Peccole Developing Two Retail Centers
Las Vegas is our home away from home. We’re there so often it’s not unusual to hear a bellman say, “Georganne! Rich! What’s new?” We’ve seen the kid-friendly theme park Vegas; the swanky, chic, ultra-lounge Vegas; and the “Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” Vegas. Maybe it’s breaking the code, but we’re happy to share our Vegas “inside secrets” with you. After your day on the trade show floor, check out a few of our favorite things to do.
10. Bellagio Las Vegas
The Bellagio Las Vegas web site describes the hotel as a “kaleidoscope for your senses.” The lobby ceiling is adorned with 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers created by world-renowned artist, Dale Chihuly; the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens feature seasonal displays of sweet smelling exotic plants and flowers; the Gallery of Fine Art is filled with priceless works of art; and of course, there are the not-to-be missed Fountains of Bellagio dancing waters that perform to a wide variety of beautiful music.
We like a lot of things about Bellagio Las Vegas, including irritating the revolving doors (stand still too long and they politely, but firmly tell you to “Please move forward.”), but our favorite thing is The Buffet at Bellagio. If your idea of a Vegas buffet is based on National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation then you’re in for a treat. We recommend you skip lunch and head straight for this buffet after the show. You know our motto: Food is Good!
9. Paris Las Vegas
We have several favorite things to do at Paris Las Vegas. We like JJ’s Boulangerie for sandwiches, soups, salads and straight-from-the-oven pastries and baked goods. For a night on the town, we’re partial to Mon Ami Gabi for its al fresco dining on the Strip. Good food, lots of people-watching, and a ring-side seat for the Fountains of Bellagio. After dinner, you can visit the true-to-life replicas of the Eiffel Tower,the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, the Paris Opera House, and the hallway at Versailles, or stroll the “Streets of Paris” inside the casino. Then do the Eiffel Tower Experience for an incredible view of famous Vegas landmarks. Wait until you see the Strip from 460 feet!
8. New York-New York Hotel & Casino
The exterior of NY-NY depicts the Manhattan skyline of the 40s with 12 interconnected skyscrapers, including the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. There’s even a 150-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty. Spend some time outside at The Tribute to Heroes, a moving collection of personal items placed by visitors honoring those lost in the tragic events of September 11.
Inside, you’ll find a food court that replicates the streets of New York, complete with steaming manhole covers; Gallagher’s Steakhouse, a NYC original since 1927; Nine Fine Irishmen, an authentic Irish pub featuring traditional Irish food and entertainment; The Bar at Times Square, a dueling piano show and sing-a-long; and a Roller Coaster that lifts you up 203 feet and drops you down 144 feet. At a coasting speed of 67 mph, no less.
7. Half Price Shows
If a big dollar show is not in your budget, or if you want to see them all, you’ll be happy to find six discount, same-day ticket outlets on the Las Vegas Strip. Tix4Tonight offers the same show tickets available at casino box offices for 20 to 50 percent off box office prices. There are deals on restaurants and buffets, too. Visit the Tix4Tonight web site for a sneak peak at what’s on sale each day, and give us a call if you want show recommendations. We’ve seen just about them all.
6. Fun, Fun, Fun and Free, Free, Free!
Put on your comfy shoes and walk the Strip, stopping in as many of the casinos as you can. Each one has tried to out theme the others (Luxor Las Vegas, for example, is a pyramid that’s topped with the brightest light in the world), which has resulted in one of the best places to find great new ideas and inspirations.
Las Vegas properties offer tons of free entertainment. Our favorites include the Sirens of TI show at TI (Treasure Island), The Volcano at The Mirage, the Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo, the Wynn Las Vegas’ Lake of Dreams, where dazzling multimedia shows are projected onto a waterfall, and of course, the Fountains of Bellagio. Off-Strip, you’ll want to see the Masquerade Show in the Sky at The Rio Las Vegas, and downtown’s Freemont Street Experience: five blocks of classic casinos, restaurants, FlightLinez zip line that spans the length of the street, plus celebrity concerts and street performers, capped off by Viva Vision, a high-tech overhead canopy larger than five football fields. The Viva Vision show delivers larger-than-life animations, live video feeds and synchronized music. You have to see it to believe it.
