Frankie No-No has said "yes" to Sin City. Caesars Palace, one of eight hotels in Las Vegas under the Harrah's Entertainment umbrella, opened up the 200-seat restaurant Rao's (877-346-4624) in December, a far cry from the original 11-table East Harlem establishment that still dishes out the best Mozzarella in Carozza this side of Italy—that's if you can get a reservation, which is tough unless you are willed one. Frank Pellegrino, co-owner of Rao's, is infamous for telling would-be diners: "No, no," when pressed for a reservation.
That terseness should change with the satellite restaurant,
which has two 10-table rooms, along with a banquet area totaling 200 seats. And
while the original in
Meanwhile, diners looking to work off some of Rao's pasta can head over to the Rio Hotel & Casino and its Lucky Strike Lanes bowling alley, which was officially opened earlier in March by Pure Management Group, proprietors of the Pure nightclub at Caesars Palace and the sushi restaurant Social House at Treasure Island.
Lucky Strike is a fusion of food, nightlife and sport, says Robert Frey, managing partner of Pure Management Group. There are 10 bowling lanes to roll on, as well as a full-service restaurant and bar. At night the bowling alley feels more like a nightclub with music and drinking. The bar features a raspberry cotton candy martini made with, you guessed it, actual cotton candy. The 25-seat mahogany bar sits opposite the bowling alley and flanks a 156-seat dining area. Keep in mind that after 9 p.m., the venue is open only to guests 21 years of age and over.
One place open to guests of all ages, but perhaps most
appreciated by the older crowd, is the recently opened Restaurant Guy Savoy
(877-346-4624) on the second floor of
If you can still stand up straight after dinner, the Paris Las Vegas is staging Mel Brooks' smash Broadway show, The Producers, starring former Baywatch and Knight Rider star, David Hasselhoff, in the role of the flamboyant director, Roger DeBris. Show tickets range from $75.50 to $143.50 and can be reserved at 888-727-4758.
While Harrah's Entertainment is actively looking to expand its products and upgrade its facilities (the Harrah's Hotel & Casino is taking out rooms for renovations this summer), the company is also looking for more ways to ingratiate itself with the travel agent community, says Annette Weishaar, director of distribution and leisure sales for Harrah's Entertainment Las Vegas region. "We are focused on the segment," she says. Harrah's has predominantly targeted agents through wholesalers such as Liberty Travel, GoGo and Marc Travel. However, a more direct agent approach is in the works, which will include an e-mail campaign along with a number of promotions. "We want to give value adds at our hotels," Wei-shaar says. This could translate into food and beverage inclusions, spa deals and two-for-one show discounts.
Other issues looking to be addressed include the possibility
of making direct bookings on each brand's web site commissionable. Currently,
rates are only commissionable if contracted through the global distributions
systems or if made by phone. "Agents prefer to book through the GDS,"
admits Weishaar, "but I think it could be a nice option. There's some
demand for it." Weishaar also says that Harrah's will add a dedicated
person to deal directly with retail travel agents by mid-April.