Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

September 1, 2008

Open Topic - September 1st, 2008

Posted by Hunter

Discuss whatever you'd like as long as it has nothing to do with Sarah Palin.


Read archived comments (51 so far)
September 1, 2008 6:58 PM Posted by Dram_man

MILF! Oh wait sorry, did not read the post fully.

September 1, 2008 7:04 PM Posted by joe

You any of you find out if they are tearing down bellagios rear marquee

September 1, 2008 7:30 PM Posted by detroit1051

Joe, you're really a pit bull on this subject, aren't you? :-)
I have no idea, but I would guess MGM will install new signs that complement each other for CityCenter and Bellagio. Maybe someone has discussed this on the following site. Regardless, there are some great photos:

September 1, 2008 7:40 PM Posted by joe

Sorry I just cant help it! LOL!!

September 1, 2008 8:25 PM Posted by mike_ch

Joe, I'll be hitting town tomorrow and will let you know what I see re: Bellagio sign.

September 2, 2008 1:27 AM Posted by Mike E

This might be old news, but the M Resort has a site up with maps, floor plans, etc.

With the new wave of resorts on their way, I can't say I'm too impressed with their standard room options. The higher-end suites look great, though.

September 2, 2008 5:46 AM Posted by detroit1051

Mike E, I agree the suites look great. The building itself is very imposing looking. I like it. The "conversation bar" in the one bedroom suite looks a little isolated from the living space of the suite.

September 2, 2008 10:02 AM Posted by Phil

Any word on a fountain or some sort of water feature in or outside of Encore. I swear there was talk of this when they first broke ground, but zero news since. Nor do any pictures (outside of the hotel at least) give you any impression there will be anything on the outside.

September 2, 2008 10:23 AM Posted by Hunter

No indication at all that there will be a water feature.

September 2, 2008 11:37 AM Posted by Phil

With no special feature, the question has to be asked of the outsider, the guy who lives in Kansas, the guy in Ireland...etc. is it worth the trip to see Encore if there is no special feature? For us fanatics, we'll love it and anaylze it, for its new glass wall feature, but to many outside of us they'll just go to the common denominator, its just another hotel. I wonder if it will be similar to Palazzo in that it opened and nobody seemed to care.

September 2, 2008 12:09 PM Posted by mike_ch

Honestly, from what little you can gleam from the page, the M looks like the first phase of Red Rock, but in a better location for tourists.

For those wondering, there's a reason I don't cover M or the developments at South Point: I live on the northern edge of town and use mass transit, so getting anywhere south of the airport and west of Silverado Ranch is difficult. Feel free to update us about them on your own trips to town.

September 2, 2008 2:05 PM Posted by David McKee

Mike has a point about M Resort that cannot be stressed enough (and a trip down to Primm and back last weekend really drove his point home). If you think of the Vegas Valley as a funnel that acts in reverse, M sits at its narrowest point and is perfectly situated to always be the first casino-resort you pass as you drive north on I-15. I suppose you could *try* to build farther south, on the other side of the pass, but the terrain becomes considerably less amenable to development. The Marnells have really come up aces where location is concerned and they've on track to having considerably more exciting product than does South Point.

M Resort will be the subject of our Sept. 8 "Question of the Day," if you really want an information overload on the subject.

September 3, 2008 7:58 AM Posted by Brian Fey

Lets look back at The Mirage, yes it did have a outside feature, being the Volcano, but as you move inside, you saw more and more features. You had the tiger exhibit, the rain forest complete with waterfalls, and the tropical fish tank, among other things, like the dolphin complex. And the word got out, that the inside was far better, and had much more to see than the outside did. This trend continued on to Bellagio. It did have the fountains and a beautiful exterior, but the interior was even more beautiful than the exterior.

I think most people will view Encore, not as a 100% complete stand alone property, but an extension of Wynn, and Wynn does have a inviting outside feature. I would venture to guess that 80% of Encore's traffic will come from Wynn, and not from the street, as most of the traffic lies south of this property at least for now. Most people are going to try to enter the air conditioning at the soonest point, and that will be the corner of The Strip by Palazzo. Once inside, they will venture on to see Encore, I think from Wynn's point of view, is make the inside much more amazing than the outside. People spend 99% of their time inside the hotel, not outside the hotel, so spend money where people can see and enjoy it the most. I also think Wynn has a reputation of quality, and most people who spend money there, know of him and his past projects. So I'm just not sure he needs a huge exterior feature to drive the customer in the door, like it did in the past. Even when you look at Macau, yes it has the fountains, but perhaps the greatest feature, the Tree, lies not outside, but inside the property.

