Compiled by LVA Research
• April 30, 2016 17:07 California Card Club Reopening: It's been a busy week for southern California card clubs. Following yesterday's announcement that the Normandy is closing, there's news that the former Hawaiian Gardens Casino is completing a $90 million renovation and will reopen as the Gardens Casino later this year. The facility, located south of LA, will have new bars and restaurants, and more than 300 table games.
• April 30, 2016 15:00 Tame Opening for Intrigue: We weren't there, but according to a report from a source we trust, crowds were light for the opening night at Intrigue, the new nightclub at the Wynn. The Grand Opening, however, is tonight, so things should pick up. As if he knew it was coming, Wynn COO Sean Christie in an interview with Seven magazine said "It's six months [after a club opening] before it's defined."
• April 30, 2016 14:07 Beijing/Las Vegas Air Service Pending: Chinese aviation authorities have approved a request for non-stop flights between Beijing and Las Vegas. If approved by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Hainan Airlines could begin offering round-trip flights by September. South Korea is currently the only Asian country with flights directly to Las Vegas. Japan and Singapore both discontinued prior services more than a decade ago.
• April 30, 2016 10:35 Second Canter's Planned: With a Canter's Deli soon to open at The LINQ Promenade, a second Canter's is planned for Tivoli Village on the west side. The Tivoli restaurant will be larger than the one at the LINQ and is expected to open this fall. Interestingly, it will be located right across the street from another famous LA eatery, Du-par's, which recently opened at Suncoast.
• April 29, 2016 17:56 Big Restaurant News from Aria: Chef Masa Takayama is out at Aria, come July 31, when both barMasa and Tetsu Teppan Grill will close (at 11 p.m., on the dot). Going forward, Chef Masa is moving on to open TETSU in Tribeca; Aria will be announcing future plans for his former eateries in coming weeks.
• April 29, 2016 15:26 Tavern-Style Gaming Coming to Tivoli?: The word on the street is that this is the first of several future announcements we can expect from Blau-Canteenwalla husband/wife dining double act, with news that Tivoli Village's Made LV is to be transitioned into a PKWY Tavern, in partnership with Fine Entertainment Management, which presumably could/will see bartop gaming introduced to Tivoli Village. Expect bigger news regarding Honey Salt and other Blau/Canteenwalla Vegas ventures in the not-too-distant future...
• April 29, 2016 14:46 Cali's Oldest Card-Club Closes: The venerable Normandie Casino, the oldest card club in the state of California located in Gardena, once dubbed the "Poker Capital of the World," is to close within the next four months, the time-limit granted by the state Gambling Control Commission to find a buyer for the property, now mired in scandal following a money-laundering scandal. Earlier this year for members of the Miller family, which has owned the venue since 1947, pleaded guilty to federal charges, thus disqualifying themselves from holding a gaming license. Larry Flynt is said to be the most-likely buyer and apparently has plans to convert the space into a Vegas-style hotel-casino.
• April 29, 2016 12:20 Beer Park Wants Locals: This upcoming Cinco de Mayo is set to be a big one, we're sensing, with event-listings coming thick and fast, and the new Beer Park at Paris is evidently capitalizing on the festivities to launch a new lure to locals, notoriously allergic to visiting the Strip tourist corridor. The new ongoing "Thirsty Thursdays" promotion kicks off May 5 with a lineup of extra-special specials including two-for-one Hornitos tequila specials and two-for-one Montejo beers all-day long, but going forward the recurring weekly locals happy hour event will run from 9 p.m. to midnight and feature two-for-one appetizers and two-for-one draft specials, exclusively for patrons with valid local ID.
• April 28, 2016 18:06 Las Vegas This Weekend: We sincerely hope that the weather perks up for all these outdoor foodie fests:
- Festival-wise, you have a plethora of choices, from Picnic by Design's Parasols in the Park at Symphony Park (4/30); to the annual Indian Food & Cultural Festival at Clark County Amphitheater (4/30); Bon Appetit continues the 10th annual Vegas Uncork'd at various locations all over town (4/28-5/1); the Mirage hosts Wine Spectator's Grand Tour Las Vegas (4/30); Sunset Station features the Great American Foodie Fest (4/28-5/1); Fresh52 Farmer's Market's Spring Harvest Festival takes place at Tivoli Village (4/30); and Big Dog's Draft House welcomes Peace, Love & Hoppy-ness (4/30)
- In more outdoor-fest news, the Bellagio Fountains host the Japan Kabuki Festival (4/29)
- Smith Center welcomes Erich Bergen Live! (4/29-30) and the Beach Boys (4/30)
- Atlanta Rhythm Section is center stage at the Golden Nugget (4/29)
- Catch Billy Joel for one night only at T-Mobile Arena (4/30)
- The Chelsea at Cosmopolitan brings welcones The Band Perry (4/29)
- Mandalay Bay hosts La Ley at the House of Blues (4/29), while Rihanna's Anti-World Tour comes to the Events Center (4/29-30)
- RuPaul's Battle of the Season Tour returns to The Pearl at the Palms (4/2)
- Hard Rock welcomes Eric Church to The Joint (4/31-5/1)
- Belinda Carlisle plays the Orleans (4/30-5/1)
- Cannery presents King of The Cage (4/30)
- And comedy-wise, Jay Mohr's at South Point (4/29-30), while Rodney Carrington performs at The Star of the Desert Arena at Primm Valley (4/29)
• April 28, 2016 14:38 Monthly Stat Time -- Good News and the Other: The good news is, McCarran International Airport saw its highest passenger traffic since 2008 in March, with 4.1 million people passing through, mainly thanks to a 6.2 percent uptick in domestic passenger counts. On the other hand, Nevada gaming revenue was down 3 percent for the month compared with March last year, thanks to the continued decline in action at the baccarat tables, plus a drop in the slot take and gamblers getting lucky during March Madness, with a record amount wagered for the month, at $458 million, but a hold of only 2.1 percent for the race and sports books.
• April 28, 2016 11:12 Intrigue Opens Tonight at Wynn: The new nightclub that takes over the space formerly occupied by Tryst, opens tonight, with a separate private club area where the Tryst kitchen was located. Tomorrow sees the "Grand Opening" party, although no specific details have been released.
• April 28, 2016 09:56 Great American Foodie Fest: Of course, in our round-up of upcoming culinary events, we
accidentally omitted deliberately saved the biggest for separate entry all of its own, for this weekend - commencing today and running through Sunday, May 1, Sunset Station hosts The Great American Foodie Fest. What's grown to a monster event now features literally dozens of the nations best food trucks, eating competitions, live entertainment, carnival rides, and a beer garden. General admission's $8 in advance, $10 at the gate; visit the official website for more information.
• April 27, 2016 17:29 Purple Rain Screenings: If, like us, you're still trying to get your head around the passing of the Purple One, here's a cool list put together by the Las Vegas Review-Journal of which movie theaters around town are currently screening Purple Rain - a list that includes the Drive-In and two free screenings (with cocktails) downtown.
• April 27, 2016 12:01 Blockbuster IPO for Station Casinos: The casino operator formerly known as Station Casinos is now officially Red Rock Resorts Inc. and raised $531.4 million in its initial public offering, the biggest IPO in the U.S. to date this year. The 27.25 million Class A shares that are up for grabs began trading Wednesday and are listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol RRR.
• April 27, 2016 11:36 It's Foodie (& Brew) Fest Season!: It's that time of year when Las Vegas finds itself tripping over culinary celebrations and booze cruises and we're all for that (be sure to arm yourself with a copy of the brand new 2016 Eating Las Vegas restaurant and bar guide before you eat or drink anything in this town!); here are this weekend's offerings:
- The 10th annual Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appétit magazine kicks of Thursday, April 28, with events taking place all over town through May 1. Visit the official website for details and to check avaibility for the multiple dinners, wine tastings, demonstrations, seminars, and other events taking place.
- On Saturday, April 30, the Las Vegas Amphitheater once again plays host to the annual Indian Food and Cultural Festival from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., showcasing the best of the subcontinent's rich and diverse cuisine, plus dance, music, vendors, and more. GA is $3.50 and the whole family's invited (kids under 12 are free), so go get your curry on!
