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Caesars unveils holiday on ice capade

Dec 7, 2004 7:34 AM

Las Vegas may not have a white Christmas, but thanks to Caesars Palace, there will be ice skating on the Strip.

A state-of-the-art ice rink has been brought to Caesars Palace offering public skating, ice shows, and on Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m., a chance to skate with the stars.

The rink, approximately the size of the Rockefeller plaza rink in New York, uses solar technology to run refrigerant through a special high-tech floor matting freezing water on top of a 60’ by 90’ surface.

Olympic and World skating coach Gary Visconti says the public skating, the ice shows and skating with the stars will take place weekends through Saturday, January 16.

The show features Olympians and World Champions skating solo numbers mixed with big production ensemble numbers in an "Ice-Capades" style show.

Among the skaters scheduled to perform are Olympic & World Gold Medalist Viktor Petrenko; Olympic Silver Medalist Elvis Stojko; World Bronze Medalist Rudy Galindo; five-time European Champion/Olympian Surya Bonaly; U.S. Men’s bronze medalist comedic star Dan Hollander; and U.S. Men’s competitor/Olympian Scott Davis.

Ticket prices for the weekend shows are $25 for general admission seating in grandstands (1,800 seats); and $50 for a limited number of reserved seats at the ice.

The real fun begins after the shows are completed. Late-night sessions — free of charge to the public — featuring high-energy music and lighting effects, will be designed to attract Las Vegas performers after shows end on the Strip.

For those who want to sample the ice, tickets for public skaters are priced at $10 with free skate rental (adults or children).

Each Sunday, the 2 p.m. public skating session will offer fans an opportunity to skate with ice skating stars. World Champion Randy Gardner and cast members from the show will cavort with fans. (Public skating admission is $10 for the Sunday Skate With the Stars sessions.) There is no charge to watch the Skate With the Stars sessions.

Downtown holiday festivities kick off this week. Jump start the holiday spirit this season with some good old-fashioned Vegas fun and excitement. It all begins with the traditional lighting of Las Vegas’ official Christmas tree Tuesday (Dec. 7) night. Join the "World’s Happiest Mayor," Las Vegas’ own Oscar Goodman at the Fremont Street Experience (FSE), for the lighting ceremony of the city’s official holiday tree.

Also starting on Tuesday, FSE comes alive with "Holiday in Motion." Celebrate the holidays with a free live show featuring exciting acrobatic stunts, flying acts, bungee jumpers and much more. The free performances will be held nightly under the FSE canopy of lights at 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.

While you’re strolling Fremont Street, check out the International Holiday Market that opens the same day as the tree lighting and continues through Dec. 29. Handmade items carefully created with the skills of old-world craftsmanship will be on display and for sale. This International Holiday Market features more than 40 vendors from Europe and around the world in the heart of downtown Las Vegas.

Beginning next week, from Dec. 15 through Christmas Day, The Rio’s free "Show in the Sky" will feature the entire cast of stage and float performers dressed in new Christmas-themed costumes. Familiar holiday music will be used to create the musical score with original arrangements. The special holiday performances will take place at 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. in the Rio’s Masquerade Village.

And last but not least, another new free attraction has opened in Las Vegas. The Silverton Casino Hotel Lodge has announced the grand opening of the Mermaid Restaurant & Lounge as part of their $150 million casino-wide expansion.

The Mermaid Restaurant & Lounge, located inside the connector between the Silverton Casino and the new Bass Pro Shops, features a 117,000-gallon saltwater aquarium, which will house 8,000 tropical fish of various species and host an hourly Mermaid show performed by Olympic-medalist synchronized swimmers.

"We are excited to launch this new restaurant and entertainment concept," said Craig Cavileer, general manager of the Silverton. "The mermaid theme is a completely original concept and we think people will be amazed by the show."

Ten mermaids and mermen under the direction of Stephan Miermont, choreographer and aquatic consultant and coach for the 1996 and 2000 U.S. Olympic synchronized swimming teams, will perform a free five- to 10-minute show every hour from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Fridays, and 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Until next time, eat well, play well, stay well.