September 3, 2008 12:10 PM Posted by South Looper

Encore: Appears to me from overhead photos on (and other reports) that the Strip-side port cochere has an entrance into a large atrium (flat glass roof) wherein a garden/conservatory will welcome guests in climate controlled comfort. And then right behind that, the casino.

September 3, 2008 4:37 PM Posted by Peter Q

I just got back from Vegas, have not been in a few years, is dark brown the new it color for MGM properties, even at the Bellagio. All the properties, restaurants etc look the same on interior no differentiation? Not sure it mixes well at the Bellagio. Is this just an up keep or maintenance issue or the trend? Would appreciate your thoughts.

On another topic I could tell the floor at Pallazzo casino was hollow. I asked a floor man if they had any problems with cheaters sneaking in under the floor and he laughed, said he had not heard that one, but thought they had cameras down there.

September 3, 2008 5:42 PM Posted by detroit1051

I just got an email from Treasure Island promoting its new rooms. They are typical MGM. I'm more the old fashioned Steve Wynn type.

September 3, 2008 8:52 PM Posted by joe

YUCK! I get pissed at MGM Mirage every renovation it does to a steve wynn property. You think there a possibility that Wynn could make a deal and buy at least Bellagio back?(a 99.9% chance not) Now THAT would be sweet! No more light group operations!!! LOL :)

September 4, 2008 2:29 AM Posted by Mike E

Speaking of overhead Encore shots, pictures from several weeks ago (can't remember specifically where I saw them) showed a tiny porte cochere on the north west side of the building that I'm assuming was going to be used for the Tower Suites, but this has since been dismantled. I guess they changed their mind and will keep it open like at Wynn's Tower Suites (shame as that entry lacks serious shade).

September 4, 2008 7:36 AM Posted by Mark D

Cosmo sold for $1,000,000,000 to bank affiliate.

Perini has signed a “guaranteed maximum price contract” to complete construction.

Deutsche Bank named four companies to the resort’s development team Wednesday. They include New York-based real estate developer Related Cos., which has an equity stake in the Cosmopolitan and will oversee the project, and W.A. Richardson Builders, a gaming construction design firm in Las Vegas. Related built the World Market Center downtown. W.A. Richardson Builders is owned by Bill Richardson, a former executive with casino giant Mandalay Resort Group, which was bought by MGM Mirage in 2005.

The remaining two companies, design firm The Friedmutter Group of Las Vegas and architecture company Arquitectonica Corp. of Miami, were part of the original design team and will remain with the project under the new ownership.

Key roles have yet to be filled.

Deutsche Bank has yet to name a company to manage the hotel or the casino. The casino manager, which could be a separate company, would need a Nevada gaming license. That process can take up to a year, less time if a management company with a license is appointed in the interim.

Deutsche Bank is expected to negotiate such agreements in the coming weeks.

September 4, 2008 10:26 AM Posted by mike_ch

Joe: Saw the sign yesterday. I think it's a renovation, not a demolition. Might be wrong, but that's what it looked like.

Brian: "Wynn does have a inviting outside feature."


No, really. Yes, the feature is outdoors as in, there is no roof, but if you have to go indoors to see it, then really you can't promote it as similar to something like fountain show.

Detroit: That room looks just like the room I saw a year ago. I'm not sure what's new? I do like them more than the Mirage rooms, or the old Treasure Island rooms with all those frilly things all over the place.

September 4, 2008 11:13 AM Posted by mike_ch

Downtown's Plaza won a ruling to keep it's name. Conflict with the Strip property may go to jury trial but what with the economy I think Elad is going to throw in the towel sooner or later.

September 4, 2008 11:54 AM Posted by detroit1051

St. Regis joins LVS in condo tower. This WSJ article is available through Google News to non-subscribers:

September 5, 2008 1:20 PM Posted by detroit1051

Jeff Simpson has a great story about Eastside Cannery in the new issue of "In Business Las Vegas". No parking garage at the casino??? I wouldn't like that in mid-summer.

September 5, 2008 3:56 PM Posted by Hunter

Steve Wynn interview on CNN Asia:

Thanks to for surfacing this.

