it really does.
The WestGate/Planet Hollywood condos, meanwhile, appear somewhat detached from the property by road. It's kind of bunched over by Krave, probably so it can be easily reached by Harmon when that's redirected someday.
Didn't go north of Mirage this time, so those projects will have to wait. As the heat arrives, that space between Sahara and Desert Inn becomes more and more brutal.