By Samantha Brooks By Samantha Brooks | June 24, 2021 | Lifestyle
When it comes to the luxury retail market in Las Vegas, the more the merrier.
The luxe hallways of Wynn Plaza
Across the country, there are singular retail meccas that set the bar for luxury. Los Angeles has Rodeo Drive; New York has Madison Avenue; Miami has Bal Harbour Shops. But there isn’t one in Las Vegas— there are several of them, and they’re thriving more than ever.
A look at The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian
“Las Vegas today has more luxury shopping than any other place in the world,” says Ezra Bekhor, CEO of LV Luxury Jewelers, who has been operating in Las Vegas retail for more than 40 years. LV Luxury Jewelers is currently the largest familyowned, noncorporate operator on the Strip, with 30 luxury watch and jewelry brands including Rolex, Patek Philippe and Cartier. “You could start at The Shops at Crystals and end up at the Wynn, and in less than 2 miles, you’ll hit every major high-end brand in the world. There’s no other city on earth where you can do that.”
The Shops at Crystals at CityCenter
As Bekhor points out, the 1.7-mile stretch of lavishly developed luxury shopping begins with the more than 50 stores at The Shops at Crystals, which includes leaders like Gucci, Hermès, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford, Prada and Celine by Hedi Slimane. Head north a few steps, and you’re at Bellagio, home to another Louis Vuitton, another Hermès, as well as Chanel, Bvlgari, Tiffany & Co. and more than 20 additional shops. Cross the street and enter Caesars Palace with its 160 Forum Shops, including yet another Louis Vuitton, along with Van Cleef & Arpels, Versace, Moncler and more. Arrive at Wynn to find Balmain, Brunello Cucinelli, Mikimoto and even more homes for Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Hermès.
The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace
In all, Las Vegas counts 10 Louis Vuitton stores, six retail destinations for Rolex, three stores in which to purchase a Patek Philippe, five Chanel boutiques, three Hermès stores and three Cartier locations—all occupying prime real estate in the heart of town. “Per square foot, luxury brands perform extremely well in Las Vegas, even though most brands have multiple locations on the Strip. In major cities, such as Paris, London or New York City, the luxury retail is scattered across the city, whereas on the Strip, they are all within walking distance, which makes it extremely convenient to shop. The level of inventory and variety in the boutiques is also very important since visitors are only here for a few days,” says Farid Matraki, who moved to Las Vegas in 1996 to work for LVMH before he was hired in 2007 by the MGM team to work on the building of CityCenter. “When we built The Shops at Crystals [as part of the CityCenter project], it was a game changer for Las Vegas and gave extreme legitimacy to the city as a luxury destination. It was the first shopping center here that was made up solely of luxury brands.”
Matraki makes the distinction that while The Forum Shops had done well as a shopping destination, they have always been a mix of luxury and nonluxury: Chloé and Club Monaco; Louis Vuitton and Lululemon. But after the success of Crystals, other shopping destinations took notice and leveled up—only up. “In Bellagio, we realized we needed more luxury brands across the property to create a retail destination, so we managed to cut some of the larger spaces to accommodate the demand,” he says. “Retail at Bellagio is among the top performers on the Strip.”
As the destination reopens to pre-pandemic operation— for instance, at press time, 90% of the staff at Wynn has been vaccinated, allowing for an ease in restrictions and measures—retail numbers are already showing signs of steep growth. “Because everything was closed a year ago, we can’t track numbers from April 2020, but if you look back to April 2019, which was a great year, the retail spend is up 27% already in April 2021,” says Frank Visconti, senior vice president of retail at Wynn. “Vegas is unique in that if you define ‘locals’ as people who live in Las Vegas, that’s a small percentage of the retail customer. But, we have a huge base of regular customers who visit every month and are the consistent shoppers. The luxury brands do a great job of staying in touch with their customers.”
When it comes to the future of Las Vegas’ retail scene, there are no signs of slowing down. “The resorts across the Strip focus on keeping their clients within the property by providing first-class food and beverage, retail and entertainment,” says Matraki. “That is the reason having luxury brands with multiple locations across the Strip makes total sense; there is always room for more.” Flip to the next page for the ultimate guide to shopping in Las Vegas.
