Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois on December 24, 1995 · Page 181
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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois · Page 181

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Chicago, Illinois
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Sunday, December 24, 1995
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Page 181
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Chicago Tribune, Sunday, December 24, 1995 Section 8 3 Travel tJJVou had a lot of street people tiers before and crime . . . people feel safer now," said a bartender and musician named Najja, in the Fremont Street Reggae & Blues club at the 4th Street end of the mall. "This could change the ittiage of downtown and give the $trip some competition." V. Jjajja said that one difference tjetween this location and the Strip is, "People greet you with sincerity . . . they're glad you're down here." v Besides all the cowcouples on the mall this night, there were mSny elderly tourists. I -"Older people like it downtown because they can park in one place and hit 10 or IS casinos . . . if their luck isn't good at Binion's, they can walk across the street to the Nugget," said Tom Zavislak, manager of the Fremont Street Experience store. "On the Strip, you can walk the same distancefrom Caesars to the Treasure Island-and cover only three hotels," which also are set well in from the street. r Of course, as in any major city, the best way to find an opinion is ft) ask a cab driver. 'You have to have known this place beforehand to see how this will help," said Richard Gordon, after dropping off a passenger at Che Golden Nugget. "It was really Seedy down here and hotels were (n-danger of going out of business. This is a way to get tourists pin addition to the money alieady spent on the revitaliza-tion, an additional $200 million is expected to be spent on renovating existing hotel rooms, parking facilities and casino expansion. r$xber, for example, said that he is adding a new hotel tower, two Restaurants and conference and nieeting rooms to his facility. ;We already have a base of 30 trillion people coming to Las yegas each year, so it's not like we're starting something new," said the 49-year resident of the city. ' If we can get just 10 percent qf them to come downtown to see the Experience, then it will be up f5 the individual property owner to sell their wares." Kim Daskas, sales manager for ftie Experience, is especially Enthusiastic about the growth of entertainment-style retail" facilities, patterned on similar River-yalk projects in San Antonio and Ne;w Orleans and the Universal ilywalk in Los Angeles. She also aid that various commercial kiosks soon will sprout up along this "destination within a rlestina. tfoh" and, in addition to country-western events, people will be cfrawn to classical music shows and such seasonal attractions as me current Holiday Festival and JV.IV n Vl niiT '.C OUUVV. A stroll along the mall reveals It, mr. travel I 5 YtAHS OF LOWtST PHICfcS IREMO meISKI laketahoe stiusavi AIR HOTEL or CAR "" I f Hi FLORIDA IuVtoP .1B9-SotioTBiP CALIFORNIA Doubt Ooe. B QOINa ANVWHMI...CAU. SSSSZ 1 31 23722300 8008666000 I -f- Prtoe Vwy By Day. Oat A City ou Tai A Ira. EkcI. NONSTOP FROM CHICAGO O'HARE UNDER 3 HRS Come to -. ' - Iff dMi!Jjdixl I tM3 BAHAMAS PRINCESS RESORT & CASINO Create your own vacation with... Suite upgrades 3 dining plans Golf Casino action M MATCO TRAVEL (312)283-4511 Iib fa pnu, doiiUt ourKV t (mbi CIi sli HiMim 0 22, 5 f 1 2 1 An IS Mir '0. H. bin slijMr kighn Frtl to 1 2. HoUor sita m "tfr (Spatial naUili w In 1 only. N boothti Mt, t nay ki dtbdioM. Ctpody iMraki fm mm It m'i nihil 5 toy! m boM by utaH mi I booU) witka 21 ri i tindl mim, Hottl t US Ml Inn t O'Hm