New York-New York Casino Adds Shake Shack and Tom’s Urban
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The Las Vegas casino will add the two new restaurants to its lineup this December
New York-New York features an outdoor shopping and dining area meant to evoke Manhattan.
Looks like Las Vegas’ New York-New York Hotel and Casino takes its Big Apple credibility seriously. The New York-themed resort has announced it will be adding New York City burger and shake favorite Shake Shack, as well as Americana casual dining spot Tom’s Urban to its lineup this December.
According to a press release from the hotel, the two new restaurants will replace The Sporting House Bar and Grill and will be located beneath the hotel’s model Brooklyn Bridge, on their Strip-side area intended to evoke the look and feel of Manhattan.
Shake Shack has been a New York burger favorite since its first stand opened in Madison Square Park a decade ago, and has since opened locations around the world.
The Denver-based Tom’s Urban, which serves up a wide range of dishes — including lobster and shrimp tacos, bratwurst sliders, and duck wings — first opened in 2012, and has since added a Los Angeles location.
Adam D’Arpino is the Restaurants Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @AdamDArpino.
MGM chief Murren sees no new hotel-casinos on the Strip for now
It might seem odd coming from Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of the Strip&rsquos largest casino company. For now, MGM Resorts International — which operates Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, the CityCenter complex and others — is finished constructing new hotel-casinos on the Strip.
It might seem like an odd statement coming from Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of the Strip&rsquos largest casino company.
For now, MGM Resorts International &mdash which operates Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, CityCenter and others &mdash is done building hotel-casinos on the Strip.
&ldquoIt&rsquos not my expectation during my career here that we will build another casino resort in Las Vegas,&rdquo said Murren, who became CEO in 2008. Before taking that role, he was MGM&rsquos president, chief financial officer and chief operating officer for over a decade. During his career, MGM bought Mirage Resorts, Mandalay Resort Group and built CityCenter with its centerpiece, Aria.
&ldquoI don&rsquot see the value proposition, the need and the business case that could be made,&rdquo Murren said of adding a property.
MGM Resorts, however, isn&rsquot slowing. The company is the most active developer on the Strip for new restaurants, retail outlets and other entertainment attractions. The company recently built two outdoor festival grounds on previously vacant land &mdash a 33-acre site on the Strip&rsquos north end and a 15-acre site across from Luxor. They were programmed for music events and specialty shows.
A $66 million, 350,000-square-foot expansion to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center is expected to open in August, giving the facility more than 2 million square feet of space.
The centerpiece of the company&rsquos nongaming effort is a $350 million, 20,000-seat sports and entertainment arena behind New York-New York in partnership with arena developer AEG.
The arena will anchor the Park, an outdoor retail and dining district between New York-New York and Monte Carlo.
&ldquoWe&rsquore developing the type of environments that will make our buildings more popular and profitable,&rdquo Murren said during an interview at Bellagio. &ldquoEverything we&rsquore doing is geared not toward the expansion of the room count or the casino floor, but the expansion of entertainment and visitation to Las Vegas. We believe that we will get the lion&rsquos share of that benefit.&rdquo
Murren said MGM Resorts is more strategic in its investments. The company&rsquos nongaming attractions are a way to bring more visitors to Las Vegas and provide guests a varied experience. The attractions also fill room nights at MGM&rsquos 10 Strip resorts, which total 40,700 rooms and suites.
Murren said customers will still drop a few dollars on gaming tables or play a few coins in a slot machine. But gambling is no longer the reason a record 41.1 million visitors hit the Strip in 2014.
The company hasn&rsquot abandoned hotel-casino development outside of Las Vegas, however.
MGM has in the works an $800 million project in Springfield, Mass. a $1.25 billion resort in National Harbor, Md. and a $2.9 billion hotel-casino on Macau&rsquos Cotai Strip.
Wall Street likes the MGM Resorts story.
Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets gaming analyst Steven Wieczynski said the company&rsquos focus on the Strip helps MGM Resorts weather the downturns in Macau. Less than one-third of the company&rsquos 2014 revenue of $10.1 billion came from Macau.
&ldquoThe Strip&rsquos overall health continues to steadily improve, aided by a return to peak group and convention mix and healthy nongaming revenue growth,&rdquo Wieczynski said last month. &ldquoMGM&rsquos Strip returns have also benefited from judicious cost management, which has allowed modest top-line gains to generate outsized (cash flow) growth.&rdquo
Strip casinos have drawn more than half of their overall revenue from nongaming business since 1998, with the split becoming more pronounced in recent years.
In fiscal 2014, the Strip&rsquos 45 casinos collected a combined $16.31 billion in total revenue. Just 36.7 percent &mdash $5.99 million &mdash came from gaming. Resorts brought in record revenue for rooms ($4.25 billion), food ($2.51 billion), beverage ($1.2 billion) and &ldquoother&rdquo ($2.35 billion). &ldquoOther&rdquo revenue includes entertainment, nightclub and retail categories.
