Spending lots of time on the Las Vegas Strip sure can warp your perspective. Drifting around the Harmon Corner—the tightly-packed, three-story retail center on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard, across from Cosmopolitan—my initial response is very simple: This is odd. It’s like someone squashed a mall into a sardine can. But that’s not such a crazy idea … maybe it’s totally normal, a place to take a break from Strip-walking, buy a cheap souvenir, grab a bite or a beer and maybe find out if the Goretorium is as scary as it looks.
The Harmon Corner hasn’t been around long, seemingly appearing out of nowhere last year. It’s a small space—a little over two acres, a weird triangle of land. Developer Brett Torino, who previously assembled the Hawaiian Marketplace center on the other side of Harmon, bought the corner lot in 2010 for $25 million. Speculators thought he was crazy, but he’s getting the last laugh. The pedestrian bridge between Cosmo/CityCenter and the Planet Hollywood resort is one of the highest-trafficked points on the Strip, and it feeds right into Harmon Corner. We’re talking more than 100,000 people streaming by, every day.
The anchor is a massive two-story Walgreens, which became one of the most profitable Walgreens stores in the country after being open for just a few months last summer. Also at ground level are a two-story McDonald’s, a 24-hour Tropical Smoothie Café, Bonannos pizza (where you can have sit-down service or just grab a quick slice), the shoe-and-bag store CityLife USA and a few mall-style street kiosks.
There’s more once you enter the second floor, the check-in spot for Goretorium, Rockin’ Taco, big themed restaurants Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Twin Peaks, some more gift shops and kiosks, a camera store and a Panda Express. Of course, there’s an Evening Call bar, serving up those frozen boozy slushies, and, coming soon, hot dog joint Manhattan Streets.
The cherry on top is the real reason you already know about Harmon Corner—the 60-foot-tall, 306-foot-wide, full-motion LED video screen, blasting impossible-to-miss high-definition advertising into your face 24 hours a day. The curved screen is longer than a football field and roughly 27 times the size of your average highway billboard. Talk about sensory overload.
Overall, Harmon Corner is all about convenience, providing some easy and fun amenities for Las Vegas visitors. Nothing weird about that.