Change happens in only a week!
September 18, 1996

I was only gone for a week's vacation, but things in Las Vegas change really fast!. At NY-NY Ms. Liberty is uncovered again. I think they gave up with the unveiling idea, the winds kept tearing the cover away. They put in a major new section of track on the roller coaster. And the Brooklyn Bridge has its' cables strung. The SHOWCASE's 5 story Coca-Cola bottle was getting the cap on the bottle today. Bellagio seems a bit taller, but the RIO looks like it was on growth hormones while I was gone. Take a look at it on our camera, the addition is now towering over the existing building (it will be 41 stories when complete). Yesterday's paper (Review-Journal) reports that the expansion will be open this February with over a 1,000 new suites, 20 new shops, and of course more gaming. Also in today's RJ, Mirage and MGM signed 10 year leases at the airport for retail stores. They join the existing Caesar's store. So if you forgot to pick up that last minute gift for the kids or your cousin back home, you've got a second chance. Even if you've left behind a little more than you anticipated, Caesar's top selling "Roman Column" shampoo kit is only 10 bucks.

On last night's 11 o'clock news, the RIO announced their new expansion will include an "interactive experience". A sort of Mardi-Gras/carnival parade including floats up to 10 tons, that are on tracks 13 feet above the floor. Patrons will be free to join the musicians, dancers, and other cast members in the new MASQUERADE VILLAGE. 3 unique styles of "Mardi-Gras" will be celebrated: 1) New Orleans Mardi_Gras 2) Venice Italy Carnivale 3) Brazilian Carnival. If you're not familiar with the real celebrations, let me just say that the real Brazilian Carnival outshines the others by light years. In Rio alone there is a contest among about a dozen "Samba Schools". Each school consists of about 3,000 to 7,000 people all costumed according to the theme of the year and their interpretation of the theme. It takes about 3 days (24 hours) for all the contestants to pass the judging stand. In the meanwhile the whole rest of the country (larger than our 48 states) is doing some of the strongest partying known to mankind. Popular with Schwarzenegger and other Hollywood types. If the Rio can capture some of that flavor a good time should be had by all.

One last note on the latest goings on. Today's RJ reported on the Showcase and the big Coca-Cola bottle (150 feet). I've been curious what would be IN the thing, since it is made in a transparent green (like the bottle). Well how about two elevators, I wouldn't have guessed that one. Coke is just one of the tenants and they are investing $33 million for their retail/entertainment space. If you're not a regular reader, the showcase is being built between the MGM and Polo Towers, and will be open in December.

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