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The Newest Resorts in Las Vegas – The Strip & Downtown

Las Vegas is constantly reinventing the status quo and never growing stagnant. Resorts in Vegas have a notoriously short lifespan, frequently suffering the fate of implosion and rebirth as new, re-imagined mega-resorts.

Even iconic properties like Tropicana, Flamingo, and Caesars Palace have seen their footprint grow and change significantly over the years, almost as if everyone is jockeying for the title of newest resort in Las Vegas.

As a result of the 2008 financial crisis, several new resort projects hit snags, leaving the carcasses of what could have been to wither away in the desert sun. The Drew, Echelon, and Alon are all names that once generated excitement but never materialized or were left to die before reaching completion.

Fortunately, several new Las Vegas casino projects are coming to fruition, or have already opened giving visitors fresh new resorts to explore. Below, we’ll dive into the newest casino & hotels in Las Vegas that have either recently opened, or plan to open soon.

See Also: Buy the fragrances used in Vegas casinos like Caesars, Mirage, and Flamingo.

Recently Completed Las Vegas Resorts

The following resorts on the Strip, Fremont Street, and just off the Strip have recently opened for business and are ready to greet you.

Resorts World Las Vegas

Located just south of Circus Circus and across the street from Encore, Resorts World opened on June 24th, 2021 making it the newest resort in Las Vegas.

The $4.3 billion resort boasts 3,500 guest rooms, a 5,000 seat theater, 110,000 square feet of gaming, and 270,000 square feet of dining/shopping.

While the casino accepts cash, the Resorts World Phone App allows guests to go completely cashless if that is their preference. Everything from slot machines and table games, to retail and restaurant purchases, can be funded via your phone.

Attracting plenty of attention on opening night was Resorts World’s Famous Foods Street Eats food hall, which offers a wide-ranging collection of cuisine from around the world including a speakeasy bar.

Resorts World Las Vegas Exterior

Resorts World’s rooftop pool deck incorporates 7 unique pool experiences overlooking resorts on the Strip to the south.

Pool at Resorts World
Pool with a fountain at Resorts World
View from Resorts World Las Vegas' Infinity Pool

In the spirit of going big, Resorts World has also incorporated an enormous 100,000 square foot LED screen into the hotel’s west hotel tower. The screen has been used for advertising, broadcasting sporting events, and welcoming VIPs.

We look forward to this new resort project injecting some life into the stagnant north end of the Las Vegas Strip.

Related: See our Resorts World Las Vegas Conrad Room Review.

Circa Las Vegas

The first new construction resort to be built downtown Las Vegas in decades, Circa has changed the status quo on Fremont Street. Sitting on the footprint of the old Las Vegas Club, Mermaids, and the Glitter Gulch gentlemen’s club, Circa is already wowing with unique, differentiated features.

Circa's exterior at night
Circa photographed from Plaza

Of note, Circa offers a two-level casino complete with over 1,300 slot machines and 55 table games. While the gaming floor is beautiful, the crown jewel is the sportsbook screen, which measures in at 3-stories tall and 78 million pixels. The biggest in the world, the screen is almost omnipresent as you navigate either level of the casino.

Stadium Swim, the resort’s rooftop pool deck, is comprised of six pools, 2 swim-up bars, and a 125 foot TV screen. Table games are also available poolside.

Circa Stadium Swim
Another angle of Circa’s Pool Deck with a view of Plaza
Circa Las Vegas Sportsbook
It’s better than the renderings. Overpowering, in the best way.

Circa has also incorporated the freshly refurbished Vegas Vickie (who previously sat above Glitter Gulch) prominently in the new resort.

Vegas Vickie at Circa Las Vegas
She’s still got it

In response to shifting transportation trends, Circa is the first Las Vegas resort to offer a dedicated rideshare pickup location in their parking garage dubbed “Garage Mahal”.

Circa is also an adult-only property. You heard that right, only patrons aged 21+ will be allowed entry.

I recently stayed in one of Circa’s Single King rooms with a Stadium Swim View – Check out the full review!

Virgin Las Vegas

Richard Branson, along with partners, purchased the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and have transformed the property to the Virgin Hotels brand.

The resort boasts a 60,000 square foot casino, 1,504 guest rooms, and over 110,000 square feet of convention space. Virgin Hotel and Casino Las Vegas opened on March 25th, 2021, and is ready to be scoped out.

Exterior of Virgin Las Vegas
Exterior Rendering of Virgin Las Vegas – Courtesy of Virgin Hotels
Rendering of Virgin Las Vegas' Gaming floor
Rendering of Virgin Las Vegas’ Lobby – Courtesy of Virgin Hotels

Palms

What’s old is new again at Palms, which has been shuttered since March of 2020. During the time Palms was closed, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians purchased the property for $650 million from Station Casinos.

Palms recently announced that they’re reopening on April 27th.

We personally are excited to see what a new operator brings to a city that will benefit from a more competitive environment.

Prior to the pandemic, Station Casinos invested a whopping $690 million to completely overhaul the property with the intent of returning it to its early 2000s popularity.

