Are residencies the new way forward for Las Vegas?

Britney Spears
Year on year, the city of Las Vegas continues to see its sparkle in the Nevada desert fade a little more as visitor numbers to casinos continue to fall.

There could be a number of theories as to why the casinos on the city’s famed strip aren’t pulling in the same numbers that they once were. First off, there is the lure of other exotic gambling locations around the world – for example, Macau, it is said, is now pulling in seven times as many visitors as Vegas.

Second, there is the rising trend of online alternatives – with sites like Springbok Casino offering free sign up bonuses, it is of little wonder that people are turning their backs on well-known establishments like Caesar’s.

But perhaps the most prominent reason is the apparent re-branding of Las Vegas in recent years into an all-out entertainment venue. No longer is it just an over-21s’ paradise; it is now home to some of the best musical spectacles out there.

This is without a doubt thanks to the new wave of residencies in the last few years. In years gone by, the traditional Las Vegas residency has been somewhat the subject of gentle mocking from visitors – traditionally seen as camp, the city would host big names such as Celine Dion, Elton John and Cher – all icons in their own right but certainly not without their critics.

In more recent years however, Vegas has been given something of a ‘cool’ makeover, and will soon be opening its doors to Jennifer Lopez in January. Say goodbye to Rocket Man; say hello to Jenny from the block.

J-Lo will be joining the likes of Britney Spears, who previously enjoyed her own residency, Piece of Me, at Planet Hollywood in December 2013. The nation’s favourite Latina songstress will be performing for a far longer stint however, belting out hits from her 20-year career between January 20 and June 12.

She’s not the only superstar who’s reportedly going to be settling on the strip. If we’ll pardon the pun, rumour has it that British starlet Adele is also considering a two-year residency in Vegas, despite previously claiming she “disliked larger venues.” With talks of a third album set for release in September, it would certainly make a great promotional tool – and a reported $40 million fee doesn’t sound too bad either.

With all these pop starlets heading over to Nevada, could we soon see the face of Vegas changing? London has its West End, and New York has its Broadway, but could Las Vegas soon become the world’s prime music venue? Watch this space.

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