- Nothing goes with curry like an ice cold beer and Saturday also sees the annual Peace, Love, and Hoppiness celebration from Big Dog's Draft House/Brewing Company
(4543 North Rancho Drive). The event runs from 3 to 9 p.m., showcasing 40+ local craft brews, plus live music, BBQ to soak up the beer, plus raffles and other fun stuff. The whole shindig works on a "token" basis, so check out the pricing and how it works on the Eventbrite site. All ages are welcome to enjoy the entertainment and food, but must be 21+ to sample the beers.
• April 27, 2016 09:40 Celebrations Planned as Stratosphere Turns 20: On Saturday, April 30, the Stratosphere Tower will mark the 20th anniversary of its opening and the hotel-casino is celebrating. Right now, there's a contest on their Facebook page to win a two-night stay, with dinner and show tix for submitting your best memory of Stupak's legacy. In addition, on Sunday, May 1, there will be a formal celebration for Nevada residents, with free access to the Observation Deck level, unlimited thrill rides for $20, and a two-for-$20 deal at the buffet.
Speaking of Stupak, by coincidence the "Polish Maverick" just happens to be the subject of tomorrow's Question of the Day, revealing a lesser-known side of the official "Mr Las Vegas."
• April 26, 2016 19:09 Veteran R-J Columnist Calls it Quits: Earlier today we learned that John L Smith, long-time columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and a Huntington Press author who, among other titles, authored the acclaimed Bob Stupak bio, No Limit, today handed in his resignation at the newspaper, citing a loss of journalistic freedom following its purchase by billionaire Sheldon Adelson. We have yet to correspond with John in person, so for the time being we'll refer you to our business blog, Stiffs & Georges, where David McKee broke the news earlier today.
• April 26, 2016 18:34 May 29 Closing Confirmed for Improv Comedy: We have official confirmation that Sunday, May 29 will be the closing night for the Improv Comedy Club, a fixture at Harrah's Las Vegas for 21 years. As a result, current showroom-mates, Menopause The Musical and X Country, will receive updated (likely expanded) performance schedules, although the exact details have yet to be announced.
• April 26, 2016 13:00 New Sexy Male Revue Heading to Strip: Back in February, we reported that an all-male revuestarring London Steele (the real-life character portrayed by Matthew McConaughey in the movie Magic Mike), would be performing a run at downtown's Las Vegas Country Saloon. Evidently this "test" proved a success, because the show is now relocating to the Tommy Wind Theater on the Strip under truncated name STEELE. Set to debut April 30, the show will perform Wednesday through Sunday at 9:30 p.m. and General Admission's $49.95 plus tax and fees (a notable increase on the $10 admission while it was downtown); must be 18+ and anyone under 21 must be accompanied by an adult.
• April 26, 2016 12:44 KISS Monster Mini Golf Update: The flagship KISS by Monster Mini Golf attraction, which debuted in Vegas in 2012 but shuttered its location on Paradise Road a couple of months back, pending a move inside the Rio, has just announced that there will be a soft opening at noon on May 19, with details of the subsequent "Grand Opening Extravaganza" to be released soon. In its new 13,000-square-foot home, the experience will not only include an 18-hole glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course, but also an arcade-game zone, themed wedding chapel, memorabilia exhibits, a live DJ (day and night), plus trivia contests and prizes. It will be open daily from 10 a.m. to midnight and will cost $11.95 for 18 holes of mini golf.
• April 26, 2016 12:31 Dinner with a Ghost: Las Vegas is no stranger to unusual dining concepts -- remember "Dinner in the Sky" [which claims to be returning in 2016...] and the "Dark Dining" at Artisan? -- and now there's a chance to get spooky and have "Dinner with a Ghost." Hosted by the Gold Point Saloon, reputedly one of Nevada's most-haunted locations, the events will be hosted by paranormal expert John Cushman, who'll be armed with a whole bunch of state-of-the-art ghost-detecting equipment, and you can choose to take part in the investigation only, or combine it with a five-course meal. The event will take place over the three-day Memorial Day weekend and tickets are available now (click for more information).
• April 26, 2016 12:03 Raiders Getting Serious?: Various respected sports-news outlets, including the Bleacher Report, FOXSports, and Sports Illustrated, are reporting that Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis is to announce this Thursday that, if a 65,000-seat stadium domed stadium is built, they -- as in the Raiders -- will come. There are still many obstacles to overcome before the $1.3 billion project becomes a reality -- among them the raising of much of the finance, which its backers (chief among them being Las Vegas Sands) propose in large part to fund via tourist tax dollars, which would require the approval of the Nevada Legislature. In addition, while the word is that the NFL's formerly hostile stance is softening, there are still owners who oppose the move to Las Vegas; for it to happen, three-quarters approval from NFL owners is required.
• April 26, 2016 11:56 More Dining News at Popular Eateries Hit the Strip: Not only is Nacho Daddy opening in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood late this summer, but so is another popular local chain, Hot N Juicy Crawfish, which is set to debut in the mall this fall in a 3,000+-square-foot space. Also opening at MMS this summer is Drybar, a beauty salon that takes the Beauty Bar concept and runs with it, with a built-in DJ booth, cocktail bar, photo booth, and live events.
• April 26, 2016 11:18 Neighborhood-Casino Dining Update: First, the recently sold Aliante Casino + Hotel + Spa debuts a new outdoor dining option on May 2, when The Patio at MRKT opens. The new seasonal outdoor cafe, a spinoff from the property's MRKT Land & Sea surf-n-turf eatery, will be open Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. serving a menu of apps, salads, entrées, and wine and beer by the bottle and glass; it features a separate exterior entrance, separate from the casino, for ease of (and family-friendly) entry and exit.
Meanwhile, big things continue to be afoot at Green Valley Ranch, where Bottiglia, the much-anticipated new Italian restaurant from chef Brian Massie, whose Clique Hospitality group is quietly staging a culinary/nightlife takeover, in case you hadn't noticed), is set to open May 12, serving a menu of classic Italian comfort food. Prior to that, Cinco de Mayo will see the launch of Borracha, a "lively and spicy" Mexican joint with a Day of the Dead theme. The two new eateries follow on the heels of Salute and Libre, siter properties from the same "clique," so to speak, which recently opened at Red Rock Resort.
• April 26, 2016 10:15 How Does Tipping Effect Video Poker Strategy?: Find out in this week's column from video poker expert Bob Dancer, who sorts out the cheapskates from the "typical tipper" and comes to some interesting conclusions that could actually affect what cards you hold!
• April 25, 2016 12:58 Summer Sixteen Tour Heading to T-Mobile Arena: Drake, with guest Future, bring the Summer Sixteen Tour to the T-Mobile Arena this September 11. Tickets go on sale this Friday, April 26, and start at $49.50.
• April 25, 2016 12:26 New Nora's Loc'n is Almost Restaurant Shaped!: Progress is coming along nicely at the new incarnation of popular family-owned neighborhood Italian hangout Nora's Cuisine, which will be relocating to its custom-built new premises this summer. The restaurant and cocktail bar is moving less than a block away from its long-time home at 6020 W. Flamingo, but is escaping strip mall life for palatial-looking premises a stone's throw closer to the Strip. The original Nora's remains open for business as usual during the construction phase.
• April 25, 2016 12:08 More Dates for Elton at Colosseum: The Million Dollar Piano, billed as the most-elaborate show every staged by Sir Elton John, and featuring a slew of his many hits, returns to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace this fall, with additional performances just confirmed for select dates beginning Oct. 12, 2016 and running through Feb. 18, 2017. Tickets, which start at $55 (plus tax/fees), go on sale this Friday, April 29.
• April 25, 2016 10:29 TI Comic-Book Attraction Ditches Transformers, Opening Soon: It was last November that the latest plan for the large -- and mainly empty -- mall space at Treasure Island was revealed, with an announcement that the two-story space was being reconceived not as retail space, but as an interactive attraction based on the characters of the Marvel comic book series and Hasbro's Transformer brand, slated to open in March. Since then, all had been quiet on the TI front, but we just came across the official listing on the property website, which still promises that The Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. (Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network) is still set to open "this spring" although, interestingly, all mention of the Transformers dimension has disappeared.
