Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

December 11, 2009

Good Day, Sunshine

Posted by Hunter

A LVRJ article on the new trend (?) of sunlight being let into casinos:

Of course, Encore made a significant play for this and I think very successfully - parts of the casino are indeed flooded with light.

The author mentions CityCenter as an extension of this. My first impression walking through ARIA was certainly not that I needed sunblock. The casino is directly up against the porte-cochere glass doors in several places and light certainly spills in at the edges... maybe it's because the color scheme is mostly earth tones but it 'felt' dark to me.

There are certainly wonderful spots at ARIA, such as the main registration desk, the Harmon entrance and the entire promenade level, that are very well lit.

I hope this is indeed a trend that continues... Personally, I'd love to see a joint where the entire casino floor ceiling to be a skylight. Could be an amazing design feature, no?


Read archived comments (6 so far)
December 11, 2009 10:45 AM Posted by Dave

Hunter--even though the casino isn't done and I don't want to judge an unfinished product, I agree that it seemed dark to me. The natural light stuff was more noticeable in other parts of the complex. The big shock for me was a huge window in the men's bathroom at Twist on the 23rd floor of the Mandarin Oriental. The alcove in front of the bathroom, though, was so dark that I felt like I was stepping into the timeless void. Seriously, for a second it felt like walking into the caverns of Moria. Anytime someone with reasonable eyesight has to feel their way to the door knob, your lighting design guy has let you down.

December 11, 2009 10:47 AM Posted by Hunter

Ah yes, I forgot about the MO bathrooms - very cool. Anyone that has been in the bathrooms at MIX @ THEHotel knows what I'm talking about.

December 11, 2009 11:01 AM Posted by doc_al

"caverns of Moria" - nice! Should that be a new bottle-service nightclub at Excalibur?

December 11, 2009 2:04 PM Posted by cgriff

New trend? Even the Las Vegas Hilton has an all-glass entry that spills nat light into the casino...

December 11, 2009 5:59 PM Posted by GregoryZephyr

I must be old school since bright naturally lit casinos dont appeal to me. Reminds me of playing the slots at the D Gates at the airport. I just can't envision James Bond sitting down at a card table in a tuxedo with sunshine streaming down on him.

December 12, 2009 4:23 AM Posted by Access Vegas

I think the bigger issue the article raised was:

How would this affect gamblers? While it was careful to note that people with a gambling problem should know when they have been gambling into the early morning hours (seeing the sun come up, uh-oh)... it also noted the average 4 hour average gambling time that casinos bank on.

Someone gambling 4 hours at Aria will lose far more (on average) than the cost of a room. Does that come into play with the business plan of CityCenter? Even if they lose it at Bellagio?

GregoryZephyr makes a point that has been borne out over decades: Gamblers want an alcove... some kind of feeling that they are not in the spotlight or the bright light. I recall casino studies as recent as a few years ago that note people gamble more under lower ceilings or in areas where the feeling is more intimate. Look at the table game areas of Paris and Bellagio (just to name a couple) with the artificial tops/canopies.

No doubt that CityCenter is looking to make most of the income off of non-gaming revenue.

But... Steve Wynn is bringing in Garth Brooks and (maybe, probably) Beyonce on the factor that gaming will make up for the cash his is spending at entertainment.

Can CityCenter make most of their money on room rates and food prices (which even Hunter noted seemed steep... a lunch for one person that ran somewhere around $70 if memory serves correct)?

I do agree this is a turning point for Las Vegas: Will gaming be the primary revenue (with entertainment driving people to spend big cash on gaming/food/booze)... or will people come here for an amazing hotel-only experience... and be willing to pay the price for the room and food?

Going to be interesting to watch.

Ted Newkirk
Managing Editor
Access Vegas