One of the things I love the most about Las Vegas–and the reason I can keep coming back here every year without getting bored–is that the city is constantly changing. Out with the old, in with the new, just like the new year. Okay, I’m sometimes gutted when I find out something I love is going buh-bye (like the Las Vegas Mob Experience or the lion habitat at MGM Grand–sob!). But sometimes the new things are pretty great themselves and I’ll add them to my list for my next visit. It’s been 4 months since my last trip to Las Vegas, and there are already a few new things I’m looking forward to trying on my next one:
Confessions of a Rock Star (the Riviera)
This new show is brought to us by Pat DiNizio, lead singer of one of my favorite rock groups of all time, the Smithereens! You remember the Smithereens: They had such hits as “Blood and Roses,” “Behind the Wall of Sleep,” “Blues Before and After,” “A Girl Like You,” and perhaps my favorite, “House We Used to Live In.” I used to own the Best of the Smithereens album on cassette, which shows you how long they–and I–have been around. The show is billed as “songs, sounds and stories from 30 crazy years in the big bad business of rock & roll”. I’m mostly looking forward to the songs, but I’ve heard the stories are pretty great, too.
The Mob Museum
Not to be mistaken with the late, lamented Las Vegas Mob Experience at the Tropicana, the Mob Museum will be opening in the Downtown area of Las Vegas in early 2012 and will walk visitors through the history of Las Vegas’s ties to organized crime. I’ll be interested to see how it compares with the museum elements of the Las Vegas Mob Experience, which I thought were well done.
The Neon Museum
Finally! This museum dedicated to the preservation of the classic neon signs of yesteryear in Las Vegas (a collection of over 150 signs) is slated to open its new Visitors Center in mid-2012. I hope this makes it easier to get in to see the signs than its current Neon Boneyard outpost, where tours need to be booked well in advance. Two weeks’ lead time wasn’t enough last time I tried to book a tour.
Bon Jovi’s Viva Vision Show (Fremont Street Experience)
Viva Vision, the overhead canopy light show at the Fremont Street Experience, is adding a new show to its lineup, a Bon Jovi-centric show featuring three of the band’s hit songs, “It’s My Life,” “Livin’ on a Prayer,” and “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.” According to the press release, the storyline for this show was Jon Bon Jovi’s concept, in which “the band is dropped onto the screen from a spaceship” and performs their hit songs while traveling the universe–kinda like they do in real life. The Bon Jovi show joins classic Viva Vision shows such as Don McLean’s American Pie, John Van Hamersveld’s Signs of Life, and A Tribute to Queen. The show debuted on New Year’s Eve, appropriately.
The Dark Knight (slot machine)
This Batman slot machine came out in 2011, but I couldn’t find it anywhere in Las Vegas during my last trip. Hopefully, by the time I return, it’ll be more widespread in casinos around town, because I really want to try it. It follows the Batman timeline of the Christian Bale movies and pits Batman against (Heath Ledger’s) Joker. This is one of those new style video slot machines which includes clips from the movie, sounds, etc. and you can choose to play as either Batman or the Joker. Here’s a review of the game.
I can only hope and pray that these things are successful enough that they’re still in operation by the time I am in Las Vegas again. There’s nothing worse than when something opens–and then closes–before I can even get back to town. And I can’t wait to see what other cool new things are announced in the next few months.
What shiny new Vegas thing are you looking forward to on your next trip?
Oh–and Happy New Year, everyone!