It's a great interview. Wynn can certainly be charming - you can really tell how much he loves his job and I must admit, watching this makes you feel like there may not be a better gig out there.

September 5, 2008 9:41 PM Posted by Mike E

As of today, Encore is now taking reservations as early as January 12th.

September 5, 2008 10:26 PM Posted by Brian Fey

Ah, what a treat. Some how, I never get tired of listening to Steve Wynn talk.

So is Jan 12th, the opening date?

September 5, 2008 10:45 PM Posted by PeterF

The opening date will (probably) be in December. My guess is that as they get more of the Encore checklist completed the more sure of the opening they become so the reservations date slowly moves sooner in time, closer to December.

September 7, 2008 9:41 PM Posted by mike_ch

Here's a fun fact: CityCenter has now exceeded the price of the Large Hadron Collider, which some people are concerned could create a black hole and consume the Earth.

I can't help but wonder what it must be like to have that much money. "Hmmm... Condo/Hotel/Casino project, or end all known life on the universe just for kicks?"

September 7, 2008 9:45 PM Posted by Hunter

Which is scheduled to be fired up on 9/10/2008, just a few days from now... Who knows, CC may never reach completion.

September 8, 2008 4:14 PM Posted by Mark D

This site for Franklin Studios has some renderings for a night club/lounge at CityCenter.
Click on the commercial projects and it's the last one on the right.

September 8, 2008 4:40 PM Posted by detroit1051

A few details on Golden Nugget's expansion:

September 11, 2008 12:23 PM Posted by detroit1051

Las Vegas architecture: This sounds interesting, although at first I mistakenly thought it referred to David G. Schwartz.

"Next week 10 Yale University architecture students, led by Washington, D.C.-based architect David M. Schwarz, will fly in to study the Strip’s shopping areas and entertainment centers. Schwarz, who is designing the $360 million Smith Center for the Performing Arts for Las Vegas’ downtown, is calling the study “Learning in Las Vegas.” The intent is to produce another significant book on the Strip. Schwarz has been contracted by Harrah’s to master plan its Strip properties and, not coincidentally, the Yale group will use Harrah’s mile on Las Vegas Boulevard as its study case — the problem of Las Vegas."

September 12, 2008 10:19 AM Posted by josh

Check out

Those seem to be renderings of the standard rooms at Aria; at first glance, they seem disappointing and too small (530 sq ft)

September 12, 2008 2:11 PM Posted by mike_ch

I'm inclined to believe from reading the want ads that Treasure Island is opening a shoe store. I'm guessing this is where the kids' clothing store formerly was.

September 13, 2008 10:00 AM Posted by joe

for some reason, Kerkorian has been on my mind later cause there's been lots of new articles about MGM and the international. All of his projects are built with as much quality as Mirage Wynn and the Bellagio until, he built the 1993 MGM grand. I read an artical one time from what Kerkorian said-" I don't my hotels just for the sake of size, but to be built with quality too"

September 15, 2008 12:10 PM Posted by Jeff Simpson

Hunter, I don't know if this is the right place to park this, but Sports Business Journal is reporting that Harrah's is out as a participant in the joint venture planning to build an arena behind Paris Las Vegas and Bally's. According to SBJ, which reported that it relied on two background sources with "inside knowledge of the deal," a consortium has replaced Harrah's in its role as the lead investor of the JV. The consortium is reported by SBJ to include Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer (long interested in owning an NHL team), MGM Studios CEO Harry Sloan and Texas Pacific Group co-founder David Bonderman (Texas Pacific is one of the two private equity groups that bought Harrah's). Another SBJ source said the reason for the sale was to carve Harrah's out of ownership to make it easier to sell arena inventory (seats, ads, luxury suites, event sponsorships, etc.) to Harrah's Las Vegas competitors.

While that reason may be true, my personal opinion is that the sale certainly calls into greater question Harrah's fiscal situation,situation.

September 15, 2008 12:19 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Since the wife was out of town last weekend, I remembered to go to the library and check out the book "Super Casino". I had read it about 5 years ago, and remembered it had something to do with the building of Luxor. Now I am wondering if anyone out there has read it, and if it is pretty accurate. When I first read it, I was ignorant about Las Vegas and the Casino business, so I took it as Gospel. Now, I'm 40 pages in, and finding little details I don't think are kosher, such as the "City" government not letting the street known as "Dunes Road" be changed after the Dunes was torn down. Supposedly, Flamingo, west of LVB was called Dunes. I don't recall ever hearing that before. Thanks.

