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Gaming Guru

Richard N. Velotta
 

AOL Vegas Joins CityGuide Network

2 November 2005

One of the world's largest Internet portals is partnering with two Las Vegas companies on an interactive travel guide of the city.

America Online, which reaches an estimated 112 million people each month through its various outlets, has signed multiyear deals with VEGAS.com and Robin Leach's Total Vegas Television to develop AOL Vegas.

Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

VEGAS.com, launched in 1998, is owned by the Greenspun family, which owns the Las Vegas Sun.

AOL Vegas, part of the AOL CityGuide network, was launched Tuesday after about 18 months in development.

The site is accessible to all Internet users, not just AOL subscribers, at www.aol.com/vegas.

"The response has been phenomenal," Scott Richman, AOL CityGuide vice president and general manager, said of the site's first official day of operation after a soft launch last month.

"People far and wide are coming to Vegas, and we wanted to create a site filled with rich photo tours, behind-the-scenes footage and celebrity content for our international audience," Richman said.

The site includes information about travel to the city and events and show ticketing through VEGAS.com and Ticketmaster. There also are video clips from VEGAS.com's "Vegas Minute" and Total Vegas Television's "Luxury Life." Leach's five-day-a-week blog, "Luxe Life," also is featured.

Other features include the Vegas Top 11, a listing of the city's top 11 events, restaurants and nightclubs, and a section for visitors to rate their favorite attractions.

There's also a Gambling Guide that explains how to play several casino games with recommendations of where to play. And there is a section that offers free play-only casino games and reports from World Series of Poker events.

The partners expect to capitalize on advertisements sold on the site and the popularity of Las Vegas, which draws more than 37 million visitors a year and generates more than $33.7 billion in tourism revenue.

VEGAS.com President Howard Lefkowitz said the new partnership enables millions of people to be exposed to his company's brand and Las Vegas content.