Designed to be a "completely immersive and educational experience" that's suitable for all ages, in addition to the interactive component, the exhibit also will feature an extensive range of costumes, weapons, and other paraphernalia from the various movies the Marvel brand has spawned in recent years, including giving fans the chance to learn how to operate Iron Man's suit. When it does eventually open, Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with tickets priced at $34 for adults, $24 for children aged 4-11.
• April 25, 2016 09:26 Big Elvis Confirmation: Further to today's Question of the Day concerning Big Elvis and his current status, a long-time LVA member wrote in to inform us that a friend of theirs had seen Pete Vallee perform last Friday afternoon (April 22) in the Piano Bar at Harrah's and had posted photographic evidence to this effect on their Facebook page. We were happy to receive this confirmation, since although the paperwork the concierge at the property had to reference outlined his new performance schedule, there's no longer any mention of Big Elvis on the hotel's website. (We wonder if this is an oversight, or else due to Big E's frequent absences in recent months, often at short notice, and a desire not to upset fans with a wasted journey?)
• April 24, 2016 15:17 Pinball HoF Closing Reports Denied : Following reports referenced earlier in this space that the Pinball Hall of Fame is in danger of closing, an article in today's LV Review-Journal quotes its owner saying it's not so. In fact, he says there's discussion of building an even bigger venue next door to the E. Tropicana location.
• April 24, 2016 10:35 Arena Traffic: The biggest takeaway from our first show experience at the T-Mobile Arena last night was that traffic is an issue. The arena is a spectacular venue to catch a concert or a sporting event, but there were traffic situations everywhere following the George Strait show, not the least of which were giant taxi lines at Aria. Parking fees in the Monte Carlo garage were $10 if bought in advance and $20 the day of show.
• April 24, 2016 10:04 Visitor Study Numbers Up: Data from the LVCVA's recently released 2015 visitor profile study supports the trend of a recovering Las Vegas. Spending on non-gambling activities was up in all areas except shopping, with the biggest increase being in show expenditures (+30%). The percentage of visitors who gambled was up from 71% in 2014 to 73% and the average gambling budget was up 9% to $578.54. The Internet continues to increase its influence on visitor planning, with a highest-ever 73% now booking accommodations online.
• April 23, 2016 18:07 UFC Jones/Saint Preux: Jon Jones is a -600 favorite over Ovince Saint Preux in tonight's UFC main event. In the other featured match, Demetrious Johnson is -350 over Henry Cejudo.
• April 23, 2016 14:15 Big Bertha Hits: The giant "Big Bertha" machine at the Golden Nugget hit for $50,000. The oversized machine that's stood at the northeast entrance to the casino for years is one of the few of its kind still in operation.
• April 23, 2016 10:05 PokerStars Boosts NJ Numbers: As expected, the entry of PokerStars has had an immediate positive impact on online-poker revenue in New Jersey. Poker revenue in March was $2.5 million, up 23.4% over February and 10.5% over last year. PokerStars generated 24% of total poker revenue despite operating for only 11 days in the month. New Jersey's combined online poker and casino win was a record $15.5 million.
• April 22, 2016 12:14 The Goodwich Returns: It's taken a while to transition from the old Dino's location to the new premises, but popular local sandwich shop The Goodwich is now open for biz in its new home at 900 Las Vegas Blvd S., with a grand opening set for next Monday.
• April 22, 2016 12:05 Earth Day Extra: We forgot to add the "Farm Fresh Market" on the patio at Border Grill (Mandalay Bay locatin) from 6-8 p.m. this evening. The pop-up event will feature local farmers and their seasonal produce, with dishes cooked using the fresh ingredients and bottomless Bloody Mary bar and more. Tickets are $49.
• April 22, 2016 11:51 Downtown Development Plan Elaborated: We now have more insight into Derek Stevens' vision for his newly acquired parcel of Las Vegas real estate and it makes sense of his purchase of the old courthouse has his "operations HQ," as the Stevens brothers' empire is soon set to comprise a brand new hotel-casino in the Las Vegas Club/Granite Gaming spot, in addition to the Golden Gate, the D, and the Downtown Events Center. The new project is still very much in early planning stages, including in terms of what kind of "nod" will be given to the vintage properties that currently occupy the site on Fremont Street. (Could this be the first Las Vegas casino in decades to include an on-property Strip club?! Probably not.)
• April 22, 2016 10:26 Earth Day Activities in Las Vegas: There are a few events we've come across taking place in honor of Earth Day, April 22. Here they are:
- Hearthstone at Red Rock will dedicate its regular Live Music Fridays event to Earth Day this evening, with complimentary and Earth Day-inspired cocktails and appetizers from 5-7 p.m., plus live music of course, with proceeds being donated to local non-profit Green Our Planet to expand their Outdoor Garden Classroom program in CCSD schools.
- Downtown's Container Park hosts the CCSD Student Farmers Market from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, followed a family-centric Earth Day Festival from 3-9 p.m., with kids' gardening activities, speakers, demos, and a screening of The Lorax at 7:30 p.m. The event is open to all and free to attend.
- Both today and Saturday, Town Square hosts Sus*tain*a*ble, a two-day guide to living "green," with a local beer tasting, chef demos, hands-on activities, a kids' art contest, live entertainment and more. The free event kicks off today from 3-7 p.m. and continues Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Tomorrow, Saturday April 23, Las Vegas' annual GREENFest takes place at Downtown Summerlin. The family-friendly community gathering and celebration of Earth Day features live entertainment, kids activities, demonstrations, arts and crafts, multiple information booths and exhibits about sustainable living and conservation, pet adoptions, a beer garden, and more. (Note: Donations of gently used clothing for charity will also be accepted at the event.)
• April 21, 2016 16:05 Las Vegas This Weekend: Here are this weekend's highlights:
- Smith Center hosts Steve Solomon's, My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish & I'm Still In Therapy (4/21-24); Arturo Sandoval (4/22-23); Chick Corea & Bela Fleck (4/23); and Pasquale Esposito (4/24/)
- Catch 1975 with special guest The Japanese House in The Chelsea at Cosmopolitan (4/23)
- Golden Nugget welcomes Taylor Dane (4/22)
- George Straight is center stage at the new T-Mobile Arena (4/22-23)
- SLS features Boyce Avenue at the Foundry (4/23)
- Pentatonix play the Mandalay Bay Events Center (4/23)
- It's fight night at MGM Garden Arena, featuring UFC 197 Jones vs St Preux (4/23)
- Festival-wise, catch some Caribbean Fever at Treasure Island (4/22-23)
- Comedy Rocks sees the return of Rita Rudner to Red Rock (4/22-23) [try saying that after a couple of cocktails...]
- Diamondfest presents "American Trilogy" at the Suncoast (4/22-23)
- John Mueller's Winter Dance Party returns to South Point, celebrating the final concert of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper (4/22-24)
- Scotty McCreery plays the Henderson Pavilion (4/22)
- Skid Row performs at the Cannery (4/23)
- And the Orleans welcomes the 24/7 Comedyfest (4/23)
• April 21, 2016 15:40 Fremont Street to Celebrate Prince Tonight: After each regular-schedule Viva Vision show on the canopy tonight, the Fremont Street Experience will feature a tribute to Prince.
• April 21, 2016 14:06 Boyd to Buy Aliante: The casino-business breaking-news frenzy continues, with informed third parties indicating that Boyd Gaming's spending spree doesn't end with Cannery Resorts, but that the Las Vegas-based locals-casino group is also scooping up North Las Vegas' Aliante Casino + Hotel + Spa for total net cash consideration of $380 million. Boyd Gaming is slated to host a conference call to discuss the transaction today at 5 p.m. Eastern.
• April 21, 2016 11:47 Jokesters Out, Wayner In at Bally's: The comedy club that opened inside the Windows Showroom at Bally's back in January, has closed quietly, because taking its place in the Windows lineup is Wayne Newton's new Up Close and Personal, which opens tonight.
