Last Year It Was Summerlin and the Linq. But Let’s See What Vegas in 2016 Has!
Andy Wang May 19, 2016, 10:15 a.m.
A lot’s happened in Las Vegas since last year’s ICSC’s RECon, with major developers, restaurateurs and nightlife operators all making colossal wagers on the future of the Strip. Here are five new reasons to hit the town, besides the real estate conference.
Vegas insiders are betting that the $375 million, 20,000-capacity T-Mobile Arena, a joint venture between AEG and MGM Resorts International, will help lure an NHL or NBA team to Sin City. (Separately, there’s also big buzz in Vegas about a proposed NFL stadium that might become home to the Raiders.) In the meantime, the T-Mobile Arena, which debuted on April 6 with a show headlined by local favorites The Killers, works just fine as a world-class music venue. The Billboard Music Awards, with tickets available to the public, are here on May 22. Sam Nazarian’s SBE, with its strong ties to the real estate scene in Los Angeles, New York, Miami and beyond, operates the 18,000-square-foot, top-level Hyde Lounge in the arena.
Steve Wynn’s party venues ignited the DJ craze with ahead-of-the-curve bookings of mega-talent like Kaskade, Calvin Harris and Skrillex. But Mr. Wynn’s newest nightclub, Intrigue, is taking a different tack with eclectic, often-on-the-down-low programming. Sean Christie, the nightlife veteran who’s ascended to chief operating officer of Wynn Las Vegas, has Seal performing here on May 21. And on many nights, the entertainment aspects won’t even be announced in order to preserve the club’s, well, intrigue. The 14,000-square-foot venue is in the space formerly occupied by Tryst, which closed after 10 years of revelry. Kate Hudson, Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Vanessa Hudgens and Sports Illustrated “Swimsuit Issue” cover girl Hailey Clauson partied at Intrigue’s April 29 grand-opening party. Supermodel Gigi Hadid celebrated her 21st birthday here the next night. For celebrities and assorted high rollers looking for exclusivity, there’s a 1,200-square-foot private club down the stairs. It’s a social media-free zone with a DJ booth that’s equipped only for vinyl because, remember, it’s not all about EDM anymore.
Hakkasan Group’s 24,000-square-foot Jewel nightclub, designed by Rockwell Group, will raise the bar for VIPs with its five mezzanine-level skyboxes. The club, located in the Aria space that was previously home to Haze, debuts on May 19 with Jamie Foxx and continues its grand-opening celebrations with The Chainsmokers on May 21 and Lil Jon on May 23. Expect LED video screens, all kinds of bright, shiny special effects, a killer sound system and lots of dancing in a club really built to light up the night.
Prediction: There are going to be a lot of tableside-tossed Caesar salads sold during ICSC. New York’s Carbone is, of course, a favorite of the real estate elite, a place where deals are done over meatballs and scampi alla scampi and veal parm and spicy rigatoni vodka and lobster fra diavolo. The Vegas outpost of Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick’s Carbone at Aria offers the same rarefied Italian-American food in a bigger Rat Pack-inspired setting where every booth is perfect for a power confab enhanced by caviar, clams and cocktails. Captain extraordinaire Louie Carbone (Mario’s cousin), a veteran of the New York and Hong Kong outposts of this restaurant, will no doubt be running the floor like a boss as he sees familiar faces from the real estate world ready to bet it all on red sauce.
The new dining and entertainment complex adjacent to the T-Mobile Arena is home to Bliss Dance, Marco Cochrane’s 40-foot-tall sculpture of a naked woman that was previously at Burning Man. For more family-friendly fare, there are the burgers at Shake Shack and chicken-and-waffle sandwiches at Bruxie. If fast-casual is the future of the restaurant industry, The Park really is the place in Vegas.