Mike Ch is back again with his Strip Walk column. This time around, he shows us what's going on at The Mirage, Bellagio, City Center, Caesars and more.
Personally, I think that new entrance at The Mirage looks terrible - that sign is totally out of place.
At long last, CityCenter is beginning to look like an actual destination. All the buildings are far along enough to have their glass panels put on and it will not take as much work for the mind's eye to figure out how this place is going to look. It is immediately apparent that the dimensions aren't quite the same as all the concept work shown to the public. The buildings are a bit more bunched together than we may have been led to believe. The lower levels are now so dense that much of the work of the buildings that was visible to the naked eye a few months ago is lost in the steelwork, and now for instance the Veer Towers currently just peek above the roof line of the ground level structure. On the other hand, Vdara is a few floors of glass panels from being done on the outside, and the Mandarin isn't too far behind.
Things are so densely packed in there that I have a feeling that the final product will look as if the concept buildings were told to squeeze together to all fit in for a picture. But that said, it's a bit of a relief that the buildings are all past a certain level of completeness that you can mentally just extend them to the sky and picture how it's going to look. I have more confidence in CityCenter now than I do something like...
This project is moving ahead regardless of how big a meltdown is going on behind the scenes, So far, I have to say that I don't understand the design. With it's boxy shapes and glass balconies, not to mention it's fairly small footprint along the sidewalk, the Cosmo presently looks like another condo tower going up instead of one of the mega resorts. I'm not sure what the deal is with the balconies. In a lot of odd places they don't have a glass panel wall installed along the balcony and have simply put up some 2x4s and caution tape to ward anyone up there from stepping off to their doom.
A minor acknowledgment of a small detail, to begin. As you come down the escalator from the bridge linking the Bellagio entrance to the sidewalk, you walk across a fairly nice stone tiled floor. This continues west past the rental car office and over to the tour bus area. But right here in front of these escalators, these tiles have become very cracked over the years. And it's not been very pretty. Someone finally did something about this, not only sealing up the cracks but then painting them brown and painting little green "leaves" off them (see photos.) Now they look sort of like they were intended to look like this.
To any close observer they're still cracks in the ground modified to not look so ugly, but if nothing else it's creative. I said about a year ago that Bellagio is getting older and it would be interesting to see how it handles the wear and the elements. If management won't tear up concrete and disrupt traffic and sidewalk access to replace things, then at least it's aging as gracefully as possible.
Yellowtail opened. I scoped out the new entryway because, let's face it, that's about all a schlub like me is ever going to see of the place. It has mood lighting of darkened amber that fits in quite well with the similarly dark entrance of Le Cirque right nearby and FIX across the way. The original Bellagio restaurants except for Circo originally had a somewhat European taste of decor at the entrance regardless of what culture's cuisine was being served inside, and that's been lost again here. I couldn't see all the way back into the dining room, but there's modern shapes hiding in the shadows again. A nice touch is a wall covered with an artwork of scaled metal with a large shape that looks like the rear end of a fish. In front of that artwork, there's some small tables (I presume for having drinks) right out there by the public. So if you enjoy proximity to the casino and shopping, and people-watching those milling around, this space is for you. It was too dark to look into the dining room, but I think I spied some modern shapes hiding in the shadows.
Also, a big thumbs down for the restaurant sign, another one of those backlit designs that show up all over the old Mandalay properties but look out of place at Bellagio anywhere but the box office. A backlit (think in the terms of the Bellagio's BUFFET sign, or the traditional directional signs around a casino) cartoon of a fish skeleton that serves as the restaurant's logo, and the name in black lettering with indirect lighting shining on the dark wall behind it, giving it the appearance of black lettering in the midst of a grey fog. It's all typically modern and fairly common for casino design nowadays, but Bellagio used to have a lot of well-made signs that looked hand-made and were well lit by external lighting. Let's hope they don't remake the front-end of Jasmine, hm?
First of all, the volcano has gotten it's concrete spray but hasn't been painted yet. Next, the sidewalk entrance is back, and the people movers are indeed gone. You want into the Mirage? Haul your own butt in there! Then again, this does appear to have stopped a lot of the traffic jams since nobody feels compelled to just stand there and soak up the atmosphere anymore. The columns holding the roof up have that "stacked up shale" look that is commonly used by Station.
We had intended to have lunch at BLT Burger, but the prices were rather shocking and so one other person in my group who was hungry enough ate while everyone else sat around the table. Prices may have bumped up after opening, because I heard about $7 burgers but saw $9 burgers instead. A burger, fries, milkshake combo is $17. Service was lacking for as little as there was to take care of. There's a grill in the back of the dining room but I didn't see things coming off of it too often. If you're going to spend money for a sit-down burger place, I'd probably go to Le Burger at Paris if given the option. You'll get a quieter room and probably better service for it. According to our diner, the burger was just a burger, nothing fantastic. There is take out.
Cranes 'n' Things
The Ocatvius tower at Caesars is now along enough that they've put some external panels along the bottom of the tower The P-Ho condos are about 2/3rds to the top since the bottom of that red jaggy point sticking out up top. Fontainebleau is at "I can see that from my house" level. If you can see the Turnberries from where you live, you can see the building frame, too.