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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The new Palms resort boldly hypes itself as Las Vegas' sex- iest adult playground--a way-cool, celebrity-studded, off-Strip boutique hotel and gambling joint. It's a big boast in a town that calls itself Sin City. My wife and I decided to find out for ourselves, making the 4-month-old Palms our anchor for a weekend of classy food, high-class art and classic rock 'n' roll.
When Cassie, our college freshman, came home for the summer, she was ready for a Vegas fix. She's a Vegas veteran, dating back to her first arcade game at Circus Circus as a 5-year-old. Now, at 18, she loves the shopping, the pools, the restaurants and the shows. From among several recently opened resorts, including the Bellagio and Mandalay Bay, we opted for the 3,036-room Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino, which opened in early May as the Strip's newest shrine to self-indulgence.
July 10, 2009 | Lance Pugmire
The spectacle that is UFC 100 is underway. Ticket brokers say the sold-out mixed martial arts bout Saturday at Mandalay Bay is driving a frenzied resale market. UFC President Dana White expects this to be the fourth pay-per-view event in its history to reach 1 million sales. And a record number of credentialed reporters are documenting the event.
May 27, 2009 | Mark Z. Barabak
He didn't meet with the unhappy governor. He didn't hit the slots or cruise the Strip. Still, locals were counting on President Obama to assume the role of Las Vegas' promoter in chief, touting the virtues of Sin City in an effort to ease the hard feelings he caused months ago with a slap at corporate excess. Excess, of course, being one of this city's chief commodities.
March 23, 2009 | Reed Johnson
Within 90 days, this city founded on risk-taking is supposed to break ground on one of its biggest cultural gambles to date: the $475-million Smith Center for the Performing Arts. The ground-breaking is taking place at a challenging time for Las Vegas' biggest cultural institutions, which have been buffeted by the recession. Most notably, the Las Vegas Art Museum closed last month.
February 20, 2009 | Ashley Powers
A 9-year-old Arizona boy accused of shooting his father and another man to death at their rural home pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of negligent homicide, a development that will spare the beleaguered town of St. Johns a highly publicized trial. The November slayings drew international attention to the town of 4,000 after a police video was released in which the boy, clad in pajama pants, appeared to confess to shooting his father, Vincent Romero, and family friend Timothy Romans with a .
February 3, 2009 | Associated Press
Survivors of a tour bus crash that killed seven people in Arizona last week told investigators that the driver might have been distracted before the accident, a state official said Monday. Three survivors of Friday's crash near Hoover Dam have been interviewed, Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Lt. James Warriner said. Investigators have been unable to speak to the driver, Han Dong, 48, of Rosemead, because of his injuries.
December 14, 2008 | Jay Jones
On New Year's Eve, the Las Vegas Strip will once again be transformed into a giant block party. About 300,000 people are expected. Revelers, however, will need to be strategically positioned to see the aerial display. Instead of being shot from the rooftops of various resorts the fireworks will be launched from atop parking garages. "These fireworks are going to be 300 feet closer to people on the Strip," says Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events.
February 4, 2001 | BARRY ZWICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER; Barry Zwick is a Times assistant news editor
All of us big-time gamblers are superstitious. And we knew it was a bad omen when our blackjack instructor called in sick. Well, OK, my wife, Bobbie, and I were not quite big-time gamblers when we hit the casinos last month. We didn't even know how to play the games. We had tried one table game in our lives. It was roulette, during a brief Vegas visit last March, and we had won $175 on a $5 bet. Bitten by the gambling bug, we wanted to do it right. What better way than to attend classes?
On paper, the new Aladdin hotel must have seemed like a sure thing, a belly-dancing fantasy made flesh and concrete. After all, why settle for Paris, Venice or the Strip's other faux-Continental fare when you can abandon yourself to the perfumed pleasures of the Middle East? Better yet, a fairy-tale Middle East where every wish is as good as a command? The Aladdin, which opened Aug. 18, fulfills its hedonistic mission in many ways.
November 23, 2008 | Richard Abowitz, Abowitz is a freelance writer.
At a recent party to launch the book "Norm Clarke's Vegas Confidential: Sinsational Celebrity Tales," the Palms' Playboy Club was packed with many of the Vegas personages who populate Clarke's daily newspaper column in the Las Vegas Review-Journal: casino owner George Maloof, Strip headliner Rita Rudner, celebrity chef Kerry Simon and fellow Vegas chronicler Robin Leach. "His column doesn't just trade in stupid gossip," said Leach, himself a groundbreaker in the field of celebrity coverage.
October 21, 2008 | Nicholas Riccardi, Riccardi is a Times staff writer.
Matthew Nichols was shocked to discover the apartment across from his had a methamphetamine lab. The revelation led him and his wife to flee their neighborhood east of downtown seven years ago and buy a house where they could raise their three children safely. Last week, drugs again intruded into Nichols' life, this time on a quiet suburban street hard up against the mountains that separate the city's sprawl from Lake Mead.
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