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The Mirage: Preeminent Mega-Resort Redefined

July 2, 2007 By: Glenn Haussman Travel Agent

Love, lounges and fine dining not to be missed

When The Mirage opened in 1989 it did nothing less than
totally transform the idea of what Las
could be. In fact, in many ways Sin City
is viewed as having two distinct eras: Before Mirage and After Mirage.

Erupting volcano at The Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip

Built at a cost of $630 million—chump change in the scheme
of current Vegas economics, but by far the most expensive project at the
time—The Mirage was the original mega-resort.

It was something entirely new. In fact, the concept of the
resort was quite risky, and developer Steve Wynn was largely viewed by his
peers as making a massive mistake. The property was so large and so audacious
that it needed to pull in more than $1 million a day just to break even.

Of course you know the rest of the story: The Mirage was an
unmitigated success, kicking off an incredible building boom that hasn't
stopped. Las Vegas is now home to countless
mega-resorts, but without The Mirage, who knows what Las Vegas would be like today?

Love, Cirque du Soleil's Beatles show

And since nothing is sacrosanct in this town, even the one
that started it all has to keep up with the times.

Several years ago this property was starting to lose its
luster as other bigger, newer resorts started to encroach on its fabled
territory. Now The Mirage has been almost entirely reconceived and is once
again one of the most modern and exciting resorts on The Strip.

The Mirage is known for its towering volcano hovering over a
lagoon that greets guests by spewing smoke and fire into the air hourly from 6
p.m. to midnight. But once inside, it's a tropical getaway. There's a
20,000-gallon artificial coral reef aquarium stocked with tropical fish behind
the registration guest and a lobby atrium with tropical flowers, palm trees and
waterfalls serving as the entranceway to the main part of the resort.

Of course The Mirage has plenty more to offer than the
100,000-square-foot casino. Here are the highlights.

Pool at The Mirage

Stunning Beatles Spectacle

Probably the most exciting addition was the debut of Love, a new production from Cirque du
Soleil. An homage to The Beatles, the show was created in conjunction with
Apple Corps Ltd.

Utilizing a newly arranged medley of their extensive song
catalog, the music serves as a dramatic soundscape for the multi-sensory
production. Focused more on dance than the acrobatics that made other Cirque
shows famous, this high-energy performance is an exploration of the Fab Four's
career. This show is pure spectacle that keeps the audience fully engaged.
Incredible special effects, 100-foot-high digital images, in-seat speakers,
psychedelic costuming and amazing athleticism combine to create a show like no
other. Tickets start at $69, but the best seats go for as much as $135.

After the show, suggest a visit to The Beatles Revolution Lounge. Based on the band's aesthetic from
the Sgt. Pepper era, the area has
30,000 dichroic light-reflecting crystals on the ceiling and has the world's
coolest tabletops. They are interactive, meaning you can create artwork and
then project it onto a diamond-shaped column in the center of the ultra-lounge
for all to see. Booking

Another entertainment option here is Danny Gans. He's an
all-around performer whose show is filled with singing, impressions and comedy.
Tickets are $100, drinks additional. Reservations are available at 800-963-9634.

Rest and Relax

The Mirage's tropical-themed pool area includes two pools
with waterfalls, an outdoor café and private cabanas featuring Bose Wave
Radios, phones, safes and teak lounge chairs. Cabanas are open from March
through Thanksgiving and cost $250 Monday-Thursday and $300 Friday-Sunday and

For the more adventurous there is Bare, an adult European-style outdoor pool club and lounge. Slick
and seductive, this highly stylized exotic escape features DJs spinning hot
cuts on the weekend, creative cocktails and an environment that encourages
meeting and mingling.

At Siegfried &
Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
there are five rare animal breeds,
including the white lions of Timbavati and Siegfried & Roy's royal white
tigers of Nevada.
The Dolphin Habitat features a family of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

Delectable Dining

With its debut last fall, Japonais has set a new standard for progressive Japanese cuisine.
Originally from Chicago,
this new addition at The Mirage is a masterful blend of French technique fused
with clean and simple Japanese ingredients. Japonais' extensive menu features
terrific cuts of sushi—the creamy toro melts away.

Recommend the spicy mono, a tangy octopus roll topped with
spicy tuna tartare and sweet unagi sauce; the tuna tuna salmon, delicate salmon
tartare graced with sliced tuna, avocado sauce and wasabi tobiko sauce; or the
crispy shrimp and salmon, a crunchy panko shrimp roll topped with marinated
salmon sashimi and wasabi tobiko sauce.

There is an extensive sake menu, too, which is worth
multiple samplings. It's a good thing Japonais has a lounge as well. Call
702-792-7979 for reservations.

Stack Restaurant
& Bar
is firmly rooted in American tastes and cooking techniques. While
the food is top quality, the chefs don't take the menu too seriously, adding
cheeky touches throughout. Take the adult tater tots for example, which inject
bacon and brie into this childhood classic. Crunchy tuna tacos with a
mango-wasabi mojo use a wonton wrap for the shell, creating the perfect balance
of texture and flavor. The steaks, such as the 24-ounce cowboy ribeye, are as
sumptuous as they are filling. Make sure to suggest tasting a signature
cocktail as well. They've been handcrafted by renowned mixologists. Visit
or call 702-792-7800.

Other restaurants include Fin, a high-end Chinese restaurant serving authentic Chinese dishes
in a contemporary setting; Kokomo's, which concentrates on steaks and
seafood; and the Samba Brazilian Steakhouse, offering endless amounts of skewered meats served

Onda Ristorante's forte is classic regional
dishes of Italy,
and it also serves American cuisine, while its Wine Lounge hosts a wine tasting
every Friday.

If your clients are seeking a good place for a drink and the
lounges seem to be too crowded, suggest visiting the high-roller lounge. The
bar is open to the public and it's usually more sparsely populated.

Renovations Next Year

Up next for The Mirage will be a renovation of all 3,044
rooms, including all 281 suites during the first few months of 2008. Rates for
deluxe guest rooms range from $109 to $699 and suites are $275 to $5,000. The
spa is also set to be reinvented starting this summer and will be closed until
sometime late in the year.

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