May 15 2008

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Las Vegas emerges as major shopping destination

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Grandcanalshoppes
By E.C. Gladstone

You’ve probably heard that Las Vegas has become a serious shopping destination. But how serious? Put it this way: I have friends who travel from Los Angeles regularly just to shop here!

There are at least five serious shopping destinations on the Strip — most in Las Vegas hotels. And if you don’t see your favorite designers mentioned below, it’s probably because they’re available in more than one place! Yes, the shopping here really is that good.

Fashion Show Mall, the mothership of Vegas retail, is anchored by Neiman Marcus, and has nearly every known brand, but also unusual ones like Zara, Madewell, Lululemon active wear, Ilori sunglasses, and the only Apple store on the Strip. Across the street, the Venetian’s new Palazzo annex is anchored by Barneys New York and features Michael Kors, Chloe, and Piaget, with more coming soon. The Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian offers sexy chic Lior, Wolford hosiery & lingerie, and other intriguing window shopping.

Wynn houses Manolo Blahnik and Alexander McQueen among other impressives, as well as the Wynn LVNV store (which retails the resort’s fine linens and restaurant tableware) and Penhaligon’s ultra-high end bath and beauty products. Planet Hollywood‘s newly remodeled Miracle Mile shops range from trendy H&M to the one-of-a-kind Bettie Page boutique (sexy ’50s-retro dresses and underthings). Mandalay Place, between Mandalay Bay and the Luxor, is smaller, but still worth checking for gems like Fornarina, the Reading Room (the only new bookstore on the Strip), and Lush Puppy, where every pampered pet owner should stop.

Still, the granddaddy of Strip shopping remains the sprawling Forum Shops at Caesars. Amongst its wide options are Dolce Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Custo Barcelona, Kate Spade, Emilio Pucci, Mark Jacobs, Kiehl’s, and lingerie ranging from elegant La Perla to decadent Agent Provocateur (plus, off the Caesars casino floor, don’t miss Cartier and the must-see Elton John boutique). Shopped out yet? Good, go treat yourself to a gelato!

Insider tip: If you need to see the best of the best in limited time, Via Bellagio is the place, offering Chanel, Tiffany, Armani, Bottega Veneta, Hermes, Gucci, Fendi and Dior in a compact, manageable concourse. Plus, it’s carpeted. (You serious shoppers understand)!

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E.C. Gladstone is a former editor for AOLVegas, and continues to interview many top Strip entertainers and behind-the-scenes players for VEGAS Magazine. Like many Las Vegans, he sleeps only when absolutely necessary.

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