I've been looking forward to the opening of The Cosmo since their ad debuted a few months ago. The slick and artsy clip promised to deliver "just the right amount of wrong," in a world of pants-less bellboys, androgynous heroin-chic models, randy grannies and incongruous fluffy kitties, puppies, chicks and bunnies. I'm not gonna lie; I made fun of the ad, but it certainly had me intrigued.
Would the place prove to be a hedonistic Dave Lachapelle photograph come to life? A Vegas version of The Standard? An offbeat playground for indie kids who shop at American Apparel, LOLed at the Who is Arcade Fire meme, and find the Ed Hardy element of Sin City a bit off-putting? I hoped that it would prove to be, at minimum, a Vegas resort with a slightly better playlist (and less Black Eyed Peas) piping through the stereo system.
Or would the artsy ad, like many a broken promise of revolutions in casino design, turn out to be nothing but hype ?
The Cosmopolitan, it turns out, delivers the cool factor in spades... but it certainly hasn't re-invented the wheel (which I'm still waiting for some forward thinker to do in a literal sense... or maybe I'm the only one who finds round wheels to be kind of played out at this point).
One thing is for sure: The Cosmo sure is shiny. This place sparkles, and it's not just because it's the latest resort to open on The Strip; the whole thing glitters like a diamond, and that seems to be the point. One of the bars is even located inside a massive chandelier. While that may sound kind of stupid, it's also really pretty. Look upon the shiny lights with wonder and glee. Look upon them!
Offsetting the glimmering shine of the place is the pretty cool art pieces you can find all over the place, including spots where digital art is projected on walls. Okay, I'll give em that... that's pretty cool.
The place also picks up some indie cred for the very cool bands that have played free shows in their Book and Stage, including buzzy acts like Best Coast, Fitz and the Tantrums, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Just as I'd hoped, their music selection is a bit cooler than the typical Vegas resort soundtrack (though you're just not gonna be able to totally avoid hearing LMFAO and Lil' John's "Shots"... this is still Vegas, afterall).
The Cosmo also features some very unique shops that are worth browsing. U*Tique is described as the "world's first fully automated luxury store," and feels like a high end vending machine from far in the future (or at least like something they've had in Tokyo for years). However you want to describe it, when you order an item a cute little robot deposits it safely into your hands... so obviously I love it. And Droog is the place all you design nerds out there hoped The Cosmo would feature, selling one of a kind items like a chair made of 15 layers of rags (which you can add your own discarded old clothes to and create memories you can sit on) and a tree-trunk bench (which is literally a tree trunk with chair-backs built into it and was designed by a guy named Jurgen Bey, making it ten times more awesome). All the stuff they sold was way, way, way out of my price range... but it was kind of cool to look at.
Rooms are pretty swank and filled with the latest tech, and I had a phenomenal view of The Strip and the adjacent CityCenter towers (which seem more impressive to me every time I'm in town after my initial feeling that the place felt like an airport with no airplanes). I had to wait a little longer to check in than I would have typically liked, but hey... they just opened and still have some bugs to work out. If only they knew who I was, with my rampant influence all over the blog-world, then I would have been whisked quickly to my room, comped a few drinks and treated with the proper respect! But alas, my rampant influence only exists in my mind and I was treated just like the rest of the unwashed masses (as I deserved to be).
I tried to get in to Marquee, the shiny new multi-leveled nightlife centerpiece of the shiny new resort, but the wait was atrocious and the crowd looked... like any other Vegas crowd, only bigger. Sure, I spied a few sensitive dudes with Colin Meloy glasses and a couple girls who could have been stand-ins on a Tegan and Sara video shoot waiting in line, but there was basically the same ratio of Affliction T-Shirt wearing meat-heads in line as at any other Sin City club. The place was so packed with revelers and wanna-be revelers that people were still waiting in line to get in at 5 AM. Even I'm ready to stop partying and turn it in for the night by 5 AM! But I salute the Jersey Shore rejects who toughed it out so they could say they were there, bro.
Overall, I'd say the resort is very cool and I like what they're going for, but that confounded ad had me expecting something a little more designy, funky and unique. What we have instead is a younger spin on chic, high end luxury. Perhaps it's not hipsters the resort is targeting in their ads, but socialites and young starlets with money to burn and aspirations of artsy coolness? Because as much as the place desperately wants to be judged as cool by unemployed screenwriters, bassists and graphic designers, those people are unemployed and can't afford to prop up a multi-billion dollar Vegas resort. For now, you're still more likely to find those people downing Ass-Juice shots and Bacon Martinis at The Double Down or trying to make out with each other at The Griffin or Beauty Bar in Downtown, then trying to forget the sting of hookup failure by trying their luck at table games with lower limits.
Only time will tell if The Cosmo grows into a more buzzed-about resort with a hip and atypical Vegas clientele that come out to Vegas in order to see of-the-moment bands play there instead of at The Echo in LA, or if it will devolve into just another place for sorority girls to stumble through drunkenly. It may be Vegas, but I'm not ready to place a bet either way.