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Travelers Advantage....


Las Vegas just may be one of North America’s most complete destinations. There may be no other city with as many things to see and do, with an incredibly wide variety of accommodations, dining, shopping, entertainment, golf, spas, outdoors activities, and nearby attractions. Even if you never step foot in a casino, you’ll love Las Vegas, where the numbers game is mind-numbing!

This is a city of astounding numbers: more than 35 million visitors annually; $6.0 billion in gaming revenue; almost unheard of accommodations occupancy near 90%, on average; more than 125,000 hotel/motel rooms; and $75 average nightly room rates. These numbers and many more make Las Vegas a huge hit with first-time and lots of repeat visitors.

It all starts with a wide variety of places to stay. The accommodations scene in Las Vegas is bigger and better than ever, with new hotels, renovations, and additions all a part of the mix. The possibilities include old favorites and new possibilities that already or will include additions at The Venetian, Mandalay Bay, Tropicana, and Bellagio, plus a resurrected Aladdin and Steve Wynn’s $2 billion Wynn Last Vegas slated to open in 2005.

Las Vegas has turned into one of the nation’s top dining destinations. The numbers game on the food front reveals that Las Vegas has two Mobil Five-Star restaurants (Picasso at Bellagio and Renoir at The Mirage), four Wolfgang Puck restaurant creations (Spago, Chinois, Postrio, and Trattoria del Luppo), and an incredible 12 of 56 U.S. master sommeliers (plus eight of 10 female sommeliers worldwide!). Other chef stars shining bright in Las Vegas include Emeril Lagasse, Charlie Palmer, Susan Feniger/Mary Sue Miliken (“Too Hot Tamales”), Joachim Splichal, Nobu Matushisa, Mark Miller, and Jean-Georges Vongerischten.

For those that shop ‘til they drop back in their hotel or in a restaurant seat, Las Vegas is definitely in fashion. More than half of Las Vegas’s visitors spend time shopping and their choices continue to expand. Las Vegas has become home numerous unique shopping venues, with everything from colorful souvenir shops to haute couture boutiques in retail centers along the famed Strip and in surrounding streets. Highlights have to include: Desert Passage at the Aladdin Resort Casino; The Forum Shops at Caesars; Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian; Le Boulevard at Paris Las Vegas; and Via Bellagio.

Las Vegas has long contended for ‘Entertainment Capital of the World,’ thanks to images of the Rat Pack swirling martinis, showgirls in elaborate headdresses, and Elvis impersonators roaming the streets. Today, the entertainment scene includes an incredible array of venues and world-class acts, where sell-out shows are the norm. Of course, many come to Las Vegas for gambling entertainment, with Las Vegas resorts offering a wide variety of table games, electronic options, and more. The statewide slot machine network, known as Megabucks, paid a record jackpot of more than $39.7 million to a visitor from Southern California this past March.

Great golf isn’t a gamble in and around Las Vegas. More than 60 golf courses are available for play year-round, including championship courses designed by the likes of Nicklaus, Palmer, and Weiskopf. Five golf schools can make a trip to Las Vegas even more enjoyable on and off the fairways.

For those who’d rather hit the hot tub than some little white ball, the spa scene in Las Vegas is hot. More than 30 spa facilities provide a wide variety of settings and treatments to road-weary Las Vegas visitors.

Before that soothing spa visit, many outdoors types head to nearby sites for hiking and much more. The surprisingly nearby possibilities include Mt. Charleston, Red Rock Canyon, Valley of Fire State Park, Lake Mead Recreation Area (including Hoover Dam), and even Death Valley (just 135 miles) and the Grand Canyon (about 300 miles or a one-hour flight). These spots and many more make for easy excursions if you can bring yourself to leave the Strip!

After booking your Las Vegas vacation with your Travel Service, be sure to visit www.vegasfreedom.com for further information and updates.

What’s Up in Las Vegas (check out www.lasvegasevents.com for details):

*November 15-16: Aviation Nation-Nellis Air Show.

*November 20-25: Laughlin Team Roping.

*November 21-25: Senior Softball Winter Worlds.

*November 30 - December 6: Miss Rodeo America.

*December 4: FSE Downtown Hoedown.

*December 4-15: Cowboy Christmas Gift Show.

*December 5-6: Cliff Keen Wrestling.

*December 5-14: Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

*December 7 - January 9: Nevada Open Golf Tournament.

*December 10-21: FSE Holiday Festival.

*December 31: America’s Party New Year’s Eve 2004.