Travel Weekly's Vegas E-Letter: August 5, 2003

BEAM UP THOSE BORGS: The Las Vegas Hilton's Star Trek: The Experience attraction is expanding. Borg Invasion 4D, scheduled to open next spring, will combine live actors and special effects to create a futuristic research facility clients can tour. While visitors are in the facility, members of the Borg collective -- described as "a group of cybernetically enhanced beings who gain knowledge and technology by absorbing other species" -- try to capture the visitors and assimilate them using 24th century cybernetic technology. One of the highlights of the new attraction will be an original 3-D film featuring Robert Picardo as "The Doctor," Alice Krige as "Borg Queen" and Kate Mulgrew as "Admiral Janeway." After their (surprise, surprise) rescue from the Borg, visitors, if they want, then can enjoy the original Star Trek: The Experience attraction, grab a bite at Quark's Bar & Restaurant and browse for souvenirs in the Deep Space Nine Promenade, which houses the world's largest collection of "Star Trek" memorabilia and collectibles.

SHOPPERS' PARADISE: Boy, those characters from Star Trek: The Experience sure do get around. They, along with a stilt walker, a mime, and other assorted entertainers (such as dancers and musicians), will be on hand Aug. 8 to 10 to celebrate the grand opening of the Las Vegas Premium Outlets, a high-end outlet shopping center located about two-and-a-half miles from the north end of the Strip. The 435,000-square-foot outlet center, which had a soft opening Aug. 1, features more than 100 stores and 10 food and beverage outlets -- Kenneth Cole, Polo Ralph Lauren and St. John are but a few -- and is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. Located on South Grand Central Parkway, the shopping mall is accessible via the local CAT bus line. It also has a designated tour bus pick-up and drop-off point and features a taxi stand with pick-ups behind Ann Taylor and drop-offs between Adidas and Brooks Brothers. For more information, phone (702) 474-7500 or visit www.premiumoutlets.com.

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES: Beginning Aug. 7, guests at the Golden Nugget can hitch a shuttle ride to the new Premium Outlets for $1 each way. The downtown property also teamed up with the outlet mall to provide VIP discounts for Golden Nugget guests.

WAIT, THERE'S MORE: Also on Aug. 1, Chelsea Property Group, which partnered with Simon Property Group, to build the Premium Outlets venue, acquired Belz Factory Outlet World, located two-and-a-half miles south of the Strip near McCarran Airport, for $104 million from entities affiliated with privately held Estein & Associates USA, Ltd. The 477,000-square-foot shopping venue was renamed the Las Vegas Outlet Center and offers approximately 130 retail outlets, including Liz Claiborne, Waterford, Wedgwood, Mikasa, Nike, Reebok and Etienne Aigner. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call (702) 896-5599 or visit www.premiumoutlets.com.

BRENNER'S BACK: Comedian David Brenner will be playing the new Westin Casuarina Las Vegas. The property, which according to its Web site is opening Oct. 15, booked Brenner for a one-year, 44-week engagement that will begin shortly after the resort opens. Tickets for the 90-minute solo concert, which will be performed at 8 p.m. daily in the hotel's 250-seat showroom, are priced at $50 each plus tax; group discounts are available. For more information, contact the property at (702) 836-9775.

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