Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

February 17, 2009

Strip Walk - February 2009

Posted by Hunter

Mike's back with another Strip Walk column. He's got some photo links in his post but if you want to see the entire gallery, click here:

Continue after the jump to get your Vegas fix.


A wall was up between Aurora and the high limit room. As far as I know, there's only more slots in that space so I don't think it's anything more drastic than moving the furniture around. Upstairs, Titanic opened. The old King Tut museum is still a wall zone.

In the meantime, let's meaninglessly rename some stores, huh? I'm not sure what focus test decided that "Fashion LX" is more likely to draw people in than "The Scarab Store" or what this was previously called, but the problem with these kinds of renovations are the cheapness of it all. Okay, you're renaming a store so it looks less themed and more trendy, but if the store still has the exterior appearance of an ancient bazaar and the sign has loads of blankspace and a pyramid shape for no obvious reason other than you were too cheap to make a new sign, then you might as well just go ahead and be themed.

MGM Grand

I'm sure this will be fixed because it's in the lobby, but I'm going to ring the maintenance alarm anyway because this is ugly.

New York New York

Times Square renovations are beginning, and it looks like theme is out the window. The fake street and manholes look is being replaced with a new floor that has that brushed aluminum look. Also, they got new signage.

Monte Carlo

Andre's is back! With glowy letters! And a touchscreen-based menu! And a dark bar with glowing stuff at the entrance! I can hear the (formerly) rich nightclub babies now: "Oh well thank gawwwd that they got a makeover, because while some of those Food Network types were going on about this Andre's place, I was like, 'no way is that place trendy enough for me!' But now, now I could see myself here before a night at PURE."

Just a thought: It seems like all the new developments since at least Red Rock have HDTVs (sometimes arranged vertically) with the menus on them at the entrance, like it's the new classy thing to do. Wynn and Encore? No HDTV menus. Not sure why, since they do vertically arrange some sets for the conference calendars.


Is this new? This doorway exists just between the front desk and the golf/travel services desk in the corner [ed: I believe this is the new executive lounge amenity]. It seems new (or at least renovated) to my eyes, but it could be that I just never noticed it before. Also, two of these lights along the movators in and out are missing the knob on the bottom.


Another maintenance complaint, the upper third of the balloon is fading away.

The Mirage

If you squint, you can see something inside Rhumbar.


I've just got a rant: I walked in and saw a sign that said "Handicap Elevator." Is that really necessary? Can't it just say "Elevator?" Maybe put that universal symbol of the person in the wheelchair underneath while you're at it? I checked, and fully mobile people can use the elevator, too.

Cranes 'n' Things: See the photo gallery for pictures of the CityCenter, Cosmo, F-Bleau, the Titanic entrance at Luxor, the Hard Rock Cafe going up across from the Monte Carlo, construction at the OTHER Hard Rock, and more.


Read archived comments (11 so far)
February 17, 2009 1:07 PM Posted by LeoNYC

Last week I mentioned that when calling Bellagio, a reservation agent told me that all Suite guests have access to a separate room where they can check in. She said it is not the "old" VIP room, but it is a different room. I believe this is the Executive Lounge they show on the web site and on the pic you took. It is nice to see this kind of service back. Bellagio still a upscale hotel, but the long lines at the Front Desk can ruin the experience for a guest who is paying a lot for those suites.
Thanks for the updates, Mike.

February 17, 2009 3:20 PM Posted by Mike P.

That's the Executive Lounge, assuming the picture is of the doors located between the Bell desk and the main registration.

It's not that special. Just a small room with a few chairs and a sofa or two and a counter with drinks and snacks, plus the registration desk.

And it turns out it's *not* for all suite guests. When we arrived last week we asked an employee lurking around the front desk where it was, and he replied by asking us how much we were paying for our suite. We answered something along the lines of "I dunno, plenty" and he showed us to the lounge. When we got up to the registration desk the girl working it took our id's, typed away for a few minutes, and then said "Oh I'm sorry, your reservation information is at the front desk." So off we went back to the main registration area. If I'd known we were going to get the bum's rush I'd have grabbed a few drinks to go with the chocolate dipped strawberries the wife ate while we were waiting.

