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It’s a New Year’s in Las Vegas

Times Staff Writer

Revelers in Las Vegas this New Year’s can expect mostly higher room rates plus fresh attractions.

“The Vegas economy is as hot as it’s ever been,” said Anthony Curtis, publisher at lasvegasadvisor.com, an online information site. “Hence you’re paying more for the casino-hotels.”

How much more?

“The trend is up slightly in the middle, up a lot on the high end” for New Year’s Eve, he said.

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A rate survey that Curtis released last week showed the Venetian asking $788 for a Dec. 31 stay, up from $451 last year. The Bellagio was asking $699 for that night, up from $599 last year, said Jenn Michaels, an MGM Mirage spokeswoman.

Moderate hotels, such as the Stratosphere, at $179, and Sunset Station, at $175, were charging $10 to $90 more for Dec. 31, Curtis found. But a few Vegas hotels, such as Harrah’s and the Riviera, were charging less than last year. (Rates change frequently, so these prices may have changed.)

Recent and upcoming attractions include:

* Bellagio on Dec. 23 is to open a Spa Tower, adding 928 rooms and a spa with 65 treatment rooms, a fitness studio and a meditation room. The tower will also house a pastry shop where a 14-foot fountain spouts three types of chocolate.

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* The Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel, on Paradise Road near the convention center, is scheduled to open at least some of its 548 rooms Friday, plus its restaurant, coffee shop, swimming pool and lounge-bar with more than 1,500 wine selections. Opening rates, through Dec. 30, start at $129 per night. (866) 352-3434, www.renaissancelasvegas.com.

* MGM Grand plans to introduce 51 Skylofts, from 1,400 to 6,000 square feet each, on its top two floors on Dec. 23. Guests will get limousine transfers from the airport, 24-hour butler service, a massage tub and more. Rates are $800 to $10,000 per night. (877) 646-5638, www.skyloftsmgmgrand.com.

* The Forum Shops at Caesars now encompass 160 stores and restaurants, after adding 60 more this fall.

* Caesars Palace last week flooded its Roman Plaza area, at Flamingo Road and the Strip, to make a 60-by-90-foot public ice rink for the holidays. A $10 fee covers skate rental and two hours on the ice. Open 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. to midnight on weekends, when skating shows will be staged in the evening (tickets $25 to $50). For details, call the hotel, (702) 866-1600, or go to www.caesars.com/caesars/lasvegas; click on “Entertainment” and “Events Calendar.”

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