Resorts World Attracts 20K Visitors to Grand Opening on Las Vegas Strip

By | July 1, 2021

Resorts World Las Vegas drew at least 20,000 people to its grand opening June 24 on the Strip, according to a report.

Frank Sinatra portrait
A portrait of Frank Sinatra is on display at Resorts World Las Vegas. Other reminders of an earlier era, including images of Elvis Presley, are on display at the Strip’s newest resort. (Image: Tommy Canale)

The Resorts World attendance is smaller than the 80,000 that visited the Bellagio Las Vegas within 18 hours of its opening on the Strip in 1998, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Even so, Resorts World Las Vegas President Scott Sibella said the crowd last Thursday was “truly incredible.” 

Opening the first resort development on the Strip in over a decade has been a monumental achievement, and the night exceeded our expectations,” he said.

On the night of the grand opening, the public was allowed inside Resorts World beginning at 11 pm, though 5,500 people attended an earlier private event, spokesperson Joslyn Garcia told the newspaper. 

The $4.3 billion Resorts World is the first hotel-casino to open on the Strip since the Cosmopolitan debuted in December 2010. The Cosmopolitan is on the west side of the Strip, towering over the older Jockey Club just south of the Bellagio. The Bellagio was built under the direction of casino developer Steve Wynn and is located where the Dunes hotel-casino once stood. 

North Strip Revival

Resorts World is at the northwest end of the Strip, near 1960s era Circus Circus and the small Slots-A-Fun casino. The Malaysia-based Genting Group built Resort World where the now-demolished Stardust Casino was located. 

Tourism officials are hopeful Resorts World can lead to a recovery for that slow-to-revive section of the Strip. In an earlier era, the Riviera was a main attraction at the northeast end of the resort corridor. The Riviera was closed in 2015 and later demolished.

Resorts World has a red exterior and includes nine swimming pools, 40 dining and drinking establishments, and numerous luxury shops. The resort’s executives have said the company already is planning to expand onto vacant spaces at the 88-acre site.

Stardust Reminders

One Las Vegas resident who visited Resorts World the day after the grand opening told Casino.org some things throughout the property reminded him of the previous hotel-casino at that location.

Las Vegas-based podcaster Tommy Canale said as he walked around Resorts World, he “kept seeing small little hints of the old Stardust.” Canale, a long-time Las Vegas resident, hosts two podcasts, Before the Lights and The Golf Zone.

Canale said artwork displayed inside the resort, including a drawing of Frank Sinatra, had a throwback appeal, as did blue velour chairs on the property. 

Sinatra appeared on Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal’s television variety show decades ago when the Chicago oddsmaker ran the Stardust for Midwestern Mafia families. Rosenthal hosted the TV show from inside the Stardust.

That era is portrayed in Nicholas Pileggi’s 1995 book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas. The book became the basis for the movie Casino, which Pileggi co-wrote with director Martin Scorsese.

Canale said he saw reminders of the Stardust throughout Resorts World. 

“The color scheme was similar, along with a small lounge near one of the check-in areas that had two steps up, which reminded me of the Stardust,” Canale said. “If you look closely things will pop out.”

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