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Muhammad Ali Celebrates 70th Birthday in Las Vegas

 

Muhammad Ali Celebrates 70th Birthday in Las VegasOn February 18, Muhammad Ali is celebrating his 70th birthday at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The room will be filled with A-list actors, GRAMMY Award-winning musicians, all-star athletes and more. Ali's remarkable career has filled with victories and defeats but he will always be known as one of the greatest boxers of all time. 

Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay, Jr., was inspired to fight at the age of 12 years old, after his bike was stolen. He told police officer Joe Martin that he wanted to beat up the thief. Martin, who also trained young boxers at a local gym, encouraged him to learn how to fight and started working with Clay. At the age of 14, Clay won the Golden Gloves Championship for light heavyweight novices and three years later won the Golden Gloves Tournament and the Amateur Athletic Union's light heavyweight national title. In 1960, the 18-year-old earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team and returned home with the gold medal. This was just the beginning of Clay's historic career. "The Champ" went on to win his first 19 bouts and knocked out Sonny Liston in 1964 to become the heavyweight champion of the world at age 22.

In 1964, Clay decided to change his name to Muhammad Ali as part of a spiritual search. That same year, Ali refused to acknowledge his military service after being drafted, so the boxing association took away his title and suspended him from the sport for three and a half years.

Ali returned to the ring in 1970, winning his first bout against Jerry Quarry. The following year, Ali fought Joe Frazier in what was called the "Fight of the Century." The fight went all 15 rounds and by unanimous decision Frazier retained the title. After a 1973 loss to Ken Norton, Ali claimed victory in a high profile rematch by split decision, which set the stage for Ali-Frazier II, in which Ali won a unanimous 12-round decision.

The historic "Rumble in the Jungle" bout of 1974 put World Heavyweight Champion George Foreman and former world champion and challenger Ali face-to-face. Ali won by knocking out Foreman in the eighth round, regaining his title.

In the early part of 1975, Ali faced boxer Chuck Wepner in a bout that inspired the original motion picture Rocky. Over the next couple of months, Ali fought formidable opponents, but none as exciting and electrifying as Joe Frazier.  On October 1, 1975, Ali fought Joe Frazier for the third time in the historic fight known as "The Thrilla in Manila" in the Philippines. The highly anticipated fight lasted 14 grueling rounds. At the start of the 15th round, Frazier's trainer threw in the towel and refused to allow him to continue due to his unstable condition.

Regarded as the greatest upset of all time, boxer Leon Spinks defeated Muhammad Ali in Las Vegas in 1978 for the heavyweight championship - becoming the only person to take the belt from Ali in the ring.  Ali's other losses were non-title contests.  In a rematch with Spinks just 7 months later, Ali won a unanimous decision becoming the first ever three-time heavyweight champion.  Ali fought eight more times before his final defeat against Trevor Berbick in 1981.

Ali's power, speed and grace led him to achieve great success in all facets of his life. In 1984, he announced that he had Parkinson's disease. Despite the disability, Ali devoted much of his time to world travel and humanitarian work. In 2005, the Muhammad Ali Center opened in downtown Louisville. The center focuses on core themes of peace, social responsibility, respect and personal growth. This is just one of his many charitable initiatives.

The "Only Vegas" event on February 18 celebrating Ali's 70th birthday will benefit the Muhammad Ali Center as well as the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, which is close to Ali's heart. Tune in to ABC at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST on February 25 to catch all the action inside the celebrity filled event. In the meantime, send Muhammad Ali a personal birthday message by using #Ali70 @Vegas. All wishes are streaming on LasVegas.com.

 

Vegas Weekend: Setting the scene -- A weekend filled with knockdowns and touchdowns

 

     This weekend is traditionally one of the busiest of the year, thanks to a certain pro football championship game that people love to watch in Vegas. This year, however, there's also a live UFC event, so there's a full slate of "kickoff parties" to choose from all weekend long!

