Behind the Curtain: VIP Shopping in Las Vegas
Whether you came here specifically to shop or you had a great night at the tables, retailers in Vegas are ready offer only-in-Vegas purchasing experiences.
Las Vegas has Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton stores like other cities have Starbucks. It’s easy to explain why: Of the 41 million travelers who arrived in Las Vegas in 2014 (according to the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority), 61 percent of visitors shopped while they were here.
Only a decade or so ago, shopping was regarded as a necessity to keep significant others amused while gamers were at the tables. But now entertainment dollars spent—on dining, shopping, shows—have eclipsed gaming spending for at least as many years. Many people come here exclusively to shop; several years ago, McCarran Airport recorded planes leaving Las Vegas for Brazil with significantly heavier loads than when they arrived (blame Jimmy Choo).
With so much on offer, even the stores that are inevitable attractions, such as the Louis Vuitton in The Shops at Crystals, the largest Vuitton store in North America, have to do something to set themselves apart. At Vuitton, for instance, you’ll find a permanent installation by light artist James Turrell (free, with a reservation), multiple private lounge and entertainment areas, and even dedicated concierges.
Elsewhere in Crystals, the glittering mall in the 76-acre mixed-use development of City Center, you’ll find the first Tom Ford women’s collection in the U.S., a recently expanded Gucci store, a massive Tiffany & Co. with a proposal balcony, cinematic features like Fendi’s scale model of the Trevi Fountain, a full fashion runway in Roberto Cavalli, and an 8,000-crystal horse sculpture suspended from the ceiling at Stella McCartney.
At the concierge desk, guests can book translators, personal shoppers and in-store showings. If you’re a bona fide big spender, most high-end stores have experiences you’d otherwise never know existed, such as the luxurious back room at Van Cleef & Arpels in Crystals, where VIPs sip Champagne and consider high-carat pieces that will never make it to the front counter.
You will likely never see a sale along the Esplanades of Wynn and Encore, a collection of boutiques selected for its unparalleled luxury. Givenchy bypassed New York to open its first U.S. boutique at Wynn last year. Prior to its opening, a couturier working with Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci flew in from Paris to oversee the final fittings for Andrea Wynn’s dress to wear to the opening event.
Wynn’s retail insiders act as liaisons between the fashion houses and couture clients staying in the hotel, and will even provide villas to accommodate fittings—including those who use the made-to-order bridal services of Alexander McQueen in the resort.
If you want to feel as if you’re in Paris, shop the Chanel store in Encore that’s modeled after Coco’s own atelier. If you have a really good night at the tables, drop by the state’s only authorized Penske/Wynn Ferrari-Maserati showroom, located right on the esplanade. (You might even see Steve Wynn’s own jet-black LaFerrari on display, one of only 499 made, and 120 that ended up in North America.)
The Forum Shops, the massive Roman extravaganza connected to Caesars Palace, contains everything from Valentino to Christian Dior, Hublot, and the second Alfred Dunhill store in the U.S. (all with their own back-room shopping experiences). It also provides a concierge who can arrange translators in more than 25 languages to accommodate shoppers from around the world.
Want to garner this custom shopping experience for yourself? You can arrange exclusive presentations at Burberry and Van Cleef & Arpels, and private fittings at more than 15 of the boutiques mentioned here.
Andrea Bennett is the Editor in Chief of Vegas Magazine, and covers the Las Vegas beat for Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @AndreaBennett1.
Read T+L’s Guide to Shopping in Las Vegas for more shopping ideas.