Las Vegas began to morph back into a bargain destination city in the last quarter of 2008 (and this trend is ongoing indefinitely
in 2009) . The severity and depth of the economic downturn prompted many of the gaming properties to send out enticing
offers to encourage patronage in late 2008 and into this year . The depressed economy ranks as the most notable and felt
change for Vegas and it's visitors in 2008. Other notable changes follow.
- Massive and extensive delays in assorted corporate property expansion / construction projects due to..well..less cash.
- Criss Angel's "Believe" Cirque show debuted at Luxor ; I haven't seen it but most reviews are less than sterling.
- Other new / opening show venues included Bette Midler and Cher at Caesar's, Donny and Marie at Flamingo, Jersey Boys at
Palazzo, and Terry Fator (a ventriloquist) at Mirage; long-time Vegas performer Danny Gans announced he was moving to the
Encore (buddy Steve Wynn's new spectacle) from the long-standing Mirage venue.
- New hotel - casinos that opened in 2008 include Palazzo, Encore, Palms Place, Trump International, Alliante Station , and
the Eastside Cannery.
- The old Frontier hotel was imploded in November.
- The Monte Carlo Hotel caught fire and was closed for two weeks .
- Newly opened restaurants include AGO, Sinatra's , Restaurant Charlie, Carnevino by Mario Batali, Table 10 by Emeril, Botero
Steak, and Simon.
- Shows and attractions that closed were the Star Trek Experience at the Hilton (now scheduled to reopen at the downtown
Neonopolis site ), Spamalot, and the Departure of Trent Carlini as a headlining Elvis impersonator at the Sahara.
- Pool clubs became hot commodities in 2008 ; there was a hefty increase in the adults-only pool venues where patrons lounged and swam ..well..naked. I'm attempting to schedule some on - site analysis of these during one of my seasonally appropriate trips in 2009 if I can find the means to distract the wife long enough.
- New and improved pools opened at Flamingo, Palms, and MGM Grand.
- Celebrity hair stylist salons increased significantly in 2008 ; I'm not sure why.
The Guardian: U.S.
1 week ago