Coming soon to one of the most coveted and highly trafficked corners in the world, Blake Shelton and Ryman Hospitality Partners, will bring Ole Red, a bar, restaurant and live music venue, to the intersection of the Las Vegas Strip and Flamingo Road in 2023.
In a press conference held in Nashville just ahead of the CMA Awards, Shelton and Colin Reed, chairman and chief executive officer of Ryman Hospitality Properties, announced the western flagship that pairs country music talent with high-quality concert production.
“I’ve been going to Las Vegas for 20 years now working and I’ve never felt like there was enough of a country music presence,” Shelton says.
With an estimated 100,000 people passing by each day, the plot of land in front of Bally’s Grand Bazaar Shops, owned by Caesars Entertainment, is prime property and ideal for a music-superstar backed venue.
“This is truly the best piece of undeveloped real estate in Las Vegas, it sits right across from the Bellagio fountains,” says Reed. “This will be a wonderful place for us to rotate the young artists that we are building relationships with. And hopefully Blake [when you do a] residency at Caesars Palace you can then come and play [here] as well.”
The $30 million, four-story theater and restaurant with nearly 700 seats will feature Las Vegas’ first rooftop patio with its own music venue. Inside, the 360-degree concert experience takes center stage with lighting, sound and acoustics to give up-and-comers a taste of what it’s like to hit the big time.
“Many of these young artists that we put in these places—these people are really good. We can continue to grow the distribution. We have to continue to grow this supply of quality talent. This is about music—not hamburgers and beer,” Shelton says.
Shelton’s wife, Gwen Stefani, recently closed the curtain on her partnership with Caesars Entertainment—wrapping up the Just a Girl residency at Planet Hollywood on Nov. 6. As he made a surprise appearance during the grand finale, it’s worth considering that he could be the next one in the family to strike Vegas gold.
Throughout the interview, both Shelton and Reed teased the idea of the recurring role that the former might play in the city. Shelton even said that he tried to size up his location from Gwen’s suite at Planet Hollywood, with Reid nudging that one day he might have his own—and a residency.
Aside from creating a hospitality experience for his followers, Shelton says his goal with Ole Red is to build “a network of places where artists can get the kind of exposure playing live that is so critical for growing their fan base.”
“That’s why this particular location is so important—because 45 million people a year go through this market. There’s nothing like this in Las Vegas, there is no real country bar like this where you can hear authentic music,” Reed says.
Ole Red Las Vegas will be its sixth location, joining venues in Nashville; Tishomingo, Okla.; Gatlinburg, Tenn.; and Orlando. A fifth location is set to open in the Nashville International Airport.