• April 21, 2016 10:47 Remembering Prince: LVA was deeply saddened to learn earlier today of the passing of singer and musical-talent extraordinaire Prince, dead at just 57. We were fortunate enough not only to see him perform during the odd period in which Prince took over management of the nightlife venue (and a restaurant, on account of his eccentric eating habits and Howard Hughes-esque hygiene obsession) at the Rio, but we also caught a few of the shows (which initially were free), featuring world-class caliber performers in their own right, staged to showcase the room and promote the concept. On those nights, Prince would mingle freely in the crowd (albeit surrounded by some serious henchmen) in the intimate theater and always got up and jammed with whoever the guest performer was. This was back in 2007; how time flies; what a tragic loss of a singular talent. RIP.
• April 21, 2016 09:50 Harrah's to Close Improv: In more BIG news, a veteran of the Strip entertainment scene, the Improv Comedy Club at Harrah's, is to close at the end of May, as reported by the Las Vegas Sun's Entertainment columnist John Katsilometes. The announcement has not yet been made official, but word got out via social media as comics who'd been slated to play the venue -- also home to some other shows -- were informed.
• April 21, 2016 09:37 Derek Stevens' Stages Downtown Takeover: The big news (and we mean BIG) that was teased last night by a Downtown social media outlet (@VitalVegas), casino owner Derek Stevens has expanded his growing real estate empire significantly with the purchase of Fremont Street slot parlors La Bayou and Mermaids, plus topless grind joint The Girls of Glitter Gulch, to complete the Granite Gaming buyout. All three venues will remain open until June 27, so catch a rare remaining slice of vintage downtown Vegas while you still can, and head on down to savor a deep-fried Twinkie at the coin-in slots and score some carnival beads before they become collectors' items. For more on the business dimension, check out the coverage at Stiffs & Georges.
• April 20, 2016 18:40 Erotic Heritage Museum Bags Trump Rump Pic: The nude portrait of Donald Trump by artist Ilma Gore has found a home here in Las Vegas at the Erotic Heritage Museum, having apparently been deemed too hot to handle by a number of other museums and galleries who were approached to give wall space to the controversial representation of the presidential candidate. Find more here at Salon.com.
• April 20, 2016 17:56 Sapphire Dayclub Debuts Friday: Pool season is definitely hotting up, and April 22 sees the return of Sapphire Dayclub, the only strip club owned-and-operated pool in town (tops are not required; pasties are). Check out ToplessVegasOnline.com for the skinny (and the curvy!)
• April 20, 2016 11:00 Shares of MGM Resorts' REIT Now Trading: Having announced Tuesday that that the initial public offering of MGM Resorts International's new real estate investment trust, MGM Growth Properties LLC, would be priced at $21/share, those shares are now trading publicly on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MGP. For the implications going forward, and more in-depth analysis of all the current goings-on on the global casino-business front, check out LVA's Stiffs & Georges blog, authored by David McKee.
• April 20, 2016 10:16 Get Ready for the Return of Rehab: While the official Grand Opening is this Sunday, April 24, the party gets going Friday, April 22 at Hard Rock's legendary (and newly upgraded) party pool, with a lineup of DJ talent already announced well into the summer and a party that, once it starts, won't stop until October 2. We're in the process of updating our Cool Pools feature as announcements continue to come in about who's hosting parties and concerts, which venues are "toptional" this season, where to find poolside and swim-up gaming, which pools are open to non-hotel guests, and more, so keep keep checking back for a complete guide to summer pool season in Vegas 2016.
• April 20, 2016 10:12 A New LVA Reader Poll for 4/20: With the timely announcement today that the Nevada Marijuana Council has concluded its work (which appears to have consisted of a massive fact-finding missing with a view to drafting some future legislation), we wonder how you feel about the prospect of recreational marijuana being legalized in Las Vegas? Vote in our equally timely new Reader Poll and email us your thoughts!
• April 20, 2016 09:31 Boyd Buying Cannery Casinos?: According to Reuters, Boyd Gaming Corp is close to an agreement to purchase Cannery Casino Resorts LLC, which has two Las Vegas properties, in a deal that would value Cannery at $225-$240 million. While no official confirmation has been forthcoming from any of the involved parties, apparently an announcement can be expected within the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
• April 19, 2016 19:03 The Park: The Poll -- Vote in It!: The current Reader Poll concerns The Park and your thoughts on MGM Resorts' new open-air attraction. So if you have thoughts, and haven't yet shared, you have until midnight (at which point a super-cool new poll goes live).
• April 19, 2016 17:38 Conor McGregor Calls it Quits: The Irish fighter, who goes by the handle @NotoriousMMA, has shocked the world of cage fighting by announcing that he will "retire young" -- at the tender age of 27. The UFC fighter lost his first fight back in March, to Nate Diaz, but had been slated for a re-match this July; evidently, that ain't gonna happen.
• April 19, 2016 11:34 Robin Leach Gets Historical: In the lead up to the celebrations planned for Caesars Palace's 50th Anniversary celebrations this summer (a mammoth affair that will begin in June, building to a grand finale on Aug. 5, the original opening date), gossip columnist Robin Leach takes a trip down memory lane and recalls some of the many entertainment highlights that have punctuated the timeline of what is probably the most famous casino in the world, and shares some personal memories from back in the day. It's a departure from his usual MO and an interesting read, so check it out in today's Las Vegas Sun.
• April 19, 2016 10:29 Quit When You're Ahead? Dancer Cries 'Hogwash!': Yup, the straight-talking video poker guru is in iconoclastic mode once more, so don't venture in if you're afraid to read observations like, "Anybody who uses the last half-hour's gambling results to predict their result in the next half-hour is grasping at straws." But if you are interested in reality and the truth and are serious about improving your gambling skills (and bankroll), then DO check out what Bob Dancer has to say, because he's made millions playing video poker and it's not a coincidence or a "lucky streak." He knows what he's talking about!
• April 18, 2016 17:22 Plaza Pool Hiring: The coming-soon revamped rooftop pool deck at downtown's Plaza has approx. 50 positions to fill, including a pool manager, assistant pool manager, pool attendants, cocktail servers, bartenders, line cooks, cashiers, event staff, and security officers. The majority of the posts will be seasonal, with the exception of the managerial positions; if you're interested, apply online by April 25; in-person interviews/casting calls will take place April 28 and 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Plaza showroom.
• April 18, 2016 16:53 Hockey -- It's Happening!: Nothing is 100 percent official yet, but website SinbinVegas.com is reporting that it's a done deal in terms of an imminent (early May) announcement confirming the awarding of an NHL franchise to Las Vegas. The word is that the owners will vote 30-0 in favor of expansion to Las Vegas (and only Las Vegas). Watch this space!
• April 18, 2016 12:40 Petition Throws Wrench in Works Re Riviera: In an interesting twist, a Henderson resident has filed a petition with the Clark County registrar of voters attempting to block the demolition of the Riviera hotel-casino, slated to be complete by the end of the year if things go according to plan for the LVCVA, the site's new owner. Kelden Engel's petition would need to gather more than 50,000 signatures by July 1 in order to qualify for the November ballot, and the legal validity of Engel's campaign is also being scrutinized, since the building is now the property of the LVCVA and not the county, but if it gathers grass roots momentum, this could prove to be a serious headache for the Convention and Visitors Authority, which already has a major expo booked for the space in early 2017. For more coverage of this story, see today's Las Vegas Review-Journal.
• April 18, 2016 12:20 New Coach Confirmed for UNLV: After the surprise exit of Chris Beard from the position after a mere week in the job, UNLV has named New Mexico State’s Marvin Menzies, who coached under Lon Kruger at UNLV during the 2004-05 season, as its new head basketball coach.
