The Next Big Thing
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.
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.
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.
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?
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"
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.
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