The two-story Sky Villa at ARIA Resort & Casino.
With 3,370 square feet of space, the two-bedroom Sky Villas are designed like residential penthouses in the sky, complete with a private elevator, private sky pool and 24-hour butler. Elsewhere on property, find restaurants like Carbone, Catch and Javier’s, as well as entertainment from Bruno Mars and Cirque du Soleil. From $1,225 per night, 866.359.7757
The gilded Dolce & Gabbana boutique at The Shops at Crystals
More than 50 luxury brands have chosen to call The Shops at Crystals home. Newly opened outposts for Golden Goose and Lanvin join the already established Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Brunello Cucinelli, Dior, Fendi, Gianvito Rossi, Patek Philippe, Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello, Tom Ford, Tiff any & Co. and Van Cleef & Arpels. And, when all of that shopping works up an appetite, there’s a Mastro’s Ocean Club.
The opulent shoe display at Versace at The Shops at Crystals.
At 650 square feet, the standard resort rooms are almost twice the size of the average Las Vegas hotel room, but the Chairman Suites are among the largest on the Strip at nearly 8,000 square feet. Across the three-to four-bedroom Chairman Suites, Asian-influenced decor includes Java stone floors, jade sculptures and handwoven rugs from Tibet. For those craving nightlife, TAO Nightclub has a DJ-driven atmosphere, while comedian Mike Epps’ stand-up offers a different kind of club environment. Recuperate from a late night at the 5-acre pool and garden deck, and then discover the just-opened Brera Osteria from chef Angelo Auriana and the new Estiatorio Milos, which brings the flavors of Italy and Greece to the hotel’s dining scene. From $12,000 per night, 866.263.2999
The dining room in the Chairman Suite at The Palazzo at The Venetian
Here, 160 stores line the canals, where gondoliers row the famed Italian boats calmly through the water. Visit one of the city’s coveted Louis Vuitton stores along with Burberry, Stuart Weitzman, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tory Burch and more.
The expansive Louis Vuitton store at Grand Canal Shoppes.
The French Chateau Villa at Caesars Palace
The real Caesar never slept here, but if he had, he would have chosen to stay in one of the property’s myriad villas, from the 9,420-square-foot Marcus Aurelius Villa, complete with an exotic fish tank and grand piano, to the 11,310-square-foot, four-bedroom Claudius Villa featuring direct access to the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis. Dine at Bobby Flay’s new restaurant, Amalfi; experience a taste of the East at Mr Chow or Nobu; or check out the eponymous restaurant from Michelin-starred chef Guy Savoy. From $15,000 per night, 855.855.9205
A look from Tom Ford’s spring/summer 2021 campaign. Designed by Studio Sofield, Tom Ford debuted its first-ever standalone beauty and accessories boutique at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in January 2021.
One of Vegas’ original major retail destinations, The Forum Shops thrives with 160 specialty stores and restaurants, ranging from Hublot and Gucci to Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab and The Palm.
Stroll the enchanting hallways at Wynn Esplanade to find Chanel and more.
The Fairway Villas at Wynn may not be the largest accommodations on the Strip, but what they lack in square footage they make up for in style. With a private-drive entrance, the 3,221-square-foot villas off er two bedrooms, marble bathrooms with rain showers and infinity tubs, as well as private patios away from the hustle. Dining at Wynn is as much about the setting as it is the food. Costa di Mare is set around a romantic lagoon, while Mizumi serves Japanese cuisine among exotic gardens and waterfalls. There’s also Lakeside—featuring a menu of Hawaiian fish—and SW Steakhouse—offering Kobe beef— which both overlook the Wynn’s Lake of Dreams. From $3,550 per night, 702.770.7000
The living room in Encore’s three-bedroom duplex
An expansion of the Wynn and Encore retail offerings, Wynn Plaza opened in 2018 and features mainstays like Celine by Hedi Slimane, Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello, Stella McCartney, Bottega Veneta and Balmain, and it also received a handful of new stores for the region, including RtA, Le Labo, Off -White and Loewe.
Photography by: JEFF GREEN, ENCORE AND WYNN ESPLANADE PHOTO BY BARBARA KRAFT AND COURTESY OF BRANDS