Mian ftt (S43 m; $50 4 i) idddniM.su BohuMi ttfmn tituty Ih mi md. Sci n duift, iraUutiy, Mnu t unditiad. fljkn m l Amyi rb Miy 1 H6. T 'BET ON YOUR FAVORITE St California Hotel & Casino . - Horseshoe Las Vegas Club '" Sassy Sally's I Casino- ' MainSL , . ' i ,1 4 Hotel t ja 1 .... I ""3 ; f ; Station Fremont Street i CJipei ICI ItC 1 r- ; L5 7 The fr LJ fr ri f 7 GoWan Vegas I f Gate Casino i, Nevada Hotel & Casino Mile some interesting juxtapositions, including a blend of the tawdry alongside the squeaky clean veneer of the mall. Pawn shops and clip joints can be found right around the corner from the big hotels, while Vegas Vic has outlasted the club on whose marquee he now stands the Pioneer having become a victim of construction-depleted business. Vagrants, while decidedly in the minority, still shuffle aimlessly among jackpot-seeking tourists and just-planted palm trees. In the blistering summer months, the 90-foot-high canopy also provides shade for an entire four-block area. It might even create its own eco-system . . . nobody knows. Then there's the family-friendly group of fast-food restaurants being built between Sassy Sally's casino and the Golden Goose girlie show. There isn't another block in the world where the likes of Baskin-Robbin, Dunkin Donuts and Blimpie get second billing to Topless Girls of Glitter Gulch, featuring "world class topless girls." But this is Las Vegas, where for the time being anywayalmost anything goes. The Fremont Street Experience is free and open to the public, except on New Year's Eve when special events are planned and an admis- Orlando $149n Tampa $149rt Ft Myers $164rt Sarasota $168rt Salt Lake City $126rt Denver S138rt Las Vegas $175rt Cancun Vk y i J - ... wi - eJ- Golden Nugget f -J i Hotel & Casino ' $ !nrJgerSi- N J 31 v itmamumm lONSALE'A Jamaica $199rt Nassau $199rt PuertoVaHarta$199rt San Juan$296rt Carnival CRUISES ID! SiffiSih.',......; .i.mr.iu. J. i ? juj.v ' i emi t mw i irea the Winter warmerand! Call your ASK ABOUT: CASTAWAYS RESORT CLUB F0RTUNA BEACH LUCAYAN BEACH RESORT THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL STORE (708) 837-3080 U NIG LOBE Alpha Travel (708) 543-9300 TEAMS! SPORTS BOOK NOW Downtown Las Vegas Extent of Fremont Street Experience " - Lady Luck Casino rremoni Hotel & Casino DCortez frj noiei & ui ft. r..:H. P 3 .5 ' I l Fitzgeralds Hotel & Casino Parking Plaza Las Vegas Strato Map area sphere Tower " Sahara Ave. Frontier Circus Circus Mirage THE STRIP) CE j.MGM jropicana Caesars McCarran Palace Int'l Airport Chicago TribuneDavid Jahntz sion may be charged. It is wheelchair accessible. The canopy cuts down on the number of hotel rooms that have clear views of the light show. The Plaza Hotel has several rooms that offer unimpeded visibility, but only in a portion of the facility. It would be best to call ahead to determine visual access to the Experience. The hotel-casinos involved in the project are Binion's Horseshoe, California Hotel, El Cortez, Fitzgerald's, Four Queens, Fremont, Golden Nugget, Golden Gate, the Plaza and Las Vegas Club. For more information about Las Vegas, contact the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 2 Prudential Plaza, 180 N. Stetson, Chicago, III 60601; 312-8610711. More Travel news Chicago Tribune Online INSTRUCTIONS ON PAGE 4. SECTION 1 The dollar still is a pillar of strength in Ecuador. L121 How to travel without bringing the children or the guilt of leaving them behind. L122 Need a cure for the urban winter blues? Try Fairbanks, Alaska. L123 Out of Arfica: Kenya, by the book. L124 ALIF0RN San Francisco $179rt Los Angeles $209rt San Diego $216rt Sacramento $224rt $199rt EAST Baltimore S 94rt Newark $158rt Boston $198n snts $23950 iNTSVm CRUISE ONLY - DOUBLE OCCUPAMCY A'jitnfiru'giiT.. travel agent or 800-545-1 300 