Larry Siegel is betting that his Grand Bazaar Shops, set to open Thursday in Las Vegas, will be winners, despite myriad other shopping venues on the Strip and beyond.
Siegel, a mall developer, thinks the open-air environment will be the key to his success.
“We’re an outdoor experience,” he said. “You’ll be able to stroll among these wonderful shops and buy and enjoy yourself.”
Siegel expects visitors will be attracted by the window-shopping opportunities and the interactive experiences.
Take, for instance, the Grand Bazaar’s centerpiece: a giant starburst made of more than 900 custom-cut crystals that towers above the Swarovski shop.
At midnight daily -- the shops are open 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. daily -- Swarovski will usher in a new day with a sound and light show. The production will play out on a giant screen and on a 14-foot-diameter ball.
“It takes the idea of a trip around the world to the grand bazaars of historic significance that still exist,” said Jennifer Hinkle, a spokesperson for Swarovski North America. “You’ll have the idea that you might be in Turkey or Marrakesh.”
Each year according to Siegel, 22 million people pass along the sidewalk over which the LED-lighted ball towers.
Other lures also await the pedestrians who detour off that busy sidewalk. In keeping with the bazaar theme, Swarovski will have a barter window. Several times a day, custom items will be offered for sale at the window, with potential buyers haggling over the price. One of the first unique pieces to be sold will be a crystal-encrusted Les Paul guitar.
The Grand Bazaar features several shops and experiences not found in Vegas or, some cases, anywhere else.
At Bettie Page, a women’s apparel store, people will be able to interact with a hologram of Page, the ’50s pinup model for whom the shop is named.
Steps away, customers can create their own flip-flops at Havaianas, a Brazilian shoe and sandal maker.
“You’ll be able to walk in and pick out the soles you want, the straps you want, how they’re blinged out, [and] come back 10 minutes later and walk away with the shoes you created,” Siegel said.
Superdry will feature British-styled apparel for men and women. Costa Rican jewelry designer Ana Gutierrez will have her first U.S. shop here, AG by Ana Gutierrez. Hawaii company Martin & MacArthur, known for watches and jewelry crafted from koa wood, will venture outside the islands for the first time.
With a roster of stores that are clearly different from neighboring malls and a prime location, Siegel isn’t worried about a glut of shopping opportunities.
“We’re trying to appeal to the average customer,” he said. “We’re not luxury, we’re not Crystals [at CityCenter].”
Siegel is convinced his trump card is the entertaining, open-air experience.
“People love to shop outdoors,” he said. “I don’t think they necessarily want to be behind the walls of a casino.”
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