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Feb 18, 2003 4:10 AM

There are always plenty of freebies, discounts and specials throughout Las Vegas. Someplace to go, something to do, finding good things to eat and still keeping the wallet intact. So where do we look for bargains and specials this week?

For an afternoon of free entertainment, you can enjoy an indoor rainstorm at Desert Passage at the Aladdin. The rainstorms bluster every hour on the hour every Monday through Friday and every 30 minutes on weekends. If you storm in on a weekend, street performers will also entertain for free along the walkways and terraces. You can pick up a free coupon book good for shopping discounts at the customer service center by showing an AAA club card or an Aladdin slot club card.

And just hitting the scene in Southern Nevada, let’s head out to the new Ritz-Carlton at Lake Las Vegas for the "Diamonds and the Power of Love" free exhibition. While the diamonds on display may well be worth a small fortune, the show is free to attend. From now through February 23, we can all experience a magnificent collection of historical diamond betrothal rings, (both real and replica) and a stunning display of one-of-a-kind diamond jewelry designs. This exhibition makes its only U.S. appearance this year right here in Las Vegas. The exhibit hours are from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily through Sunday, February 23. While the casino is expected to open in April, Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas opened last week featuring 349 hotel guest rooms and a 30,000-square-foot spa and fitness center, along with two golf courses.

Next, you can meet the bunnies! Playboy Bunnies that is! Playboy, the world’s best-selling men’s magazine, and Bally Gaming Systems are "hopping" up to a new level of gaming excitement with the introduction of the new "Playboy Bonus Frenzy" slot machines. On Saturday, February 22, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the Imperial Palace will host September 1998 Playmate Vanessa Gleason and January 1996 Playmate Victoria Fuller as they sign autographs and hand out limited edition Playboy Slots T-shirts to guests who play the new Playboy Slots!

For good deals on food specials this month, Castaways is still a leader. Perhaps even a "loss leader!" While some other prices around town inch their way up, Castaways rocks with great deals. Check out these round-the-clock specials in the Pelican Rock Café:

8 oz. Prime Rib of Beef $4.95

20 oz. Monster Burger $3.95

Chicken Fried Steak $2.95

Fried Chicken Dinner $2.75

18 oz. T-Bone Steak Dinner $6.50

6 oz. New York Steak & Eggs $ 1.95

1/3 lb. Hamburger & Fries for only $1.50

And don’t forget: Ellis Island Casino & Brewery is still passing out drinks for a buck a piece at the casino bar to all comers, 24/7!

Until next time, "Eat well, play well, stay well!"