Call it the Eastern Empire. From Planet Hollywood to Harrah’s, Caesars Entertainment owns pretty much everything on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard. They’re making things happen, too, in construction on the LINQ project and the coming conversion of Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall into a boutique property.
But one of these casinos is not like the others. Boring Bally’s is badly in need of refreshment, especially considering its prominence on the prime Flamingo corner and potential positive flow with other Caesars properties. Well, change is coming soon: The Grand Bazaar Shops are slated to replace the kitschy-spacey moving sidewalks that front Bally’s, possibly opening a year from now.
Picture hundreds of tiny vendors, not unlike Seattle’s Pike Place or the diverse street markets in major European and Asian cities. They’ll sell high-end and low-end apparel, jewelry, art, cosmetics, touristy trinkets and unique food, with entertainment mixed throughout. Developers are already leasing spaces, some of which will be as small as 10 feet by 10 feet.
A pop-up mall on the Strip? Sounds like the perfect fit for an under-utilized space at an overlooked casino. If we weren’t still digging our way out of this recession pit, a project like this probably would have happened months or years ago.