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Creative Hair: A Colorful Force of Nature

At this year's North American Hair Styling Awards held at the Mandalay Bay Resort on the Las Vegas Strip, one of Nevada's own strives to blow out the competition in 2009 with her award-winning styles.

Contending for the title of Colorist of the Year, hometown favorite, Sue Pemberton from Henderson is a hair color artist and hair care company Joico's artistic director for color.

As a 2007 title holder, Pemberton comes back strong with her dramatic and beautiful hair color works-of-art entries, all inspired by nature.

Widely recognized by professional stylists as the "hair care industry's Academy Awards," NAHA is the premier beauty competition in North America and celebrates its 20-year anniversary this summer with the beauty industry's brightest talent.

NAHA 20, takes place in a city where hair image takes center stage, recognizes various forms of hair artistry with awards, such as Master Stylist, Hair Stylist of the Year and Student Hairstylist, along with award categories Texture, Avant Garde, Fashion Forward and others.

The theme for the event, "Honoring the Work. Stories. Style!" will chronicle and celebrate the style of many professionals throughout the years who have contributed to the success of the industry.

The concept for Pemberton's entry this year blossomed while on a walk through her garden.

Reds, oranges and yellows represent the color changes seen in autumn leaves. Pemberton incorporates just a touch of the green leafy tones that poke through the bright colorful ones as seen in a field of flowers. She draws from florally inspired colors, bringing in radiant pink and blue shades.

All of the colors she uses are part of the Joico's Vero K-pak hair color product line.

"I would like to think that my work is opening people's minds to the artistic way that you can look at hair color. I really believe that I'm creating art though hair," says Pemberton.

If given free reign, Pemberton loves to incorporate greens and blues into her work with hair color.

"Green and blue are uncommon colors in the hair world, but outside in the colorful world around us these colors are the most represented of all from the sky to the grass. Why not embrace and incorporate these colors from the outside world into hair?" Pemberton added.

While the average patron walking into a salon wouldn't think to request green or blue hair from her colorist, Pemberton offers these tips for testing the waters:

1) Cool, ashy shades are trendy for blonds, but try incorporating lavender or pale blue.

2)The trick is to place just one streak somewhere interesting. Consider thefocal point of the hair cut, which is where the hair is typically the longest.

3) Carmel, beige highlights are popular for brunettes, but do the opposite: weave in blue tones.

The beauty of hair color is that there is very little commitment involved. Nothing is permanent, which makes for an ever-changing artistic canvas, according to Pemberton.

Pemberton also utilizes her artistry for charitable causes.This summer to support City of Hope, she created a Masquerade Mask, a work of art adorned with feathers to be auctioned off at the Spirit of Life Masquerade Gala held on July 20 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Proceeds from the auction will go to help City of Hope, a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, City of Hope's research has made possible some of the leading cancer drugs in use today through patented technologies developed by City of Hope scientists.

But Pemberton's philanthropic work doesn't stop there. She considers herself on the shy side, however when asked to help City of Hope, Pemberton answered the call to action by filming a public service announcement alongside actors and professional salon industry colleagues.

The PSAs theme messages, "Together we can make a difference," are designed to support City of Hope fundraising programs and to promote 2009 Spirit of Life honorees Cheryl and Jim Markham, founders of PureOlogy Serious Colour Care, in their campaign "Create Beauty, Unmask Hope." Visit the organization online at CityOfHope.org.

A force of nature she undoubtedly is. Pemberton's work with Joico has taken her on a tour of the world; at each stop, she endeavors to introduce a splash of color to every head of hair she meets. Though she believes that she is living an adventure, someday she hopes to lay down deeper roots locally and open her own salon.

NAHA 20 kicks off July 19 at the Sunday Red Carpet Reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by a star-studded Awards Ceremony at 8 p.m. A gallery of NAHA award entries and the winners selected are online at www.probeauty.org/naha.

Pemberton's friends and supporters are delighted to see her work vying again for the winning spot.

Quick Outdoor Getaways

Las Vegas Valley offers a surprising wealth of opportunities nearby for nature walks and other outdoor activities, at various elevations and vistas: desert, mountain, lake and canyon. It's especially beautiful at this time of year. Now that things are cooling off, visit some of these amazing places and spend the day or plan an adventure over the weekend or longer. Best of all, many of these great spots are within 60 minutes driving distance from Las Vegas. Enjoy the exciting beauty whether by hike, walk or bike.

Many locals and visitors alike are surprised at the amazing amount of wildlife and beautiful, colorful vegetation surrounding the Las Vegas Valley. Las Vegas means "the meadows," named by a Spanish exploration party that found water while passing through.

In addition to its interesting geography, historically, the entire region was originally under water and later inhabited by Native Americans. Explorers frequently find arrowheads and fossils.

The valley is surrounded primarily by the Sierra Nevada and Spring Mountains. The lower elevations, Las Vegas and surrounding cities, stay dry most of the year because a majority of the rainfall is caught by the mountains. This also means that there are relatively lush mountains encircling the valley.