While the investment didn’t pencil out for Station Casinos, the public stands to benefit as Palms sill boasts some serious luster.

Palms Las Vegas Exterior
©jeffreycoleman/123RF.COM

New Resorts That are Still a Work in Progress

The following Las Vegas resort projects are at various stages of development and range from mere renderings, to nearly complete. Of course, it’s never a given that a planned resort property will cross the finish line. Rarely is getting too attached to a concept advisable until meaningful progress is observed.

Fontainebleau Las Vegas

An eyesore remnant of the great recession, the empty, partially completed resort has sat watch over the Strip for a decade-plus and hardly qualifies as a “new” project. Located just north of the former Riviera site, and across the street from Circus Circus, the blue behemoth was originally slated to open as Fontainebleau Las Vegas in 2009. Unfortunately, funding ran dry as a result of the 2008 financial crisis, bringing construction to a grinding halt.

Peppermill Las Vegas Exterior

During the depths of the great recession, Carl Icahn stepped up and purchased the stalled Fontainebleau project for a meager $148 million dollars, liquidated the furniture, and sat on the property in anticipation of better times.

Fast forward to 2017 and the stalled resort project was purchased by The Witkoff Group from Carl Ichan for $600 million. Witkoff renamed the project “The Drew” after his late son.

The resort again changed hands in 2021 when Witkoff sold the unfinished project to Koch Real Estate Investments in partnership with Fontainebleau Development. Interestingly, the project has come full circle as Fontainebleau Development was involved in the original design. For those keeping score at home, this resort project is back to being called Fontainebleau Las Vegas. Will the second go-around be the one that gets some traction?

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on November 9th, 2021 with many notable guests in attendance, including Governor Sisolak. While very little new information of substance was shared, the intent to open the property in Q4 of 2023 was communicated in a subsequent press release. They also stated in the press release that the structure is in “Mint condition” and that construction work has already started.

If Fontainebleau comes to fruition, the resort will offer 3,700 rooms, 550,000 square feet of convention space, a rooftop pool deck, and a casino. Minimal information has been shared about what the re-imagined project could look like under Koch Real Estate Investments, but design renderings should start trickling out soon.

While this project has hit snag after snag, we’re starting to feel a dangerous feeling: Hope.

We’re hopeful that completion of the Las Vegas Convention Center expansion and the nearby Resorts World project will help grease the wheels and get this across the finish line.

Atari Hotels Las Vegas

In the fall of 2020, GSD Group Partners and Gensler, an architecture firm, announced their intent to bring an Atari branded property to Las Vegas at a location yet to be determined. The video game console-themed property plans to combine your typical hotel amenities like bars, restaurants, and a rooftop pool with esports, virtual reality, and other “immersive” experiences.

According to Gensler’s website, the project is still slated to open in 2022, however, updates and progress have been minimal since the original announcement.

Dream Hotels Las Vegas

Dream Hotels Las Vegas plans to build on a vacant parcel of land on the south end of the Strip next door to the Pinball Hall of Fame and steps away from the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. Dream plans to offer a casino, 450 guestrooms, 12,000 square feet of meeting space, and a spa in addition to dining, drinking, and nightlife outlets.

The initial timeline slated construction to commence in early 2021 for a 2023 opening, however, the project has yet to break ground.

Durango

Station Casinos intends to break ground in 2022 on a new casino property focused on the locals market southwest of the Stip. The new resort will have an 83,000+ square foot casino, meeting space, and a 200+ room hotel. Dining options will include 4 sit-down restaurants and a food hall with fast-casual options. Current projections see Durango opening in late 2023.

Stay up to date on the Durango project, here. Below, are a few renderings of the property that were recently tweeted.

Oak View Group Casino/Hotel/Arena

The Oak View Group recently announced a 25-acre land acquisition south of the Strip at the intersection of I-15 and I-215 to build a $3 billion entertainment complex. The yet-to-be-named project will have a casino, hotel, and “NBA Ready” arena.

Groundbreaking is anticipated to occur in 2023, and we’ll be sure to share more details as they emerge.

Resort projects in Las Vegas have a history of going broke and stalling for an extended period of time, however, the recent openings of Circa, Virgin, and Resorts World have us cautiously optimistic that the future is bright.

Related: 44 ways to save money on your next trip to Las Vegas.

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Carina Rogers

Friday 2nd of July 2021

How come Circa ask for identification?

Wednesday 29th of December 2021

Maybe for credit card and identify thief protection!

Thursday 12th of August 2021

No because everyone has to have a vaild ID no matter how old your are

Jake

Tuesday 6th of July 2021

It’s also for security. People are a lot less likely to cause trouble when they know that you know who they are.

Tuesday 6th of July 2021

@Carina Rogers, They card everyone. I am late 50's and I got carded, my 82 yr old mother in law also got carded, and it couldn't be for age 21+. I have no idea why.

Jake

Friday 2nd of July 2021

@Carina Rogers, It’s because the entire property is 21+.

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