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.

Business Videos
Las Vegas Convention Center expansion taking shape
Renderings and actual footage show how the Las Vegas Convention Center is evolving.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz at Las Vegas convention
Former Starbucks CEO and potential presidential candidate Howard Schultz spoke at the Epicor Insights user conference at Mandalay Bay Convention Center Wednesday, April 17, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Drew Las Vegas to open in the second quarter of 2022
The 67-story Drew Las Vegas is slated to open in the second quarter of 2022 at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NAB Day 1 (Time Lapse)
NAB kicked off at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, April 8, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
National Association of Broadcasters Show shows 1mm thick 8K TV with 22.2 channel digital sound
Japan’s NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories booth featured a 1mm thick 8K TV system used in conjunction with a 22.2 channel digital sound system at the National Association of Broadcasters Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Nevada shoppers react to Smith’s no longer accepting Visa credit cards
On March 1, Smith’s announced that it would no longer be accepting Visa credit cards at any of its 142 supermarkets, including the 45 in Nevada.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission asks how long Wynn executives knew about misconduct
Business reporter Rick Velotta gives an update on the adjudicatory hearing on the suitability of Wynn Resorts to retain its gaming license in Massachusetts.
Henderson app developer part of Startup in Residence
Henderson based developers of the app On Point Barricade are taking part in Startup in Residence, a North America program dedicated to pairing tech companies with governments. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Sam's Town employees and customers talk of their love for the iconic casino
Longtime Sam's Town employees and customers love each other and love their casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas apartments rents
Las Vegas’ apartment market has accelerated in recent years. Developers are packing the suburbs with projects, landlords are on a buying spree, and tenants have filled buildings.
William Boyd talks about the birth of Sam's Town
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of Sam's Town, William Boyd, executive chairman of Boyd Gaming and son of hotel namesake Sam Boyd, talks about how the casino became one of the first local properties in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
High Roller observation wheel turns five
The world’s tallest observation wheel celebrates it’s fifth year on Sunday, March 31, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Escape Room Industry Growing In Las Vegas
Escapology employees discuss the growing escape room industry in the U.S. and Las Vegas. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Impact of parking fees on visiting the Las Vegas Strip
There are no data showing a relationship between Strip resort and parking fees and the number of out-of-state visitors to Las Vegas. But there are data showing a relationship between Strip parking fees and the number of local visitors to the the Strip. ‘’As a local, I find myself picking hotels I visit for dinner or entertainment, based on whether they charge for parking or not,”’ said David Perisset, the owner of Exotics Racing. ‘’It is not a matter of money, more of principle.’’ A 2018 survey by the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance found 36.9 percent of Clark County residents reported avoiding parking at Strip casinos that charge for parking. 29.1 percent reported avoiding using any services from a Strip casino that charges for parking.
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Faraday puts Las Vegas land on the market
Nearly two years after Faraday Future bailed on its North Las Vegas auto factory, the company has put its land up for sale. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
El Cortez owner Kenny Epstein on running the iconic property
Kenny Epstein, owner of the El Cortez Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, talks about Jackie Gaughan mentorship and answers rumors about bodies in the basement at the mob-era casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
LVCVA recommends construction of underground people mover
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced the recommendation for an underground people mover for the convention center. The system would have the potential to expand and connect Downtown and the resort corridor all the way to McCarran. (Michael Quine/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA/Boring Company Press Conference
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced a collaboration with Elon Musk's The Boring Company to develop and operate an autonomous people mover system for the Las Vegas Convention Center District.
International Pizza Expo includes green and gluten free
The International Pizza Expo at Las Vegas Convention Center included companies focused on vegan and gluten free, and plant-based pizza boxes. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
International Pizza Expo kicks off in Las Vegas
The first day of the International Pizza Expo at Las Vegas Convention Center is everything Pizza. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
T-Mobile program aids guests with sensory needs
A program at T-Mobile Arena is designed to provide a more sensory friendly experience for guests.
Photo Booth Expo
Danielle May talks about how Simple Booth transformed her Volkswagen bus into a business.
Nevada Gaming Commission's highest fines
The highest fines assessed by the Nevada Gaming Commission, according to commission Chairman Tony Alamo: 1) Wynn Resorts Ltd., $20 million, 2019 2) CG Technology (then known as Cantor G&W Holdings), $5.5 million, 2014 3) The Mirage, $5 million ($3 million fine, $2 million compensatory payment), 2003 4) Stardust, $3 million, 1985 5) Santa Fe Station, $2.2 million ($1.5 million fine, $700,000 compensatory payment), 2005 6) Las Vegas Sands, $2 million, 2016 7) CG Technology, $1.75 million, 2018 8) CG Technology, $1.5 million (also $25,000 in escrow for underpaid patrons), 2016 9) Caesars Entertainment, $1.5 million, 2015 10) Imperial Palace, $1.5 million, 1989 11) Peppermill Casinos, $1 million, 2014
Tiny Pipe Home vs Shipping Crate
A Tiny pipe home was displayed at the International Builders Show this week in Las Vegas.
Auto repair shortage affects Las Vegas
The auto repair industry is facing a national shortage of workers.
Franchising industry booming
Experts say Las Vegas is a hotbed for the franchise industry.
Africa Love owner talks about his store in Las Vegas
Mara Diakhate, owner of Africa Love, gift and decor store, talks about his store in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Developer gets approval to build homes at Bonnie Springs
The Clark County Planning Commission has approved a plan to build 20 homes on the site of Bonnie Springs Ranch. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dig This opens new location In Las Vegas
Remember when you were a kid and played with construction toys in the sand box? Dig This Las Vegas has the same idea, except instead of toy bulldozers, you get to play with the real thing. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
Home Front Page Footer Listing