Las Vegas – The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas are home to Winter in Venice™, the second-annual celebration of the winter holiday season on the Las Vegas Strip, dubbed “A Gift of The Venetian.” With 50 days of seasonal experiences throughout both resorts, Winter in Venice is the ultimate destination for a holiday getaway, running Nov. 18, 2012 through Jan. 6, 2013.
In its first year, Winter in Venice captured the attention – and the hearts – of visitors around the world, including Travel + Leisure magazine. In fact, the prestigious publication touted the Winter In Venice skating rink in its feature on the “world’s coolest skating rinks.” The article, which shared a short list of the magazine’s favorite venues, said: “Some of the coolest [rinks] can be found where you’d least expect them—say, in the desert. The Venetian [in Las Vegas] debuted a rink in 2011, complete with a holiday-theme light show. It now touts a package deal that combines a skating session with an outdoor gondola ride—only in Vegas, indeed”.
Additional fans of Winter in Venice last year included Jordin Sparks, Holly Madison, Karina Smirnoff, and Melissa Rycroft. Please see the attached images!
“The holidays are such a magical time for everyone and Winter in Venice offers the perfect place to truly enjoy this special time of year,” said John Caparella, president and chief operating officer of The Venetian, The Palazzo and Sands Expo.
A New Storyline
“Winter in Venice finds its inspiration in the folklore and tales that generations of Italians have grown to know and love,” said Caparella. “Those stories have filled the imaginations of generations of Venetians with the experiences of festive holiday seasons coupled with the long-treasured spirit of giving and sharing. Within these tales are the characters that exemplify the good will, the fun and the excitement of the season.”
Throughout the 50-day celebration, guests will encounter these new characters — including the stunning Winter in Venice Queen — in entertaining ways, including the nightly parade, tree-lighting shows, and the new “Light of Venice” 3D light projection show.
Doge’s Palace and Outdoor Ice Skating Rink
The Venetian’s front exterior will be adorned in winter schemes reminiscent of the fabled city of Venice. Thousands of festooned lights will hang over the majestic ice skating rink as larger-than-life snowflakes, ranging from 48 to 72-inches in diameter, surround the façade of The Venetian. The impressive skating surface is made of environmentally-friendly material playfully called “ven-ICE,” which doesn’t require electricity or refrigeration. The surface is actually not made of ice at all, but a state-of-the-art recycled polymer, part of the resort’s industry-leading green initiatives. On the canal, romance is in the air, as skaters are invited to make figure-eights or glide hand-in-hand with loved ones. Nearby, an awe-inspiring 65-foot LED Christmas tree presides over Doge’s Palace, and guests are entertained by strolling entertainers.
With gondoliers whisking by and strolling winter characters all around, guests can enjoy the outdoor ice skating rink from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily. Throughout the season, special ice skating exhibition performances can also be seen on the rink, including Surya Bonaly, Olympic silver medalist on Nov. 18.
Nightly Holiday Parade, Light Show and Tree Lighting
Each evening at 6 and 8pm, a new parade will wind through The Venetian’s Doge’s Palace plaza, featuring characters from the Winter in Venice celebration. The whimsical and elaborate designs will help to set the stage for the evening’s entertainment, and will offer the perfect photo opportunity for a post to Facebook or Twitter.
Preceding the parade, seasonal storylines will be projected in another way – in glorious 3D – in the technical marvel “Light of Venice.” This spectacular 3D projection show that transforms the architecture of the iconic clock tower using state-of-the-art digital technology. The show will conclude with a live finale that will illuminate the iconic plaza, including the 65-foot Christmas tree.
In addition, guests will enjoy strolling musicians and special entertainment performances scheduled throughout the 50-day celebration.
Golden Spoon Chef Competition
What’s an Italian festival without food? As part of Winter in Venice, guests can witness the rise of a culinary legend, as one resort chef is crowned the winner of the first The Venetian Golden Spoon Master Chef Competition.
The competition, which unfolds on Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 14 and 21, is open to all Sous Chefs and Chefs de Cuisine at the 30+ restaurants located inside The Venetian and The Palazzo. These chefs will vie for the prestige of THE VENETIAN GOLDEN SPOON AWARD.
Chefs will be challenged to create recipes using ingredients provided in a “mystery basket,” to be prepared in mobile “food truck” kitchens, located at The Venetian’s Doge’s Palace. Each chef’s creation will then be available for sale.
Expect plenty of surprises, including guest appearances by The Venetian and The Palazzo’s celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and Sammy DeMarco.
Food & Beverage
A seasonal Winter in Venice cocktail menu, including holiday-inspired spiced cocktails such as Gondolier Blanco, Da Vinci Remedy, and Pom Prosecco will be available throughout the resort lounges, including The Bourbon Room, Zebra Lounge, Bellini Bar, Fusion Mixology Bar and Laguna Champagne Bar.
Holiday-themed prix fixe menus and specials will be offered by select world-class restaurants throughout the holiday including Aquaknox, B&B, Bouchon, Canaletto, Canyon Ranch Café, Delmonico, FIRST Food & Bar, Grand Lux Cafe, Pinot Brasserie, Postrio, Table 10, LAVO Italian Restaurant and Valentino.