Las Vegas 2018 Preview. What to Look Out for

Las Vegas Strip

The world economy may be in the gutter but that isn’t stopping Las Vegas from pushing ahead with dozens of new projects and attractions in 2018, aimed at luring back the tourists that keep Sin City in business. Visitors can expect everything from new restaurants to new casino entertainment in Las Vegas 2018. Best of all, with the recession hanging on like a lingering head cold, hotel rates remain at their lowest in years so you’ll have more money to spend on fun.

Circus Circus will have its newest interactive attraction, the Chuck Jones Experience, open by the end of the year. Part workshop and part cartoon immersion, this kid-friendly venue allows voice over and hands-on work with some of the greatest cartoon characters of all time, like Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny. Another winner for kids and adults alike is the new and as yet unnamed water park slated to open by Memorial Day 2012.

The legendary Nobu Japanese sushi chain will soon be entrenched in Caesar’s Palace as a novel hotel dining concept. The casino’s ageing Centurion Tower will get a complete makeover, transforming itself into a Japanese-style mini-hotel with a Nobu restaurant and lounge in the lobby. Also in Caesar’s, singer Rod Stewart begins a two-year engagement in the Colosseum Lounge that will run throughout 2012.

At the southern end of the Strip, across from Mandalay Bay, a new development, Skyvue Las Vegas, looks set to open its doors for New Year’s Eve 2012. The retail, entertainment and restaurant complex will feature a roller coaster and a 467-foot observation wheel akin to the London Eye that’s sure to be a hit.

The mobster roots of Las Vegas are also finally being put on display with a new interactive attraction in the Tropicana. The Mob Experience showcases a fascinating collection of mobster memorabilia as well as videos of famous mod figures talking about the early days of Sin City.

If you need a break from the Strip, Vegas has a new development in the western part of the city that harks back to Old Europe. Tivoli Village is a beautiful European style village filled with retail shops, restaurants, cinemas and other entertainment venues. There’s no casino, which means Tivoli is refreshingly calm and quiet. Shopping and eating al fresco are the orders of the day.

As if Vegas needed another place to gamble. The latest addition to the city’s many casinos is the Magaritaville Casino in the Flamingo. Fans of American singer Jimmy Buffet will undoubtedly be thrilled by the chance to revel in all things beach bum while gambling at the tables and dining at his signature Margaritaville restaurant.

More of an adrenalin rush can be found at the X Scream, the Strip’s newest thrill ride at the Stratosphere. Playing on your fear of falling several hundred feet onto the pavement below, X Scream is like a roller coaster that totters and swivels. It’s extremely scary and guaranteed to get the blood pumping.

If miniature golf always felt a little tame, then the new KISS-themed Rock’n Mini Golf is sure to impress. The legendary hard rock band, KISS, is adding their touch of excessive make-up and rowdy music to the Vegas Strip by opening a coffee shop to complement their new indoor mini-golf course. Apparently, Gene Simmons is a big coffee geek.

One part of Las Vegas that has been enjoying loads up sprucing up in the past year is the Downtown core around Fremont Street. The original strip back in the early days of Vegas, Fremont at one time decayed into a dirty, dangerous place that was best avoided as all the business moved to the new Strip. Restored and cleaned up, Glitter Gulch today gives visitors a whole new area of old-school casinos and hotels to explore. It’s a refreshingly authentic side of Vegas, where local punters outnumber wide-eyed tourists and everything is a lot cheaper and more tranquil.

A dark note along the Strip for 2018 will be the demolition of MGM’s Harmon Tower. Located right in the heart of the Strip, next to City Center, this incomplete high-rise is slated to come down next year, creating a big, noisy and unsightly mess and disrupting the flow of people around this pivotal block.

Also set for the chopping block after decades in the spotlight is the Sahara. Already closed, this iconic casino hotel is scheduled to be imploded sometime around the end of 2012. Vegas implosions are surrounded by a lot of fanfare, so there will certainly be a big event planned around this spectacle.