Travel Weekly's Las Vegas E-letter: Nov. 4, 2003

SINGER AND SONGWRITER ELTON JOHN will perform 75 shows over three years at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The first shows are scheduled for Feb. 13 to 22; all performances begin at 7:30 p.m. The shows--which also will include Davey Johnstone on guitar, Guy Babylon on keyboards, Bob Birch on bass guitar, John Mahon on percussion and Nigel Olsson on drums--will not change the schedule for "A New Day...," which stars Celine Dion and also is performed in the 4,100-seat Colosseum. Tickets for John's shows cost $250, $175, and $100 plus applicable taxes and handling charges and can be purchased at (888) 435-8665, www.ticketmaster.com or at the Caesars Palace Box office.

MCCARRAN INT'L AIRPORT launched SpeedCheck, a multiple-airline check-in system that allows travelers with carry-on luggage only to check in at a self-service kiosk and print a boarding pass for flights on 12 airlines. More than 30 SpeedCheck kiosks are available in the airport's Terminal 1. They are near security checkpoints and in the center of the ticketing lobby; additionally, six off-site kiosks are located at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Participating carriers include AirTran, Alaska, Aloha, America West, Continental, Delta [including Song], Midwest, Northwest, Southwest, United and US Airways. More airlines will be added in the near future, according to an airport spokeswoman, and plans also are under way to place kiosks at airline ticket counters, which would enable baggage-tag printing for checked luggage.

AIRTRAN will use Boeing 717 jet aircraft for its new twice-daily nonstop service between Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport and McCarran. The service begins Feb. 11. One-way tickets start at $99 and range up to $249. To book or for more information, visit www.airtran.com.

HILTON GRAND VACATIONS last week opened its third Hilton Grand Vacations Club in Las Vegas. The 283-unit, 28-story building is the first of four planned phases of development at the 10-acre Strip site. The resort features a "desert Deco" motif throughout and offers guests a serpentine pool adjacent to whirlpool spas, fountains for children, a fitness center, the Waves poolside bar and grill, the Marketplace deli and sundry store, picnic areas and barbecue grills. The property's one-, two- and three-bedroom accommodations include remote-controlled color TVs, DVD players, Bose surround-sound systems, high-speed Internet access, fully-equipped kitchens with granite countertops, frameless glass showers, oversized tubs, washing machines and dryers.

CAR BUFFS are giving the green light to a new restaurant in Henderson's Hot Rod Hill auto plaza. The two-story, 9,500-square-foot Hot Rod Grille can accommodate up to 220 people and includes a banquet facility for groups and a bar with 15 video-poker machines. The dining area on the main floor resembles a 1950s' diner, and there's even Cad-Kong, an 18-foot-high by 12-foot-wide 1959 Cadillac with fins and running tail lights that serves as a merchandise display and hostess stand as well as a backdrop for the entire eatery. The restaurant is open around the clock, with breakfast served from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Between meal times and after hours, appetizers and sandwiches are available. For more information, phone (702) 567-5659 or fax (702) 567-0260. <<P>

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