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Beauty at Bellagio

Bellagio the Beautiful. I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you again. The best free shows in our town for the whole family are the floral displays at Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Each year they feature a spectacular display for spring, summer, fall, winter and the Chinese New Year.

This summer, on display right now, the Conservatory features a fanciful rail adventure in honor of America’s pioneering spirit. How about starting off with this? A 24-foot-long, 7-foot-tall topiary locomotive covered in more than 36,000 living plants and flowers. Nearby, smaller model trains wind their way through scenic snapshots of America’s beautiful landscape, from the bountiful plains of the Midwest to the quaint charm of New England’s countryside.

These sweeping arcs of color are created by the vibrant blooms of roses, sunflowers, marigolds, lilies and purple sage. Towering palm trees from Florida, ranging from 10 to 15 feet tall, can be seen swaying in the summer breeze.

In a recent column I talked about the work that goes into designing, then creating these magnificent displays, and it is no mean feat. My hat once again goes off to all the people responsible for bringing us a truly delightful and unique experience. Make sure you bring your cameras.

Burton Does Benefit. Here’s a bargain for you. Magician Lance Burton will be performing a special show at Monte Carlo on Sunday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m., to raise funds for The Shriners, a benefit show he does every year. Tickets for the show are only $25, $30 and $35. Along with his own performance, Burton will share the stage with songstress Gabriela Versace, comedy magician Jeff Hobson, magician Jason Byrne, magician Jeff McBride, magician Stan Allen and comedy magician Fielding West.

The funds will go to the Transportation Fund so that the some 1,400 children who are clients of the Zelzah Shrine can receive treatment at out-of-state hospitals after being assessed at the local clinic. These medical conditions include bone problems, amputations, scoliosis, spinal deformities, cleft lip or palate, hips problems, burn scars, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and neuromuscular disorders. All of the treatments are free.

For tickets to the show, call Carol Ewing at 702-382-5554 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday thru Friday. You’re getting a lot for your money, folks and all of it entertaining for the whole family.

Gas Guzzlers Take Note. I know you think that the hotels here just want your money and let’s face it, they do. But every so often, they like to give something back that can make a difference to you — not some cheap trinket that probably cost them pennies, but that you have to spend $200 to win.

So it is with Jerry’s Nugget in North Las Vegas. The casino is giving their club members a chance to win anywhere from $10 to $100 in gasoline during its $50,000 All-American Gas Card Giveaway.

The promotion will run through Thursday, Aug. 28, is available for More Club card members, age 21 and older, and runs from Monday (midnight Sunday) through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday. Slots, video poker and video keno players earning at least 1,000 More Club points in a day are eligible to receive their gas card the same day. Pit customers earning 1,000 More Club points can receive their gas card the next day. Points will not be subtracted from player’s More Club accounts when winning an All-American Gas Card.

Peter DeMangus, general manager of Jerry’s Nugget, said, “It’s important that we show our appreciation so we chose to give away Sinclair Gas, which is an American oil company. Jerry’s Nugget is all about supporting every one of us that live and work in America.”

Players are responsible for swiping their More Club card at the new More Club kiosks in order to claim their gas card prize. Winners must then present their kiosk ticket denoting the amount won at The More Club Center to receive their gas card. Players can win up to four gas cards per week, one per day. For a complete listing of rules, please visit The More Club Center in the casino. There are more than 40 Sinclair stations throughout the greater Las Vegas valley so you won‘t have any trouble finding one. Good luck.

I’ll wrap up this week with a letter from Stephen Collins of Raleigh, N.C., who writes: “Hi Lenny – Been reading your column for years and my wife and I have been coming to Vegas since the mid 70s. Referring to your article pertaining to the $27 cost for Las Vegas residents only in celebrating the 27th anniversary of Jubilee (Lenny‘s Las Vegas 7/30). In 27 years I wonder how many Las Vegas residents have seen Jubilee. Statistically speaking, I’ll bet you out-of-towner’s have watched more shows than Las Vegans. In fact I’d bet the percentages are 80/20 in favor of out-of-towner’s. If Jubilee management did not have out of town support, the show would have folded years ago. That’s the problem with Las Vegas, they hardly ever remember the millions of tourists who flock to their city.

“By the way my wife and I have seen this show 3 times. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy Las Vegas, but I can’t stand the corporate greed. Give back a little to the tourists who helped build this city. I will not hold my breath.”

Nor will I, Stephen. Couldn’t agree with you more. It seems so many of the ticket deals offered are only to locals when the majority of the support comes from visitors. I realize the hotels want to get more locals to the shows, but they can still try doing it without turning their backs on their bread and butter. And don’t even get me started on corporate greed. Hope you win a bundle next time here.

Good luck and I’ll see you on the Strip. And don’t forget to check out eNeon each Wednesday by subscribing (free of charge) to the Review-Journal’s weekly newsletter. If you have a question or a Las Vegas experience you would like to share with my readers, please e-mail me at lennylv@netzero.net. Please include your full name and the city or town where you live.

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