Tonight we will say "goodbye" to 2016 and welcome the New Year with fireworks over the Las Vegas Strip and champagne or other libations in hand. Before we leave 2016 to the history books indulge us as we look back briefly at some of the notable events that took place in Las Vegas in 2016.
In April MGM Resorts International opened their newest dining and entertainment district, The Park, between New York-New York and the Monte Carlo casinos. This outdoor venue with its focus on nature, art, and public space features fine dining and entertainment opportunities and on April 6th became the home of the newly opened T-Mobile Arena.
In May the Palms Hotel & Casino was purchased by Red Rock Resorts bringing the Palms Hotel in the "Stations Casinos" family. Many people wondered if the Palms would keep its familiar name or be re-branded somehow incorporating the 'Station' surname common in the other casinos under the Red Rock Resorts umbrella.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has become a Las Vegas summer tradition and this year, first-time winner, Qui Nguyen won the top prize. The 2016 WSOP was attended by 107,844 entrants from 107 different nations competing for over $200 million dollars in prize money in 69 different events.
Summer ended with a bang in August as the Riviera Hotel & Casino was imploded ending sixty years of history for this classic Las Vegas property. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority had purchased the Riviera the year before and the official closing was in May 2015. The land that the Riviera occupied will be incorporated into the planned renovation and expansion of the nearby Las Vegas Convention Center.
Las Vegas played a key role in the 2016 Presidential Elections this year; hosting the third, and final, Presidential Debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. For a brief time, the Entertainment Capital of the World became the News Media Capital of the World as thousands of reporters and journalists from around the world converged on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas' Thomas and Mack Center for the final debate between the two Presidential hopefuls.
In December the Lucky Dragon, the newest casino in Las Vegas, opened its door. This Asian inspired boutique hotel offers its guests an "authentic Asian lifestyle experience." Hoping to capture both the local and regional Asian clientele the Lucky Dragon is building a "cultural experience" on the Las Vegas Strip.
As 2016 closes, an estimated 350,000 people eagerly line the Las Vegas Strip to welcome in 2017 in a celebration that is truly worthy of the city called "The Entertainment Capital of the World." We all look forward to the promise of the New Year and the adventures it will bring.
To all you from all of us in the Spinettis Family. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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