What New Attractions to Check Out in Las Vegas This Summer
The opening of new nightclubs (Intrigue at Wynn and Jewel at Aria) and redesigned gambling spaces (Race & Sports Book at Cosmopolitan) make Sin City the perfect playground for Hollywood this Memorial Day weekend (and beyond).
At the opening of last Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards, Britney Spears gave viewers rare snippets of her Las Vegas residency, which she’s throned since 2013. After the kudocast, Jennifer Lopez kicked off the second leg of her Las Vegas residency show with celebrity fans like Jessica Alba and Laverne Cox joining backstage and actors like Alex Pettyfer in the audience. Divas taking over the Strip — including Mariah Carey and Celine Dion, both of whom extended their shows — is trending in Vegas for summer, yet these famous female headliners will share the spotlight with brand-new attractions that continue to make Las Vegas Hollywood’s summer playground.
JETSUITE'S ROUTE FROM LOS ANGELES TO LAS VEGAS
The Transportation Security Authority (TSA) has been in hot water lately for increasingly long security lines (upwards of three hours) and incompetence with passengers, so much so that TSA’s head of security was fired on Tuesday. While airports will still be cursed with long waits over Memorial Day weekend, JetSuite, a private jet charter company, conveniently launched daily direct flights between Los Angeles and Las Vegas on Thursday. JetSuiteX, a public charter service, connects private jet terminal Burbank Bob Hope Airport and a private terminal at McCarran International Airport. Unlike private jets, passengers can book seats rather than the entire plane (rates start at $129 each way on weekdays). JetSuiteX offers luxuriously configured Embraer 135 aircrafts with 30 seats per plane, 36-inch seat pitch, free Wi-Fi and in-flight entertainment. "Airport congestion and worsening security delays have made short-haul air travel sometimes more of a hassle than it’s worth," JetSuite CEO Alex Wilcox said in a statement. "Between 2000 and 2015, L.A. to Las Vegas air travel lost more than one million enplanements to the freeways," he said, meaning more people simply drive to Las Vegas to avoid LAX.
WHERE TO PARTY NEXT
Celebrities like Derek Hough, Jaime King and Anthony Mackie celebrated the grand opening of Tao Group’s Beauty & Essex at Cosmopolitan last week. The debut marks the second location of the New York City pawn shop, restaurant and lounge. The 10,000-square-foot, Rockwell Group-designed space explores jewels in all forms (from pearls and gemstones to vintage jewelry boxes and heirloom pieces), where Bethenny Frankel bought a custom "Beauty" necklace. The culinary program is spearheaded by Chris Santos, a celebrity judge on Food Network’s Chopped, and the new lounge concept will feature late-night DJs. Since its debut, Ciara, Ludacris and Madonna have dined here.
After a 10-year run, Tryst nightclub at Wynn officially closed its doors to rebrand as Intrigue. The space is known particularly for its 100-foot outdoor waterfall cascading down a Steve Wynn-built manmade mountain, where a bar is carved into the rocks. Sixty private tables range from $1,000 to $10,000, and a "club within a club" with Louis Vuitton trunk walls holds 85 VIPs. Rihanna, Vanessa Hudgens, Kate Hudson and Wynn and his wife Andrea celebrated the grand opening last month.
The latest nightclub to open on the Strip, Jewel at Aria celebrated its debut this past weekend with a surprise performance by Drake and appearances by Jamie Foxx and Lil Jon. The 24,000-square-foot, bi-level space includes tiered VIP seating and five VIP themed skybox suites on the mezzanine level.
BET ON THESE NEW WAYS TO GAMBLE
For the first time in 15 years, Nevada Gaming Control will allow sports books in Las Vegas to offer wagering and betting on the Olympic Games. The hottest seat will be at the new Race & Sports Book at Cosmopolitan. The newly redesigned space now located on the casino floor adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip is twice the size of the original and powered by CG Technology with state-of-the-art LED video walls, mobile wagering technology, VIP areas and a 24-hour bar.
The new LAVO Casino Club in partnership with Palazzo is the first venue on the Strip to merge nightlife with gaming. The swanky club now offers a modern gaming experience, fusing Blackjack table games, Baccarat and Craps with Vegas-style VIP bottle service, mixology and Italian cuisine. Joe Manganiello, Mario Lopez and Whiz Khalifa have all dined here since its opening.
CELEBRITY CHEFS SET NEW STANDARDS
Las Vegas is a bastion of celebrity-chef restaurants, and famous faces are coming to the Strip for the first time. After a 20-year anti-Vegas stance, New York City’s Danny Meyer finally opened Shake Shack at New York New York last year with a third location at the new T-Mobile Arena last month.
Popular breakfast joint Eggslut in Los Angeles recently opened at Cosmopolitan, which also will see David Cheng’s Momofuku open this fall. Renowned Japanese chef Masaharu Morimoto will open Morimoto Las Vegas this fall at MGM Grand, and Robert Irvine, chef and host of Food Network's Restaurant: Impossible, will debut a restaurant at Tropicana in 2017.
This story was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter on May 27, 2016.
Featured photo of Beauty & Essex Las Vegas; courtesy of the hotel.