The nongaming numbers aren&rsquot lost on Murren, a Wall Street analyst before joining MGM. A year ago, he said the Park development wouldn&rsquot include one new slot machine or table game.
&ldquoThe era of expanding casino floors is over,&rdquo Murren said. &ldquoThe evolution of the casino floor will be to shrink them. We&rsquore going to create more modular, dynamic spaces that will include multiple utilities for social interaction.&rdquo
He said the demographic for Las Vegas is trending younger.
&ldquoYou don&rsquot come here to play slots,&rdquo Murren said. &ldquoYou come here for the one-of-a-kind experiences.&rdquo
Murren often discusses revenue per available room &mdash known as RevPar &mdash a nontraditional reporting figure that takes into account all the revenue brought into a property through a single room booking.
Wells Fargo Securities gaming analyst Cameron McKnight said MGM&rsquos 5 percent RevPar increase in April could be followed by 4 percent jumps in May and June.
Credit Suisse gaming analyst Joel Simkins said MGM Resorts has become more aggressive about driving room rates on the Strip than the competition. The company was one of the first to add a controversial &ldquoresort fee&rdquo charge to the rooms, where guests are given an overall charge for such items as Wi-Fi and pool privileges. Other Strip operators followed MGM&rsquos lead.
&ldquoBottom line, Mr. Murren believes MGM can push Strip room rates going forward and desires to do so,&rdquo Simkins said.
Murren said the nongaming attractions are key to boosting average daily room rates on the Strip.
The evidence is already showing up, he said.
The Rock in Rio festival drew 160,000 people to the north Strip festival grounds over two weekends in May. Of that attendance, about 15 percent came from Las Vegas. The company has planned three events on the site over the next 12 months.
On the south end of the Strip, development associated with the arena is drawing customers. Hamburger restaurant Shake Shack opened last year at New York-New York and is one of the &ldquohighest grossing locations in the world&rdquo for the chain, Murren said.
MGM officials expect other restaurants attached to Monte Carlo will perform better as development of the Park and the arena wrap up next spring. The outdoor Toshiba Plaza at the arena will be larger than LA Live next to Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles and will provide additional restaurants and attractions.
Murren put the likelihood at 80 percent to 90 percent that Las Vegas lands a National Hockey League franchise to play in the arena, which would occupy at least 41 nights from September to April.
Even if the hockey team fails to materialize, Murren said the arena would &ldquobe occupied every single weekend.&rdquo He said the arena operators have signed &ldquoat least 10 college basketball nonconference games&rdquo and are talking with several professional teams.
&ldquoWe have a lot entertainers who want to break in the arena,&rdquo Murren said.
MGM Resorts isn&rsquot done after the Park and the Arena.
The company will complete the Mandalay Bay Convention Center expansion by August and finish the conversion of the nongaming Delano Hotel this year, adding a restaurant and lounge on the top floor.
The company plans to take its nongaming development across Tropicana Avenue. It&rsquos developing concepts for the space between Excalibur, Luxor and Mandalay Bay to include retail, dining and other attractions, targeting 2016 for the area.
MGM plans to renovate the entrance to MGM Grand, bringing more entertainment and nongaming attractions to the south end of the Strip.
&ldquoIt ascribes to our theory of more open space,&rdquo Murren said. &ldquoIt needs to be opened up and redeveloped. It&rsquos the last remaining piece.&rdquo
Sporting House Closing
According to a report from VegasChatter.com, the Sporting House bar and restaurant at New York-New York will close in June to make way for two new restaurants -- Shake Shack and Tom's Urban. Both are part of the ongoing transformation of the facades at NY-NY and Monte Carlo.
Is that sad news? I've never been to Sporting House but nor do I know Shake Shack (other than to read about and consider the original Madison Square Park location) or Tom's Urban.
Are we going to be better off?
I'm not surprised ESPN Zone couldn't make it either in that spot.
I was there once a couple years ago to watch a SNF Giants game, and really liked the place. However, I haven't been back since. Was hoping to visit again someday for another Giants game, but guess that won't be happening. :(
Never set foot in the Sporting House but regularly stopped in back in the ESPNZone days, Thought it was on par with the other ESPNZones I've been too. I may stop by one of these times to see what it's all about but won't be going out of my way.
I've eaten quite a bit at the Shake Shacks in NYC and the food is very good for what it is, but the menu is a little limited.
I never went into the Sporting House, but I'm not a sports bar person so I welcome the change to two places that I might actually go to.
I have been coming to LV since 1996, I like seeing new things going up. But the MC NYNY construction just seems never ending.
