Poker Blog

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wheels Down in Vegas

Landed in Vegas on Thursday afternoon, just Ling and I, and about a 100 poker bloggers from all over North America for a weekend of gambling, entertainment, and oh yeah…a wedding. We got our luggage and took a taxi to the Luxor, where I have 2 nights comped, and 1 night at the casino rate of $48. We came down on Continental frequent flyer miles, so this will be a very cheap 4-day getaway.

Luxor Las Vegas.

Can’t really say I like the new interior. I guess it appeals to some people, I think it’s a little monotone in color, everything is grey now. They have abandoned the Egyptian theme inside to go with LA hipster. I guess to draw in more people to their LAX nightclub. It doesn’t work; I mean your hotel is a pyramid…go with the theme.

Fortunately, I am able to overlook the dreary design since its free. We hit the craps table and played for about an hour…left up $25. We then headed over to the MGM Grand for lunch, worked our way up the strip to the Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood. Spent a long time shopping and wondering around the re-vamped property.

Unlike the Luxor….they got this makeover right. The Aladdin was plastic and plaster and cavernous. The casino ceiling was 3 stories tall and you felt like the decorations were taken off an old Disney ride from the 50’s.

The new Planet Ho is hip and modern. Light fixtures rotate through colors and hang from the ceiling to give the illusion you are in a room instead of a cave. Listen to Steve Friess interview Planet Hollywood CEO Robert Earl on The Strip Podcast and talk about the new design and if they purposely left the marquee as Planet Ho for a few days during construction.

Outside, we took a few shots of the CityCenter construction site. CityCenter is a joint venture between MGM Mirage and Dubai World, and according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Aria will serve as the core of CityCenter, which has 18 million square feet of public space and is considered the largest privately financed development in the United States. Aria will have CityCenter's only gaming space."

"The three nongaming hotels are the Mandarin Oriental, Harmon Hotel and Vdara. Veer Towers is CityCenter's only strictly residential building. The Crystals is a 500,000-square-foot retail, dining and entertainment district. Aria will also house a Cirque du Soleil theater that will host a production show based on the music of Elvis Presley. The hotel will also display portions of CityCenter's planned $40 million public arts program."

"MGM Mirage officials are extending Harmon Avenue from its yet-to-open Interstate 15 overpass through the development, creating Harmon Circle, a raised roadway with off-ramps into Vdara and Aria. Harmon will continue underneath as an east-west connector. An aboveground people mover system will connect Aria with Bellagio and Monte Carlo."

We had planned on meeting up with the other bloggers at the Imperial Palace Geisha Bar, but we were tired and hungry, and the IP culinary options weren't very appealing so we hopped on the deuce, and headed back to Luxor for dinner and an early crash.


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