The most common refrain you'll hear from anyone who's been to Las Vegas — besides "what happens there stays there" — is how it's nothing like it used to be.

Vegas has been evolving since the very first pair of dice rolled down a craps table like desert tumbleweed. And it just keeps changing, so much so that it's virtually impossible for a Vegas experience to repeat itself.

Just since my visit in February, I can count on two hands the restaurants and bars that have opened, and at least one iconic resort, Tropicana, has closed. Vegas is the Snapchat of destinations; as soon as you create a memory there, it vanishes.

Here are some things to know about everything that's new in Vegas.

A glowing orb recently popped up on the Las Vegas skyline. Getting inside should be high on your list.

The Sphere is an immersive concert arena with a 160,000-square-foot LED screen. It opened last year with a series of U2 concerts, with tickets hovering in the thousands of dollars. This weekend's Phish shows and next month's Dead & Co. residency are hot tickets, too.

There's another way to experience the world's largest spherical structure and what might be the highest-resolution screen of all time: Buy a $79-$119 ticket to the Sphere Experience. Once inside you can interact with AI talking robots, grab a drink and take a seat in the theater for a visually stunning film by Darren Aronofsky, "Postcard From Earth." You'll feel the wind in your hair as you soar over mountains, go on safari and hurtle toward outer space. (Really, there's a wind machine.)

It took two decades to build, but the Fontainebleau finally opened its ornate doors in December. The tallest resort on the Strip gleams inside and out. With more than 30 bars and restaurants, loads of public art and high-end shopping, you could almost forget that it's a casino-hotel at its core.

Across the street you'll also find Resorts World Las Vegas. This collection of three Hilton brands under one roof — and several intriguing eateries, including an Asian food hall — opened in 2021 and still feels shiny and new, with a sprawling pool complex.

A 20-minute drive from the Strip, the desert-chic Durango opened at the end of last year. The main draw is the midcentury-modern casino floor, but there's also a handful of upscale restaurants and a high-end food hall, plus a tasteful pool area.

The days of flashing neon marquees, cave-like casinos and stale-cigarette-scented carpets are in the past. Las Vegas' newest resorts are clean, airy and fresh, and don't try to trick you into forgetting what time it is. The Fontainebleau installed its casino in an atrium under 42-foot ceilings, bucking the convention that gamblers will play longer if the space feels small and intimate.

At the Durango, the casino is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows and indoor-outdoor dining spaces. Flooding the slots with natural light might not sound that remarkable, but in Las Vegas, it is.

Mandalay Bay is updating its rooms and adding adult-only mini-golf. Rio is undergoing a $350 million renovation; so far its exterior has been wrapped in programmable LED lighting, and it has added a food hall. The volcano show on the front lawn of the Mirage is about to be replaced with a guitar-shaped tower to represent new owner Hard Rock International.

Downtown, the Plaza Hotel & Casino's iconic twinkling facade was transformed last summer into the circular Carousel Bar, an outdoor cocktail lounge with tiki-style drinks and retro touches, along with outdoor video poker machines. The Plaza also unveiled a nonsmoking and "social media-friendly" gaming space.

The 2,500-square-foot zone features selfie-bait backdrops and, most important, a separate air filtration system. (On the Strip, the only completely smoke-free casino resort is the Park MGM.)

Millennials and Gen-Z'ers don't spend as much time or money at the slots and tables. That doesn't mean they don't gamble; it just looks different, with more app-based options. Casinos are getting in on the action with mobile apps and sports betting.

Expect casino resorts to roll out more diverse amenities, from high-end bars and bowling alleys to ever-more-elaborate pool complexes and throwback musical acts.

This year's lineup for Fontainebleau's new 3,800-seat theater is tinged with '90s nostalgia, with Third Eye Blind, Hootie & the Blowfish and the Smashing Pumpkins. Kylie Minogue is in residency at the Venetian; Blink-182 and Jodeci are playing Vegas this summer; and My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy co-headline October's When We Were Young festival. Of course, if Wayne Newton, Donny Osmond, Rod Stewart or Barry Manilow are more your jam, they're all in residency, too.

Check out one of these new venues attributed to A-listers. Blake Shelton just opened a honkytonk, Ole Red. Bruno Mars is behind the cocktail lounge Pinky Ring at the Bellagio. An "immersive art experience," Shaq's Fantasy Lab opened last fall, courtesy of the basketball star. And Van Halen's Sammy Hagar will launch Sammy's Island poolside at Palms next month.

If you thought Vegas was the epicenter of fine dining because of Wolfgang Puck, then you're due for another visit. While celebrity chefs are prolific on the Strip, some of the buzziest restaurants of the moment don't even belong to Food Network stars. Those would be Los Angeles chef Evan Funke's Mother Wolf, the famed Brooklyn steakhouse Peter Luger, Texas-based fast-food chain Whataburger, and Florentine sandwich shop All'Antico Vinaio.

Buffets have been sidelined by globe-spanning food halls. Resorts World's Famous Foods imports Michelin-recognized Ah Chun Shandong Dumpling from Hong Kong and Boon Tong Kee's Hainanese chicken rice from Singapore. Get Korean fried chicken from Seoul Bird at Proper Eats Food Hall at Aria, and mezcal cocktails from Ghost Donkey in the Cosmopolitan's Block 16 food hall. Grab a vodka slice from Prince Street Pizza in the Durango's Eat Your Heart Out hall. And at the new Sundry food hall, sample dhaba-style dishes, tacos, hand rolls and fried chicken from award-winning California chefs.

No Minnesota chefs, as far as we can tell, have opened their own concepts on the Strip — yet. But Minnesotans will find another way to get a taste of home: snow and ice.

Yes, cold plunges are all the rage in spas everywhere. But a snow shower was something I wasn't expecting. Fontainebleau's Lapis Spa has a 14-degree flurry-making machine in one of several rooms themed to natural elements. The Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars has an Arctic Ice room.

Meanwhile, there are a number of "ice bars" on the strip, where you'll don a parka, cuddle up on a fur blanket and take shots from ice glasses on skis. When the Las Vegas summer reaches triple-digit temps, that's where I'll be.


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