Everyone associates a few things with Las Vegas, but a major new casino player on the Strip has thrown out a classic to try something new.
The covid pandemic literally stopped Las Vegas’ growing momentum in its tracks. In February 2020, the city had just added the former Oakland Raiders and a number of new casino projects were in the works, with one nearing completion.
That doesn’t seem like a big deal given the massive construction boom on the Las Vegas Strip (and really all over the city) but there was a time when people considered Las Vegas “overbuilt.” The pre-pandemic period had some major hints those days were becoming a thing of the past, but the Sin City comeback still seemed a little tenuous.
Then. covid hit and Las Vegas shut down for about a month. And, when the Las Vegas Strip reopened, it was a muted opening complete with social distancing, masks, and limited capacities pretty much everywhere. That made the summer of 2021 an absolutely awful time to open a major new Las Vegas Strip property, but Resorts World Las Vegas accepted that challenge and opened on June 24, 2021.
Resorts World Wants to Make the North Strip Hip
Once you past Wynn (WYNN) – Get Wynn Resorts Limited Report, the Las Vegas Strip sort of ended, at least that’s how it was before Resorts World. Yes, you have the Strat and Circus Circus, but neither of those resort casinos equals the glitz and glam of the major Caesars Entertainment (CZR) – Get Caesars Entertainment Inc. Report and MGM Resorts International (MGM) – Get MGM Resorts International Report properties packed in on the South and Central Strip.
Now, once you walk past Wynn, you see Resorts World, a massive property that stands like an Oasis on the North Strip. It’s adjacent to Fontainebleau, which opens after a nearly 20-year construction process later this year, but that casino’s presence merely reiterates how big Resorts World is.
This new player has been set up as a beachhead to make the North Strip a destination. It’s the first resort casino on Elon Musk’s “Loop” which will connect the entire city via underground tunnels and it’s generally a technical marvel.
Resorts World has massive screens everywhere and it basically screams “modern” at every turn. The casino, however, lacks something that has been a Las Vegas staple — the all-you-can-eat buffet.
And, while the pandemic knocked out many buffets, the top-tier ones like Caesars Baccanal have come back. Not offering an all-you-can-eat option seems to go against decades of Las Vegas tradition, but Resorts World has found something better.
Resorts World Improves on the Las Vegas Strip Buffet
Instead of a buffet, Resorts World offers an international food hall. Customers grab a table (there are plenty of them) at the Famous Foods Street Eats and then order and pay from kiosks located at each eatery. The venue has 16 food stalls as well as options for bar drinks and more exotic choices like bubble tea.
Most of the choices offer just a few menu items. Customers are expected to order from multiple venues and sort of mix and match a meal. You can order from any venue from any kiosk and you get a text message when your food is ready.
This creates a sort of do-it-yourself high-end take on a buffet featuring foods from around the world (and some classic American barbecue) all under one roof). You can eat more than you need (or even want) for less than you generally spend on a high-end buffet while truly getting to personalize your meal.
It’s a unique take on the idea of getting to eat a very diverse meal for a not-outrageous price. You can eat well for under $25 and, if you have a group, try pretty much everything for $40-$50. The food is higher quality than even Baccanal (which is excellent) and while you don’t have the price certainty of a buffet, you could argue that Resorts World actually offers better value.