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There's a lot of sh*t that happens in Vegas and not all of it can make it on our site as a full report. So, every Friday, we take note of some of the smaller announcements around town that may be of interest, too. Here's the rundown for the week of February 16:
One pool that will be rockin' hard: Hard Rock will dive back into pool season starting March 6 when Rehab as well as Nirvana and Breathe pools open once again. Entertainment on tap for Rehab includes 3OH!3 March 21 and Sammy Adams March 28. Tickets for both start at $20 for ladies, $30 for gents.
Vegas News / MGM Resorts / Shake Shack / Prime / Bellagio / Gaming / New York-New York / Monte Carlo / Nine Fine Irishmen / Resorts World / Frontier / The Mirage / Future Vegas / Luxor / Excalibur / → All Tags
In our book, MGM Resorts' quarterly earnings call is a must listen. Beyond a reciting of dollars and cents, it's always filled with fascinating insight into what's really popping for the gaming company, and what's on the horizon. Here's what we learned from the latest call that took place earlier this week:
Shake Shack is so money: Everybody knows cult burger fave Shack Shack opened at New York-New York late December. You may have even stopped in by now. What you probably don't know is the Las Vegas location is "already the highest-grossing Shack Shack in the portfolio's history, second only to Times Square."
A 20,000-seat arena continues to take shape just behind the New York-New York on the Vegas Strip and when it arrives, so might event-based parking fees.
While the plan has always been for arena visitors to either walk in from off the Strip (hence the slew of new restaurants and bars planned for the land between Monte Carlo and New York-New York) or to utilize the parking garages of surrounding resorts (including NY-NY, MC, MGM Grand, Excalibur and Aria), the latter choice might come at a cost.
If youíve been on the Vegas Strip anytime in the past year or so thereís a good chance youíve seen that New York-New York has at least one $5 blackjack table open†throughout the day. If things get busy, theyíll open a second. Itís more difficult every day to be a low roller on the Vegas Strip so any $5†game is a welcome sight for many. These tables are†almost always packed with people waiting to get on them.
Unfortunately, these arenít the games for those looking for low-rolling blackjack with good odds. Youíre paid 6:5 when you are dealt blackjack, making returns on this game about three times worse than a traditional game that pays 3:2. You wonít find many games on the Vegas Strip that are under $15 or $25 that pay 3:2. Howevuh, if you're at New York-New York, youíre across the street from one of the best blackjack games on the Strip.
The Strip / Dining / Tom's Urban / New York-New York / Openings / Eating / Restaurants / → All Tags
In a culinary era where many chefs are boasting they specialize in classics with a twist, Tomís Urban at New York-New York really is living up to the claim. With interesting small plates like Lowcountry Shrimp + Grits and Crispy Brussels Sprouts with red peppers and Asian vinaigrette, this fresh, south Strip eatery delivers on its promise of something different. Including the interior which is definitely different and a welcome change from the chain sports bar feel of the previous tenant, Sporting House. The decor features lots of interesting light features, pastel distressed wood and comfortable booths. And, there are still ample TVs in the bar area if you want to catch the game and a cute patio if you prefer dining al fresco.
During a recent media night, we'd heard the Xiangxiang Crispy Duck Wings were great so this writer pushed her cannibalistic qualms aside and decided to eat some not so lucky ducks. The hoisin glaze was a little spicy for my liking, but the flavor was delicious and the wings were tender and juicy. The accompanying Asian peanut slaw was a refreshingly cool complement. The small plate is $13 for four large duck wings.
VIP Vegas / Eating / Dining / Restaurants / Shake Shack / New York-New York / M Life / Players Clubs / → All Tags
Shake Shack is an interesting test of new casino design. The quick-serve burger joint is located in the space at New York-New York that was formerly inhabited by Sporting House and, before that, ESPN Zone. However, you canít access Shake Shack from inside the New York-New York casino like you could before. In time, Shake Shack will be more a part of MGM Resorts' coming "Park" complex†then it will the casino it's attached to.
With that being said, this location of the small burger chain is embedded into MGM Resorts through the M Life program. The top two tiers of M Life, Platinum and Noir, will find their own line. That line was empty on my recent visit to Shake Shack while the "regular people" line has been out the door at times. The M Life line at Shake Shack will probably†be empty most days.
Not the most ideal traffic setups even before construction got underway in 2014 for an arena and a host of new dining experiences, visitors who arrive at New York-New York or Monte Carlo via something other than their own foot power have found they need to be especially aware behind the wheel.
Traffic lanes leading into and out of the resorts have been closed, switched to just one way, or completely moved, depending on where you are. Even the straightaway that was Rue de Monte Carlo now boasts a new serpentine shape as well as a new name, Park Avenue. The new moniker is a nod to the experience still to come which will add new dining spots between the two resorts leading up to the new arena. Some will be attached to the southern side of Monte Carlo, others will be closer to the northern flank of New York-New York.
Shake Shack / The Strip / Openings / New York-New York / Restaurants / In-N-Out Burger / Eating / Dining / → All Tags
Here's the deal: I am from the Los Angeles area, the original home for In-N-Out Burger so knowing that people seem to always compare Shake Shack to In-N-Out had me skeptical. But, if I'm told about a great burger, from anywhere, Iíll try it. So, to Nevada's first Shake Shack I went.
After much anticipation, Shake Shack (originally from the East Coast) graced Las Vegas with its presence on Monday, December 29. Itís located where Sporting House (previously ESPN Zone) used to be at New York-New York, but it cannot be accessed from inside the casino. (Trust me, I tried. And, failed.) It's best to park and walk to the front of New York-New York to find it. Even better is if you're already passing by, on foot, on the Strip.
Eating / Openings / Dining / Restaurants / Smashburger / Caesars Palace / Forum Food Court / Di Fara Pizza / Off The Strip / The Linq / New York-New York / Shake Shack / Tom's Urban / The Strip / → All Tags
Get ready to loosen that belt buckle or slip into some jeggings. Over the next seven days, the Vegas Strip will see the openings of not one but five new dining destinations. From beneath a rocketing roller coaster to inside the real Caesars Palace, all the eateries will be located within just over a mile of each other. Here's a rundown of what's coming when:
Smashburger (Caesars Palace)
Resort Fees / Delano Las Vegas / MGM Resorts / Bellagio / Aria / Mandalay Bay / MGM Grand / The Mirage / Vdara / The Signature at MGM Grand / New York-New York / Monte Carlo / Luxor / Excalibur / Circus Circus / → All Tags
Effective this week, the properties of MGM Resorts will see resort fee increases ranging from an extra two to five dollars a night. Here's how it will all break down:
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Openings / Future Vegas / New York-New York / Shake Shack / Tom's Urban / Restaurants / Dining / Eating / → All Tags
New York-New York is working hard to gift us with two new dining experiences before year's end. Shake Shack, a popular burger and milkshake brand, and Tom's Urban, self-described as a "modern and casual dining concept," have both been tapped for December openings.
We peeked in on the progress of both eateries on Friday and found that while the interiors are still just shells, the exteriors of each are quickly approaching completion. Here's the rendering of a finished Tom's Urban: