[The Incidental Tourist]

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas marks 10 years by celebrating guests and essential workers

The Cosmopolitan
Photo: Steve Marcus

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas opened on December 15, 2010, and since then, more than 100 million people have walked through its doors. That’s according to a list of superlatives released this week as the resort kicks off a yearlong celebration of hitting its 10-year mark. Here’s another good one: 43 million have dined at Cosmo’s 26 restaurants.

I couldn’t possibly keep count of how many times I’ve walked through those doors or even how many meals I’ve had there over the past decade, but I’ve definitely contributed quite a bit to those numbers. So have many of my friends who also live here in Las Vegas. It might be anecdotal evidence, but it’s something we all know to be true: The Cosmopolitan is one of the, if not the, top choice Strip hangout for locals.

The Chandelier

It started early for me. I vividly recall my first visit during the first week of January 2011. I still have photos in my phone from a stroll through the resort, especially the views and the relaxed vibe of the rooftop pool deck and a late-afternoon lunch at China Poblano, José Andrés’ delicious mashup of Chinese and Mexican cuisines. Tacos, dim sum and spicy red pozole, all in one meal. My wife and I were back in a matter of days to try the now-infamous “secret” pizzeria, feed money into the whimsical Art-O-Mat machines and sample cocktails at the swanky Chandelier and Vesper bars.

Two things locked it down for us. The first was a series of performances by Nikka Costa at the former Book & Stage lounge, where Clique Lounge now occupies space near the hotel lobby. We essentially did the same thing two nights in a row on the Strip, which probably hadn’t happened ever before. Book & Stage didn’t last long, but it was an emblem of the spontaneous fun

that Cosmo has always provided so efficiently and creatively, and that’s what hitting the Strip is all about.

The second factor that enshrined the Cosmopolitan in our Vegas hearts was and is the simple fact that we always meet our friends there, sometimes intentionally but more often by accident. That phenomenon turns a cool, fancy Strip casino resort into a neighborhood bar, a place where you can always go to socialize or relax but where you also feel you belong. It’s almost impossible to create that feeling for locals on the Strip, yet I know I’m not the only one who’s felt that way at the Cosmopolitan.

It’s all very deserving of a celebration, and the way it’s being done is also pretty cool. They held a 72-hour flash sale on hotel rooms and special blowout anniversary packages including accommodations at the exclusive Boulevard Penthouses, butler service, private jet transport and custom shopping experiences. There’s also the “Decade of Mischief” social media contest launching January 15 offering travelers a chance to win a room package or a $250 resort gift card by sharing favorite Cosmo memories. And commemorative dishes and specialty menus will be available all year long at venues including Beauty & Essex, Blue Ribbon, the Barbershop, China Poblano, Jaleo and Momofuku, with a portion of proceeds going to the Las Vegas Rescue Mission.

The Cosmopolitan is also asking the community to help identity local front-line workers who have selflessly served others in 2020. Nominations can be made at cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/decade-of-mischief through February 28, and winners will be notified in April, including 10 who will receive a $1,600 hotel room and dining package and one grand prize winner who will receive a multiday, $50,000 experience including a penthouse, a night at Marquee, a helicopter tour and more.

“The Cosmopolitan opened its doors in a time where the world questioned how Las Vegas would bounce back from an economic downturn,” William McBeath, president and chief executive officer, said in an anniversary announcement. “Now … [it] has accomplished what many thought to be impossible, and that is in credit to the longstanding loyalty and devotion of our employees and guests. It’s an honor to be woven into the legacy of this strong and resilient community. And while Las Vegas finds itself in yet another hardship, together, we will continue to defy the odds.”

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An award-winning writer who has been documenting life in Las Vegas for more than 20 years, Brock Radke covers live ...

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