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New Airline Plans to Offer Direct Flights to New York

LAS VEGAS -- Club music, iPads and a holographic safety briefing is how a new airline plans to attract passengers who want a direct flight from New York City to Las Vegas. 

UNLV Report Says Business Owners More Optimistic

LAS VEGAS -- Although local business owners say they are having issues getting credit, they are more optimistic about economic conditions than they were a year ago.

That was among the findings of the latest economic report from Center for Business & Economic Research at UNLV.

Read the CBER Report

Southern Nevada business owners told economists they expect to see improving sales and profits in the first quarter of 2011.

According to Stephen Brown with the CBER, this news could mean that Southern Nevada's economy may have begun its recovery.

MGM to Expand to India

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Casino operator MGM Resorts International has agreed to license and operate a non-gambling MGM Grand resort in the Indian city of New Delhi.

The Las Vegas-based company announced a signed agreement Tuesday with Silver Resort Hotel India Private Ltd. to build a 480-room hotel with Skylofts suites and serviced apartments.

MGM Resorts officials say the first project for the MGM Resorts Hospitality arm in India is part of a company effort to expand its brand in Asia and the Middle East.

A spokesman says MGM Resorts Hospitality is a subdivision of the larger casino company. It has made about 17 deals with developers in various countries to build and operate branded resorts.

Development partners provide land and capital. MGM Resorts operates and brands the resorts for a fee.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Longoria Sued by Former Vegas Nightclub Partner

LOS ANGELES  -- "Desperate Housewives" co-star Eva Longoria is being sued for at least $4 million over her financially troubled Las Vegas nightclub.

A former partner in the Beso club, Mali Nachum, claims Longoria violated California usury laws. The suit was filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Longoria lent Nachum $1 million for the venture in 2009 and was promised repayment at 8 percent annual interest and a large stake in the club.

But according to the suit, Nachum discovered in December that the terms violated California usury laws. He estimates damages of at least $4 million and is seeking three times that figure.

A statement from Longoria's publicist calls the suit merit less and blames her former partners for forcing the nightclub into bankruptcy protection last week.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Vegas Nightclub Owned by Longoria Files Bankruptcy

LAS VEGAS -- A Las Vegas Strip nightclub owned by actress Eva Longoria has filed for bankruptcy to remain operating while reorganizing nearly $5.7 million in debt.

Lawyers for Beso LLC said in a federal Chapter 11 filing on Thursday that they project losing more than $76,000 per month at the CityCenter restaurant and nightspot.

Lawyers say in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing in Las Vegas that Beso owes nearly $1.8 million to CityCenter for its lease at the Crystals mall inside the resort complex.

CityCenter is owned jointly by MGM Resorts International and Dubai World. Longoria owns nearly one-third of the business but is also listed as an unsecured creditor.

Lawyers report she gave a cash loan of just over $1 million and paid $375,000 in legal fees.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Room Rates Rise As Las Vegas Convention Business Booms

LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas has the glitz and glamour conventioneers at the Consumer Electronics Show desire. The city also offers some of the finest hotels in the world, and for the next several days, room rates are pricey.

"The Wynn, I think, was around $269," said Canadian visitor Stan Ossias.

"They're expensive for these conventions. That's what they do. They just raise the prices," said visitor Matt Hill.

Applied Analysis principal Brian Gordon says the higher room prices provide much-needed income for the local economy. That helps keep casino workers on the job. Gordon says a weekend like this generates enormous public revenue from gaming and hotel room taxes.

Smoking Ban Costs Las Vegas Airport Millions

LAS VEGAS -- It's meant to improve people's health but a smoking ban at McCarran International Airport enacted about four years ago is one of the reasons gaming revenues are down.

Airport officials say gaming revenues are down about $5 million from last year. They say there are three main factors for that and the smoking ban is one of them. The Clean Air Act was passed by Nevada voters in 2006 banning smoking basically anywhere except casinos, bars that don't serve food, and brothels.

As a result, McCarran got rid of its indoor smoking areas so now smokers head outside for a smoke instead of staying inside and playing the machines.

"It's time to take a break, gather my thoughts," said traveler Chris Wetzel. He says lighting up and chancing his luck go hand in hand. "They've both been together forever and now because one is not allowed its obviously taken its toll."