Not too long ago, visitors came to Nevada for the casinos, and maybe bought a few souvenirs on their way home. But things have changed in the Silver State, and it is now a shopper’s paradise with everything from high-end couture boutiques to discount outlets and quaint or quirky stores.
There are three main types of shopping venues in Las Vegas: malls, discount outlets and resort-casinos. But nothing in Las Vegas is ordinary, not even its malls.
The Fashion Show Mall on the Strip is one of the largest shopping centers in the United States, anchored by Macy’s, Dillard’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nevada’s only Nordstrom. The mall was designed as a venue for fashion shows, so don’t be surprised if your shopping is interrupted by music, spotlights and models as the main hall turns into a runway or concert stage. The Showcase Mall is a small collection of big-name attractions, including M&M World, World of Coca-Cola, Ethel M. Chocolates and the Grand Canyon Experience.
A new trend in mall design can be seen at Town Square Las Vegas, an open-air shopping center built to look like a small downtown, complete with a park, children’s area, a movie theater and streets lined with stores. This is a great place to bring the family for an afternoon of playing in the park, watching a movie, listening to some music, and of course, shopping.
Those looking to save some money while stocking up on name-brand goods often like to browse outlet malls, and Las Vegas has two with a variety of stores loaded with discounted items. The Las Vegas Premium Outlets is an open-air center with more than 150 stores, including the Disney Store, Calvin Klein, Adidas, Polo Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Juicy, Tommy Hilfiger and Banana Republic. The Las Vegas Outlet Center is near the McCarran International Airport and is a sister center to the Premium Outlets, boasting nearly as many stores in an enclosed mall. Several resorts in Las Vegas offer free transportation to the both outlet centers, making it easy to get there and easy to shop.
Casinos are an exciting place to spend your money – whether at the card tables or in the shops. The Wynn Esplanade in the Wynn Las Vegas offers some of the most elite brands in the world, including Manolo Blahnik, Louis Vuitton, Oscar de la Renta, Cartier and Dior. This is the epitome of exclusive shopping where the stars get their clothes for a night out on the Strip.
Caesars Palace has perhaps the largest shopping annex in the city, the Forum Shops, with more than 160 shops and boutiques and 13 restaurants. The stores range from mall staples such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Diesel to international couture like Dolce & Gabbana and Jimmy Choo. For the foodies in your group, the Forum Shops also boasts Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois and The Palm (check out the walls covered in caricatures of celebrities who have eaten there).
Another mecca of high-end shopping is the Via Bellagio inside the Bellagio resort. Get your credit card ready and let the fun begin at Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Dior, Fendi, Gucci and Prada. Take a break from shopping and watch the famous Bellagio fountains shoot high into the sky, dance and shimmer, perfectly choreographed to music every half hour or 15 minutes. The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden also is a perfect place to rejuvenate after a long day of shopping.
Shopping at the Grand Canal Shoppes in the Venetian is like stepping into another world – the Old World with cobblestone streets, gondolas on the Grand Canal and cappuccinos in the bustling bistros. Then you step back into the real world – the Las Vegas world – as you browse the sales racks and hottest buys of the season at stores like Kenneth Cole, Ann Taylor, bebe and Brookstone.
Planet Hollywood didn’t have to go far to find the name for its new shopping center; the mile-long indoor mall is called the Miracle Mile Shops, and it may just take a miracle to shop the whole thing. Aside from 170 stores and 15 restaurants, the mall features indoor entertainers such as acrobats, comedians, magicians and musicians. Planet Hollywood and the Miracle Mile Shops are right in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip, so no matter where you are on the Strip, you’re close to the mile of stores.
Each Las Vegas hotel has a little something different to set it apart from the others, and their shopping areas mirror their unique décor and theme. Other shopping centers worth an afternoon of browsing include Mandalay Place at Mandalay Bay resort, the Starlane Walk and Studio Walk at MGM Grand, Bally’s-Paris Promenade and Le Boulevard at Paris Las Vegas and the Street of Dreams at the Monte Carlo.
Experienced visitors to Las Vegas have learned a vital shopping secret: Bring an extra suitcase to fill up with all the treasures you find in Las Vegas.