MGM Grand and David Copperfield
The MGM Grand is just that grand. Its four 30-storey emerald green towers have 5044 rooms and suites. Entertainment is a huge draw, with Aretha Franklin, the Eagles, Paul McCartney and Tom Jones on the current bill. It also hosts tennis tournaments and boxing matches.
David Copperfield, master illusionist, appears on stage at the MGM for more than half the year, doing 15 shows a week. That's where Catriona met up with him.
His story is as intriguing as the ancient art of magic, which he has taken to previously unknown heights. He has 'vanished' the Statue of Liberty, walked through the Great Wall of China, flown through the air and made audience members disappear and reappear in places they would never expect. He's witty, engaging, supremely entertaining, one of the top seven highest-paid entertainers in the world, winner of dozens of Emmy Awards and box-office record-setter all around the world.
As well as performing, David told Catriona he has a passion for preserving the art of magic for future generations. He has an International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts as a safe and permanent home for antiquarian props, books and other historical ephemera-related conjuring. It's the world's leading collection, so the man who provides so much fun and amazement really has a deep and meaningful side. A professional since the age of 12 and now just in his early forties, there's bound to be much more magic from Mr Copperfield!
A visit to Vegas wouldn't be complete without a visit to the famous Golden Nugget. David drew that straw and found that, even though it was built in 1946, the legendary casino/hotel is the largest in downtown, covering two city blocks, and has held the AAA Four-Diamond Award for 28 consecutive years. The Nugget showroom was opened by Frank Sinatra and from time to time he was joined on stage by Sammy Davis Jnr and Dean Martin.
A recent $30 million renovation to its 1907 guest rooms and suites, housed in three towers, will no doubt ensure the awards keep coming. It remains true to its original French/New Orleans theme and the addition of a new restaurant gives patrons somewhere to fuel-up before hitting the 3500 square metres of gaming floor.
Poker at Aladdin Resort
The worldwide resurgence of poker playing was probably enhanced in Australia when a Melbourne man recently won a cool $7.5 million playing against the world's best in Las Vegas. To see what it was all about, Jules headed to the Aladdin Resort and Casino, an impressive place with 2600 luxurious rooms and oversized suites.
Jules met up with Rob Huxley, an Australian who worked in casinos at home and is now working in the home of gambling. While he didn't win his fortune, Jules picked up a few tips and learned a little about some of the games they play here Texas Hold'em, Omaha and Seven Card Stud.
The Flamingo Las Vegas, with its giant pink neon sign and replicas of the birds on the lawn, opened with just 77 rooms on December 31, 1946. It was built by mobster Bugsy Siegel, a member of the Meyer Lansky crime organisation, but he didn't enjoy it for very long. He was blasted to death by an unknown gunman just six months later.
Natalie went to check out today's Flamingo, which has ballooned to 3626 rooms, 7200 square metres of casino and is managed by Caesars Entertainment.
From its start, Flamingo has hosted show business legends such as Jerry Lewis, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin and Richard Pryor. Gladys Knight is a regular performer.
The hotel's Wildlife Habitat has a flock of Chilean flamingos, African penguins, swans, ducks, koi and turtles, all carefully nurtured and quite at home in the lush Caribbean-influenced landscaping, islands, streams and waterfalls.
Star Trek at the Las Vegas Hilton
Not far from The Flamingo is the Las Vegas Hilton. Artists who perform here regularly include Wayne Newton, Barry Manilow, LeAnn Rimes, Trisha Yearwood and Donna Summer.
Another huge attraction is Star Trek: The Experience, an interactive adventure based on the popular television series. Visitors are immersed in a futuristic world where they see, feel, touch and live the 24th century.
Two multi-million dollar interactive adventures, the History of the Future museum, Quark's Bar and Restaurant and the largest retail stores for Star Trek merchandise make this one of Vegas's most exciting venues. With more than 200 items, the History of the Future museum is the largest permanent collection of Star Trek props and costumes, special effects, make-up and weaponry in the world.
This is where the cool people from LA stay. The owners also own the Sacramento Kings basketball team and the Sacramento Monarchs women's basketball team. Twenty-two suites are custom-built to comfortably accommodate tall athletes and Getaway reporters when they stay.
The hotel is 36-storeys with 430 rooms of various sizes. Some have their own bowling alley! There are two Playpen suites in retro 1960s colour schemes, wooden dance floor, mirror wall and disco ball.
The Ghost Bar on the 50th-level has views of the Las Vegas lights. Rain, the hottest dance club in town, has nightly rainstorms of sound, light and music. The pool turns into an outdoor nightclub, there are eight eating places and lots of chances to try your luck on the tables or machines.