Gaming WireWhether it's a Last Lei, the World's Largest Bachelorette Party or a private soiree inside the Barbie Suite, Las Vegas venues are working to make themselves stand out in a sea of bachelorette options.

They have good reason.

The next time you see a hot pink bridal veil or sparkling tiara atop a woman's head on the Strip, think about the revenue potential. When a gaggle of women head out to celebrate upcoming nuptials, they're out to spend.

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"Bachelorette parties are a big business for us," said Kristin Conte, director of marketing for the Tao Group.

Tao is set to host its second-annual World's Largest Bachelorette Party at the end of July, and Conte said attendance this year is tracking ahead of the 2012 fete.

"We definitely see this area continuing to be strong," Conte said.

At Tao Group, three people from its 15-person marketing staff work solely on bachelorette parties: One is dedicated to Marquee, one to Tao and Lavo, and one assists. They sell parties, network with concierges and attend wedding trade shows to spread the word about the Tao brand.

"The partnership (with wedding trade shows) has really been successful and given us the opportunity to show the brand to key influencers," Conte said. "It has become a big focus for us."

The company's venues host 30 to 50 bachelorette parties with six to 15 women per event each week. Most of the women are ages 25 to 35, and Conte said the menu tends to include champagne, sweet cocktails and shots of liquor. The bachelorettes spend anywhere from $40 per person on up, depending on how lavish they want their parties to be.

While the bachelorette market isn't exactly novel - it's ingrained in Las Vegas culture - efforts to market to it have increased.

"It's something that's always been around, but there's probably more of an organized effort around it now," said Jack Colton, founder of Jack Colton Nightlife Guides.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority doesn't track economic impact or specific visitation numbers related to bachelorettes, primarily because there's no real way to do it.

However, the travel board does offer sample itineraries on its website for both bachelor and bachelorette parties. For the latter, it suggests a stay at the Barbie Suite at the Palms, a room that features life-size copies of furnishings from the doll's Malibu beach house. The property's Sky Villa, a 10,000-square-foot room with a hot tub pool that extends out over the hotel, is also popular with ladies on the loose.

Flying in style

Your jet pulls up to a hangar, and you have no worries about elbowing your way to the baggage carousel, whether a taxi driver will take the long way to the Strip or whether you'll have to go through a body scanner on the way home. Oh, and in-flight meals and drinks don't cost extra.

That's the experience with the new Las Vegas Sands Corp. terminal on the west side of McCarran International Airport, at least for those who add enough zeroes to their wagering. The company held a soiree in June for a select group - reporters not invited - to tantalize people with the possibility of avoiding steerage class on the airlines.

According to the ground lease the company's Sands Aviation subsidiary signed with the Clark County Department of Aviation two years ago, the project included 343,000 square feet. Since rent collection started in April, an airport spokeswoman said, the terminal was finished on schedule in March.

The lease called for another 227,000 square feet to be tacked on by September 2014.

This amounts to a convenience store compared with Signature Flight support, which has leased 3.7 million square feet to cover a wide range of private planes.

However, Sands has gunned the afterburners compared with Strip rivals; the Caesars Entertainment Corp. has its own hangar - 96,000 square feet - for its planes, while Wynn Resorts Ltd. and MGM Resorts International take space in others' facilities.

The Sands terminal now houses a 12-plane air force, ranging from an eight-seat Hawker 800XP to the compact version of the Boeing 747, the company's proxy statement shows. Management believes, the proxy states, that the planes "provide the company with a significant competitive advantage in attracting customers to the company's properties." And, by the way, the company thinks they are nicer than what you can get from a ho-hum regular charter.

Solar for Mandalay Bay

MGM Resorts International has announced plans to turn a Mandalay Bay rooftop into the city's newest hot spot, but don't expect any bottle service.

By next year, the gaming giant hopes to flip the switch on a 6.2 megawatt solar array covering all 20 acres of roof above Mandalay Bay's convention center.

Sen. Harry Reid and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell joined MGM officials to announce the project Tuesday in an air-conditioned conference room at the resort.

The project is still in the design phase, but it is expected to use about 20,000 solar panels to directly supply as much as 70 percent of the electricity used in the resort's conference center - and almost 20 percent of the resort's overall power demand - on a hot summer day.

Hard Rock expansion

The iconic Hard Rock brand that is so familiar to Canadian tourists on the Strip is going to Vancouver.

The Great Canadian Gaming Corp. said Wednesday it is rebranding its Boulevard Casino into the first Hard Rock Casino in Canada in a multimillion-dollar upgrade that's expected to be completed later this year.

The property employs 700 people and includes an 80,00-square-foot casino, as well as a 1,000-seat state-of-the-art theater. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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