Before getting to the news and rumors in November, we have to discuss what it’s like in Las Vegas right now. It feels as though every month has been busier than the previous. It’s only going to get busier in Las Vegas in November.
Not only is the holiday season upon us, but vaccinated foreign visitors will be able to enter the US beginning Nov. 8. It seems like 2021 in Las Vegas is going out with a bang!
A phone call to Aria resort confirmed what I’ve been seeing all over the Vegas Strip. Restaurants are completely booked well in advance. According to the rep we spoke with, the more popular restaurants at Aria like Carbone are completely booked 3-4 weeks in advance.
Word on the street is that other luxury properties like Wynn, The Venetian and The Cosmopolitan are seeing similar dinner reservation issues. There are even non-casino restaurants are completely booked for some dates in November and December.
On top of all this, just about every local Las Vegas media organization is reporting that Las Vegas hotel room rates are now higher than before COVID-19 slowed down travel to Las Vegas.
As of today, Las Vegas casinos are still requiring visitors to wear a mask unless eating, drinking or smoking indoors. There’s buzz that the mask mandate could be removed by the middle of November. Stay tuned as this may encourage more visitors to return to Las Vegas.
The bottom line is that Las Vegas is busy again and anyone visiting should plan as much in advance as possible. Not only should prices be lower booking early but restaurants shouldn’t be full and tickets for shows should be more easily available.
Good thing we have an idea of what’s buzzing and opening this year and into the future.
Enjoying the holidays in Las Vegas
The holiday season in Las Vegas shifts into high gear the day after Thanksgiving. Celebrating the season is a little different in Las Vegas. There are holiday displays and music in all casinos.
As always, the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens always leads the way with another beautiful arrangement, but here are some more fun ways to enjoy the holidays all around Las Vegas:
Vegas Strip: The ice skating rink is back at the Cosmopolitan. The views of the Vegas Strip from the rooftop pool deck are absolutely gorgeous. Skating is optional and so are the hot toddies and other seasonable beverages. Fees and specific information is available here.
Summerlin: Enchanted Christmas is taking place at Las Vegas Ballpark. This is the first year for the holiday light show and maze at the baseball stadium across the street from Red Rock Casino.
Henderson: Ethel M Chocolate Factory is lighting up its Cactus Garden for the 29th year in a row. The array of lights is something unique to the southwest part of the US. It’s a great excuse to leave the Vegas Strip and get some fresh air and hot chocolate.
Las Vegas is going to get loopy thanks to Elon Musk
Let’s start from the beginning. Elon Musk’s Boring Company was tasked with building a transportation system for the recently expanded Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). The Tesla tunnel system whisks conventioneers across the campus in four minutes.
This system is already being expanded to some nearby casinos. The tunnel to Resorts World should be finished in early 2022. There will also be a station opening at Wynn.
In October, the project received approval to begin expanding the underground transportation system throughout Las Vegas. Construction on new tunnels should begin within a year.
There are currently more than 50 stations planned for nearly 30 miles in Las Vegas when the project is completed. The system will initially connect Vegas Strip casinos (and a few off-strip), Allegiant Stadium and UNLV campus with LVCC.
Separate discussions are happening to extend to McCarran International Airport as well. If successful, the system could expand into the local Las Vegas community in the future. When completed, the Vegas Loops should be able to handle 57,000 people per hour, according to Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President and CEO Steve Hill.
The fares will fall somewhere between $5 and $20 depending on the distance. For example, the 3.6-mile ride from the LVCC to Allegiant Stadium will cost around $6. This ride should only take about four minutes.
There’s no timeframe on when this will be available beyond LVCC and the nearby casinos. Expect to hear more next year.
Palms reopening early 2022
There aren’t many new rumored casino sales besides The Mirage possibly being sold. This rumor has been floating around Las Vegas for at least five years. If there are any legs to the rumor this time around you’ll probably hear about it soon.
While new properties are exciting, it’s time to look at what may be happening when a casino that closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic reopens. It looks as though San Manuel will reopen Palms in the first half of next year.
Until the sale closes, the company can’t officially divulge information. San Manuel was able to share some of what the company is thinking about with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
KAOS nightclub will not reopen. San Manuel isn’t ready to announce what will take over the space. Palms will have a newly reconfigured sportsbook. San Manuel is planning on reconfiguring the space. PlayUSA reached out for more information but the company declined to comment.
One of the highlights at Palms is that there will be a new rooftop pool complex. Are you even trying to compete with Stadium Swim at Circa and other Las Vegas casino pools if you don’t have a rooftop pool complex in 2022? It looks as though The Venetian may be expanding its rooftop pool complex.
Expect to hear more about San Manuel’s plans for Palms when the deal closes in early 2022.
While we’re at it, during its third-quarter earnings call, Las Vegas Sands says it expects the sale of The Venetian to close in the first quarter of 2022.
Entertainment venue update
The Park Theater at Park MGM is now Dolby Live. The name change brings a Dolby Atmos playback system. This is a new audio system is configured specifically for the venue. Shows here should sound better than ever.
Construction on The Sphere behind The Venetian is moving rapidly. The venue should open in 2023. This is supposed to be an audiophile’s dream venue. It could be why MGM Resorts decided to partner with Dolby for its venue at Park MGM.
Caesars signed a deal with Spiegelword, creators of “Absinthe,” to build a new venue at The Linq for DiscoShow. The new show and venue should open in the second half of next year.
Las Vegas show rumors
Entertainment Tonight Canada says Michael Buble will soon be announced as a resident performer at Resorts World Las Vegas. Coincidentally, Adele was once rumored to become a resident artist at this casino but it looks as though she’ll be heading elsewhere. The Adele to Las Vegas rumor mill continues to spin, however. Billboard magazine says Caesars and MGM are negotiating but it’s been almost a month and there’s still no official announcement. This should come as part of a national tour announcement.
Las Vegas entertainment residency announcements and extensions
The big residency news is that Celine Dion is delaying all of her residency shows at Resorts World due to medical reasons. The newest casino on the Vegas Strip hopes she’ll return to Las Vegas when she’s healthy.
There has been a lot made about Las Vegas residencies skewing younger over the past couple of years. Well, that’s not quite the case in 2021 and 2022. There’s a slew of classic rockers with extended engagements in Las Vegas:
- Bryan Adams has six shows at Wynn this month. While Lionel Richie isn’t classic rock, he’ll also be at Wynn for a couple of shows in November.
- The Venetian announced that Styx will be performing five 50th anniversary shows in January. Chicago will be returning to The Venetian next February.
- Former Van Halen singer David Lee Roth begins his Las Vegas residency at Mandalay Bay on New Year’s Eve. Shows will continue into January. Carlos Santana is extending his residency at Mandalay Bay again. He’ll be performing in January, February and May.
- Caesars announced that Rod Stewart is extending his residency at Caesars Palace into late 2022.
In a sign that the world is returning to normal, 311 will be in Las Vegas once again on 3/11 (and 12). Las Vegas casinos closed shortly after the band played its annual shows at Park MGM in 2019. Obviously, the band didn’t play last year but they’ll be back for two shows in March of 2022.
Last but not least, Allegiant Stadium announced an interesting concert weekend for Feb. 2022. Metallica will play on Feb. 25. Billy Joel will play a show at the stadium the next night.
Both shows will likely sell out. Metallica already has ticket and hotel packages on sale. Start making plans if either or both are music to your ears.