Editor’s Note: One day before we released the October digital issue of Leader’s Edge, the mass shooting occurred at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. While we had planned to extol the virtues of the re-energized classics and new entrants on the Vegas scene (and we still will), we could not write about this resilient city without acknowledging the horrific event it has just endured. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy and we hope to take part in the healing and hope the city needs.
Caesars Palace Las Vegas celebrated its 50th anniversary last year with a night jump by the Red Bull Air Force skydiving team. Wearing illuminated wingsuits equipped with red, white and blue LED lights, they landed on Las Vegas Strip right in front of the hotel. The stunt was a nod to daredevil Evel Knievel, who in 1967 attempted to jump the resort’s towering row of fountains on his red, white and blue motorcycle, a feat that was successfully completed years later by his son Robbie Knievel.
Caesars Palace will be work and party central for InsureTech Connect 2017, which is held this month. Attendees can be assured that this icon on The Strip is not resting on its laurels 50 years later. The resort recently completed a $75 million renovation of the original Roman Tower (now the Julius Tower), the latest piece of a $1 billion investment that also includes the addition of new villas on the 29th floor of the Palace Tower and 800 renovated suites. Accessed by a private elevator, Mr. Chow opened at Caesars Palace in 2015, making a splash with its Beijing duck and champagne trolley. The hotel is also home to Absinthe, deemed “The #1 greatest show in Las Vegas history” by Las Vegas Weekly.
Other upscale hotels and restaurants on and off The Strip are keeping up. Wynn Encore Resort and The Venetian first upped the ante on swanky new places to catch a few winks when they upgraded their suites in 2015. The Cosmopolitan has added 21 expansive penthouse suites to the formerly empty top four floors of the Boulevard Tower. Targeting high rollers, there is a minimum buy-in of $1 million at the Reserve to enjoy a balcony overlooking the Bellagio fountains, a $56,000 bottle of Louis XIII Black Pearl cognac, and a white grand piano. At the north end, The W Hotel Las Vegas has opened its first hotel inside the SLS Las Vegas.
As for new celebrity chef restaurants, Blue Ribbon at The Cosmopolitan offers signature dishes from the SoHo original (beef marrow with oxtail marmalade) as well as new ones (a tower of shellfish and caviar that comes with bottle of champagne). West of The Strip, chef Brian Howard is dishing up eclectic offerings at his upscale Chinese restaurant, Sparrow + Wolf, which specializes in live-fire cooking. At The Mirage, Otoro Robata Grill & Sushi features inventive skewers and dishes prepared in a Japanese robata grill.