Celebrating its 20th year in Las Vegas, the Forum Shops inside Caesars Palace has come a long way.
Even as a local, I still journey to the Las Vegas Strip to shop here. Sometimes sales associates act surprised and wonder why I took the trip. For Forum Shops, I make the exception. Who doesn’t love a mall that’s open until midnight on weekends, as well as major holidays?
“The Forum Shops is different from any other shopping experience not only in Las Vegas, but in the world,” said Maureen Crampton, marketing and business development director at The Forum Shops. “We really have something unique and interesting to offer. We pride ourselves in featuring so many retailers that were first in Las Vegas to establish their business and continue to do that.”
In addition to the Fall of Atlantis statue show and elaborate aquarium right underneath it, the atmosphere of the shops is reminiscent of Italy.
“When you walk in the Forum Shops, it feels like being outdoors,” she said. “With the combination of Roman streets and store fronts, to the sky feature, it creates that ambiance of a Roman environment.”
Crampton has been with the Forum Shops since its opening in May of 1992.
“It’s never become mundane or ordinary,” she said. “Fashion is an ever-changing industry. If it were the same, we wouldn’t be in business. [It] forces you to be fresh, so that’s probably why it hasn’t become routine.
“It’s like an ever-changing puzzle,” she added. “You might have a store that expands or moves to another area. It keeps things exciting.”
For the 20th anniversary, the Forum Shops will feature fun contests and giveaways for the rest of the year. This past May, 20 individuals won $1000 shopping sprees. One lucky winner even scored a three-day trip to Rome.
In addition, many stores feature window displays recognizing the Forum Shops’ 20th year. Stay tuned for future giveaways, including September’s Fashion Night Out and during the holidays.
Also on the horizon is Carmine, a family-style Italian restaurant opening later this year.
The Forum Shops features something for everyone. You’ll find stores like Salvatore Ferragamo, Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Tiffany & Co., as well as Sephora, Gap and Express.
“It’s an interesting mix,” she said. “I think that it contributes to the Forum Shops’ success.”
Forum Shops is also home to the world’s largest H&M. The 60,000-square-foot, three-story H&M features men’s, women’s and children’s wear.
“It really appeals to the masses,” said Crampton. “It has such a fun atmosphere.”
This H&M has the feel of a nightclub with its energy and upbeat music. Speaking of clubs, there’s a live DJ that plays on occasion. Talk about partying while you shop! I like H&M prices because they’re actually ones I can afford without hurting my wallet. In addition, since this is the largest H&M in the world, I’ve actually driven here to get a size and style of something I couldn’t find elsewhere.
“It makes for a real customer-friendly shopping environment,” Crampton said. “It’s great to be able to provide that to the consumer and not alienate people.”
If you’re hungry, you can enjoy several dining options here: “When someone dines, they remain in that environment longer. We might have people come in before they actually go to dinner, window shop, have something to eat, then revisit the store. The chemistry is intriguing.”
I like to dine at Cheesecake Factory and watch the Fall of Atlantis Show while I’m eating. It’s also fun to hit up Max Brenner – Chocolate by a Bald Man and nosh on chocolate-inspired comfort food before heading into H&M, located just across the way.
During the past 20 years, the Forum Shops has definitely had its share of celebrity visits, including Arnold Schwarzeneggar during the grand opening (pictured right). Keep your eyes open — you just might see your favorite star!
“Forum Shops has always been a celebrity destination,” said Crampton. “Sometimes they come in with their baseball cap and sunglasses because they want privacy, and there are others who really enjoy the fanfare and interact.
“There have been occasions where celebrities have come in [and the] store decided for privacy and safety reasons to close the front door and let that celebrity shop,” she continued.
Crampton said Jennifer Lopez is one of Forum Shops’ regular shoppers.
“There was a previous occasion where she was in the Gucci store and they decided to close the doors,” she said. “There were customers already in so they asked if [they] can close the doors. What a cool experience to be inside the store while she shops. It’s fun to see if you’re walking through and all of a sudden, you turn and here’s a celebrity next to you. What are the odds of that?”
If you know of someone traveling from across the globe, they’re in luck.
“So many of our guests are from other parts of the world, so many stores have sales associates who are multilingual,” she said. ”We attract so many international travelers, so it’s important for us to have that variety to make them feel comfortable. That’s something fun to know, [walking] into a store having a conversation in Mandarin. It’s unique and exciting.”
In addition, if you’re looking to revamp your entire look and wardrobe, retail experts in each store will be your own personal shopper. They’ll help coordinate your best outfit and also give you the inside scoop and sneak peek with future releases.
“It’s such a different experience,” she said. We pride ourselves on catering to the consumer. So many stores are conscious of that as well, really priding themselves in making the consumer feel important.”