I went to the open house LAS
had for the new Terminal 3. First of all, it was crowded in there. I think Clark County DOA had no idea how many people would show up. The latest estimate I saw was about 15,000 people. When I left it took me 40 minutes to get out of the parking garage. Over all, it is a very functional airport. Not a lot on style, very sterile. I don't have a problem with that though as I think too much has been spent on the artistic side of new terminals and terminal renovations lately. Airports are there to serve the community, not to be a function of art. Now I get the idea it is the first impression of the city but clearly with Terminal 3 it was understood that with the architecture we have here in Vegas there was nothing the airport could do to trump that. It was clearly designed to get you in, get you into a cab and over to the casinos.
As someone who has lived in RSW
and used both of those airports extensively since the new terminals opened there I can see elements of both of them in the new design. Then again, I suppose there are only so many designers that design terminals. T-3 uses the same split level/ tri-level design that was used in IND
to bring people over form the parking garage on an elevated walkway then lead them to a tri-level between the first and second floors. Now one thing that was worked into RSW
's design that I think the designers of T-3 missed was more sunlight. Part of the sterile feeling is because I feel there are a lack of windows in the terminal. Now I get that it's all about being efficient and green and putting skylights in could cause the air conditioning bill to go up... but I think a handful of skylights on the airside/ sterile/ gate area would do wonders to make it feel more open and inviting. The way it is designed now it feels like the roof is coming down on you, like the old terminal's that were built in the 60's and 70's. Not skylights all the way across like RSW
but a few would help.
I found the roadways leading in to the garage and all around the terminal to be confusing and poorly marked. But that is a compliant I have had about LAS
even when I used to come here on business before I moved here. I am really hoping they are going to put some more signage up before it opens because even with all of the cones out to direct you to parking this morning I still almost ended up on he wrong ramp twice. One element of the road design I liked though is if you are going from T-3 to the southbound connector tunnel. You are bee bopping along at 50 on the roadway that leads you from the terminal and parking garages to the tunnel and then all of the sudden there is a stop light. At first it didn't make sense, then I realized that may help discourage some of the cabbies from long driving customers (which the cabbies in this town are notorious for). I doubt that is why it was created that way but still, it helps.
There were plenty of concession choices once you are airside. I heard several people talking about how excited they are to have a Pei Wei in there. I was happy to hear that as one of my friends has been hired to be a Wok cook for the Pei Wei.
I shot several videos on my iPhone while there and have posted them on my YouTube page. I was trying to not draw attention to myself while shooting them. Enjoy:
International Check In Area
Domestic Check In Area
International Baggage Claim, Customs and Domestic Connection Baggage Recheck point