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Hard to say a Rock’n’ goodbye

With one final toast from President/CEO Richard “Boz” Bosworth, the Hard Rock hotel-casino took its final bow on Feb. 1 as it transitions into its new identity as the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

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EVERY BEAT OF THEIR ART: Magical history tour showcases The Venetian’s art, architecture

It’s easy, while enjoying The Venetian’s new art tour, to pretend you’ve been magically transported from a resort on the Las Vegas Strip to a famously canalled Italian city on the Adriatic Sea.

One minute, you’re standing on the (replicated) balcony of the Doge’s Palace, appreciating its distinctive Gothic architecture. The next, you’re gazing up at the (replicated) Campanile tower — where, in Venice, Galileo demonstrated his new telescope in 1609 — its majestic spire stretching into the clear winter sky.

Then there’s Marco.

Marco Ferrini, that is — your guide for this afternoon’s 90-minute tour. Originally from Italy, Marco has worked as a gondolier on The Venetian’s Grand Canal for 19 years. He comes armed with boundless enthusiasm, a boisterous laugh and a seemingly endless supply of fun facts.

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YOU STURDY RAT!: The Venetian welcomes Chinese New Year of the Rat with feng shui — and a massive golden rodent — in iconic waterfall atrium

Encountering a scurrying rat is hardly a sign of good fortune. But absorbing the awesome beauty of a majestic, dare we say, noble, 2,000-pound golden rodent sculpture in feng-shui-inspired surroundings in the Venetian’s waterfall atrium for the Year of the Rat — which begins Jan. 25 — is another matter entirely.

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