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Closings / The Crystals / CityCenter / Aria / Starbucks / Coffee / Roasted Bean / → All Tags
Recently, CityCenter debuted three new Starbucks and one was just a short escalator ride away from The Cup. (It replaced the closed Pods by Wolfgang Puck.) Another Starbucks opened inside Aria (where you can find the Roasted Bean as well) while a third now can be found alongside the Strip, just in front of Mandarin Oriental.
And, that's not counting the Starbucks you can find next door at Monte Carlo. Or, the coffee you can order up at the Jean Philippe Patisseries you can find inside both Aria and Bellagio. Or, the cup of Joe you can grab at Va Bene Caffe inside The Cosmo. Or...
(PHOTO: @daynaroselli on Twitter)
Openings / Aria / Chapels / Weddings / CityCenter / → All Tags
When Aria opened in 2009, it did so without something that had become a standard amenity within Vegas resorts -- a wedding chapel. Whatever the thinking, the CityCenter hotel-casino must have tired of seeing couples in love spend wedded bliss
and dough elsewhere because it built, and recently opened, a chapel of its own.
The Wedding Chapel at Aria was culled from convention space, but despite coming several years after the resort, looks as if it's been there all along. Located on the first floor of the convention center, an oversized frosted glass window, two dark-colored wooden doors and a simple plaque provide a discreet facade for the 2,750-square-foot venue hidden away from sight.
Stepping inside reveals a small, yet elegant reception area as well as a meeting room for planning sessions, both adorned in neutral hues. The understated decor subtly impresses through a chic mix of textures and patterns rather than too bright colors and trite floral designs. (Although, we did fall in love with the vivid, amethyst-colored light fixtures floating overhead that reminded us of jewels.)
Just beyond these rooms are the chapel's biggest selling points, contemporary his and her spaces for the bride and groom. For him, a room dominated by a pool table. For her, a plush boudoir filled with plenty of seating and, likely more importantly, plenty of mirrors. Another big plus? There is only one wedding hall (the muted design continues here with touches of cream, beige and mauve) meaning you won't bump into other couples nor need to compete for attention. Your union will be the sole focus while you are there. Photos of all the spaces can be found in the gallery below.
Pylon Wars / Marquees / Aria / Construction / → All Tags
But, seriously folks, since last October we've been lovingly documenting the rise of CityCenter's long-awaited super sign. A mere 250 foot tall, 65 feet wide, 11 million pixel, tiny LED light flashing monster. Actually, we were the only local outlet to do so. It just seemed obvious to us this would become a real attention grabber.
Boxing / Aria / Mandalay Bay / The Mirage / Monte Carlo / New York-New York / MGM Grand / Grand Garden Arena / → All Tags
The first weekend in May has been one of the great weekends in Las Vegas for years. The Vegas Strip is always a little more electric when there's a big fight (MMA or boxing), but when you combine that with the Kentucky Derby and Cinco De Mayo, you have a recipe for awesome.
This year's big fight is between Floyd Mayweather and Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 4. The fight isn't sold out just yet, but you won't find any tickets available under $600 on Ticketmaster.
Eating / Dining / The Buffet at Aria / Aria / CityCenter / → All Tags
Most diners are fortunate enough to eat whatever they want, whenever they want. Others, though, need to intensely study menus and quiz wait staff before anything can be enjoyed.
For this Chatter'er, having a mom and two sisters with Celiac disease -- and one of those sisters dealt the double whammy of also being lactose intolerant -- has made me especially aware of just how hard it can be to eat gluten and dairy free in Las Vegas. Dining experiences that are often made even more trying when a server gives you a blank stare when you inquire about gluten-free options (as happened to us at downtown's Eat). Or, made surprisingly refreshing when the waitress not only knows what you're talking about, but can rattle off appropriate items without looking at the menu (as what happened to us at the now shuttered Rattlecan).
Shopping / Name Changes / Aria / CityCenter / The Crystals / → All Tags
Recently, Crystals started to quietly roll out a new, updated, let-us-spell-it-out-for-you rebranding that centers around an expanded name -- The Shops at Crystals. The high-end shopping
center mecca has also ditched a CityCenter location reference for an Aria name check, instead. Perhaps, due to a sign from above?
To further tip folks off who are unsure of what a Crystals is, there's a new ad campaign being put into place (as pictured above) and Crystals' social media channels have been updated as well. You'll now find them listed as The Shops at Crystals on Facebook and TheShops at Crystals on Twitter. (Although, both website addresses and the official Twitter handle still refer to CrystalsLV.) Crystals' website, crystalsatcitycenter.com, is likely the next in line for a change.