I went to a Shake Shack on the Upper West Side once, not bad but also not real high on my list of places to go to when Im in NYC, so I can confidently say Ill never eat at one in Las Vegas either.
I'm not surprised at all, the sporting house kept VERY strange hours for Vegas, opened late and closed early, hard way to make it in this town.
Vegas needs sports bars on the strip. If Mirage had one, i'd only have to leave for Casa Fuente and good sushi
We used to love going to the ESPN zone. When it closed we went once to check out its replacement. Outlaw is right cause when we went around lunchtime it wasnt open. Looked in and it hadnt really changed much. Predicted then it wouldnt last that long.
Tom's Urbnan or Shake Shake both NYNY
Tom's Urban or Shake Shake. Which has the better food? Which patio is better for people watching
try both. then grab a pint on the nine fine Irishmen patio
I done shake shack back in Feb and it was a real let down for me. From the outside its looks great, soon as you walk in, it's nothing more than a fast food joint, like a McDonald's type food. Had heard all these great reviews of it prior to going, but was mediocre at best for me. Didn't , and wouldn't , go back there.
Maybe after seeing all the good reviews, I set my expectations a bit high ? .
We just returned from a stay at NYNY, which was our first visit since the remodel. We really enjoyed the patio at Tom's Urban. Visited a couple of times for drinks and an app. Extensive beer list as well.
Stayed at NYNY in April. I had two meals at Tom's Urban. I enjoyed both, especially the breakfast. Would definitely repeat. I didn't do Shake Shack in Vegas. I live in New York and there is one across the street from my office. But comparing the two, Tom's Urban is better. Fast-food feel of Shake Shack isn't as appealing to me as a leisurely table service meal on vacation. The Shake Shack burger is pretty good though.
I do also love Nine Fine Irishmen. And Broadway Burger is also good at NYNY.
SS is nothing but bar stools against a 12" wide bar about 10 feet back with no other benefits. Tom Urbans has chairs and table, love seats, bench seating and a full menu. Outdoor bar seating too
Shake Shack is good, but along the lines of In-n-Out Burgers good, so nothing mind blowing.
TY everyone. Looks like Tom's Urban is the place.
Didn't eat at Tom's Urban, but we stopped there for some beers. Really like that patio and outdoor bar. It's great.
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Vegas Eats: Shake Shack at New York New York
Immediately after a giant breakfast at Tom's Urban, I looked at my phone to see what time it was. oh snap Shake Shack opens in 20 minutes! I deliberated for point two seconds and made the decision - I'll take quick jog around The Park then queue up at the Shake Shack for lunch.
By jog, I meant walk up the stairs to the front of Shake Shack, wander over to the patio on the side and try and sneak a peek the fence surrounding The Park. Whew. I'm exhausted. And hungry.
The good news? I am first in line at the much vaunted, heralded and hyped to the moon Shake Shack. I have never eaten here.
Shake Shack's hype machine arrived in Las Vegas a full six months before they plugged in the grill. Fortunately, I am a bit of a skeptic by nature. I've learned to distrust nearly everything reported in the Las Vegas media, new, old or otherwise. Media ass grabbing is strong within the city limits of the company town. Shake Shack seemed to bring out the worst of these tendencies in most of the clickfarmers. I know this much, the Shake Shack started as a food cart somewhere in New York City in 2004 (the same year VegasTripping launched) and is now an international corporation with a $1.72 billion dollar market cap (on close of market 9/8/2015.)
I'm here to test the theory, does hype sell hundred million hamburgers?
Minutes before opening, a small crowd has formed on line behind me. With a teeny bit of fanfare the big sparkly neon sign turns on, the window shades slowly rise and an employee unlocks and opens the door. "Welcome to Shake Shack!"
I make my way past the ginormous menu board to a bank of register kiosks, shoulder to shoulder with the guests who were once behind me in line. The whole affair has the feel of a military operation, employees are scurrying about in the open kitchen, restocking ingredients and making preparations as burgers and fries steam and sizzle. I place my order, pay and am given a number. Casual pleasantry has been disbursed for studied, efficient courteousness. I may be the first in line, but the Battle of Shake Shack Hill is already underway.
I take my seat at a booth with a view of the kitchen. I'm infinitely curious if my first order in will be the first order out of the kitchen. Six minutes later, the answer comes. My order is ready.
A Smoke Shack burger and a vanilla shake served on an aluminum tray - recyclable!
The vanilla shake was sweet, delicious and not so frozen that you got an aneurism trying to move the sweet stuff through the straw. Yummy.
I opened my yap and took a bite. You can't complain when your first bite comes with surprise. I was expecting a variation on the standard smoke house burger with tangy smoky bbq sauce. What I got was something entirely different that tickled the same zone in a very fun way.
