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Best of Dan Ippolito

Gaming Guru

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Top 10 newest resort casinos in Las Vegas

25 May 2020

On 15 May, the city of Las Vegas celebrated its 115th birthday.

Usually, Sin City wouldn’t be a ghost town on its birthday, but due to the strange times we are currently in, it was pretty empty with everything still shut down. That being said, we are getting closer to the reopening of Las Vegas casinos and resorts.

When Las Vegas finally does welcome back guests, it will feel like a bunch of new resorts opening up since it has been over two months since anyone has stepped foot in them. America’s Playground has seen many resorts opening up in its 115 years, so here we take a look at the most recent openings of resorts.

10. Bellagio – 1998
On 15 October 1998, Bellagio opened its doors on the Las Vegas Strip for the first time. The $1.6 billion property was produced by Steve Wynn and is now operated by MGM Resorts International.
Back on its opening day, Bellagio hosted an opening ceremony that had a reported cost of $88 million. The opening night kicked off with a speech from Wynn, followed by the Cirque du Soleil production “O.”

With nearly 4,000 rooms and over 100,000 square-feet of gaming space, the Bellagio has plenty to offer guests.

The Fountains, which hold 22 million gallons of water, are a “must-see” for Las Vegas visitors (try the bar at Eiffel Tower for a perfect view). The Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are free to enter and feature 14,000 square-feet of stunning sights and colors of the season.


9. Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino – 1999
Here’s another MGM Resorts International property that followed the Bellagio opening about five months later on 2 March 1999.

At its grand opening, Mandalay Bay, located on the far south end of the Strip, had the Broadway musical Chicago performed, which ran at the property for a year.

Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino features 3,209 rooms with the Delano as one of its towers.

One of the big attractions at Mandalay Bay is the “beach.” Mandalay Beach has three heated pools that sit over 11 acres. Also, in that area is a wave pool and a lazy river.

8. The Venetian Las Vegas – 1999
On 3 May 1999, Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas Sands opened The Venetian Las Vegas with white doves flying in the air.

The property is already accepting reservations for 1 June in anticipation of a return.

When you first walk up to the doors at The Venetian, the gondola rides catch your attention, and rightfully so. Guests can take an indoor or outdoor ride to see the views of the property and nearby resorts.

Last summer, the resort introduced a new design to its pool deck. The addition of 10 well-appointed premium poolside cabanas provide over-the-top amenities, some of which feature private plunge pools.

7. Paris Las Vegas – 1999
Caesars Entertainment’s Paris Las Vegas opened on 1 September 1999.

The redesigned rooms at the resort are just one of the many reasons why Paris is a great place to stay.

Another attraction is Beer Park. Guests, sports fans and lovers of yard games will be itching to get back to the rooftop bar once it is able to welcome them in.

With 75 TVs, it is tough to find a spot where you can’t see your desired game. Along with watching the game, guests can place wagers at Beer Park as well as through kiosks.

6. The Palms Casino Resort – 2001
The first resort to open in Las Vegas in the 21st century was Palms Casino Resort, welcoming its first guests on 15 November 2001.

This off-strip resort just past The Rio is home to some of the most expensive suites in the world, the Sky Villas and Fantasy Suites. There is a two-story Sky Villa that can get up to $40,000 per night.

Last summer, Palms Casino Resort completed its $690 million expansion, including The Spa and The Salon.

The three-level alternative bohemian oasis is equipped with fifteen unique spa treatment rooms, four skin care studios, two couples treatment suites, a eucalyptus steam room, sauna and water lounge and coed social lounge. In addition, the connected salon and fitness areas overlook KAOS, the day and night club.

5. Wynn Las Vegas - 2005
On 28 April 2005, the bronze $2.7 billion resort named after Steve Wynn became a part of the Las Vegas Strip.

Earlier this year, Wynn Las Vegas was named the largest five-star resort in the world. Wing Lei at Wynn Las Vegas remains the only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Chinese restaurant in North America, achieving the honor for the fourth consecutive year.

Golf fans were thrilled with Wynn Las Vegas last year as the Wynn Golf Club returned with a new course by Tom Fazio.

That wasn’t the only sports amenity that was improved in the last few years. In 2017, the Las Vegas property renovated its race and sportsbook.

4. The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino – 2007
Just in time for New Year’s Eve in 2007, The Palazzo opened its luxury hotel and casino right next to The Venetian Las Vegas on 30 December. It was supposed to open two days earlier, but a delay in the permit process held the opening for a couple of days.

Combined with The Venetian Las Vegas it is the second-largest complex in the world and features only suites, which start at 720-square-feet per room.

The Palazzo and Venetian are home to the Grand Canal Shoppes which include some of the biggest names such as Ralph Lauren and Barneys New York and an array of restaurants branded with the some of the best chefs in the world.

3. Encore Resort – 2008
On 22 December 2008, Wynn Las Vegas got a big boost when the Encore Resort opened.

Like its sister casino, and unlike most casinos everywhere else, real sunlight can be found in Encore's casino.

Last year, the two casinos claimed the top two spots as the best casinos in the U.S., according to Business Insider's analysis of TripAdvisor's guest reviews.

One of the biggest attractions at Encore is the Encore Beach Club, a great place for Wynn guests to enjoy the poll and party scene. People can hit up the pool and enjoy performances from stars such as David Guetta and The Chainsmokers.

The 40,000-square-foot pool deck is available for guests to rent out for private parties, or reserve a table during a pool party.

2. Aris Resort & Casino – 2009
Aria Resort & Casino is the casino in the CityCenter complex of Las Vegas. I am excited to say that I will be staying at this resort, which opened on 16 December 2009, in August.

With just north of 4,000 rooms, the hotel at the Aria landed at the 58th spot in the top 100 hotels in the U.S., according to the 10th edition of U.S. News & World Report’s list.

The sole casino in the CityCenter complex boasts 150,000 square-feet of gaming space that features slots, table games, and a race and sportsbook.

1. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas – 2010
The most recent resort opening in Las Vegas, and the lone opening of the decade, belongs to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. It welcomes guests in for the first time ten days before Christmas in 2010.

Known as The Cosmo, the $3.9 billion resort has 3,033 rooms and has seen some renovations take place within the last two years.

In 2018, The Cosmopolitan completed the remodel of all of the rooms. Last year, The Cosmopolitan launched its new and improved Wi-Fi network, offering complimentary, premium Wi-Fi access to all hotel and non-hotel guests. The new system provides the fastest network available on the Strip to hotel guests, with nearly unlimited download speeds in excess of 100mbps.

Also, in 2019, hotel guests started to receive complimentary self and valet parking inclusive of The Cosmopolitan’s $39 resort fee. If you are at the top of the guest list, the resort will offer private jet service for its elite casino clientele.
Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at daniel@casinocity.com, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.
Dan Ippolito
As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at daniel@casinocity.com, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.