Las Vegas’ 2012 Offerings

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Bellagio has undergone a similar $70 million remodel project highlighted by an overhaul of its 2,568 rooms in vibrant, three-color schemes and outfitting them with modern amenities such as iHome docking stations and centralized media hubs to accommodate electronic devices.

The Flamingo, the original Las Vegas Strip casino founded in 1946 by Bugsy Siegel, has undergone as many transformations as the city itself. By May it will have renovated 2,307 rooms and, last September, a massive amount of unused public space was redone into a $10 million Margaritaville casino expansion, connecting the Margaritaville restaurant with the rest of the property.

The Flamingo also plans to remodel two-thirds of the Strip resort’s 3,500 hotel rooms as part of an overall renovation which will become a gateway for the planned $550 million Project Linq development. The Linq is The Strip’s answer to the Fremont Street Experience. This $500 million project will transform part of The Strip into a sprawling non-gaming outdoor complex housing bars, restaurants, and shops. Its centerpiece will be a 550-ft. tall observation wheel, the High Roller, patterned after the London Eye with 28 units that can each hold 40 people. The ride will last 30 minutes and will cost $20.

Across from Mandalay Bay, an amusement park has already broken ground. It will also include a 500-ft. wheel and is expected to open next spring.

the LGBT market

The city also has not failed to take notice of its popularity among gay and lesbian visitors, a hefty segment of the Las Vegas travel market.

A decade ago, the Luxor and MGM Resorts International broke ground by becoming the first resort groups in the city to cater to LGBT visitors. According to tourism figures, more than 83,000 room nights were booked for LGBT functions. According to Mya Reyes, LVCVA’s director of diversity marketing, “The LGBT traveler is one of the customers that just makes sense,” adding that gay couples generally have a higher disposable income than traditional couples, have no responsibility for children and also take more vacations.

She explains that they choose Las Vegas over other destinations because, like other visitors, they are attracted to the world-class entertainment, dining, shopping, endless nightlife and wealth of luxury accommodations. As a result, many high-end venues are opening their doors to the LGBT segment. The Revolution at The Mirage, for example, is a Beatles-themed bar that holds a “Closet Night” every Sunday for “boys who like boys and their girlfriends.” Krave, meanwhile, in the middle of the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood is the only gay nightclub on The Strip and its success has served as the template for others.