A glimpse at Las Vegas’ most iconic casinos
Las Vegas, or “Lost Wages” as it’s been dubbed by unlucky rollers, is a place indelibly associated with bright lights and green felt. Ever since Nevada legalized gambling in 1931, the city has been inviting people from all over the world to try their luck at some of the most iconic casinos in the world. The first of these all-in-one resort hotel complexes was The Mirage, opened in 1989 by entrepreneur Steve Wynn. Plenty more have followed since then, making Las Vegas a mecca of gambling while laying down the template for other casino cities like Macau. Here are some of the casinos that show why Vegas still has the hottest action in town.
Bellagio – The 36-floor Bellagio takes its elegant European design aesthetic from the town of Lake Como in Italy. It’s set back from the Strip by an 8-acre lake that houses the iconic Fountains of Bellagio, a massive water fountain display synchronized with music that still has the power to halt traffic. The Bellagio’s interior sets itself apart from the competition with the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, a conservatory, and botanical gardens that bloom throughout the year. Be sure to tilt your head up in the lobby to take in Dale Chihuly’s spectacular Fiori di Como, a stunning art installation comprising 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers. It was also the hotel robbed in the 2001 heist flick Ocean’s 11.
Caesars Palace – One of the most quintessentially Vegas hotels on the Strip, Caesars Palace was opened in 1966 by Jay Sarno, who wanted to give his customers a taste of the decadent opulence of the Roman empire. The style is a heady blend of art deco and the design of the great historical epics of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Water features are a trademark of the hotel, which goes through around 240 million gallons of water annually. The 4,100-seat Colosseum Theater has been home to some of the most iconic tenures in showbiz history the city has had there, and the Forum’s shopping facilities were some of the first to be built within a big casino.
MGM Grand – On its opening in 1993, the MGM Grand was the biggest hotel complex the world had ever seen. While it has been overtaken by the super casinos of Macau, the Grand remains the largest gaming floor in the continental United States. Originally conceived around a Wizard Of Oz theme, the hotel subsequently decided to adopt a classical Hollywood aesthetic with a lion motif, even housing a lion enclosure guests could visit at one point. The Grand is notable for hosting some of the hottest fights in boxing today.
The Venitian – Another iconic casino, The Venetian’s signature attraction is the Grand Canal shops, taking guests around a winding replica of Venice complete with waterways, gondolas, and a 24-hour daylight ceiling. Landmarks such as the Piazza San Marco, the Rialto Bridge, and the Lion of Venice column are all present and accounted for. In keeping with its Italian inspiration, it was opened by Sophia Loren in 1999, and today, its five-diamond rating makes it one of the plushest accommodations on the Strip.