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Sunday, January 15, 2006 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
Stardust Plans Echelon Place, Masquerade After Hours, Skating At Mt. Charleston, Survey Ranks Las Vegas In Top Five Brands, Roseanne Barr In Lineup, Beacher's Still A Madhouse, Phantom In Venetian, Castaways Imploded, "Menopause The Musical®", Eiffel Tower Proposal Package Debuts, John Williams And Boston Pops Perform, Musical 'Chess' In Summerlin, More...


Jackie Brett
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The Boardwalk closed last Monday to make room for the development of Project CityCenter and now the Stardust has announced its plans to tear down the historic resort to develop a $4 billion mixed-use resort called Echelon Place on the 63-acre site. The Stardust will operate through most of 2006 and be demolished in early 2007.

The new resort scheduled to open in 2010 will include 5,300 hotel rooms, 1 million square feet of meeting and convention space, 350,000 square feet of retail stores and a 140,000-square-foot casino.

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At $4 billion, Echelon Place is thought to be the second-most expensive single hospitality industry development behind the MGM Mirages' $5 billion Project CityCenter.

Plans call for Echelon Place to be developed in one phase and integrate four separate hotels with 5,300 guest rooms and suites.

Boyd Gaming will own and operate the 3,300-room Echelon Resort, which will include a 2,600-room resort tower and a 700-room suite tower, with each containing its own spa. Echelon's public areas will include a casino, 25 restaurants and bars, and pool and garden areas.

There will also be a 4,000 seat theater with stadium seating designed for concerts and production shows and a 1,500-seat theater for smaller shows and touring acts.

Boyd Gaming has entered into a management agreement with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, the Asian Pacific's leading luxury hotel group to include a Shangri-La Hotel with 400 guest rooms and suites, a 20,000-square-foot spa, meeting space and two restaurants within Echelon Place.

Another joint venture agreement is with the Morgans Hotel Group to develop two lifestyle-boutique hotels - the Delano and Mondrian. The Mondrian will include 1,000 guest rooms and suites, a bar and restaurant, meeting and confine space, and private pool and recreation area.

As part of the master-planned project, Boyd Gaming will build and operate the Las Vegas ExpoCenter at Echelon Pale. The center will feature 650,000 square feet of exhibition and pre-function space and 175,000 square feet of meeting and convention space.

Masquerade After Hours is creating a new atmosphere in the Masquerade Village at the Rio with a special engagement every Friday and Saturday night through January. The Village is being altered into a "night life" destination and dance club environment with a live DJ spinning upbeat tunes from 11 p.m. - 3 a.m. In addition, four sultry and energetic shows, beginning at midnight, feature a cast of sexy singers and dancers. The BevErtainers are also costumed in new seductive attire for the after hours attraction.

The DJ spins in between shows from the balcony of the Masquerade Village. Show times are midnight, 12:45, 1:30 and 2:15 a.m.

Southern Nevada's first year-round outdoor ice-skating rink, which took two months to complete, recently debuted at the new Mt. Charleston Hotel, Event and Conference Center. The 75-foot by 35-foot rink, situated in the hotel's backyard overlooking the canyons and surrounded by the Spring Mountains, is the latest addition to the property since it changed ownership in late 2004.

The rink, open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., features a small hot chocolate stand and a large fire pit. Constructed of plexi-foam, which is used in certain professional ice-skating shows, the rink requires special ice skates that the hotel rents hourly. Currently, the hotel offers general skating with plans to host special events in the future. It is available for birthday parties and holiday event parties throughout the year. For information, call 702-872-5500.

Ice Skating at Mt Charleston Hotel

The New Mt. Charleston Hotel, Event and Conference Center is located at 2 Kyle Canyon Road in the Toiyabe National Forest, just 30 minutes from downtown Las Vegas. Since changing ownership, the resort has undergone extensive renovations, including a new outdoor patio, sparkling duck pond, upgraded rooms with fireplaces, flat screen televisions, DVD players, hooks-ups for video game systems, featherbeds, and balconies in select rooms.

Las Vegas was named one of the top five winning brands of 2005, according to the results of a consumer survey published in today's "USA Today." The destination joins the ranks of favorite brands such as iPod, Google, Oprah Winfrey and eBay. Testament to the city's growing popularity, Las Vegas beat out brands such as Xbox 360, Yahoo, "Desperate Housewives" and the National Football League (NFL).

The second annual Newsmaker Brands survey was conducted by marketing firms Landor Associates and Penn Schoen & Berland. It asked 1,744 adult consumers to rank 61 of the biggest brand names on their performance in 2005 and prospects in the year ahead.

Las Vegas ranked No. 5 in the 2005 poll and consumers expect the brand to rise to the No. 4 slot in 2006. The "What Happens Here, Stays Here" campaign will continue throughout 2006, with the LVCVA slated to unveil a new television commercial in February followed by five others throughout the year.

