Travel Weekly's Las Vegas E-letter: May 17, 2005

ALTHOUGH THE EXACT date of Las Vegas 100th birthday has passed the big day was May 15, marked by fireworks and a 130,000-pound, world-recording-breaking birthday cake the city continues to party on. Through May 31, the Downtown Post Office/Federal Courthouse, located at 301 E. Stewart Ave., will be open to the public free of charge. The courthouse was the site of several historical court cases, including the Kefauver Senate hearings on organized crime in the early 1950s. While there, visitors can take in Vegas VIP, an exhibit featuring artifacts and vintage photographs and postcards as well as listen to well-known historians talk about the evolution of Las Vegas during weekly Community Conversations. Docent tours also are available on request. Those who want to see the Downtown Post Office should act now. When the doors close at the end of May, the building will undergo a renovation. Plans call for it to be transformed into a museum and cultural facility called the Post Modern, which will capitalize on the history of the building and downtown with a focus on popular culture from the 1930s to the 1960s.

THE RIO ALL-SUITE HOTEL & CASINO on May 20 will open the doors to its Pavilion Convention Center expansion. The $31 million project will add 60,000 square feet of convention space to the pavilions existing 100,000 square feet of space.

MORE THAN 40Makunouchi rikishi the highest-level sumo wrestlers will be in town Oct. 7 through 9 for a grand sumo tournament at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. The event will be quite a departure for the city, which has been known for decades for its high-profile boxing matches. The Japan Sumo Association, the supreme governing body for the sport, will send a crew to construct the dohyo, or sumo ring, over a three-day period to ensure that it meets all the requirements of the sport. A traditional yakata, the roof over the sumo ring, also will be imported from Japan specifically for the event. Grand Sumo Las Vegas is scheduled for 8 p.m. Oct. 7 and 8 and 2 p.m. Oct. 9. Tickets are priced at $75, $125 and $175 per session and can be purchased at the Mandalay Bay box office or through all TicketMaster outlets. To order tickets by phone, call (877) 632-7400 or (702) 632-7580.

GREEN VALLEY RANCH RESORT and Spa teamed up with WhiteTie, a private virtual club whose members receive VIP and value-added benefits and services from partner entities such as hotels, resorts, retail stores and professional sports and arts organizations. Members of WhiteTie, which recently expanded its operations to Las Vegas, will receive exclusive VIP amenities at Green Valley Ranch including pre-registration and check-in; manager escort to guest room; room upgrade when available; welcome bottle of wine or other comparable gift; a Boarding Pass card membership; VIP access to the resorts restaurants; and 24-hour VIP concierge service to assist with show or dinner reservations. In the future, the company, which has partnerships in Seattle, Hawaii, British Columbia and Portland, Ore., expects to add luxury partners to its Las Vegas offerings. For more information, visit www.whitetie.com.

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