     It starts on Friday, Feb. 3, with pre-fight parties. Forest Griffin hosts at Lavo inside the Palazzo and RYU premium performance apparel is hosting a bash at Wynn Las Vegas' Tryst. OTM Fight Shops is holding its pre-fight event at Luxor's LAX.

     There are plenty of football-related pre-game events, too, including the Super Party at Rain inside the Palms, the Big Game Weekend Kick-Off with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models at 1OAK at The Mirage, the Big Game's Biggest Party at Planet Hollywood's Gallery Nightclub and the Big Game Weekend Celebration at Chateau inside Paris Las Vegas.

 The 4th Annual Cheer Bowl takes place this weekend at The Bank inside Bellagio.    Other huge Friday night events include Apl.De.Ap performing at TAO inside The Venetian, Alesso spinning at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas' XS Nightclub and Gabriel & Dresden at Marquee at the Cosmopolitan.

     On Saturday night, the UFC 143 After Party with Georges St. Pierre is at Tryst and RPM Nightclub hosts its Fight After Party with DJ Benji and Joel Madden. LL Cool J and Z-Trip host the closing party for Studio 54 at the MGM Grand.

     The 4th Annual Cheer Bowl takes place at The Bank at Bellagio, while Kelly Rowland performs at PURE inside Caesars Palace and Vanilla Ice takes the stage at LAX.

     Tiesto spins at XS Nightclub, Zen Freeman and Mark Stylz provide the beats at the Palms' Ghostbar, Richard Durand spins at Rain and Kaskade is on the 1s and 2s at Marquee.

     Close out the weekend on Sunday with the continuation of the Cheer Bowl at The Bank and Ghostbar Sundays with PJ Produkt.

     Knockdowns, touchdowns and nightlife you won't find anywhere else - only in Vegas!

Start your engines

     This kind of raw energy only comes to town once a year, so shift into high gear and get revved up for the fast-paced excitement of 2012 NASCAR Weekend at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway from March 9 - 11.

NASCAR Weekend is March 9-11 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.      Life in the fast lane, Vegas-style, includes the Stratosphere Pole Day, the Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

     Special weekend packages are available where you'll enjoy the finest view of the competition as it unfolds on the 20-degree banking. The Dale Earnhardt Terrace and Richard Petty Terrace feature wide, flip-down seats with cup holders and a private concourse with restrooms, concessions and elevator access.

     The main grandstand offers seating along the front stretch with terrific views of all the pit road and racing action. Seats in sections 1, 2 and 3 are benches with back support, and they provide easy access to concessions and restrooms.

     No trip to the speedway would be complete without checking out the Neon Garage. You'll have unprecedented access to NASCAR's stars and teams, enjoy specialty concessions and be part of the winner's circle celebration.  Neon Garage access also allows you in the pit area on Friday, Saturday and during prerace on Sunday.

      In Vegas, you can do more than just watch the action - you can be a part of it. At the speedway complex, you can drive or ride along in a 600-horsepower NASCAR-style stock car at the Richard Petty Driving Experience. You and your heart will be racing like never before.

     Make Las Vegas the ultimate pit stop when NASCAR comes to town March 9 - 11!

 

There’s Vegas excitement at every turn with NASCAR, hoops

 

    Nascar Weekend 2012 The best stock-car drivers on the planet converge on Las Vegas March 9 - 11 for NASCAR Weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway!

     NASCAR Weekend 2012 features the Stratosphere Pole Day, the Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Enjoy the finest view of the competition as it unfolds on the 20-degree banks with a special weekend ticket package. The basic package features a seating area located along and high above the front stretch, and offers a terrific view of the racing and pit action. The Dale Earnhardt Terrace and Richard Petty Terrace provide a private concourse with restrooms, concessions and elevator access. Upgrade to a clubhouse package and enjoy all-you-can-eat food and drink coupons for beer or wine while you watch the race with an unobstructed view!

