2023 will be a year of growth in Las Vegas. That’s saying a lot as Sin City crushed gaming revenue and hotel room price records last year.
It seems as though this will be the first post-peak-Covid year for Las Vegas. Last year leisure travelers started to return. This year, it seems as though visitors will return to Las Vegas for work and pleasure.
The new year is beginning with the return of a large-scale CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Consumer Electronics Show is expecting about 100,000 attendees. This would be the most since 2019.
Construction on new casino hotels resumed in high gear last year. There will be both new properties as well as a slew of hotel room renovations for visitors at all price points.
There are also new casino operators that are bringing their rewards programs to Las Vegas. This should provide more visitors from all over the country access to complimentary or discounted hotel rooms.
As always, there will be new entertainment options. One casino sale is leading to a variety of performers jumping to venues at new casinos on the Vegas Strip.
It’s certainly a good time to look at some of the exciting new things we’ll see in Las Vegas this year.
New Vegas casinos in 2023
Las Vegas is different than most cities with casinos. Visitors typically expect gambling to take place in the opulent casinos around town. That’s not quite the case in Las Vegas.
There’s gaming available at bars, taverns, and gas stations. Other retail outlets also offer forms of gambling. Additionally, there are small casinos without hotels throughout the city.
The first new casino to open in Las Vegas in 2023 is a non-hotel property. Station Casinos will open a Wildfire casino in downtown Las Vegas in February.
This property will have machine games, a sportsbook, and a couple of restaurants. While this is downtown, it’s a bit of a hike from the Fremont Street Experience.
Station Casinos plans to open a full-service Durango Casino towards the end of the year. This will be a traditional Station Casinos property.
Durango Casino is located in the southwest section of Las Vegas and will have 200 hotel rooms, 2,000 slot machines, 45 table games, a sportsbook, a food hall, and four restaurants.
Construction of Fontainebleau on the Vegas Strip started in 2005. The big blue casino resort located near Sahara is on schedule to finally open in the fourth quarter of 2023.
The hotel at Fontainebleau is huge and will have 3,700 luxury hotel rooms and suites. Details on the insides are sparse but the company has brought on three former Cosmopolitan executives for the opening. Hopefully, the property will add that Cosmo vibe to the Fontainebleau name.
In downtown Las Vegas, the Plaza is updating its property. The casino is adding a new smoke-free Brian Christopher Slots area, adding outdoor seating for Oscar’s Steakhouse and opening a Pinkbox donut shop.
However, the big update to the property is happening outside. The entrance to the Plaza closest to the Fremont Street Experience is adding the only outdoor carousel video poker bar in Las Vegas.
Who doesn’t want to gamble and drink outdoors and enjoy the beautiful Las Vegas weather? All of the updates at the Plaza should be ready for spring.
While the property isn’t new, the name is. Caesars completed its rebrand of Bally’s to Horseshoe Las Vegas in December of 2022. Aside from the hotel rooms, much of the property has a new look.
Additionally, Blake Shelton’s Ole Red is still under construction outside of Horseshoe and will be finished later this year.
New Vegas hotel rooms in 2023
Las Vegas hotel rooms usually see an update every six or eight years. This year, a handful of properties will have new hotel room designs.
New York-New York, MGM Grand, and Wynn Las Vegas started hotel room renovations last year. Some are already available now. The rest should be completed in early 2023.
All of the suites at The Venetian and Palazzo will all see a facelift this year. This is part of the $1 billion upgrade plan for the property, which includes new restaurants and entertainment.
According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Construction Bulletin, Four Seasons at Mandalay Bay will be remodeling its rooms. The project should be finished by the end of the year.
South of Mandalay Bay on Las Vegas Blvd, Silverton is wrapping up a full hotel remodel that will give guests three styles of rooms and a new pool. The hotel will be ready for guests early this year.
New casino operators and rewards programs
One business trend in Las Vegas is for casinos to have a separate landlord and operator. The owner of the real estate has little to do with the day-to-day experience at a casino.
