Daily Archives: November 18, 2009

Las Vegas New Year’s Eve Firework Displays to Return to Strip Rooftops

Las Vegas residents and vistors alike finally got some great news– they just may be able to actually see the New Year’s Eve half-million dollars of fireworks displays this year! NewYearsStrip

Las Vegas Events (LVE) and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) announced late last week that the New Year’s Eve celebration known as America’s Party: Las Vegas New Year 2010 will include a spectacular fireworks show fired from seven rooftop locations along the three-mile stretch of the Las Vegas Strip. 

Although fireworks displays had been launched from the top of Las Vegas Strip hotels since Dec. 31, 2000, the show was launched from resort parking lots and garages last year when new Clark County fire and safety rules tightened regarding rooftop fireworks following the Monte Carlo rooftop fire in January 2008. 

The lower launch point caused the fireworks display last year to not be viewable at many traditional Las Vegas vantage points. 

But, despite the lower aerial displays, last year’s New Year’s Eve still drew nearly 291,000 visitors to the area, include nearly 30,000 downtown, for an nongaming economic impact of $188 million to Las Vegas, according the Las Vegas Visitors Authority.

 The budget for this year’s Las Vegas show, which is funded by the state’s room tax, has reportedly increased by $50,000 to $550,000– not bad for a poor economic year with many residents out of a job. 

The Las Vegas firing locations (from the south, heading north) this year include the following resort properties: MGM Grand, Planet Hollywood, Aria, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island (TI), Venetian and the Stratosphere. 

Fireworks by Grucci of New York will again coordinate the pyrotechnic display. 

The group recently created the spectacular Grand Opening of the Atlantis Hotel and The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai and has executed numerous presidential inaugurations and citywide celebrations.

 Grucci will also do the fireworks for the $8.5 billion CityCenter grand opening planned for Dec. 16 in Las Vegas. 

Michael Green, a history professor at the College of Southern Nevada, said New Year’s Eve fireworks high above the Strip have become part of the fabric of Las Vegas, commenting, “Granting that Las Vegas is still in a lot of economic hurt, the signs are pointing the right way. So maybe the fireworks will give us something to look forward to and up to.”

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Only One Gambling Site in Las Vegas’ New $8.5 Billion CityCenter

AriaIs gambling in Las Vegas becoming passé with the advent of new venues? 

Gaming regulators in Las Vegas last Friday granted preliminary licensing approval for the only casino component inside the $8.5 billion CityCenter project and suggested the revenue mix might be sharply different from the traditional gaming-driven environment that has existed since Las Vegas’ creation. 

During a hearing that lasted more than two hours, the Nevada Gaming Control Board was told not to expect additional gaming inside the multiple hotel, high-rise residential and entertainment complex. 

Aria, pictured, CityCenter’s 4,004-room centerpiece, was designed as the project’s only casino. Vdara and Mandarin Oriental are nongaming hotels, and Veer Tower is strictly residential. 

Executives from MGM Mirage and Dubai World, its 50-50 partner in the development, explained the CityCenter concept, using a promotional sales video and previewing Aria’s first television advertisement in what will be a $20 million marketing campaign. 

Gaming is not the focal point of the 67-acre project. The casino at Aria, roughly the size of Bellagio, will have only 145 table games and 1,940 slot machines, half of which will be linked to a server-based gaming platform. 

Aria President Bill McBeath said the casino’s revenue projections are modeled with Bellagio, but the CityCenter casino has fewer slot machines. He said Aria is designed to have private gambling salons like other MGM Mirage high-end casinos, but the rooms will not be used immediately. 

“There will be cross-marketing between the properties,” McBeath said. Aria will host MGM Mirage’s private Chinese New Year party for high-end customers at the MGM Grand, Bellagio and other company resorts. 

McBeath said Aria’s slot machines are projected to produce roughly $320 win per unit per day. 

During MGM Mirage’s quarterly earning conference call with analysts, City Center Chief Executive Officer Bobby Baldwin said Aria would produce $1.2 billion in revenue in 2010. 

“The (revenue) projections are optimistic,” Gaming Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander said. “But they seem reasonable.” 

The three-member control board then recommended unanimous approval for Aria. The Nevada Gaming Commission will consider the recommendation this week.

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