Treasure Island (TI) Las Vegas is undergoing a change which on the surface appears to be a safe, follow the leader move, but will it be met with the financial and word-of-mouth success they are hoping for? Is closing Sirens of TI show at Treasure Island a mistake?
Last fall Treasure Island Las Vegas announced the popular outdoor show “Sirens of TI” is closing after 10 years. The free attraction actually ran for 20 years as it was originally known as Buccaneer Bay when Treasure Island opened Oct. 27, 1993. The 10-minute shows ran four times nightly and attracted large crowds out front of the hotel regularly. Its last show ended up being on October 20, 2013 to the surprise of the cast who were originally informed the closure was temporary. Some good news is that the two ships will reportedly remain in the significantly reduced lagoon.
The “Sirens of TI” show wasn’t highly rated receiving on average a 2-3 star rating on popular rating websites. But it was free, and it achieved something that is difficult to do on the Las Vegas Strip, it attracted crowds out front of the hotel and garnered discussion. How many people returned home from their vacation and discussed the free Strip shows including the Bellagio Fountains, the Mirage Volcano and the “pirate show” at TI?
In its place will be a three-story, 48,000-square-foot retail space scheduled to open in the fall of 2014 at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Spring Mountain Road. Sounds like a reasonable, logical business decision – replace a free attraction with retail space generating rental income and hopefully added foot traffic within the resort. The concern becomes how many shopping options are enough? The Fashion Show Mall, Grand Canal Shoppes and upscale shopping at Wynn are all across the street from Treasure Island. And of course one can’t forget the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, Mandalay Place at Mandalay Bay, the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood and the Crystals shopping center. As if these aren’t enough, coming soon is the new shopping expansion coming to the Tropicana, as well as the new Park shopping district at Monte Carlo and New York-New York, the new shopping and dining district called The Linq, and the Grand Bazaar Shops planned for Bally’s. Wow!
It is difficult if not impossible to know how many tourists who watched the Sirens show ended up heading into the hotel itself to check out what it had to offer. In the summer I would watch the show and commonly head into the hotel afterwards to sit down and grab a drink. Even if I head into the retail area I will be more likely to purchase a drink at the CVS Pharmacy (one of the confirmed tenants) and head back out to the Strip.
The question becomes does Treasure Island generate more revenue from retail tenants than from tourists who watched the Sirens show and ended up in the hotel afterwards to check out what it had to offer? This in part will be determined by their ability to rent out the entire space regularly. The difficulty in determining the financial impact from the word of mouth and walk in traffic generated from the pirate show means we will likely never know the answer.
I for one will miss the “Sirens of TI” show. Not because it was a great show, but because it offered an opportunity to enjoy some free entertainment and provided a discussion point regarding the uniqueness of Vegas. I suspect without the pirate show the number of people talking about TI as a place to check out while in Vegas will drop significantly.