Showing posts with label Wynn Resort. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wynn Resort. Show all posts

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!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Travel Tuesday: A Vegas Room with a View. . .

After being somewhat regular ‘sun seekers’ to this Nevada hot spot (figuratively and literally) we’ve recently had so many other places on our ‘travel bucket list’ that we hadn’t made it back here for a year and a half.   Until last week. . . when we stayed at Encore, a resort on the northern end of the town’s famous, Strip. It is a sister resort to Wynn, which is pictured below.

PicMonkey Collage

Our view from Encore’s 51st floor was nothing short of spectacular (and for those inquiring minds out there, we did pay an additional $30 a night over the standard room rate, for the room on a higher floor that provided us this view – but it was worth it in our estimation).  When the mercury topped out in the triple digits, we sat in air-conditioned comfort and gazed at this view.

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One morning we were amazed to watch these two workmen ease their scaffolding past our window, so very high up on this building that it made me nauseous just taking the photo.

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A few hours later, what went down earlier in the already hot morning, came back up again in the hotter afternoon.  These two and so many other unsung heroes of the hospitality industry do the work that keeps travelers like us wrapped in cozy, comfortable digs.

We are guilty of taking such work for granted until we witness such hair-raising scenes as this.  Today I wanted to take a moment to honor – and thank -- all those behind-the-scenes folks (we were told Wynn/Encore alone employs some 12,000 employees) who made our stay such a treat!

Have you had any similar sightings on your travels? Or moments that made you pause to think about all the behind-the-scenes folks? 

As always, thanks for your visit today; we hope to see you back again as regulars and definitely on Thursday for our weekly travel photo fest!

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Sizzling Summer in the City - Vegas

So who in their right minds would go to Vegas in the middle of July?  We would!

And did. . .along with thousands of others, young and old, it appears.  The shopping malls, the casinos, the restaurants and poolside are packed, simply jam-packed, with sun worshippers such as ourselves.

vegas 053 It’s midday and the temperatures are climbing to 104F outside, as I write this post from our room at Wynn Resort. Skies are blue – sun is bright. We are happy.

In all honesty, this isn’t one of those bargain trips where we nabbed great room rates, summer isn’t the cheapest time to travel even to brain-burning-hot destinations; but sometimes you bite the bullet and go. It was finally time to take this off my ‘birthday’ wish list and make it reality. (I figured I’d either love it or hate it. . .but at least I’d know).

But where else could I celebrate a birthday by dining  in an Italian piazza one night and then at the base of the Eiffel Tower the next?  Here I can window shop at designer stores from London, Paris and Milan all within footsteps of each other as I head to my favorite “ABC” store from Honolulu for my chocolate covered macadamia nuts.

vegas 023 And of course, there is the pool – a must visit each afternoon for a at least a short amount of time. . .it's my favorite ‘people watching’ venue; the bronze and beautiful parade their scantily-clad bodies for the benefit of the opposite sexto the beat of the latest music that reverberates off the buildings. It provides great amusement.

So did I pick the right place? I’ve already announced that this trip may have to become a birthday tradition – maybe I am suffering heat stroke or the sun's melted my brains, but being a year older here doesn’t seem so bad at all. . .in fact, I am feeling younger! Time to head to the pool. . .

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Vegas: A 'Wynn-ing' Combination

"Vegas? I went there once. . .
it was, well,
. . .dirty
. . .dark
. . .smokey."

Fill in the blank.

That's the response from three different acquaintences to our recent stay there. Each paused and added though, "Oh, I was there about 20 years ago."

If you've not been there in the last couple decades, you might give Vegas a try. Sure. . .the touts still click their girlie tabs along The Strip at certain times during the day, but you'll likely find that Vegas is a rather classy place these days.

For starters, Nevada has a no smoking law (casinos are exempt, but even some of them limit smoking to areas of play with smoke free corridors). Our Wynn room pictured here was a non-smoking on the 38th floor with wide sweeping views stretching from The Strip over the valley to snow tipped hills in the distance. Smokers have their own floors.

Using our favorite resort as an example of what you will find: we window-shopped in Hermes where a men's leather belt had a $900 price tag and at Rolex where watches in one display ranged from $70,000 to $100,000. In between the two shopping wings housing those stores - and others like them - was the casino where I happily spent hours over the course of our stay at my favorite penny slot machine, betting 18-cents each time and taking home a profit of 53-cents. Developers have created a Wynn-ing combination of extremes for the vastly diverse clientele they serve.

Down the road at Bellagio there's a great display of Dale Chihuly's glass creations adorning the registration area and only a few steps away you can walk through their seasonally-inspired garden that brings squeals of delight from children as animated creatures among the floral arrangement come to life. Bellagio also has an art gallery.

Even the city bus, The Duece, that transports tourists and locals alike between The Strip and downtown's Fremont Street, is a classy, clean double-decker vehicle these days.

