Monday, August 23, 2010

Vegas and their new City Center

Freshly back from my annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas. This year was special, 6 nights in “fun city”! I combined some work and some play this time. I spent 2 full days at the largest men’s clothing show in the world for Sebastian’s Closet and 4 days with my boys for pure fun.

I was determined to explore the new City Center complex this year. After many years of it being built and many ownership changes, this complex will help redefine Vegas and set a new standard for the future. It is truly an amazing site. Ultra modern, airy, high ceilings; one has the complete feeling of openness and space. Shopping is all high end as you would expect from such a gorgeous place. You might expect room rates to be through the roof, remember this is 2010, after the crash and Vegas is still reeling from the economic downturn. Room rates are very affordable. I’d highly recommend staying there as soon as you can, because I can only imagine that rates have to go up as the economy improves. Someone has to pay for this complex. My understanding is that City Center has its own zip code in Las Vegas. There is literally no reason to leave the complex once you are there!

After Wine Spectator’s rave review of the new Spanish restaurant, Julian Serrano’s, it was a must stop for me. Julian came from the famed Picasso’s, which a few short years ago was only 1 of 2 five star restaurants in Las Vegas. Julian’s pedigree is very impressive and he does not disappoint in his new venture. Serrano’s specializes in tapas and paella. We tried 5 or 6 different tapas and everyone was better than the last. Most impressive was Julian’s wine list. Three pages of Spanish wines and it held the largest selection of Spanish wines from the Del Duero region of Spain that I have ever seen in the US.

Six days in Vegas is a long time and one gets the sense that while there seem to be huge numbers of people everywhere, Vegas is still feeling the pinch of the economy. Key indicators for me were that I had no problem getting into any restaurant I wanted to in 6 nights without a reservation. Any show was available any night I wanted. The hotels are offering incredible deals. Every cab driver I spoke with gave me the universal answer, yes, things are picking up but very slowly. Take advantage of all Las Vegas has to offer. It is a great value right now in all price ranges!

Glen Agritelley