January 7, 2010

Another look at CityCenter

We went back to CityCenter on a Saturday afternoon. I wanted to see it during the day, plus get a feel for the place when it's not celebrating a grand-opening. Our friend, Shane, was in from Phoenix. He came along for his first look.

We took the back way in off of Dean Martin, past the Panorama Towers and then cruised the Harmon over-pass, this leads you directly into Aria's North Valet. Much more convenient that accessing it from Las Vegas Blvd.

Without having to say a word, Shane immediately noted it had an airport feel. And we hadn't even stepped inside, yet. By the time we made it to the hotel lobby we had a field day announcing flights to passerbys. "Now boarding 1210 to Albuquerque". Not many seemed amused, but we entertained ourselves - that's what is important.

We walked around the casino and common areas, there was a nook I missed opening night, which was Union Restaurant and Lounge.

I also went down the hall I overlooked before. Which is home to Sirio, Jean Georges Steakhouse, American Fish and an odd cacti garden.

We walked outside to Crystals, Frank took the path less traveled.

While I admired the artwork.

Inside, Crystals, there are frozen "crystals" but they looked more like dildos, maybe I need to get my head out of the gutter? I leave it to you to decide.

We stopped for a look at the "treehouse".

We walked through the whole mall and Aria, and the biggest crowd was around the tornado water feature. So glad they spent billions for us to be marveled by twirling water in cylinders.

Towards the rear of Crystals near Beso and the tram, there is a an elevator to no where. We didn't realize it until we rode it. It takes you from the ground floor to a mid-level floor that only offers stairs and an escalator to the upper level. What is a handicapped person supposed to do? No sooner than we posed the question, a group with a wheel chair exited from the doors. We waited and watched the scenerio play out...

The most useless elevator.

The folks look around, now where do we go?

Fortunately, this group was able to use the escalator. They brought the wheelchair along for the ride.

You can thank the collection of best architects in the world for their brilliance.

I will admit I love the windows, they did do something right.

We took the tram over to Monte Carlo. Smooth ride, only a few minute wait. Was surprised to see that the hall to the casino has been redone. There is now a fancy Starbucks, Chill, and The Cupcakery has an outlet there. Never having tried the Cupcakery we popped in to sample their goodies. Frank had a Southern Belle or Red Velvet with Cream Cheese frosting and I had Chocolate Peanut Butter cup. They were decent, but not nearly as moist or tasty as those we get from Mad Hatter Cupcakes.

We also noticed that the Brewpub at Monte Carlo has been made-over. It's now called The Pub. They have over 50 beers on tap. It's like a small version of the Yard House. We stopped in for a few beers. Tabs can get pricey at $8 a draft.

We took the indoor walkway back to Aria, which was much quicker and more convenient that the tram.

We stopped in the gift shop and took the Aria bikes for a spin. Why are they selling bikes? Are folks expected to buy them ride them around the "city" and then pay to have them shipped home? I don't get it. Unless we had the right idea by simply going for a ride around the store.

We also took a tour of the convention area, which also resembles an airport, but at least an airport with funky carpeting.

The absolute strangest aspect of CityCenter is at the North Valet pickup, outside the Haze nightclub.

This marquee is bright as the sun at night and could likely cause seizures. Odd messages scroll with no rhyme or reason. Here are a few we saw: "Give your money to charity" I thought the casinos wanted our money. "Don't live on credit" MGM needs to heed their own advice. Then, it went on a crazy tangent about respiratory health and brain aneurysms. Very odd and depressing, really. Absolutely bizarre.

I want to like CityCenter, I really do. But after two visits, I'm still not sold.


Christine said...

hmmm. looks like a museum. i'm getting a cold vibe from the photos. don't care for it too much.

but great photos.

Tara said...

great photos and yes, those look like dildos....Perhaps both of our minds are in the gutter, lol. I can't wait to get out there and take a look, but from everything I've seen, I'll have to agree with Christine above and say that it looks cold.

Kellee said...

It's not just the ice dildos that are cold. Aria and Crystals both have the sterile cold feel. I do like modern, but this is Vegas, where's the warmth, the personality?

Maybe once more stores fill in? And perhaps, I'll learn to love Aria. Time will tell.