22 Ways Las Vegas Will Look Different in 2022
New attractions, hotels, restaurants, and more.
Las Vegas never sits still. There's always something new around the corner. Want proof? Even during a pandemic, the city still managed to open five big resorts. So what's on tap for 2022? The answer: a little bit of everything. From hotels and attractions to bars and restaurants, here's a quick look at all the cool stuff to expect in the new year.
Deep-sea dining arrives at Lost Spirits
Lost Spirits is part of the AREA15 grounds, but deserves special attention since the distillery and theme park is getting even more weird and wild in 2022. Beginning in January, a new roster of performers, including acrobats and snake charmers, will appear five days a week. Lost Spirits will also debut a long-awaited in-house restaurant on February 15, featuring an intimate dining room with a 16-course tasting menu inspired by "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." Seatings are twice a night on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with reservations available online. Dinner is $290 per person and includes admission to the distillery.
The English Hotel
Todd English is making a major comeback in Las Vegas with The Beast at AREA15, a revived Olives at Virgin Hotels, and if that wasn't enough, his own boutique hotel in the Downtown Arts District. The English Hotel is scheduled to open in February with 74 rooms sporting a Roaring 20s-inspired art deco design, floor-to-ceiling windows, and cocktail carts. Hang out by the pool and try the James Beard Award-winning chef's latest recipes at the Pepper Club. To make a good thing even better, the hotel is adults-only, pet-friendly, and has no resort fees.
Forum Shops at Caesars
Las Vegas has its share of celebrity chefs, and now we have a restaurant from a celebrity couple. Giuliana and Bill Rancic are teaming up with Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants for RPM Italian, opening in early 2022 at the Forum Shops next to Caesars Palace. Look for it near the ground-floor Strip entrance of the shopping mall in the short-lived Slanted Door space. More than a dozen pasta dishes will be made in-house, served in a striking, modern dining room with steaks, seafood, and antipasti. A wine bar, spritzes, and classic cocktails round out the drink options.
Nellie's Southern Kitchen
The Jonas Brothers are returning to Las Vegas, and this time, they're bringing food. The pop trio behind Nellie's Southern Kitchen in North Carolina is launching a second version at the MGM Grand in early 2022. The concept is named after their great-grandmother, who mastered perfect recipes for biscuits and gravy, chicken and dumplings, and other Southern-style comfort food. Guests can enjoy all those dishes, plus a few Vegas exclusives and a lineup of craft cocktails.
Why have one Criss Angel show in Las Vegas when you can have two? The magician's “Mindfreak” performances are continuing at Planet Hollywood, but will now be followed by a "prequel" called Amystika at 10 pm. Previews begin March 11 with an official grand opening anticipated later in the year. Few details have been released so far, although the production is promising fire, tornadoes, and a blizzard inside the theater while looking back on the life of pre-fame Criss Angel with a combination of stunts and illusions. The show is a collaboration with Franco Dragone, the visionary behind Cirque du Soleil shows like O and Mystere.
Emmitt's Las Vegas
A new restaurant, Emmitt's Las Vegas, is scheduled to open by April 1 in the space that was formerly home to the Sugar Factory American Brasserie in front of the Fashion Show mall. The project, named after partner and three-time Super Bowl champ Emmitt Smith, aims to pack a lot into 30,000 square feet. The first floor is dedicated to fine dining, while an upstairs area called The Deck will host concerts and other events. The adjacent Players Lounge is an elevated take on a sports bar and transforms into Club 22 ultra lounge on select evenings. If you already know that 22 was Smith's jersey number while playing for the Cowboys and Cardinals, you're probably a target customer.
The Boss Cafe
Buddy Valastro's Las Vegas empire continues to grow with the arrival of the Boss Cafe in early 2022 at The LINQ. The casual dining spot is inspired by northeast-style delis and markets with plans to serve paninis, pizzas, and hand-made mozzarella. Of course, the "Cake Boss" is best known for desserts and other pastries, including cookies, cheesecakes, tiramisu, and more.
