The Linq Promenade finds success in its first year
Las Vegas has always been a city based on reinvention, but no recent development has been quite as unique as The Linq Promenade, an open-air, 300,000-square-foot thoroughfare nestled between the Flamingo and The Linq Hotel (formerly Imperial Palace and The Quad), which celebrates its first anniversary in March.
Focusing on shops, restaurants and entertainment options, the promenade—roughly the length of three football fields—was designed to feel like nothing else in Las Vegas. Tonia Chafetz, general manager for The Linq Promenade, describes it as “Universal Downtown Disney meets Bourbon Street,” with plenty of appeal for both families and adults.
At the Linq Promenade's east end is its centerpiece, the High Roller, a 550-foot-tall observation wheel (the highest on the planet, confirmed by the folks at Guinness World Records) that welcomed passengers in March 2014, considered the official opening of the project.
Building the promenade, including the design and the construction, took more than five years. Planners looked at everything from New York’s Meatpacking District to New Orleans’ Bourbon Street to get ideas for the space. They even visited piazzas in Italy, where they compared dimensions to see if the project could work.
So far, the Linq Promenade seems to be worth the effort. The High Roller pulls in almost 5,000 riders a day, and Brooklyn Bowl—an offshoot of the highly successful Brooklyn-based music venue, bowling alley and restaurant—launched last March and has sold out several of its recent concerts, including Jack White and the String Cheese Incident.
Chafetz said the 2,000-capacity Brooklyn Bowl is a real source of pride for Caesars Entertainment, which owns The Linq. “When you walk into Brooklyn Bowl, it just blows you away,” Chafetz said. “There is no place in the city or on the West Coast that compares to Brooklyn Bowl for a small venue. And its programming is getting better and better.” Soulive performed at the opening last March, and the lineups continue to impress, from Elvis Costello and the Roots to The Avett Brothers. Add in the bowling lanes—built to dampen the noise so that bystanders can still hear the performers—a menu from New York’s Blue Ribbon Group highlighted by great fried chicken and beers from Brooklyn Brewery, and it’s understandable why Brooklyn Bowl continues to make an impression.
The High Roller and Brooklyn Bowl would be big-enough draws for most projects, but The Linq Promenade was just getting started, adding more than 20 high-quality stores and restaurants. Goorin Bros., Kitson, Ruby, Chilli Beans, 12AM RUN and Bella Scarpa all serve the fashionable consumer, while Chayo Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar, Yard House, Haute Doggery, Purple Zebra, Spinkles Cupcakes, Tilted Kilt and Flour & Barley offer plenty of food options.
Chafetz said customer feedback for The Linq has been overwhelmingly positive. “People say it’s such a breath of fresh air in Vegas, and so much fun and filled with amazing concepts,” adding, “If you don’t come, you’re going to miss something, because there’s always something happening at the promenade.”
Here are a few highlights of the promenade’s past year:
• In April, it hosted the Academy of Country Music’s Concert for a Cause. Keith Urban and Rascal Flatts headlined.
• That same month, Olivia Newton-John was escorted down the promenade in a black Cadillac as part of announcing her residency at the Flamingo.
• In October, Newton-John and the Chippendales honored breast cancer survivors while lighting the High Roller pink during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
• In November, after the City of Las Vegas named Nov. 5 “Britney Day,” Strip resident performer Britney Spears celebrated by taking a ride on the High Roller.
• On Dec. 13, The High Roller hosted free simultaneous in-cabin weddings for two hours and two minutes, beginning at 10:11 a.m. and ending at 12:13 p.m.
• The thoroughfare was transformed into a winter wonderland in December, including real snow and a 30-foot-tall tubing hill.
• Celebrity sightings are common. 12AM RUN has welcomed the San Diego Padres’ Matt Kemp and musicians Kaskade, Nas, 2 Chainz, Steve Aoki, Lil Jon and Rev Run, while the High Roller has hosted Malin Akerman, Jenny McCarthy, Mindy Kaling and Jimmie Johnson.
As much as the project has already achieved, Chafetz said visitors can look forward to so much more in the future. “We have empty spaces to fill, and we’ll be bringing in more entertainment, more brands that you can’t get everywhere in America, more interaction,” she said. “I’m thrilled to be in a place I feel is just about to ascend to greatness. It’s going to be sexy and fun.”