The other geographical features that add to the area's natural contrast in climate are the various hot and cold springs in the area, as well as the nearby Colorado River. It was diverted during the Hoover Dam project in the '30s, and its waters created Lake Mead (the largest human engineered lake in the U.S., part of the Lake Mead Recreational Park).

The combination of water and desert make Las Vegas the perfect place for fun outdoors. Reveling at the splendor of the beautiful outdoors is an inspiring opportunity to appreciate and gain awareness of how we can conserve and preserve our environment responsibly for generations to come.

Here are just a few of the incredible areas to visit to experience some of the best outdoor activities in the Las Vegas area:

Ash Meadows

Located 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, there are plenty of places to stop and explore natural beauty at Ash Meadows, including Devil's Hole, Point of Rocks Springs, Jackrabbit Spring, Crystal Spring Boardwalk, Crystal Marsh, Lower Crystal Marsh and others.

The Crystal Spring Boardwalk is the center of the National Wildlife Refuge and includes a scenic walk across several crystal-blue pools of cool, spring water in contrast to the arid desert scenery.

Devil's Hole, at the northern edge of the National Wildlife Refuge is accessible via Nevada Hwy 160. Drive for about 60 minutes, across the desert and past the salt flats. The hole itself is 90-feet deep and about 15-feet in diameter. The hole is fenced off due to vandalism, sadly; however, there is a walkway along the fence where visitors can get a good overview. It is habitat to the Pupfish - an inch-long, blue fish that can thrive in high-temperature, low-oxygen water, and they are believed to be the descendants from the last Paleolithic period, the most recent Ice Age. Find more information, visit the website for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at http://www.fws.gov/.

Red Rock Canyon

Located at the west end of Las Vegas and only an hour away, take I-215 connecting to I-159, which offers scenic driving, bicycling, hiking and other great activities to try anytime, and it's super inviting for the cooler days ahead.

The entrance fee is only $5 for the day and $20 annually. The main road loops roughly 13 miles around the canyon with stops along the way, hitting all the major hiking and viewing areas.

The Calico Basin is at the beginning of the canyon, is ideal for simple hiking. Farther down, there is the advanced, intermediate-level Turtlehead Peak hike, followed by the High Point Overlook, Willow Springs Picnic Area, Ice Box Canyon (actually full of ice in the winter, very neat to see!) and Pine Creek Canyon.

Along the way, there are several lookout points on the side of the road.

So, for the rock-climbing enthusiast, Red Rock Canyon is a well-traversed rock climber 's destination with varieties of rock-face to explore and climb. These types of activities are for experienced climbers only, because it requires the use of full gear and partners. Don't go this one alone. There is an excellent aviation and ground team of search-and-rescue specialists, but they'd rather not have to meet hikers this way!

In recent years, Las Vegas' neighborhoods and housing expansions have extended to the border of the Red Rock Canyon Wildlife area, and with it are elevated noise- and pollution-levels. Often, locals will get a closer-than-planned visit from indigenous wild animals. Mountain lions and coyotes that previously roamed these areas are now getting pushed back by the building progression. Also, due to the growth, finding an isolated experience in the natural surroundings requires traveling a little farther out to the heart of the landscape. Find more info at www.redrockcanyonlv.org.

Mt. Charleston

Just northwest of Las Vegas and a surprisingly short distance away, Mt. Charleston has everything from skiing to hiking and camping. It is part of a chain of mountains and an extended region known as the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. You can get to it via I-95 North and then State Route 157 for about an hour to arrive at the top of the mountain and the highest elevation hiking trails. Along the way, driving into Kyle Canyon, is the Mt. Charleston Lodge and its golf course (a great place to see small bats fly at dusk); then a steady climb up to several hiking destinations. At the first major curve or intersection, there is Cathedral Rock, which has some easy and more difficult hikes plus picnic areas large enough for family reunions and large parties.

If you veer to a slight off-road ramp, right up the mountain, it will lead you to the hike at Mary Jane Falls near the peak of the mountain. The trail is intermediate level, but leads to a great lookout of the region.

The other side of the mountains is Lee Canyon, better known for its skiing. It is a right turn, a bit southward just before the Mt. Charleston Lodge. This provides a beautiful scenic view around the periphery of the mountains, but also leads to several campsites, including Deer Creek Springs, which has an easy hike to a peaceful creek.

Stay on the main road and curve around Mummy Mountain to the left, to reach the ski area, which provides some scenic but difficult hiking in the summer. This is a great place to find hawks, including Goshawks and Cooper Hawks. Find more info at the U.S. Forestry Service http://www.fs.fed.us/.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area: Boats, Hikes, Bikes and More
By Andy Rector

There is a saying about people who don't appreciate what they have until it's gone: "You don't miss your water until the well runs dry," as the well-worn warning goes. That is a caveat with real meaning for Las Vegans and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

The national park area holds many points of interest and offers exciting things to do on its two lakes, on foot or by car. While visiting Las Vegas, visit the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Locals have quick, regular access to the area just a short drive away.

