Saturday, December 06, 2008

Volcano due to erupt in Las Vegas by the New Year!

A dormant Las Vegas volcano is expected to begin erupting by the end of December.
The volcano is situated alongside of The Strip, in front of The Mirage resort.

The hourly eruptions during the evening hours are expected to exceed the former eruptions that have enthralled visitors since its first spewing some 12 years ago and lasted until a shutdown early this year. The revitalized volcano will feature massive fireballs that shoot 12 feet above the rim of the volcano, and lava streams that course down the sides and steamily splash into the lagoon at its base. The lagoon will then erupt in flames, coming within feet of the sidewalk in front of the resort that normally will be jammed with spectators.

The Fountains of Bellagio design team WET has been in charge of the overhaul, a portion of the massive upgrading of the resort. Mickey Hart, legendary drummer of the Grateful Dead, and Indian tabla sensation Zakir Hussain, were enlisted by the design team to produce a spectacular production that combines sound, light, music and heat.

The volcano at The Mirage was the first spectacular show that was free to the general public. When it first began erupting, it brought traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard to a standstill. The Mirage is the resort that is credited with being the project that revitalized the Las Vegas resort building boom.


For those who miss the wintertime weather of more northerly locations, a visit to the Bellagio or Sam's Town might bring back memories.

The Conservatory and Botanical Gardens of Bellagio open its winter wonderland makeover on Sunday and remain until January 3. A 32-foot-tall Shasta fir will be the centerpiece, festooned with enormous ornaments and 12,000 LED Christmas lights. There will be 15-foot-tall toy soldiers, flying reindeer, a snowman family, a 7-foot-tall rocking horse, and a gigantic holiday wreath. All of the features will be composed of flowers, plants, leaves, vines, seeds, and nuts.

The Conservatory is on the main floor just beyond the registration counter. It is open 24/7.
Mystic Falls and Park at Sam's Town on the Boulder Strip has been turned into another winter wonderland. A holiday laser and light show is presented at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. daily and snow will fall in the park. The atrium park is open 24/7. It is located in the center of the hotel towers so guests staying at in-facing rooms of the resort can watch the shows from their room.

Many resorts and casinos deck out some of the staff in holiday themes, but none do it better than the Hard Rock. The cheerful red costumes are enough to make Santa forget his duties.

Other seasonal changes affect the shows in town. Many shows are closing down for the second half of December so performers can get a rest and producers can make changes. Most will reopen before the long New Year's Eve weekend. If you are planning a December trip, be sure it won't be dark when you are in town.

Mamma Mia will end a 6-year run when it closes down on Jan. 4 at its present location at Mandalay Bay.

Defending the Caveman has concluded its run at the Golden Nugget, stepping aside for the return of Gordie Brown. Caveman will reopen at the Excalibur Dec.16 to Jan 11.

Danny Gans, often voted the best act in Las Vegas, has closed an 8-plus year gig at The Mirage. He will reopen in the Danny Gans Theater in the Encore.


The featured restaurant at the-soon-to-be-opened Encore will be named Sinatra, after the legendary performer and Las Vegas regular.

An agreement between Steve Wynn, an old friend of Ol' Blue Eyes, and the estate of the performer, will place memorabilia at the restaurant. Included will be Sinatra's only Oscar -- for best male performer in "From Here to Eternity."

The Game Show Network will be filming at The Grand Poker Room at the Golden Nugget Dec. 19 to 21.

Reach Bruce Camenga at

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