Vegas Weekender: Beautiful Vegas days…and nights!

Early 2012 is packed with wonderful things in Vegas. Right now the city is playing host to a bevy of beauties and a troupe of tekkies – with the Miss America Pageant and the Consumer Electronics Show here at the same time. Plus, as always, the weekend ahead will be filled with great showgoing, clubbing and spa opportunities! 

Beauty Pageant

The 2012 Miss America contestants enjoy a night out seeing "Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular" at The Venetian.

The 2012 Miss America contestants enjoy a night out seeing "Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular" at The Venetian.

For the sixth straight year, the Miss America Pageant is being held at the Theater for Performing Arts in the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Like past events, the 2012 competition promises to be exciting, thanks to the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas. Brooke Burke-Charvet, who appears on ABC’s hit show “Dancing with the Stars,” is returning as a co-host. The 53 contestants vying for the title of Miss America must demonstrate all the best qualities of today’s modern woman and be talented, intelligent, well-spoken and leaders in their communities. The live telecast of the final event is Jan. 14 at 5:30 p.m. In the meantime, they have been enjoying a variety of activities during their Vegas visit, including walking the runway at the Fashion Show mall and meeting the cast of the popular production “Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular” at The Venetian. 

Special Events

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the largest consumer technology trade show in the world, concludes its 2012 gathering on Jan. 13. Tonight you’ll find closing events showcased in several of the city’s nightclubs. The Official CES Closing Party will be at Tao Nightclub in The Venetian. Those with a CES badge will enjoy expedited admittance into the club and an exclusive wristband for well drinks at an open bar from 10-11 p.m.

Although smaller in scale, the Bick International: Coin, Currency, Jewelry & Stamp Expo is sure to be a good time for collectors. You can buy and sell stamps, coins and other collectibles here. The event takes place in the first floor meeting rooms of the Skyrise Tower at Circus Circus. Open to the public, hours are Jan. 13 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Jan. 14 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Jan. 15 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

This was part of the spectacular display celebrating Chinese New Year in 2011 at the Bellagio Conservatory.

This was part of the spectacular display celebrating Chinese New Year in 2011 at the Bellagio Conservatory.

Check out the latest display in the Bellagio Conservatory. It opened earlier in the month and is designed to celebrate Chinese New Year, which falls on Jan. 23. This is the Year of the Dragon. You should also stop by Caesars Palace to visit the Brahma shrine, a replica of one of Thailand’s most popular Buddhist memorials. It’s associated with good fortune and prosperity.

Have you heard the buzz? “Disney on Ice: Toy Story 3” is coming to the Thomas & Mack Center. Watch all the heroic action when your favorite characters – including Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Jessie – escape from the Sunnyside Daycare Center, where they’ve been donated to some terrifying tots, and race for home. Shows are on Jan. 12-13 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 14-15 at 11:30 a.m., 3:30 & 7:30 p.m.


David Spade isn’t exactly like the skirt chaser he plays on the CBS sitcom “Rules of Engagement.” Although snarky and sarcastic, he can also be self-effacing and will crack you up with tales of his mundane experiences. See him at The Venetian on Jan. 13-14 at 9 p.m.

Insult comedienne Lisa Lampanelli is Las Vegas bound this weekend.

Insult comedienne Lisa Lampanelli is Las Vegas bound this weekend.

Steel yourself. Lisa Lampanelli, an insult comic, is in town Jan. 14 at the Palms. The lovable “Queen of Mean” is set to perform in The Pearl at 8 p.m. If you liked her hit 2005 Comedy Central special “Take It Like a Man,” you’ll adore her most recent ruminations.

Paula Poundstone will take the stage in the Orleans Showroom on Jan. 13-14 at 8 p.m. Equipped with nothing but a stool, mic and can of diet soda, she is a master at interacting spontaneously with audiences.

Prepare yourself for some belly-busting laughter at the Hard Rock Hotel. Considered one of the funniest comics in America, Cedric the Entertainer will appear in The Joint on Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. He not only drives crowds crazy with his universal stand-up material, but he also sings and acts.

Also at the Hard Rock Hotel in The Lounge, you can listen to Vintage Trouble, a new kind of soul band, on Jan. 13-15. The talented foursome offer mesmerizing, high-energy concerts that feel like down-home revivals.

Music can be a means of laughter, especially when it comes to the glam metal band Steel Panther. Known for their profane and humorous lyrics, they parody the lifestyle of ’80s rockers. Onstage at the House of Blues inside Mandalay Bay on Jan. 13 at 11:30 p.m., their rabble-rousing performances are simply unforgettable.

A fabulous tango takes place above and below the water in “Le Rêve – The Dream” at Wynn Las Vegas.

A fabulous tango takes place above and below the water in “Le Rêve – The Dream” at Wynn Las Vegas.

A show that also contains high style and moments of awe – just achieved in a very different way – is “Le Rêve – The Dream” at Wynn Las Vegas. Dreams take flight during this spectacle that is staged in a custom-built aqua theater-in-the-round. “Le Rêve – The Dream” mixes aerial stunts, synchronized swimming and dancing with some humorous moments. Shows are offered Fridays-Tuesdays at 7 and 9:30 p.m.

“Battle of the Dance” wraps up its Las Vegas engagement at the Flamingo on Jan. 15. The electrifying entertainment experience features a wonderful array of dance styles – everything from Latin and Celtic to Bollywood and cabaret – combined with dazzling special effects. Shows are presented at 7:30 p.m. nightly, except on Sunday, when there’s an additional 1:30 p.m. performance.

Magic fans should stop by the Fame Theater in the Clarion Hotel and Casino to see Illusions” before the show goes on hiatus. It stars German wunderkind Jan Rouven in a series of edgy, death-defying stunts. Showtime is at 7 p.m. nightly through Jan. 13.


The Spa at The Mirage recently introduced a one-of-a-kind class – Yoga Among the Dolphins. It takes place in the underwater viewing area within Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. Multiple windows allow you to look at the resort’s family of bottlenose dolphins while doing downward dogs and other poses. The 60-minute session is offered Fridays through Sundays at 8:30 a.m. The cost is $50 per person and includes use of a yoga mat, an after-class smoothie and a day pass to the fitness center and wet areas in the spa.

Experience true relaxation and rejuvenation at The Spa at Ravella.

Experience true relaxation and rejuvenation in The Spa at Ravella.

The Spa at Ravella, the Mediterranean-themed resort at Lake Las Vegas, boasts a Renewal Massage. This relaxing treatment uses custom blends of essential oils designed to restore and detoxify your body for the hard year ahead. It lasts for 50 minutes and costs $120.

In The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, the Rhassoul is an ancient Moroccan healing ritual. You’ll apply mud to all parts of your body and face before entering a heated room, where the temperature is 100 °F. The dry heat allows the mud to draw out impurities from your body. After about 20 minutes, steam is released and the mud softens, imparting natural minerals to your skin.


I’m a Las Vegas native. By profession, I write at Mostly about the city’s hotels, but on other topics – gaming and transportation – too. I really love staying at hotels. And the ones here are among the biggest and best in the world. Some key things I’ve learned: Resort fees are inescapable (frustrating but true), a friendly attitude at the front desk may score you a great view and over-the-top room amenities – bath butlers, Japanese tea service, menus with “intimate” items – do exist. What else should you know about me? Well, I’m comfortable at a blackjack table. And I like eating late-night pancakes in hotel coffee shops. A lot. Follow Renee on Google+.