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The Buffet at Aria To Get $1M Makeover

By Chuckmonster on Tuesday, 7th September 2010 3:55am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 20


It was almost a year ago to the day that we published a Sneak Peekaboo inside The Buffet at Aria. I didn't mention it at the time I wrote the post linked above that we had already procured the property maps... now you know why the wayfinding and directioneering in my little photoshop mock up was right on the money.

Anyways, we've managed to wrangle up another piece of information about The Buffet at Aria that almost everyone who has walked by the place has magically deduced - the design of the joint is less than appetizing.

The Buffet at Aria

I think we can all agree that the bongs hanging from the ceiling are awesome. The interior and exterior tiling, in its 1970's seafoam/bedpan green glory, reminds me of the night my college chums and I ran headfirst into a case of mason jars filled with moonshine sometime in 1988. Did I mention the dozen or so whippets? Or the stale bag of supermarket knock off Cheetos? Or the rug burns? Or the six hour Greyhound ride from the armpit of central New York to the shadow Yonkers Raceway?

The Buffet at Aria

Yeah... this stuff. And probably a bunch more stuff inside are on the way out as the ranchers at Aria have realized that the Buffet, while striking in decor, isn't... uhm... appetizing. The solution? Throwing $1M at doing an extremely quick, yet probably very thorough replacement/removal of the offending decor.

I'll do it for $121k plus the price of 25 gallons of Weatherbeater White.

Tagged: aria   buffet at aria   dining   facelift   


Comments & Discussion:

Another example of how MGM misjudged the Vegas market. Cutting-edge, contemporary design may appeal in some venues to some people, but we're talking about tourists here. I'm generalizing, but most buffet aficionados are mid-market Americans who want lots of food in an attractive environment. Judging from photos, Aria's buffet has all the appeal of a new airport food court.
Search for photos of other Strip buffets, and they exude warmth and comfort which is what most tourists want. You want to feel special in Vegas, and this doesn't do it.
Has Jim Murren ever been to a buffet?

When I first saw the buffet at Aria, I thought it was one of the worst designed areas in the property. It was super ugly!

At present, it looks very much like my grade school cafeteria. Or any institutional cafeteria, where the tile isn't there for aesthetics, but rather because it can be hosed down after mass feedings.

Honestly, City Center is a smoldering turd. Had anyone at all that was involved with bringing this place into being ever been to Las Vegas before?

I don't know about Murren, but I'll bet that the architect who designed it never stepped inside a buffet (except to hold his or her nose) before or since.

Whippets, bwaa ha ha ha. Were they great or what?

Not sure if you guys reported it yet but when I was there a couple weeks ago they had the Spin High Limit Slot area being torn out and redone as well.

I guess they'll pay for this $30 at a time as they collect the extra bed fees. Oh brother. Maybe they could re-direct a few of the RVs from the Circus Circus RV Park and let them set up camp in a few of the pocket parks.

They should just turn City Center into a homeless shelter. Then it would be a real city within a city. Plus MGM wouldn't have to change the buffet. Just add some graffiti and let the homeless people crap all over the property. Voila! Instant bohemian paradise.

They've got to get rid of the steps. Having steps in a buffet, where people are walking around with plates piled high with food, is an awful idea. I'm surprised Risk Management signed off on it.

And jucifers, CC apparently is adding graffiti: http://www.lvbusinesspress.com/articles/2010/09/06/news/iq_37769388.txt Ugh.

I was right! How retarded is that?

Ooh, I actually like that graf thing. It's not the best looking example I've ever seen, but the idea was in the right place for what the project really needs to be (a honeypot for millionaires isn't really in the cards.)

I had noticed visitor-provided scratchiti in the glass of some more outdoor areas of CC the last time I walked all around it. In moderation, it actually makes it seem more like a city and less like a UFO just touched down.

Oh, hey, I know what wall that graf thing is on. It's one of my biggest complaints with the entire property. It's up on the level near the monorail station where the pathway above goes around a corner and reaches a dead end. People keep heading off there, thinking it'll connect to the elevated entrance on the other end of the mall, and find they walked all that way for nothing.

So the artwork does, in a way, serve a practical purpose in pointing people back toward where they came. Still, kind of dumb they had to put that up in a space that really shouldn't exist.

Bed fees...ugh. I'm sure this has been discussed elsewhere, but they are kind of like "seat fees" on airlines. You buy a ticket and are charged extra for a seat. WTF did I purchase when I bought the ticket? When I bought tix for my last trip out I asked the reservation clerk if I could waive the fee and fly standing up. She just snorted.

But same with these bed fees. Can I ask that it be waived, "Nah, I'm gonna sleep standing up" or on the floor? What a scam.

It's not a good sign when a property less than a year after opening is doing this many changes to the place (Personally I don't think it's a good sign to be doing major changes [cough Encore Beach Club cough] within the first few years a property is opened.). When I was at Aria in June, they had the area around the sports books torn up for a redo. I can understand if say a restaurant concept tanked and the space was being redone for a new concept. But to redo a space this soon is a sign that perhaps someone was asleep at the wheel.

Why don't they take that $1M and Re-do the damn rooms at MGM Grand!! That hotel is super cool and I love it to death the way it is, but seriously, their rooms need a boost.
Why the hell waste the money to re-do a hotel that's been open less than a year. I'll bet they'll say its to "create jobs"

This isn't the big CityCenter news, is it? I was thinking more like, "Bobby Baldwin resigns as CityCenter president" than the buffet is getting an overhaul.

Not only is the design of the buffet at Aria terrible, so is the food. For the $$ they charge, it was brutal.

@andy the news isn't one piece, but more a mass of small pieces.

Someone mentioned a step at the buffet - there's also a step up to get into the sports book. Had I not been paying attention to the little sign, I would've completely missed the step and probably done a face plant into the sports book itself. Not the brightest idea, in my opinion.

The place looks like it was designed by a movie director as a set for a huge shootout and not a buffet.

@Chuckmonster Thank you. I'm sorry to see all this bad news coming out of CityCenter. I'm one of the few who's actually had really good experiences there, but it's been obvious the place was struggling to keep it together. For instance, on both my visits (4 months and 1 month ago) Bar Masa has been closed.

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