The Las Vegas of five years ago looks a lot different than the Las Vegas of today, and that’s a great thing. The changes are putting Sin City back on the map for travelers looking for more in a destination than casinos and night clubs.
Las Vegas was hit hard by the 2008 recession, but instead of giving up and allowing the iconic American city to fall to ruin, Las Vegas is working to redefine itself. Now, it’s appealing to many different demographics in a new age of travel. Sure, there are still plenty of slot machines and buffets to choose from, but Las Vegas has seen plenty of positive changes over the last few years and there are still a lot to come.
Here’s a quick peek at how Las Vegas has been evolving and is becoming a great destination option even for those who are terrible at Black Jack.
The food scene is getting a makeover
Las Vegas’ food scene has a tendency to conjure up images of not so fresh seafood sitting under the warming lights of an all you can eat buffet, or celebrity chef-owned fine dining restaurants with prices out of reach for your typical traveler. The good news is, Las Vegas is generally on the cutting edge of new food trends, and in 2016 a lot of those trends are lending themselves to fantastic food coupled with unforgettable experiences. You can check out the Harry Potter themed coffee shop, or a “food incubator” shack helping rising chefs try out new food concepts. For more splurge-worthy experiences, order table-side cut veal parmesan at the new Carbone restaurant at Aria, tour the snack carts at Harvest in the Bellagio, or dine with champagne at the recently opened Mr. Chow in Caesars Palace. The extra-brave can fork over $150 for a three-hour dining experience that includes “live food” at Kame. No matter where you eat while you’re in Vegas, head chef Anthony Amoroso of Aria told Travel Pulse that fresh food is one of the biggest trends sweeping the city this year (that, and chicken sandwiches).
Adventure is heating up
Situated in the middle of the desert, Las Vegas has long been a hub for helicopter tours to the Grand Canyon and sight-seeing excursions to Hoover Dam. Speed demons have been racing high-end cars at Exotics Racing Las Vegas since 2009, SpeedVegas is opening up the city’s longest exotic car track this March, and the bravest daredevils can see what it’s like to be a fighter pilot with Sky Combat Ace. A few other attractions have been added to the Strip recently that won’t put such a dent in your vacation budget. The High Roller observation wheel, SlotZilla zip line over Fremont Street and Voodoo Zip Line between the Rio towers all opened in Vegas in 2014, calling adventure enthusiasts seeking a view of Las Vegas from high above.
New construction is underway
After several construction projects came to a quick halt at the first signs of recession around 2008, Las Vegas is starting to see construction pick up again. The Killers are on the schedule to christen the brand new T-Mobile Arena on April 6, and two more resorts are underway on the Strip. Both resorts are Asian-themed, with PENTA Building Group’s Lucky Dragon on pace to open August this year, while Resorts World Las Vegas will hopefully be completed by 2018.
Not everything is about gambling
As you can see, Las Vegas is about a lot more than just gambling and fist pumping these days. It’s about experiencing innovative food and drinks. It’s about seeing the Strip from high in the sky, and venturing out to the surrounding scenic areas. It’s a place where people are testing out new business concepts and starting up companies. Las Vegas is still an entertainment Mecca, chock full of theaters and music venues. It’s still a destination for trying your hand at Texas Hold’em or hedging your bets on slots. But the Vegas that is out there in Nevada’s desert today has undergone a major facelift since the Vegas of five years ago, and tourists ought not miss the changes.