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Aloha Las Vegas

Aloha Las Vegas

Hawaiian Marketplace, an island-styled shopping plaza offering retail, entertainment and dining, opens today in the heart of the famed Las Vegas Strip. Located just south of Harmon and within walking distance of the Bellagio and MGM Grand hotels, the $175 million, 80,000 square-foot marketplace is the first immersive, themed, stand-alone

retail center in Las Vegas. Hawaiian Marketplace was developed by Las Vegas-based Metroflag, which was formed by Flag Luxury Properties of New York and Torino Companies of Las Vegas.

Inspired by the famed International Marketplace in Honolulu, Hawaiian Marketplace brings to Las Vegas the sights and sounds of Polynesia, with island-themed architecture, bright colors and lush plantings, as well as

interactive entertainment.

"There is tremendous demand for pedestrian-friendly and accessible retail and dining environments by the more than 35 million visitors each year to the

Strip," explained Brett Torino of Torino Companies and Managing Partner and Co-Chairman of Metroflag.

"With its highly-thematic design and attention to detail, Hawaiian Marketplace is every bit as exciting and eye-catching as its casino neighbors, yet it's meant as an inclusive venue," said Paul Kanavos of Flag Luxury

Properties and Managing Partner and Co-Chairman of Metroflag. "It's been created to offer visitors value as well as a great time."


With a meandering sidewalk resembling a Hawaiian boardwalk, Hawaiian Marketplace lures visitors with a state-of-the-art climate controlled atrium. An eclectic market scene is created by stand-alone cart vendors which complement the shopping center's 'inline' retailers. A central focal point is a recreation of century-old Banyan trees native to Waikiki Beach that stretch toward an overhead canopy. Floors in the center's central court have a wave-

like, shimmering pattern made of crushed blue glass and mother-of-pearl.

Other native island elements abound. An official statue of King Kamehameha, only the second one outside of Hawaii officially sanctioned by The Royal Order of King Kamehameha, adds an iconic presence. The center includes

tropical plants unusual for Las Vegas, including rare palms, bromeliads, hibiscus, as well as various types of bamboo.


With native sounds, sights and amusements, Hawaiian Marketplace spares no detail in recreating the authentic feeling of a Polynesian island. Team Aloha, a Las Vegas based troupe of island-born and raised performers,

entertain visitors with dancing, storytelling and craft-making. The Marketplace offers Tahitian dance as well as both forms of hula, ancient and modern, which visitors are encouraged to try themselves. Setting the scene ablaze are Samoan Fire-knife dancers, dressed as 'warriors,' who

rapidly juggle and twirl flaming knives. Adding spectacle is a suspended group of oversized 'animatronic' birds, created by Academy Award-winning Techno Media Solutions of Orlando, whose clients include Universal Orlando.

Following a show of thunder and lightning, the birds become animated, singing, dancing and telling Hawaiian folklore tales.The Marketplace offers both upscale and family dining options, including offshoots of Las Vegas favorites such as Hamada of Japan and Tabla, a family-owned Indian restaurant. Gift, clothing and specialty retailers offer

an eclectic variety of souvenirs, crafts and wearable items. Even the requisite Las Vegas wedding chapel can be found at the Marketplace.


Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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