Travel Weekly's Las Vegas E-letter: June 29, 2004

FOOD, DRINK, LIVE MUSIC and, of course, fireworks are on tap for the Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower's Let Freedom Ring pool party on July 4. The fireworks display, which will start at 9 p.m. and last about 10 minutes, will be launched from the property's north parking garage and can be seen from almost anywhere in the Las Vegas Valley. The pool party, located on the Stratosphere's pool and recreation deck on the eighth floor of the Premier room tower, will last from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $45 per person and includes drinks and unlimited food from the barbecue-style buffet. Live music from Surf City will provide entertainment along with caricature artists and fortunetellers.

A NEW CIGAR LOUNGE, Havana Hideaway, opened in the Tropicana Resort & Casino. Decorated in warm tones and dark woods with leather sofas and cushioned chairs, the lounge also has several TV screens that are used for viewing various sporting events. Besides offering several drink and cigar combination specials, Havana Hideaway also features for sale cigar accessories, including cutters, lighters, personal and travel humidors, as well as clothing items. The lounge is open from 10 a.m. to midnight Sundays through Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

UNITED VACATIONS is offering reduced rates on Las Vegas packages that include roundtrip air via United Airlines' low-cost carrier, Ted. Prices start at $164 per person, double, from Los Angeles; $284 per person, double, from Denver; $344 per person, double, from Chicago; and $364 per person, double, from Washington. Vacations include a two-night stay at the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino; VIP seating and $5 off a $10 purchase at Planet Hollywood; and VIP specials at the Fashion Outlet Las Vegas that include shopping and dining discounts, valet parking and a souvenir shopping tote bag. Reservations can be made by calling (800) 328-6877, using vendor code UAV in all four GDSs or by logging onto VAX VacationAccess.

THE MUSIC SOCIETY OF THE AMERICAS teamed up with the Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort on Mount Charleston -- about 45 minutes from the Strip -- to present three concerts this summer that celebrate blues and rock and roll. On July 10, the line-up of bands includes Exit 12, the Rufnecks, The Fab, J.D. Simo and Louisiana Sue & Kenny Menard Mardi Gras Zydeco. The Shuffle-Aires kick off the day July 24 and will be followed by Scott Rhiner & Moanin' Blacksnakes, John Earl & The Boogieman Band, Michael Hill's Blues Mob and Coco Montoya. Finally, on Aug. 8, Pete Contino Zydeco will lead off, followed by Bobby Kingston, Stetzen, Randy Anderson and Wolf Creek. For each concert date, gates open at 10 a.m. with the first band hitting the stage at 11 a.m. Admission is $20 per adult, $10 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for children 5 and younger. For more information, phone (702) 593-9500 or visit www.blueslasvegas.com.

ALOHA AIRLINES on Sept. 7 will launch daily nonstop service between Las Vegas and Honolulu. Also effective that date, the carrier will discontinue its short-haul service between Las Vegas and Oakland and Burbank, Calif. Reservations for flights on discontinued routes will be taken up to Sept. 6, the last day of travel. Travelers with reservations on those routes beyond that date will be reaccommodated.

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