The operator is in charge of the experience guests see when they visit a casino, hotel, restaurant, and all other parts of the popular resorts in Las Vegas. Frankly, the operator matters more to the Vegas experience than the landlord.
The year ended with Hard Rock International taking over the Mirage from MGM Resorts. There are major plans for the property that should take place starting in late 2023 or early 2024.
The big change for guests this year will be the change from MGM Rewards to Unity by Hard Rock. This is active now while much of the property remains the same.
MGM Resorts closed its deal to operate the Cosmopolitan last year. The process of changing the entire property over to MGM’s systems is taking about a year.
Later this year, the Cosmopolitan will become an MGM Rewards property. Right now the only part of the casino where players can earn MGM Rewards points is the BetMGM sportsbook.
Cosmopolitan still uses the Identity Rewards program. The change to MGM Rewards should happen in late spring or summer.
Last year the Tropicana and Sahara both quietly introduced new rewards programs.
Las Vegas music festivals and residencies
Many of the popular Las Vegas residencies and festivals are returning to Las Vegas in 2023. There are some artists bringing their talent to Las Vegas for their first residency.
The biggest of all new residencies might be a band performing at a venue that isn’t even open yet.
The MSG Sphere at The Venetian is wrapping up construction and should be open in the second half of the year. It’s expected that U2 will be the first resident artist announced for the new $2 billion arena behind The Venetian
Garth Brooks is returning to Las Vegas this year with a new residency at Caesars Palace. The Colosseum at Caesars Palace will also be home to residencies for Adele, Sting, and Rod Stewart.
Maroon 5 will have its first Las Vegas residency at Park MGM. Bruno Mars and Usher are both returning to Park MGM in 2023.
The diverse lineup of Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, Kevin Hart, Luke Bryan, and David Blaine are all returning to Resorts World for residencies in 2023.
There are a handful of resident comedians in Las Vegas in 2023. Sebastian Maniscalco will perform a dozen shows at Wynn before the end of May.
Wynn will have more standup comedy than ever this year. Jim Gaffigan, Iliza Shlesinger, Chris Tucker, Nate Bargatze, Taylor Tomlinson, Fortune Feimster, along with Steve Martin & Martin Short, will all perform limited engagements at the Encore Theater.
Bill Maher is leaving the Aces of Comedy series at the Mirage to start his own residency at MGM Grand. He’ll perform at least eight shows at the David Copperfield Theatre throughout the year.
The Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) will take place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway May 19-21. The Life is Beautiful festival returns to downtown Las Vegas from Sept. 22-24.
After two sold-out shows in 2022, the When We Were Young Festival is set to return to the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on Oct. 1.
New Las Vegas events and attractions in 2023
Las Vegas is always changing. Shows and restaurants come and go almost weekly. We’ll look at some of the interesting and already popular events and attractions coming to Las Vegas in 2023.
The Las Vegas Grand Prix is one of the most hyped events in the history of Las Vegas. The F1 race events will take place at night from Nov. 16-18.
Hotel rooms for the weekend of racing are among the most expensive of 2023 due to high early demand. Tickets for the race start at $500 for the weekend. Expect to pay more as tickets hit the secondary market as soon as they’re purchased.
Anyone planning to visit Las Vegas during race weekend should know it will likely be cold as temperatures can get into the 30s at night.
Cannabis has been legal in Las Vegas since 2017. However, until this year it had to be consumed in a private residence – not in public or casinos.
This year cannabis consumption lounges will open in Las Vegas. There isn’t a specific opening date but these will be non-casino locations where visitors can relax and enjoy the product legally.
A Punk Rock Museum will open in March. In addition to punk rock memorabilia such as clothes, art, and instruments on display, visitors will actually be able to plug guitars into amps and shred their favorite riffs.
The Project 63 shopping plaza between Aria and the Cosmopolitan was supposed to open last year but should be ready for visitors this year. In addition to multiple retail outlets, there will be a $20 million Ocean Prime steakhouse with great views of the Vegas Strip.