On Ice

The weather here may still be in the 70s, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get an early start on winter and that’s just what Lake Las Vegas Resort is doing as it gets ready to open its Rockefeller-style ice rink on Nov. 16 for the whole family to enjoy through Feb. 17.

For the fourth year, Lake Las Vegas will turn the resort into a chilly winter wonderland for all of you who skate to enjoy. The ice rink floats on the 320-acre lake, off the shore of MonteLago Village and is open to skaters of all ages. It uses 110 five-gallon buckets of water and 12,000-pound chiller units to keep the ice cold and can accommodate up to 60 skaters at one time.

And here’s the really cool thing about Lake Las Vegas. In addition to whirling and twirling, you can shed those skates and take a walk through some of the village’s diverse boutiques, play a round of golf or just sit back and enjoy the holiday scenery. There will be plenty of decorations for the holiday season, as well as the ceremonial tree lighting, appearance by Santa Claus and a special musical performance by Green Valley High School Choir and Helen Joy Choir on Friday, Nov. 16.

Marketing Director Cary Krukowski is right on when she told me, "Every year we love to create an environment that brings families closer together, builds festive traditions and allows us to be part of their holiday memories." Couldn’t agree with her more. If you’ve never been out to Lake Las Vegas, put it on your "must-see" list. Even when nothing is going on out there, it’s a great spot to hang out for the day or evening.

The Lake Las Vegas ice rink will open at 8 p.m., Nov. 16. Other nights it will open at 9, through Feb. 17 (these hours are subject to change due to weather conditions). The cost is $15 per person, $12 for children 12 years of age and under. Groups of 20 or more are $8 and season passes are available for $125, which includes the cost of skate rentals. For more about the holiday events at Lake Las Vegas resort, call 702-564-1600 or visit www.lakelasvegas.com.

WINE CELEBRATION

Seeing as how our nights are getting on the chilly side, you’re going to need something to warm you up and what could be better than joining in a week of Beuajolais Nouveau festivities at Paris Las Vegas. The resort plans to light the 50-story replica of the Eiffel Tower red at midnight on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 15, to launch the event that celebrates the release of the 2007 wine. This is the first property-wide Beaujolais Nouveau celebration in the history of Paris Las Vegas.

Honoring the long tradition regulated by French law, Beaujolais Nouveau is released no sooner than the third Thursday of November, when it is ready for consumption just six weeks after the harvest. Thus, at one minute past midnight, huge celebrations are held all over the world to taste the latest wine of the harvest. More than 65 million bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau will be consumed in the months to follow.

Should be a fun, exciting time as the tower lighting will feature can-can dancers joining French security at the base of the tower to receive bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau, delivered by horse-drawn carriage. Immediately following, award-winning chef Jean Joho will lead special guests in a festive ceremonial tasting at Mon Ami Gabi, the resort’s sidewalk café. The hotel will offer samples of Beaujolais Nouveau to guests who check in on Nov. 15-16.

But there’s more. Three of the property’s restaurants — the Eiffel Tower Restaurant, Mon Ami Gabi and Les Artistes Steakhouse — will feature special wine pairings and wine offerings throughout the week. The Eiffel Tower Restaurant has created a Beaujolais lunch menu including Beaujolais Poached Eggs Meurette, Saucisson in Brioche with French Lentil Salad, Filet of Pike with Crayfish, Chicken Coq au Vin with French Egg Noodle and Beaujolais Poached Pears.

Les Artistes Steakhouse will offer a three-course dinner tasting featuring Crispy Skinned Duck Confit, choice of Braised Monkfish Tail or Petit Filet of Beef as an entrée and Pumpkin Crème Brulee Tart for dessert. Dinner guests at Mon Ami Gabi can enjoy a wide variety of Beaujolais Nouveau wines from a festive wine cart, wine flights and a la carte menu items which all include the week’s star ingredient — Beaujolais Nouveau.

Rock ‘n Roll Wine, known for its signature high-energy wine events, will host a Beaujolais Nouveau-themed wine tasting on Friday evening, Nov. 16, inside Risqué, the nightclub at Paris. Scheduled from 7 to 10 p.m., the event will feature live music by Acoustic Soul and an assortment of delicious world wines including Beaujolais Nouveau. Tickets are available through www.rocknrollwine.com or calling 702-240-3066. Ticket prices, which include wine and live entertainment, are $33 in advance and $38 at the door (tax inclusive). Methinks you don’t want to miss any of the festivities.

TO THE MAX

The Art of Peter Max Gallery in The Forum Shops will host a gallery exhibition with renowned artist Peter Max on Friday, Nov. 23 from 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 24 from 1 to 4 p.m. Max will unveil his newest collection of original paintings including an acrylic-on-canvas, full-bodied Statue of Liberty painting measuring 6 feet tall, which will be on display and available for purchase exclusively at the Las Vegas gallery.

During the exhibition, purchasers will have the opportunity to meet Max who will inscribe a priceless dedication and drawing on the back of each painting acquired at the gallery during the event or anytime throughout the month of November. With more than 150 original Peter Max paintings available for acquisition, the gallery, located in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, hosts the largest collection of Peter Max paintings available for sale in one room anywhere in the world.

Max has a long-standing career as the pre-eminent pop artist in America. Max is well known for his paintings of the Statue of Liberty and his association with the United Nations. His art has appeared on everything from a Boeing 777 Continental jumbo jet to the 1999 Woodstock stage to a giant mural at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

In addition to painting for numerous heads of state including five American presidents, Max has been designated as the Official Artist of five Super Bowls, five Grammy Awards, World Cup USA, the World Series and the United Nations Earth Summit. For more information, you can call (702) 644-7070 or email pmgalleryvegas@aol.com.

‘MATSURI’ CLOSING

Another show closing in our town. "Matsuri," the Japanese muscle musical with its comic acrobats — who, by the way, are very, very good — is packing it in on Nov. 10 at the Sahara. I thought this show might last, but I guess it just didn’t drop well enough. As a footnote, I’d like to add that I think any acts going into the Sahara would be well served if the resort redid their showroom. Hopefully, the new owners will tear it down and rebuild, though I think that’s highly unlikely, at least in the near future.

Good luck and I’ll see you on the Strip. And don’t forget to check out www.valleyblogs.com. If you have a question or a Las Vegas experience you would like to share with my readers, please e-mail me at lennylasvegas@gmail.com Please include your full name and the city or town where you live.

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