It's a wonderful attraction for those living or visiting Las Vegas and its surrounding areas, and it is very affordable. It costs only $5 to enter the recreation area, and annual passes are priced at $20 per vehicle and $20 per watercraft. What a deal! Plan a mini vacation to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area for the weekend, or experience a great day on or near the main lake.

But without Lake Mead, which is in danger due to its rapidly dropping water level, nearly all of it is in jeopardy.

Andy Munoz of the National Park Service gave a brief history of Lake Mead:

It was created in 1933 upon completion of the Hoover Dam, and it comprises a vast majority of the 1.5 million-acre recreation area. The creation of Hoover Dam, initially called Boulder Dam but later named for the U.S. president, brought about the existence of the lake. It was formed when the Colorado River was held back during construction then released after the dam was completed.

But as water levels drop, Munoz said, "We need to make sure people can still enjoy [the national park area] by extending launch ramps, extending utility services to marinas, and providing fresh water and sewage treatments to all the developed areas of the National Park Service."

"Chasing the water levels is the biggest financial burden to the [park service], especially extending launch ramps, which has cost 130 million dollars in the past 10 years."

Here are some suggestions for fun adventures to enjoy at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area:

There are plenty of water-related things to do while at the recreation area: rent a boat and go tubing, water skiing or wakeboarding; kayak or canoe, enjoying the beautiful picturesque views from all areas on the blue lake.

Sport fishing, some of the country's best, is a big draw for locals and visitors to the area, but make sure you get a fishing license first.

There are lots of other exciting activities all over the recreation area and many don't require going onto the water. Relax under the shaded picnic areas strategically placed throughout the park area, complete with tables, fire grills and restrooms. Have a birthday party or just relax and let loose for the day.

Take a drive on several paved roads that wind through the dramatic desert scenery of the area. On this adventure, you will see beautiful mountains, plateaus, desert basins, plant life such as cacti and creosote bush, and breathtaking vertical-walled canyons. And these are just a few of the many sights motorists can discover. Oh, and don't forget your camera, because there many spots to pull over and take shots of beautiful vistas. Bike riders love this area, too.

Hiking is also ideal there. They aren't the kinds of long hikes that pose a high risk of dehydration and becoming lost in the wilderness, but do bring water on the short hikes (park service officials recommend 2 liters or more). Motorists could never discover the beautiful beaches, canyons and wildlife that are possible to see only on foot or bicycle. There are also ranger-led programs that take place in the fall and winter months.

Oh yes, Las Vegas is a fabulously sunny, desert area, so don't forget the sunscreen. Pack a good hearty backpack with lots of water, snacks, fruit or a few sandwiches. Some say it's not a bad idea to take an iPhone, but why not just listen to the wonderful sounds of nature.

For those looking for more than just a day or a weekend trip, plan a vacation on the lake or camping in the park area. Darla Cook, a vice president of public relations for Forever Resorts stated: "Houseboating is a unique way to experience Nevada and if you haven't trekked over the eastern hillside from Vegas towards Lake Mead or south to Lake Mohave, you are missing a truly hidden gem of a vacation. Most folks never dream there is so much water in the desert."

Lake Mead and Lake Mohave offer more than 400,000 acres of surface area of water according to Munoz. Prices for houseboats range from $250 to $1,000 per day, depending on the amenities and size. They sleep up to 12 people and some are equipped with hot tubs on the upper deck. It's just like going on a cruise out in the ocean but without the stage shows and the bar tab. Bring your own drinks and food.

It's a very inexpensive vacation for the whole family or group of friends.

"Our family has been houseboating for more than 27 years and, by far, it remains our kid's favorite vacation experience. We typically go in the cooler months, around Thanksgiving or in the spring. It's so relaxing and a fabulous way to de-stress and unwind. Plus, during the holidays who wouldn't like to wake up on Thanksgiving to the wonderful smells of a turkey roasting in the oven. It sets the mood for the entire weekend."

There are many things to do at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Enjoy it, learn more about what Nevadans can do to preserve this resource, conserve water and keep the area available for enjoyment. Visit the National Park Service at www.NPS.gov to learn more.

Fun Fact: Lake Mead is named after Elwood Mead, who oversaw the construction of the dam.

