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Las Vegas Convention Business Up From Last Year

LAS VEGAS -- CES, the Consumer Electronics Show begins Thursday. It is one of the valley's largest conventions. It's expected to draw 126,000 visitors. It's also keeping thousands of local teamsters and laborers busy.

The convention center's recovering business is giving local workers some job security. Inside the center, CES will highlight the latest in consumer electronics and bring the eyes of the global media to Las Vegas.

The laborers and teamsters who construct much of the inside were glad to keep their jobs during the recession and are now breathing a little easier.

With 2,700 exhibitors filling 1.6 million square feet of space, somebody's got to lay the groundwork for the CES kickoff on Thursday. Convention contractor GES was able to keep their employee numbers even at 1,500 through the recession. James Coburn is one of their journeymen.

Street Vendors Hope to Cash In on New Year's Eve

LAS VEGAS - Hawaiian Marketplace is home to many independent street vendors on Las Vegas Boulevard.

Now that the shopping center is under new ownership, kiosk owners and operators feel they've weathered an economic storm.

"We're okay. We've been here since 2002, so we are hoping to stay for as long as we can," said kiosk owner Al Patel. "It's been really tough. This year has been at least 50 percent off from last year. We are hoping this year goes by quick."

One business owner says it may be too late. The business owner is losing several thousand dollars each month. Other vendors are shaking off the gloom and doubling their efforts to attract New Year's Eve customers.

"The Strip, you know, they're closing it all down," said kiosk owner Chelsea Zorc. "We're definitely excited. We're going to have, actually, twice as many people working as normal."

Wynn Becomes Monaco Citizen for Government Venture

LAS VEGAS  -- Wynn Resorts chairman and chief executive Steve Wynn is now a citizen of Monaco.

The company says Prince Albert II of Monaco has given Wynn citizenship as part of a business deal between Monaco and Qatar. Resorts spokeswoman Jennifer Dunne says Wynn has not renounced his U.S. citizenship.  

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

Las Vegas Lucks Out with Back-to-Back Holiday Weekends

LAS VEGAS -- The countdown is on to the big New Year's Eve celebration and revelers are already making their way to Las Vegas.

Hundreds of thousands of tourists are using back-to-back three day weekends as a reason to stay longer and spend more in Las Vegas.

"I want to eat, I want to shop," announces Andrea Bonaparte. She is visiting from the Midwest with her mom and sister for this holiday week.

"Vegas doesn't have any snow like Chicago, I like the weather and for New Year's they do a big fireworks show and I want to see that. They close down the Strip and I just can't imagine all the people with no cars. I am excited to see that," said Bonaparte.

An avid bargain shopper, Bonaparte says there's no better place spend her money.

The Mob Experience is Looking to Hire 75 People

LAS VEGAS -- The Las Vegas Mob Experience at the Tropicana Hotel is looking to hire dozens of people before its opening.

Available jobs include retail sales, box office agents, character guides, hosts, and security. The interviews will be held at the Tropicana from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. on December 6 & 7 in the Tiffany Theater Showroom.

The attraction is expected to open by the end of the year.

 

BREAKING NEWS: Wind Advisory and Freeze Watch Issued

LAS VEGAS -- A wind advisory has been issued starting at 3 p.m. and lasting until midnight for Clark County and southern Nye County and a freeze watch will be in effect Wednesday night.

Winds are expected to be gusting between 20 to 30 mph and with gusts possible to 50 mph. There is also a slight chance of rain. The temperature will drop Wednesday and is expected to be in the 40's on Thanksgiving Day making it one of the coldest in recent years.

Check here for the latest Neighborhood Weather

A freeze watch is in effect from Wednesday night to Friday morning. Some neighborhoods could see temperatures in the 20's.

 

MGM Resorts Shares Rise, Analysts Cites Vegas View

SAN FRANCISCO  -- Shares of MGM Resorts International rose Monday after a Sterne, Agee & Leach analyst said that the casino company believes its revenue per available room on the Las Vegas Strip is climbing in the third and fourth quarters compared with a year ago, and indicated it currently has more hotel room nights booked for the first quarter than it did at this time last year.

MGM Resorts shares rose 46 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $12.61 in afternoon trading. In a note to clients, Sterne Agee analyst David Bain said that MGM management said in meetings that, even without adding in resort fees, it thinks its revenue per available room will climb in the second half of 2010. Still, the company noted that fourth-quarter results include much traffic in the last week of the period -- a week Bain thinks comprises 15 percent of its results for the quarter and that MGM has "little visibility on."