New Year, New Vegas

Happy New Year! New Years are all about optimistically looking towards the future and anticipating all the [good] changes and things to come. While people love to muse about becoming a new version of themselves, Las Vegas as a city embodies that mentality on the regular.

No other city in the world experiences as many changes as this neon paradise does every year. Hotels, restaurants, shows, nothing is safe, nothing is sacred; it could all be completely changed tomorrow – as evidenced by the pile of rubble that the iconic Riviera became in 2016 – but like the mighty phoenix, something new will swiftly rise up. With that said, let’s look to some of the new changes and additions we’re most looking forward to in 2017!

Backstreet Boys: Oh my God, they’re back again. It was music to nearly every millennial girl’s ears when Planet Hollywood announced that the original, the best, boy band of the late 90s, early 00s would be the latest stars of yesteryear to embark on a residency at The Axis at PH. The Boys join a rotating roster of 90s super powers including Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Lionel Richie. Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life begins rocking your body in March.

In-N-Out at The Linq: In a city overflowing with amazing restaurants, the number one restaurant Lyft riders requested rides to using the service in 2016 was In-N-Out Burger. For decades travelers have either cabbed, called an Uber or a Lyft, or [gasp] made the trek to walk to the In-N-Out on Tropicana, but those days are finally over. In-N-Out is slated to open their very first Strip outpost on the Linq Promenade in January 2017. Can you say late night Animal Style everything?!

Chik-fil-A: While we’re on the subject of fast food, let’s talk about this earth-shattering news: VEGAS IS GETTING CHIK-FIL-A. The southern staple is slated to open it’s first outpost in Henderson on January 26. This may not be as exciting to travelers but Vegas locals are counting down the days until they can get those chicken tenders and waffle fries.

Pro-Sports Hit the Strip: Professional sports have long stayed far away from Las Vegas due to the perceived risks associated with legal sports betting. All that changes this year when Las Vegas gets it’s first professional sports team to rally behind with the newest NHL expansion team: the Vegas Golden Knights. The Golden Knights will train in Summerlin and play their games at the brand new T-Mobile Arena at The Park.

NoMad Las Vegas & Park MGM Grand: As hotel nerds, we love any new or renovated hotel news. 2017 will see MGM’s Monte Carlo Hotel split into two hotels, Park MGM Grand, a luxury resort which will anchor The Park, and a Las Vegas version of the Sydell Group’s New York City hotel, NoMad Hotel. The space will also house a Vegas version of the celebrated Italian food market concept, Eataly.

Blue Ribbon Brasserie: Another New York to Vegas concept, Blue Ribbon Brasserie is slated to take over the space in Cosmopolitan currently occupied by Blue Ribbon Sushi. Blue Ribbon Brasserie is a late-night (but really, anytime) industry favorite in Manhattan with the best duck club sandwich ever.

Las Vegas is constantly evolving and these are just a few of the changes 2017 will bring, they just happen to be a few that we are most looking forward to. Well these, and the re-opening of the pedestrian bridge outside of the Tropicana – seriously, how long does it take to complete a pedestrian bridge?!

THE HOLIDAY SEASON SKATES INTO THE PARK

park-xmas1Thanksgiving may still be a few days away, but tonight kicked off the Christmas season at The Park with the lighting of a 60 ft Christmas tree. This year marks the first year the dining and entertainment district, which opened last spring, has been open for the holidays.

The Park, and specifically Toshiba Plaza at the base of the T-Mobile Arena, has been transformed into a winter wonderland for the holidays. Guests enter the district through oversized ornaments and continue along the path beneath festive sparkling branches, dripping with icicle lights.

At the Toshiba Plaza, the aforementioned Christmas tree is anchored by a fairly spacious ice skating rink where guests can practice their axels and spins for the 2018 Winter Olympics. If skating’s not your thing, or you’re worried about broken bones[!!] there’s a bevy of tents surrounding the rink serving up their finest winter offerings from cupcakes to candy apples – and don’t forget the hot chocolate to warm you up!

You can lace up your skates for two hours for $15 – there’s a 20% discount for locals and military. The rink is open limited hours 4pm- 10pm [except on the weekends] until Dec. 10, and from Dec. 10-31 it opens at 10 am. and closes at 10 pm daily, with the exception of New Year’s Even when it closes at 12:30am.

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Santa’s home at The Park?

So Santa. In what looks like it’s straight out of a Christmas season Coca-Cola commercial, the jolly guy in the red suit will be available [I’m pretty sure in a Coke tent with an assortment of props because it’s 2016 and no one poses in a photo booth without props anymore, right?] during the same hours as the rink – except yesterday apparently, when I was there, of course. Pictures are $20 for a 6×8 photo.

 

But my favorite part, which I also have yet to see because I was there before 5pm [or because they were hanging out with Santa, I guess we’ll never know] is that they will have Christmas carolers strolling throughout Toshiba Plaza, The Park, as well as the NYNY bridge, and Monte Carlo Plaza. I’m a sucker for some good old fashioned Christmas carols. Seriously. So stay tuned for more on that one.

And if you were expecting a warm desert winter [like those who enjoy the pool in the winter] socks and gloves are available for $4 each.

Go forth and be festive!