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Wynn Offering Guests Private Flight

Casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd. is betting its Las Vegas guests don't enjoy commercial flying, and will spring more money for a package that includes a private flight.

The Las Vegas-based casino operator has introduced a package starting at $780 per person for two people that includes three nights at Wynn or Encore on the Las Vegas Strip, plus a roundtrip flight from one of two private terminals in southern California.

Wynn says guests will have their hotel keys before the flight, limousine service to and from the hotel, and bags in their room once they arrive.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

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MGM Mirage Ends Debt Exchange Offer

Casino operator MGM Mirage says it has ended a debt exchange offer because not enough debt holders accepted the deal.

The offer gave holders the chance to exchange up to $782 million in 8.5 percent senior notes due in 2010 for up to $500 million in 10 percent senior notes due in 2016.

Only about $9.1 million of the notes had been tendered as of Wednesday. The minimum required for the offer was $25 million. The exchange had been seen as a way for MGM to refinance some of its heavy debt. The casino industry has struggled as gamblers have pulled back sharply in the recession.

MGM, which billionaire Kirk Kerkorian has a sizable stake in, had $12.3 billion in long-term debt as of June 30.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Star Trek Attraction Still on Track

An effort to bring the "Star Trek: The Experience" attraction to the 250,000-square-foot mall called Neonopolis is still on track despite the economic downturn.

The attraction had been slated to coincide with the May 8 premiere of the "Star Trek" movie but it was called off. Neonopolis owner's representative Rohit Joshi says he's been working with several consultants to design the attraction. It could include more than one ride, a restaurant and bar and a Star Trek museum.

Joshi won't give a possible opening date for the attraction in downtown Las Vegas. He says it's vital all details of the attraction be as faithful as possible to Star Trek history and lore.

An official with CBS Television Distribution in Los Angeles says the Neonopolis project is still in development and that CBS licensed the rights to the attraction to Joshi's group.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Echelon Indefinitely on Hold

LAS VEGAS, Nv. -- Construction work stopped at the Echelon resort more than a year ago and now there is word it could be years before it starts again.

The weak economy forced Boyd Gaming and its partners to mothball the site in August 2008 with hopes of  restarting it this quarter. Now Eyewitness News has learned that workers are prepping the cranes for removal and a complete site shutdown is underway. That shutdown could last for three more years.

Construction firm Tishman had no official comment on the delay. Boyd Gaming confirms the project will continue to be on hold and there is no timeline of any kind to get Echelon started again. The $5 billion project could have created up to 4,000 jobs.

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Gaming Entrepreneur Bob Stupak Dies at 67

LAS VEGAS, NV -- Bob Stupak lost his battle against leukemia Friday at Desert Springs Hospital. He was known for building the state's tallest tower.

The developer of the 1,149-foot Stratosphere tower on the Las Vegas Strip died after a long fight with his health.

Stupak, known for outlandish promotions, opened the $550 million Stratosphere hotel-casino in 1996 in hopes that the tower would attract millions of visitors to Sin City. The casino filed for bankruptcy in 1997 and was eventually taken over by billionaire investor Carl Icahn.

Stupak was officially named "Mr. Las Vegas" in 1996 by then-mayor Jan Jones. He once bet $1 million on the Super Bowl, winning $2 million for betting the Cincinnati Bengals in 1989. 

"Bob was an impresario, a ringmaster in the mold of the promoters who made Las Vegas the great town that it is," Mayor Oscar B. Goodman said.

Slash, Love and Other Rockers to Celebrate Mirage Anniversary

Promoters in Las Vegas say rock guitarist Slash and Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine plan to play a poolside concert celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Mirage hotel-casino.

Officials for The Light Group say the musicians will be joined by Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, Courtney Love, Rob Zombie and others at an Oct. 2 concert hosted by actor Keifer Sutherland. The casino will also host a private celebrity poker tournament and nightclub events that weekend.

The Mirage, developed by casino mogul Steve Wynn, opened in November 1989. The city's first megaresort kicked off a wave of billion-dollar projects on the Las Vegas Strip.

Its current owner, casino operator MGM Mirage, spent the three years revamping the property and unveiled a $25 million facelift for its volcano last year.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Inside the High-Tech Hard Rock Cafe

LAS VEGAS, Nv -- With fewer tourists visiting Las Vegas and locals trying to save cash, restaurants are feeling the pinch. But despite the tough economic times, the Hard Rock Cafe opened its second location in Las Vegas this month.

The restaurant-chain says they're going high-tech and hopes combining computers and cuisine will draw people in.

SLIDESHOW: Inside the Hard Rock Cafe

At the new Hard Rock, you can play games, watch videos, and listen to music with your touch-screen tabletop. Because times are tough, the company says it wants to add value to their cafe and help you experience more for less.

Not only is it David Ortiz's first time to Las Vegas, it's also his first time playing the piano at the Hard Rock Cafe. "I thought it was really neat. I was just messing with it.