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$1B Megaresort Opens In Vegas

The $1 billion Mandalay Bay hotel-casino which is being opened to the public Tuesday is one of four new resorts debuting here this year.

Glenn Schaeffer, president and chief financial officer of parent Circus Circus Enterprises Inc., said Monday the 3,700-room resort would be "a world of escape where entertainment has the edge over reality."

The new resort will give Circus Circus 27,000 hotel rooms, Schaeffer said. They range from the budget-priced, family-oriented Circus Circus hotel casino to an affiliation with the posh Four Seasons Hotel chain at Mandalay Bay.

Also opening this year will be The Venetion on April 14, the Resort at Summerlin later in the spring and Paris-Las Vegas in September.

The Mandalay Bay resort has a 12,600-gallon aquarium in the lobby and amenities such as a beach where waves 6 feet high are produced and surfing competition is planned. Its 1,700-seat Mandalay Bay Theatre plans to open with the musical Chicago.

Actors James Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and John Goodman were scheduled to peform at the Mandalay Bay's House of Blues as The Blues Brothers, with Bob Dylan performing later in the evening.

The Four Seasons has a separate two-story structure that includes its own lobby, restaurants, pool and health club, plus three private elevators that whisk guests to the hotel's 424 guest rooms on the 35th through 39th floors of Mandalay Bay.

Rooms at the Four Seasons will run $200 to $600 a night, with suites ranging from $450 to $2,500. Rooms at Mandalay Bay will average $110 a night, Schaeffer said.

Written By Robert Macy, Associated Press Writer