Ready to see why Europeans love darts so much? Flight Club makes the sport a social experience, where friends can gather in semi-private areas, eat pub food, and drink cocktails while tossing darts at a board. Scoring is all digital, so you don't have to think about stuff like math too much. The London concept arrives in Las Vegas this spring at the Grand Canal Shoppes. So far, there are six locations in the UK and one in Boston, but each has its own look and the Vegas version is set to be the largest one yet.
Dominique Ansel Las Vegas
Las Vegas already has a variety of great bakeries, and now you can add another name to the list. Dominique Ansel, who officially owns the trademark on "cronut," is opening a self-titled bakery shop this summer at Caesars Palace. Look for it next to Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, where guests can grab a seat or take baked goods to go. In addition to the infamous donut-croissant hybrid, Ansel is also known for cookie shots filled with milk and frozen s'mores, but is planning some new, only-in-Vegas surprises as well.
New attractions at AREA15
The warehouse-like art and entertainment space known as AREA15 continues to expand. Liftoff is an open-air seven-minute balloon ride with a 16-seat gondola to carry guests more than 130 feet into the sky. In true Vegas fashion, you're allowed to bring a cocktail. AREA15 is also taking advantage of the meta movement with Illuminarium, an experience that simulates spectacular real world settings (a safari, the bottom of the ocean, the celestial universe—that kind of stuff) with a combination of high-def motion picture production and virtual reality. No goggles required.
Everything old is new again. And again. The Palms just marked its 20th anniversary in Las Vegas, but remains closed after ceasing operations during the onset of the pandemic. That's about to change. After pouring $690 million into an extensive renovation (and other stuff, like DJs and Cardi B) Station Casinos cut its losses and sold the property to San Manuel Gaming with a reopening expected within the first half of the year. It appears the name, pool deck, and hotel rooms will remain in place with few changes, although the company has signaled it will revamp the sports book. New bars and restaurants are a given, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see the new owners shift focus back to attracting locals and avoid the eager over-investing that gave the Palms so many problems just a few short years ago.
You can never have too many strip clubs in Las Vegas. The former Olympic Garden in that fuzzy area between the Strip and Downtown is reopening in March as the Peppermint Hippo. The name was originally a spoof of the Spearmint Rhino on South Park, but has turned into a chain of real-life strip clubs with one Nevada location already open up north in Reno. The Vegas version originally planned to have a large LED screen facing Las Vegas Boulevard, but that's been delayed to a later phase due to the supply shortage.
Hello. It's Adele. The singer debuts her first-ever Las Vegas residency and becomes the hottest ticket in town, so beware of in-the-deep prices on the resale market. "Weekends with Adele" at the Colosseum inside Caesars Palace follows an interesting format: performances on Friday and Saturday nights from January 21 to April 16. Meanwhile, John Legend kicks off his "Love in Las Vegas" residency at the Zappos Theater in April with dates through at least October. The same venue welcomes runs by the Scorpions in April and the Doobie Brothers (on a 50th anniversary tour) in May, while saying goodbye to Shania Twain, who plays the final dates of her "Let's Go!" residency in September. The Resorts World Theatre is moving ahead with new residencies by Katy Perry (opening Dec. 27), Luke Bryan (opening Feb. 11), Michael Buble (opening April 27), Carrie Underwood (returning March 23 after opening the venue in December) and hopefully, eventually Celine Dion, who cancelled initial dates due to a health issue.
New Paris restaurants
Paris Las Vegas is shaking up its culinary lineup with a few big celebrity names. The Bedford by Martha Stewart opens this spring, inspired by the television personality's own New York country home. We've been anticipating the opening of Lisa Vanderpump's new cocktail lounge for a few months now. Vanderpump à Paris will sport French-inspired decor to match the tone and image of the casino. And a third Las Vegas location for Nobu was confirmed for the resort, giving tourists yet another option to try the black cod with miso, yellowtail jalapeno, and other signature dishes by Nobu Matsuhisa.
A Kiss museum
Kiss by Monster Mini Golf, an 18-hole glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course dedicated to the rock band, is expanding its presence at the Rio. According to Gene Simmons himself, the attraction will evolve into a larger, 15,000-square-foot space with a full-fledged Kiss museum—and since the band is one of the most licensed and merchandised acts in music history, that shouldn't be hard to do. Simmons claims three tractor trailers worth of items were curated from his own personal collection. Expect to see anything and everything (from condoms to caskets) with the Kiss logo on display.
