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Bellagio, Picasso and Renoir in Las Vegas Honored With AAA Five Diamond Award

19 November 2002

LAS VEGAS – (Press Release) -- Bellagio, which last year became the first Las Vegas hotel and casino and the largest resort in history to be awarded the AAA Five Diamond Award, today received the distinction for the second consecutive year.

Restaurants Picasso at Bellagio and Renoir at The Mirage also were honored with Five Diamonds for the second consecutive year. The two restaurants made history last year when they became the first two Five Diamond restaurants in Las Vegas history. They are among a distinguished list of only 53 restaurants nationwide to receive this distinction.

The AAA Five Diamond Award, presented to fewer than one-half percent of the approximately 40,000 lodgings and restaurants in the AAA TourBook guides, has been the most coveted symbol of excellence in the travel industry since its inception in 1977.

"Bellagio guests are showered with first class service throughout their entire stay," said AAA spokesman Atle Erlingsson. "The AAA Five Diamond standard is evident from check-in to check-out, with gracious staff, sparkling rooms and impeccable service."

Bellagio's President and CEO of Mirage Resorts said, "Bellagio's employees are the best in the industry. Their ability to continually provide Five Diamond Service makes them entirely deserving of all of the credit for this honor."

To be considered for AAA approval and rating, lodgings and restaurants must undergo a thorough, unannounced, inspection by one of AAA's 60 full-time professional evaluators. Five Diamond establishments go through the most extensive reviews.

Chef Alessandro Stratta of Renoir at The Mirage said, "It is an honor to be recognized for doing what you love to do. At Renoir, we try to be a very special aspect of the Mirage experience."

Capturing the flavors and aromas of the French Riviera, Chef Stratta's cuisine highlights the finest of seasonal ingredients. Guests can indulge in prime meats, seafood and vegetable specialties while admiring numerous works of art by master painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Of the Five Diamonds Chef Julian Serrano said, "Awards are never the goal -- we set out to create special moments for our guests. Moments they will remember always. The awards, like the Five Diamonds, tell us we have achieved that."

Chef Serrano's cuisine is inspired by the regional cuisine of France and Spain where Picasso spent much of his life. The restaurant boasts a wine cellar stocked with bottles from the finest European vineyards. Picasso masterpieces, as well as a collection of his charming ceramic pieces, further delight the senses of diners enjoying the Picasso experience.

AAA first started listing accommodation information in its travel publications in the early 1900s. In 1937, the first field inspectors were hired to inspect hotels, motels and restaurants. In 1963, AAA began to rate all accommodations as good, very good, excellent and outstanding. The current one to five diamond rating system was introduced in 1977 during AAA's 75th anniversary.

Inspired by the beautiful villages of Europe, the AAA Five Diamond Bellagio overlooks a Mediterranean-blue eight-acre lake in which fountains perform a magnificent aquatic ballet choreographed to music and lights. Within Bellagio are award-winning dining experiences including Julian Serrano's Picasso, a AAA Five Diamond restaurant, Michael Mina's Aqua, Todd English's Olives and Le Cirque and Circo from the renowned Maccioni family. The elegant Petrossian Lounge, a world-class art gallery, exquisite gardens, Cirque du Soleil's stunning performance of "O," luxurious spa services and an elegant casino all add to the extraordinary Bellagio experience. The resort's shopping promenade, Via Bellagio, features upscale shops including Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Tiffany & Co., Prada, Fred Leighton, Hermes, Moschino, Yves Saint Laurent. Bellagio is the recipient of the AAA Five-Diamond Award for 2002.

With an erupting volcano at its entrance, The Mirage offers exquisite AAA Four-Diamond accommodations, exclusive shopping boutiques, upscale restaurants including the AAA Five Diamond Renoir, extensive meeting and convention services and excellent entertainment including Siegfried & Roy -- Magicians of the Century and Danny Gans -- "The Man of Many Voices." From the 20,000-gallon aquarium in the lobby to the lush tropical foliage in the atrium and the tropical pool with waterfalls, guests experience a world-class destination unlike any other.

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