Part 2: What's New In Las Vegas

Dated: 01/27/2020

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Truth & Tonic | Courtesy of Rob Kachelriess

Truth & Tonic becomes the first all-vegan restaurant on the Strip

Canyon Ranch Spa at the Venetian is good for more than a massage and rock climbing. Under the direction of Executive Chef Pete Ghione, its Truth & Tonic breakfast and lunch cafe has become one of the best destinations in Vegas for super-clean, super-healthy food. By February, the entire menu will be 100-percent plant-based, making it the first and only all-vegan restaurant on the Strip. 

The organic cashew butter toasts are worth a visit alone, but also expect fresh, vibrant salads, wraps made with a wheat-based chicken substitute, and either Impossible or Beyond Meat burgers as a gateway to more fruit-and-veggie items. Drinks include fresh juices, smoothies, coffee, and the restaurant's own Strawberry-Blood Orange kombucha by Wild Tonic. If you're feeling boozy, there's also wine, mimosas, craft beer, and four different mojitos. Anyone with a local ID gets a 20-percent discount and the Venetian has free parking.

Courtesy of Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau

New taxi pricing may save you a few dollars

In an effort to compete with ride-sharing services and cut down on the perception of long-hauling and overcharging, the Las Vegas taxi industry is introducing a new fixed pricing system for rides between McCarran International Airport and the Strip. The rates are based on where your hotel destination falls within one of three designated areas. Zone 1 is between Sunset and Tropicana (from Mandalay Bay to Excalibur) at a rate of $19. Zone 2 is between Tropicana and Flamingo (from New York-New York and the MGM Grand to the Bellagio and Bally's) at a rate of $23. Zone 3 is between Flamingo (Caesars Palace and the Cromwell) and the Strat just north of Sahara at a rate of $27. The new price system is effective as of January 1.

Circa Courtesy of Circa

Downtown will look different in 2020, too

While we tend to annually focus on the Strip, Downtown doesn't dramatically change much from year to year. Yet there's so much going on in the second-largest tourist corridor in Vegas for 2020, it's worth taking a look at what Fremont Street and the rest of Downtown have to offer. The most excitement centers around Circa, a lavish, contemporary Strip-like resort at the west end of the Fremont Street Experience. At 458 feet, it will be the tallest building in Vegas north of the Strat. Highlights include a three-floor casino with the world's largest sportsbook and a rooftop deck with six swimming pools and a giant high-def video wall. (Expect some killer Super Bowl parties here.) The place is so big, it will have a pedestrian sky-bridge connecting to a nine-story parking garage dubbed Garage Mahal.

Courtesy of Fremont Street Experience/Black Raven Films

Circa is just the beginning of the Downtown changes in 2020. The overhead Viva Vision video canopy at the Fremont Street Experience received a $32 million upgrade that officially debuted on New Year's Eve. It now has 3D effects and more than 16 million pixels, making it seven-times brighter than the previous version. The Fremont East district is in the middle of a $15 million renovation of its own with new roadwork, expanded sidewalks, string lights, and landscaping with more than 100 new trees. Work should be finished in August.

Meanwhile, the Downtown Grand is expanding dramatically with the construction of a second hotel tower. The Neon Museum is also expanding with an overhead grid to further showcase historic marquees and a new indoor space across the street called Ne10. On the other hand, The D is closing its showroom to redesign its second level, leaving five stage productions without a place to perform (although we hear the fun and funny Marriage Can Be Murder is close to locking down a new venue).

Feeling hungry in the new year? The Golden Nugget welcomes Saltgrass Steak House, a more casual alternative to the certified Kobe and fine dining of Vic & Anthony's. After introducing the first public marijuana consumption lounge in Las Vegas, NuWu Cannabis Marketplace hosted the first publicly ticketed cannabis-infused multicourse dinner in the country with Lowell Farms in December. Don't be surprised to see similar events in 2020 that will only get bigger and better.

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Jeremy Hyde

Jeremy Hyde is a Las Vegas native who studied Philosophy and Cognitive Studies at Tulane University in New Orleans. He proceeded to work in the fast paced Las Vegas entertainment and finance industri....

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