• April 18, 2016 12:09 Ssshh - Vegas Gets Its Own Beer: Sin City Brewing Company has been pumping out its themed brews for years, but now the Vegas veteran is being joined by a new official craft offering, the #WHHSH (What Happens Here Stays Here) Beer produced by Tenaya Creek Brewery, another local establishment. The exclusive beer, described as a "pale ale with hints of citrus and pine," was launched last weekend at a star-studded party in Palm Springs, but will be available to the rest of us at select Las Vegas-sponsored events -- look out for the sleek black-and-white cans, and for more limited-edition #WHHSH products apparently coming down the pipeline.
• April 18, 2016 09:56 Listen Up Detroit Poker Players - Bad Beat Jackpots Galore!: In a random regional tidbit, we just learned that as of today, the bad beat jackpot in the poker room at Detroit's Motor City Casino has reached almost a half-million bucks, more than $100,000 above the last record set around a year ago, to currently stand at $460,000. To get your hands on a piece of that, you'll need to have your four of a kind beaten by a higher set of quads. Meanwhile, the current prize in MGM Grand Detroit's poker room is nothing to be sniffed at, at $260,000 (and here the bad beat prize is yours if your quads lose to a straight flush, too); Greektown also has a bad beat jackpot, which currently stands at approx. $60,000.
• April 18, 2016 09:44 Secret-Dinner Mystery Solved: If you were wondering where the prestigious and enigmatic Dîner en Blanc chose to host its inaugural Las Vegas event, the uber-upscale pop-up picnic was hosted by The Park, the new outdoor gathering spot and dining plaza from MGM Resorts. You can check out some pics from the event on the Dîner en Blanc Facebook page.
• April 17, 2016 13:21 Millionaires Like Bellagio: A survey of 800 millionaires around the world by New World Wealth named Bellagio the top hotel in the world. New York City's Plaza was second and Mandarin Oriental was third, but not Vegas', London's.
• April 17, 2016 10:20 Sunday Funday 27 Poker Tournament at Noon: Registration is now open for our "Sunday Funday 27" poker tournament. Play begins at noon PST/3 p.m. EST today. Along with $100 for first, there are several new prizes, including an autographed hard cover of our new book, The Law for Gamblers, the soon to be released Eating Las Vegas 2016, and the classic blackjack reference book Blackjack Attack. Prizes will again be awarded to the first 14 finishers. See the entire prize pool and register to play at the LVA Casino (once signed in, click on "Poker Tournaments" and register for Tourney ID 10951). This tournament is completely free to play. There will also be other tourneys running all day for gift cards and play chips. Come have some fun! See you at noon.
• April 17, 2016 09:00 Second Du-par's Opens: A second Las Vegas Du-par's has opened at the Suncoast. With the opening heralded in a full-page ad in today's LV Review-Journal, the 24-hour coffee shop that's operated in Los Angeles since 1938 joins the first Las Vegas Du-par's at the Golden Gate.
• April 16, 2016 16:58 UFC Evans/Teixiera: Glover Teixiera is a -195 favorite over Rashad Evans in tonight's UFC main event. In the other featured match, Rose Namajunas is -170 over Tecia Torres.
• April 16, 2016 14:19 Free LVA Online Poker Tourney Tomorrow: Reserve some time tomorrow to play in our 27th Sunday Funday online poker tournament. First place gets $100, and prizes will be awarded to the top 14 places. New prizes this month include the autographed hard cover of our new book, The Law for Gamblers, the soon to be released Eating Las Vegas 2016, and and the classic Blackjack Attack. The game kicks off at 3 p.m. EST/noon PST. It's completely free to play, with registration beginning two hours before the tournament at the LVA Casino.
• April 16, 2016 10:58 Fireworks Show Tonight: Red Rock Resort celebrates its 10th anniversary on April 18. As part of a month-long celebration, the casino will stage a fireworks show tonight beginning at 9 p.m.
• April 16, 2016 08:50 Warriors Favored in NBA Playoffs: With the NBA playoffs starting today, the Golden State Warriors are favored to take the title at -175. They're followed buy the San Antonio Spurs at +390 and the Cleveland Cavaliers at +465.
• April 15, 2016 17:16 Crystals Mall Sale Finalized: MGM Resorts has confirmed the $1.08 billion sale of the Crystals mall at CityCenter to Invesco Real Estate and Simon Property Group.
• April 15, 2016 12:04 Kid's Park Coming to Tivoli Village: The expansive upscale "retailtainment" destination on the west side will unveil a new children's park next Friday, April 22, with a Park Party from 4 p.m. featuring complimentary snow cones, food trucks, special performances from Kidville band Rockin' Railroad, and a screening of the movie Inside Out beginning at sundown. The new park will include interactive musical elements (chimes, drums, etc.), a play wall, and other amenities.
• April 15, 2016 11:53 Rebels Coach Quits for Texas Tech Job: Having been in the post for only a week, UNLV head basketball coach Chris Beard has given notice in order to pursue the same post at Texas Tech University.
• April 15, 2016 09:37 Tax Day Deals & Promos: For a round-up of the aforementioned (including the "granddaddy of all Vegas' tax bonuses"), check out the latest edition of "The Deal," Anthony Curtis' weekly column in Vegas Seven magazine.
• April 14, 2016 20:53 Las Vegas This Weekend:
- Smith Center presents Disney's Beauty and The Beast (4/8-17); "Julie Budd: Remembering Mr. Sinatra" (4/15-16); and Vince Mastro and Frank La Spina starring in The Stage Biography of Tony Bennett (4/17)
- Richard Marx performs at the Golden Nugget (4/15)
- The Venetian presents ABC's "Nashville in Concert" (4/15)
- Mandalay Bay plays host to The Darkness with RavenEye at House of Blues (4/15), with Tiger Army the following evening (4/16)
- Funny lady Wanda Skyes is center stage at Treasure Island (4/15)
- M83 perform at Brooklyn Bowl (4/16)
- Mike Snow is in the spotlight at The Boulevard Pool at Cosmopolitan (4/16)
- Louis Prima Jr. & The Witnesses play at The Lounge at the Palms (4/16)
- Hard Rock brings Chris Stapelton to the stage at The Joint (4/15)
- Festival-wise, UNLVino's Annual Wine Tasting continues at various locations throughout Las Vegas (4/14-16); the Orleans brings you the yearly Rockabilly Weekend and Car Show (4/14-17); Silverton hosts the 15th Annual Pure Aloha Festival (4/14-17) and the LV Craft Show (4/17), while also featuring Future Stars Of Wrestling (4/15)
- Suncoast presents Vicki Lawrence and Mama: A Two Women Show (4/16-17)
- Comedian Henry Cho is at South Point (4/15-16), as is the Arabian Breeders World Cup (4/14-17) and the Miss Nevada contest (4/17)
- And The Four Tops are in the spotlight at Primm's Star of The Desert Arena in Primm Valley (4/16)
• April 14, 2016 16:21 Monster Merengue: Why? Because, "why not?" is the best answer we can come up with as to why tomorrow, Friday April 15, celebrity ballroom dancer Mary Murphy ("So You Think You Can Dance") will be leading Las Vegas' attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest merengue lesson ever. Anyone who feels like joining in is welcome, or just head on down to the Fremont Street Experience at 10 a.m. tomorrow to take a look. (Note: Participants should be there by 9:30 a.m. in order to register, as this all needs to be done officially if the record is to stand.)
• April 14, 2016 11:23 The Law for Gamblers--In-House and Shipping!: "If the chips fall against them, serious gamblers call Bob Nersesian," wrote gaming columnist Michael Kaplan in a recent feature for the New York Post. And he's right! The Las Vegas-based attorney has represented hundreds of players and won settlements worth millions of dollars; in his new book, The Law for Gamblers (avail. in both paperback and hard cover editions), Bob Nersesian presents the current legal lay of the land, both on-shore and off, as the gambling landscape continues to evolve to more equitably take account the interests of players. This is essential reading for casinos, players, legal professionals, academics, and students alike.
• April 14, 2016 10:40 Pink Taco Brand Sold: In a somewhat complicated scenario, the R-J reports that the Pink Taco brand, which was founded by Harry Morton at the Hard Rock Las Vegas and since expanded to a Los Angeles location, has been sold to Z Capital Group affiliate Real Mex, although ownership and management of the Las Vegas original will remain with the Hard Rock, apparently, so presumably little, if anything, will change here.
