Travel Weeklys Las Vegas E-letter: Oct. 19, 2004

BEATLEMANIA is coming to Las Vegas in 2006 in the form of a live theater production, thanks to Cirque du Soleil, Apple Corps Ltd. and the Mirage. The joint artistic venture marks the first time that the Beatles company, Apple Corps, has agreed to a major theatrical partnership. The production, Cirque du Soleils fifth resident show in Las Vegas, stemmed from a personal friendship and professional admiration between late Beatle George Harrison and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte. The projects artistic team will include Cirque du Soleil writer-director Dominic Champagne and Beatles producer George Martin, who will oversee the music element of the show. Details of the content of the show, which will aim to revisit the era of Beatlemania, are in creative incubation, according to a joint statement from Cirque du Soleil, Apple Corps and the Mirage. The production has the blessings of the two surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, though neither will appear in the show. The production also has the approval of Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison, the widows of John Lennon and Harrison, respectively.

TAMARES REAL ESTATE and Barrick Gaming have added the Queen of Hearts and the Nevada Hotel in downtown Las Vegas to their portfolio. The partnership earlier this year purchased four other downtown properties -- the Plaza, the Las Vegas Club (now known as Vegas Club), the Gold Spike and the Western Hotel-Casino -- and has the first right of refusal to purchase the El Cortez Hotel & Casino. The Queen of Hearts and the Nevada were purchased from Ann Meyers, who in turn had bought the properties from Jackie Gaughan several years ago. Built in 1964, the 27,000-square-foot Queen of Hearts has 100 guest rooms and is located at East Lewis Avenue and Main Street. The Nevada Hotel, constructed in 1974, features 150,000 square feet and 160 guest rooms. It is located on South Main Street. The partnerships holdings also include raw land and underdeveloped downtown real estate totaling more than 25 acres, making the partnership one of the largest landholders in downtown Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS will play a major role in yet another reality-TV drama. This time, Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton, will star in the 10-part series The Entertainer on E! Entertainment Television. Slated to debut in January, the series will feature 10 performers -- including male and female vocalists, illusionists, comedians and other performers -- who vie both onstage and behind the scenes at locations on and off the Strip for a chance at the gig of a lifetime. Each week, Newton, along with his team of judges and a celebrity guest judge, will eliminate one performer until a winner is chosen. He or she will then get the opportunity to perform alongside Newton during the grand finale episode as well as become a featured performer in Newtons show at the Stardust Resort and Casino.

THROUGH OCT. 23, travelers who book a United Vacations Las Vegas package with accommodations at any MGM-Mirage resort will receive reduced rates and such value-added offers as two-for-one breakfast buffet, free admission to Studio 54, complimentary lunch and cocktails. Also, through Jan. 5, travelers who book a United Vacations Las Vegas package with accommodations at the Bellagio will receive reduced room rates. This offer also includes the new 925-room hotel tower at the resort, which is scheduled to open on Dec. 24. The tower also will feature an expanded spa and salon as well as meeting space, shops and a restaurant. United Vacations can be booked in all four GDSs using the vendor code UAV, through VAX VacationAccess or by phone at (800) 328-6877.


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