Prince Harry rents Harley for first visit to Vegas

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LAS VEGAS (AP) - Those lucky enough to have a brush with Prince Harry during his first visit to Las Vegas say he was as down-to-earth as any other 27-year-old who appreciates a Harley, a night out with friends, and a cheap beer.

The weekend rendezvous in Sin City came as the prince is spending several weeks training on Apache helicopters at Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field in southern Arizona.

The trip started in Scottsdale, Ariz., where Harry rented a motorcycle to drive to Las Vegas, about six hours away.

Dan Dvorak of Hacienda Harley-Davidson said the royal showed up in jeans and a baseball cap when he stopped by the Scottsdale dealership Friday to rent a bike.

“He’s just a regular 27-year-old guy,” said Dvorak, the dealership’s rental manager, in an interview with The Associated Press. “Mild-mannered. Excited to be on a Harley.”

Dvorak said the prince has a motorcycle license in the U.K., but completed a test drive on a 1600cc bike before officials set him and his entourage loose on American highways.

“He definitely knew what he was doing,” Dvorak said.

People magazine reported that Harry _ third in line for the British crown behind his father and older brother, William _ rented a room at the Wynn Las Vegas, a five-star, 50-story resort on the Las Vegas Strip. Wynn spokeswoman Deanna Pettit says the resort does not comment on guest visits.

The prince’s itinerary took a splashy turn the following day. A Cirque du Soleil spokeswoman said Harry’s party reserved prime, $178 seats for Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. performance of the water-themed “O.”

Show officials said they held the prince and four of his military friends in a VIP room for about 20 minutes before discreetly ushering them to their seats as the curtain rose.

Harry and his party were seen clapping enthusiastically and laughing during the show _ and also sipping a Corona apiece.

He told show staff afterward that he’d heard “O” _ set at the Bellagio _ was the best of the seven Cirque shows in town.

Officials said the prince was impressed with the water effects and contortionists in “O,” which features acrobats, synchronized swimmers and characters performing in, on and above a 1.5-million-gallon pool.

The prince was reportedly returning to Arizona Monday. He is among 20 students in the British Army participating in a two-month military helicopter training course in the U.S.

The training started at the Naval Air Facility at El Centro, Calif., where students flew Apache helicopters in the desert near the Mexican border. In Arizona, they are firing missiles, rockets and cannons from the helicopters.

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