After a two-year run, "Beacher's Madhouse" has signed on for another year at the Hard Rock. Beacher brought his crazy variety show to Las Vegas from New York.


Last week, Brigitte Valdez returned as Celine Dion in "Legends in Concert," the award-winning celebrity tribute at the Imperial Palace.

Valdez replaces Madonna in "Legends in Concert," now in its 23rd year at the resort.

The Stardust has added comedienne Roseanne Barr to its celebrity lineup this year. She will be headlining 10 p.m. shows, Feb. 21-26. The "Havana Night Show" will be performed at 7:30 nightly except Wednesday through Feb. 4.

"The Phantom of the Opera" recently sent a record breaking performance making it the longest running Broadway production show ever with 7,486 performances. This should be good news for the Venetian where a new $5 million production will open in May.

The sexy Sirens of TI from the outdoor pirate show at Treasure Island are often asked to sing the national anthem at mega-events. Last Friday they sand at the Las Vegas Wranglers Hockey Game at The Orleans. The next national anthem event will be the Los Angeles Clippers game on Jan. 25.

The famous basketball good will ambassadors, the Harlem Globetrotters, who played their first game in 1927, will demonstrate their skill and entertain audiences at the Orleans Arena on Saturday, Feb. 11. Tickets start at $11.

The Castaways on Fremont Street, which has been closed for some time and was formerly the Showboat, was imploded this past week to make room for some new venture.

Local casino operator Station Casinos has announced plans to build Aliante Station, which is expected to open in mid-2008, in North Las Vegas.

The 200-room Aliante project will cost no more than $450 million and feature 87,000 square feet of casino space.

"Menopause The Musical®" will open in the Hilton's Shimmer Cabaret on Feb. 1. The show is a joyful parody of 26 re-lyricized classic baby boomer hits in a 90-minute show. Menopause The Musical® is the story of four women - an aging soap opera star, a '60s hippie Earth mother, an executive and an Iowa housewife - who meet at a New York department store.

The high-rise condominium movement in Las Vegas has winners and losers. The two more recent losers are ICON on Convention Center Drive and Ivana Trump's project across the street from the Sahara Hotel. The Meridian on Flamingo Road and Koval Lane near the Strip has been a high-end apartment complex on 16 acres and it's being converted to private residences.

The Sports Kitchen is the new restaurant connected to the Race & Sports Book at the Rio and it is open daily from 7 a.m. - 1 a.m. Another new Rio restaurant addition is Mah Jong, which offers authentic Cantonese and Chinese cuisine in a traditional Asian atmosphere. The restaurant also offers a variety of hot teas and imported Asian beer. Mah Jong is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m.-1 a.m., and from 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

This year a Cupcakery cupcake bakery will open in Henderson followed by The Melting Pot eatery and a Whole Foods Market.

The Eiffel Tower Marriage Proposal Package is debuting this month at Paris Las Vegas. Couples can choose from a variety of options including long stem roses, champagne, photography and use of a semi-private area of the Eiffel Tower, priced from $25 to $600. Couples seeking the ultimate proposal experience can opt for private use of the Eiffel Tower, starting at $2,500.

The replica Eiffel Tower is an exact reproduction of one of Europe's most famous landmarks, rendered meticulously at half scale. The Eiffel Tower Experience allows visitors to ride to the top for a panoramic view of the city from 460 feet above the ground. The Tower is open from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m., weather permitting, and tickets are priced at $9 for adults and $7 for seniors and children.

Samaritan Pharmaceuticals Inc., a developer of innovative drugs, will host the Giving is Contagious Awards Gala to benefit The Samaritan Innovative Science Foundation on March 24 at Wynn Las Vegas, with a special guest performance by five-time Academy Award-winning composer John Williams and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra.

The black-tie gala will be located in Lafite Ballroom at Wynn Las Vegas. VIP gala tickets are $500 each and include a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m., dinner and concert. General admission tickets are $250 and include dinner and concert at 8 p.m. There will also be a silent and live auction. To purchase tickets, call 702-735-7001.

The Samaritan Innovative Science Foundation will use the net proceeds to support the BioFuture Science Laboratory Bus Project. The 40-foot bus, a mobile science laboratory, will feature an experiential lab where children have the opportunity to experiment with their own DNA to solve scientific life mysteries.

The International hit musical "CHESS" is the story of a love triangle told against the backdrop of an international chess tournament during the height of the cold war. Composed by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus (the Bs in ABBA) with lyrics by Tim Rice, who supplied the words for Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Evita," as well as "Aladdin," "The Lion King," and "Beauty and the Beast," this musical features such hits as "One Night in Bangkok" and "I Know Him So Well."

"CHESS" will run Jan. 21 - Feb. 5, at the Summerlin Library and Performing Arts Center, 1771 Inner Circle Drive. Tickets are $15 to $18, call the Stage Door Box Office at 702-581-5008.

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