Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010 | 2:03 a.m.
Among the more interesting relationships Cosmopolitan formed in its quest to be outlandishly unique is the one with Art-O-Mat, a Winston-Salem company that revamps cigarette machines into slick dispensers of $5 art. Six of the Art-O-Mat machines will be planted throughout the $3.9 billion resort, selling original miniature works from around the globe — prints, painting, sculptures, jewelry, etc.
"This is going to test us in a good way," says Art-O-Mat founder Clark Whittington, who refers to his company as a "garage/basement operation" (it's just him and two part-time employees). "We're not really set up for mass hysteria, and I have a feeling that these machines are going to be very active."
Art-O-Mat machines already move nearly 25,000 works of art annually, vending in coffee shops, galleries and museums, including New York's Whitney Museum of American Art. Whittington says most machines feature as many as 132 artists apiece and are revamped with a high-end finish for a classic and beautiful look.
He's hoping Las Vegas artists will want to include their art and help keep the machines filled (as in a gallery, artists get a cut). The machines, he says, serve as an introduction to artists' larger works; contact information comes with the artwork. An artist himself, Whittington says he's never been a proponent of mixing art and money, but sees as Art-O-Mat a good way to reach out to people normally not exposed to art: "We want you to have an experience and learn about a living artist."
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas dares to be different. From the hotel’s red reservations desks to fine art found throughout the resort, The Cosmopolitan’s signature style is helping to pave its own path on the Las Vegas Strip.
Upon entering the resort, you’re greeted by pillars of video boards playing video art by Digital Kitchen and David Rockwell Studio exclusively produced for The Cosmopolitan. Just beyond that, you’ll find all your favorite casino games on the resort’s 100,000-square-foot casino floor.
The Cosmopolitan’s rooms standout as the resort’s most unique feature. About 2,220 of The Cosmopolitan’s 2,995 rooms have 6-foot deep terraces that span the length of the room, a first at a modern Strip hotel. Other in-room amenities include soaking tubs, kitchenettes and quirky accessories like artsy coffee table books.
The dining experience at The Cosmopolitan isn’t something you’ll find at other Strip resorts, either. All of The Cosmopolitan’s 13 restaurateurs are new to the Las Vegas market. You’ll find American steakhouse fare in a modern setting at STK, top-notch sushi at Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill and the freshest fish flown in from the Mediterranean daily at Estiatorio Milos.
Whether the sun is up or down, Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub is the place to find the party at The Cosmopolitan. The venue is a dayclub/nightclub, complete with a pool and cabanas outside and three different rooms with three different vibes inside.
If nightclubs aren’t your thing, you can grab a drink at one of The Cosmopolitan’s five other bars, like The Chandelier, which is encased in 2 million dripping crystals.
— Originally published in Las Vegas Weekly