Sand Dollar Lounge Downtown
Between live blues, whiskey, and cocktails, the Sand Dollar Lounge has long been one of our favorite bars in Las Vegas. The concept is expanding in 2022 with a second location at the Plaza hotel west of the Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas. The cocktail menu will be the same and you can still play pool alongside paintings from local artists, but the live music will lean toward rock with VIP bottle service available. But don't worry. The new Sand Dollar will still offer plenty of value. If you get hungry, place a direct order from the Plaza's Pop Up Pizza.
Wakuda Las Vegas
Tetusya Wakuda is coming to Las Vegas with a slick combination of traditional and modern Japanese cuisine at the Venetian. Wakuda Las Vegas is set to open in the spring or summer in partnership with John Kunkel's 50 Eggs Hospitality, which also operates Yardbird at the same resort. The chef's previous restaurants, Tetsuya's in Sydney and Waku Ghin in Singapore have earned international acclaim (and two Michelin stars for the latter). Wakuda is taking over the old Morels space in the Palazzo tower and will inherit an engaging patio overlooking the Strip. In an interesting two-for-one move, a sister Wakuda restaurant is also opening in 2022 at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
Durango By Station Casinos
The idea of a Durango Station casino has been around for a while, but construction was put on hold due to the 2008 recession. Now renamed Durango by Station Casinos, the project is set to break ground near Durango and the 215 in the first quarter of 2022. Once both phases are complete, the property will have two hotel towers and more than 450 rooms with a casino, pool, water features, and tree-lined walking areas. Of course, you can count on a few bars and restaurants too, although specifics have yet to be announced. We just know patios are included. Renderings show the resort will have a sharp modern design that complements the surrounding desert scenery.
A new Hard Rock International resort on the Strip
See if you can keep up with this shuffle game: The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino changed ownership and became Virgin Hotels earlier this year. Now, MGM Resorts has sold the Mirage to Hard Rock International, which is tearing down the hotel and replacing it with one shaped like a giant guitar (not to be confused with the Hard Rock Cafe restaurant two miles down the Strip). The new resort still doesn't have an official name. However, we do know most of the property's attractions, including the famous free volcano show out front, are going away. No word on the fate of The Beatles LOVE, a Cirque du Soleil show dedicated to the iconic rock band that's run at the Mirage since 2006.
The Bend has been in the planning stages for a while, but if everything lines up, construction on the outdoor shopping and dining plaza should get underway near Ikea in the southwest valley in early 2022. Electric Pickle is lined up to be one of the main tenants, occupying a 70,000-square-foot space with nine pickleball courts, bars, and a two-story restaurant with a patio and rooftop lounge. The company behind the project (which also operates Eureka! on Fremont Street) is hoping to take advantage of the growing pickleball trend—a casual sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. Electric Pickle also plans to keep guests busy with cornhole and bocce ball courts.
A Miracle Mile renovation
The Miracle Mile Shops, which wrap around the Planet Hollywood resort, will undergo an extensive renovation in 2022. That means dramatic new LED video screens outside and new floors, ceilings, seating, restaurant areas, and sound systems inside. Guests will see colorful projection mapping and the indoor rainstorm (which provides some much-needed free entertainment in Vegas) will get an upgrade too. Shops will remain open during the renovation, which should be fully complete by early 2023.
Ole Red Las Vegas
A few years ago, the Grand Bazaar Shops brought John Rich's Redneck Riviera to the Strip, but it didn't take. Now the outdoor shopping plaza in front of Bally's is trying again with a similar concept by country music star and The Voice coach Blake Shelton. Ole Red started in Nashville, but is now expanding across the country and arrives in Las Vegas with an ambitious four-story location. One floor will be dedicated to dining with a menu of Southern-style cuisine. Live music will run regularly on both a main stage and rooftop deck with views of the Strip as the backdrop. Be ready for lots of beer as well as "Redneck Nachos" and other bar-friendly bites. Ole Red will start taking shape in 2022 with a grand opening scheduled for 2023.