Top Five: The Best New Reasons to Visit Vegas in 2017

Two words: Crack Pie

Lucky Dragon's 27,500-square-foot casino floor focuses on Asian gaming.
Lucky Dragon’s 27,500-square-foot casino floor focuses on Asian gaming. Joey Ungerer

December is shaping up to be a crazy month in Las Vegas, with new high-profile properties adding sizzle all over the Strip. And then things will get even wilder early next year when more A-list hot spots are unveiled.

Here are five major openings that should make 2017 an action-packed year in Vegas.

Lucky Dragon
The Asian-themed boutique resort, which is having its grand opening on December 3, is the first ground-up casino to debut in Las Vegas since The Cosmopolitan in 2010. With 203 hotel rooms (including 23 suites) and 27,500 square feet of casino floor, this is an intimate property by Vegas standards. But there’s still room for plenty of baccarat, a VIP gaming parlor, a spa (with treatments including acupuncture and reflexology), an “oasis garden” pool and an indoor/outdoor tea garden with beverages curated by the city’s only tea sommelier. Dining options include Dragon’s Alley, which will serve dim sum, barbecue, live seafood and stir-fry dishes in a lantern-lit setting inspired by night markets. The fancy-pants Phoenix restaurant will offer high rollers delicacies like abalone and deer tendon.

W Las Vegas
The W hotel tower opening December 1 at SLS Las Vegas features confidently designed accommodations ranging from 322-square-foot Philippe Starck Wonderful Rooms to 2,382-square-foot Lenny Kravitz Extreme Wow Suites. Whatever you book, you’ll have easy access to all the amenities at SLS, including music venue The Foundry and chef José Andrés’ excellent Bazaar Meat.

The Dorsey
The Venetian’s 4,000-square-foot cocktail lounge from New York hospitality heavyweight David Rabin (Jimmy, The Skylark, Lambs Club, Cafe Clover) and ace mixologist Sam Ross (Attaboy) should offer a civilized but still vibrant and exclusive-feeling alternative to Sin City’s overheated mega-clubs. The Thomas Schlesser-designed bar, set to open in December, is part of a stylish makeover at The Venetian. Miami chef Timon Balloo’s Sugarcane recently opened at the resort, and Top Chef Masters star Lorena Garcia’s Chica will debut there in the spring.

Park Theater
This 5,200-seat performance space opens in December with Stevie Nicks on the 17th and Bruno Mars on the 30th and 31st. It will be home to 2017 residencies from both Cher (February and May) and Ricky Martin (April, June, July and September). The theater is part of the Monte Carlo complex, which is in the middle of a transformation that will ultimately include both a NoMad hotel and the Park MGM resort with its own Eataly. With the 20,000-capacity T-Mobile Arena and its coming-in-2017 Golden Knights NHL team nearby, the south end of the Strip is entertainment central in Vegas.

The most anticipated restaurant in Vegas is slated to open early next year at The Cosmopolitan. Expect to see New York chef David Chang slinging some of his greatest hits as well as many surprises in his biggest restaurant yet. Also coming soon to the Cosmopolitan, where Eggslut opened recently and global power-dining destination Zuma is on the way, is an outpost of Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar. Any year with Crack Pie is a better year than one without Crack Pie. Top Five: The Best New Reasons to Visit Vegas in 2017