Impossible to miss, the High Roller observation wheel is getting all the attention these days, and its adjoining pathway of restaurants, bars and shops—the Linq—will open new stuff in a matter of days. But another development is taking shape on the south Strip, changing the face of two well-known casino-resorts.
The Brooklyn Bridge at New York-New York is all new, its water replaced by white brick and cobblestone walkways. Construction is moving quickly on Hershey’s Chocolate World, set to open in the spring. A charming new patio for the Nine Fine Irishmen pub is up and running, and so are gift shop Stupid Idiotic, Swatch and Starbucks, all of them pulling traffic from Las Vegas Boulevard into the casino.
An empty lot running along the access street between NY-NY and Monte Carlo will be the site of Las Vegas’ first Shake Shack hamburger joint and other shops leading back to MGM Resorts’ planned $350 million arena, which will break ground this summer. Across that street, Monte Carlo’s Strip frontage has been remade so it feels less like Monaco and more like a park in a mountain town, thanks to pine tree-topped, rock-covered fountains. The boisterous Diablo’s Cantina will soon be joined by ice cream at BLVD Creamery, coffee at Sambalatte, pizza at 800 Degrees, hip Japanese cuisine at Yusho and saloon-style antics at Double Barrel Roadhouse, set to open March 7.
There are some obvious similarities to the Linq, if you sub an arena for a wheel. But MGM has one obvious advantage—all this stuff is right on the Strip, right in your face, impossible to miss.