Anyway it seems you have to be paying the posted rates (or more than likely getting comped) to use that lounge. If you're paying Bellagio's advertised rates right now you're paying too much.

February 17, 2009 10:43 PM Posted by Art

I noitced the Paris balloon as well. Pretty lousy. Along those lines the IP is currently "Imperial lace" due to sign lights being out. But that is a toilet anyway. Maybe they are removing the letters to make room for a flush lever on the exterior of the building.

Having finally visited Vegas with CityCenter more complete, I think I hate it. I know it's still under construction, but it looks like a bloated piece of crap that could be in the middle of any city, and has no character or distinction at all. It really breaks up the strip, and surely ruined many strip views from the mid to north end of the strip. I know there's all this talk of progress and whatnot, but I think the themed hotels are what gave Vegas a more universal appeal and atarted attracting a broader demographic of visitors. Ok, so the center towers "veer". Still just looks very bland and way too big to me.

February 18, 2009 7:42 AM Posted by doc_al

One reason to label something "Handicap Elevator" - a sublte request to reserve this for the truly mobility-impaired vs the "tired of walking in heels" or whatever. Yeah that's snarky on my part, but if you've ever really needed the elevator, you'd see it differently.

Also a thought on the touch-screen menu thing -- not only trendy, but it leverages the effort put into creating online menus for in-room viewing and/or for the external website.

February 18, 2009 6:08 PM Posted by mike_ch

Al: My point was that "handicap" is rather un-PC. Disability is slightly better, but the best way to get the message across is to use the wheelchair logo associated with disability services.

February 19, 2009 1:21 PM Posted by Andy S

Thanks for the update Mike!

I was in Vegas in early January and the Times Square area had not been 'renovated', was not impressed with what they had done, old and new didn't blend and what was an unique casino is now very bland and generic. I had hoped that they would leave the Greenwich Village area alone, the new flooring looks horrible and will not go with that area, unless the whole lot is going (I hope not).

Luxor also looks like a Planet Hollywood wannabe but done in a cheap generic way, what a complete mess that place is now.

MGM designers out did themselves on the Andre's redesign, so innovative and unlike anything they have done before!

I had a great stay at Encore and think the Wynn/Encore complex is great, dont really have a reason to leave now!

February 19, 2009 4:51 PM Posted by Joe

That's a shame about Bellagio's light function. I was in Vegas last week and stayed at the MGM. I too noticed the bus stop fixture from the previous "strip walk" and it seems like they camouflaged the patch by replacing the whole canopy or something (sorry, but I wasn't able to get any shots of it). Also, does MGM Mirage replace any old or broken original Steve Wynn areas? There's a clue in the spa tower where there are a line of doors (I think its a door to the "employees only" room by Sensi) that looked like exactly like the originals from the casino.

BTW: I forgot how pretty some of the areas over here are. the rest is from my Vegas trip. (Scroll down for the bellagio pics)

February 19, 2009 8:54 PM Posted by Doug

The new bar at Andre's looks nice!
I got an e-mail today from NYNY mentioning their new 'high limit lounge' - has anyone seen this area?

February 19, 2009 11:17 PM Posted by John

Checked tonight - those knobs are on the bottoms of those entry lights at Bellagio.

February 23, 2009 7:34 AM Posted by TC from Boston

All I know is that if NYNY screws with Siricos Pizza...i'm never walking in that place again....that stuff is like crack

February 23, 2009 8:19 AM Posted by Mike P.

Aria's and Vdara's websites have just gone live, and they're taking reservations at both:



Unlike some other recently opened properties I could mention (but won't) their websites actually have lots of interesting content.

As I've long suspected Aria is going to have a Skylofts type enclave.