Shiny bun, some red vegetable looking stuff, two thick cut slices of medium rare bacon, cheese atop a thin burger patty. Let's open it up.
The red stuff is chopped and blanched cherry red peppers. No BBQ sauce on this Smoke Shack, the flavor comes from the sweet/tart/spice of the peppers, the smoke in the bacon and dollops of the ShackSauce (mayo, ketchup, mustard and pickles).
The patty is made of discs of meat that are smushed onto the grill with a spatula, sort of like Johnny Rockets (who stole their recipe from legendary Los Angeles burger joint The Apple Pan.) The result is a burger with airy nooks & crannies like an English muffin and a great grill-seared crust.
The sweet tangy spice of the peppers, the goo of the cheese, the cream of the ShackSauce and the tender patty that really was mouth-melting. Yummy.
Shake Shack was great. I'm not going so far as to say it was the greatest burger I've ever eaten, but it was certainly intriguing, and piqued my interest to dive bomb the rest of the menu items in the future.
Lunch for one, no fries, no cocktails came to $12.91. That hype machine costs money.
Serving Pastrami and Smoke to a Rye-Proud Town
Paul Kirk, a barbecue expert, teacher and author from Kansas City, Mo., has chosen New York as the site of his first barbecue restaurant. Called R.U.B. (for Righteous Urban Barbecue), it is at 208 West 23rd Street (212) 524-4300. Mr. Kirk, right, was persuaded to come here by an ex-student, Andrew Fischel, who wanted to open a restaurant and is now his partner.
R.U.B. takes on a distinctly New York flavor with its succulent pepper-cured smoked pastrami, infused with hickory in the big red smoker it shares with St. Louis ribs, baby backs, whole briskets, pork shoulders, chickens and Sichuan-style ducks. Prices range from $9.75 to $25.
Midtown Pacifier: Tea and Scones
Sheltered from the bustle of Midtown on the mezzanine of the City Club Hotel, 55 West 44th Street, is a quiet escape: a complete tea service. Tracy Stern, who runs what she calls Salon Tea as a concession, offers six themed tea blends. Among them, the Artist is a Ceylon tea, and the Society Hostess is a decaffeinated vanilla-scented China black. The Romantic, a green tea with jasmine, suited me fine. Ms. Stern serves them with a copious assortment of scones, tea sandwiches and pastries prepared by Daniel Boulud's DB Bistro Moderne in the hotel. Tea is offered from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The price is $32, and the serving can be shared an extra pot of tea is $8. Reservations: (212) 398-1323. Ms. Stern's teas are also sold at the hotel and at www.salonteas.com.
An International Incident: American Brie Wins
A California triple-crÃ ̈me pasteurized Brie-style cheese that breaks many rules of the best French Bries won the top cheese award last month at the International Food and Drink Exhibition, a trade show in London. The winner, Rouge et Noir Brie from Marin French Cheese in Petaluma, beat out the French cheeses even though it is very small - a mere eight ounces - compared with classic wheels of Brie, which are a foot across and weigh about five pounds. Rouge et Noir also has more butterfat than the French cheese. But its mushroomy aroma is on the money, and when ripe, the cheese is nicely satiny and nutty tasting. It can be ordered from www.marinfrenchcheese.com at $37 for three wheels, including shipping. And for serving, this clever beechwood cheese board will gladly show off whatever cheese you have, though it begs for Emmenthal. It is $45 at the MoMA Design Store, www.momastore.com or (800) 447-6662.
Two Accents, Speaking In Unison
It was inevitable: olive oil seasoned with wasabi, crossing the Mediterranean with Japan. Tokyo Kaneku, a Japanese company that has grown and processed wasabi for 100 years, has introduced a Spanish extra virgin olive oil with a gentle kick from wasabi leaves.
The wasabi and the oil are in fine harmony you taste both after spooning the herb-flecked drops on grilled fish or dressing a seafood salad or even a seafood risotto with it. A bottle of about 10 ounces is $15, and about 3 ounces is $10 (both plus shipping), from (908) 351-1433.
A more intense wasabi flavor swaggers from Boyajian's wasabi oil, using a base of neutral canola oil. It's better as a cooking ingredient - to season a marinade, a sauce or a stir-fry - than as a finishing oil. Whole Foods, Citarella, Agata & Valentina and Gourmet Garage sell it for about $5 for 8 ounces. From www.boyajianinc.com it is $4.85 plus shipping.
Off the Menu
Mauro Mafrici, who went from chef's jobs at Felidia and I Trulli to open Lo Scalco in TriBeCa, now also has a role at Savore, 200 Spring Street (Sullivan Street). Boutique del Vino, a wine bar and cafe, will open in its back room on Friday with lots of quartinos, or eight-ounce carafes. There is light food, often with three preparations of one ingredient, like tuna, on the plate (212) 431-1212.
