Oct. 26, 2012 at 10:08 AM ET
Sure, regular visitors have their favorites, but Vegas isn’t for loyalists. It’s for seekers of the hottest, the newest, the now. And lately, they want to be seen at the Cosmopolitan, where a massive chandelier conceals a three-story bar and casino cabanas overlook the Strip.
So it’s no surprise that the attention-grabbing Cosmopolitan gets more check-ins on Foursquare than any other casino in Vegas. The social site, which counts five million check-ins worldwide daily, reviewed its Vegas data from Aug. 2011 to Aug. 2012 to provide Travel + Leisure with this exclusive list of the most popular casinos in Sin City. (After all, even if what happens stays secret, half the fun is letting all your friends know you’re in Vegas, baby.)
Established hotels, too, are coming up with new reasons to check in, spending millions on upgrades like the sunlit high-limits slot rooms at the Wynn Las Vegas (No. 14) or a refresh of the 171,500-square-foot casino at MGM Grand (No. 2). The biggest efforts go into the kinds of celeb-chef restaurants, retail stores and entertainment venues that increasingly divert visitors’ attention from gambling.
Look for the Hakkasan restaurant and club coming to MGM Grand in 2013; four zip lines running between the Luxor pyramid and the Excalibur; a giant observation wheel at the Flamingo; and Gordon Ramsay’s first Vegas restaurant. At the No. 7-ranked Venetian, a mobile sports betting app makes it easier than ever to venture away from the casino floor.
While you can gauge the hipness of a casino by its volume of check-ins, that won’t predict your likelihood of winning big. But at least one thing’s certain: the lure of a deal. Foursquare found that the casinos with the most loyal patrons (those that got the most check-ins from repeat visitors) are affordable options like Circus Circus and Aquarius Casino Resort.
Read on for the latest buzz about Vegas’s popular hotel casinos, plus tips like where rookie gamblers can get free poker lessons, which 500-dish buffet is worthwhile and how to score reservations at the soon-to-open Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace.
And wherever you are right now, check in to Foursquare and follow Travel + Leisure for tips and curated recommendations in hot spots around the world.
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