CLARION ATIANTIK BEACH RESORT RUNNING MON MARINA & RESORT UNIGLOBE Great Escapes Travels (800) 4S7-5404 wuen aunoava AT PRINCESS CASINO! Looming 1 , 149 feet over the Strip is Stratosphere Tower (left) with a roller-coaster ride (right) on top! ; Tower' puts observation on wheels: By Gary Dretzka Tribune Staff Writer LAS VEGAS "Make no small plans," is a credo attributed to legendary Chicago architect Daniel Burnham. Such a philosophy might just as easily apply to the city of Las Vegas, although it's likely Burn-ham would have needed H.G. Wells' crystal ball to help him conjure a planner's-eye vision of this desert outpost in 1995. Set to open in April, the newest addition to the city's skyline the 1,149-foot Stratosphere Tower looms over the Strip like a giant clothespin. It is said to be the tallest free-standing observation tower in the United States and highest building west of the Mississippi. If that was all there was to be said about the structure, however, it would hardly cause a ripple of interest in this town already filled with laser-capped pyramids, simulated pirate battles and various neon confections. What truly makes this project stand out is that on the very top of the structure a roller-coaster will whirl around the outer shell of the structure and a second gravity-defying thrill ride will treat guests like a 4-G yo-yo. On a recent twilight tour of the 100-story construction site, which stands in the dust of the old Vegas World complex, Stratosphere President Dave Wirshing was almost giddy as he tried to read the mind of a reporter seeing the High Roller and Space Shot CLUB MED PHILOSOPHY Club Med was created with a simple philosophy: Give people what they want an abundance o sports, of world-class food, of sea, of sand, of beauty. Take away what they don't want tipping, newspapers, all manner of stress. And what you wind up with is not just a vacation, but a memory that lasts a liletime. t iitiiiiik ti $cu mm mm i -' i CLUB MED FAMILIES We offer parents all the sports and activities they could ever dream of, while our Baby, Petit, Alini, Kids and Teen Clubs cater to children of all ages. USA (land only) Copper Mountain, Colorado Adults from $1,065 Children 311 from $690 Club Med, winter-style. Skiing and snow boarding with trails and instruction lor all levels. Lift tickets included. Sandpiper,1 Florida Adults from $965 Children 611 from $625 Children 4 mat. - 5yri. STAY FRKE CLUB MED FAMILIES Mexico Ixtapa Adulti from $1,3-40 Children 6 - II from $960 Children I - 5 STAY FREE Caribbean St. Lucia, West Indies Adult, from $1,-400 Children 6- II from $1,065 Children 2-5 STAY FREE Eleuthera, Bahamas Adullt Irom $1,385 Children 6- II from $975 Children I - 5 STAY FREE 1 I "i l:.: stratosphere Tower photos up-close for the first time. At that height, after all, it takes a giant leap of faith just to step foot into a seat on the ride, let alone embark on trip that might fling a body into the keno lounge of the nearby Sahara. But there, indeed, were the rides, awaiting the first guinea pigs and paying customers. On this late autumn afternoon, the view from the pod was truly amazing, as it provided a unimpeded panorama of the Strip, downtown and surrounding valley. The jagged mountain ranges that surround the city cut impressively into a very big sky and what was left of a gorgeous smog-enhanced sunset. For the more timid, there will be indoor and outdoor observation floors just below, as well as a revolving restaurant, lounges, conference rooms and a full floor devoted to weddings (90,000 people get married in Las Vegas each year). At the base of the tower will be a huge (354,000-square-foot) gaming, hotel, shopping and entertainment complex themed around famous world's fairs and other celebrated towers. "Bob Stupak, who was the sole owner of