Las Vegas' Best

The Strip

-the little things-
best back road around Las Vegas Blvd. - Koval Lane, East of The Strip
best casino service - Wynn
best free casino attraction - The Fountains of Bellagio
best resident DJ - DJ Hollywood at Pure

-the amenities-
best designed casino front - Bellagio
best lobby - Bellagio
best poker room - Caesars Palace
best pool - Mandalay Bay
best resort condominiums - Palms Place
best spa - Green Valley Ranch Spa
best sports book - Las Vegas Hilton

-the naughty habits-

best place to relieve yourself in Vegas - on the 95 at 65 mph
best strip club - Spearmint Rhino on S. Highland
best strip club excuse - Just going for breakfast
best topless pool - Bare at Mirage

Food and Drink

-the new vs. the old-
best new restaurant - Rare 120 at the Hard Rock
best established restaurant - Il Mulino at Caesars Palace

-the family time vs. hiring the babysitter-
best kid-friendly restaurant - Rainforest Caf at MGM Grand
best romantic restaurant - The Melting Pot on W. Charleston

-the extravagant vs. the economical-
best restaurant when someone else pays - Alex at Wynn
best restaurant when you pay - Paymon's Mediterranean Bistro on E. Charleston

-the cuisine-
best Chinese restaurant - Cathay House on Spring Mountain
best Indian restaurant - Tamba Indian Cuisine on Las Vegas Blvd.
best Italian restaurant - Il Mulino at Caesars Palace
best Mexican restaurant - Viva Mercado's on S. Rainbow
best Thai restaurant - Ocha Cuisine on Las Vegas Blvd.
best vegetarian restaurant - Go Raw Caf on E. Windmill

-the cravings-
best bagel - Brueggers Bros. Bagels on W. Flamingo
best bakery - Freed's Bakery & Cakes on Eastern
best breakfast - The Cracked Egg on Green Valley Pkwy.
best burger - Burger Bar in Mandalay Place
best coffee shop that's not Starbucks - Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
best cupcake - The Cupcakery on Eastern
best guacamole - Zaba's Mexican Grill on Durango
best ice cream - Gelato Caf at The District II
best margarita - Gardunos Of Mexico at the Palms
best martini - Pomegranate Martini at Blue Martini
best pizza - Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza at Town Square
best salad - Ahi Tuna Salad at Gordon Biersch
best sandwich - Capriotti's on Blue Diamond
best seafood - Joe's Seafood Prime Steak in the Forum Shops
best steakhouse - Roy's on Flamingo
best sushi - Sumo Sushi II on Warm Springs
best taco truck - Fremont Street Taco Truck
best tapas - Caf Deia off W. Flamingo
best wings - Chicken Bonz on Sunset

Arts and Entertainment

-the art of art and sound-
best art gallery - Trifecta Gallery on Charleston
best Cinevegas entry - Easier With Practice by Kyle Patrick Alvarez
best food festival - Greek Food Festival
best jazz venue - Jazz on the Lake at Lake Las Vegas
best karaoke - Bunkhouse on 11th
best independent bookstore - Academy Fine Books on Eastern
best lounge - Revolution at Mirage
best lounge act - Frankie Moreno Band at Rush Lounge inside the Golden Nugget
best metal scene - High Maintenance on Sahara
best museum - Lied Discovery Children's Museum
best music festival - Vegoose
best nostalgic CDs - Marvin Gaye, Guns N' Roses, The Beach Boys...whatever reminds you of good times long past
best outdoor venue - Live events at the Henderson Pavilion
best public art - The bronze statues in Green Valley
best radio station - 97.1
best second-hand vinyl - Record City on Sahara

-the place at which the party is-
best new nightclub - XS at Encore
best established nightclub - Rain at the Palms

-the local watering hole-
best bar to hear yourself think - Freakin' Frog
best bar you didn't know had live music - Hennessey's Tavern on Fremont Street
best cigar bar - Casa Fuente in the Forum Shops
best custom drink - Passion Martini at Japonais
best dive bar - Champagne's Caf on Maryland
best draft beer selection - Yardhouse in Town Square
best drunk eats - Mr. Lucky's at the Hard Rock Hotel
best gay bar - Gipsy on Paradise
best happy hour - Blue Hawk on Las Vegas Blvd.
best local microbrewery - Big Dog's Draft House on N. Rancho
best place to go at 1:00am when there's still a line at Tryst - First Food and Bar at Palazzo
best rooftop bar - Ghostbar at the Palms
best singles bar - Stoney's on Las Vegas Blvd.
best sports bar - ESPN Zone at New York New York
best venue for local music - The alley behind Beauty Bar on Fremont Street
best wine bar - Grape Street Caf on W. Lake Mead

-the sober activities-
best billiards - Las Vegas Cue Club on Sahara
best book - Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead
best computer game - Minesweeper
best movie - Up
best place to see a movie - Rave at Town Square
best tattoo shop - Sacred Center Tattoo on Eastern

Goods and Services

-the necessary info-
best camping within an hour of Vegas - Mt. Charleston
best handy as heck place to know - Fry's in Town Square
best old place made new again - Downtown Las Vegas
best origin for your type 2 diabetes - Nothing Bundtcakes on Eastern
best pet shop - K-9's and Kitty's on W. Lake Mead
best place for last-minute gifts - the 99 cent store
best place/way to ignore the recession in Vegas - "Staycation" at Lake Las Vegas
best things to keep in your pocket - wallet, phone, business cards, loose change
best trip abroad without leaving town - Valley of Fire State Park
best UNLV sports club locker room - Rebel Football
best way to pick someone up - $300-$1000 cash
best way to prepare for the upcoming apocalypse - stock up on guns and ammo (it's going to be zombies)
best way to spend a responsible Monday night - Watching football in front of your friend's big screen TV