• April 14, 2016 10:09 Romance in the Air at the Rio: The Romance Times Booklovers Convention has taken over the Rio and through Sunday, April 17 the off-Strip property will be awash with authors, reps from the publishing world, and romance-novel fans participating in writing workshops, book signings, social gatherings, networking events, swag giveaways, and more. GA passes start at $10.
• April 13, 2016 11:52 Nacho Daddy Slated for August Debut on Strip: The fourth location for the popular locally owned Mexican chain, beloved for signature dishes like its Filet Mignon Nachos and Bacon Anaheim Chili Grilled Cheese Sandwich, is set to open in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood this August. The 6,000+-square-foot location will boast 32-foot ceilings and seating for approximately 230 and feature a state-of-the-art sound system, multiple hi-def TVs, and a large projection TV for special programming.
• April 13, 2016 11:00 Riviera Sign Reno-Bound?: This is the first we've heard of this plan, since we addressed the fate of the Riviera's famous neon signage in a Question of the Day last December. The answer back then revealed that some elements would be joining those already on display at downtown's Neon Museum, but according to the Associated Press today, following the removal earlier this week of the property's name, the sign now "will be kept at a museum for neon signs being developed in Reno." We gather this new project has just been announced but we're on the scent!
• April 13, 2016 10:10 Pinball Wizard Sought (Or It's Lights Out at PHoF!): Tim Arnold, owner and custodian of Las Vegas' iconic Pinball Hall of Fame, is looking for a protege to take over running the attraction and caring for the machines, many of which are rare and require a loving touch; otherwise, it could be the end of the road for the much-loved museum, according to a recent lengthy feature on Arnold in the UK's The Guardian. Yikes!
• April 12, 2016 20:28 Riviera Implosion Update: The LV R-J just posted an update revealing that, following some preliminary manual demolition (we're talking bulldozers and a wrecking ball) of lower-rise buildings, which could commence any day now, the Monte Carlo and Monaco hotel towers at the Riviera are set for a date with some dynamite this June and July, respectively, as long as all goes according to plan.
• April 12, 2016 19:59 Ellis Island Gets a Thrill Ride: From April 20 to May 19, Ellis Island will be hosting Las Vegas' only Slingshot ride, which will propel riders more than 200 feet into the air and "catapult" them at over 100 mph for some high-speed views over the strip. The ride, which reminds us of the former SkyScreamer at MGM Grand, will be available daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and tickets -- available now at ellisislandcasino.com -- are $30, or $55 for two people.
• April 12, 2016 10:57 Opening Set for Wynn Poker Room: May 26 is the date on which the new poker room will debut in its new location at next door Encore. The room will feature three more tables, bringing the total to 28, but as it's more than 3,000 square feet larger than the old facility at Wynn, it will feel much more spacious.
• April 12, 2016 10:15 Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's: Continuing a more than four decades-long tradition, Ben & Jerry's hosts its annual "Free Cone Day" give-back to ice cream fans today, with a complimentary scoop for every customer at any of the valley's five locations from noon to 8 p.m. today. Sweet!
• April 12, 2016 10:10 Dancer on Dotty's: The video poker guru is in myth-busting mode once again in this week's column as he considers the idiosyncrasies of the locals slot-tavern chain and its player rewards program (yep, Bob Dancer plays NSU deuces at Dotty's).
The guest on today's Gambling With An Edge radio show, co-hosted by Dancer and Richard Munchkin, is Professor David G. Schwartz, director of UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research, who'll be chatting about his new book Boardwalk Playground, a history of Atlantic City and its casinos.
• April 11, 2016 17:15 Lose a Vampire, Gain a Wizard: Las Vegas may have hosted the final "Vampire Diaries" fanfest/expo this year, but apparently there's good news for fans of fantasy and the supernatural, with word that Henderson will host a four-day Harry Potter extravaganza this summer. Dubbed "Leviosa Con," the event will feature keynote speakers, a welcome "feast" and a ball, "magical" fashion shows, crafts, training sessions on how to cast a spell, and other such antics. Tickets start at $200 for all four days; visit the official leviosa.org website for more info.
• April 11, 2016 12:15 Prospects for Alon Not Improving: Although it's slated to open on time and on budget, even Crown Resort's own CFO recently expressed concern about the company's new six-star resort in Perth, Australia, stating in an investor call last Friday that "While it looks like a fantastic property, it may be opening at the wrong time in the market," referencing the fallout from a crash in commodity prices. While Crown Towers luxury hotel is still slated to debut in December, its problems will do nothing to help the fate of the proposed Alon project in Las Vegas, which is being delayed by the effect of sluggish US debt markets pushing up costs for borrowers/refinancers just when Crown was hoping to divest itself of half of its stake in the project in a debt deal that could top $1 billion. We're not holding our breath.
• April 11, 2016 11:56 Sunday QoD, Now with Pics!: We experienced a server issue yesterday that prevented the accompanying pictures from displaying for Sunday's Question of the Day, which concerned a "mystery" tower/thrill ride adjacent to Circus Circus that a reader had spotted in an episode of "Vega$," the '70s/'80s show that starred Robert Urich as P.I. Dan Tanna. The glitch has now been fixed, so LVA members can view the restored images in the QoD Archives, should they be so inclined.
• April 11, 2016 11:26 Record Rainfall: The back-to-back storms this weekend resulted in the third-highest April rainfall since records began and we're only 1/3 of the way through the months, with more patches of heavy rainfall anticipated later today.
• April 10, 2016 10:36 UFC Rothwell/Dos Santos: In a rare afternoon card, Junior Dos Santos is a -125 favorite over Ben Rothwell in today's UFC main event. In the other featured match, Derrick Lewis is -150 over Gabriel Gonzaga.
• April 10, 2016 10:30 Changes for Champagnes: It's been a rough month for dive bars. On the heels of news that Davy's Locker is closing comes word that the venerable Champagnes Cafe on Maryland Pkwy. has signed on for a Bar Rescue makeover. The joint won't close, but the Bar Rescue clan will try to make it into something (fancier) that it hasn't been in its decades of operation as both Champagnes and earlier as Huey's Saloon.
• April 10, 2016 08:55 Masters Line: Going into today's final round of the Masters golf tournament, Jordan Spieth, sitting on a one-stroke lead, is a +130 favorite to win. Jason Day is +600, Hideki Matsuyama is +645, and Dustin Johnson is +985.
• April 9, 2016 17:22 Pacquiao/Bradley Line: In one of the year's major boxing events tonight, Manny Pacquiao is a -190 favorite over Timothy Bradley. The bout is expected to go the distance, with over 10.5 rounds lined at -360.
• April 9, 2016 16:41 Wynn Delays Macau Casino Again: The opening date for the $4.1 billion Wynn Palace on Macau's Cotai Strip has been nudged back again. After originally being pushed back from March to June, the resort is now expected to open in August.
• April 9, 2016 09:15 Theming Out at MRI: In an interview with John Katsilometes for the LV Sun, Jim Murren indicated that MGM Resorts International would no longer be creating themed resorts, first pointing to the shedding of the OZ theme at MGM Grand, then addressing the pending renaming of the Monte Carlo: "We're not going to name it something from somewhere else. Those days are over." Murren stopped short, however, of divulging what the new name will be.
• April 9, 2016 08:19 Building Begins on Massachusetts Casino: After a year of delays, work has finally begun on MGM Springfield. After several design changes, the projected cost has risen from $800 million to $950 million. The scheduled opening of the casino located in Western Massachusetts is September 2018.
• April 8, 2016 15:26 Speakeasy Vibe Hits Mob Museum: In recognition of Jazz Appreciation Month in April, downtown's Mob Museum is hosting weekly soirees each Friday night starting this evening, with live music, free parking for locals, and half-off drinks for all aged 21+.
• April 8, 2016 13:11 IRS Backs Off from Lowering Gambling Tax Threshold: After all the brouhaha last summer regarding the IRS' proposal to lower the threshold for gambling-jackpot win reporting, there was something of a deafening silence; did the idea go away? Check out today's QoD, penned by pro gambler and tax aficionado Jean Scott, for the answer!
