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What Happens in Vegas…May Burn You

Posted in Trademarks

–Sharon Armstrong, Attorney

CityCenter Land, LLC, a subsidiary of MGM-Mirage, owns nine trademark registrations for VDARA, the name of one of the newest resorts in Las Vegas. Vdara is an all-suite building, has a spa, a restaurant, no casino gaming, and is non-smoking.

It even has a “death ray.”

Local and national news outlets and architecture blogs have been reporting that the concave curvature of one side of Vdara’s façade “acts like a parabolic reflector,” collecting and dispersing heat in various areas over the pool. The concentrated beams of light are so hot that they can melt plastic bags.

According to one article, the hotel employees refer to this confluence as the “Vdara Death Ray.” Now, when I hear “death ray,” I just can’t help but conjure up Trekkies (“death ray” is apparently a synonym for “raygun,” Captain Kirk’s weapon of choice), the iconic Death Star (if you have to ask what it is, maybe you should leave the house more often), and other sci-fi, military intelligence-type stuff.

A spokesman for the owner of Vdara, MGM Resorts International, used the terms “hot spot” or “solar convergence” to describe the heat beam.

I realize that CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, which is held in Las Vegas every January and is attended by approximately 120,000 techies every year, is three months away, but if I were a betting lady I’d put my money on the likelihood that Vdara’s “solar convergence” is going to be something of an unexpected marketing opportunity, bringing architects, sci-fi types, and lovers of all things trivial to a lovely hotel that doesn’t have anything as brazen as many of its peer resorts to bring the people and the dollars in.