Resorts World Las Vegas opens to fanfare

The grand opening of Resorts World on the Las Vegas Strip is the first time in 11 years that a new hotel/casino has opened on the resort corridor.

The $4.3 billion property stands out boldly on the skyline, covered in a daring red hue and is officially the most expensive hotel-casino in the history of Nevada, shifting the $4.1 billion Cosmopolitan that opened in 2010 into second place.

Resorts World is situated at the northwest end of the Strip, to the south of the Circus Circus and Slots-A-Fun casinos. The venue boasts 3506 rooms and is owned by the Malaysian-based Genting Group. Visitors will have their choice of three Hilton-branded hotels with their own entrances, with midweek room rates that start at $149.

The property’s fireworks-filled opening was a spectacle to behold and echoed the levels of excitement that previous venue openings on the strip inspired. The existence of Resorts World could be said to largely owe its existence to the Steve Wynn-built Mirage that opened in 1989 and pioneered the concept of themed mega-resorts that are now a ubiquitous part of the landscape.

Civic leaders have expressed hope that Resorts World will breathe some life into the north end of the strip. These hopes seem well-founded as the venue offers an advanced customer-focused digital ecosystem and a vast array of dining and shopping options.

Other parts of the strip are also glowing with revival. A $1 billion upgrade to the Convention Centre east of the Strip and a new subterranean Tesla transit system are some of the more notable recent developments. The transit system, designed by Elon Musk’s Boring Company, will eventually open a station at Resorts World, linking it to the Convention Centre.

Sensual delights

Visitors to the newly-opened facility will find opportunities to immerse themselves in a fine selection of luxuries including swimming pools and 40 dining and drinking establishments. All preferences are catered for and, with options like a vegan, plant-based ice cream parlor for the health-conscious, and another establishment with alcohol-infused ice cream for adventurous palettes. Shopaholics will find their mecca in a premium selection of stores that feature everything from fine couture to rare spirits.

The Kardashian Kloset pop-up store that trades in the same iconic fashion looks worn by the world-famous reality family will offer cutting-edge clothing. Those in touch with getting in touch with themselves and their loved ones will appreciate Pepper, a sexual wellness establishment that offers licensed sexologists.

Resorts World also has a star-studded line-up of entertainment scheduled including major acts like Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan. Miley Cyrus is also booked to appear at a July 4 fireworks spectacular.

Resorts World and the other casino resorts on the strip fall under the jurisdiction of Clark County, beyond the Las Vegas city limits.

Legends gone by

The location of Resorts World is the site previously occupied by Stardust Casino that ended its decades-long run in 2006. The iconic 1500-room Stardust was finally demolished on March 13, 2007.

Stardust Casino gained both fame and infamy after the 1995 release of Nicholas Pileggi’s book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas. The book details the exploits of Chicago oddsmaker Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal. This prominent figure managed the Stardust and other Las Vegas casinos for Midwestern crime families.

Pileggi collaborated with director Martin Scorsese to co-write the screenplay for the iconic Vegas movie Casino which was based on the book. Movie buffs will note that the Stardust had to be renamed the Tangiers in the film for legal reasons.

Other Mob-affiliated casino operations from the era, including the Sands, Desert Inn, and Dunes, have also been replaced with newer resorts for the modern age.

Inside Resorts World: Visitors to Resorts World Las Vegas gather near a decorative feature inside the hotel-casino. The resort opened June 24 on the Las Vegas Strip. (Image: Tommy Canale)