Vegas Bright Looks Back: The Biggest Surprise of 2016


Vegas Bright writers look back on the year and give their picks for the Biggest Surprise of 2016

Editor’s note: We’ve asked our writers and contributors for their opinions on the best/worst and noteworthy of all things Vegas for 2016 if they had time. Unlike other sites, a list of options to choose from was not given. Instead, a list of categories was presented letting our staff write their answers freely. With that, here are their answers for Vegas’ Biggest Surprise of 2016

Parking Fees! Such a bummer and a sad trend. What’s next? A fee to use the elevator to get to your room? -Michele Di Palma

Carrot Top– Obviously, I knew who he was for years, but never saw his show until this year. Damn did I laugh my ass off!!! Carrot Top is also a great bargain for the quality of the act he puts on. -Fisherman

Carrot Top

Lucky Dragon actually being completed -Matty Ice

Stevens Brothers’ Land Acquisitions – How much land the Steven’s are accumulating on and just off Fremont Street around Golden Gate and the old Las Vegas Club. -BigAzMarty

Drag Brunch at Senor Frog’s, Treasure Island. An absolutely outrageous, giddy blast. You won’t believe how much fun you’ll have for the price. After three or four bottles of champagne (unlimited mimosas are included) the “girls” will look absolutely gorgeous. Hold on for a wild ride. -Sammasseur

Again, Lucky Dragon.  They had a financial crisis early in the year which resulted in the suspension of construction.  Fortunately for Las Vegas, there was some deep pocket-scrounging over in Asia and the resort went on to completion.  If it had not, we would be left with yet another incomplete shell on the North Strip. -Greg C

Lucky Dragon Las Vegas

The amount of “I Quit Vegas” going on.  Starting with (formerly) Vegas Bright’s own Sammasseur and now including some heavyweights on other Vegas sites. It seems like there is a limit to the “It’s Freakin’ Vegas, Man!” that each Vegas Obsessed contains in reserve.  Sammasseur’s brilliant swan song nailed the reasons why it was time for him, and in no way am I passing judgement on him or others, but I just don’t see it.  Yes Resort Fees, parking fees, celebrity chef restaurants with their inflated prices, the loss of customer service… I notice them too. With each new report of a bean counter’s brilliant idea, a little piece of my Las Vegas pleasure dies. But honestly, it is a very little piece. For the first time ever, I will have four separate Vegas appearances in as 12-month window. The breathtaking sights upon arrival, the constant activation of something new to see or do, and even just the people watching keeps calling me back more frequently than ever.  And I have no right to complain about Resort Fees, parking fees, and overpriced restaurants anyway. Maybe they total $200 on a three-day trip.  The truth is, I have been known to lose that much just waiting for my wife to come out of the bathroom. -Michael James

For me, it was Matt Goss. Wouldn’t have guessed the purveyor of saccharin pop could become a lounge lizard extraordinaire, but the Gossy Room was a welcome throwback. -Kelly Lamrock

Vegas Musts

The opening of the Lucky Dragon Casino. – With all the starts and stops regarding the resort construction projects, for any of them to open would have to be seen to be believed. As it happens, they got this done and have had their soft opening, and while I haven’t been there yet, it is quite the pleasant surprise and something new to look forward to! –Gennadius

Of course Lucky Dragon, but mostly because I was skeptical. Other than that, for me, the biggest surprise was The Park, T-Mobile Arena, Park Theater, — that whole area. Although we covered it’s construction progress, being there was a great experience. Walking through The Park on opening night and T-Mobile Area on opening day, I remember just thinking “Wow, they really did a great job with all of this!” It’s hard to describe, the closest thing I could compare it to is when you’re playing The Sims and you buy your Sim new furniture, and they see it for the first time, and they actually like it. I remember standing in The Park that night and just looking around and taking it all in and just being in awe at how great turned out. -Michael Movestro

[Photos: Greg C,  Carrot Top, Kelly Lamrock]

About the Author

Michael Movestro
Michael Movestro is an award-winning composer and Las Vegas enthusiast. A long time reader of Vegas Chatter, Michael started Vegas Bright to continue the tradition when Chatter cashed out. Michael is proud to serve as Vegas Bright's Editor in Chief.

4 Comments on "Vegas Bright Looks Back: The Biggest Surprise of 2016"

  1. Parking Fees? , people, just don’t go to those that charge! They will catch on in a hurry!!

  2. For me, it was Absinthe. I use to love Absinthe, saw it once a year since it opened in 2011. Those 5 shows from 2011-2015 were amazing, but when I saw it for the 6th time in 2016, it was my last. That is because they had replaced both the original Gazillionaire and Penny Pibbets, and it wasn’t the same for me. Later, I read that they had officially left the show over a year ago, but I was lucky to have seen them last in June 2015. Somehow, hearing the same jokes told over and over by the original Gazillionaire (Voki Kalfayan) was just as funny as the first time, but when the replacement Gaz told the same jokes, it lost its luster.

  3. The ‘i quit vegas’ thing isnt surprising, neither are the increasing fees and worsening conditions…it just goes with the improved economy. Average rooms rates are STILL below what they were at the peak of 2007…so expect them to get worse, which is why i didnt go to vegas this year for the first time in many years. Being from NY i have no reason to go to vegas; we have casinos nearby that DONT rip you off with their odds, our restaurants here blow away anything they have in vegas, and if i want a pool, i can go to the Caribbean or Florida and swim in a real ocean. So why take a 6 hour flight to just throw money away? Maybe when the economy tanks again i’ll go back but for now i’ll get my vegas fix on vegasbright :D

    Biggest surprise were the Fertittas selling the UFC for so much money and buying the Palms. Im wondering what else they have planned…it should make for an interesting 2017.

  4. After Blonde 4 Ever’s post Carrot is DEF on my radar.

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