Nearly three-quarters of visitors to Las Vegas stayed at hotels on the Las Vegas Strip Corridor, according to the most recent Las Vegas Visitor Profile by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority in 2016. Somewhat related, MGM Resorts International had 85% occupancy in their hotels on the Vegas Strip in 2017.
Visitors to Las Vegas love the Vegas Strip and make it their home base for trips. I was that way when first visiting Las Vegas. After a few trips, I found great experiences at the Hard Rock and Palms. Things changed even more after a day trip to downtown Las Vegas. Las Vegas has many different experiences for different people and that’s what makes this such a desirable place to visit.
While the Vegas Strip is a great place to visit, the recent increases in resort fees and addition of parking fees has sent some visitors to look for lodging elsewhere. While there are nice casino-resorts all over town, the majority of visitors still want to be near the action on the Vegas Strip.
Not every improvement for off-Strip casinos is geared towards tourists but they all should be attractive to some tourists. Here are five casinos near the Vegas Strip that are upgrading their property. Some of the improvements and additions are available now and some won’t be ready for another year or two.
Ellis Island is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a bang. Last year the casino-brewery took over operations of the hotel. The rooms have since been remodeled and are now available for very reasonable rates. Additionally, the casino floor has been renovated and boasts a slew of the newest slot machines in Las Vegas. Additionally, the owners just broke ground on a new bar, restaurant, and entertainment venue called the Front Yard. The new space located in front of the casino will be open later this year.
Hard Rock > Virgin Hotels
Virgin Hotels is coming to Las Vegas. The Virgin Group recently announced the purchase the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The new owners will convert the property to become the first Virgin branded hotel in Las Vegas. The casino-resort will remain open during renovations, which should take about a year and a half. They haven’t released too much information on the changes yet. You still have time to enjoy the Hard Rock before it’s entirely rebranded as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
The Orleans has quietly been renovating and upgrading the property over the past year or so. There are a number of new restaurants including Copper Whisk Café, Alder & Birch (steakhouse) and buffet. They’ve also upgraded the gaming floor with the addition of a Fortune Cup horse racing game and the first virtual reality gaming area in a Las Vegas casino.
We’ve written about upgrades coming to Palms before but some are here and more are coming very soon. This seems like a good time to share a quick update. The new buffet, AYCE, is now open and early reviews are strong. Send Noodles has also opened to a little less fanfare since it’s more of a niche restaurant. Apex Social Club, Camden Cocktail Lounge, and Scotch 80 Prime (steakhouse) are all on schedule to open in May. The latter is a high-end steakhouse with $3 million of Scotch and Whiskey.
This casino is probably the farthest from the action on the Vegas Strip. The nearly 5-mile trip south from Mandalay Bay brings you to a unique casino experience and the only Cracker Barrel in town (there’s a Cracker Barrel in another town called North Las Vegas). In addition to a new timeshare building called The Berkley, they just broke ground on Silverton Village. The new area at the Silverton will bring a new Hyatt hotel along with more inexpensive quick serve dining.