I must say I will miss 2011. It may have been the craziest year of my life with changes, traveling and meeting new people. I had some bumps in the road, suffered some heartache, but nothing I can complain about because each time it made me stronger as a person. I feel that I really found myself this year and have come closer to knowing what I want and what I need. There have been a lot of changes in Vegas as well. With only two days left of 2011, it is time for the annual review of the year, going over what has happened that will remain in history throughout the years.
The city is constantly changing and a lot of places closed this year, but we also had a few openings and awesome new parties.
• The Cosmopolitan opened for business last New Year’s with an unforgettable concert involving major headliners such as Jay –Z.
• Tao Group opened Marquee Nightclub with the opening of The Cosmopolitan and still reigns as one of the top nightclubs in Las Vegas.
• In March, Chateau Nightclub premiered at Paris Hotel and Casino with Gallery Nightclub following in April inside Planet Hollywood.
• Nikki Beach and Club Nikki opened up inside the Tropicana as part of its major remodel at the end of April.
• The desolate Lake Las Vegas Ritz Carlton was reopened this past February as Ravella at Lake Las Vegas ran by the infamous Dolce Group out of L.A.
• As the pool closed for the season, a new type of party came to surface, the dayclub. LAVO Brunch came first offering a new dining party experience coming out of New York City. Ghostbar Dayclub followed the weekend after bringing a wild day party with piñatas and bottles.
• Party Rock Mondays at Marquee only happens once a month, but it never seems to get old as locals and visitors flock to experience the fun vibe and to collect some swag.
• Who could forget the Electric Daisy Carnival that brought over 200,000 people to the city to experience some of the world’s biggest DJs? Lucky for us nothing bad happened so it will be returning in 2012 and years to come.
• The first closing of the year was Eve Nightclub. You know… the club inside of Crystals that went bankrupt and Eva Longoria was part owner? It’s true, Eve Nightclub closed back in July without even a whisper.
• After five years of being a force field in nightlife, JET Nightclub closed this past September with a party that I wish I could remember.
• A week later in September, Blush Boutique Nightclub closed unexpectedly leaving the staff looking for employment with only five days notice.
• Just a month ago McFadden’s at the Rio spontaneously closed its doors without a word. I have some of my best memories from that place when it first opened.
• The shortest lived opening was Nikki Beach and Club Nikki with only 9 months of being open, closed its doors just a few weeks ago.
Despite the closing and openings, 2011 was a big year for Vegas with an economic rebound. With over 39 million visitors and a consecutive 19 month growth, Vegas has only seen numbers like that once before. However, the growth didn’t help the unemployment rate and Nevada currently leads the nation with 23.3 percent this past November. Hopefully with three new venues opening on New Year’s Eve, 1 OAK at Mirage, Hyde at Bellagio and RPM Nightclub at Tropicana that number might be able to go down.
Some other notable items this past year: we are still one of the worst housing markets in the nation and we were voted the saddest city in America. Vegas is the 6th gluttonous city, which means over indulgent in food and drink, I’m surprised we weren’t higher. On a lighter note, Vegas was ranked the 4th Best US Destination, 9th Best Food and Wine US Destination and 16th Best for US Hotels. Damn, people just don’t know what they want from Sin City.
It’s getting to the end so make sure to pack up all of your 2011 baggage and move forward to a new year. Make your resolutions and maybe you will keep a few of them or all. As 2012 approaches, I leave you this poem I came across:
If it didn’t bring you joy, leave it behind. Let’s ring in the New Year with good things in mind. Let every bad memory go that brought heartache and pain. Let’s turn a new leaf with the smell of new rain. Let’s forget past mistakes making amends for this year. Sending you these greetings to bring you hope and cheer. Happy New Year!