Travel Weekly's Las Vegas E-letter: September 27, 2005

MARKING HIS DEBUT in the U.S. market, legendary chef Joel Robuchon opened two restaurants at the MGM Grand. Joel Robuchon at the Mansion is a five-room, fine-dining establishment whose design and decor includes 17-foot ceilings, black and purple fabrics and views of the Mansions indoor terrace. A more informal restaurant, LAtelier de Joel Robuchon, located inside the MGM Grand, features seats arranged around a U-shaped bar that looks directly into the kitchen. Decorated in a bold color scheme of black and red, the eatery includes seating for 23 people around the granite bar and 16 additional seats at four tables.

NEW DINING SPOTS and shops also are popping up at the Shops in Desert Passage at the Aladdin. Maxs Cafe, the only one of the five new restaurants now open, is an upscale bar and eatery that offers bar and grill menu items. Pampas Churrascaria, a Brazilian restaurant, will open its doors this winter, as will Sin City Brewing Co., the local microbrewerys first bar. Also opening next year are quick-service food outlets Tacone Flavor Grill and Sbarro. On the retail front, shoe stores David Z and the Wild Pair have debuted as well as Vegas the Store, which features Las Vegas-themed souvenirs and gifts, and the Oh My Godard Gallery, which showcases the paintings of artist and Las Vegas native Michael Godard.

THE MGM GRAND is offering a two-night Maximum Nights package with accommodations in its new 700-room West Wing. Reservations must be made by Oct. 15 for a stay completed by Nov. 30, and the package is not available Oct. 21-22, 28-31 and Nov. 4-5, 18-19 and 23-26. The plan also includes a VIP line pass for two plus discounted admission to Studio 54, Tabu Ultra Lounge and Teatro Euro Bar; cocktails for two at either Centrifuge or the West Wing Bar; a 10% discount at the West Wing Boutique, and either a flight of tequila at Diego or a wine tasting at Fiamma Trattoria when dinner is purchased at either restaurant. Package rates start at $109 per night and are commissionable at 10% to ARC-approved travel agents. To book, call (800) 929-1111.

TRAVELERS CAN SAVE 15%, or up to $75 per person, on Las Vegas packages when they book with TransGlobal Vacations by Oct. 15 for travel through Jan. 31. Vacations must have a minimum value of $200 and include a minimum three-night hotel stay and roundtrip charter air. The promotional code LAS15 must be used at the time of booking. Reservations can be made through VAX VacationAccess at www.vaxvacationaccess.com or the VAX VacationAccess technology via Amadeus AgentNet, Sabre Vacations and Vacation.com AgentNet. TransGlobal Vacations also is available in GDSs using the vendor code TGV or by calling (800) 338-2160.

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