INTEL: Charity gets poppin’, wine preferences shift

Las Vegas’ favorite charity also might become the city’s favorite popcorn maker.

Through Dec. 31, Opportunity Village is selling gourmet popcorn inside numerous Sam’s Clubs locations throughout five states. Called PopShoppe, the gourmet chocolate-covered popcorn comes in two flavors, either classic or cinnamon.

Want to know a secret? It’s really good.

This is the first time the popcorn has been sold in retail stores and is being produced on such a large scale in the Las Vegas-based Opportunity Village Engelstad Campus. The snack is available for $9.95 in seven Las Vegas-area locations, and stores in Idaho, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.

Apparently, Americans prefer their pinot noir to their merlot these days.

In wine-by-the-glass sales, Restaurant Sciences found that pinot surpassed merlot for the first time. The company tracks food and beverage product sales throughout the food-service industry in North America, and conducts an annual wine-by-the-glass price study.

The most popular wines, though, were chardonnay for white and cabernet sauvignon for red. Blended wines increased market share for both whites and reds. Average prices range from $5.49 for muscato at family dining establishments to $13.75 a glass for chenin blanc at hotel bars.

In January, a new icon will be named.

Interior designer and author Barbara Barry will be honored as the 2014 Design Icon during Winter Las Vegas Market, Jan. 26-30. Barry is among the world’s most prominent and talented designers with designs that range from elegant interiors to an extensive portfolio of home furnishings.

With a vision of infusing simple luxuries into the everyday, she’s renowned for creating refined interiors, timeless furnishings and luxury products that inspire a life of beauty.

The Consumer Electronics Association is bringing nine automotive manufacturers to the 2014 International CES, a record for the show.

Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes and Toyota will showcase their latest technologies among an enhanced lineup of automotive technology exhibits, TechZones and conference sessions. CES will run Jan. 7-10.

“As the car has become more connected and consumers demand increased interaction between their mobile devices and their car, we have seen the number of auto manufacturers at the International CES rise year after year,” CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro said.

CEA industry forecasts predict sales of factory-installed vehicle technologies will increase by nearly 20 percent in 2014 to $11 billion.

Automotive exhibits will cover more than 140,000 net square feet, up 25 percent over the 2013 event. More than 125 total automotive tech companies, including Delphi, Dual Electronics, JVC Kenwood, Mitek, Pioneer and QNX, will showcase their latest automotive technologies and services.

The 2014 CES will feature more than 3,200 exhibitors.

It might be time to check out the Forum Shops at Caesars again.

The shopping center’s free, animatronic “Fall of Atlantis” received an update in late November, including enhanced visual and special effects, updated costumes and a new sound system with 40 speakers.

Word is that guests will feel the gods unleash their wrath during the extravaganza.

The show debuted in 1997 and features the story of the ill-fated city of Atlantis through the tale of Atlas and his children, Gadrius and Alia, who struggle to rule the undersea city. To develop the dramatic character leather and metal costumes for the new show, the Forum Shops turned to Hollywood’s Sword &Stone — a blacksmith company that has made arms, armor and props for more than 200 television shows and feature films including “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Thor,” “CSI” and “Criminal Minds.”

The renovated 11-minute show in the Roman Great Hall also incorporates video elements played out on 14 light-emitting- diode screens that can combine to depict one continuous image.

Contact reporter Laura Carroll at or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.

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