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After visiting CityCenter’s Race and Sports Book at Aria last week, I came away very impressed simply because of the change from conformity. It was a new concept they went with from the outset that separates Aria’s book from all others in town.

“The main thing that makes it different from other books is that it’s a ‘loungey’ type of place,” said MGM MIRAGE Director of Race and Sports Jay Rood. “We wanted a place where even if there were no games on TV that it was still a place guests could feel comfortable hanging out in.”

The book itself is built somewhat like a club with modern couches and comfortable chairs giving the appearance of being in several different rooms. The 90 flat screens ranging from 32″ to 103″ and two giant 9’ x 16’ monster screens in the sports area make it impossible to miss any action from all the games wherever sitting or standing.

Most traditional books have players all seated one way, facing forward, to a display of games or races in front of them. Aria’s book keeps the action surrounding you and conforms to how or where you want to sit. It’s a relaxed environment that makes watching a game about as good as it gets.

“It definitely is a deviation from the traditional books we’ve seen built, yet we still wanted to keep an area alone by itself away from the sports action to give race players a little privacy, ” said Rood.

In Aria’s race book area there are 27 seats, each with Interactive Player Terminals (IPT), reserved for serious horse players.

Should anyone get hungry during their day of watching all the games or races, they can dine in or take out from the Skybox Sports Bar and Grill adjacent to the book, which has all the same events televised so you don’t miss any action.

If there were one book in Las Vegas that epitomizes and captures the overall theme of what a property was trying create throughout, Aria is definitely it.

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