In ever-evolving Las Vegas, you can expect the city to look different next year. The NFL’s Raiders will be moving in (sorry, Oakland) and Gordon Ramsay’s sixth restaurant will open along the Strip. Here’s a look at what’s to come, starting with two must-sees set to launch just before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Viva Vision at the Fremont Street Experience
Prepare to be wowed by the light show on the five-block canopy in downtown Vegas that will break out a brighter-than-ever screen capable of displaying 3-D graphics. The $32-million video screen, touted as the world’s largest, will light up starting at 10 p.m. Viva Vision is free, except on New Year’s Eve, when admission to the Fremont Street Experience costs $35. Info: Viva Vision
The Mayfair Supper Club at Bellagio
Part dinner, part show, the Mayfair will merge your meal with entertainment. “The show is not just onstage; it’s in the entire space,” says Dennis Jauch, cofounder of No Ceilings Entertainment. “You have dancers and singers walking around you.” The company is reviving the supper club concept nearly 100 years after it was a hit in Harlem during the Roaring ’20s. Backed by an eclectic mix of jazz, disco, rock and house music, even servers and bartenders will be part of the act. Info: Mayfair Supper Club
Flat-rate taxi fares to and from the airport
Taxi companies in Vegas will launch flat-rate fares between McCarran International Airport and resorts along the Strip. During peak travel times when ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft may tack on surcharges, cabs won’t add a single cent. It’s a six-month experiment that, if successful, could be extended by state regulators, which oversee taxi fares.
Kamu Ultra Karaoke at the Grand Canal Shoppes
Want to sing your heart out karaoke-style without the embarrassment of everyone listening? The coming Kamu Ultra Karaoke lounge will have 40 private karaoke rooms for wannabe vocalists. You can choose from a catalog of thousands of chart-topping songs from around the world. Guests have the option to stream their performances through Bluetooth and WiFi. Info: Kamu Karaoke
New Mexican restaurant at the Wynn Las Vegas
Chef Enrique Olvera will bring contemporary Mexican flavors to Wynn Las Vegas with a new eatery, whose name won’t be announced until January. The restaurant follows in the footsteps of his existing Pujol in Mexico City, often ranked among the world’s finest restaurants. The new spot will fill the space occupied for six years by Andrea’s, which featured pan-Asian cuisine. It closed in September. Olvera also has been poised to open side-by-side restaurants in L.A.’s Arts District with Daniela Soto-Innes: Damian, serving à la carte Californian-Mexican cuisine, and Ditroit, an all-day taqueria serving mostly vegetable tacos. Info: Wynn Las Vegas
Just a few minutes’ drive from the Strip, this indoor and outdoor arts, dining and entertainment venue hopes to become one of Vegas’ top destinations. Why? Its top tenant is Meow Wolf, the quirky interactive and immersive art meld in Santa Fe, N.M. Meow Wolf plans to up the ante in Vegas with a larger, more dynamic venue. “It’s an immersive, alternative reality that is magical and whimsical and explorable,” says founder Vince Kadlubek. “It will be an incredible storytelling experience. It will be an insane, shocking experience. It will be one of the coolest indoor playgrounds you’ve ever experienced.” Area 15 is rising along Rancho Drive about 10 minutes from the Strip.
The Vegas version of West Hollywood’s swanky supper club will open at Wynn Las Vegas. The current site features classic entrees such as roasted chicken, veal chop marsala, salmon en croute and baby back ribs.
The new arena under construction will feature a retractable roof and will serve as home to the Las Vegas Raiders and the Runnin’ Rebels football team at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The NFL’s schedule won’t be determined until spring, but the Rebels are set to square off against the California Golden Bears on Aug. 29. The stadium is just across the 15 Freeway from Mandalay Bay.
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Restaurateur and TV celebrity Gordon Ramsay will launch a sixth Las Vegas location with the arrival of Lucky Cat. He opened a restaurant of the same name earlier this year in London. “Lucky Cat is a beautiful, authentic, 1970s-type Japanese restaurant,” Ramsay says. “It’s got a beautiful raw bar and an amazing grill [and] a beautiful open-plan kitchen that is just electrifying. … A lot of chefs turn up once a year or once every 18 months. I’m here 12 to 14 times a year.” Ramsay has yet to announce Lucky Cat’s Vegas location.
Look for Virgin Hotels to open late in the year on the site currently occupied by the Hard Rock Hotel. That resort will close Feb. 3 to allow for a complete overhaul before being rebranded. It will be marketed as part of Hilton’s Curio Collection.
It will become downtown Las Vegas’ first newly built hotel in 40 years, with 777 rooms on 44 floors, claiming the title of the tallest hotel north of the Strip. It will occupy an entire square block and feature six pools, including a multitiered rooftop one with an amphitheater. A massive sports book and installation in the lobby of the vintage Vegas Vickie sign (which reigned over Fremont Street since 1980) also are planned. “There’s an awful lot of public demand for new product in Las Vegas,” says Chief Executive Derek Stevens, who already owns downtown’s Golden Gate and The D hotels.