MGM plaza among 2014 openings

By JoAnna Haugen
MGM plaza renderingAs with every new year, 2014 offers Las Vegas a new opportunity to surprise the world with innovative attraction, retail, entertainment venue and hotel openings.

In addition to the Linq entertainment area and its High Roller observation wheel (see report, "The Linq aims to bring fun outdoors"), there are a number of interesting happenings to watch for in Las Vegas throughout 2014. Here is a sampling:

MGM entertainment district

MGM Resorts International is opening an outdoor plaza entertainment district connecting New York-New York and the Monte Carlo in the first quarter of this year.

This pedestrian area will include new restaurants and shops such as Hershey's Chocolate World (opening in the second quarter) and enhancements to the hotel's Irish pub, Nine Fine Irishmen.

Ultimately, this entertainment district will lead to a new arena being built on land behind the resorts, expected to open in a few years.

Slotzilla

The Fremont Street Experience's new ziplines include a traditional 850-foot ride and a higher, 1,750-foot propelled zoom line, experienced headfirst by riders. They are expected to join the downtown Las Vegas scene as early as next month.

Caesars boutique hotel

The 188-room hotel occupying the former site of Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon will open this spring. Original plans called for the hotel to be named Gansevoort, but this has been scrapped, and Caesars Entertainment will reveal the name of the property in the coming weeks.

Delano

At long last, TheHotel will make the transformation into the Delano. Originally expected to open in 2013, construction on Mandalay Bay's boutique hotel is scheduled to begin in March, and the property should open in the third quarter.

SLS

On the north end of the Strip, the former Sahara hotel-casino has been gutted, and visitors can expect to walk through the doors of SLS Las Vegas in the fall.

Owned by SBE, the property is undergoing a $400 million-plus makeover. Upon completion, SLS Las Vegas will have several restaurants, nightlife venues and a 10,000-square-foot Fred Segal retail space.

Grand Bazaar Shops renderingGrand Bazaar Shops at Bally's

Caesars Entertainment will open more than 150 shops in its newest retail complex, the Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally's, in the fall.

It is being designed as a 21st century bazaar patterned after classic shopping spaces found around the world.

Only a few retailers have been announced at this point, among them Swarovski Crystal, which will place a 4,000-pound, 14-foot-tall crystal piece on a pole 80 feet above the marketplace.
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