• April 8, 2016 10:36 KISS Announces Nat'l Tour, Skips Vegas: There is a disclaimer indicating that additional "markets" are "to be announced," but for now KISS' "Freedom to Rock" 36-city tour, just announced, has no plans to stop in Las Vegas. Tickets for those shows announced, which focus on locations in the Midwest, plus some East Coast dates, go on sale April 15.
• April 8, 2016 09:51 No Refunds on Janet Jackson Tix: Contrary to our assumption when we reported on Wednesday that Janet Jackson would be putting her Unbreakable world tour on hold again, the current word is that the pop diva will not be issuing refunds for tickets sold, with Ticketmaster currently working under the understanding that the shows -- which include a May 14 date at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas -- are merely being rescheduled. However, in such situations it's common practice to offer ticket holders the choice between a new ticket or a refund (what if you are unable to make the revised date?), and with no commitment from Jackson as to when she'll be returning to the stage, we doubt this stance will fly for long.
• April 7, 2016 23:07 Wynn Planning $1.6 Billion Lakeside Resort for Vegas: Steve Wynn's insistence on bringing water features to the desert just kicked into overdrive, with this morning's official announcement that the casino impresario plans to build a new $1.6 billion "lake resort" on the land currently occupied by the golf course behind Wynn/Encore. What's tentatively been dubbed Paradise Park will feature water skiing and paddleboarding, with a mile-long boardwalk, and apparently will offer ice cream and a fireworks show every night, according to Bloomberg, if the whole scheme meets with the approval of the board.
• April 7, 2016 15:27 New Dining Concept from Shawn McClain Heading to MBay: We just discovered this announcement while digging around for something else, but the official word is that James Beard Award-winning chef Shawn McClain will be launching a new social hotspot this summer at Mandalay Bay. Libertine Social, the latest concept from the man behind Sage and Five50, is slated to be a "next-generation gastropub" offering both small and large plates, with a cocktail program by famed mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim, and is slated to debut this summer adjacent to Aureole.
• April 7, 2016 12:27 Daily Fantasy Author on Radio Today: Bill Ordine, sports writer and author of Huntington Press' Fantasy Sports, Real Money, is the guest on the Brett Hollander Show, Baltimore's principal talk radio station, at 7:30 p.m. EDT (4:30 p.m. local time), discussing the current state of daily fantasy and DFS' unique situation in Maryland, where the issue may go to voters in November.
• April 7, 2016 10:09 Project Neon Breaks Ground Today: The downtown ground-breaking ceremony is imminent for Nevada Department of Transportation's "Project Neon," a 20-year project designed to address road safety and congestion levels on the I-15 by separating mainstream freeway travel from local traffic, adding a high-occupancy vehicle lane, improving the accessibility of freeway entrance and exits, and more. The scope of the project extends 3.7 miles along I-15 from Sahara to the US95/I-15 Interchange.
• April 6, 2016 20:32 T-Mobile Opens: As we write this, the inaugural event at the $375 million T-Mobile Arena is underway. Tonight's headliners are the eclectic mix of The Killers, Wayne Newton, and Shamir. Much more to come.
• April 6, 2016 15:29 Plaza Pool Cabana Giveaway: Each week between now and when their new rooftop pool facility opens, downtown's Plaza is giving away a cabana (we think that means "use of a cabana," not that you get to take it home with you). In order to enter, you'll need to respond to the photo prompts posted on their Facebook page -- check here for details.
• April 6, 2016 10:55 Temptation Sundays to Return May 15: The wildly successful #LGBT pool party at Luxor's Oasis Pool will return for Season 7 on May 15, with host J.Son. We'll be keeping you abreast of the party scene all summer long in our Cool Pools guide to concerts and parties, "toptional" hotspots, poolside and swim-up gaming, and more.
• April 6, 2016 10:38 Janet Jackson Cancels AGAIN: It's a hat trick for the "What Have You Done for Me Lately" singer who, frankly, hasn't done diddly for Vegas, having already twice canceled planned shows (at Planet Hollywood, and then at the iHeart Radio festival), and now this morning announced, via Twitter, that she's again postponing remaining dates on her Unbreakable world tour -- slated to make a May 14 stop at the new T-Mobile Arena. Previous cancellations have been attributed to health issues and unspecified surgery; according to the singer, the latest move is because she and her husband are trying to have a baby (she did not state whether or not she's pregnant). As usual, refunds will be issued at point of purchase for those holding tickets to the upcoming dates.
• April 6, 2016 09:52 James Grosjean on Local Casinos (He's Not a Fan): The ever-provocative gambling legend has "local" casinos in his sights for his latest post at Beyond Numbers, sharing his observations about the real impact many outlying properties have had on the local community, and an economic bonanza does not rank high among his answers, gleaned from years spent playing at casinos of every conceivable size, style, and smell the world has to offer.
• April 5, 2016 18:46 Stupak for President - The Poll!: Not that we want to in any way influence your voting decision, but we can't help rooting for Bob in our current Reader Poll that asks, hypothetically, which current or former Las Vegas casino boss would be your pick to run the nation. But you're free to root/vote for whomever you like -- just be sure that you do it before midnight, when the current survey closes and a brand spanking new one goes live.
• April 5, 2016 17:50 NCAA Woman's Basketball Championship Line: Connecticut is a -26.5 favorite over Syracuse in the NCAA Woman's Basketball Championship game. The total is 143.5. Connecticut is attempting to finish an undefeated season during which they were so dominant, they entered the tournament as an incredible -900 favorite to win the title.
• April 5, 2016 15:58 Pirate Festival in the Park: That park would be Lorenzi, and the event is the fourth annual Pirate Fest LV, taking place April 8-10. The family-friendly extravaganza features live music and entertainers, food and craft vendors, games, a beer garden, pirates, faeries, and steampunks (sometimes some strippers, too, but we can't promise), not to mention the now-traditional Zappos Cardboard Regatta (yes, we're talking cardboard boat races). Single day GA admission is $20, or get a three-day pass for $30 (and note that there's a coupon option on the official website, where you'll also find lots of pictures and more info.
• April 5, 2016 10:29 Vegas #2 Pick as Destination by TripAdvisor: Travel-review site TripAdvisor has announced the results of the 2016 Travelers’ Choice Awards and the runner-up for top city destination, behind New York City, is Las Vegas.
• April 5, 2016 09:51 Avicii Announces Final Performances at Encore: Grammy-nominated DJ/producer Avicii, who recently announced his retirement from performing (via an epic Facebook post), has now confirmed what will be his very last dates performing, with gigs on select Fridays and Saturdays at XS Nightclub and Encore Beach Club commencing April 29 and running through June 25.
• April 5, 2016 09:27 Bob Dancer Gets Pragmatic: Is it ever okay to just "mail it in"? In this week's column, video poker expert Bob Dancer takes on a common piece of advice and attacks it from all sides like a terrier with a tennis ball. Topics covered include: cruise trips; buying a car; working out; marriage; driving; oh, and casino promotions and video poker skills.
• April 4, 2016 17:46 NCAA Basketball Championship Line: North Carolina is a -2 favorite over Villanova in the NCAA Basketball Championship game. The total is 149.5.
• April 4, 2016 16:25 Alaska Buys Virgin America: Alaska Airlines has purchased Virgin America in a $2.6 billion deal that makes the former the biggest carrier on the west coast.
• April 4, 2016 14:54 The Park Opens Today: The $100 million outdoor gathering spot and dining destination from MGM Resorts will open to the public at 4 p.m. today, ahead of the much-anticipated debut of the neighboring T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday. In fact, some aspects of the new plaza between Monte Carlo and New York-New York have already been open for awhile -- Hershey's Chocolate World and Shake Shack, for example -- but with today's official launch will give the public their first up-close look at the "water walls," shade structures, and giant Bliss statue, and their first taste of Sake Rok, Beerhaus, and Bruxie Waffles.
