Travel Weeklys Las Vegas E-letter: January 10, 2006

THE STARDUST HOTEL AND CASINO may be no more after this year. Boyd Gaming Corp. officials announced plans to close the aging 1,500-room resort, located on 63 acres of Stripfront property, in anticipation of developing Echelon Place, a $4 billion resort complex scheduled to open in early 2010. Echelon Place actually will comprise four different hotels offering a total of 5,300 guest rooms and suites. The 3,300-room Echelon Resort, which will encompass a 2,600-room resort tower and a 700-room suite tower, each with its own spa, will be wholly owned by Boyd Gaming. Both towers will connect to a public area offering a 140,000-square-foot casino, 25 restaurants and bars, a swimming pool, meetings facilities, a 4,000-seat theater and a smaller venue with 1,500 seats. The Shangri-La Hotel, Las Vegas, which will be owned by Boyd Gaming and operated by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, will feature 400 rooms, a 20,000-square-foot CHI spa, meetings space and two restaurants.

TO COMPLETE THE HOTEL LINEUP, Boyd Gaming also entered into a joint venture with Morgans Hotel Group for the development of two hotels based on previous successes: the 600-room Delano and the 1,000-room Mondrian. The former will include a nightclub, lobby bar, Asia de Cuba restaurant, a swimming pool and a spa and fitness center, while the latter will offer a bar and restaurant, meetings space and a swimming pool and recreation area.

TO MEET THE GROWING DEMAND for convention and exhibition space, Boyd Gaming also will develop, own and operate the Las Vegas ExpoCenter at Echelon Place. The space will feature 650,000 square feet of exhibition and pre-function space and 175,000 square feet of meetings and conference space. When the space at the ExpoCenter is combined with the meetings space within the projects four hotels, the total meetings and exhibition space will exceed 1 million square feet and feature more than 200 meetings rooms. The projects master plan includes a three-acre parcel reserved for future development. 

THE NEVADA OPERA THEATER will begin its 20th season Jan. 22 with a 2 p.m. performance of Giacomo Puccinis Tosca at the Artemus Ham Concert Hall at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. There will be a pre-performance lecture in the buildings lobby at 1:20 p.m. Ticket prices range from $20 to $50 and can be purchased by calling (702) 895-2787, (702) 699-9775 or (702) 731-3370. Tickets also are available online at www.UNLVTickets.com.

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