A lot has changed in the Nevada desert since the last show took place in March 2020 — here’s what to expect for 2023 show attendees
The last incarnation of IFPE was certainly a weird one; I was one of the few who made it to the triennial fluid power event, just ahead of the COVID-19 lockdowns. The whole front of the South Hall’s exhibition floor was full of empty spaces, like a demented Jack ’o’ Lantern’s smile of a trade show. What booths there were, were often sparsely staffed, and the attendance was certainly lower than planned. A couple of days into the show, the U.S. announced that European flights were being halted, sending many of the international attendees scurrying to get home. It was … an interesting time, for sure. Now, with 2023’s show on the horizon, so many in the fluid power industry are excited to meet face to face once again.
Three years is a long time to go between events anyway, but Las Vegas’ fast paced building and turnover — combined with the unique weirdness of the last few years — mean that some things have changed for visitors who haven’t been to Sin City since early 2020 (or even 2017). Here’s a look at the after-hours aspect of IFPE 2023 … what’s changed and what’s new in the city, from hotels to attractions to restaurants.
New lodging options
There are some major changes in and around the Strip, headlined with the opening of the huge Resorts World Las Vegas complex, located on the north end of the Strip. Resorts World opened in June 2021 and features three hotels: Hilton (1,774 rooms), Conrads (1,496 rooms), and Crockfords (332 rooms). This is only the fifth location in the world for the luxury Crockfords brand. The complex also boasts more than a dozen bars and restaurants, including an Asian-inspired food hall, a sushi bar, a modern Mexican concept, wine bar with more than 8,000 labels, and a 66th floor lounge. Guests will also find a 5,000-seat theater onsite, a 117,000 sq-ft casino (of course!), a spa, and an expansive outdoor pool deck that features seven different pools.
In March 2021, the former Hard Rock Hotel was taken over and rebranded as the Virgin Hotel Las Vegas, part of Richard Branson’s empire that includes Virgin Atlantic airways, Virgin Rail Group, and Virgin Voyages (cruise line). Part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, the Virgin Hotel Las Vegas has about a dozen bars and restaurants on site, three pools, a spa and fitness center, casino, and three guestroom towers. The Canyon Tower gives guests speedy access to the Mohegan Casino and features sweeping mountain views and overlooks the five-acre desert pool oasis. The Opal Tower is focused on rooms with style and sophistication with a cool desert twist. And the all-suite Ruby Tower has large accommodations, an exclusive check-in area, and a dedicated valet. Some rooms in the Ruby Tower offer views of the Las Vegas Strip.
Circa Las Vegas is an interesting casino property that’s unique in the city. Located amidst the more historic hotels of downtown’s Fremont Strip, it’s part of the area’s remaking of itself. The site formerly held the Las Vegas Club and Mermaids Casino; they were demolished in 2017 and a tall gleaming 500-room tower (of the type more commonly see on the Strip) was built in their place. Circa opened its doors in late 2020. One of the property’s big attractions is its extensive pool area, known as Stadium Swim. This area is three levels and includes six pools, all overlooking a 143-foot-high HD television screen, perfect for broadcasting sporting events. The area holds an incredible 4,000 guests, making it truly feel like you’re attending the big game.
Maybe the most noticeable new addition to the Las Vegas skyline is the new Allegiant Stadium, the new home of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders. Opened in September 2020, the 65,000 seat, state-of-the-art stadium also hosts major sporting and entertainment events. In the first quarter of 2023, the stadium is primed to host the East-West Shrine Bowl, the NFL’s Pro Bowl, and Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour. And in 2024, it will be the site of Super Bowl LVIII.
Las Vegas has always been a destination with plenty of shows, from residencies for music superstars like Celine Dion, Britney Spears, and Mariah Carey to more unique performances. A trend in recent years has seen smaller, sexier shows proliferate, such as the Atomic Saloon Show at the Venetian resort — a romp full of comedy, acrobatics and barely clad male and female performers — in an intimate space that only seats a couple hundred attendees. Similar shows include Absinthe Las Vegas at Caesars Palace, OPM at The Cosmopolitan, and the Superfrico show, which also includes dinner — also at The Cosmopolitan.
Other interesting news in Sin City includes:
- Escape IT, inspired by one of the most horrifying film franchises of all time, “IT,” launches in Las Vegas this month. Located in the heart of the city and spanning more than 30,000 square feet, Escape IT is a new take on the traditional escape room experiences, offering fans two multi-room escape adventures that bring to life IT, and its blockbuster sequel, IT Chapter Two. The attraction will include more than 20 interactive rooms, state-of-the-art special FX, lighting, animatronics, and live actors to create a fully immersive and terrifying experience.
- Mad Apple, the newest Las Vegas production from Cirque du Soleil, opened this summer at New York-New York Hotel & Casino. Mad Apple is a high-energy cocktail of comedy, music, dance, and high-flying acrobatics that delivers New York’s wildest night out under the Vegas lights. Featuring stand-up comedy, a first in a Cirque du Soleil show, the headlining comedians Brad Williams and Harrison Greenbaum, and freestyle comedy rapper Chris Turner entertain guests with on-the-spot, often rowdy improvs.
- Vanderpump à Paris at Paris Las Vegas, Parisian-inspired restaurant, is now open. Designed by Lisa Vanderpump and her long-time design partner, Nick Alain, Vanderpump à Paris instantly transports guests from the Las Vegas Strip to an enchanting old Parisian courtyard.
- The award-winning hit production Bat Out of Hell – The Musicalannounced a Las Vegas Residency several months ago. The musical, featuring Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf’s greatest hits, is set at Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. For the stage musical, Steinman incorporated iconic songs from the Bat Out of Hell albums, including You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night), Bat Out of Hell, I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That), Paradise By the Dashboard Light, and Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad.
- Princess Diana: A Tribute Exhibition is a 10,000-square-foot royal exhibit that has begun a long-term residency inside The Shops at Crystals on the Las Vegas Strip. The exhibition transports visitors into the life of world-famous royalty through the designer fashions, personal effects, and historic items of the “People’s Princess” and family and friends important in her life. Organizers worked to curate the exhibit from a collection of Diana and British royal memorabilia considered by many to be the world’s most comprehensive — a collection that has taken the internationally respected charity more than 45 years to assemble.
- Perception Las Vegas, a new museum for immersive and high-tech digital art installations recently debuted on the Las Vegas Strip with the world premiere of Leonardo: The Universal Man. Chronicling the life and works of Leonardo da Vinci, one of history’s greatest thinkers, the hour-long, three-part journey will transport guests into the mind of the Renaissance master. da Vinci changed the perception of humankind through his visionary ideas, science, and art. Three distinct, 360° gallery exhibits will envelop guests in da Vinci’s works, studies, and findings as an architect, engineer, alchemist, artist, philosopher, and sculptor.
- The beloved Ghostbar at Palms Casino Resort reopened in September. Originally debuting in 2001, this widely popular bar and lounge perched high atop the 55th floor has spectacular views of The Strip and is home to Dee Miles’ sexy, soulful Midnight Skye, featuring a live band, sultry dancers, specialty acts, and surprise guests.
- The D Las Vegas has brought bacon, bacon, and more bacon to downtown with the launch of an exciting new restaurant concept, Bacon Nation. Located on the newly renovated second floor of the Fremont Street Experience hotspot, the restaurant’s 24/7 menu will be centered around a love for all things bacon. The sizzling concept features 14 variations of house-cured bacon with flavors ranging from lemon pepper to brown sugar, teriyaki, Cajun, jalapeno, buffalo, salt and vinegar, applewood bourbon, truffle, and chocolate-dipped.
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