If you made the 270-mile drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in 2018, you likely noticed a smattering of white billboards with black lettering and gold graffiti with simple, curiosity-sparking messages such as “Estate of the Art” and “Gold” along with The Palms Casino’s logo. These guerilla marketing-inspired billboards, along with a glamourous and brutal video ad depicting baseball bat wielding models, murderous dogs and Molotov cocktails destroying the Palms, announced the resort’s $620 million dollar renovation.
The “From Dust to Gold” ad campaign shows a version of the Palms that is likely much different than the one you might remember if you visited Las Vegas in the early 2000s – or if you turned into MTV to watch The Real World during that era.
The astoundingly expensive renovation at the Palms is set to officially conclude in late 2019, but many changes have already taken shape at the resort. If you’re planning on visiting soon, here’s what you should keep an eye out for:
A Bar Adorned by a Shark
Las Vegas is often associated with card sharks, but the new Palms features a much more literal interpretation. Damien Hirst’s 1999 sculpture “The Unknown (Explored, Explained, Exploded)” is prominently featured behind the bottle selection at the newly opened Unknown Bar, which was also designed by Hirst. Pull up a chair at the minimalist, sleek bar and gaze at the alluring and unsettling spectacle of a shark divided into three parts.
A Demon in the Pool
The much-talked-about shark isn’t the only piece of art from Damien Hirst at the Palms. The resort recently acquired a 60-foot tall, headless demon, which is set to be installed at a new pool that will open in the spring. The statue, which was created in 2014, and is titled “Demon with Bowl,” is sure to make for a strange poolside sight.
Apex Social Club
Ghostbar was a Las Vegas institution, so when the rooftop lounge closed in 2017, longtime fans of the spot were eager to see what would take its place. Enter Apex Social Club. The updated space features the same sweeping views of the Strip, plus a reimagined cocktail experience, sculptures from Dustin Yellin and a blue-and-black color scheme.
An Instagram-Worth Lobby and Exterior
So many of the renovations at the Palms seem tailor-made for your Instagram feed. If you’re looking to liven up your social media in Las Vegas, you’ll be inspired from the moment you walk in. Outside the hotel, you’ll see the word “Palms” spelled out in donuts, champagne and palm trees, and inside you’ll find a dreamy cloudscape adorned with the phrase “Wish you were here!” spelled out in neon pink.
A Better Restaurant Portfolio
Yes, you’ll probably still want to go to the Strip, but you could easily spend your entire vacation dining on-site if you’re staying at the Palms. Start with the highly acclaimed Scotch 80 Prime, which features Kobe beef and a luxury whiskey collection. Consider Vetri Cucina for expansive city views from the 56th floor, plus Italian cuisine. For something a bit more casual, check out the cleverly-named Send Noodles, which serves everything from ramen mac-n-cheese to pad thai, or hit up Mabel’s BBQ, a Vegas offshoot of Iron Chef Michael Symon’s famed Cleveland spot.