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RING IN THE YEAR OF THE SNAKE WITH CELEBRATORY DANCES, AUTHENTIC CUISINE AND VIBRANT DISPLAYS AT LAS VEGAS’ PREMIER RESORTS

1/24/2013

LAS VEGAS (Jan. 24, 2013) – MGM Resorts International celebrates Chinese New Year 2013, the Year of the Snake, with a prestigious culinary event, exhilarating lion dances, spectacular displays at Bellagio and Crystals at CityCenter, and authentic cuisine at a variety of restaurants.

The sixth animal in the Asian zodiac is the cunning and intuitive snake; the most refined and collected of all the animals. Individuals born in the Year of the Snake tend to be intelligent, ambitious and graceful.

Diaoyutai State Guesthouse
Bellagio will welcome the prestigious Diaoyutai State Guesthouse to the United States for only the second time. Typically reserved for royalty, heads of state and other world leaders, Diaoyutai State Guesthouse of Beijing will host a series of exclusive dinners within Tuscany Kitchen Thursday, Feb. 14 - Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

The lavish dinner offers an eight-course menu featuring a collection of historic dishes modernized from ancient menus. It will be prepared and served by the Diaoyutai culinary team, dressed in traditional Chinese attire and led by Executive Chef Hao Baoli, who has hosted more than 1,000 world leaders in his decades at the Guesthouse.

With more than 30 years leading the Diaoyutai culinary team, Chef Baoli specializes in cuisine that is both healthy and delicious. His menu at Bellagio will feature a diverse selection of dishes showcasing rare ingredients and skillful techniques while also following strict nutritional requirements, ensuring all items are low in both sugar and sodium and high in protein.

Celebratory décor will complement the elegance of Bellagio with Chinese tradition to create an ideal setting in which to enjoy this special cuisine. Tableware will be shipped from Beijing to Bellagio specifically for the event, capturing the essence and spirit of the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in breathtaking form.

Tickets for this rare culinary event are $500 per person, all-inclusive, and are available online at Bellagio's Epicurean Epicenter webpage or by calling Bellagio Concierge at 866-406-7117.

Lion Dances
Dynamic and colorful lion dances will commemorate the Year of the Snake at Bellagio, ARIA, Crystals at CityCenter and MGM Grand:

• ARIA – Monday, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. at the main porte cochere
• Crystals – Monday, Feb. 11 at 1:30 p.m. at the entrance near Todd English P.U.B.
• MGM Grand –Monday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. at the front desk
• Bellagio – Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the main porte cochere

Yau Kung Moon will perform the traditional Chinese lion dances at Bellagio, ARIA, Crystals and MGM Grand. Yau Kung Moon, which translates to “Style of Flexible Power,” is considered one of the most-respected martial arts, dragon and lion dance organizations in the world. It is a traditional Southern Shaolin Kung Fu system with more than 1,000 years of history.

Within the lion dancing culture, Yau Kung Moon is considered one of the pioneers of Northern and Southern lion dancing (Nam Si Buk Mo) and has set an exceptionally high standard evidenced by its numerous competitions and performances. Yau Kung Moon is known for its trademark gold uniforms and innovative routines and has been recognized internationally for being the first U.S. team to compete in the 1990 Invitational World Lion Dance Festival in Malaysia. The group also has finished as the 10-time undefeated Chinese National Lion Dance Champions.

Crystals at CityCenter
Beginning Friday, Jan. 25, the Flower Carpet on the first floor of Crystals at CityCenter will be decorated with a 21-foot-tall hand-crafted snake. The snake will be nestled among a grove of
40-foot-tall bamboo along with exotic orchids, bromeliads and bonsai trees. More than 300 handmade red silk lanterns will adorn the ceilings throughout Crystals.

Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens ushers in the Year of the Snake with a complimentary display through March 3. The design of the Conservatory’s tranquil temple is guided by the ancient practice of Feng Shui – the art of using surroundings to attract harmony, balance and positive life energy. Each garden within the Chinese New Year display encompasses water, ensuring a positive flow of energy; and the three friends of winter – pine, bamboo and plum, symbolizing perseverance, integrity and modesty, respectively.

