My favorite hotels in Vegas are the ones that represent a specific city. That includes the Paris and the Venetian. What’s better than comparing the real deal to the Vegas version? I love the idea of considering how to find the ultimate distinctive traits of Venice or Paris to include in the Vegas version. What makes Venice/Paris so special and how can it be replicated in Vegas?
But why stop at Venice or Paris? Why not an Austrian-themed hotel and casino on the Strip? No, not the Sound-of-Music version, but a more realistic Austria that still appeals to Americans and tourists from across the globe. What would it include?
Well, obviously mountains, castles, and beer would be prominent features, but the challenge is to differentiate it from a possible Swiss or Bavarian theme. This hotel/casino would be truly Austrian. So Viennese elements would have to come into play. Viennese coffee houses and Heurigen – wine taverns – would be part of the choices for restaurants. To fit with the Austria theme, additional restaurants and bars would be based on Austrian bakeries, ski huts (think Apres Ski parties; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apr%C3%A8s-ski) with snow and all, bratwurst road stands, and beer tents with live bands and of course servers in dirndl and lederhosen. So many Austrian delicacies would make it easy to offer plenty of restaurants and a large buffet.
The design of the building and interior of rooms could be based on the palace of Schoenbrunn (http://www.schoenbrunn.at/en.html). The hotel pool could be modeled after the water features of the Hellbrunner Wasserpiele (http://www.hellbrunn.at/ ). Instead of gondola rides as offered at the Venetian, this hotel would offer horse-drawn carriage rides (Fiaker) through a park and slides into a salt mine or ice cave. The big show for the hotel/casino would be the Lippizaner Stallions (“White Horse Ballet” http://www.srs.at/ ) and/or folklore dancers and Schuhplattler and/or the Wiener Saengerknaben (http://www.wienersaengerknaben.at/). And then there is always the possibility of organizing a large ball to promote the Viennese Waltz.
Austrian culture would offer plenty of material to create a newly themed hotel/casino on the Strip in Vegas. And I am sure it would be successful – who would not love a little bit of Austria?!?