Is Vegas, Like, Totally Going South Beach On Us?
With last Friday's news about Gansevoort Las Vegas (and, if you haven't heard, this is what Bill's will become), we couldn't help but wonder -- Is Las Vegas going totally South Beach these days?
The additional upcoming openings of SLS Las Vegas and Delano at Mandalay Bay as well as the already here presence of Bagatelle and STK (both in SoBe, too) sure makes it seem like it. Heck, Las Vegas even has a Fontainebleau, totally abandoned, of course. And, both cities have a Canyon Ranch spa, too!
True, Gansevoort is first and foremost a New York City kid (named after a street in the Meatpacking District), but for a few years, they had a huge hotel in South Beach and it was quite the party monster. (Until they couldn't make their mortgage payments and were kicked out by the bank. You can read that drama here on HotelChatter.)
For those that haven't been to Miami in recent years, the city has come a long way from the Golden Girls/Cocaine Cowboys days of the 1980s. The South Beach vibe today is now known for its nightlife (especially big clubs like the Liv at the Fontainebleau), its ever-changing boutique hotel scene (Ocean Drive along the beach is the heartbeat, but so are Collins Ave and the up-and-coming Brickell area), its celeb-frequenting, celeb chef-helmed restaurants, luxury shopping and its eclectic international denizens (both the permanent and seasonal kind).
Oh, and we can't forget about the water and the heat which are the two biggest reasons why most folk in South Beach are nearly naked at all times. Sound familiar? With the exception of hurricanes and Miami's terrific art and design scene, we'd say Las Vegas and Miami are freakishly identical, after all.
But, is this what Vegas Visitors really want? One VegasChatter commenter thinks not. He writes:
Las Vegas is TOO UPSCALE now... all the down-to-Earth cheap-o hotels are gone... Frontier, Stardust, Sahara, O'Shea's, Barbary Coast, etc. Vegas is becoming like Fifth Avenue NY or something. TOO many high-end hotels, shopping, etc.
I miss the old-school Vegas. The Vegas where you can go from Bellagio to the Frontier and then to Slots of Fun.*
I've been to the Gansevoort in NY and it is a good brand and very hip but we have SO MANY hip places in Vegas. Enough already! Wynn, Venetian, Encore, Palazzo, Mandarin Oriental, Aria, Bellagio, Nobu, etc. etc. etc. That's TOO MUCH. Bring back Westward Ho!! (just kidding)
Other VegasChatter commenters were put off by the unpronounceable name. It's GANS-(like Danny Gans, RIP)-ZA-VORT. While some were excited by the presence of a hip new boutique hotel. We have to admit, it's gonna look WAY prettier than Bill's ever did. But this comment sent chills down our spine:
In other words... a regular room will cost more than what I got the John Wayne Suite for at Bill's. That's progress. Didn't the casino companies get in trouble by building for peak times before? Seems like they are setting themselves up to get burned again.
South Beach or NYC vibes aside, we are in favor of spiffing up the Strip, but we worry it might be too much of the same thing. We're afraid that one day we could go from Caesars to the Mirage and across the street to the Palazzo and not ever notice the difference except for the "themes" of the buildings. But, we guess if this does happen, then there's always downtown.
This concludes our session of Deep Thoughts for today. Now share yours in the comments below!
*For what it's worth, you can still go from Bellagio to PBR Rock Bar and then onto the Hawaiian marketplace for 4 a.m. karaoke. Kinda similar, no?