Travel Weekly's Las Vegas E-letter: August 30, 2005

GIMME A W: W Hotels Worldwide and Edge Resorts, a group of private investors, announced a joint venture to open the W Las Vegas Hotel, Casino and Residences in 2008. The $1.7 billion project, which will be located on 21 acres just east of the Las Vegas Strip, will feature 3,000 hotel, condo-hotel and residential units; more than 10 restaurants and nightclubs; retail space; a 75,000-square-foot casino; the Bliss Spa & Gym; and 300,000 square feet of meetings space. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Ws parent company, owns 25% of the project and will manage the hotel while Edge Resorts will control the remaining 75%. Prospective buyers can visit and register their interest for the residential units, which will go on sale later this year starting at $550,000. Choices for the units include poolside cabanas, studios and one- and two-bedroom condominiums. All will include benefits of being attached to a W Hotel, such as access to maid service, 24-hour room service and concierge services. Starwood, which owns the Westin Casuarina Las Vegas, also is part of the OpBiz group, a joint venture partnership that bought the Aladdin hotel-casino on the Strip in 2003 with plans to convert it to a Planet Hollywood-themed property.  

LUCKY NO. 7: Harrahs Entertainment Inc. (HEI), which already owns six Las Vegas properties, announced it will acquire the aging Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino from the Ralph Engelstad and Betty Engelstad Trust for $370 million. Veteran gaming executive Ralph Engelstad opened the property in 1979 and owned it until his death in 2002. The Imperial Palace will continue to operate the property until the transaction closes, which is expected to occur by the end of the year. There are no immediate plans for substantial operational changes once Harrahs acquires the property, according to a statement issued by HEI. The 2,640-room hotel, which also features a 52,000-square-foot casino, is located between Harrahs Las Vegas and the Flamingo, and across the Strip from Caesars Palace -- all HEI-owned. The deal does not include the Imperial Palaces sister property, the Imperial Palace Biloxi in Mississippi or the Auto Collections at Imperial Palace, a separately owned and operated collection of more than 250 vintage autos billed as The Worlds Largest Classic Car Showroom and housed at the Las Vegas property. At press time, an Auto Collections representative could not be reached for comment on the future of the attraction, which, according to the Imperial Palace, draws upwards of 3,000 visitors daily.

GET YER BEER HERE: Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas will kick off its Oktoberfest celebration on Sept. 17 with a keg tapping of Hofbrau Oktoberfest beer and a parade through the restaurant. A new keg of the seasonal brew will be tapped at 7 p.m. each Friday through Oct. 31, when the festivities end. This years Oktoberfest activities will include traditional Bavarian music, stein painting, spaetzle making, a soft sculpture exhibit, a demonstration of Hummel figurine painting and an ice cream giveaway. For more details, call (702) 853-2337 or visit

THE NEED FOR SPEED: Madame Tussauds Las Vegas opened Speed, an interactive attraction dedicated to auto racing, with a $200,000 life-size wax figure of seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, also known as the Intimidator. The figure, clad in an official driving uniform, cap and sunglasses, is standing in a Victory Lane setting. For more information about Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, which is open seven days a week, call (702) 862-7800 or visit


From Our Partners

2021 Family Expo
Family Travel Expo
Register Now
Air Astana 1366
Air Astana
Read More
2021 Caesars Webinar
Watch Now

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI