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THE LINQ

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The Quad

3536 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

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AT A GLANCE

What is it?

An outdoor entertainment complex featuring bars, restaurants, and shops lining a pedestrian mall leading to the High Roller, a 550-foot tall observation wheel that is the biggest of its kind in the world.

Where is it?

In between The Quad and The Flamingo on the Center Strip.

Is it worth the cost?

It is free to walk through and window show; store and restaurant prices vary.

What else do I need to know?

They have a cupcake ATM. No, really.

What's the bottom line?

An interesting detour from your walk along The Strip.

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FULL REVIEW

Back in the day the idea of building a casino related facility that expressly kept people OUT of a casino would have been considered madness. But these days you have to remember that more than 50% of a resort's revenue comes from things other than gambling, so perhaps it is no surprise that Caesars Entertainment has built The Linq.

Linq is an outdoor entertainment and shopping district on The Strip in between The Flamingo and The Quad, which has turned a service alley into a pedestrian mall lined with stores, restaurants, bars, and more. It's sort of a miniature version of one of those malls designed to look like a city street (Los Angeles residents familiar with The Grove or Americana at Brand will know what I'm talking about) and has a pleasant vibe conducive to strolling, presuming it's not too hot or too cold.

Along the route are new entrances to The Quad and The Flamingo, the latter of which is flanked by big statues of the hotel's namesake.

It's only as wide as an alley, naturally, and as long as the hotels that adjoin it, which means that this is not an all-day destination. But if the weather is cooperating (not too hot, too cold, or raining like it was on one of the days I visited) it's worth a stroll through. There are a few trees and fountains plus they have frequent live entertainment outside plus you can window shop, maybe grab a bite to eat, throw back a drink, and waste some time bowling or going around in a big circle (more on that in a moment).

While you are wandering through, there are few venues worth stopping at.

One of the anchors is Brooklyn Bowl, an 80,000 square-foot sister to popular NYC and London venues that features a restaurant, a bar, a bowling alley, and a performance space that hosts a wide variety of acts like The Roots, Elvis Costello, Cake, Jane's Addiction, Fishbone, Steve Winwood, and more.

O'Sheas, the small casino that was torn down to make way for this project offers up cheap drinks, beer pong, a few gaming tables, and a guy dressed like a leprechaun, so there's that.

The Ghiradelli chocolate shop, which used to be located on the other side of The Quad in Carnaval Court, has relocated here and serves packaged goods, ice cream, and treats like chocolate covered strawberries. The latter are perfect for a warm day.

Speaking of treats, there is also Vegas' first outlet of Los Angeles' insanely popular Sprinkles cupcake store. You can go inside the store to order or you can use their famous cupcake ATM (an automated machine that dispenses cupcakes).

The Polaroid Fotobar and Museum offers a bit of a blast from the past, allowing people to print out their camera phone shots on Polaroid photo paper. There's also gallery space upstairs with some history of the company and rotating, photography themed exhibits such as a series of snapshots taken by Andy Warhol of famous faces.

Goorin Bros. is a cute, little haberdashery, offering up hats of all different types from fedora to beanie while Kitson is a popular "lifestyle boutique," with a little bit of everything (clothing, books, souvenirs, and more).

It all leads to the High Roller observation wheel, billed as the biggest of its kind in the world, standing at 550 feet high.

Be sure to check out the related reviews below for more details on these stores, restaurants, and attractions.

Finally, behind the wheel is a new 19-acre parking lot that will host festivals and other outdoor events. It debuted with a two-day country music festival featuring Keith Urban and Rascall Flatts in April of 2014.

The Linq is a nice addition to the sprawl of the Center Strip and a nice alternative to the more maddening malls and casinos that surround it. It has a good layout, an eye-pleasing design, and an interesting roster of tenants and while you may not be able to waste a lot of time here, you'll be able to waste enough to keep you entertained..

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