Travel Weekly's Las Vegas E-letter: May 11, 2004

MGM-MIRAGE VACATIONS through May 16 will give agents $25 cash back for each MGM-Mirage Vacations booking they make via VAX VacationAccess. The offer is valid for travel through Dec. 31. To take advantage of the offer, which is limited to a maximum of 10 reservations, agents should use the code EARN250. Agents then must complete the MGM-Mirage Vacations' scorecard on VAX and fax it to (414) 934-2059 by May 21. In addition, through May 17, clients can add a Romance Package to their MGM-Mirage vacation and save 20%. Sample pricing, which is valid for travel July 12, 13, 19 and 20, includes a two-night stay, airfare from Seattle or Portland, Ore., via Alaska Airlines and 24-hour traveler assistance. Vacations with accommodations at Treasure Island start at $219.99 per person. The TI Romance Package can be added for $120 and includes full use of the spa facilities, souvenir bathrobes and champagne.

WORRY-FREE VACATIONS' is offering travelers $50 off air-hotel packages to Las Vegas if they book by May 22 for travel through Sept. 30. In addition, they can save another $25 when they book a package option such as golf, spa services or a rental car. Meanwhile, WorldVacations is offering discounts on air-hotel packages booked by May 22 that include a stay at the MGM Grand, The Mirage, Treasure Island, New York-New York or Bellagio. Travelers receive $25 off packages that cost at least $399, $50 off packages that cost at least $599 or $75 off packages that cost at least $899 when traveling between May 16 and July 31. For more information, visit www.worryfreevacationsagent.com or www.nwaworldvacationsagent.com.

THE LAS VEGAS CONVENTION AND VISITORS AUTHORITY this summer plans to launch the Las Vegas Certified Agent program, an online travel agent education program. It will include tests covering a range of topics, including sightseeing, dining, shopping and spas. Test questions and answers will be formulated using information from LVCVA Web sites at www.lvcva.com and www.lasvegasfreedom.com, and printed materials such as tourism guides and booklets distributed by the LVCVA. Agents can complete the tests at their leisure and in any order that they wish, but they must answer all of the questions correctly to receive the certified agent designation; furthermore, agents can take the tests as many times as is necessary for them to pass. The LVCVA is finalizing details on what benefits agents will receive when they become a Las Vegas expert. Cam Usher, the LVCVA's director of tourism, said benefits could include earning continuing education units from the Travel Institute as well as receiving invitations to special LVCVA events, such as fam trips.

STEVE WYNN'S $2.5 BILLION WYNN LAS VEGAS resort is scheduled to open April 28, 2005, the company said. The resort will feature 2,716 guest rooms and suites in the 50-story main hotel tower as well as a separate structure that will house one- and two-bedroom suites, known as fairway villas. Those accommodations will sit along the 18th fairway of the Country Club at Wynn Las Vegas, the resort's championship golf course that Wynn and Tom Fazio are designing. An agreement between Wynn Resorts and Gateway will bring the property 7,000 Gateway-branded plasma and LCD televisions as well as hundreds of DVD players and other high-tech products. For entertainment, Wynn and Franco Dragone, the creative force behind Cirque du Soleil's productions as well as Celine Dion's "A New Day," are working on a show for the 2,100-seat theater. The resort will host several lakes and a mountain, which, according to resort officials, won't exactly just be sitting there. Room rates have not been finalized; neither has a date to open the resort's books for room reservations.

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