By Bobbie Katz Posted December 9, 2009, 4:03 PM EST
LAS VEGAS After years of anticipation, Las Vegas is finally welcoming CityCenter's opening—and all the financial promise that attends it—with an array of openings all this month.
The most production-heavy event of the week was the opening on Friday of the Mandarin Oriental, beginning with a ribbon cutting and feng shui ceremony followed by a traditional lion dance. Afterward, guests rode the elevator to the Sky Lobby on the 23rd floor of the 47-story building. There, a champagne reception took place with passed hors d’oeuvres. MGM Mirage Events director of events Lenny Talarico oversaw the production.
Later that evening was a black-tie party for 500 influential guests. Nearly 400 bottles of Dom Pérignon champagne were uncorked for the festivities, which offered bite-sized spoons of treats and 4,000 handmade chocolate truffles. Whimsical entertainment greeted guests, including a costumed snow geisha on the ballroom balcony, and a spirited performance by violinist Vanessa-Mae to conclude the festivities.
Earlier in the week, the opening of Vdara Hotel & Spa on December 2 began with a media event and ribbon-cutting ceremony for company executives and local dignitaries participated. The hotel’s employees were the first to walk through its doors in a symbolic gesture of the jobs being created. The celebration extended into the evening as Vdara, in partnership with Vanity Fair, threw an invitation-only event hosted by photographer Sebastian Copeland to support the Sebastian Copeland Foundation. Orlando Bloom and Rosario Dawson also joined the fete.
As 650 invited guests mixed and mingled in the lobby lounge, concierge lounge, and on the patio, or took a tour of the accommodations and the 20,000-square-foot spa, servers walked around with silver trays offering hors d’oeuvres that included aged Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese lollipops with tomato jam, lightly spiced tuna tartare on crisp potato cakes, and crispy croquettes with free-range beef carpaccio. At Bar Vdara, specialty cocktails and wines were on offer, and inside Silk Road, Vdara’s only restaurant, more specialty cocktails and hors d’oeuvres rounded out the fare. A dessert reception took place in the Vinoly prefunction room.
On December 3, press and V.I.P. guests were invited to “breakfast at Tiffany’s” to mark the opening of the first store at Crystals retail complex. Guests snacked on trays of fresh-baked croissants, jams, and coffees, while they admired Tiffany’s exclusive collections on display.
Later that evening at Crystals was the invitation-only opening of the two-story Beso, Eva Longoria Parker's restaurant. Along with celebrities in attendance were top company executives, including MGM Mirage chairmain and C.E.O. Jim Murren. Guests sampled cuisine from the menu Longoria created with Todd English, including specialties like guacamole and skirt steak with signature barbecue sauce.