• April 4, 2016 13:48 MGM's Asian Love Affair Continues With New Kabuki Show: From May 3-7, to coincide with Japan's traditional "Golden Week" of national celebrations, the David Copperfield Theater at MGM Grand will host KABUKI LION Shi-Shi-O: The Adventures of the Mythical Lion, billed as a "visual spectacular" starring one of the world's most celebrated Kabuki artists. Tickets start at $65 and are on sale now.
• April 4, 2016 11:19 New BAZ Show Details Announced: BAZ - Star Crossed Love, the new incarnation of the musical/cabaret show based on the movies of Baz Luhrmann that performed briefly in Light nightclub at Mandalay Bay, debuts in its new home in the redesigned Palazzo Theatre on June 25, with previews beginning June 21. The show's set to perform Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and tickets, which go on sale April 7, start at $59.50.
• April 4, 2016 09:44 Trekkie Celebration at the Orleans: In celebration of Star Trek's 50th anniversary, Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage makes a stop at the Orleans Arena tonight, with a live symphony orchestra performing musical highlights from throughout the franchise's five-decade history, accompanied by iconic moments of film and TV footage beamed in hi def to a 40-foot wide screen. In keeping with the birthday festivities, all tickets are priced at $50.
• April 4, 2016 09:32 Backstreet's Back!: Backstreet Boys have confirmed that all five members are back together and have signed a nine-show deal as a "test run" for a full-on Las Vegas residency, scheduled to kick off late this year or early 2017, and to be accompanied by a new album and a world tour. While no venue was named for the Vegas gig, members of the band recently were in town for a scouting session, which notably involved checking out Britney's Piece of Me show at Planet Hollywood, where J.Lo is also currently performing, and the deal they've signed is with Live Nation, which books CET's headliners, so our money's on a Caesars property. Stay tuned!
• April 3, 2016 21:44 Rio Burger Shuffle: Following February's announcement that Smashburger would be broadening its relationship with Caesars Entertainment with two new casino-hosted locations, BK Whopper Bar at the Rio has closed to make way for one of the new restaurants, which will open in the Masquerade Tower; the other new Smashburger will be coming to Harrah's, Laughlin. The first of the fast-casual "better burger"-branded restaurants to hit the Strip debuted inside the Forum Food Court at Caesars Palace in December 2014.
• April 3, 2016 16:47 DFS Sites Pull College Contests: Both FanDuel and DraftKings will cease offering Daily Fantasy Sports contests on college games after this weekend. The decision was voluntary, as both companies work to ingratiate themselves with major sports organizations and the individual states as they seek agreements that will allow them to operate legally.
• April 3, 2016 16:31 Megabucks Hits in Elko: The Megabucks jackpot was hit for $12.5 million at the Gold Dust West Casino in Elko, located in Northern Nevada. The winner, who has worked in the mining industry since the early '70s, said he and his wife will save most of the money, but will splurge on their "dream house" on Beverly Circle … in Elko.
• April 3, 2016 11:21 Drink Comps at Sam's Town: Every Sunday in April, earn 200 points ($200-$800 coin-in, depending on game) between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. at Sam's Town and get Coors or Coors Light and a cooler bag. The ad doesn't specify the quantity, but it pictures a six pack. The deal is the same for Pepsi or Diet Pepsi when you earn 100 points on Mondays.
• April 3, 2016 09:55 Opening Day: Baseball season begins today. The Toronto Blue Jays are the favorite to win in the American League at +630 and the Chicago Cubs are the favorite to win in the National League at +290. The Cubs are the favorite to win the World Series at +565.
• April 3, 2016 09:39 NCAA Basketball Final Updated Line. The line has notched up to North Carolina -3 over Villanova in Monday's NCAA Basketball Championship Final game. The total is 150.
• April 2, 2016 19:54 NCAA Basketball Final Opening Line. North Carolina has opened as a -2 favorite over Villanova for Monday's final of the NCAA basketball tournament. The total hasn't been posted, but we'll put it up early tomorrow.
• April 2, 2016 16:08 Final Four North Carolina/Syracuse: North Carolina is a -9.5 favorite over Syracuse in today's second Final Four game of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. The total is 142.
• April 2, 2016 14:18 Final Four Oklahoma/Villanova: Villanova is a -2.5 favorite over Oklahoma in today's first Final Four game of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. The total is 144.5.
• April 2, 2016 13:05 Latin Bingo Brings Seafood-Buffet Bonanza: On Bingo & Loteria nights (see "Today's News" 4/1/2016), which kick off this evening at Texas Station and Sunday at Boulder Station, the Feast Buffet at both properties will offer a special "Seafood Specialty Night" for $15.99, with menu selections including shrimp ceviche, fajitas, and tacos; lobster tacos, Mexican pastries and soft drinks, plus other shrimp and salmon specialties.
• April 2, 2016 10:24 Big Numbers: With two Final Four games today and the Championship game Monday remaining to be played, Las Vegas bookmakers say they expect a record handle for the College Basketball Tournament. Compared to the Super Bowl that generated $132.5 million in wagers, it's believed that betting on the tournament as a whole will top $200 million.
• April 2, 2016 08:31 More Metro Officers on Strip: Starting today, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept. will assign additional foot-patrol officers to the Strip through Sept. 5 as part of the the "Safe Strip" initiative, which is funded by a number of hotel-casinos. (For more on this topic, see recent Question of the Day answers that ran on 3/28 and 3/29, located in the QoD Archive.)
• April 1, 2016 15:58 Latin Bingo Comes to Stations: Vegas has long been home to some exotic variations on the humble game of bingo, from drag-queen events courtesy of PRIDE Family Bingo (up next: "I Wanna Lei Ya" on April 6 at Alexis Park), to "Rock Shot Bingo" at Red Rock and GVR. Back in 2014, Lucky Club Casino out by the Speedway introduced Bingo Lotería and now the venue can no longer pride itself on being the only place in the valley to offer bilingual bingo, as April sees its introduction at both Texas and Boulder Station. Similar to bingo, lotería is a game of chance that uses picture cards instead of ping pong balls and features "The Griton," an announcer who gives riddles as clues to help players identify the winning symbols on their game cards. Stations' Bingo & Lotería nights kick off tomorrow at Texas Station, with a session on Sunday at Boulder, both featuring local TV personality Victor "Mr. WOW" Flores as The Griton"; for every $20 spent at the 5 p.m. Bingo session, players will receive one Lotería Tabla and prizes include up to $600 in cash, plus gift cards for the La Bonita Supermarket chain.
• April 1, 2016 15:50 El Burro Borracho Opening Underway: Not only is the Rio celebrating its 25th anniversary, but this afternoon that's compounded by the debut of Guy Fieri's El Burro Borracho and the man himself is in town for the festivities, which also seem to include free food samples and margaritas, so head on over right now!
• April 1, 2016 15:33 Mirage Takes Back Burger Joint: Following its shut-down late last month by the Health Department, which found numerous health-code violations during one of its notorious random checks, BLT Burger at the Mirage will close April 5 to reopen April 7 as a Mirage-owned venue named LVB Burgers & Bar. The restaurant will offer an all-new menu of gourmet burgers and shakes from the former chef at Portofino and will be open daily from 11 to 2 a.m. (4 a.m. Fri/Sat).
• April 1, 2016 10:15 Mammovan at Aliante Today: Aliante Casino hosts Nevada Health Centers' Mammovan until 3:30 p.m. today. The mobile mammography van travels to under-served areas of Nevada offering mammogram services to those in city, rural, and frontier communities who may not have ready access to breast screening. (Note that in most instances, insurance is required, but occasionally exceptions are made, we've been informed -- call 1-800-787-2568 if you have any questions.)
• April 1, 2016 09:59 Origin India Brings Back Lunch Buffet: The popular upscale Indian eatery located across from the Hard Rock has relaunched its daily lunch buffet, which now features a loyalty card for frequent diners -- for every six buffet meals purchased, receive a seventh buffet on the house. (The restaurant is also offering a $10 gift card for every $50 spent on a la carte orders.) The reprised lunch buffet will be served daily from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is $9.99 per person Mon-Thur, $14.99 for the brunch version served Fri-Sun, and kids 12 and under eat for half price.