Record visitors hit Ky.’s Bourbon Trail in 2012

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A record-breaking 500,000-plus people visited distilleries along Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail in 2012.

Officials said the new attendance record was 509,292. It is the first time since the trail opened in 1999 that visitors broke the half-million mark.

Visitors came from all states and more than 50 countries.

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is a distillery tour that features Four Roses and Wild Turkey in Lawrenceburg, Heaven Hill in Bardstown, Jim Beam in Clermont, Maker’s Mark in Loretto, Town Branch in Lexington and Woodford Reserve in Versailles.

World’s 1st Nobu Hotel opens on Vegas Strip

LAS VEGAS — A Japanese celebrity chef with restaurants in Beverly Hills, N.Y. and London is now a hotelier with the world’s first Nobu Hotel Restaurant and Lounge.

The 181-room boutique hotel opened inside Caesar’s Palace on the Vegas Strip. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa launched the venture with U.S. business partner actor Robert De Niro. It’s the first venture into hotels for Nobu Hospitality, which operates Japanese restaurants in major cities around the world.

The Nobu team has five more branded hotels in the works. The hotel aims to delight foodies.

Weekend room rates start at $299. Visit www.nobucaesars palace.com.

Wire reports