You don’t have to wait until 2020 to see major changes at some major Las Vegas hotel-casino properties.
The Palms, opened on West Flamingo Road in 2001, was purchased by Station Casinos in 2016 for $312 million and is undergoing a $620 million renovation. Wholesale changes and improvements include an update of room decor, a complete refreshing of the casino floor, brand-new restaurants and a reactivation of the former Rain club and pool space by the Tao Group. Last month saw the unveiling of the first phase of changes and the opening of Scotch 80 Prime steakhouse, Camden Cocktail Lounge, the Unknown bar and—replacing Ghostbar—the Apex Social Club on the 55th floor. The Palms also refurbished the Pearl Theater concert hall and kicked off a 2018 residency from pop-punk band Blink-182. Still to come are restaurants from renowned chefs Bobby Flay, Michael Symon and Marc Vetri.
The Stratosphere was purchased last fall by Golden Entertainment in an $850 million deal (that also included three other properties), and the operator of the PT’s Pub chain has big plans for the iconic tower and casino resort originally opened in 1996 by Bob Stupak. The first phase, a $32 million project to be completed this year, will update more than 300 hotel rooms, introduce a new brewery and gastropub concept and open a new lounge that will broadcast live shots from the top of the tower on the main casino floor. It will also make upgrades to the sports book and observation deck on level 108, along with the exterior of the building and landscaping. Future phases will focus on the casino floor, relocate the Starbucks and replace it with another new restaurant, refresh the rest of the Strat’s guest rooms, update the Top of the World restaurant and the showroom on the mezzanine level, and add new meeting and convention space.
And the Hard Rock Hotel just east of the Strip was purchased by billionaire Richard Branson and his partners—including Bosworth Hospitality and the hotel’s new CEO Richard Bosworth—in March, and plans call for the 23-year-old resort to be converted into a Virgin Hotels property by the end of 2019. Details have not been released, but the new ownership plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to renovate, remodel and re-brand.