Travel Weekly's Vegas E-Letter: April 29, 2003

ALADDIN GAMING agreed to sell the 2,567-room Aladdin Resort & Casino and the 7,000-seat Theatre of Performing Arts, which are operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, to a joint venture. The buyers are Robert Earl, the CEO and co-founder of Planet Hollywood; Bay Harbour Management; and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. The joint venture, which appointed former Green Valley Ranch Casino & Spa general manager Mike Mecca as its president and CEO, plans to spend $90 million to give the resort a new theme. The resort will be renamed the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino, a Sheraton Hotel. Starwood, which will manage the hotel but not the casino portion, also plans to develop a Westin Vacation Resort of up to 600 units at the property. The sale does not include the adjoining Desert Passage Mall, which is owned by Aladdin Bazaar.

SONG, Delta's new low-fare carrier, will begin daily roundtrip service between Las Vegas and Orlando on July 21. The airline also will launch one daily roundtrip flight between Las Vegas and Ft. Lauderdale on Aug. 25. Introductory one-way fares range from $119 to $299 per person. Song, which began flights between New York (JFK) and West Palm Beach on April 15, will use a fleet of 199-seat, all-coach Boeing 757 aircraft on its routes. By the fall, the carrier plans to operate 144 daily nonstop flights servicing such markets as Boston; Washington, D.C.; Tampa; Hartford, Conn.; Fort Myers; Newark, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. To book, call (800) 359-7664 or visit

TICKETS FOR ZUMANITY, the Cirque du Soleil production scheduled to debut July 31 at New York-New York Hotel & Casino, will go on sale at the property's box office beginning May 22, but priority bookings can be made now by registering at Featuring an international cast of 50 performers and musicians, the 90-minute show, performed at 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, will center on themes of love and sensual passion. The show blends uninhibited movement and style with acrobatics, and exotic rhythms, according to its organizers. The 1,256-seat Zumanity Theatre, which was custom-built for Cirque du Soleil's third permanent Las Vegas production, offers several seating options, including cabaret stools, priced at $55, and traditional theater seats, which go for $75 each; tickets for love seats and duo sofas are sold only in pairs and are priced at $150 and $190, respectively. For more ticket information, contact the New York-New York box office at (702) 740-6815 or visit

TREASURE ISLAND will celebrate its 10th anniversary by revamping its famed Battle of Buccaneer Bay--with vamps. In a more sensual interpretation of the pirate show, which will premier Oct. 26, a band of renegade male buccaneers will fight the Sirens of TI, a group of sexy women who are part muse, part temptress and part pirate. Besides a fresh story line for the battle, the resort also will mark its decade on the Strip with a new name--TI. Next year the resort plans to open a Mexican restaurant, Cantor's Deli and a new spa facility. Also in 2004, the property will be linked to the Fashion Show mall via a new pedestrian bridge.

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