Vegas Renovations at Rio, Venetian, Paris & More • This Week in Gambling

We have a look at some of the renovations at Rio Las Vegas inside and out! Plus, major makeovers at Venetian and El Cortez , changes at Paris Las Vegas and big plans for Virgin Hotels Las Vegas!

Las Vegas is a city of change, and this week we have some big changes coming to Paris and  Virgin… two words you don’t often hear used in the same sentence. There are also major makeovers from Venetian to El Cortez, but we begin with the renovations at Rio Las Vegas! Several weeks ago we visited the Rio and booked one of their 1,500 recently renovated rooms. I have to tell you, I was pleasantly surprised at how spacious it was compared to most resorts in the city.

With a unique layout that was a refreshing change, the bed was comfortable, the room was clean, and there were  plenty of outlets for my devices, along with huge windows that provided great views and plenty of light. There was more closet space than most standard rooms, the sink and mirror area was large enough for two people, and the bath and toilet were separated, with a spacious shower and this convenient gap in the glass to turn on the faucet without getting blasted by cold water.

Downstairs, the pool is 3 acres of Brazilian inspired beauty with cabana and daybed rentals, breakfast and lunch options, and drinks served all day. Back inside the Canteen Food Hall has several new options, from Tender Crush Chicken to Nama Nama Japanese, there’s also Philly Cheese Steaks, Attaboy Burgers, Southland Burritos and more! Outside of the building, the static red and blue theme that had been a staple of the Rio for years is gone… replaced by a new exterior light show with over three miles of programmable LEDs! We even have a video of this light show in action, available on our YouTube channel.

Rounding out the renovations at Rio, back inside the Lapa Lounge will open soon, with monkeys and jaguars hanging from the ceiling. Serving Bohemian inspired cocktails along with local and craft beers. Plus, the Luckley Tavern will offer a range of lunch and dinner choices when it opens later this summer… from wings and pizza to a 32 oz Tomahawk Steak! The overhauled casino floor brings players 100,000 square ft of slots and table games to choose from, but of course there are are other entertainment options at the Rio as well, including the Penn and Teller show, Chippendale’s Dancers, and more! Lastly, Rio is also getting a new convention area, a wine cellar and tasting room, and even updated marquees out in front!

And finally this week, you may have heard us reporting on the new Venetian poker room that will be opening this summer, or their new Rewards Program which launched earlier this year… and now this: To celebrate their 25th anniversary, Venetian is upgrading all 4,000 of their rooms in the Towers at a cost of $1.5 billion! Those rooms should be available to welcome guests by this September. Meanwhile, the El Cortez in downtown is also getting a makeover, only theirs is going to cost around $20 million. They will be adding one new restaurant, two new bars, a high limit lounge, and 10,000 square feet to their casino floor!

Virgin will also be undergoing major renovation work, now that they have cut ties with the Mohegen Tribe. Those changes will make the resort look more like a traditional Las Vegas casino… their words, not mine. Also, Paris Las Vegas gained an entirely new hotel tower when Bally’s became Horseshoe. Work has been underway to make that new tower look like the Paris, and part of that work is adding outdoor balconies, many of which will have a great view of the Bellagio Fountains! To make the Paris feel more like, well… Paris, hotel staff is now being trained in how to condescend to their American guests. I can’t make this stuff up! Or can I?

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