New in Las Vegas: The Linq

The High Roller Ferris wheel at The Linq
The High Roller Ferris wheel at The Linq

You can always count on Las Vegas. Milling crowds, blaring music, and shining neon and video displays will forever be around. Shows are extravagant and boob jobs are, too. Most entertainment venues, shops, and restaurants are only accessed through the maze of giant hotels and casinos.

But a new street opens this month, linking the Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard) to the new High Roller attraction, a 520-foot Ferris wheel scheduled to open the first week of April. The new district, called The Linq, is across from Caesar’s and flanked by a new hotel/casino, The Quad, and the old Flamingo Hotel and Casino. Another new, luxury boutique hotel, The Cromwell, will open soon behind the Quad

But what is interesting about this alleyway is the open air access to dining and entertainment. Without having to make your way through a casino or its adjoining shops, some really nice restaurants and shops are especially inviting. Shops include Ghiradelli Chocolates, Chilli Beans (Brazilian sunglasses), Goorin Brothers hat store, and Polaroid Fotobar, plus others primarily in the sweets and accessories categories.

Seventy percent of the area (developed by Caesar’s Entertainment Corporation) is devoted to restaurants. I enjoyed one of my best respites of the week on the second floor patio of Yard House, with a crunchy ahi tuna salad and a glass of Honig Sauvignon Blanc.

Lunch at Yard House in the new Linq neighborhood on the Strip.
Lunch at Yard House in the new Linq neighborhood on the Strip.

Other eats include Chayo Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar, Flour and Barley Pizzeria, and Tilted Kilt, all opening in time for St. Patrick's Day. The old O’Shea’s casino has reopened and like several other places along the way, sells from a window onto the street. The Asian Night Market and Lounge, F.A.M.E., is scheduled to open later in the month and will feature stalls and trucks selling food and drink street-style.

The centerpiece for entertainment at The Linq, however, is the Brooklyn Bowl Vegas. After a successful pre-opening last weekend, the concert and bowling venue will really bust it open this weekend with The Roots and Elvis Costello. Forty-two bowling lanes and a made-for-music venue will certainly draw well.

And the High Roller? It’s already drawing foot traffic even though the concierge/ticket area is mostly void of information, and the shop at the exit is still being merchandised. The High Roller’s 28 cars will accommodate up to 40 people each. (I also heard 25 people each.) It will take a good hour to make the circuit. So the question raised by my server at Yard House was appropriate: Will they allow coolers?

The sidewalk vibe melding indoor and outdoor dining and drinks will appeal to a young and casual crowd. At the time of writing, the main glitch in the neighborhood seems to be its Wi-Fi (but they are trying!) and The Linq's own website.

More observations on the Las Vegas scene these days:
1. The girl-groups and bridal parties might by surpassing the groups of groomsmen leaving it in Las Vegas.

2. Magic, hypnotism, and impersonations live on.

3. The time between headliner show and tribute show seems to be declining. Is that Celine Dion or a tribute show? Is that a Purple Reign tribute or Prince? Britney Spears is the newest headliner. How long before the Britney tribute?

19 thoughts on “New in Las Vegas: The Linq”

  1. Sounds like fun. The one thing I miss when in the States is the outdoor cafes, so it’s nice when cities plan for them. Although, in LV it gets a little hot in the summer….

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  2. You’ve got to give Las Vegas credit! They’re constantly dreaming up new reasons for us to come back – even if we’re NOT gamblers! Gotta love it. Can’t wait to go back and visit the Linq. Thx for the heads-up!

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    • Thanks, Doreen. I’m getting to be quite the expert on things to do for non-gamblers. Sometimes I sneak around behind the casinos to service entries, where it feels a lot like the back lot of a movie set!

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  3. This is a fun post about Vegas and I’m not someone who enjoys the city. We’ve been there more times than I care to remember and I’m over it – as they say. But it’s nice to read that they are coming up with some new attractions. I seems as if ginormous Ferris Wheels are getting to be a trend, popping up in places such as London, Paris and now Vegas. ;)

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    • Patti, it will be interesting to see if the crowds warrant the enormity of the wheel…and the facilities in and out. Come to think of it, I didn’t get the price for the ride, either. Maybe a follow-up comparing ridership of all the ones you mention, to follow? Thanks!

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  4. Las Vegas still gives me the heebie jeebies (is that even a thing?) It’s nice to know that there will be a place to visit without having to walk through a casino. Some years ago, as a jumping off point for a drive to the Grand Canyon, we flew into Las Vegas. We stayed at the now defunct Showboat—in a way off The Strip area so we could afford two hotel rooms. The Showboat’s attraction (for us and our then teenage boys anyway) was a 100 lane bowling alley!

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    • Hey, that’s a good story, Suzanne. I expect the Brooklyn Bowl will be very popular. Only 42 lanes (no Showboat) but with food and drinks and concerts to boot, it’ll be going day and night.

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  5. I’ve never been to Vegas ( on my to-do list) but I’m sure I’d head to the Linq as I’d much rather walk on a pedestrian street than make my way through a casino. That new High Roller Ferris wheel looks amazing!

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  6. I always like reading about other things to do in Vegas than gamble. I’m not much of a gambler, and in fact, did a post recently on stuff you can do there that doesn’t cost a cent.

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