Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 | 12:31 p.m.
After 16 years of entertaining guests, The Rio’s free "Show in the Sky" will come to an end next month. The long-running interactive attraction, which enjoyed robust crowds this week for Mardi Gras, will give its final performance on Saturday, March 30, at 11 p.m.
Caesars Entertainment confirmed the news but is unable to comment further on why the attraction is closing and what will become of it. There is nothing scheduled to take its place. Continue to check back for updates and more information.
The attraction's whimsical neon showboats and gondolas have remained relatively unchanged since the carnival ride opened in 1997 at an estimated initial cost of more than $25 million.
Though “Show in the Sky” has been scaled back over the years, it has continued to entertain crowds with its mechanical floats that take dancers and two dozen participants on an aerial tour across The Rio’s casino floor and Masquerade Village.
In keeping with the hotel-casino’s theme, the ride captures the spirit of the famed Carnival of Brazil, which was celebrated in its home country this week. Flamboyantly dressed dancers perform choreography and toss out beaded necklaces to onlookers as high-energy dance music plays every hour from 6 to 11 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.
The Rio has confirmed that those with tickets to ride the attraction after its closing date can bring them to the original point of purchase for an exchange or refund.
Remaining times and dates for "Show in the Sky" can be found on The Rio's website.
Carnival lasts all year at the Rio. With a float occasionally passing overhead and dropping beads while feathered dancers fire up the gamblers below, the Rio tries to keep its 120,000-square foot casino jumping with excitement. Special Brazilian mixed-drinks are also served throughout the casino. The hotel suites tend to be larger than similar priced rooms on the Strip and many offer excellent views with floor to ceiling windows.
The Rio offers some quality shows like "Penn & Teller" and "Chippendales." Many come to the Rio for the nightlife at the VooDoo Lounge, located on the 51st floor, or McFadden's Irish Pub on the casino level.
Others come for a bit relaxation at the Rio Spa or pool area and still others come to shop at the hotel's 60,000 square feet of shops. In each of these endeavors, the Rio attempts to make the experience a bit more fun and spontaneous.
The Rio also offers guests a variety of dining choices from all-American food at the All-American Bar & Grille to Gaylord India Restaurant for something a little spicier and even Carnival World Buffet for the indecisive.