     Then, it's time to get out your brackets and get ready for the excitement of college basketball's annual championship tournament. The tournament always has plenty of surprises, but here's one pick you can feel good about - watch all of the games in the comfort and luxury of a Las Vegas sports book.

     It's an adrenaline rush for every sports fan, so make your plans to catch the high-intensity excitement of NASCAR and college hoops.

Don’t break your New Year’s resolutions – just delay them a bit

 Everyone makes New Year's resolutions, and most of the time, they don't last. This year, try a different approach: Enjoy a little Las Vegas indulgence first, and then you'll be ready to stick to your New Year's pledges.

The Sugar Factory at Paris Las Vegas has something for every sweet tooth. For example, if you have a sweet tooth and are committed to cutting back on treats, hey, that's commendable. But before you do, enjoy one last round of delicious desserts at the Sugar Factory inside Paris Las Vegas or Ghirardelli's at Carnaval Court, the outdoor promenade at Harrah's Las Vegas.

Suppose you vow to save money by eating out less this year. Again, that's admirable - but that's no reason to give up your culinary cravings completely, so take a January trip to Vegas and enjoy a few more award-winning restaurants, then start your resolutions in February. We won't tell.

Perhaps you're a sports fan whose significant other claims you are spending too much time in front of the TV so you've promised to cut back on your sports viewing? Well, get one last screen-fest in with football playoffs, college and pro basketball, and hockey all going on simultaneously on huge screens throughout luxurious Vegas sports books.

Your resolutions can wait. After all, you can't break one if you haven't started it yet. So enjoy a little Vegas and then your New Year's commitments will be easier to keep!

Football, basketball and the world’s top Sevens Rugby players. Game on!

Fitzgeralds Casino and Hotel is now known as the D Las Vegas.

   The pro football championship game - you know the one, with the Roman numeral at the end - is approaching and other than 50-yard line seats, the best place to watch the game is Las Vegas, where you'll always have a great seat for exciting sports action!

Catch every big play throughout the postseason at Las Vegas' luxurious sports lounges. You can also kick your sports viewing experience up a notch at Lagasse's Stadium at The Palazzo. Combine the signature cuisine of Emeril Lagasse with more than 100 HD TVs, luxury boxes, stadium-style seating, billiard tables and an outdoor patio just a few steps from the Strip. Bam! The remodeled sports book at Bally's Las Vegas offers great viewing and plenty of food choices to make the experience as memorable as the game itself.

If you enjoy hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports, the Las Vegas International Sportsmen's Expo, from Feb. 2 - 4, is an event you won't want to miss. Vendors will showcase the hottest products on the market for outdoor enthusiasts at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The USA Sevens International Rugby tournament will again be contested at Sam Boyd Stadium. Watch the world's top Sevens Rugby players get down and dirty Feb. 10 - 12 at the 2012 USA Sevens International Rugby tournament at Sam Boyd Stadium. From the opening ceremonies at the Fremont Street Experience to the International Fan Fest to the fast-paced action, it's the biggest Sevens Rugby action in the U.S. Afterward, head downtown for a night out on East Fremont Street and book a stay at a vintage hotel including The Plaza, Golden Gate, Golden Nugget or, if you're lucky, the popular D Hotel.

The clown princes of basketball are bringing their unique brand of skills and humor to Vegas on Feb. 15 - catch the one and only Harlem Globetrotters at The Orleans. More hoops excitement follows in the coming weeks with the men's and women's college basketball championship tournaments, so make your plans now to be a part of the sports madness in Vegas!

Help launch Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2012 in Vegas

 It's the most anticipated publishing event of the year, so what better place to celebrate the release of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2012 than Las Vegas!

Make your way to Las Vegas Feb. 14 - 16 for your chance to mingle with the most beautiful women in the world, as the supermodels who grace the pages of this year's SI Swimsuit edition descend on Vegas as part of the magazine's launch week.

