Luxor : Lost In Transition

The Blue Zone Is For Unloading Only

Posted by Chuckmonster

Luxor Becoming A Space Dungeon

The curse comes in many forms. It is widely believed that Baseball's Boston Red Sox failed to win a World Series for 86 years due to The Curse of the Bambino - a hex incurred by the sale of George Herman 'Babe' Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1920. With the curse recently reversed, Bosox fans attempted to jinx the Yanks by burying a Sox jersey in the concrete foundation of the new Yankee Stadium, currently under construction in the Bronx.

Vegas has it's own share of alleged curses, most notably the assertion that the former Aladdin, now Planet Hollywood, was built on a Native American burial ground. Dooming the fortunes of any and all casinos built above it.

Luxor, by it's very essence - a recreation of the pyramids in Luxor, Egypt - danced defiantly in the face of ancient admonitions that any and all who enter the tomb of a pharaoh are doomed to death, expeditiously. While the ancient Curse of the Pharaohs has tenuous links to reality, Luxor's luck has proven to skirt the myth, despite a notoriously rocky opening.

Egypts most famous mummy, King Tutankhamun, ruled for about 10 years - from the age of eight until his death at age 18. With Luxor's 18th birthday approaching in 2010, it is oddly fitting for Luxor's de-Egyptianization will be completed at roughly the same time. The question is... what's next?

Since word started bubbling up that LuXor would undergo a major transformation in mid-2006, with Robin Leach going so far as proclaiming that the property would be renamed The Pyramid. The transition from Tomb of the Pharaohs to "who knows what" is in full swing, with a large chunk of the casino floor completed and numerous new bars, restaurants and clubs opened.

Next up on the list : remodeling all 4,408 hotel rooms.

We stopped by the LuXor the other day to see how the redesign is progressing and brought back a couple of photos.

Luxor Las Vegas Redesign

Pharaohs Tomb Meets Airport Bar

The problem with heavily themed casinos is their pervasiveness. Despite the layers of paint and removal of theme artifacts, there will always be the odd piece of architectural flare or decor that re-design teams hodgepodge into the new style. A quick walk through the Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood is a great example of this. In Luxor's case, these interior design flourishes include a glyph encrusted pillar here, some old carpeting there, a giant Sphynx, a tomb and... a huge Pyramid shaped hotel. Some of these will obviously be easier to remove than others, but as far as the casino floor goes, Luxor is transitioning to what appears to be either a 'space dungeon' or 'airport lounge.'

The formerly 'Navajo white' interior has been replaced by multiple shades of slate blue which match the new dealer uniforms. A number of new bars - Flight in particular (which has two blackjack tables right next to the bar - very cool!) - have opted for an extremely sparse, almost municipal design that leads one to wonder if they've yet to apply the icing to the cake.

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Comments & Discussion

When we were there last week I noticed they'd changed A LOT of the casino to underwater blue. I never thought of it looking like an airport but now that you've brought it up, it does resemble the airport a lot.
Vegas' casinos are going to slowly change to that "seen one, you've seen them all" persona. Whereas with the themed casinos you felt someplace different everytime. With these you walk into the same thing everytime. "Wow this one has blue tones, woohoo this one has purple walls...."

Stopped by there in February and it was clear that the Luxor is in the midst of a HUGE identity crisis.

Took a (shaky) video of my walk around the place that we showed in our Slidecast awhile back. Just a big jumble of curtains, dancing girls and one-word-named bars. I suppose I'll withhold judgment until I see the finished product, but it looks like if you dig the club-ification of the Strip, you'll like the Luxor.

Our Slidecast

I think it makes sense that they go for "an extremely sparse, almost municipal design". For one it does look cleaner and more fresh than the tired old design, and two, it accomplishes the goal of a new look with minimal investment in remodeling. I mean really, what are they gonna do, knock down the whole pyramid and start from scratch? Not likely. So this minimalist style blends in with what's there while trying to make it look cleaner.

I still question the logic of making all the hotels look basically the same. Where is the business logic that says de-theming will bring more revenue/profit?

Egypt doesn't have to be kitsch. The could have just redecorated and made it more of a high end egyptian resort getaway. No pharaohs, no tombs, just a really nice resort reminiscent of a more glamourous geographical location. That actually sounds nice.

Instead they chose airport modern. Not only are there little things like wallpaper and column designs left over, the whole thing is a gigantic pyramid. That's going to be a bit more difficult to mask.

Modernized 60's kitsch inside of ancient eqyptian kitsch. Interesting choice...

Well I think they're trying to do what you are suggesting, making the Luxor more high end. By molding it more into the accepted high end interior design aesthetic of today. Which is sort of minimalist chic. That's what they did with the new Planet Hollywood, and it's been much more successful than the old themey Aladdin.

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