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The Next Big Thing

By Chuckmonster on Thursday, 17th July 2014 3:10pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 24


After the early aughts building boom limped to its inevitable, sad conclusions - botched construction, bankruptcies, postponements, fire sales and abandonments - the thought that something, anything... new and great would be built on the Strip vaporized like points on the Dow.

Las Vegas journalist/podcaster Steve Friess dubbed these dark days as Las Vegas' era of the "next little thing" - another frou frou bar, another restaurant imported from another city, another restaurant inspired by a tv personality, another night club, haute hidden hangout. The PR machine tells us that each one is ground breaking, desirable, and a MUST TRY.

Taken together, the amalgam of "next little thing(s)" has transformed dramatically since December 15, 2010, the day the last of the building boom megaresorts - The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas - opened its doors. Aided by the nitro injected growth of social media's real time sharability and a generational shift to younger user base, Las Vegas kicked itself into a different type of high gear. The casino cafe went from 'all night' to 'artisinal' overnight, spreading adjectives where butter once sufficed. We've got side streets repurposed as Linq and Park, gussied up Imperial Palace, Bill's, Sahara and Fitzgerald's. Save for the vintage neon, Downtown is virtually unrecognizable from the deaths door days five years ago. We've got $16 beers, $23 hamburgers, $50 resort fees and $85 buffets. Taken together - this "next little thing" probably had more impact on Las Vegas than $10b worth of glass, steel and felt ever will.

And then there's this.

Resorts World 2014 Nw

The Han Solo of Vegas resortitechture - Resorts World Las Vegas - dunked in Carbonite as Echelon Place in 2008 and preserved for the aforementioned future generation to reimagine, rebuild and enjoy.

What went in luxury didn't come out hip - as one might expect - but instead a Chinese themed family resort flush with fanny packing spectacle large and small.

Resorts World 2014 Giant Lantern

There is a lantern thingy on a string that slides up and down the outside of the hotel tower and changes colors, sort of like a mix of the sphere on top of Revel and Wynn Las Vegas' formerly swiping marquee.

Resorts World 2014 Center

Stolen from Lincoln Center with a nod to 90's era Bellagio and Monte Carlo's grand entrances, Resorts World features a fountain show, grand plaza and an atrium extravaganza. Yes, you can look at it from outside like the Mirage volcano, but really... don't you want to touch it?

Resorts World 2014 Main Ent

A giant sphere. LED's, mirrors, colors, patterns, reflections, selfies... all surrounded by a gorgeous sun drenched psychedelic garden, with fountains, giant mushrooms and an open performance space. This ain't no mirage.

My red is so confident that he flashes trophies of war and ribbons of euphoria"
Resorts World 2014 Castle

If that wasn't cool enough, watch this... and hold onto your jaw.

So I ask you - in the universe where waxed moustache fashion of the gilded age meets a mashup of flourescent and pastels direct from the worst depths of 1986 - what the hell does Resorts World Las Vegas have to do with anything that even remotely resembles current Las Vegas?

Nothing. And that is a good thing.

Resorts World is a modern relic from a recently paved over Las Vegas - a grand throwback to spectacle, jaw dropping scale and trendfree amazement.

Welcome to the next big thing.

Big huge thanks to VT VP of Research Mac78130 for his many months of internet archaeology that brought this to reality.

Tagged: resorts world   echelon   themes   spectacle   atrium   fountains   wax moustaches   


Comments & Discussion:

What is this insanity and when can I check in?

The renderings hands down make me want to stay there. And that's not something that has ever happened with, say, SLS or Cromwell... I completely agree that this is a big deal, even when it inevitably gets scaled back and loses some of its grandeur.

I love the fun of it but is this really going to come to fruition?

Cool! The gaudier the better!

@bananahammock Construction is expected to start "later this year" with the first phase scheduled to open in 2016.


This is, like, so relevant to my interests.

I love it! Its something interesting. All the de-themeing has not been to my liking, this will get me to make a special trip to Vegas when it opens!

I have never been more hopeful for a project's success as I am with Resorts World.

If this concept works, it might mean the end of an era of de-theming and re-blanding, and maybe even start a "de-Murrening" of current properties.

This place could be a game changer if it goes up as planned.

Perfect. Why is it so hard for the suits to understand? People want to see spectacle architecture in Vegas that they won't see anywhere else, not dull-ass towers dripping with modern sophistication that you can see in any downtown metropolitan area.

Is this the same Resorts World that built the casino at Aqueduct in Queens, NYC?

Drake hit the nail on the head. Look no further than the south strip (era when it was built) for inspiration -sphynx next to a castle, etc. in all their past cheesy themed glory. Then look at the front of present day TI. What an awful shame. I'm rooting for this project and hope it becomes a reality

