Posted by: Natalie | July 13, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

The thing about ‘new’ Vegas as opposed to the old, is the idea of super casinos and resort hotels. The most impressive among them are undoubtedly the themed ‘casinotels’ that follow through to the precisest detail to make your holiday experience one which you can never forget. I am thinking initially of The Venetian and Ceasar’s Palace where every inch of the resort, be it the gambling hall, entertainment areas, shopping and food halls, is designed to fit the given theme – and absolutely no expense is spared.

St. Mark's Square and the Rialto Bridge at The Venetian, Las Vegas

The Forum Shops, Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas

Every possible variant of entertainment is potentially catered for in these places, every whim and desire – but obviously, for a pretty price! I can’t say anything about the actual hotel rooms, but these ‘casinotels’ are decadent, entertaining and ultimately breathtaking.

So, I got to thinking. If I were to design my own themed casinotel, what would I choose? Steve settled for Genghis Khan’s, a Mongolian-Warrior themed resort complete with mammoths and a suitably designed Cirque Du Soleil show included. I on the other hand went for something that could be milked to the tiniest detail and would look amazingly impressive to boot. My super casino would be, Emerald City.


Just imagine as you walk along the strip towards the North end (I pick here as I feel it is need of a little renovation and there is plenty room for all my casiontel’s needs), and out of the desert ground and hazy heat climbs the glimmering green crystal towers of the Emerald City. As you walk through the main doors into the lobby you are swept instantly into Munchkinland with giant oversized plants and flowers and bugs, large curved beds of lollipops and childish fantasy, making you feel tiny yet significant in this magical world.

From its centre, two spiralling walkways lead in opposite directions; both paved but one yellow and one red. Following the yellow path will lead you into the Casino proper where all the general gambling bays will sit within green and silver walls. Green glass partitions will separate the necessary sections to add openness yet privacy along with additional glitter and shine which will provide light in the darker corners.

Beyond this, skipping as you do along the yellow brick road, some of the casinotel’s varied entertainments can be found. There will be a specially designed theatre in which the musical Wicked will play twice nightly. There will also be the option to pay for a horse drawn carriage ride, although for animal rights reasons, they will not be horses of a different colour! This journey, all inside, will take you through an enchanted wood (also a pleasant walk for any one wanting to take the cheaper option) decorated with all the beauty of the land of Oz. As the wood opens up to bright blue skies, a poppy field will unfold where you can decamp to picnic without the risk of being sent to sleep by the Wicked Witch of the West. As you lie back and drink in the atmosphere, messages and sky writing made of clouds will magically appear in the sky as a synthetic sun shines warm down on your face.

Taking the yellow brick road further, noting the street performers in the guise of your favourite Oz characters, you will be brought to the realm of the Wizard himself. An orb of a room will nightly show free light shows with flames and pyrotechnics much like the scene of the terrible Oz from the film. Continuing through the room along the road, will bring you once more looping round into the casino for more gambling or, to follow the red brick road.

Choosing this path will lead the guest to further flights of fancy. First, you shall walk through the wicked wood, filled with spooks and terrible things – prepare to be frightened with this modern take on a theme park’s house of horrors! Through the gnarled branches and winged things you shall come across another theatre, home to the newest of Cirque Du Soleil’s Strip shows, Aile (I believe this is French for wing, please correct me if I am wrong!) which depicts mind blowing acrobatics of the witch’s winged monkeys. But, this is not the end of your journey, with all the excitement and walking and playing, you will now be quite hungry. If so, please, enter the witch’s castle. Within the stone walls you will find the casinotel’s food court (additional to the high class restaurants also available along both the red and yellow brick roads). The eating establishments here will all be decorated and themed along the lines of the castle and its inhabitants in order to provide you with the most exciting and entertaining meal time in the whole of Las Vegas!

Obviously there will be a wealth of Oz themed gifts for sale in the various boutiques that will form part of Glinda’s shopping mall, an extension at the rear of the resort. There will also be pools in which to swim and corners for you in which to sit and watch the world go by. But, the icing on the cake will be found as you walk through the shopping mall and out again into the open air. Here there will be an animal sanctuary in a shady glen, dedicated to, you guessed it, Lions and Tigers and Bears! However, there will also be an annex devoted to apes and monkeys.

As you can see, the flight time allowed for a lot of planning for my super casino, I only wish I had the multi billions necessary to build my fantasy casinotel. I think it sounds awesome! I may even go so far as to design themed suites which are situated within the shining glass towers above the casino floor.

So, when you have had enough of your working day, have a little ponder, what would be the theme of your casinotel? And how would you make your resort the most spectacular experience in the whole of Nevada?


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