Cover Feature

Las Vegas Hospitality: Back to Business

Atomic Range

Las Vegas, Nevada’s industrial and residential sectors may be booming, but the hospitality industry for which the city is best known is also continuing to progress and improve its offerings as it slowly returns to normalcy.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reports that 2.998 million tourists visited the city in August 2021, an increase of 95% from the pandemic-ridden month a year prior. Hotel occupancy was 72.8% for the month, a 30.1% increase from a year ago. With federally-mandated international travel restrictions to be loosened this month, the city is looking forward to a winter season of even more activity.

“While Southern Nevada has some healing left to do, it has made tremendous progress in recovering from the damaging lockdowns of 2020. Unemployment remains high, but with the re-opening of the hospitality sector a year ago, we have seen massive increases in employment, especially in the leisure and hospitality sector,” wrote John M Stater, research manager, Colliers Q3 2012 Las Vegas Research Report. “The hospitality industry remains approximately 30% down from 2019, although gaming revenue, which lagged in recovery after the Great Recession, is actually higher in 2021 than it was in 2019.”

Visitors will find more to do. To celebrate its eighth anniversary, the Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace has begun a multimillion-dollar refresh of all 182 guest rooms and public areas. Construction is set to be complete by the end of 2021. This is one of several projects in development as Caesars Entertainment, Inc. expands its longstanding partnership with Nobu Hospitality — the global lifestyle brand founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper.

To create a more modern, residential feel at Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace, the global architecture and design firm Rockwell Group has re-envisioned the guest rooms and common areas it first designed in 2013. Rockwell Group has drawn inspiration from kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold epoxy — creating cohesion from collage. This element will create a streamlined, lighter and more luxe take on the original design concept.

“Eight years ago, we developed the world’s first celebrity chef-branded hotel venture with Nobu Hospitality, bringing Nobu’s signature style and sophistication to the Las Vegas Strip,” said Martha Morales, general manager of Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace. “As the city continues to evolve as one of the top destinations for entertainment, sports and gaming, we are committed to investing in Las Vegas. From the Nobu Hotel refresh to the Caesars Palace main entrance renovation, Caesars is proud to offer experiences that guests can only find at our resorts.”

The focal piece of the new guest rooms will be a custom sofa in a dozen different patch-worked upholsteries, from painterly-style prints to muted textured graphics. The redesigned rooms will also feature a quartzite coffee table with a gold base and a cracked kintsugi effect, along with additional lighting. New custom carpet will have aubergine hues, as well as abstract and painterly-style florals — inspired by 19th-century Japanese artist Tsubaki Chinzan — overlaid with gold kintsugi veining. Another welcome addition will be a statement desk or dining table, which will be connected to the dresser by a quartz buffer. The refreshed suites will also feature new furniture, rugs and flooring.

Redesigned guest corridors will feature a custom carpet with rippling forms, suggesting a pond of koi fish that cluster at each guest room door, and patterns inspired by suminagashi, the art of Japanese paper marbling. In addition, the new inset lobby carpet will depict monumental slabs of marble and agate surrounded by gold veining, with pops of gray, rust and blue.

Further north on the Strip, Golden Entertainment Inc., in partnership with Flite Golf & Entertainment will bring Atomic Range, a new 92,000-square-foot golf entertainment destination, to seven acres of company-owned land adjacent to The Strat Hotel, Casino & SkyPod. The new Atomic Range will be located on Las Vegas Boulevard, just north and adjacent to The Strat (once the Stratosphere). Flite Golf has partnered with Century Golf, which has managed over 500 golf facilities worldwide, to operate Atomic Range with development expected to break ground in Q2 2022 with a projected completion date by the end of 2023.

Atomic Range will span nearly seven acres, rise four stories and host 103 separate hitting bays when it opens in 2023. It will include four bars, meeting space and a 12,000-square-foot Astrocade. Flite Golf’s construction costs are expected to be approximately $70 million, the company said.

“Since acquiring The Strat, Golden has invested over $100 million in renovating the property and we are seeing a significant return on our capital investment. Partnering with Flite Golf to develop Atomic Range will allow us to utilize our excess real estate adjacent to the Strat to create a unique driver of visitation to our property that continues the redevelopment of the North Strip and investment in the City of Las Vegas,” said Charles Protell, president and chief financial officer of Golden Entertainment in the announcement. “Flite Golf’s development experience, innovative technology and substantial equity commitment to Atomic Range makes them the perfect partner to develop this attraction. We are excited to provide this new golf experience to our guests at the Strat, as well as Downtown visitors, convention attendees, guests at North Strip properties and Las Vegas locals.”

More activity should be forthcoming. In October, the Clark County Commission voted to approve plans for the Dream Las Vegas, a 20-story boutique hotel and casino to be built on Las Vegas Boulevard adjacent to McCarran International Airport by 2024.

In addition, the city is waiting to see what South American businessman Claudio Fischer, co-founder of Sun Dreams, the largest casino resort operator in Latin America, will do with a 10-acre parcel of land located at Las Vegas Boulevard and Elvis Presley Boulevard he acquired for $120 million. The agreement with the LVCVA requires the development of a hotel or resort operation.

Major U.S. financial companies have been investing, too. The last few months have seen Vici Properties, a spinoff of Caesars Entertainment, agree to acquire The Venetian, Palazzo and Sands Expo and Convention Center for approximately $6.25 billion from Las Vegas Sands Corp. and MGM Growth Properties for $5.7 billion, deals expected to close in 2022; MGM Resorts’ acquisition of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for $1.625 billion after a purchase of Infinity World Development’s 50% stake City-Center earlier this year, while selling the neighboring Aria and Vdara real estate assets to funds managed by Blackstone for $3.89 billion.

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