It’s not hyperbole: The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace changed the game when it comes to shopping in Las Vegas, for tourists and locals alike.
I can easily recall my first few visits, which felt more like trying out the newest Vegas attraction than a teenage trip to the mall. Roaming the Roman streetscape and admiring the changing colors of the faux sky above was an experience all by itself, nice considering my friends and I could only dream about actually buying something at its dozens of luxury stores or dining at its fancy restaurants.
We grew up. We could have lunch on the patio at Spago or a cigar and Hemingway daiquiri at Casa Fuente, and every now and then, we could buy something to wear or to gift at the Forum Shops. Three of my four siblings worked in different stores there. And the first luxury mall in Las Vegas evolved into an essential destination that left a major impact on the retail industry.
“It was an unproven entity, so it was exciting and a little unnerving, because it hadn’t been done before,” says Maureen Crampton, director of marketing and business development, who has been at the Forum Shops for its entire run.
“The first couple of days, it was fun to watch, because we didn’t know what to anticipate. And then stores started running out of things, calling other locations in other states and cities [to get more inventory]. That’s when we took a breath and sat back, because we knew we had a winner on our hands.”
That was May 1992. Thirty years later, it remains one of the best-known spots on the Strip. The retailers and restaurants have been routinely updated and renovated; there are currently 45 venues classified in the luxury category among the 160 stores and restaurants at the Forum Shops, demonstrating how its appeal has broadened.
“We’re really proud of the fact that we are an attraction when it comes to retail and being a unique brand in Las Vegas,” Crampton says. “We are the leader in the industry as far as sales generation for an enclosed shopping center, and those stats come from the International Council of Shopping Centers. We take pride in continuing to raise that bar.”
If you haven’t visited in a while, the newest additions to the roster include Canadian fashion boutique Aritzia; the official NFL Las Vegas Store, opened during the NFL Draft in April; RPM Italian, the hip restaurant from celebrity power couple Bill and Giuliana Rancic; the only A|X Armani Exchange in Las Vegas; ultra-cool streetwear spot Culture Kings; and coming soon, Maison Margiela and Vuori.
Combine those with a 40-foot Christmas tree, Centurions walking the streets handing out gifts and special offers and other holiday activations, and you’ve got an only-in-Vegas experience that feels fresh no matter how many times you’ve visited.
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