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On the morning of Nov. 21, 1980, the sound of sirens stirred Rafael Patino from bed. "Usually when you hear sirens, they come and then they go," he said. "But these were coming and staying." When he looked out the window of his 16th-floor room, he realized that the Las Vegas MGM Grand Hotel was on fire. "I woke up my wife and we got dressed to leave," said Patino, an Irvine sales executive. "But when we walked out of the room, we couldn't see anything. The hall was pitch black with smoke.
March 7, 2010 | By Ashley Powers
On a tumbledown stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard, next to a dairy belching stench, the mourners made their way through yellowed grass, leafless trees and rows of modest headstones. They huddled under two green canopies in a corner of Woodlawn Cemetery, clutching bright pink programs for the Children's Memorial Service. The midmorning wind rustled a bouquet of balloons. Mourners fished through their purses for tissues, though most had no tangible connection to the 63 children being lamented.
June 9, 2006 | Michael J. Goodman and William C. Rempel, Times Staff Writers
Without help from a friend, James Mahan might never have become a Las Vegas state judge. Certainly he wouldn't have gotten one of the top judicial jobs in town: a lifetime appointment to the federal bench. Then again, without Mahan, his friend George Swarts would never have gotten to run an Internet porn business, a hotel-casino hair salon or a Southern California software company. Indeed, the careers of Judge James C. Mahan, 62, and his friend George C.
January 6, 2010 | By Nicole Santa Cruz
The 66-year-old disgruntled retiree who killed one person and wounded another at a federal courthouse in Las Vegas on Monday had an extensive criminal history, including a conviction for the murder of his brother in the 1970s, authorities said Tuesday. These and other details emerging about the life of the gunman, Johnny L. Wicks, paint a portrait of an angry, often violent man who more than once claimed that he had been persecuted because of his race. In 1976, he was sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder in his brother's slaying in Memphis, said Dorinda Carter, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Corrections.
December 3, 2006 | Leslie Gornstein
FOR a day at Las Vegas' newest spa, bring your platinum credit card and maybe a hand-held GPS device. At 50,000 square feet, the Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars Palace -- with its sprawling Roman-inspired pools and 51 treatment rooms -- is so large that even casino workers get lost among the Vichy showers, herbal steam rooms and tea lounges. "We're not claiming it's the region's largest spa," spa director Jennifer Lynn says. (That honor apparently lies with rival Canyon Ranch.
May 13, 2007 | Kevin Capp, Special to The Times
FOR those of us who love wine but whose knowledge of it can be summed up with "Well, I did see 'Sideways,' " and whose worst fear is to attend a tasting stocked with wine snobs, the monthly Las Vegas party Rock 'n' Roll Wine serves as a chilled-out, grapey refuge. But if you know wine, don't worry: "Snobs" are invited too. Indeed, part of the appeal of Rock 'n' Roll Wine, which bounces from venue to venue, is that everyone is welcome: novices and experts, oenophiles and casual tipplers.
August 27, 2006 | Catharine Hamm, Times Staff Writer
THE first thing you hear when you enter the new Signature hotel at MGM Grand is ... nothing. Can this really be Vegas, where ka-ching is king? It can. It is. And it's a little slice of heaven. Unless you're 25. Then, apparently, it's obviously "for an older crowd." That was how my niece, Maridith, assessed the Signature. Clearly we were looking for different things on this trip to Sin City to check out the first of the three new towers behind the MGM Grand.
April 2, 1995 | MARK SAYLOR, TIMES STAFF WRITER; Saylor is entertainment editor in The Times' Business section
Don't get me wrong. I like gambling and the crazy night life of Las Vegas. But I have a limited appetite for losing money in smoke-filled casinos. So when a friend mentioned skiing just a short drive from Las Vegas, aside from the curiosity of schussing down a mountain in the middle of the desert, it seemed like the perfect complement to the cacophony of the Strip. Ski Vegas, a slightly different take on the surf-'n'-turf vacation.
December 9, 2007 | Jen Leo, Special to The Times
If you've never spent a winter in Las Vegas, you'd think that the only time it got cold was when you were standing directly under an air vent. Yet there really is a time when travelers can bring a jacket to Vegas and wear it -- outside. Would you expect it to be at a frozen lake in the desert though? Vegas can be over-the-top weird, but come on, a frozen pond?
October 25, 1998 | Susan Spano, TIMES TRAVEL WRITER
I had a vision when I flew here last week for the opening of the Bellagio hotel, built center stage on the Strip behind an ersatz Italian village on a 10-acre replica of Lake Como. It was windy and cool, but breathtakingly clear, the wide desert valley where the city has mushroomed curving gently toward the dry mountains that surround it.