Before we get misty eyed with Chinese New Year dreams, I think we need to keep in mind the theoretical target demo. To do this, put the shoe on the other foot.
You are about 45, married, one kid. You own a small factory that makes break parts. While you are part of a supply chain, you know your parts ultimately go into the new Boeing 787, and are being considered for the next Airbus. In other words, you feel you (paradoxically) move the world, a vital cog in the global economy. You are planning a few weeks vacation. Being a successful business owner, you rarely get this time off. Therefore, you plan to take your family on a vacation worth approximately three times the GDP of your country.
Where do you want go? It needs to be big and exciting. You come from a poor background, but have grown to fly around the world in your job. You have lived, and gone back to visit, your homey small-town roots. Your family has already gone to every landmark and kitchy place you can go on the 2-3 days you get off occasionally from work. You have traveled to cities large, small, poor, and rich, staying in some the most luxurious hotels in the world. There is not much you have not experienced on at least a superficial level. The only thing you have not done, and want to see, is what is next. You want to see the future, not just technology, but hospitality, cuisine, entertainment, and art. Your work places you on the cutting-edge, and you want to see the other places on that edge.
Where can you go? The answer to this question is anywhere you damn please for what you are paying. As an American, do you really want to go to small town USA? Nah, you grew up there. Do you want to go to a sanitized ideal of small town America (such as Disneyland)? Might work for the kid, maybe even the wife, but not you. You see through the façade and see the backwardness. Besides, your family went there last year. Same thing with seeing the landmarks of the Capitol. Why see a subsequent re-creation when you can see the real thing? Sure, it might work for the country bumpkins who may never see it, but you are on the cusp of the future. You move the world!
So to put the shoe back on the Chinese foot, why the heck would they want to go to some kitchy simulation of small town China, or the Forbidden City? Yet, the consumer needs something that resonates with them. Americans are no different. Think of how we might crinkle our nose when we hear a place marketed as “European Style”. In my travels to Macau, I have seen how Chinese design aesthetic can be translated into modern, cutting-edge styles. On one hand look at the new Grand Lisboa tower (complete with the massive bubble shaped LCD at the base) . On the other, the StarWorld casino updating the old Macau gambling den look (perhaps inadvertently), what we might describe as a Blade-Runner theme . You can even see the design change over time as VIM’s icon Wynn learns what is best locally.
This is a long way of saying I doubt it will be theming we think of when it comes to Las Vegas. It will not be Luxor, Veneitian, or a nicer Imperial Palace. However, it does have a remarkable potential to be awe inspiring the way CityCenter never was, and still is not. This is not just a new hotel,a new swooping tower. This has the potential to deliver both what is next in gaming hospitally, and done so in a style and aesthetic that tickles the fancy of both middle-aged upper class Chinese and average jaded Vegas goer alike. Want a preview? Look at the Mandarin Oriental on the strip. I cannot wait!

@bd9902 one and the same.

agree with Blackjacker, sign me up and certaintly hoping Chuck is correct in this is the next big thing, can you imagine what the dopplegangers at Caesars and MGM do then? While it's unlikely to be anywhere near as potentially 'magnificent' it might bring some much needed 'kitsch' back to the strip.

I also love that they have a giant painted Paris baloon in the Gardens, see they do listen to VT.

I have to admit I think that some of he Resorts World theming is a bit tacky... specifically the podium having all its scarlet pagoda stuff. It isn't necessary... the towers themselves and the lantern display the theme very well.

I mean, I understand a desire to go back to more concrete themes rather than abstract styles, and I understand why some people think that minimalism and 'de-theming' suck. But look at Bellagio - Bellagio proved that "theme" and "good taste" aren't irreconcilable goals.

Going for the Chinese theme is fine. But I think that the podium design could benefit from a little restraint. All the little buildings look very cluttered and confusingly laid-out, too.

I know some will disagree with me, but I don't think that the antidote to "de-theming" is a return to extreme camp. I think what we need is GOOD theming.

Not only that, but sometimes a distinctive style is just as awesome as a theme. Wynn and Encore have no direct themes, but are built around parts of art history that Roger Thomas and Steve both like. Cosmo has a style rather than a theme. Mandarin Oriental is styled but not themed. When the Venetian casino got renovated, they kept the style distinctly Venetian but made it a bit more understated, and IMO it looks a lot cooler than the old version.

It's an exciting project. It does, however, look a bit like the casino in Ocean's 13. Maybe that's just me.

Oooooo The Forbidden City Resorts World Hotel and Casino.
If they were smart, they'd make that lantern thing a nightclub that slides up and down. People would pay out the ass (more than they do now) to get in that thing and party until the weight limit exceeded and it became an Asian verison of the Tower of Terror at Disney. Plummeting everyone down while the oontz music never stops.

The place made me think of the casino in the novel Sharkey's Machine. The movie didn't try to recreate the casino but i always wished it was part of the movie. My thought is that if it works we may see an actual upgrade of Circus Circus because it will really look shabby by the time Resorts opens.

total non sequitur, but Wow! Sharkey's Machine! One of Burt's finest, his response to his buddy Clint's Dirty Harry. Now I'll have to look up the book.

Bad guy: "Do you think I'll live... ... ... or die...?"
Sharkey: "_Oh_you'll_die_all_right_...."

Look, anything is better on that particular piece of property than the skeleton that has stood there for several years now...

Vegas needs a Next Big Thing...it hasn't has one in a while..

The Cosmo was, in reality, a failed condo development that its developers got stuck with...its a large building with a tiny casino and some cool rooms with balconies..but that's pretty much it...

City Center was a nice idea, but its still a big complex that until recently was too damn hard to figure out how to get to...Aria looks interesting, but I've still not been inside..had other stuff to do, you see...and trying to figure out how to navigate that setback isn't one of them...it will never have the WOW factor that Mirage or Bellagio did when those properties opened...

Face it, the last big opening was Wynn, cause it was Steve's latest and maybe last creation...and the place still looks good, and its an interesting place to see...

But this property that we've been discussing will bring visitors back to a part of the Strip they've largely forgotten, and it will extend the Strip, which many have conceded goes from Wynn to Mandalay Bay...and that's important for the long term future of Las Vegas...

Love it, and love the prospects for a THEME for f**ks sake. I see someone noted that it looked like the casino from Oceans 13...my thoughts exactly. That, and the 4th pic, jogged my memory of the Macau casino in one of the recent Bond films.

Just when you thought the "political fun police" won, and took all the joy out of America, "theme" comes roaring back to Vegas by way of a foreign enterprise.

What will Resorts World Las Vegas be like? I'll be 4 (four) billion worth of theme. Go for it!

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