There will be autograph sessions, meet and greet opportunities, and other special events all over the city, so make your plans now to be a part of it and keep your eye on LasVegas.com and our official blog for more details.

Be a part of the SI Swimsuit 2012 launch in Vegas!

Running for a good Claus

     Santa Claus is coming to town -- but he's ditching the sleigh in favor of his running shoes! Join an estimated 10,000 people in red suits and help break a Guinness World Record for the largest Santa gathering by participating in The Las Vegas Great Santa Run on Dec. 3!

     Proceeds from the event benefit Opportunity Village, a not-for-profit organization that serves people in the Las Vegas community with intellectual disabilities. So whether you enter the 5K race, the 1-mile Kris Kringle Jingle walk, or just dress up as St. Nick to join the festivities, you'll be helping a worthy "Claus."

     There will also be entertainment, vendors and even parachuting Santas, so come be a part of the excitement on the Las Vegas Strip! The race begins at 10 a.m. at the front entrance to Town Square Las Vegas.

More info about the race, courtesy of our YouTube channel:

 

 

 

Gobble up a great Thanksgiving weekend of fun in Vegas

     With amazing holiday menus all over town, great places to watch football on the holiday and glorious shopping options to kick off the season, Las Vegas is the perfect place to spend your Thanksgiving weekend!

     It all starts with an amazing meal. The signature restaurants at Wynn Las Vegas are all offering traditional Thanksgiving feasts but with innovative touches. Check out the four-course prix fixe holiday menu at Bartolotta or for late feasters, the special late night menu at Stratta from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

     Canal Street at The Orleans is offering a special four-course dinner beginning at 1 p.m. featuring traditional and surf and turf options and First Food & Bar at The Palazzo is offering its Thanksgiving Extravaganza beginning at 11 a.m.

 All three Hash House A Go Go locations in Vegas are offering Thanksgiving specials.    All three Hash House a Go Go locations -- inside Imperial Palace on the Strip, the Plaza Hotel downtown and the M Resort south of the Strip -- are featuring holiday specials, also beginning at 11 a.m. No matter where you are in Vegas this Thanksgiving, you're sure to find a terrific meal!

     There's also plenty of exciting pro football action on Thanksgiving and you can catch every big play at the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, where the theater is converted to Football Central, or the split-level MGM Grand sportsbook complete with its own VIP booths.

     Then, it's on to Black Friday, and some holiday bargains. With so many shopping options in Las Vegas, you're sure to find something for everyone on your list this holiday season.

     Start at Town Square Las Vegas with its 150 shops and specialty stores, or head downtown to Las Vegas Premium Outlets North. Great deals are in store everywhere you look!

     Stuff yourself with great food, sports and shopping this Thanksgiving weekend in Vegas!

 

Treat yourself this holiday season to great shows, shopping and more!

     'Tis the season for a Vegas getaway! The holidays are a great time to check out special events that you'll only find in Vegas!

     Start with a little holiday shopping. With everything from extravagant malls to specialty shops, you're sure to find something for everyone on your list. Bring along our shopping passport for even bigger savings!

     Enjoy a little seasonal spirit at any of Las Vegas' holiday displays, including the Ethel M Chocolates and Cactus Garden, the Conservatory at the Bellagio and the Waterfall, Atrium & Gardens at The Palazzo, which feature hand-designed snowflakes suspended midair in the three-floor-high atrium.

     Ice branches and glittering birch and pine trees will transform the resort into a winter wonderland as part of The Venetian and The Palazzo's 49-day Winter n Venice Holiday Celebration. And this year, you can ice skate on the Las Vegas Strip, as a synthetic rink will be open day and night for the coolest experience in town!

     If you're a sports fan, you can catch two of college football's top team at the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas on Dec. 22 or some spirited college hoops action at the iBN Sports Classic on Dec. 22-23 at the Orleans.

     This holiday season, Vegas is the place to be jolly!

 

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