Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Travel Tuesday: What’s New in Vegas?

We’d not been to Las Vegas in more than a year and half and part of the reason was that from McCarran Airport to The Strip, it was becoming a comfortable -- but an almost too predictable -- travel experience.

Not so, this trip! What a difference a bit of time makes. . .

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McCarran International Airport - Las Vegas, Nevada
We had a slightly disconcerting moment as we entered the concourse from the jet way; had it not been for the slot machines, we would have almost thought we’d arrived at the wrong place.  There was nothing familiar or predictable, about this airport!

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Vegas60Seattle 112The new wing in which we found ourselves opened a year ago in July 2012.  Its now wide, sleek hallway is interspersed with moving walkways, retail outlets andtempting eateries.

There are numerous easy access points to  the lower baggage claim area and ground transportation. (yea!).

And The Strip also had several surprises including:

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Where once stood the Imperial Palace Casino and Resort (across from Caesar’s Forum Shops), we found The Quad. From reviews on TripAdvisor it sounds as though the revamping of the old hotel is still a work in progress. For those of you who saw the Australian group, Human Nature, performing on stage there, don't despair. You can now see them at The Venetian.

To the side of The Quad, Caesars Entertainment is reshaping the the Vegas Strip with The LINQ, a 200,000 square-foot open-air retail, dining and entertainment district, anchored by what they claim to be the world's tallest observation wheel, known as the High Roller (that’s its beginning in the photo below).

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Construction begins on High Roller - Las Vegas
Developers say “the High Roller at 550 feet and measuring 520 feet in diameter, will eclipse both the London Eye and Singapore Flyer. Facing north and south (parallel to Las Vegas Boulevard), the wheel will feature 28 glass-enclosed cabins that will unveil broad views of the famed-resort city in the 30 minutes it takes to complete one full revolution. Each cabin will accommodate up to 40 people and will be available for individual or group experiences.”

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We even encountered this new centerpiece on display outside the Encore Theater, at Wynn/Encore, where we were staying. Some of you might recognize the piece by Jeff Koons, as the one that was previously on display outside Christie’s (Auction House) Gallery at Rockefeller Center, New York City.
The piece was made in five versions over a time period spanning 1995 – 2004 and is the culmination of Koons’ “Celebration Series”. Tulips, says the creator, are a symbol of spring, hope and fertility.

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As the story goes (in the in-house Wynn Magazine publication) the piece was auctioned last November 2012 and the highest bid was from a telephone bidder by the name of Steve Wynn (owner of the resort).

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The small print on the sign in the first photo above says, “Price available upon request.”  We were told  that if it doesn’t sell, it will be moved to the rotunda of Cotai, Wynn’s new resort/casino opening in Macau, China.

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If you are interested in buying the piece, I should tell you, that we were also told that Wynn wants a bit more for it than what he paid.

His purchase price was $33,682,500.  

By the way, if you do buy it, let him know that we sent you – it’s a gamble, but we might even get a free overnight stay (in Macau, we hope) as resultWinking smile!

That’s it for this Travel Tuesday – thanks for joining us today. Hope you'll be back Thursday and  that you'll recommend us to others as well!


  1. Thanks for keeping us apprise about what's new in LV. I haven't been there for several years and it certainly looks like a lot of things are new. Interesting bit about Koon's work. I find his works way too overhyped and overpriced. So sorry Jackie, I don't think I'll buyt it so I can't help you get an overnight stay.

  2. Ha, ha, ha - you made me laugh when you told me you didn't think you'd buy it. Darn! I have to admit I'd never heard of Koon's before happening upon his tulips. Thanks for stopping by today.

  3. Wow. I mean, i like to think that I can appreciate great art with the best of them, but it really is disconcerting to see the ridiculously inflated price of art by famous artists. I mean, I'm not saying they shouldn't make a good living, but come on, $33 million dollars for a piece of art? Enough.

    1. Every time we go to Vegas, we are reminded there is another whole world out there that lives, and spends, very differently than we do! So, I guess this means you probably are among those who said they wouldn't be buying Tulips. . .

  4. We were last in Vegas in 2011 I believe. It's amazing how quickly things change there! Please feel free to share your link via my latest blog post as part of Wanderlust Wednesdays.

    1. Hi Dana, Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment. I will take you up on that invite to participate in Wanderlust Wednesdays! Thank you. Hope to see you back again soon.

  5. You're brave to go to Vegas in the heat of the summer!

    The airport needed a facelift - for such a busy place it's looked tired for a long time. Vegas seems to do a pretty darned good job reinventing itself.
    I will not be the buyer of teh artwork!

    1. Somehow I didn't think I would set off a bidding war in the blogosphere by letting you all know that Tulips could be bought. You are right about the airport - you wouldn't recognize it!


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