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In recent years Las Vegas has been trying hard to make the transition from a seedy town of vices to that of a family entertainment Mecca. By broadening its appeal, non-gamblers are making the journey to Vegas in record numbers. Here are some of the hotels and what they have to offer guests in addition to gaming.
Las Vegas Hilton: Star Trek fans will definitely want to trek to the Hilton. Star Trek: The Experience is a completely unique. Part exhibit and part theme park, the idea was to replicate a portion of the Star Trek universe in a permanent setting, for all to enjoy. The attraction includes a ride, a restaurant, bar, a museum, a set of shops, a re-created promenade set and costumed actors.
The Voyage Through Space is much more than a ride, more like an immersive fantasy into the world of Star Trek. Guests are transported onto a Starship where they play out a 22-minute adventure culminating in a motion-controlled shuttle voyage. The museum collection features over 200 items such as props, costumes and special effects from all of the television series and movies. The five shops combined are considered the largest body of Star Trek memorabilia anywhere.
The Excalibur: A fantasy castle, the Excalibur theme is knights in shining armor and all things Medieval. King Arthur's Court never looked so colorful. The Excalibur puts on a battle between Merlin the Magician and a dragon in the evenings outside in the moat area. There's also a free show inside at the Court Jester's Stage, with jugglers and
magicians, running each day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The "Tournament of Kings" jousting dinner show runs twice nightly. The all-new production features jousting, invading armies, dragons of course, fire-wizards and dinner. It's presented in their remodeled arena and runs indefinitely.
The Luxor: You can't miss this hotel, the only one shaped like a gigantic, black pyramid. Their Egyptian theme permeates every aspect of this property. Their "otherworldly attractions" allow you to explore the history of this ancient land in The Tomb and Museum of King Tutankhamun, a perfect replica of Howard Carter's famous discovery in 1922. In the Luxor's realistic motion theater you can enjoy a ride/attraction they call: In Search of the Obelisk. In another option, called Games of the Gods, you battle villains in a near virtual-reality setting. The Luxor also has it's own IMAX Theatre, featuring 3D movies.
The Venetian: Capitalizing on the romance and allure of Venice, this hotel/casino transports visitors to another place and time through the recreation of Venice's famous landmarks, including St. Mark's Square, the Campanile Bell Tower, Doge's Palace, Rialto Bridge and the celebrated Bridge of Sighs. Singing gondoliers ply a waterway beside the
Grand Canal Shoppes. This hotel is also home to a branch of Madame Tussaud's Wax Gallery, featuring 100 exceptionally life-like wax figures.
The Venetian was built on the 63-acre site of the old Sands Hotel, the haunt of such well-known singers as Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Adjoining the 11-acre pool deck, modeled after a Venetian-style garden, is the Canyon Ranch spa. The Venetian is the first all-suites hotel on the Strip, and they plan to add another 3000 rooms in their second phase of construction, for a whopping total investment of $2.5 billion.
The Bellagio: This property differs from the norm by providing a classy elegance with its stately posh accommodations. You might say their theme is opulence, to the tenth degree. This much-talked-about creation was inspired by a village on the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy. An eight-acre lake shimmers in front of the 36-story hotel complete with a thousand, (who counted...?) fountains erupting into a blaze of colored lights. The emphasis inside is on marble, fine carpeting and fancy ceilings. Even the drinking fountains are gold-plated. Their shopping area boasts ritzy names like Tiffany and Armani.
Bellagio holds a note-worthy collection of original European and American works of art from the 19th and 20th centuries in the Gallery of Fine Art. Masters such as Matisse, Monet and Degas are all represented, with an estimated worth of $300 million.