At the entrance of the Conservatory, an 18-foot-tall custom-made Chinese money tree symbolizes prosperity, good fortune and nobility. The bold centerpiece flourishes with 384 oversized gold-leafed coins on its branches as mounds of I-Ching coins, a traditional Chinese symbol for money, surround the base of the lucky tree.

Nearby, a nine-foot-tall friendly King Cobra snake covered in 5,000 blue and yellow luminescent scales is perched atop a mound of gold coins, protecting wealth and good fortune for the upcoming year.

Enhancing the vibrant Conservatory setting with the sounds of celebration, the Las Vegas-based Beijing Trio performs traditional folk and pop music with authentic Chinese instruments daily from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Shark Reef Aquarium
Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium will celebrate the Year of the Snake by decorating the habitat of its Burmese Python with traditional Chinese décor. Native to Southeast Asia, the Burmese Python is one of the largest snakes in the world, reaching up to 20-feet in length and weighing up to 200 pounds. Flexible jaws allow them to consume prey up to five times as wide as their head. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, regular ticket prices at Shark Reef Aquarium are $18 for adults and $12 for children ages five through 12; children four and under are free. For more information, visit mandalaybay.com, sharkreef.com or call (702) 632-4555.

Culinary Specialties
In celebration of the Year of the Snake, select MGM Resorts International restaurants will feature specialty menus and authentic cuisine from the Far East.

ARIA – Blossom will be open Sunday, Feb. 9 – Monday, Feb. 18 for a Dim Sum lunch, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; and will offer a traditional Chinese menu for dinner, 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. For dining reservations, contact (702) 590-7111 or reserve online at arialasvegas.com.

Bellagio – Saturday, Feb. 9 – Sunday, Feb. 17, Jasmine will offer a Dim Sum lunch 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and a traditional Chinese menu 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. For dining reservations, contact (702) 693-7223 or reserve online at bellagio.com. The Buffet at Bellagio will feature gourmet Chinese dinner specials Friday, Feb. 8 - Sunday, Feb. 10 and a gourmet brunch Saturday, Feb. 9 - Sunday, Feb. 10.

MGM Grand – Pearl will offer a traditional Chinese menu in addition to a Dim Sum lunch Saturday, Feb. 9 – Sunday, Feb. 17 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Grand Wok will feature a special menu with a variety of select delicacies Saturday, Feb. 9 and Sunday, Feb. 10 as well as Friday, Feb. 15 – Sunday, Feb. 17 while Shibuya also will offer special dishes Sunday, Feb. 10 – Sunday, Feb. 17. For dining reservations and hours of operation, contact (702) 891-1111 or reserve online at mgmgrand.com.

Mandalay Bay – On Sunday, Feb. 10, Fleur by Hubert Keller will feature a four-course prix fixe dinner menu 5 p.m. –10:30 p.m. For dining reservations, contact 632-7200 or reserve online at mandalaybay.com.

The Mirage – Fin will offer special Chinese dishes Sunday, Feb. 10 – Monday, Feb. 18 from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. Select lounges at the resort also will offer special Chinese New Year libations Sunday Feb. 10 – Monday, Feb. 18. For dining reservations, contact (702) 791-7111 or reserve online at themirage.com.

Monte Carlo – On Sunday, Feb. 10, Dragon Noodle Co. & Sushi Bar will feature a $29 special three-course prix fixe menu for lunch and dinner 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. For dining reservations, contact (702) 730-7965 or reserve online at montecarlo.com.

Luxor – Rice & Co. will offer a $65, three-course pre-fixe dinner menu to celebrate Chinese New Year Sunday, Feb. 10 – Sunday, Feb. 24. Open nightly from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m., dining reservations can be made online at luxor.com or by calling (702) 262-4000.

# # #

Media Contact:
Shant Apelian
MGM Resorts International Public Relations
(702) 891-1887
Sapelian01@mgmresorts.com
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