Agua Caliente to hold grand opening gala April 18

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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - With just a few days to go before the grand opening of the new resort-hotel at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, final preparations are under way for a regal VIP celebration unlike any other this desert oasis has seen.

Thus far, the stunning $300 million resort-hotel has only been available for media tours. On April 18, guests at the VIP grand opening will have the first comprehensive look at the gorgeous new 340-room hotel, spa, pool and conference center built adjacent to the existing casino, which was named ''Best Casino'' in a recent reader's poll. The property is owned and operated by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.

The special, invite-only grand opening gala will feature a sensational combination of fine dining and exciting entertainment, plus a world-class fireworks show and a few surprises. This feast for the senses will allow guests to discover what it truly means to ''redefine spectacular'' in a way that will be absolutely unforgettable.

The party will include a colorful group of entertainers including traditional Cahuilla Bird Singers, Fire Dancers, Latin, Japanese and Calypso musicians, an internationally renowned interactive entertainment troupe, a fantastic water and laser show, plus a spectacular fireworks display all beneath a gorgeous desert sky. The celebration will also feature gourmet dining throughout the property, showcasing each of the resort's delicious restaurants.

The guest list includes more than 2,000 people, from state senators to local celebrities and government officials. Included in that list is beloved actor and resort spokesman John O'Hurley, who will serve as master of ceremonies for the evening. O'Hurley developed a loyal following as ''Seinfeld'' character ''J. Peterman'' and later as a celebrity contestant on the hit reality show ''Dancing with the Stars.''

The grand opening of Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa as a full-service resort, hotel, conference center and spa is a major milestone for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. It is the first hotel-resort built by the tribe and will open exactly two years and one day after construction crews broke ground on the multimillion-dollar project. The new hotel has created approximately 350 jobs and will also open a new headline entertainment venue later this year.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa opens to the public April 19. Reservations are now being taken, with rooms starting at just $89. Some restrictions apply. For more information, call (866) 923-7244.