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Sinatra, Martin to Receive Stars in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS -- Sin City is paying homage to iconic singers Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin by giving them each a place on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars.

Las Vegas Walk of Stars spokesman Pablo Castro Zavala said stars for the crooners would be unveiled Feb. 22 in a ceremony at the Flamingo Las Vegas casino-resort.

The stars will be then be placed in the sidewalk outside the Flamingo on the Las Vegas Strip. Sinatra and Martin are icons of Sin City entertainment because of their appearances on stage, in film and on television.

The Rat Pack performers appeared in the 1960 movie "Ocean's Eleven," about a plan to rob five Las Vegas casinos in one night. Officials say Dean Martin's daughter Deana Martin will accept his star on behalf of her father. 

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Nevada Regulators Endorse Plan for Planet Hollywood

CARSON CITY -- Nevada casino regulators have given preliminary approval for Harrah's Entertainment to acquire Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas.

Under the deal endorsed Wednesday by the Gaming Control Board, Harrah's will acquire $306 million in debt at a discounted rate of under $70 million and assume Planet Hollywood's remaining debt of $554 million.

The Nevada Gaming Commission is scheduled to take final action on the deal Feb. 18. If approved, casino operations would transfer at noon the next day.

Harrah's officials said the property's current staff of 2,300 will be reduced by about 5 percent. Harrah's also will assume collective bargaining contracts in effect.

Harrah's took over operations of the 2,496-room hotel and food and beverage operations on Jan. 16.

 (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Chinese-USA Photo Exhibit Opening in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS -- A photo exhibit exploring 30 years of diplomatic relations between the United States and China is due to open at the mall at CityCenter on the Las Vegas Strip.

Casino operator MGM Mirage says the free exhibit openingTuesday will run for three weeks. It's produced in conjunction with the Chinese Peoples' Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

Officials say the exhibit has toured Macau, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Wives and Daughters of Fallen Soldiers Get Royal Treatment

LAS VEGAS -- A special group of visitors is getting the royal treatment while in Las Vegas. The visitors are the wives and daughters of American soldiers who have been killed.

For some of these families, it is their first outing since the death of their loved one. Project Gratitude attempts to bring some happiness into the lives of the military families who must now live with the often unbearable reality that their loved ones will never return home.

Colorado resident Meagan Staats' husband David was killed while serving in Iraq in 2006. She says the attention has been humbling for her and her 10-year-old daughter, Katie.

"We are having so much fun and we are being catered to and loved and getting the royal treatment," she said.

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PH Towers Holds Grand Opening

LAS VEGAS -- The newest tower on the Las Vegas Strip will open Friday evening and there are still jobs that need to be filled.

The PH Towers is opening at Harmon and Las Vegas Blvd. It is 52 stories and is across from CityCenter. It is the largest single timeshare building ever built in the world. There are 1,200 upscale villas ranging from 450 square feet to 2,200 square feet.

The tower is connected to the Miracle Mile shops and next to the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. While most of the staff has been hired, there are still about 75 unfilled positions.

The tower had a soft opening a month ago but waited to celebrate its official opening until now so Miss America could take part.


Las Vegas Convention Panel Wants Lawsuit Thrown Out

LAS VEGAS -- The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority wants a judge to throw out an American Cancer Society lawsuit aimed at stopping smoking at tobacco shows.

In a court filing Monday, lawyers for the CVA say state lawmakers properly adopted a "common-sense" law allowing smoking at some trade shows.

The convention authority asks Carson City District Court Judge James E. Wilson Jr. to rule that the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in Reno has no standing to sue. The Cancer Society lawsuit was filed Dec. 9. It seeks to void a state measure relaxing smoking restrictions at conventions.

It says the measure was improperly attached to a statute making stalking and text-messaging threats a crime -- in violation of a state constitutional requirement that laws deal with a single subject.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Study: Marathon Generated Millions for Las Vegas Economy

LAS VEGAS -- The inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon generated $64.5 million for the local economy.

That is the finding of a study done by the San Diego State University MBA program and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

The study revealed that nearly 38,000 visitors traveled to Las Vegas for the event.

"The Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon was a great success by every measure," said Pat Christenson, President of Las Vegas Events. "We're pleased to have hosted an event that made such a significant contribution to the local economy, and combined with the Rodeo and NASCAR Champions Week, there is no question in 2009 Las Vegas had its biggest December weekend ever. We are excited about the tremendous potential this event has to bring even more visitors to Las Vegas in future years."