5. The Stratosphere Tower
At 1,149 feet, the Stratosphere Tower at the Stratosphere Hotel & Casino, is the tallest free standing observation deck in the United States, but your journey from the ground floor to the observation deck will take less than 30 seconds because the Stratosphere’s elevators travel at speeds of 1,800 feet per minute – that’s three floors per second. And the view is spectacular.
While you’re up there you can enjoy a meal at the Top of the World restaurant or ride Las Vegas’ most daring thrill rides: Insanity, X Scream, SkyJump, and Big Shot – each one is perched atop the Stratosphere Tower. The Stratosphere website asks, “Are you a hero or a zero? An acrobat or an acrophobe? Head to the top of the Stratosphere to find out.” Yikes!
4. Harrah’s Carnaval Court
Even Tuesday afternoon is a party at Harrah’s Carnaval Court. Live bands and Harrah’s award-winning Flair Bartenders provide non-stop entertainment. We can sit for hours, watching the bartenders juggle 14 glasses, twirl bottles high above their heads, and pour drinks at the same time. And watching partiers lug around drinks so big they need to strap them around their necks is fun, too. But the live music at Carnival Court is even better. Our favorite band is Wonderboogie, a swanky band of disco-playing, polyester wearing guys with afros up to there.
3. Jubilee! at Bally’s Las Vegas
This is classic Vegas, baby. Jubilee! is a multi, multi, multi million dollar spectacular that has run at Bally’s Las Vegas for more than 32 years. It showcases hundreds of performers, beautiful showgirls wearing feathered headdresses that weigh up to 35 pounds, costumes by Bob Mackie, and million-dollar sets. They even sink the Titanic twice a night. Jubilee! has an extra attraction no other shows have: you can take the Exclusive Backstage Tour and see firsthand the inner workings of the show. And your tour director is a real, live showgirl! How cool is that?
2. Shoppus ‘til you droppus
No trip to Las Vegas would be complete without a shopping trip – this is a NOT TO BE MISSED STOP FOR RETAILERS. We mean it! Retail companies and designers pull out all the stops for their Las Vegas stores – you’ll see the very best in store design, display and merchandising. This is where we go for ideas and inspiration. Most shops are open until 11:00 PM (some until midnight) so you’ll have plenty of time.
Start with The Forum Shops at Caesars, the highest retail dollars per square foot in the world. Here, you’ll find every designer known to man, alongside perennial mall favorites like The Gap and Victoria’s Secret.
If you break it down, the Forum Shops at Caesars is really just a shopping mall, but it’s so cleverly disguised, you won’t ever compare it to the boring malls you shop at home. Pay close attention to the ambiance and you will notice subtle changes: As you shop, the skies overhead change from the rosy tones of dawn to a star-filled night, and then change all over again. You’ll be amazed as the sculptures in the Forum Shops two fountains come to life, and you’ll love the spiral escalators. How’d they do that?
You’ll also want to visit The Shoppes at The Palazzo and The Grand Canal Shoppes at its sister property, The Venetian. Here you’ll experience Streetmosphere: a cast of carnival characters, street performers, and Italian opera singers. Take a relaxing gondola ride with your own personal singing gondolier, or visit Madame Tussauds Las Vegas. Want a photo with Rhianna? She’s there. So is every other star and sports hero you can think of. (Hint: Buy your tickets online and save 20%.)
The Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood offers a wide array of cool stores, plus RainStorm, a miracle in the desert, featuring thunder, lightning, fog and pouring rain. Inside the mall.
For luxury retail, visit Crystals at CityCenter. Crystals boasts splendid architecture, high-end shopping, and fine dining. (You can read our review of Crystals here.)
The Esplanade at Wynn Las Vegas offers a glimpse into how the “other half” shops. Chanel, Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Hermes, Fred Leighton and Manolo Blahnik are just a few of the designer shops. Want to buy a $100,000 ring or a $15,000 handbag? No problem.
1. Swingin’ Sounds in the Ultralounge
Lots of people go to Vegas for the shows, but we prefer to hit the lounges – they’re fun places to unwind, have a conversation, and see talented performers for the price of a cocktail. Every Vegas hotel has at least one lounge, so grab the Showbiz Weekly that’s in your hotel room and check out who’s playing where. For us, the perfect day ends with the perfect Las Vegas night on the town: dinner, a walk on the Strip, and drinks in a swanky ultra lounge with friends. Our favorite? A night with JAMM at the Indigo Lounge at Bally’s Las Vegas.
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