(Images: SK+G Public Relations on Facebook, @CrystalsLV on Twitterc)
Gambling / Survival Strategies / Budget Vegas / Luxor / Excalibur / New York-New York / Bally's / Harrah's / Treasure Island / Circus Circus / Riviera / Stratosphere / Aria / The Cosmopolitan / Craps / Blackjack / Roulette / → All Tags
The closure of Bill's Gambling Hall makes Casino Royale one of the last low roller casinos remaining on The Strip. Whether you want $1 beer or you're in the mood for a Cinnabon or if you just want to play $5 craps, Casino Royale has it all. While many casinos on The Strip offer poor odds for most casino games, Casino Royale has some of the best inexpensive gaming. That said, they're not the only place you can gamble for cheap, nowadays.
You won't find low roller limits on The Strip at newer casinos like Aria or Cosmopolitan, but you will find $5 and $10 blackjack at a variety of other casinos up and down The Strip. Availability on these games depend on the day and time you visit, but $5 or $10 blackjack can be had at Luxor, Excalibur, New York-New York, Bally's, Harrah's, Treasure Island, Circus Circus, Riviera and the Stratosphere.
Construction / CityCenter / Aria / Vegas Signs / Pylon War / Pedestrians / Walk This Way / → All Tags
Time to check in on a few Strip construction projects we've been monitoring. And, all within a stone's throw of each other.
First, the elevator outside of Harmon Corner that will head down to Planet Hollywood and the PBR Rock Bar. If you’ve ever walked around here you'll know it's been an unnecessary pain to travel in the opposite direction if you want to head downstairs. Trust us. If you are at this section of the Strip when it's crazy busy, you’ve probably cursed the architects. Well, back in August they started building a $2 million escalator to fix the congestion. And, to our surprise, it’s really close to finishing. Looks good to us. And, in a related note -- yes, it took two million dollars to build an escalator.
Weddings / Chapels / Openings / Aria / CityCenter / → All Tags
Google is filled with images of couples in love (and in full bridal regalia) around CityCenter. But, while they've been the picture of wedded bliss, they could never actually wed in a true chapel there. Neither Aria, nor Vdara, nor Mandarin Oriental offer one. Well, at least until April when Aria will debut one.
The appropriately named Wedding Chapel at Aria will be culled from meeting space and situated on the first floor of the resort's convention center. There will be only one chapel meaning only one marriage will happen at a time. A good thing for brides who don't want to share the spotlight. The venue will be capable of accommodating up to 60 guests and will feature special retreats for bride and groom:
EDC / Electric Daisy Carnival / Hotel Rates / Gold Spike / El Cortez / Artisan / Circus Circus / Orleans / Riviera / Hooters / Stratosphere / Golden Nugget / SpringHill Suites / Luxor / MGM Grand / Aria / Bellagio / → All Tags
Even though Electric Daisy Carnival isn't until the end of June (June 21-23), hotel rates are already significantly higher than they were for EDC this time last year.
If you're planning on attending this year's party, be sure to act quick! We've collected the initial rates below from some of the hotels we recommended last year. EDC also did everyone a solid when they partnered with a few of the bigger hotels, including Luxor, New York-New York, MGM Grand, Aria, and the Bellagio. You can check the discounted rates here. As of now, some of them are cheaper than the hotels below. For example, Circus Circus is cheaper if you go through the EDC website at $87/night, and a room at the Luxor is $135/night.
By the way, three-day passes to EDC are still available. They're priced at $500 for those over 21. Single day admissions aren't being offered this year, but a lay-a-way plan is!
Golf / Aria / Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational / Shadow Creek / MGM Resorts / Michael Jordan / Golfing / Golf Courses / Events / → All Tags
Celebrities for this year's event haven't been announced yet, but the short list of famous people that played the MJCI in the past is quite impressive. Sports legends include Wayne Gretzky, Charles Barkley, Mario Lemieux and Julius “Dr. J” Erving while entertainment personalities have been highlighted by Mark Wahlberg, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell and Don Cheadle.
Aria / Drinking / Haze / Nightclubs / → All Tags
With the teams now set and the tilt just around the corner, Haze Nightclub at Aria has announced a Big Game party on Thursday night at which they will give away an all-inclusive trip to New Orleans for the Super Bowl to the "Most Valuable Partier."
Save your dance moves, dudes, as it's not your swag that will determine your fate -- it's your female following. The prize goes to the person who brings the biggest group of ladies to the club, and we can't decide what's a better payout: The trip to New Orleans itself or the self-esteem boost that will undoubtedly come along with having the most ladies at your side in the City of Sin.