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FEATURE LAS VEGAS


are providing plenty of solid business for the city of Las Vegas, says Rafael Villanueva, Director of International Sales for the LVCVA. “Over the course of the last 20


years we have established a great relationship with our UK visitors. Around 300,000 of them come every year, and they are spending a little longer here than they used to. “They are comfortable with Las


Vegas and they know exactly what they want from their time here. They know that every time they come to the city they find something new to experience and enjoy.”


What’s New Downtown Las Vegas is undergoing a major resurgence this year with the opening of three significant attractions, totalling an investment of around half-a-billion dollars. For two of them, Las Vegas is going


back to its past. The long-awaited Las Vegas Mob Museum – or The National Museum of Organised Crime and Law Enforcement (www. themobmuseum.org), as it is officially called – opened last month, using a former federal courthouse from the 1930s as its venue. Created by the same company


behind the Rock and Roll Museum in Cleveland and the Spy Museum in Washington DC, the attraction marks the city’s criminal past with artefacts from the Mob heyday of the 1930s. Star features include the barber’s


chair gangster Albert Anastasia was sitting in when he was shot in 1957 and a wall used for police line-ups. Also featured are Al Capone, Charlie ‘Lucky’ Luciano, and Ben ‘Bugsy' Siegel. May sees the opening of the Neon


Boneyard (www.neonmuseum.org), an outdoor ‘walking tour’ attraction dedicated to preserving the classic neon signs that once flashed their


welcome to visitors on The Strip. The outdoor collection of over 150 signs dating from the 1930s to the present day will display iconic neon signs such as Stardust, Moulin Rouge, The Dunes and Sahara Desert. The Smith Center for Performing


Arts (www.thesmithcenter.com) opens this month (March) and will host hit broadway musicals. The Broadway Las Vegas Series will launch the opening of the $450-million complex, featuring The Colour Purple (April 3-8), Mary Poppins (May 22-27), Million Dollar Quartet (June 12-17), Memphis (July 18-22) and Wicked (August 29 - October 7). The city’s hotels continue to update


and one of the city’s oldest hotels is now one of its most modern-looking. The Plaza Hotel, in downtown Las Vegas, recently re-opened with 1000 brand-new guestrooms, a new casino and new dining areas. The hotel has been partly refurbished with high-end furniture from the moribund Fontainbleau, which went bust just before opening in the city. Caesars Palace has opened Octavius


Tower, described as a 'hotel within a hotel'. The 668-room, 23-storey hotel complex on the Flamingo Avenue side of the resort features a private valet, entrance and lobby, large rooms with custom furniture and technological upgrades, and direct pool access. Caesars Palace will also open its


rebranded and renovated Centurion Tower as the world's first Nobu hotel this summer. Also this year Caesars Entertainment


Top: The Cosmopolitan has quickly established itself as a familiar sight on the Las Vegas skyline; A lion in the MGM den


will open the first stage of Project Linq. $550-million retail, dining, entertainment and hospitality district is located at the heart of The Strip and it will link together several of the city's hotels. Similar in concept to City Walk, but


LAS VEGAS  Top Selling Tip...


• Consider a twin centre... "Las Vegas is selling really well and is increasingly combined with Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York or Hawaii on the same holiday"


VERITY RICE US product Manager, Hayes & Jarvis


arguably more ambitious, the entertainment centre will be built in the space (currently an alleyway) that links The Flamingo with Imperial Palace. The complex will also include a giant London Eye-style wheel – only larger. The entertainment part of the project is expected to be ready by the summer and the wheel by the end of the year. New for Attraction World is a Top Gun experience (£410) featuring aerobatic stunts including loops, rolls and spins. Or guests can ‘take on the enemy’ as they engage in air combat under the supervision of expert fighter pilots (£855 for one person and £1170 for two). Show tickets, helicopter flights, desert and Grand Canyon tours and hot air balloon rides are also available. Gordon Ramsay will open his first Las


Vegas restaurant, Gordon Ramsay Steak, this spring in Paris Las Vegas. The steakhouse will include a large bar area, chef’s table and private dining room in addition to the main room. In June Las Vegas McCarran International


Airport will open its new Terminal Three. The new $2.4-billion hub will welcome


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