September 15, 2008 12:49 PM Posted by Hunter

Jeff in OKC - I believe it was designated as both. Here's the Wikipedia article:

Jeff Simpson - I agree with you that it calls Harrah's ability to participate in the deal into question.

September 15, 2008 4:53 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Thanks, Hunter, that helps. I think the authors use of "City" instead of "County" is bothersome. Maybe I learned that from Steve Friess' blogs:).

Jeff Simpson, I agree with you. Although I have always misunderstood and thought that Harrah's only contribution was the land.

September 15, 2008 7:52 PM Posted by detroit1051

"Effective immediately, Danielle Babilino has been named Senior Vice President of Sales for Wynn Las Vegas and Encore. In this role, Babilino will oversee all aspects of the hotel sales function and operations."
Does she replace someone, or is this a new position. She came from Fontainebleau. I'm getting increasingly concerned about both Fontainebleau Miami Beach and Las Vegas considering the economy.

September 17, 2008 5:41 AM Posted by detroit1051

Harmon construction is not as specified in approved building plans. I'm sure it will be corrected, but moving placement of rebar could be serious. How could this occur on 15 of the 22 existing floors without someone noticing?

September 18, 2008 9:55 PM Posted by Mark D

Adelson has fallen from the number 3 position down to number 15 on the Forbes 400 Richest Americans list.

Wynn dropped on the list too from number 86 to number 118. The Fertitta brothers moved up a couple notches.

September 19, 2008 8:48 AM Posted by Brian Fey

No surprise here. I told everyone a yeah ago, that LVS was the single most overvalued casino company on the face of the planet. At one point they were valued more than Harrah's and MGM-Mirage combined. Things are much more in check now. I would be shocked to see Sheldon ever rate any higher than his 3rd position he held a year or so ago. A certain someone on this board told me I was crazy, but since we haven't heard from him in a very long time now, it would seem maybe he was the crazy one. Funny thing is, we exchange emails ever few weeks still.

September 24, 2008 10:16 AM Posted by detroit1051

Terry Lanni was interviewed on Nightly Business Report.

"LANNI: CityCenter.
GHARIB: CityCenter project. I mean, will you be -- yes, will you be able to fill customers into the hotels and the condos and go shopping at all the new retail outlet that you're opening up?
LANNI: Well, the interesting thing is, forward-looking bookings actually for our existing hotels are rather strong in 2009. Conventioneers are still coming, they're not spending as much money, but our view is that we will open it on time at the end of 2009, and that it will be a success from day one. And we believe there's sufficient opportunities for us with guests from international areas. There is a great demand for that hotel already and forward bookings for that hotel, the ARIA Hotel, which is part of CityCenter, are very strong."

September 25, 2008 7:58 PM Posted by Jason Robar

Of particular interest to Dave Schwartz, the Venetian is changing the carpet in the casino. The last two days I was there they had changed large chunks. I apologize for the quality of pics, but here's a shot of the old, and where it turns into the new (the new is the dark carpet):

And a picture of the new carpet:

September 27, 2008 9:09 PM Posted by mike_ch

A Reuters article on declining business:


September 28, 2008 12:58 AM Posted by Mike E

Red Rock meets Planet Hollywood. The M Resort now has a small picture of what its casino will look like:

September 28, 2008 6:59 AM Posted by detroit1051

More Sunday reading in the NY Times. Will Elad's Plaza actually start construction in 2010?

September 28, 2008 8:15 AM Posted by detroit1051

Fontainebleau Miami Beach: I've been waiting for this. There's no question Glenn Schaeffer wants the expanded Miami Beach Fontainebleau to include a casino. Florida politics aren't pretty, but my guess is something will happen within a couple of years.

October 27, 2008 3:18 PM Posted by Mark D

Probably not unexpected, but today General Growth Properties put the Fashion Show Mall, The Shoppes at Palazzo, and Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian up for sale. They have some sort of debt maturity on Fashion Show and Palazzo coming up in November that they aren't able to meet. GGP stock has gone from $40 to $2.33 in the past year. GGP, as a whole, has nearly $30 billion in debt.

October 27, 2008 3:25 PM Posted by mike_ch

As a local, I have to say it's going to be reeeeaaaaly interesting to see what happens to Summerlin if GGP falters.