Downtown Summerlin ready – almost – for center stage

It’s one of the biggest local street parties you’ll ever see, and the entire Las Vegas Valley is invited.

Just try to get there early, and remember to pack extra patience.

After a six-year development hiatus, Downtown Summerlin’s 1.6 million-square-foot shopping, restaurant and entertainment center opens at 10 a.m. Thursday. Officials with The Howard Hughes Corp., Downtown Summerlin’s developer, said they expect thousands of visitors for the 106-acre project’s opening day.

To make way for opening festivities, streets through the shopping district will be closed through Sunday, said Caryn Kboudi, vice president of marketing for The Howard Hughes Corp.

“People can come and get that fix they’ve been waiting for for a long time, and feed their inner fashionista,” Kboudi said.

Of the center’s 125 stores, restaurants and entertainment venues, 85 will be open Thursday. Anchors Macy’s and Dillard’s are both ready to go, as are Regal Cinemas and kitchen retailer Sur La Table. Restaurants Crave American Kitchen & Sushi Bar, as well as the Crazy Pita, are also scheduled to debut Thursday.

But many of the center’s 32 restaurants won’t be ready to take orders on opening day. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, Grape Street Cafe & Wine Bar and Andiron, a steak and seafood eatery by local restaurateurs Elizabeth Blau and Kim Canteenwalla, won’t open until later this year or early 2015, as part of an ongoing wave of store launches in coming months.

So Downtown Summerlin will have food trucks on hand for its premiere, Kboudi said. Visitors will find the food trucks along Park Centre Drive, renamed Eat Street through Sunday. Participating food trucks are to include Lobster ME, Sin City Dogs, Hummus Factory, Sauced, Tacofest, The Cookie Bar and Dragon Grille.

There’ll also be live music at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and an opening ceremony at 8 p.m. on the festival’s center stage, on the north side of the center near the Michael Kors and lululemon stores. On tap: a sound-and-light show, plus fireworks. Dozens of “brand ambassadors” throughout the center will hand out Xylobands, or LED wristbands, at 5 p.m. for the interactive light show, Kboudi said. The ambassadors will also provide directions to stores.

Getting into Downtown Summerlin may be tricky, but officials said they have plenty of parking. Kboudi said the best bets for inbound traffic are Pavilion Center Drive, on the project’s east side, or Hughes Park Drive East, the frontage road between the 215 Beltway and Downtown Summerlin. You can reach parking lots from Hughes Park Drive East by turning right on Sage Park Drive, Marketwalk Place, Rosemary Park Drive or Oval Park Drive.

There are also entrances into Downtown Summerlin from Sahara Avenue and Charleston Boulevard, though traffic may be heavy on those main routes.

Grand opening events continue through Sunday.

Downtown Summerlin’s Sound Scape street and dance party begins Friday at 9 p.m. There are also fashion shows on Saturday from noon to 3:30 p.m., and again at 8 p.m., as well as street artists, kids’ activities such as balloon art and candy-making, and fashion makeovers. There’s more live music Saturday at 8:30 p.m., and jazz in the restaurant arroyo on the property’s east side from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

When complete, Downtown Summerlin’s shopping, dining and entertainment center will have more than 2,000 employees. The 400-acre Downtown Summerlin is also home to Red Rock Resort, as well as an under-construction 200,000-square-foot Class A office building. At full build-out, in about a decade, Downtown Summerlin is expected to have more than 1 million square feet of Class A office space and at least 4,000 town houses, apartments and mid- and high-rise condominium towers for as many as 10,000 residents. The parcel will cost billions of dollars to develop, The Howard Hughes Corp. says.

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at jrobison@reviewjournal.com. Follow @J_Robison1 on Twitter.

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