By Ron Rubin
You would think after as many Grand Openings that we’ve been a part of at The Glenn Group they would become routine and expected. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
We’ve helped grand open everything from communities like Summerlin in northwest Las Vegas, to hospital towers in Reno, Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino when there was nothing much to speak of on that part of The Strip, and most recently the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek in Florida and The Mob Museum in Downtown Vegas – just to name a few. And each one is as unique as a snowflake.
I’ve witnessed white buffalos roaming casino parking lots, Flying Elvi gloriously descending from the sky, giant alligators escorted on shoulders through crowds, balloon launches, incredible Grucci fireworks displays, exploding crates, ribbon cuttings and of course, Ty Pennington.
Giant alligator at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek opening in Florida.
Ty Pennington at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek opening.
The Mob Museum in Las Vegas during their grand opening ceremony.
But for all the fanfare accompanying these grand openings, it’s the hundreds of hours that went into the development of these diverse brands, as well as creating the wide variety of advertising and collateral support for these projects to become a reality, that really gave me a thrill.
But two recent projects in particular – The Mob Museum and The Smith Center – have both really hit close to home for me. As a native Las Vegan, I have watched the slow deterioration and demise of Downtown Las Vegas over the years, dwarfed by the incredible development on The Strip with projects like Wynn, The Cosmopolitan and City Center as recent examples.
So to say I am heartened and genuinely excited by the fairly recent developments in Downtown, would be an understatement. It seemed like it all started with Fremont East and the slow influx of clubs and restaurants, as well as First Friday, really giving locals a reason to visit there again and build up the arts community. But with the new City Hall being built, Zappos moving its 2,000 employee campus to the old City Hall building, The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health bringing world-class medicine to the city, and the Neon Museum finally set to open itself to the public – Downtown is on the precipice of renaissance that many of us locals never thought they would see.
With the opening of The Mob Museum on St. Valentine’s Day this year, we’ve taken another giant step towards rebuilding Downtown into a legitimate hub for locals and tourists alike. The immersive exhibits at the museum will allow visitors to truly see both sides in the battle for control of this country, as seen through the eyes of both law enforcement and notorious Mob figures. It’s been really exciting getting to be part of the team to help develop the brand for this museum and to see the national press it’s been getting since grand opening is amazing.
All that said, I think most people will agree that the crown jewel in this downtown infusion will be The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. If it is possible for a complex that cost upwards of $500 Million to exceed expectations, this incredible building does. From the 17-story Carillion Tower that will enchant everyone within earshot, to the incredible art deco Hoover Dam-inspired exterior, everything about this project screams world class. But that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what is waiting inside – people in Las Vegas who have been yearning for legitimate arts in the city, and have been buoyed by local stalwarts such as The Nevada Ballet Theatre and Las Vegas Philharmonic, will now have the arts in spades and one of the finest facilities ever built in which to enjoy them. The Smith Center will open this March and it has been one of the most exciting and important projects that we at The Glenn Group have had the honor of working on. We’ve called it “The Heart of the Arts” and once you get a chance to experience it, you’ll know why.
Mar 14, 2012