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Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas v2.0

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 7th March 2016 12:52pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 6


Lots of changes have been taking place at The Cosmopolitan in the year or so since Blackstone purchased the property from Deutsche Bank. Visionary CEO John Unwin left the company and was replaced by deposed Aria boss Bill McBeath. Shortly after taking over, the new CEO promised new restaurants (Zuma, Milk Bar, Momofuku) new rooms (City Studio, East Tower Penthouses) new bars (Clique) and new features to the casino (new sportsbook, new high limit slots).

The Cosmopolitan's new sportsbook/sports bar (the third attempt at installing a Sportsbook at Cosmopolitan) is located on the casino level, in the south east corner of the property previously occupied by banks of slots & video poker machines.

Cosmo Sportsbook Tvs

These giant TVs are hung on the wall of the future Starbucks, what previously was the furniture shop/pop-up wedding chapel/rent-a-Playstation store and other experiments. They have walled in the entire south wall of windows and natural night from the front of the building to what was the Queue Bar. Against the wall is an LED board of the betting lines and a pedestrian row of betting windows.

Cosmo Sportsbook Bar

A few steps in is a bar with LED scoreboards, a pool tables, shuffleboard games, tables and chairs, ginormous TV sets and lots more seating and betting lines. The vibe here is most definitely "sports bar." I'm sure that sports fans and bettors will cheer the addition of a larger, more centrally located sportsbook at Cosmopolitan.

I'm not a sports fan/bettor so I have no real opinion about whether this sportsbook is technically any good.

Previously, this whole area of the casino was a little bit of a dead zone. I was always attracted to gambling here because it was just a little bit more private and quiet. The windows gave the whole area openness that allowed the energy from the surrounding area pour in. Blocking out the windows on the south wall to build the sportsbook is a massive design blunder. The casino used to feel infinite to the south as sunlight poured in from the Strip during daylight hours and energy from Harmon and the Strip poured in at night. Now it feels like a dark, dank corner of The Riviera, closed off and cloistered from excitement. Now, the casino feels even smaller than it actually is. Perhaps the windowless dungeon man cave idea is right one when trying to attract clientele to drink beer and watch sports for 8 hours a day. It feels weird.

I expected that Cosmopolitan - a property that made it's name serving a cocktail of eccentricity and high style - would use the opportunity to reinvent the sportsbook in the same vein. What they came up is with a life-sized cardboard cheerleader and string of plastic Bud Bowl pennants away from a dumb sports bar in Anytown, USA.

Cosmo Highlimit Slots

Cosmopolitan has also cordoned off another area on the south side of the building for "High Limit Slots" as part of the Book and Stage / Clique renovations. It reflects similar style as the existing High Limit areas and fits perfectly within the Cosmopolitan's decor. Nice touch with the table/carpet/flowers and lighting... "something is alive in here, come see."

Cosmo Clicque

The Clique space is basically a bar with curtains a la the old Indigo Lounge at Ballys. Given the other options available inside Cosmopolitan only steps away, I don't see how a space this unexciting becomes a nightlife destination. The smart move at Cosmo would have been to expanded Book & Stage to become more book, less stage then build the ultralounge concept where the Sportsbook is now. Instead of closing off the windows, they should have added indoor/outdoor patios for boozing and carousing.

Open Season On The Curious Class?

Cosmo Lisa Marchese David R

According to a recent SEC filing, Cosmopolitan's Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Marchese (above, with designer David Rockwell on Cosmopolitan's opening day) has left the company. Ms. Marchese was responsible for putting together internal and external firms that defined the marketing and brand identity of Cosmopolitan. Under Ms. Marchese's watch, the Cosmopolitan captured a massive amount of mindshare with "curious class" and "the right amount of wrong" marketing messages. I wouldn't be surprised if Ms. Marchese ends up at ālon, given the Pascal/Packer project's penchant for hoovering up the most exceptional minds in the industry.

Tagged: cosmopolitan   sportsbooks   bill mcbeath   blackstone   starbucks   nightlife   casino   bars   clique   casino design   john unwin   


Comments & Discussion:

I thought we were in an era of downsized/multipurpose sports books, so these changes are weird to me. That said, I like sports and comfortable seating, so I'll probably check it out.

Who knew? Cosmo seems to be the property moving toward the turn-of-the-century casino model as the rest of the Strip moves away from it.

As a self acknowledged non-sports book player-bettor I think your passion for interior design may have perhaps overshadowed McBeath's ideas for maximizing the $/sq. ft. for what was a low use and return area.
May be hard to judge since books don't return that much themselves but may put more people on the floor as an adjunct.

@malibu i absolutely completely and totally understand the business reasons, that area had zero impact on the bottom line and was ripe for rethinking. That being said, Steve Wynn proved that you can have the business reasons, a unifying concept AND beautiful things simultaneously. Also, McBeath worked for Wynn.

I do miss the windows in that area where the sportsbook was. I also miss the bit of solitude it provided, but outside of Chuck and I, pretty sure no one even went there and the slots they put there, were only there as they had time left on the lease.

I am a bit of a sportsbook guy, and I do love that they put in a proper VP bar, the viewing screens are also really A+ as far as books go, and if you are sitting at the vp bar even during the week, you still get a feel for being in a book with the size and clarity of those screens on even basic horse races.

The time I spent there, the shuffleboard and billiards tables were used regulaly and the VP bar has a nice lounge food menu.

Overall I felt like Book and Stage was lost and replaced with the sportsbook VP bar, given the limited number of seats at book and stage I'd at least give that edge to the sportsbook.

The old sportsbook had the look of 'damn, we forgot to put one in the place' feel so this is an improvement. I have found the casino to be relaxed and mellow but the food options are what keeps the place running.

I both miss the natural light, while at the same time really like this book. I just wish they had put this in the back where the old book was. That was my favorite location for playing the ponies.

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