Onsite: 170,000 Rooms in Vegas by 2009

ANAHEIM, CA-Travel Agent was on site at the International Pow Wow in Anaheim, CA, for the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority's press conference, where Rossi Ralenkotter, LVCVA's president/CEO, discussed the organization's goals, its marketing and branding strategies and the city's upcoming hotel openings. Ralenkotter announced that Las Vegas would have 170,000 rooms available by 2009, and that the company's goal is to welcome 43 million visitors in that year. Highlights of upcoming openings include Sands' Palazzo (adjacent to the Venetian) in 2007; the Trump International Tower and Encore at Wynn in 2008; the Cosmopolitan Resort & Casino and the MGM Mirage's $7.4 billion Project CityCenter (formerly the Dunes) in 2009; and Echelon Resort (formerly the Stardust) in 2010. Ralenkotter also said that Las Vegas ranked as the number two U.S. brand in a recent consumer survey, and frequently referred to the city's new brand slogan, "Adult Freedom." He also announced the planned $800 million renovation of the Las Vegas Convention Center and the recent openings of "Spamalot" at Wynn and "The Producers" at Paris. Also of note, celebrity Chefs Mario Batali and Bastianichi recently opened B&B Ristorante in Las Vegas; their second Vegas-based project, opening in April also in the Venetian Hotel, is called Enoteca San Marco and will be open all day, serving casual Italian fare.