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Posts Tagged ‘opening’

Bright Shiny Objects: Vdara Hotel, Crystals and Mandarin Oriental mark opening of CityCenter Las Vegas

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
The now-open Vdara Hotel shines brightly in the Vegas sun.

CityCenter's towering Vdara Hotel shines brightly in the Vegas sun.

Like a Broadway debut from the city it’s trying to emulate, CityCenter on the Las Vegas Strip is opening…softly. Beginning last week with the December 1st grand opening party at the 1,495-suite Vdara Hotel, project CityCenter continues to open piece by glittering piece with the Crystals retail and dining complex and the new Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas now open as well. All three properties are, however, a prelude to the main act: the 61-floor MGM MIRAGE Aria Resort & Casino featuring over 4,000 rooms, a new Cirque du Soleil show – Viva Elvis – plus eateries from such well-known chefs as Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Julian Serrano. Aria will open December 16th.

CityCenter is not just another high-end gaming property opening in Las Vegas. This 67-acre parcel of prime Strip real estate — site of the biggest privately financed construction project in United States history — is now home to a “city within a city,” an urban landscape of shining skyscrapers, public art displays, an elevated train, residential condos and even a “pocket park.”

We visited last week and got a first glimpse of the Vdara Hotel and the Crystals shopping area. Both are striking examples of the city-chic contemporary architecture guiding the entire project. All sharp angles and shimmering surfaces, the thin December sunlight bounced from one building to the next creating an urban canyon of sorts.  And, honestly, having lived in D.C. as well as having spent considerable time in NYC, we have to say that we really did feel like we were in a major metropolitan neighborhood.

We entered CityCenter via the new pedestrian walkway running from the Bellagio into the Vdara Hotel. It is a striking contrast to go from the lush Italianate surroundings of the Bellagio and into the stark yet stunning halls of the ultra-modern Vdara. (Be sure to check out the bar at Silk Road restaurant before continuing on into the hotel’s reception area.)

Bar Vdara is a cozy spot for a cocktail (albeit an expensive cocktail )and affords a great view of the interior courtyard of CityCenter which features a Nancy Rubins sculpture in a starburst design composed of castoff canoes. (Read more about the artist and see a similar sculpture here.)

The Crystals retail and dining area can be accessed from the Strip via a new pedestrian bridge and walkway (across from Planet Hollywood) or by tram (the “elevated train” mentioned earlier) from the neighboring Bellagio. (The tram continues on to the Monte Carlo conveniently linking all three MGM MIRAGE properties: Bellagio, CityCenter and the Monte Carlo.)

At Crystals, we found a lot of construction still underway with only about 40% of the retail area occupied by stores. This is high-end (think nosebleed-level) shopping. From the three-story flagship Louis Vuitton boutique ( a Strip-side LED light show will take place every night from dusk to dawn) to Roberto Cavalli, Mikimoto pearls, Hermes and Prada, this is destination shopping at its finest. BESO, a fine-dining spot from actress Eva Longoria Parker with celeb chef Todd English in charge of the kitchen, is open on the first floor. The spot also features, Eve, a swank nightclub.  Additional restaurants from English, Wolfgang Puck and other top toques will be opening in the future.

Here are some pics from our recent trip PLUS the latest promotion codes and links for getting the best room rates at both Aria and Vdara.  Also, check out the CityCenter website for more information on the project.

The multi-level Crystals shopping and dining area at CityCenter Las Vegas features numerous high-end shops.

The multi-level Crystals shopping and dining area at CityCenter Las Vegas.

Opening December 16, the new Aria Resort & Casino is the crown jewel of CityCenter Las Vegas.

Opening December 16, the new Aria Resort & Casino is the crown jewel of CityCenter Las Vegas.

The precariously perched Veer Towers form a background for the new Crystals shopping area at CityCenter Las Vegas.

Veer Towers form a background for the new Crystals shopping area at CityCenter Las Vegas.

Bar Vdara at CityCenter is highly-recommended for people-watching.

Bar Vdara at CityCenter is highly-recommended for people-watching.

There's a sculptural feel to the burnished metal portico marking the entrance into CityCenter's Vdara Hotel.

There's a sculptural feel to the burnished metal portico marking the entrance into the Vdara Hotel.

The CityCenter tram runs past the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas and Veer Towers.

The CityCenter tram runs past the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas and Veer Towers.