When Winzlet and Donna Clayton took over Wimps, a bakery at 29 West 125th Street owned by Mr. Clayton's mother, they kept the Southern goodies and whipped cream cakes downstairs but added Wimps Sky Cafe and Martini Bar on the balcony. It features favorites like crab cakes and rack of lamb, with Caribbean and Southern garnishes prepared by Stephanie Blades. The Key lime martini is dessert in a glass (212) 410-2296.
The refurbished Leaping Frog CafÃ© in the Central Park Zoo has opened with a menu with zero-trans-fat fries and many organic foods. Danny Meyer's Shake Shack in Madison Square Park has reopened, and next month Tom Colicchio's 'Wichcraft sandwich chain will open in the four food kiosks in Bryant Park.
BRAVE A SHAVE FOR CHILDHOOD CANCER RESEARCH DURING NEW YORK-NEW YORK HOTEL & CASINO’S 9TH ANNUAL ST. BALDRICK’S DAY EVENT, MARCH 10
On Saturday, March 10, New York-New York Hotel & Casino invites Las Vegans and visitors alike to join the crusade against childhood cancer at the ninth annual St. Baldrick’s Day head-shaving event. True to tradition, the fun-filled celebration will take place on the property’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with some of Las Vegas’ best entertainers participating as celebrity head-shavers as shavees shed their locks in support of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The event is free and open to the public.
Those interested in braving a shave for the cause can register online here or on site the day of the event. Group registration also is available for teams and organizations.
To amplify fundraising efforts, New York-New York is introducing two new components: the “Squad Team Challenge” and the “Let’s Get Down to Beardness” campaign from John McManus, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary at MGM Resorts International.
- Squad Team Challenge: New York-New York is partnering with McMullan’s Irish pub to offer the new “Squad Team Challenge.” In the spirit of friendly competition, the “Squad Team Challenge” encourages different teams to sign up for either McMullan’s event on March 3 or New York-New York’s event on March 10 and challenge each other to see who can raise the most money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Only one person from each team will shave and whichever team raises the most money will be entered into an exclusive raffle drawing, with prizes including a stay at New York-New York complete with food and beverage vouchers.
- McManus’ Let’s Get Down to Beardness Campaign: The grass-roots fundraising initiative is led by McManus himself, who for the past two years has made it his personal mission to raise crucial funds for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Last year McManus earned the top donor spot by raising $178,000 – more than half the total of New York-New York’s donation to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. This year he is raising the stakes by personally reaching out to friends, family, colleagues and new contacts to make a donation to his cause with the goal to raise a total of $200,000 as he gears up to shave his infamous beard on March 10. Those that would like to support McManus’ “Let’s Get Down to Beardness” campaign can make a donation here.
“The annual St. Baldrick’s Day head-shaving fundraiser is an event that is near and dear to the hearts of every single New-York-New York employee, which is why we are ecstatic to add in these two new fundraising components,” said Cynthia Kiser Murphey, president and chief operating officer at New York-New York Hotel & Casino. “Each year we continue to surpass our fundraising goals, and I am confident we can make this year another success with the support of McMullan’s, John McManus and the Las Vegas community.”
The St. Baldrick’s Day festivities will kick off with a special appearance by the Las Vegas Pipe Band followed by celebrity guest appearances by cast members from MAGIC MIKE LIVE, ABSINTHE, BAZ—Star Crossed Love, INFERNO, FANTASY, ZUMANITY by Cirque du Soleil and more. Family-friendly entertainment, including balloon art, face painting and a raffle with exciting prizes, also will be featured.
Share All sharing options for: Friends of Eater Offer Headline Predictions for 2015
Q: What are your headline predictions for 2015?
E.C. Gladstone, About.com/GoVegas (Guest Contributor) JackColton.com (Dining & Drinking Editor) NowImHungry.com (Titanium Overlord): "[Insert TV Chef Name] brings his creative approach to homestyle cooking/comfort food/steak and seafood/familiar favorites to the Strip. "
"OMG There's A New Burger Place on the Strip! OMG There's A New Pizza Place on the Strip!"
"Noodles are the new Burgers"
"Church, Howard, Stratta: Why Vegas' Best Dining Is No Longer On The Strip"
Bob Barnes, Editorial Director of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional,
Las Vegas Reporter for Gayot and Regional Correspondent for Celebrator Beer News: The Vegas Strip no longer being the only place to venture for outstanding dining, as more neighborhoods draw in innovative and proven chefs.
More restaurants wising up to the fact that a good portion of their customers enjoy fine craft beer as much as fine wine, and adding a more diverse selection of beer styles and local beers.
