Travel Weeklys Las Vegas E-letter: Nov. 23, 2004

TICKET TO RIDE: The Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower teamed with Interactive Rides of Logan, Utah, to create Insanity -- The Ride, a fourth thrill ride set to debut early next year atop the propertys 1,149-foot-tall tower. The attraction will dangle 10 riders at a time more than 900 feet above the Strip and spin them -- at 40 mph -- 64 feet from the edge of the Stratosphere Towers outdoor observation deck. Those brave enough -- or crazy enough -- to get what has to be the most interesting, and unobstructed, views of the city will pay $8 for the privilege (plus an additional $9 for admission to the tower). Rerides will cost $4 each. Several ticket packages will be available, including one that combines tower admission and an Insanity ride for $15.

PURCHASE POWER: Fresh off last months purchase of the Queen of Hearts and the Nevada hotel-casino properties in downtown Las Vegas, Barrick Gaming Corp. announced a $31 million deal to buy the Golden Nugget Laughlin from Poster Financial Group, which owns the Golden Nugget Las Vegas. The transaction, which is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2005, includes a 24-month license agreement for the limited use of the Golden Nugget Laughlin name and brand. The 300-room, tropical-themed casino property is located on the banks of the Colorado River and features retail shops, several dining venues, a nightclub and a sports bar. Earlier this year, Barrick Gaming purchased four other downtown Las Vegas properties -- the Plaza, Vegas Club, Gold Spike and the Western hotel-casinos.

THATS THE TICKET: Heres a ticket-purchasing opportunity that sounds almost as entertaining as the actual event. Season, packaged and individual tickets to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo competition, which runs from Dec. 3 through 12 at the Thomas & Mack Center, are sold out. But rodeo fans who just have to get in on the action can hope for a no-show and purchase Mad Dash 30 Tickets, which allow the bearer to enter the arenas concourse. They then must find an empty seat in the balcony area. If they do, they can sit in that seat for the duration of the rodeo unless the original ticket holder claims the seat. If an open seat cannot be located within 30 minutes after the rodeo starts, the Mad Dash ticket holder can watch the rodeo from the television monitors located on the concourse or request a refund at the arenas ticket office. Mad Dash 30 Tickets can be purchased in person at the Thomas & Mack Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays or by phone through UNLV Tickets at (866) 388-3267 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. For more information about the Wrangler NFR, visit www.nfrexperience.com.

HOLIDAY CALL: From Dec. 10 through Dec. 22, JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort, Spa & Golf will host Holiday Magic, a winter festival featuring holiday lights, costumed characters, ice skaters, a carousel, nightly entertainment such as local musicians and choir groups   --   even timed snow flurries. Groups can reserve hospitality party areas, which will offer beverages and food. To book, call Tom Carroll at (702) 610-0018. Admission to Holiday Magic is $10 per adult and $5 per child 12 and younger; there is no charge for children younger than 2. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com and Ticketmaster outlets such as Smiths Food & Drug, Tower Records in the Wow! Superstore, Ritmo Latino and Robinsons May stores. To charge tickets by phone, call (702) 474-4000. Tickets also can be purchased on site at the three Holiday Magic gates. For ongoing event updates, visit www.holidaymagiclv.com.

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