The view from the Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was breathtaking and ridiculous, a pairing the city knows well; the fourth-floor oasis sits above the Strip with sightlines to the fountain shows of the Bellagio and the Eiffel Tower model of Paris Las Vegas to the north and the signature golden lion of the MGM Grand to the south.
But the Boulevard Pool now also has a different sight on many nights: a touring, buzzed-about music act, on a stage at its south end. Thanks to an emphasis on attracting new and younger visitors and an increased availability of bands touring the Southwest, Las Vegas is quickly becoming a destination for one-of-a-kind concert experiences featuring indie musicians and music festival favorites.
“We knew, based on the strategy we wanted to employ and the kind of guests we wanted to attract, that music was going to be a core component of how we were going to be different,” said Lisa Marchese, the former chief marketing officer for the Cosmopolitan.
Since then, concert spaces have become major facets of development across the city. The Las Vegas outpost of the Brooklyn Bowl(vegas.brooklynbowl.com), with its 2,000-capacity concert venue, is an anchor tenant for Caesars Entertainment’s open-air shopping center, the LINQ. Caesars also renovated its theater at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, the AXIS, to lure Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears for long-term residencies. Even the Cosmopolitan had to do some retooling after opening: The resort found itself in need of a stage suited to a headline-size act, so it turned its Chelsea Ballroom into the Chelsea, a 3,500-capacity theater that hosted a Bruno Mars residency and a Lady Gaga/Tony Bennett New Year’s Eve show.