Michael G. Uzmann, Doctor, Blogger, Wandering Diner: Yardbird Southern Food & Table will reinvent Las Vegas’ perception of Southern Cuisine.
Scott Roeben, Vital Vegas: It feels like 2015 is going to be the year of accessible food in Las Vegas, so "Las Vegas Leads the Charge in Value-Oriented Grub." Or something more eloquent. The opening of White Castle at Casino Royale, as well as Tom's Urban and Shake Shack at New York-New York are getting a lot of buzz. Potentially three Wahlburgers locations. Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips at The Linq. Glutton downtown. Nothing too high-brow, but real food for real people. I make predictions every year, and every year Vegas throws curveballs. Maybe 2015 will be the year of "Las Vegas Blazes New Trails With Spate of Restaurants Prohibiting Use of Utensils." That would be a blast.
Robin Leach, gossip columnist for the Las Vegas Sun: NO NEW 2015 BREAKOUT CUISINE, GIADA OPENS 2ND VEGAS RESTAURANT, MORE STAR CHEFS INVADE VEGAS. WHEN WILL THE MIRAGE LET MASA FINALLY OPEN? GORDON RAMSAY DETERMINES HE HAS ENOUGH VEGAS VENUES! DOES DOWNTOWN SUMMERLIN HAVE TOO MANY EATERIES?
Don Chareunsy, Senior Editor, Arts + Entertainment, Las Vegas Sun: Breakfast places will continue to rule, with Yardbird opening at The Venetian, joining 2014 newcomer-standouts Guy Fieri, The Pantry at The Mirage and The Griddle at SLS Las Vegas. I’m excited about Brian Malarkey bringing his Searsucker to Caesars Palace, which means more shared-plates and small-plates deliciousness. And Morimoto will finally open at The Mirage?!
Brock Radke, food and drink editor for Las Vegas Weekly: At least one very local, off-Strip restaurant will get some national attention, like Raku and Kabuto and Chada did. It won't be Asian. On the Strip, I don't think anything will land in 2015 bigger than the stuff that landed in 2014, but we'll get at least one announcement of what's to come, and it'll be big, in size and in name.
Jim Begley, freelance food and drink writer for Las Vegas Weekly, Desert Companion, Las Vegas Magazine and sundry publications: The migration continues as Strip talent sets up shop elsewhere, elevating the local dining scene. And Shake Shack eclipses In-N-Out as the Valley’s best fast food burger. Yeah, it’s that good.
Louis Hirsch, Foodservice Designer for JEM WEST, contributor for Vegas Burger Blog and the upcoming Vegas Reuben Blog: The Gramercy is going to surprise everyone. DW Bistro seems to have the right idea with their market, and the project is not overreaching. There is support there and good people involved.
JoAnna Haugen, Las Vegas contributing editor, Travel Weekly: Firefly will permanently close its doors.
Mitchell Wilburn, VegasChatter: The sudden appearance of forgotten regional cuisines, like Scandinavian or Baltic cuisine. At the very least, someone is going to try and put a NOMA dish on their menu.
Amelinda B Lee, photographer for Eater Vegas: "Shake Shack Wins Over In-N-Out Devotees"
Susan Stapleton, editor of Eater Vegas: One resort will shut down some of its restaurants after Rock in Rio. Then it will go on the chopping block. Or more simply, SLS will sink.
More women chefs leading in the kitchen (come on, that was supposed to happen in 2014).
The Linq will get tackier.
One more restaurant from Guy Fieri and Giada De Laurentiis, but not together.
More than one Downtown casino will publicly announce for sale.
One Las Vegas print publication will become online only.
Aria is one to watch. Caesars Palace is getting back its mojo. Mandalay Bay to lose some luster.
Look to non-Los Angeles/New York City cities for the next rising star chefs to arrive.
New York-New York Hotel & Casino is located at 3790 Las Vegas Boulevard South, in Paradise, Nevada.
It uses the New York City influence of its name in several ways. Its architecture is meant to evoke the New York City skyline of the 1940s era the hotel includes several towers configured to resemble New York City buildings such as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. Despite this claim, the hotel's facade also has some replicas of buildings that were built after the 1940s decade, like Lever House, Seagram Building, and the CBS Building. In front of the property is a 150-foot tall replica of the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World), and replicas of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Main Immigration Building on Ellis Island, and Grand Central Terminal.
Within the resort, particular gambling areas, lounges, restaurants, and meeting rooms are named after New York City neighborhoods or landmarks. The main casino area, for example, is named after Times Square, while the eateries are modeled after Greenwich Village. At the casino, special decks of playing cards are used where the "heart" suit is replaced by apples, in reference to the city's nickname Big Apple.
