Stratosphere expansion project close to completion

LAS VEGAS -- Although a 1,000-room hotel tower is not set to debut until the middle of this summer, other elements of the Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower's $75 million expansion project will be opening soon.

In fact, Lucky's Cafe, a 300-seat coffee shop, will open its doors this month on the casino-floor level next to the new valet entrance on the property's northwest side.

The restaurant will serve American-style food amid its vintage Las Vegas decor, which will include dark wood floors, spacious booths and subdued lighting as well as artwork and photographs from the city's heyday.

In June, a 67,000-square-foot, resort-style swimming pool and recreation deck, which will overlook the Strip, is set to open on the eighth floor of the new hotel tower.

The Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower is undergoing a $75 million expansion project, which is to be completed this summer. Included will be a spa, private cabanas, a special-event area, a snack bar and a full-service cocktail bar.

Also later this summer, the Stratosphere Buffet will be expanded to accommodate 500 people. The buffet will feature numerous cooking stations where dishes are made to order, an expanded international section and an American Bounty area with such fare as fried chicken and mashed potatoes.

The 24-story hotel tower then will debut, featuring 100 suites, many with oversized spa tubs and views of the Strip.

As if that weren't enough, an outdoor amphitheater with seating for 3,700 people is set to open in September on the north side of the property.

The final element of the expansion project is a new hotel entrance with a porte cochere, a centralized valet parking entrance and a bus terminal as well as a large lobby and gift shop.

According to Richard P. Brown, the Stratosphere's chief operating officer, the construction won't end there.

A third phase of development is planned once all of the elements of the hotel tower expansion project have opened.

This wave of construction will include a renovation of the casino and Roxy's Diner and the conversion of Montana's steak house to a Tex-Mex oyster bar venue with entertainment.

Property officials also are considering adding a nightclub to the property as well as another thrill ride similar to the existing Big Shot and High Roller attractions.

For more information about the Stratosphere, call (800) 99-TOWER or (702) 380-7777.

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