January 5, 2010 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski and Alex Pham
Grab the popcorn and 3-D glasses and get ready for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the trade event that got its start as a gadget-fest but has emerged as an important showcase for new entertainment technology. In years past, the show has been the glitzy platform from which manufacturers launched such products as high-definition television, the digital video recorder, the compact disc player and the camcorder. This year will be no different. On display Thursday through Sunday will be four technology trends that promise to shape how people get their entertainment.
December 26, 2009 | By Matthew Crowley
In November, for the first time in 21 months, Las Vegas recorded a year-to-year increase in air passengers. McCarran International Airport saw a 0.1% uptick in travelers that month. It was the first year-over-year monthly increase since February 2008, which had an extra day because it was in a leap year, and only the second since October 2007. Also on the upside, two of McCarran's top five carriers had higher flier counts in November. Southwest, the biggest carrier, served 9.3% more passengers than a year earlier.
December 21, 2009 | By Ashley Powers
Has a state's psyche ever rested so completely on a single resort complex? In recession-ravaged Las Vegas, the flashy opening last week of Aria -- the hotel-casino centerpiece of CityCenter -- was regarded as either a sign of the Strip's economic rebound or another symptom of its ailments. Most Nevadans are praying for the rebound. The punditocracy cast the unveiling of Aria -- a 4,004-room, Cesar Pelli-designed hotel with a Maya Lin sculpture above the front desk -- in terms more suitable to heroism.
December 10, 2009 | By Alexandra Zavis
Police were seeking information Wednesday on a British motivational speaker and spiritual healer who was arrested in Ventura in connection with the killing of a Las Vegas woman. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers were responding to a missing person's report Nov. 30 when they found the body of Ginger Candela, 44, in her garage. The residence had been ransacked and numerous items had been taken, according to a Las Vegas police statement. Police suspect Michael Lane, 34, of killing Candela.
October 11, 2009 | Jay Jones
A sea of people wearing hard hats and reflective vests moved in and out, up and down among the slot machines, still covered with drop cloth. Everyone had a role to play, almost like a well-choreographed, contemporary ballet. But instead of brass and winds, there was the discord of drills, circular saws and beeping electric vehicles. Across a grimy marble floor, a woman stood beside what will soon be the registration desk of Aria, one of four hotels that will anchor CityCenter, the $8.5 billion, mixed-use development south of Bellagio on the Strip.
October 6, 2009 | From A Times Staff Writer
MGM Mirage will slash prices of its high-end CityCenter condos by 30%, the company said Monday, a move intended to mollify buyers who were unsure they could close on units purchased during the Las Vegas real estate boom. The price cuts underscore the reversal of fortunes on the Las Vegas Strip. Just a few years ago, condominiums were being touted as the next stage in its seemingly unstoppable growth. Although the reductions mark a significant reversal by the gaming giant, which took deposits on about half of its 2,400 residential units, it was unclear whether the cuts were deep enough to satisfy some buyers.
February 21, 1999 | RICHARD O'REILLY, TIMES STAFF WRITER; Richard O'Reilly is an editor specializing in computer analysis
I never have liked to gamble. I'd rather squander money on something tangible. So when I go to Las Vegas, I spend as little time as possible in the casinos. But I like the hotels, and I like the glitter of the Strip. And I like the roller coasters. There's also a fine dam view nearby. With a double upgrade coupon from an Avis ad, I was able to rent a premium car for the trip for the price of an intermediate. Toss in the weekend rate and it cost $134.
June 17, 2007 | Jen Leo, Special to The Times
AFTER years of fantasizing about eloping in Las Vegas and then years of driving by the little chapels in town, I realized my lifelong dream of exchanging vows in a Sin City chapel wasn't so appealing. Why? Because most of the chapels advertised on the Internet are on the very northern end, or seedier side, of the Strip.
September 18, 2009 | Steve Rosenbloom
The economy is healthy when it comes to betting on the NFL. "Football is America's game," said John Avello, executive director of race and sports operations at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas. "People seem to have money for it. "Maybe the bettor thinks he can hit eight of 10 straight bets. But we anticipated the bettors being here [for the first weekend of the NFL season], and they were." Avello said the Wynn saw action from the squares betting $10 to the whales betting thousands.
September 17, 2009 | Dan Weikel
A long-standing proposal to build a high-speed maglev train from Las Vegas to Anaheim will finally receive $45 million in federal funds that were approved several years ago to pay for the project's final planning and environmental analysis, the Nevada governor's office announced Wednesday. Gov. Jim Gibbons said the Federal Railroad Administration will administer the money that was earmarked by Congress for the first phase of the system, which would extend from Las Vegas to Primm on the Nevada-California state line.
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