Think you've been to Vegas? Think again.
The city's skyline is changing as rapidly as the players at a craps table as this tourist mecca undergoes its most massive face lift and expansion yet.
FOR THE RECORD:
Las Vegas: A chart accompanying an article on new Las Vegas attractions in the Dec. 30 Travel section misspelled the first name of a magician preparing a show for Cirque du Soleil. The correct spelling is Criss Angel, not Chris Angel. The chart and article also misspelled the name of the Fontainebleau hotel as Fountainbleu or Fountainbleau.
FOR THE RECORD:
Las Vegas: An article in Sunday's Travel section about Las Vegas attractions included a reference to the construction of a Mondrian Oriental. The correct name of the hotel is Mandarin Oriental. —
In the next four years, Las Vegas will be transformed by an estimated $40 billion in resort development that will translate into more than a dozen new attractions in just the next few months.
The sizzle is in the new nightclubs that center on celebrity-driven night life and the pricey gourmet restaurants -- French chef Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand was recently awarded a coveted three-star rating from the Michelin guide -- all opening at a rate that's almost too fast to keep up with.
The names say it all. Hot spots that have already opened or will soon open include: CatHouse, CUT, RUB BBQ, Blush, the Bank, Strip House and the bar eyecandy.
"There is a sumptuousness and richness to all the new décor," said Erika Pope, a spokeswoman with the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. "A kind of sexy playfulness."
"Vegas is an adult Disneyland," said Billy Cross, the Australian club owner behind CatHouse, an intimate bordello-themed nightclub that features women in lingerie -- sitting behind glass walls, primping at dressing tables. Other walls will include peepholes where patrons can peek at vintage erotic films.
"There is a lot of red involved," Cross said. "We're tapping into the openness of celebrating sexiness in a way that is empowering for all participants."
Some of the more prominent nightclub and restaurant openings include:
* Strip House: A sultry new steakhouse that opened in November at the new Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.
* CatHouse: A 19th century French bordello-style lounge that features performers modeling CatHouse lingerie on elevated platforms. It was set to open this weekend, with a launch hosted by actress-trendsetter Mischa Barton, at the Luxor as part of a $300-million makeover.
* Trader Vic's Restaurant: Just opened at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood and features an outdoor patio overlooking the Strip.
* 40/40 Club: Owned by Jay-Z, this upscale sports bar and lounge is set to open at the Palazzo. Watch for Avril Lavigne on New Year's at new lounge Privé Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood.
* RUB BBQ: This 9,000-square-foot restaurant at the Rio All-Suites Hotel is the second and only venue outside the New York City original.
* The Bank: The new nightclub with a glass-encased dance floor is to open on New Year's Eve, at the site of the old Light nightclub at Bellagio.
Sin City's hip-and-sexy heyday
Billions in development dollars are fueling gourmet restaurants and nightclubs where the atmosphere is decidedly adult.
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