13 CHANGES COMING TO THE VEGAS STRIP IN 2016

vegas signBY ROB KACHELRIESS
The Vegas Strip is a living, breathing creature that is eternally in a state of flux. And in 2016, it looks to be on the upswing. From new nightclubs to hotel renovations — and yet another good ol’ fashioned casino demolition — here are a few ways the most famous stretch of Las Vegas Blvd promises to mix things up over the next 12 months.

Another Las Vegas arena is being constructed

Las Vegas has three major arenas and zero pro sports teams, but hey, let’s go ahead and build another one anyway. The new Las Vegas Arena (which could be given another name when a big money sponsor comes along) has been under construction for the past year or so and is set to open in April (behind the Monte Carlo and New York-New York resorts). Among the first scheduled events is the kickoff bash featuring The Killers (and Wayne Newton!), a string of six shows by Garth Brooks, and the milestone UFC 200 Ultimate Fighting showdown. The venue will hold 20,000 people making it by far the largest indoor arena in Vegas with 50 luxury suites and every other hospitality and technology perk you can think of. The only downside… no parking. MGM Resorts International (one of the main partners behind the project along with AEG) says there are plenty of spaces at its neighboring resorts but haven’t yet ruled out charging for parking, which would truly be the biggest change to happen on the Strip in the New Year.

The Monte Carlo Theater & Park (sans Blue Man Group)

In addition to the new arena, MGM Resorts also has a new mid-sized concert venue in the works. It’s being constructed at the Monte Carlo in the spot that was recently home to the Blue Man Group (who’ve since moved across the street to The Luxor), and is designed to compete with the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. No acts (nor an official name) have been announced just yet, but the theater is expected to open near the end of the year. There will also be an outdoor park offering shops and restaurants between the new theater and arena, and somewhere in the middle of all this, the Monte Carlo is expected to be rebranded with a new name (but shhh… you didn’t hear that from us).

Say goodbye to the Riviera and watch it implode

The Riviera — one of the last classic resorts still on the Strip — officially closed its doors in May. It was bought by the LVCVA (Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority) who plan to tear it down so the Convention Center can expand and reach all the way to Las Vegas Blvd. In recent weeks, it’s been confirmed that the Riviera will crumble to the ground in a classic Las Vegas implosion. So grab your binoculars and start scoping out the perfect spot to watch the show.

 

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