Powerful light displays dazzle Fashion Show’s plaza

Sure, the Strip’s video displays are impossible to miss.

But the newest addition to Las Vegas Boulevard’s sign gallery is really impossible to miss.

The displays that span Fashion Show’s plaza along Las Vegas Boulevard are some of the Strip’s biggest, brightest and highest-definition yet, and the company that built them — Daktronics — said there’s room for plenty more in the local market. In fact, Las Vegas ranks among Daktronics’ two key growth markets, right alongside New York’s Times Square.

“As you start to upgrade different venues, and as casinos look to expand with dynamic growth, Las Vegas and New York are the two huge markets for our group,” said Jim Vasgaard, national sales manager for spectacular projects.

After a bruising, five-year recession, it’s novel for the city to be on any growth list. Strip construction ground to a halt after The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas came online in 2010.

South Dakota-based Daktronics, the world’s largest LED video-display builder at 29 percent of the global market, felt the slowdown “across the board,” Vasgaard said. Today, though, company sales are ahead of where they were before the downturn. Daktronics reported $552 million in net sales in 2014, 10.5 percent above 2008’s $499.7 million. Net sales dipped to a recession-era low of $393.2 million in 2010.

The company doesn’t break down revenue by market, but Las Vegas has played a role in the bounceback, Vasgaard said. Local gains have come from upgrades and overhauls on existing projects.

Take Daktronics’ newest outdoor display, which came online at Fashion Show in November.

The shopping center’s owner, General Growth Properties, built a 22,000-square-foot expansion with three new restaurants, an expanded Zara store and seven freestanding boutiques along the Strip. The additions were “a chance to move to something current” on the video-display side, which was “very minimal” before, said Janet LaFevre, senior marketing manager for Fashion Show and its sister property, Grand Canal Shoppes.

“The new digital programming on the exterior was part of a bigger picture of everything we were trying to accomplish with our expansion,” LaFevre said. “It’s the largest, brightest and most state-of-the-art (display) on the Strip, and that’s not an easy thing to say when we’re surrounded by the best of the best.”

The display consists of three signs — two on the pillars that hold up the “cloud” roof over the shopping center’s plaza on the Strip, and a ribbon snaked over the third-floor facade fronting the Strip next to Neiman Marcus. The signs total 10,000 square feet — equal to a third of the 30,000 square feet of displays Daktronics built in all of 2015 in Times Square.

The pillar signs start four stories up from the ground and soar eight stories above that, topping out at 12 stories. At more than 1,080 lines of resolution, the picture is as good as or better than the high-definition TV in your den. More than 12 million LEDs and 4 million pixels can produce 281 trillion colors. The 48,000-watt sound system blows away the 15,000 watts you’d need for a heavy metal concert in an arena.

On a recent weekday afternoon, programs included ads from Fashion Show retailers, snippets of Cirque du Soleil shows and artistic videos of flowers and a dancing model in a red dress.

“The content is not promoting a particular brand. It’s really promoting an experience that is vibrant and unique from an artist’s perspective. It draws and attracts people to the front of the property,” LaFevre said. “Now we have these incredible beacons on the Las Vegas Strip that further draw people into our shopping and dining experience.”

The displays overpower the 5,000-square-foot north face of the Wynn sign across the Strip, and dwarf the 736-square-foot video sign in the front of the Grand Canal Shoppes to the south. In a parade of come-hither signs, these are the come-hitherest of them all.

There’s nothing like them anywhere in General Growth’s 120-shopping center portfolio — or at any mall, period, executives said.

“No one else in the entire world has a ‘cloud’ on the Las Vegas Strip, so no one has the columns and curved digitals we were able to build,” said LaFevre, who declined to disclose the construction cost of the expansion and signs.

Fashion Show’s display, designed and built over 18 months at Daktronics’ factory in South Dakota and shipped in 15 truckloads to the Strip for assembly, isn’t the company’s single-biggest project in Las Vegas. That honor goes to SLS Las Vegas, where Daktronics designed and built about 13,000 square feet of display space inside and out for the casino, which opened in 2014.

But the Fashion Show displays hint at future growth in the local sign market.

The Strip’s singular environment has forced a sort of arms race in video displays: As properties look to compete, they’ve diversified signs, much in the way they’ve expanded entertainment from mostly gambling to shows, restaurants and malls.

“Casinos are very much looking for new and creative ideas, and that’s how we grow our business,” said Ed Wasserman, Daktronics’ regional manager of special projects. “Now we’re getting opportunities to go inside as well, because of shows, stages, ticket offices, bars and restaurants. Everyone is looking for more LED, but also more creative displays.”

Daktronics, whose first local project was for Caesars Palace in 1984, is working with other sign companies on displays at T-Mobile Arena. Company officials wouldn’t discuss the scope of work they’re handling on the site, but similar past projects have included the scoreboard at Sam Boyd Stadium and 21,700 square feet of displays at the Jacksonville Jaguars’ EverBank Field in Florida.

Given current growth, “the potential is there” in coming years for Daktronics to reach the 30,000-square-foot annual installation mark locally that it has achieved in Times Square, Vasgaard said.

“There are so many opportunities in Las Vegas as casinos continue to look at how they can change their facades and become more dynamic inside and outside,” he said. “They’re always trying to get that feel. Las Vegas is vibrant. It will continue to be the City of Lights. I don’t doubt that at all.”

Contact Jennifer Robison at jrobison@reviewjournal.com. Find @_JRobison on Twitter.

Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like