People and Places

-the neighborhood-
best designed residential development - Villa Trieste
best dog park - Desert Breeze Dog Park
best elementary school - Selma Bartlett Elementary School
best high school - Palo Verde High School
best library - UNLV Library
best malls - Fashion Show Mall
best middle school - Becker Middle School
best neighborhood for families - Seven Hills
best neighborhood for young professionals - Manhattan Las Vegas
best park - Desert Breeze Park
best recreation center - Henderson Multigenerational Center

-the public faces-
best local columnist - Pete Allman of Celebrity Scene News
best local newscaster - Norm Clarke
best local politician - Mayor Oscar Goodman
best local radio personality - Alice Cooper on 97.1, Sunday nights
best local scandal - Senator John Ensign's extramarital affair
best public fool - Governor Jim Gibbons

-the places to go-
best ice skating rink - Fiesta Rancho
best mini golf course - King Putt on Eastern
best place to people watch - Town Square on Las Vegas Blvd.
best place to throw a birthday party - Gameworks on Las Vegas Blvd.
best place to volunteer -Lied Animal Shelter off E. Bonanza
best rooftop views - Voodoo Lounge at Rio
best surprisingly romantic date locale - Red Rock National Park

CityCenter

In December, the world will be introduced to CityCenter.

An extraordinary urban resort destination brought to life by eight world-renowned architects, CityCenter will debut a new era of resort experiences with an ambition to refine and redefine Las Vegas.

Conceived to bring a true center to The Strip, CityCenter will be much more than a collection of resorts and residences; it's a community - a welcoming environment for people to gather, relax and enjoy.

Great pedestrian corridors, dynamic public spaces, authentic richness and diversity of experiences will evoke the energy of the world's most exciting places.

CityCenter's public fine art collection will enliven the street and engage passersby. As if in a strolling gallery, guests will happen upon works by world-renowned artists such as Maya Lin or Nancy Rubins as they wander through CityCenter's walkways, hotels and residences.

A true community also has regard for its surroundings.

Upon opening, CityCenter will be one of the largest sustainable developments in existence, bringing a new level of environmental consciousness to the world-famous Strip.

Nearly 80% of construction materials and waste used in the building process are being recycled and reused, and future plans include the use of reclaimed water and a $100 million, 9 Megawatt (12,000 hp) central energy plant to help power and cool the entire complex.

The U.S. Green Building Council already has awarded Gold LEED certification to ARIA's hotel tower, convention center and theater. Vdara has been awarded with Gold status as well, and CityCenter's remaining venues are poised to receive a combination of Silver and Gold ratings.

"CityCenter bridges the vitality of Las Vegas with the experiences travelers seek when they visit great cities around the world, be it London, Hong Kong or San Francisco - spectacular architecture, culturally significant art, great public spaces, sophisticated hotels, unique restaurants and incredible amenities," said Bobby Baldwin, president and CEO of CityCenter. "It is an evolutionary destination that aims to transform Las Vegas as a new symbol at its core, like the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the Pompidou in Paris or the SONY Center in Berlin."

ARIA Resort & Casino

ARIA Resort & Casino will be a fusion of energy, inspiration and vision, featuring an unprecedented combination of striking architecture, sustainable design, high-end service and spectacular amenities.

Designed by world-renowned firm Pelli Clarke Pelli, ARIA's two breathtaking curvilinear steel and glass towers embody the excitement and vitality of Las Vegas in a 21st century building; a crystalline, undulating form gleaming in the desert light.

Famed artist Maya Lin is the creative mind behind Silver River, an 84-foot silver cast of the Colorado River and her first work of art displayed in Las Vegas. Jenny Holzer, a conceptual artist famous for her use of words and ideas in public spaces, will display a thought-provoking LED sign spanning more than 280 feet. Three sculptures that examine the relationship between nature and the man-made world, entitled Bolt, Bent of Mind and Untitled, have been developed by British-born sculptor Tony Cragg. Antony Gormley will display Feeling Material XXVII, an 8-foot sculpture that uses spiraling steel to depict the silhouette of a human body at the center of an orbiting energy field.

Soaring open spaces throughout the property will fill with natural light and evoke breadth and freedom, ranging from ARIA's three-story lobby to the most technologically advanced guestrooms in the country.

As guests first enter their rooms, they are greeted as curtains open, lights turn on and the TV displays a menu of preferences. Guests can wake up through controlled temperature, preferred music or TV channels and the opening of curtains. One touch can make-over the entire room: the "good night" button turns everything off - from TV and music to lights - as the privacy notification turns on.

