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Rock In Rio is coming to Las Vegas!

 

Rock in Rio plans permanent venue on Las Vegas Strip

 

 

By JASON BRACELIN

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

 

Currently, it’s a dusty lot populated by clusters of rocks and islands of weeds with a plywood fence hiding its drabness from the bright lights of the Strip.

 

A little over a year from now, promoters say, it will be transformed into the City of Rock, a permanent, 33-acre, open-air concert venue with a capacity of 80,000 at the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard.

 

The grounds will serve as the home of the Rock in Rio music festival, which makes its American debut here on two consecutive weekends in May 2015, with different acts each week.

 

“I would like it to be the Super Bowl of music festivals,” says Rock in Rio founder Roberto Medina in a Skyloft suite at the MGM Grand on Monday, where new details emerged surrounding the previously announced event.

 

One of the biggest music festival brands in the world, Rock in Rio current encompasses shows in Brazil, Spain and Portugal.

 

At last year’s festival in Rio, where Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Metallica, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and dozens of other acts performed, all 600,000 tickets were sold out in four hours, according to event organizers.

 

All Rock in Rio concerts are centered in the City of Rock grounds built specifically for each site.

 

The Vegas City of Rock, which will cost $40 million to construct, will consist of a circular layout with various themed streets corresponding with American, British and Brazilian cultures.

 

There will be five stages, including an electronic and an indie stage.

 

MGM Resorts, with Cirque du Soleil and investment firm The Yucaipa Companies, will oversee construction of the new venue, which is committed to hosting the bi-annual event in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

 

“We are going to create the infrastructure and grounds enabling this thing to happen,” says Bill Hornbuckle, president and chief marketing officer at MGM Resorts International. “It’ll be fully astro-turfed, there will be paving and other infrastructure in play — electric, sewage, etc. — so that when this event comes and goes, the balance of the time it can be used for other festivals — jazz, country, food.”

 

Hornbuckle says that he could see the grounds hosting one-off sporting events like boxing and UFC cards and Major League Soccer games.

 

According to Hornbuckle, the plan is to grow the festival to eight days by 2019, where it would take place over two four-day weekends with one weekend centered around rock artists and the other weekend around pop performers.

 

The partnership between MGM Resorts and Rock in Rio was facilitated by Cirque du Soleil, who came became familiar with Rock in Rio while touring their shows in Brazil.

 

“When (Rock in Rio) told us they were looking at breaking into the North American market, we said, ‘OK, we have the perfect city for you and we have a great partner to introduce you to,’” says Jerry Nadal, senior vice president, resident shows division at Cirque du Soleil. “It was kind of a no-brainer for us. We think it’s the next wave of entertainment out there.”

 

There won’t be Cirque acts performing at Rock in Rio, but the company will supply production support culled from among their 2,000 Vegas-based employees as well as marketing and sales assistance.

 

Though no artists have been announced for Rock in Rio yet, Medina says that there already have been 10,000 tickets reserved for the concerts on the event’s website (http://www.rockinrio.com) since they began promoting the shows last month in a series of newspaper advertisements.

 

Tickets will officially go on sale in January. In the meantime, there will be a promotional event in New York City’s Times Square in September where, according to Medina, a major act will perform and where details of the lineup will most likely emerge.

 

Medina also says that there will be a major media campaign to promote the festival.

 

“We already have $30 million invested in communications in the U.S.,” he notes in Portuguese, speaking through a translator.

 

Hornbuckle says that the City of Rock grounds will take about 45 days to set up and another 30 days to tear down after the event is over, with the venue’s infrastructure remaining in place, and hopes that Rock in Rio will help revive the stagnant north end of The Strip, benefiting adjacent properties like Circus Circus and, in future years, the new SLS Las Vegas hotel and casino, which is scheduled to open over Labor Day weekend.

 

“I think the happiest guy in town today is Sam Nazarian,” he says of the founder and CEO of the SBE Entertainment Group, which owns SLS Las Vegas in partnership with San Francisco-based private equity firm Stockbridge Capital Group. “It’s going to help Circus Circus, it’s going to help that whole end of the Strip, because it’s had a couple of tough years as we all know.”

 

Referring to Medina’s background in advertising — he owns one of the largest ad firms in Brazil — Hornbuckle sees Rock in Rio as a vehicle to promote Vegas as a whole.

 

“At the core of their company, these guys are marketeers,” he says. “They’ll spend $25 (million), $30 million promoting this event globally. The net beneficiary of that is the brand of Las Vegas. Yeah, MGM Resorts will benefit highly from that, but at its core, this is a Las Vegas sell.”

 

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow on Twitter @JasonBracelin.

