Sin City Shopping
Dec 31, 2012 | 5:28 pm
Vegas shopping is like most things the city does well – it’s bigger, better and more fun. Stores in Sin City are not just stores; they’re the backdrop for shoppertainment. Where else can a shopper experience an indoor thunderstorm, complete with rainfall, and never get wet? Or watch Bacchus, Venus, and Apollo come to life in a fountain of sound, light and laser beams while admiring an adorable pair of Manolo Blahniks? From vintage clothing to haute couture, Las Vegas is a shopping maven’s haven. Here are a few of the best places to shop.
First, check in to your hotel. Because of its location across the street from the Fashion Show Mall, Wynn resort is the perfect place for shopaholics to relax after a long day of spending. Located at the north end of Las Vegas Boulevard, the crescent-shaped chocolate brown and gold Wynn resort houses 2,716 rooms in its 50-foot tower. An artificial 87-foot mountain landscaped with pine trees and flowering shrubs separates the building from the Strip. Inside lies a lounge decorated with giant parasols, vivid green, red and blue floral mosaics in marble floors and a sun-drenched topiary-infused hotel lobby. Wynn houses an 18-hole golf course, the Le Reve show, a world-class roster of restaurants, a spa and fitness center, and a variety nightclubs and lounges. The resort also includes the Esplanade, a retail promenade with 31 upmarket boutiques including Cartier, Chanel, Dior, Oscar de la Renta and Manolo Blahnik. Esplanade, window shoppers and high rollers can admire the cars at the nearby Ferrari-Masarati dealership.
With 2 million square feet, seven anchor department stores, and 250 other restaurants and boutiques, the Fashion Show Mall is one of the largest in the country. Shoppertainment here is the free flashy fashion shows on the 80-foot glass and metal runway offered every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The huge steel object hovering 130 feet above the mall entrance is “the cloud,” a spaceship-like structure providing shade and a place to park it for weary shopaholics as well as music, flashing lights and advertising screens broadcasting videos of Vegas attractions.
The Showcase Mall is a combination shopping and entertainment center housing M&M World, the Everything Coca-Cola Store, the Grand Canyon Experience, Ethel M Chocolates and UA Cinemas. The gigantic M&M World delights chocoholics of all ages, with a 40-foot-long yellow bag of the miniature goodies beckoning visitors in that Vegas-neon sort of way. It offers more than 3,000 M&M logo items. At Ethel M’s flagship store, you can create your own custom assortment from 70 different varieties of gourmet chocolate. If you still need a sugar fix, head to the Everything Coca-Cola Store. Inhale endless cups of free Coke and sample products.
Town Square Mall is located minutes from the airport, making it the first stop in Sin City for many diehard shopaholics. Meander through more than 150 shops, dozens of restaurants, and a huge 9,000 square foot park. Designed to resemble small-town USA, stores are housed in buildings with a variety of architectural motifs. Serious shoppers who want to rid distractions can send hubbies and little ones to the children’s playground, tree house, maze, or 18-screen movie theater.
The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace is pure Vegas, with plenty of luxury, glitz and bling. More than 160 stores, restaurants, and specialty boutiques can be found in this Roman-themed retail therapy complex. Shops along pseudo-Roman streets run the gamut from Banana Republic to Gianni Versace. Under color morphing skies visitors can watch Baccus, Venus, and Apollo rotate, move, and speak at the Festival Fountain; view God of Thunder Atlas battle a wicked flying beast at the Fountain Show; and check out the 500 tropical fish in the huge saltwater aquarium.
The Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian house cobblestone walkways echoing the real Venice, right down to the gondolas on the reproduction Grand Canal and St. Mark’s Square. The Italian themed promenade is home to over 80 designer boutiques and restaurants as well as plenty of entertainment including serenading gondoliers, singers and magicians.