Within ARIA's 4,004 guestrooms, including 568 suites, panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows will offer magnificent views of Las Vegas' striking skyline. Modern dcor, lavish amenities, cutting-edge entertainment and next-generation technology will be the hallmark of these plush retreats.

The casino at ARIA approaches the gaming experience in a new light; natural light, to be specific, which streams onto the gaming floor in pools of illumination.

Offering 150,000 square feet of gaming, ARIA's unique layout and design elements will allow guests to enjoy the energy and excitement of their favorite casino selections in a more personal and intimate setting.

For high-end players, exclusive salons will offer high-limit slot and table games in private environments.

Guests will also have the opportunity to experience one of the most captivating, hip-swiveling forces of all time, re-created with an old-school vibe in an intimate, 1,840-seat theatre.

The visionary team at Cirque du Soleil has partnered with CKX, Inc. and its subsidiary Elvis Presley Enterprises to create a permanent production celebrating the timeless musical legacy of Elvis Presley. This production aims to pay tribute to Elvis' music and life, fusing dance with acrobatics, live music with iconic tracks, nostalgia with modernity, and high technology with raw emotion. Extraordinary artistry, astonishing acrobatics, stunning special effects and The King will rev up vintage Vegas into a show like no other.

Even in a city such as Las Vegas with its extraordinary history of dynamic cutting-edge developments, ARIA will be demonstrably different than anything that has preceded it. ARIA will feature 10 chic bars and lounges, including Haze Nightclub, a colossal cutting-edge space in which guests will be challenged to question their sense of perception and reality.

Many of the best and brightest chefs and restaurateurs from around the country have also been assembled, including Masayoshi Takayama, Shawn McClain, Michael Mina, Julian Serrano, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Sirio Maccioni, and Jean-Philippe Maury. Each will deliver a concept totally new to their repertoire with original locations such as Bar Masa, Sage and American Fish.

Nature's healing properties take center stage in ARIA's 80,000-square-foot spa. Salt, stone, earth, fire and water join to create a spa experience that will elevate guests to a meditative state. The two-level spa will feature 62 treatment rooms, a full-service salon, an advanced fitness center and Las Vegas' first co-ed spa balcony, featuring an outdoor therapy pool and views of ARIA's spectacular 215,000 square foot poolscape - a vast, soft and sensual paradise comprised of three primary pools, multiple hot tubs, and an adults-only pool shielded by lush plantings of oversized palm, acacia, pine and bottle trees.

ARIA will also provide services to accommodate the business crowd, offering a premium meeting experience with 300,000 square feet of technologically advanced meeting and convention space. A spectacular glass curtain wall will span the entire north faade of the three-level meeting facility, allowing guests the ability to enjoy the brilliance of natural light that streams in.

Nightly room rates range from $179 to $799 and suites range from $500 to $7,500. Visit www.arialasvegas.com for more information.

Vdara Hotel & Spa

Vdara is an internationally inspired all-suite hotel and spa designed for those who love the excitement of Las Vegas but prefer to enjoy it in an exclusive, non-gaming and smoke-free environment.

Physically connected to Bellagio and adjacent to ARIA Resort & Casino, Vdara offers access to all of the entertainment, gaming, shopping, dining and nightlife at CityCenter and in Las Vegas, while also providing a retreat from it all.

Designed by RV Architecture, LLC, led by Rafael Violy, Vdara's distinctive crescent shape and unique skin of patterned glass will create one of the most striking design statements in Las Vegas. The sleek, shimmering structure will afford guests some of the most breathtaking views the city has to offer. Within, open spaces accented with materials and colors inspired by the warm desert landscape will fill with natural light to evoke a sense of peace and sophistication.

Soaring 57 stories, Vdara will host 1,495 modern hotel suites, including 250 corner-end units, ranging from approximately 500 to 1,650 square feet. Each will feature a gourmet kitchen, and many suites also will include a washer and dryer as an added convenience. Characterized by open floor plans and panoramic windows, the rooms will deliver expansive views of the city and mountains creating a relaxed and harmonious environment infused with an urban rhythm.

As breathtaking as the structural and aesthetic design of the property is its artistry.

Contemporary sculptor Nancy Rubins has created one of the most visually stunning commissions at CityCenter with Big Edge. Measuring approximately 57 feet wide and 75 feet long, Big Edge is a colorful composition of numerous aluminum rowboats, canoes and other small river and ocean vessels finessed into a gravity-defying form that Rubins calls "a blooming flower."

To compliment Rubins' display, abstract artist Peter Wegner has developed a solar-themed wall piece entitled Sun, and a lunar-themed sister piece entitled Moon, with Sun soaring to approximately 45 feet and Moon reaching approximately 34 feet high. Vdara also acquired Frank Stella's Damascus Gate Variation I, which features a design of interlaced semicircles made of fluorescent alkyd resin on a 96 inch by 384 inch shaped canvas.

