Lavish Las Vegas for less

The Baltimore Sun

Most of us know a few things about Las Vegas. We know that the house always wins. We know that you can get good deals for hotel stays, meals and shows on the Strip, and even better ones for lodging downtown. We also know that a whole new layer of luxury has been added to the Strip area in recent years, giving you the opportunity to "pay through the nose," as Vegas authority Anthony Curtis put it. Let's see what's new in the capital of gambling, glamour and glitz.

Test the depth of Curtis's expertise either by subscribing to his newsletter ($5 an issue or $37 a year, with a discount coupon book thrown in) or checking his Web page, lasvegas, for free.

Speaking of new things, Osamu "Fuji" Fujita, master sushi chef of Loews Hotels, has a SushiSKool for youngsters at Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort. The one-hour class is designed to teach those ages 5 through teens the basics of ordering, using chopsticks and sushi etiquette. The classes, which cost $20 per child, will be held Saturdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day. For accompanying mothers, a Mommy Maki add-on includes wine and an assortment of maki rolls ($25 per person with a child in the class). Call 702-567-6000 or visit

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reports that Wet Republic, an "ultra pool," is scheduled to open soon at the MGM Grand. The 53,000-square-foot area includes the only two saltwater pools on the Strip. Rooms at the hotel start at $89 a night. Visit or call 877-880-0880. For more offers, go to

According to, some dining specials are not on the menu and you must ask your server for them. For instance, $7.77 gets you the Gambler's Special at Mr. Lucky's in the Hard Rock Hotel, featuring a steak, three grilled shrimp, a vegetable and a salad. As the Web site notes, prices are subject to change. Visit also keeps track of free attractions. Among them: the MGM Grand Lion Habitat, where the beautiful beasts are on display, and the Fremont Street Experience, a giant light show presented downtown from dusk to midnight daily. Go to and click on free attractions.

Orbitz is in the midst of its Sizzlin' Las Vegas sale. Through May 18, customers save $50 when they book a flight-and-hotel package longer than three nights for travel through Aug. 31. Visit and use the promotion code ORBITZLV50.

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