The resort is located on the northwest corner of the Tropicana – Las Vegas Boulevard intersection. At street level, pedestrians are blocked from crossing by concrete barriers. Instead, it is linked by overhead pedestrian bridges to its neighboring casinos to the south (the Excalibur, across Tropicana Avenue) and to the east (the MGM Grand).
The 18-acre site at the northwest corner of the Tropicana – Las Vegas Boulevard intersection had been considered a prime spot for development due to its proximity to the MGM Grand, Excalibur, and Tropicana.  Japanese firm Universal Distributing owned the property, and had discussed a joint venture with the Promus Companies to build a hotel-casino, but could not reach an agreement.  In 1992, Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda Corporation bought the site for $31.5 million and offered MGM Grand Inc., of which Kerkorian owned 76%, a free two-year option to buy it. 
The idea of a casino modeled after the New York skyline was conceived by Sig Rogich (a former White House staffer and United States Ambassador to Iceland) and Mark Advent.  Rogich brought the idea to his friend, Gary Primm, head of Primadonna Resorts.  Primm approached MGM president Bob Maxey in 1994 with the idea for MGM's prime Strip location, and a joint venture was formed between the two companies.  Construction began in March 1995. 
Completed at a cost of $460 million, New York-New York opened on January 3, 1997. 
Since the initiation of New York-New York, analysts had speculated that MGM Grand or Primadonna would buy out the other's interest in the project.  Instead of making such a cash-intensive purchase,  however, MGM agreed to buy Primadonna outright for $276 million in stock plus $336 million in assumed debt.  The merger closed in March 1999,  giving MGM full control of New York-New York.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, people spontaneously sent various tributes to New York-New York, especially T-shirts from police, fire and rescue departments around the country. These were displayed along the fence in front of the "Lady Liberty" replica. Eventually, an official memorial was added from 2003 to 2013. The twin towers of the World Trade Center have never been included in the skyscrapers depicted in the resort's facade it is claimed the facade is meant to represent New York City in the 1940s,  and the World Trade Center was built in the 1970s. The 9/11 Memorial was removed in 2013 for a casino expansion. 
The US Post Office Statue of Liberty Forever stamp, which was intended to show the actual Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, actually shows the replica at New York-New York.  This is due to an error by the stamp designers, who incorrectly chose a stock photo of the replica instead of the original and did not recognize the difference. Even after the error was recognized, the Postal Service continued producing the stamp. A Postal Service spokesman said the Service “would have selected this photograph anyway", citing its popularity and the Postal Service's desire to produce a stamp that appeared different from previous stamps depicting the Statue of Liberty.   In 2013 the sculptor of the statue in Las Vegas sued the Postal Service for copyright infringement. His lawyers pointed out that the replica is a distinct piece of art, with intentional variations from the original Statue of Liberty.  In July 2018, a judge ordered the U.S. Postal Service to pay Davidson $3.5 million. 
Big Apple Coaster Edit
The Big Apple Coaster (formerly Manhattan Express and The Roller Coaster) travels through the property's interior and exterior. The coaster is 203 ft (62 m) high, has a maximum drop of 144 ft (44 m), and reaches speeds up to 67 mph (108 km/h). The ride has undergone a variety of enhancements including the introduction of a magnetic braking system and new trains. The roller coaster has trains that resemble a traditional Checker Cab.  
New York-New York was home to Zumanity, the third show from Cirque du Soleil to take up permanent residence in the Las Vegas area from opening in September 2003 until its final bow on March 14th, 2020. It was the first Cirque Show to be directed primarily toward adult audiences. It was the only permanent Cirque show to allow admission only to those over 18 years of age. The theatre is arranged as a cabaret, with sofas and bar stools complementing the standard theatre seats.  
Until June 2010, an ESPN Zone was located in the hotel, accessible from street level and from within the casino. It was a sports-themed restaurant operated by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts' Disney Regional Entertainment division, with an upstairs arcade room full of sports-themed interactive games such as bowling, basketball, football, boxing, golf, horse racing, and auto racing. On October 10, 2010, the hotel re-opened the facility after an extensive remodeling and dubbed it "Sporting House", catering to the same sporting crowd. The new facility was staffed and maintained by ARK, the food-and-beverage firm which runs other in-house facilities, including the employee dining room (EDR). The Sporting House permanently closed on June 3, 2014, and was successfully subdivided to accommodate Shake Shack and Tom's Urban which opened in late December 2014. 
The hotel also features nearly a dozen bars and nightclubs, catering to a largely youthful demographic, including Nine Fine Irishmen, the Bar at Times Square (a piano bar), and the Center Bar, the latter of which is located in the center of the main casino floor. On weekend evenings, the casino also features a live DJ and go-go dancers performing on an elevated stage within one of the table game pits, known as the "Party Pit".
