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The Linq's Vortex: The Renderings, The Reality

April 26, 2013 at 7:55 PM | by | ()

Back in January, we were the first to tell you about the Vortex being built at the entrance to The Linq. That sounds like a gateway to Valhalla, but it's actually a 6,800-square-foot "color-changing lighting roof display" being created by the YESCO sign company. The same skillful operators who completed the Aria Pylon we recently raved about. Building permits indicated they've allocated at least a million dollars for construction on this attraction. And, it possesses a certain drama in the artistic renderings. Despite, as we'll show you, Caesars Entertainment's many renditions of what it will look like.

We thought it time we went for another close-up visit. And, did we discover an early test? We're not sure if this is a fluke reflection from The Quad hitting it just right, but it looked to us as if they were testing the rear of the Vortex's light show. You can make out the pink leaves or flame shapes.

We've been trying to find out more details, but it's tough when you are one of the few writing about it. So, we pushed ourselves into taking another careful study of The Linq's early design sketches to compare how everything is coming along. The Vortex will be a beacon. At the other end of the Linq will be the High Roller observation wheel. In between, a promenade of retail, food and entertainment. Of wildly variable quality and interest.

We also used the Linq's own lofted webcam to zoom in for a different angle on the progress. Looking good. The top of the lighting grid is in place and the middle "funnel" is waiting to be finished. We also noticed, as we did on the ground, the Vortex and glass-walled observation level on the floor below seems smaller than implied by the renderings.

Here's one thing that really annoyed us when we revisited the design etchings. The rendering below is still promoted on the Linq's official website front page as their premier representation of the project. When you compare with the live camera, or staring at the actual construction on The Strip, you discover it's a fantasy. Even down to the Gap store they drew into picture below the Vortex. (You'll need to squint.) Take it down, Caesars. On their own web page, two images down, they even include a more accurate rendering which confirms these very self-created discrepancies. The Linq is spending $500 million on the project, you'd think they could spend a couple of bucks to update the site, or have an intern fix it. (As long as large Vegas projects continue to over-hype with graphic hyperbole, we'll continue to bust their chops.)

Now, compare with this version. Note the roof and set-back of the Vortex. And, how different The Quad is presented.

That rendering we can get on board as being a genuine and feasible template. Look at the design of the street-level vertical wall panels and the way the Vortex sits next to The Quad. That's how it is being built right now. The Vortex is still disproportionately large, but as we say, they do like to hype these projects.

It does appear this section of the Linq section could be finished long before the promised, but vague, "late 2013" opening date for some, or all, or most of the project. We suggest turning on The Vortex early, flash the no doubt excellent light show and you'll have have months of engaging the curious and puzzled onlookers. Like us.

Editor's Note: Earlier this week, VegasChatter reached out to Caesars Entertainment for more details and clarification regarding the Vortex. We've yet to hear back. We'll update you when we do.

(Photo/Renderings: VegasChatter/Caesars Entertainment)

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