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Peel away from the Strip at sprawling new Vegas resort

A $300-million casino-resort is opening this week five miles southeast of the Strip in Las Vegas.

The Green Valley Ranch, which sprawls across 40 acres off Interstate 15, includes 247 rooms, an 80,000-square-foot casino, seven restaurants, a poolside bar-nightclub, a spa, a 10-screen movie theater and even three acres of vineyards. All facilities are expected to be open by Tuesday, except the spa (to open Dec. 25, management says) and Fado, a pub dressed up with a 300-year-old façade and bar imported from Ireland (to open in January). The hotel's overall design is inspired by an Argentine estancia, the resort says.

In a year when AAA bestowed its ultimate highbrow compliment on flashy Las Vegas, granting its top five-diamond ranking to two restaurants--Picasso at the Bellagio and Renoir at the Mirage--the Green Valley Ranch aims more for the middlebrow. Room rates range from $99 to $299 per night. Although Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken have erected an outpost of their fashionable Border Grill there, you'll also find a branch of the down-home Original Pancake House chain.

The Whiskey Sky bar and nightclub, a venture by Los Angeles entrepreneur (and Cindy Crawford spouse) Rande Gerber, is built around a backyard pool with private cabanas and gaming tables.

The resort is operated by Station Casinos Inc., which runs eight other hotels in the Las Vegas area, including the Boulder Station Hotel & Casino and Sunset Station Hotel & Casino. (866) 782-9487,

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