 

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/entertainment/music/rock-rio-plans-permanent-venue-las-vegas-strip

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Sounds like this is replacing the at one time planned Vegas outpost of the Atlantis resort next to Circus Circus. Curious to see how they are going to keep it generating revenue the rest of the year...

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Sounds like this is replacing the at one time planned Vegas outpost of the Atlantis resort next to Circus Circus. Curious to see how they are going to keep it generating revenue the rest of the year...

 

That's the big question!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sooooo, the Voodoo Zipline at Rio should open any day now. That's all well and good, except for the pricing -

 

$27.49 before 5:30pm.

$42.50 after 5:30pm.

 

For a zipline. $42.50 for a zipline that isn't even a real zipline. Are you kidding me? And Caesars wonders why they're $24 billion in debt? It's because nobody wants to pay your ridiculous prices! I can guarantee that if this was $5-$10 a pop they'd sell out constantly. Same for High Roller. I've heard tons of complaints about the pricing there, but even I agree that a $35 nighttime ride for a half-hour ride is a WAY better deal than $42.50 for one minute of fun.

 

I'd honestly rather give my money to Manhattan Express ($14) for two (or even three!) rides than pay that price for one ride on the Voodoo Zipline.

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^ You are not the demographics they are going after. They want the person who is on vacation and has brought money to play. From the perspective of it is cheaper then two $25 hands of blackjack and takes longer it is not such a bad deal.

 

How is High Roller doing? Is it meeting their expectations for riders? I still think this thing is going to be a bust.

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^ I'm not sure how High Roller's numbers are doing. Last I heard, three weeks ago, is that it was doing well enough but certainly not filling the enormous queue they built.

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  • 2 weeks later...

www.reviewjournal.com/business/retail/hershey-s-chocolate-world-opens-new-york-new-york

 

The doors to Hershey’s Chocolate World opened at 9 a.m. Tuesday at New York-New York Hotel & Casino.

 

An 11-foot, 800-lb. Statue of Liberty replica made from Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and the Empire State Building comprised of 1,800 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars sit inside the two-story retail store, which boasts Hershey’s brands including Reese’s and Twizzlers.

 

Following the opening, 1 million Hershey’s Kisses were given away at the store and throughout the Las Vegas Strip.

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How is High Roller doing? Is it meeting their expectations for riders? I still think this thing is going to be a bust.

 

We are actually doing great. There is zero fear around here of the wheel going bust. We are only getting busier and busier.

 

As for VooDoo Zipline, I've been hearing they average a 1-2 hour line. That might make it seem more successful than High Roller, but a 60-70 person per hour capacity versus a 2200+ person per hour capacity is no comparison. That's the real reason the HR rarely has a huge line. In fact the HR beats the London Eye's capacity by over 700 per hour.

 

The funniest thing about the complaints about price is that the HR isn't even the most expensive of the big wheels. London Eye is £40 if you don't buy in advance. That's over $60 per person.

 

But, I'm totally biased.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So what you guys think of this?

 

The LINQ Hotel and Casino

 

Personally, I never like "The Quad" name. The LINQ at least works of what has already proved to be a wildly popular attraction on the strip. The LINQ brings a more positive image, as most guests love the LINQ. Hopefully the negativity that has surrounded the Quad/Imperial Palace doesn't prove to backfire on the existing LINQ. If the hotel turns out like they show in the artwork, I think we'll have another Cromwell type transformation on our hands. So far most people love that property (mainly the tourist that actually spend money, locals are hard to please with anything).

 

[youtu_be]http://youtu.be/v1KFmg14Nys[/youtu_be]

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^^Unless they do a major overhaul of the infrastructure, you'll be paying more for the same terrible water flow, slow elevators, bad parking garage (prone to flooding), thin walls (with mold!---based on my one and only experience staying at Imperial Palace), and odd layout This is the ultimate lipstick on a pig. It's nothing more than the cheapest way to get more than the $25/night rates you can find now. I think it will ultimately settle into the Tropicana/Treasure Island price tier of slightly below a real mid tier property. $50-60/night is probably where it will land except for peak demand, largely based on it's location and not being a total dump anymore.

 

My favorite part of those renderings is they clearly show the in-room AC unit still there. Not even forking over the money to upgrade to central air.

 

Cromwell basically kept the building frame and rebuilt everything else. That isn't happening with Imperial Palace.

 

Plus...Guy Fieri has a restaurant there.

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^ The only stuff I know for certain is that the elevators are getting completely replaced with faster ones and the mold/thin walls shouldn't be an issue for guests every again. I'm glad to see them do SOMETHING with the hotel, it's better than trying to make money off the same crap. I guess time will tell how it's received.

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^That's pretty ambitious to have done by October. Really don't see them knocking down/rebuilding walls if they aren't even updating the AC in the rooms.

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