Flamingo Las Vegas

Many people consider the original Flamingo Hotel, built in 1946 by Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, as the predecessor to modern commercial gambling in Las Vegas. But don't expect any guided tour. Siegel's original suite and garden wing was plowed under to make room for expansion in the mid-1990s. All that remains in tribute to the Chicago-mobster-turned-Vegas-hotelier is a stone pillar and small plaque in the rose garden behind the casino.

Accommodations: Several expansions have increased the hotel's room count to 3,642, making it one of the 10 largest hotels in the world. The Miami modern theme is carried throughout the hotel, but the rooms are done in conservative blues and greens with modern wood and rattan furnishings.

Casino & Gaming: In keeping with its Miami modern heritage, the casino features tropical pink, magenta and tangerine neon accents in a rambling, bustling casino, which is usually overflowing.

Attractions: Surrounding the rose garden are lush grounds and walking paths that take you on an expedition through live African penguins, Chilean flamingos, Mandarin ducks and Koi fish swimming in ponds under three-story- high waterfalls. Adding to the resort atmosphere is the tennis courts, swimming pools and a world-class health spa.

Entertainment: In the main Flamingo Showroom, the musical revue "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" plays Wednesday through Monday. In the Flamingo Showroom, impressionist Bill Acosta presents "Lasting Impressions." In the smaller Bugsy Celebrity Theater, the heartwarming tribute to the 1950s, "Forever Plaid," plays nightly. And the only afternoon topless show, "Bottoms Up," plays twice a day. Look for the Second City comedy troupe to take over for "Forever Plaid" in February 2000.

Dining: Diners can choose from nine restaurants serving a variety of cuisines including Chinese, Italian and Japanese. There's also a good steak house, garden buffet, coffee shop and deli.



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