Las Vegas ARIA Opens





Anthony Curtis’ weekly nationally syndicated Vegas column.

December 16, 2009

ARIA, the main attraction of the massive CityCenter complex on the south end of the Strip, opened last Wednesday with a big fireworks display heralding Las Vegas’ newest must-see resort. The 61-story 4,004-room hotel is the only component in CityCenter to have a casino, and it’s a big one at 150,000 square feet, about the size of Bellagio’s. ARIA also boasts 11 restaurants (most of them high end and run by celebrity chefs), an 80,000 square-foot spa, 300,000 square feet of convention space, and an 1,800-seat theater that will house the much-anticipated Viva Elvis show by Cirque du Soleil. Room rates for ARIA have run as low as $149 midweek in December.

Elvis Open: Though the grand opening of Aria’s Viva Elvis isn’t until February (recently moved back a month), the show is already running in “previews.” Previews are considered shake-out runs for new shows and are usually discounted, as this show is (by 25%). The preview prices are $116-$200 after tax.

Venetian Formula: A long-empty space overlooking the Las Vegas Strip at Venetian looks like it finally has a new occupant. Smokin’ Hot Aces, a club that will feature DJs and live bands, is scheduled to open on Dec. 28.

Wild Wild Days: Station Casinos has announced that it will rebrand its Wild Wild West Gambling Hall as a Days Inn. The location was to be the site of a CityCenter-style complex called Viva, until the bad economy shelved those plans.

Iced: The show Ice Direct from Russia has closed at the Riviera, as has the Neil Diamond Tribute Live with Jay White. No word of any replacements as yet. The other shows at the Riv, including Crazy Girls and the Riviera Comedy Club, remain.

Question: What and where is the Lucky Club?

Answer: It’s a casino located on the far north side of Las Vegas. Formerly called Speedway, it caters almost solely to a local crowd.

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