Travel Weekly's Las Vegas E-letter: April 19, 2005

THE ROCK BANDS Red Hot Chili Peppers and Weezer will help Las Vegas celebrate its centennial with an appearance at a free outdoor concert on the grounds of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority on July 2. Tickets   --   50,000 of them   --   and more information are available at www.vegasrocks100.com.

IF YOU ARENT one of the lucky 50,000 people to score those free concert tickets, dont despair. Clear Channel Entertainment Properties, which put the event together, announced a Road to Vegas concert tour headlined by Collective Soul. The Vegas-themed tour will hit the top 10 Las Vegas feeder market cities   --   San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago and Atlanta   --   between May 27 and June 29. During the concerts, attendees can register to win prizes, including   --   you guessed it   --   a trip to Las Vegas for the July 2 birthday bash. For Road to Vegas ticket information, visit www.roadtovegas100.com.

SPEAKING OF CONCERTS... Hard Rock Hotel & Casino owner Peter Morton has lined up quite an array of entertainment to celebrate the propertys 10th anniversary. Coldplay,  Nine Inch Nails and Bon Jovi will headline weekend festivities planned for April 29 through May 1. At that time, Morton also will officially announce details of a $1 billion property expansion. Slated to be finished in May 2007, the plan includes the addition of apartments, luxury condominium units and bungalows on a 24-acre lot, expansion of the pool area and the construction of four restaurants, a health and fitness club and a new version of the Joint, the propertys concert venue. Tickets for the anniversary weekend concerts are available through Ticketmaster and at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casinos box office.

HEY, ITS VEGAS for dummies! No, really. The Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino will host the ninth annual Vegas Ventriloquist Festival April 22 through 24. The event, presented by the International Ventriloquists Association, promotes the art of ventriloquism and performance for all ages and features workshops, vendor displays and several shows, including Ventastic 2005, the festivals annual closing show and gala. During the April 24 event, the Smothers Brothers will present Ronn Lucas with the Askins Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors performers who have made an outstanding contribution to the ventriloquial art. Lucas, who performs six days per week at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino and is celebrating his 25 year in show business, is the first ventriloquist to have his own long-running show at a major Las Vegas showroom. Tickets to Ventastic 2005 cost $10 plus tax and can be purchased at the Imperial Palace show and tour desk. For more information about the event, visit www.ventriloquists.net.

STARTING TODAY, grass skirts are in at the Imperial Palace. Thats because the property, for the 14th year, will feature a twice-weekly Hawaiian luau at the Shangri-La Pool. Billed as the Strips only regularly scheduled luau, the event, which starts at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, features a Polynesian revue with a fire-knife dance and hula lessons and an all-you-can-eat buffet washed down with free mai tais and pina coladas. Tickets, which start at $31.95 per person, are available at the Imperial Palace reservations desk, online at www.imperialpalace.com or by phone at (888) 777-7664.

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