Photographing the New Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Bets Down

Last month I had a unique opportunity to spend two days shooting the newest property on the Las Vegas Strip, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The Cosmopolitan, on the strip between Bellagio and City Center, opens for business today and I uploaded a bunch of new photos of the property to my Flickr account this morning. I’ve been uploading some photographs of the property over the last week and will continue uploading shots in the future with my regular daily uploads.

All in, over two days I took over 7,000 frames of the new property. I ended up finishing a little over 1,200 photos of those and have almost 100 of the best uploaded to a set on flickr now. To view this set as a slide show click here. It was an amazing experience to have access to this site before the general public.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas consists of two towers which hold almost 3,000 rooms total. One of the towers is finished while a second tower is complete up to about the 42nd floor or so. They are still developing the second tower and construction was in progress while I was visiting. While visiting the property I was able to take some wonderful photographs from the 61st floor of the second tower still under development.

Rivers of Suggestion by Thomas Hawk, on FlickrSub Zero by Thomas Hawk, on FlickrEmbrace What's ThereTime in the Desert
photos, clockwise starting upper left: The columns at the lobby check in featuring rotating plasma art, the in room kitchen in one of the corner suites, a long canyon hallway at the new spa, an exterior photograph of one pools overlooking City Center

I was impressed that almost every room in the new hotel had a full open air balcony with *amazing* views (bring your tripod and DSLR). The corner suites were the most luxurious and elaborate and featured dramatic wrap around balconies with brand new views of the Las Vegas Strip. Some of these units were originally intended to be luxury condominiums and feature 2 bathrooms, include large master bedroom/baths and full functioning kitchens including stoves and sub zero refrigerators. The rooms also included large Samsung plasma televisions which included an interactive menu to access various hotel and entertainment features.

In addition to the two towers, the property features a large naturally lit casino floor with a grand hotel entry which includes huge columns of plasma screens which were displaying library books while I was visiting. I was told that the art on the plasma screens would be rotated including different photos at different times. There are numerous nightclubs and bars throughout the property as well as many elaborately decorated escalators.

The property, which reportedly cost $3.9 billion to develop and is owned by Deutsche Bank, also includes a number of high end restaurants, a nightclub called Marquee (run by Tao), as well as large theater and convention space.

Beloved, Plate 2Runs That WaySkies and Las VegasI'll Take Two
photos, clockwise starting upper left: Inside the new three story chandelier bar at the Cosmpolitan, an exterior photograph of one of the two towers, a photograph down one of the long corner suite balconies which overlooking the Strip and Paris, Las Vegas, a view down the strip from one of the open air balconies over looking the Bellagio Fountain.

The centerpiece of the casino floor includes a three story bar wrapped entirely in the largest crystal chandelier I’ve ever seen. Another bar downstairs, called the Queue bar, includes the line to the main nightclub Marque. I thought it was a great idea to wrap the nightclub line around a bar so that people could order drinks while they waited in line for the nightclub (it would certainly make waiting a bit easier if you could drink while waiting). Another ground floor club featured elevated platforms where gogo dancers will be able to dance and be seen from the strip.

Everything about the property was very decorated and elaborate — even down to the underground parking garage. The parking garage includes a light above every parking stall. If there is a car in the spot the light turns red. If it is open it is green. This allows you to easily drive down the rows of the underground garage and spot open spaces where you can park. Four floors of the parking garage also included custom mural graffiti art done by some of the prominent street artists out there today including Shepard Fairey and Kenny Scharf.

The property also features three large swimming pools with bars as well, a relaxing pool, a dayclub pool and a nightclub pool. There is also a full spa in the second tower leading out to one of the pools.

One of the things that I really liked about the property was that in the hallways to the hotel rooms and in the hotel rooms themselves there were big beautiful oversized framed fine art photographs. It seemed that everywhere you went you kept seeing big beautiful photographs.

Drink MeYou Can Say That AgainA black and white photograph of the new crystal chandelier bar, a detail photograph of one of the Shepard Fairey murals int the parking garage.

The hotel already has booked some major talent and is promoting a New Years Eve package which includes a concert featuring Jay-Z and Coldplay. Brandon Flowers from the Killers will be performing there poolside for the opening.

In addition to the parking garage street art, the hotel includes many other pieces by prominent artists. The arts will be a big focus of the property and they will have an artist-in-residence program where various artists will spend a month at a time at the hotel working on their art in a hotel studio.

Thanks to David Scherer from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for showing me around, to Miiko Mentz at Katalyst Films for helping to arrange the shoot, and to my wife for modeling for me. I had a blast and look forward to shooting this property more in the future. To learn more about The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, click on the link at the top of this post to get to their website, or check out their page on Facebook here or their Twitter page here.

I’m photographing Las Vegas as part of my series on the 100 largest cities of America. You can check out that series here and my specific set on Las Vegas more broadly speaking here.

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28 Comments

  1. It’s great to hear there is so much photography being exhibited. I’m working on a trip for this spring and this will be on my list.

    Are you going to be showing any of your work at the hotel?

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  3. Very interesting stuff, Thomas. Looks like a fantastic setting for making some great images. Always look forward to seeing more of your work. (Fortunately I only have to wait minutes…)

    Cheers from Chicago.

  4. Kirsten says:

    It’s a truly amazing photo set, of what looks to be a truly amazing Las Vegas venue. I hope to get there the next time I visit my friend Abby in “Sin City”. So great to read your behind the scenes on this shoot. They picked the right photographer, that is no joke.

  5. Thomas Hawk says:

    Thanks Kirsten. It was really a great opportunity. It’s not every day you get to shoot an empty casino the size of the Cosmopolitan. I hope to go back and shoot it many more times. I’ve shot a ton of Vegas and it’s so full of potential.

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  8. Me says:

    It’s a Marriott, you know.

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  11. TW Collins says:

    Fantastic series and write-up, Thomas. I haven’t been to Las Vegas yet and admittedly it has never been high on my list of cities to visit. However, after seeing your photography, it’s worth a trip for the photo-ops alone.
    Outstanding work (as always) on all counts!

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