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North end of Las Vegas Strip is place to watch | News

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North end of Las Vegas Strip is place to watch
Rock in Rio

LAS VEGAS -- The north end of the Las Vegas Strip is getting ready to see more foot traffic than it's seen in a long time.

The Riviera closed its doors Monday to make way for the Global Business District. On Tuesday, officials break ground on the Resorts World Project. 

A new, upscale Walgreens opened a few days ago at the corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard, across the street from the SLS Las Vegas which opened last year.

By the weekend, Rock in Rio, a recurring music festival, will open on what has been an empty desert lot for years.

It's the first time in decades that all corners off that intersection have been in business.

"It's almost ready," said Roberta Medina, vice-president, Rock in Rio.

For weeks, crews have been working to convert the desert lot into a massive outdoor concert venue with music stages and shops. Last minute preparations are underway for Friday's opening. 

"We are finalizing lighting and we're going to see lighting going up and also sound," Medina said. "Tomorrow this is going to be ready."

Also ready on Tuesday will be the Ferris wheel and zip line.

"We are really excited," Medina said. "We can't wait to see the American audience."

Meanwhile, across the street, businesses like the Bonanza Gift and Souvenir Shop which has been open since the 1980s, are getting ready for the first big event in this area in decades.

"It's a challenge, but it's going to be fun," said Angie Hurt, manager, Bonanza Gift Shop. "We're really looking forward to seeing what exactly is going to happen."

In preparation for the onslaught of people, the self-proclaimed "World's Largest Gift Shop" is stocking up on concert essentials like water, sunblock, and hats.

The shop is also extending its business hours and adding more staff.

"Rock in Rio is, is, is going to help us a whole heck of a lot, just this whole side of the Strip," Hurt said.

She says it is the first time in 30 years she's seen this much action on the north end of the Strip.

"It's just made these whole four corners just much more viable and its showing that, you know, the north end of the Strip is alive, it's vibrant, it's ready to go," Hurt said.

The Bonanza Gift Shop is not alone anymore, it's now sharing the intersection with Walgreens, the SLS, and Rock in Rio.

"This is Vegas, this is special, this is the most beautiful "City of Rock" that we've ever, ever done," Medina said.

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