We've checked and there seems to be hotel deals to be had this spring even at the 5-star places. To a certain extent all travel is a gamble. . .but we think Vegas is a winner.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

CityCenter Las Vegas - Stark and Dark

Developers of CityCenter, (the expansive 18 million square feet of development on 67 acres between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo on Las Vegas Blvd.) have drawn such rave reviews since it opened in mid-December that we considered staying here on our recent trip instead of the tried-and-true Wynn, at the other end of the Strip.
Instead, we opted to visit the development on a scouting expedition for 'next time'. While we prefer to try new places, sometimes it pays to visit a place first before committing to a stay. Such was the case with CityCenter.

Finding the tram from the Bellagio took us to the far reaches of the hotel into its convention meeting room wing - it is not a walk for everyone. Our return, walking along Las Vegas Blvd., seemed shorter. The tram - seeming as if it had arrived from the Jetsons television series -- deposited us at the stark, white Crystals station. (For those younger readers: George and Wilma Jetson, living far off in the future's 'outer space world' were the cartoon stars of an early 60's era television series).

Crystals, while drawing rave architectural reviews, is an enormous multi-storied, angular enclave of jutting white walls, and vast open spaces and home to high-end stores. It is an area so vast and stark that glitzy storefronts seemed tucked away in its angles. We joked that at any moment, George or Wilma would emerge from behind one of the many big blank walls.

The Aria, with its 4,000 rooms and casino left us wondering again about the architectural accolaides this place is receiving. The long reservations desk put us in mind of train station counters in Europe. The lobby was certainly not a place I would lounge while waiting for a flight as the 'couches' were rock benches with wooden backs, reminding one of the benches found in Washington's forests. And it felt like sitting on a rock with a wooden back. The casino, to the side of the lobby, was dark, with low ceilings, a stark contrast to the cavernous lobby.

As we discussed adjectives to use in this post, Joel commented, "If I were designing purgatory, I would start here." Admittedly the development only opened a few weeks ago, and perhaps there are plans to soften the stark walls of Crystals and hopefully fill it with a bit more activity and sense of life. And web photos of the rooms in Aria make them appear quite comfortable - but I am not sure we will be rushing to find out at any time in the near future.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Havin' a 'Bowl' in Vegas!

We are simply having a 'bowl' in Las Vegas! Football fans everywhere need to keep this place in mind during football 'bowl' week. We've been here for the Fiesta, Orange, and GMAC Bowls. We watched the Fiesta Bowl in the comfort of the Sports Book bar at the Wynn (where we are staying). To one side of us, there two Longhorn fans ("Hook 'em Horns") cheering for TCU and on the other grandparents of a TCU student. Three big screen tvs, and some 30 flat screens wallpapered the walls. Great seats, great conversation and a great win. . .for us: Boise State Broncos won the game. (Yes, another plus, is that you can bet on the games - and yes, we bet on the Broncos.)
Last night we watched the Orange Bowl at First, a restaurant and bar at the Palazzo, just across Sands Avenue from Wynn. We have also had a chance to visit with some of the dozens of Alabama Crimson Tide and Texas Longhorn fans who are working their way toward tomorrow's Bowl Championship game being played in the Rose Bowl, Pasedena. One of the 'Tide' fans told us he was among 20 on a small fan bus heading that direction tomorrow and he'd heard another five large buses would be leaving here as well.

And when not watching football?

Well there is the Fashion Show Mall just across Las Vegas Blvd. Pedestrian overhead walkways make it a snap to get across the streets that are always a buzz with tour buses, cars and taxis.
And then of course, in 60-degree sunshine, we can't let the afternoons get past without a bit of time sunning at poolside.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wynn-ers In Vegas

Our Pacific Northwest location allows us to head to SeaTac, hop a two-hour Alaska Air flight and be in Las Vegas in less time than it sometimes takes to drive across the state of Washington. So it seemed the logical destination last week for a quick trip to 'see the sun' now that the winter clouds and rain have arrived here.
This trip, like two before it, took us to Wynn Resort and Casino, just across The Strip from the greatly expanded and upgraded Fashion Show Mall. While Wynn was offering some good room rates, Joel found the best deal on Expedia ( where we got the same rate as offered by the hotel as well as a $100 resort credit, which wasn't available by booking direct. Wynn's spacious guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows provide expansive views out to the mountains. ( As shown above - our room was on the 23rd floor, not quite half way up the building and provided great views of the fountain light show as well). And its casino has penny slot machines that can keep one entertained for hours because they pay out often enough to keep us non-gamblers happy.

For some the thought of Vegas still conjours up images of dark, dank, smoke-filled casinos but that isn't the case these days. Casino resorts offer high end clothing, jewelry and shoes, restaurants feature the menus of culinary award-winning chefs and pool areas and spas are the perfect relaxation havens.

Window shopping at Caesar's Forum Shops and strolling through Bellagio's plant conservatory are always on our itinerary; both provide great free entertainment. Fall was in the air at the conservatory.

Another way to save money in Vegas is to stop by one of the many half-price ticket outlets that dot The Strip. Tix 4 Tonight ( offers discounted tickets to shows and for dining. We nabbed a good deal at a Paris steakhouse on our last trip down by just standing in the (sometimes lengthy) half-price ticket line at the Fashion Mall.


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