Vdara “Winter Special” Rates from $139/nt (2nt Min). *Stay Two Nights at Vdara Hotel & Spa at a Special Introductory Rate from $139 and Receive a $50 Resort Credit (*See site for additional detail and restrictions). Dec 1, 2009 – Mar 31, 2010. Promo Code: VRLVCVA (Exp 4/1/10)

ARIA “Winter Special” Rates from $159/nt (2nt Min). *Enjoy this incredible offer at ARIA, MGM MIRAGE’s newest resort-casino at CityCenter – Stay Two Nights at a Special Rate from $159 per night and Receive a $75 Resort Credit (*See site for additional details and restrictions). Dec 17, 2009 – Apr 1, 2010. Promo Code: AR159G75 (Exp 4/1/10)

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Encore Resort at Wynn Las Vegas Opens

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008
Steve Wynn at the entrance of the captivating atrium at Encore Las Vegas.  (Photo courtesy of Wynn Resorts.)

Steve Wynn at the entrance of the captivating atrium at Encore Las Vegas. (Photo courtesy of Wynn Resorts.)

It seems completely appropriate that the signature restaurant of the just-opened Encore Resort at Wynn Las Vegas should be “Sinatra.”  Owner Steve Wynn and “Ol’ Blue Eyes” have at least two things in common:  they do things their way and they are very good at what they do.

In a city, in an industry and in an economy that are all seeing their biggest downturns in recent history, Steve Wynn opened this glamorous $2.3 billion property on Monday — yes, a Monday! — during what is traditionally the slowest week of the year in Vegas.  Pure genius.  The timing is perfect for working out any slight bugs — and with Wynn’s legendary attention to detail, the problems are apt to be small — prior to the big New Year’s Eve holiday and the major conventions coming in early-2009.  I also like his approach of simply opening the doors to the public.  No massive grand opening events, it’s just like he says in the commercial:  “THIS is Encore.”  Let the resort speak for itself.

Using a “back-to-basics” approach — when those basics include paying attention to what makes a resort a Five Diamond experience — owner Steve Wynn, told The Associated Press that guests at the new Encore resort should expect “better service, nicer rooms, better lighting.  Themes that are corny get old quickly, but real and wonderful environments with great service are timeless.”

In addition to Sinatra, the 2,034-room Encore will feature four additional chef-driven restaurants including “Switch” – a dining experience where walls, ceiling and even server uniforms change colors every 20 minutes.  The resort also boasts the highly-anticipated exclusive new nightclub, “XS,” which opens for the first time at 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.  Also, long-time Strip entertainer Danny Gans will begin his run at Encore in February.

See photos of the resort on the Encore website here and video reports including interior shots are here at local Channel Eight’s Las Vegas Now(We’ll be making our maiden voyage to Encore in January so look for more coverage then.)


Wynn Las Vegas

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Encore Las Vegas Opening — Updates and Coverage

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

The spectacular new Wynn Las Vegas property Encore will be opening this coming Monday, December 22, with a sold out crowd for that specific night.  Rooms (including New Year’s Eve) are available beginning the 23rd.  Reservations at the original property, Wynn Las Vegas, can be had throughout the time period.

The new Encore website is up and running with lots of photos and information along with a video of the very cool Encore commercial showing owner Steve Wynn atop the stunning copper-colored tower.

For up-to-date information along with “live” reports from the opening celebrations, tune into a new website built specifically for this grand event.  This exciting new venture is helmed by the editors/bloggers of two popular Las Vegas websites, vegastripping and ratevegas.  Thanks to them, we can all ride along as they experience the exhilaration of opening night at the fabulous new Encore resort and casino.


Wynn Las Vegas

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New Encore Resort at Wynn Las Vegas Open for Reservations

Thursday, October 30th, 2008
The new Encore resort at Wynn Las Vegas.

The shining new Encore resort at Wynn Las Vegas opens in December.

UPDATECheck HERE for the latest on the grand opening of Encore at Wynn Las Vegas.

The new Encore resort at Wynn Las Vegas has begun taking room reservations for January 12, 2009 and beyond according to a recent press release.  The $2.3 billion resort is scheduled to open December 22 and a rumor is out that the grand opening may get tied into Steve Wynn’s late-January birthday.  Since P.B. and I always go to Las Vegas in January for P.B.’s birthday maybe this year we’ll be celebrating it with Steve Wynn.

Encore’s 2,034 suites will no doubt feature all the luxury and attention to detail that Wynn Resorts is known for when designing guest rooms.  The property’s resort suites will be more than 700 square-feet while Tower Suites clock in at up to 5,800 square-feet!

Wynn Encore, situated next to the flagship Wynn Las Vegas, will feature five “signature” restaurants, seven bars & lounges, a new “ultra-chic” nightclub and several new retail entities.  And, according to the press release, “A vibrant atrium and European-inspired pool area are centerpieces of the Encore experience and signature design elements include an abundance of natural light, a landscape of foliage and shimmering pools of water. Butterflies flirt over vibrant carpets, mosaic tiles and textured walls to draw guests into a playful juxtaposition between indoors and out.”

For reservations and a peek at the new room design, check out the Encore Las Vegas website.  (Click on the “reservations” tab at the bottom of the screen to pull up a photo of the new rooms.)

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