Vegas World, was the guy who dreamed the tower up in the first place," said Wirshing, firmly back on terra firma. "His idea really was to build a tower that was next to Vegas World. People would visit the tower, come down and likely go into the casino. "That evolved, as these projects can do, into a full-blown, totally integrated themed resort." O- 7, a V r"" . '.J As it is now, visitors to the $400 million complex will have to wander through several gaming and retail sections before finally arriving at the second-floor access to the tower. On the way, they might also want to explore an 80,000-square-foot aquarium and futuristic theatrical touches throughout the facility. Wirshing explained that Stratosphere Corp. is a publicly traded company, with 52 percent of its stock owned by Grand Casinos Inc., of Minneapolis. "It really was through that access to the financial world that we were able to build this," he said, noting that such an accomplishment wasn't always viewed here as being a sure thing. ' ; As if two thrill rides on top of a skyscraper weren't nearly enough of an attraction, though, Wirshing pulled out a rendering of his coup de grace: a 60-foot-tall animatronic gorilla that, at some time in the future, will scale the legs of the tower on a regular basis and is designed to carry tourists in its belly. When asked, by one potential investor, if this might be considered detrimental to the tower's aesthetic integrity, Wirshing recalled saying: "Maybe with the Space Needle in Seattle or CNN Tower in Toronto, but this is Las Vegas. People come here to see the things they can't see where they live . otherwise they should go to Carmel. ; "I expect people to come from Seattle to see our tower." CLUB MED SINGLES AND COUPLES C a r i b b e a n Turkoue from $1,135 (land only) Turk & Cairo-Home of some of the bett cuba diving in the area Buccaneer's Creek from $735 (lifnd only) Martinique Mexico Cancun from $1,360 Huatulco from $1140 Playa Blanca from $1,049 Our prices are based on a 7-night stay and include round-trip air travel," tax and transfers, accommodations, all meals, unlimited beer and wine with lunch and dinner, most sports'" (all with instruction), and nightly entertainment. stf pup i& CLUB MED f7l A' A A T For those seeking greater elegance, there are Club Mcd's Finest villages. Kach features more luxurious accommodations, gourmet dining and a higher level of sophistication. Caribbean Columbus Isle"" from $1,765 Bahamas Caribbean Cruise Club Med 1 from $2,800 (Deck B) To find out which of our more than 100 Club Med villages worldwide is right lor you. to receive a free copy oi our brochure, or tor more information, see your TRAVEL AGENT or call 1-800-CLUB.MED (open 7 days). Connect with us on the World Wide Web at http:www.clubmed.com Life as it should be (eiu-iJ toiuiiuon W pi-Hcx.iamr Ctruun, I liiilul. o. Plaw fUcimu. OJumhn Ul. Cluh Mnl 1, Itl.ifM. St I ,ui i.i ami Kir u I her a irn Utt Chuu-jrca .Iriurturrt triumph r.M1, Ouli Mil I n irpMneil in ittr (Lihdina H.ili- arr per fn-rmn. per ivifk. ifouhlr m i itfwn. v. txioking imtv Siuir it iimirrxl :mcnilrin-iili um I'lLtlinn (mlii v apfiltr. Not mpiintibic lor frroiVutniuinni. Subm'f la jvjit.ilnlnv ,W i hjrigi-'cxfHiT annniw. l-duik'n tncmlirnihipiMH'-iirm' inilutHm h-v OtKer rrwm Him m.i .i()l. ' furlmtw. Ilui t-twr Cnvk Capprr AVmniain anil S.im(ii)irr prHi- vjl Iiw lam) (urn mil unlv thruu'h 2i'J-tH. AiHjrf ftrj. "'I'iru ituir lor uulm -living gulf untl hurnrluuk ruling. S1AV KKLL l)ttrr a(lin to Urn! piinwin at wn-klorif! fkuLift-f .11 mIM iilLign ilunru Nrlrti wi-vk. One hikt ih-i lull'iMMrifi rwnrnl m pujnlun kalvi! j rhr winr nMn CjII Iih jtdiUlilv ilatf iMr u i( hiM (r i j rr.nk-rruii it Clul Alnl Sak-. Iik . tj Out. McH Sulr. In.

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