Culinary double threat behind new Strip restaurant
He&rsquos a culinary double threat — part food scientist with a doctorate in flavor and fragrance chemistry and part restaurant marketer who launched the McDonald&rsquos Dollar Menu and McCafe about 15 years ago before creating the Smashburger chain in 2007. Now, Tom Ryan has unleashed all his flavorful innovations and foodie creativity at his sprawling 18,000-square-foot Tom&rsquos Urban restaurant on the Strip.
He&rsquos a culinary double threat &mdash part food scientist with a doctorate in flavor and fragrance chemistry and part restaurant marketer who launched the McDonald&rsquos Dollar Menu and McCafe about 15 years ago before creating the Smashburger chain in 2007.
Now, Tom Ryan has unleashed all his flavorful innovations and foodie creativity at his sprawling 18,000-square-foot Tom&rsquos Urban restaurant on the Strip, which offers a kaleidoscope of his takeoffs on ethnic-based and comfort food temptations from a monster-sized &ldquoBig Ass Egg Roll&rdquo and Xiangxiang Crispy Duck Wings to Hangover Slopper and a Truffled Maine Lobster Roll.
Ryan, the former worldwide chief concept officer for McDonald&rsquos who even spent three years at Procter &Gamble right after college, opened his third Tom&rsquos Urban in New York-New York less than two months ago after he debuted the restaurant in Denver in 2012.
&ldquoIt&rsquos like a pressure valve that I use to express a lot of ideas,&rdquo said Ryan, who, at 58, has shoulder-length gray hair, a boyish grin and a college student&rsquos earnest enthusiasm.
The man with 2,000 cookbooks in his home library opened the second Tom&rsquos Urban at LA Live, the sports arena and entertainment district built by Anschutz Entertainment Group in downtown Los Angeles.
His aim at Tom&rsquos Urban is to put a modern spin on age-old American comfort and ethnic-based dishes, and purvey them to the masses without the pretense of fine dining.
&ldquoThe art of innovation is taking something familiar and bringing it romance,&rdquo he said this week.
When Ryan said he became chief concept officer for McDonald&rsquos, the job took him away from innovating and creating new dishes and forced him to perform too much administrative duties.
&ldquoIt took me out of play from creating new foods, new ideas, new concepts,&rdquo said Ryan, who left McDonald&rsquos in 2003. &ldquoI missed the ability to create and innovate on behalf of customers.&rdquo
After leaving McDonald&rsquos, Ryan became chief branding officer at Quiznos, the large submarine sandwich chain before launching Smashburger eight years ago.
Creating Smashburger allowed Ryan, who lives in Denver and also has a home in Minneapolis, to scratch his food creating and restaurant marketing itches. The quick-service, casual better burger concept has grown to 310 locations, including eight in the Las Vegas Valley.
Ryan&rsquos fingerprints are all over the Smashburger brand, from fashioning the menu to designing the decor of the 2,000-square-foot, fast-casual concept with the tight kitchen and small presence. In 2013, he even created a pizzeria called Tom&rsquos Live Basil Pizza in Denver.
Cynthia Kiser Murphey, New York-New York president and chief operating officer, recruited Ryan to open Tom&rsquos Urban after visiting the restaurant in downtown Denver&rsquos Larimer Square.
&ldquoWe were invited to play,&rdquo Ryan said.
In Las Vegas, the Tom&rsquos Urban street-front access takes up a healthy stretch of the Strip next to the Shake Shack burger restaurant around the corner from the park and plaza that will lead to the new $375 million arena being built by the partnership of MGM Resorts and Anschutz Entertainment Group. The restaurant opened Dec. 23.
Ryan&rsquos love for food science and restaurant marketing can be traced back to his college days when he was studying for doctorate at Michigan State University. The Grand Rapids, Mich., native made sure he had a business college professor on his Ph.D. committee.
&ldquoI messed around in the College of Business,&rdquo Ryan recalled.
&ldquoI consider myself a hybrid. I consider myself a bellwether (for consumer trends) and I love playing with the food,&rdquo he said.
The married father of three children, 25, 23 and 19, still enjoys working with his chefs at Tom&rsquos Urban to create comfort foods with a modern edge, whether it&rsquos low-country shrimp and grits (Cajun shrimp, crispy pork belly and creamy cheese grits) or Buffalo chicken sliders.
Even the restaurant&rsquos large space, created by his team working with MGM designers, reflects Ryan&rsquos dual personality of creative and marketing, with entrances off the Strip and from the casino, lots of street side and interior seating and intimate or rowdy sections. The divided themes are knitted together in a seamless fashion, with globe lights and beetle-kill wood decorating the interior.
He enjoys visiting tables and chatting with customers about his dishes.
And he relishes telling the story about how he landed on the Tom&rsquos Urban name.