LAS VEGAS -- Shopping, third in the triumvirate of major visitor
attractions here along with slots and shows, has risen to the ranks
of a delicious addiction, fed by a flurry of new high-end retail
venues and the expansion of some well-known stores and boutiques.
In a town where nothing is a sure thing, shopping seems to be an
odds-on favorite, and now people are just as likely to spend their
money at the cash registers as they are at the slot machines.
In fact, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors
Authority (LVCVA), visitors last year rang up an average of $83.53
per capita in retail sales -- nearly double the amount they spent
on seeing shows and more than four times the amount spent on
This interest in shopping has spawned a virtual retail boom,
resulting in the creation of 3 million square feet of new and
expanded high-end and specialty retail space within the past five
years, according to the LVCVA.
The following is a rundown of some of the newest places hoping
to entice visitors to spend some of their casino winnings:
• Expanded Forum
Shops. By next fall, the Forum Shops at Caesars, already
one of the highest-yielding retail spaces in North America with
approximately 110 retailers and restaurants, will offer a total of
675,000 square feet.
The three-level, 175,000-square-foot expansion, which will
extend the venue out to the Strip, will include three or four more
restaurants and 25 to 30 stores and other retail outlets.
So far, Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab and Donald
Pliner are among those committed to setting up shop in the new
expansion, and two existing stores, Louis Vuitton and Christian
Dior, are using the expansion to enlarge their space.
• Mandalay Place. Mandalay Resort Group's
100,000-square-foot shopping venue, slated to open this month, will
offer more than 40 boutiques and restaurants inside -- and get this
-- a sky bridge that connects the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
with the Luxor on the south end of the Strip.
Visitors will be able to enter Mandalay Place from either
Mandalay Bay or the Luxor -- making it the first retail center in
the world directly attached to two major casino resorts, according
to Mandalay Bay officials.
Visitors also will be able to get to the mall from a new
valet-parking area, which enables them to enter midway through the
center beneath a large, circular skylight.
From the Strip, would-be shoppers can access the mall on foot or
by a tram that runs between Mandalay Bay and the Luxor.
Some of the 41 retailers and eateries that have signed on to
become a part of Mandalay Place are Urban Outfitters, GF Ferre,
Fornarina, Oilily, Samantha Change, Sauvage, Elton's, Max & Co.
and Musette, which offer men's, women's and/or children's apparel,
and the Burger Joint and Cafe Giorgio, both places to grab a bite
The mall's specialty stores include 55 Degrees Wine + Design, a
wine shop with a wine-tasting bar; the Art of Shaving Shops &
Barber Spa, the city's first barber spa and retail emporium for
men; the first Nike Golf store; a chocolate shop called Chocolate
Swan; the Reading Room, an independent bookstore; Davidoff, known
as a tobacco specialist but also offering perfume, writing
instruments and fashion accessories; Lunettes, eyewear; Mulholland,
leather goods; Portico, bed, bath, gift and decorative accessories;
Shoe Obsession; Godt-Cleary Gallery, fine art; Robert Cromeans
Salon; Forever Silver, silver and white gold jewelry; and Le
Paradis Fine Jewelry.
• Hawaiian Marketplace. Inspired by the
International Market Place on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, the $140
million Hawaiian Marketplace, which is scheduled to open in
February, aims to bring a touch of the tropics to the desert.
The 80,000-square-foot, Polynesian-themed shopping and
entertainment venue is located on the Strip at the site of the
former Polo Plaza shopping center in front of the Polo Towers, just
south of Harmon Avenue and within walking distance of the Bellagio
and MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.
The decor promises to be unusual: Visitors will be greeted by a
17-foot-tall statue of King Kamehameha the Great -- a
larger-than-life version of the famed statue that is located at the
Iolani Palace in Honolulu.
Those entering the shopping area from the Strip will find
themselves on a green-pebbled pathway lined with tiki torches.
The path meanders through the complex under a roof structure
that re-creates the feel of an open-air market within a
Other tropical touches will include a man-made banyan tree --
similar to a century-old tree that is at the heart of its Hawaiian
counterpart -- as well as a fountain that will be lighted at night
to resemble a volcano.
Grass shacks with artificial thatched roofs will serve as kiosks
for some of the center's retail and restaurant outlets.
Among the gift, clothing and specialty retailers that will be
located at the Hawaiian Marketplace are Zebra Shoes, Stitch It On,
the Stogie Shop and Hawaiian Tropics.
Restaurant tenants will include Hamada of Japan, Asian Buffet
and Gandhi's Restaurant; 12 other eateries will find a home in the
While they are shopping and eating, visitors will be able to
enjoy such live entertainment as hula and Tahitian dancers.
• Las Vegas Premium Outlets. So what do
characters from the Las Vegas Hilton's "Star Trek: The Experience"
attraction, a stilt walker, a mime and an Elvis impersonator all
have in common?
They were on hand to celebrate the August grand opening of the
Las Vegas Premium Outlets, a high-end shopping center located about
2.5 miles from the north end of the Strip.
The 435,000-square-foot, village-themed center, a joint-venture
project of Chelsea Property Group and Simon Property Group,
features more than 100 name-brand stores.
A visitor center presents information about the city and the
outlet center's merchants and offers stroller and wheelchair
rentals, foreign currency exchange and the use of an ATM. A tour
representative is located in the visitor center to provide services
to the group market.
Located on South Grand Central Parkway -- the shopping mall is
accessible from Interstate 15, Exit 41B, as well as via the local
CAT bus line -- the outlets feature a designated tour bus pick-up
and drop-off point and have a taxi stand with pick-ups behind Ann
Taylor and drop-offs between Adidas and Brooks Bros.
In addition, guests at the Golden Nugget can take a shuttle to
or from the new shops for $1 each way; they also are eligible for
The outlet center is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays
through Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. For more
information, the shopping center can be reached at (702) 474-7500
or at www.premiumoutlets.com.
• Las Vegas Outlet Center. Chelsea Property
Group, which teamed up with Simon Property Group to develop the Las
Vegas Premium Outlets, acquired the Belz Factory Outlet World in
August for $104 million.
The facility, which has been renamed the Las Vegas Outlet
Center, is located south of the Strip near McCarran Airport.
The 477,000-square-foot shopping venue opened in 1993 with
255,000 square feet and was expanded to its current size in
It offers approximately 130 stores, including Bass, Jones New
York, Lenox, Liz Claiborne, Mikasa, Nautica, Nike, Reebok, Tommy
Hilfiger, Waterford, Wedgwood and Etienne Aigner.
The Las Vegas Outlet Center is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays
through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. For more
information, call (702) 896-5599 or visit www.premiumoutlets.com.
To contact reporter Amy Baratta, send e-mail to [email protected] .