Seasoned culinary artist Martin Heierling, the acclaimed innovator behind Bellagio's renowned Sensi, will serve as executive chef for Vdara. Inspired by the ancient trade route spanning from Venice to the Far East, Heierling's Silk Road restaurant will incorporate subtle spices and exotic ingredients to create modern trans-ethnic cuisine. Silk Road will transform as the day evolves, from fresh and lively at daybreak to chic and sexy at nightfall.

The eclectic lobby lounge, Bar Vdara, will be a setting inspired by nature that works as well for a morning espresso as it does for a late-night cocktail.

The lounge connects to an intimate outdoor space that creates the feeling of being in a secluded garden oasis where guests can lounge on spacious swings as the nearby reflecting pool creates a shimmering mirage of twinkling stars overhead.

For those with total relaxation in mind, Vdara Health & Beauty provides an 18,000 square foot, two-level spa, salon and advanced fitness facility and is a sensuous spa sanctuary that spotlights holistic health and wellbeing in an intimate environment.

Comprised of eleven treatment rooms and three distinct relaxation lounges, it will offer a selection of signature treatments that use quality ingredients derived from organic herbs, flowers, fruits, vegetables and essential oils. Vdara Health & Beauty is the first Las Vegas spa recognized by the Green Spa Network for its commitment to the environment and guest health.

Vdara's conference facilities will welcome guests to a world of sophistication as rich in design as it is in technological and culinary offerings. Vdara offers facilities suited for customized executive meetings and corporate, social or banquet functions for 10-400 guests in an upscale boutique setting.

Lastly, Vdara's luxurious Sky Pool & Lounge will also be available for private events and will provide the dynamic backdrop of CityCenter and the Las Vegas Strip due to its location on the top floor of the property. Rising above Harmon Circle, guests will be invited to relax and socialize in an interactive environment surrounded by cutting-edge design and phenomenal views.

The Sky Pool & Lounge will feature fully appointed retreat and spa cabanas with semi-secluded plunge pools. A high-energy bar and lounge will be operating both during the day and throughout the evening where guests can enjoy custom cocktails and gourmet tapas by resident Chef Heierling.

Nightly rates range from $159 to $2,000. More information can be found at www.vdara.com.

Crystals retail district

Crystals will house more than 500,000 square feet of sophisticated retail and dining. Designed by Studio Daniel Libeskind with interior architecture by David Rockwell and Rockwell Group, Crystals will combine dramatic architecture with exclusive offerings from the world's most elite brands to become a preeminent shopping destination.

Libeskind conceived Crystals' exterior to be a dynamic sculpture that presents a work of art from every angle. The multi-faceted, brilliant glass canopy depicts the intricate beauty of a quartz crystal that welcomes an abundance of natural light into the stunning three-level experiential environment. Within, Rockwell was inspired to create an abstract 21st century park that will reintroduce and celebrate nature and seasons.

A central element of this design is the three-story sculptural tree house that reaches 70 feet high from ground level to frame an oculus in the roof. Visible throughout Crystals, the tree house will serve as a meeting point for guests and unfold on the second level to surround the terrace seating at Mastro's Ocean Club.

Crystals also will feature changeable artwork in the form of abstract hanging gardens and flower carpets. As the seasons change, so will the artwork, and all will be offset by intriguing murals and water features.

In The Park between ARIA and Crystals, guests will find Henry Moore's Reclining Connected Forms, a sculpture inspired by the fundamentals of the human experience. Measuring approximately ten feet tall and seventeen feet long by seven feet deep, the piece displays a baby wrapped in its mother's warm embrace.

On The Strip near Crystals, CityCenter has acquired works by French designer-sculptor Franois-Xavier Lalanne. CityCenter will showcase three of Lalanne's editions of Tourterelle, a large-scale turtledove crafted from aluminum and wood with a seat carved into its body and wings.

Large-format luxury retailers Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Prada, Christian Dior, Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels, TIFFANY & CO., Mikimoto and Ermenegildo Zegna will be among the impressive brands presented under Crystals' unique, multi-faceted canopy.

Unique-to-the-market retailers opening their first locations in Las Vegas include Tom Ford, Assouline, Kiton, Miu Miu, Paul Smith, Porsche Design, de Grisogono, H. Stern, Marni and Boutique Tourbillon.

Restaurants opening their first Las Vegas locations at Crystals include Eva Longoria Parker's BESO and Mastro's Ocean Club, joining an exciting new pub concept by Todd English. Two innovative new Wolfgang Puck restaurant concepts will be opening as well, including a contemporary interpretation of a traditional French brasserie with tastes of the Mediterranean region.

Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas will be a sophisticated sanctuary of modern elegance. The 47 story non-gaming hotel and residency will deliver spectacular accommodations, superlative dining, an unparalleled spa, and the legendary service of the renowned hotel group to Las Vegas for the first time.

Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox with contemporary interiors by Adam D. Tihany, the impressive property acts as a gateway to CityCenter while simultaneously conveying a sense of intimacy and seclusion for guests and residents. The interlocking glass and metal elements of the faade draw inspiration from traditional Chinese motifs and serve to create a level of transparency that invites a flow of natural light within.

Impressive artistry will serve to compliment the stunning design of the property. Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's Typewriter Eraser, Scale X, a nineteen foot stainless steel and fiberglass sculpture that depicts a giant blue and red typewriter eraser with the bristles of the brush turned upward in a graceful gesture, will be displayed.

In its lobby, the hotel will feature sculptures soaring as high as eleven feet by Jun Kaneko. A beautiful piece by Jack Goldstein depicting an explosive and vibrant image of an erupting volcano will also be featured. The property's exterior will display a sculpture by Masatoshi Izumi made of large pieces of intricately carved basalt, a form of lava that has cooled on the surface of the volcano.

Spacious and welcoming, 392 rooms and luxurious suites will provide ultimate comfort in a sophisticated setting, along with 227 residences. Boasting floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the city, surrounding mountains and glittering lights of The Strip, these well-appointed rooms will combine contemporary elegance with subtle Oriental design. State-of-the-art environmentally conscious technology and cutting-edge entertainment systems, a Mandarin Oriental hallmark, will be found in every guestroom and suite.

Situated on the 23rd floor will be the first U.S. restaurant by world-renowned, three-star Michelin Chef Pierre Gagnaire. Chef Gagnaire's Twist will infuse the simplicity of classic French cuisine with a modern spin, relying on a pairing of flavors and textures for which Gagnaire is renowned.

Guests also can enjoy small bites and high tea rituals at the Tea Lounge, fresh preparations of world-class cuisine at MOzen Bistro, and gourmet pastries, sandwiches and more at Amore Patisserie, located directly on Las Vegas Blvd.

Also located on the 23rd floor with windows overlooking the spectacular Vegas skyline, the 82-seat Mandarin Bar will provide an elegant respite from the bustling bars of the Las Vegas Strip. Decorated with plush furnishings, the boutique Mandarin Bar will offer creative snacks and an extensive cocktail menu. A team of molecular mixologists will be available to develop customized concoctions upon request, and there also will be a separate VIP room, available by reservation.

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas will be a 27,000 square foot oasis for serenity and rejuvenation. This 1930s Shanghai-design inspired spa was developed to reflect the glamour and fusion from that era, featuring a menu based on Eastern methodologies with Western applications.

The Spa includes seventeen treatment rooms, including seven couple's suites, multiple relaxation and water experiences, a Rhassoul for women and a co-ed Hammam. An expansive fitness center with a yoga and pilates studio and Technogym cardiovascular and strength equipment also will be available.

Two lap pools have been constructed in the pool area, along with twenty exclusive cabanas and a caf serving seasonal market-fresh fare.

The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, one of Las Vegas' most desirable addresses, will have a private residential entrance.Owners of the luxury condominiums will enjoy full access to Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas' amenities - including housekeeping, in-room dining, concierge, access to the spa and fitness center and other personalized services to complement their lifestyles.

For reservations or other information visit www.mandarinoriental.com/lasvegas.

Veer Towers

Veer Towers, CityCenter's most unique residential development, will be a masterful translation of energy and excitement into physical form; its two 37 story glass towers will shimmer day and night. Inclined at five degree angles - a feature celebrated by the development's name - the towers will seem to dance with each other.

Conceived by Architect Helmut Jahn, Veer Towers are meant to symbolize spirit and optimism with a strong iconic value; by leaning them they take the form of a sculpture.

Lobbies and public spaces will be developed by notable designer Francisco Gonzalez-Pulido to showcase impressive works of glass and metal with plenty of natural light.

Circle of Life and Earth, two large-scale commissioned works by Richard Long, will be on display at Veer Towers. Long's two mud wall drawings each will measure approximately 80 feet high by 50 feet wide.

Each tower will house approximately 335 modern condominium residences ranging from 500 to nearly 3,300 square feet. They will include studio and deluxe studio layouts, as well as one, two and three bedroom flats or penthouses.

Open floor plans will feature floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall windows that capture spectacular views of Las Vegas and the surrounding CityCenter. Light-filled rooms, natural textures and a range of whites will infuse streamlined interiors with openness. Modern kitchens, living and dining areas will be ideal for entertaining and spacious spa-styled bathrooms will invite retreat. High-end appliances and fixtures will provide efficiency and sleekness as floor-to-ceiling windows showcase the Las Vegas vistas. Residences will be filled with contemporary European-style features and designer-selected fixtures.

Atop each striking tower, residents will enjoy an amenities floor featuring an unequaled view of Las Vegas complemented by an infinity edge pool, hot tub, a sun deck and a patio for outdoor entertaining. Within, Veer will feature recreation rooms for special events or casual celebrations, private media rooms with panoramic windows, a fitness center with men's and women's steam rooms, and a business center.

Veer will rise from Crystals, CityCenter's spectacular retail district, giving residents unprecedented access to the best of stylish, big city living. Upscale dining, lavish shopping, electric nightlife and entertainment will be just steps away.