Compiled by LVA Research
• May 31, 2016 15:30 Last Day for ELV Discount: You have until tomorrow morning to take advantage of the publisher's discount for Eating Las Vegas 2016. The $9.95 price, which includes shipping, will be good until noon EST tomorrow.
• May 31, 2016 15:16 MGM Buys Out Borgata: MGM Resorts International has announced that it will buy out Boyd Gaming's 50% share of Atlantic City's Borgata for $900 million. MGM and Boyd had been 50-50 partners in Borgata since it was built for $1 billion in 2003. Boyd, which recently purchased Cannery, Eastside Cannery, and Aliante, appears to be concentrating its efforts in Las Vegas.
• May 31, 2016 11:22 Football in Vegas -- Poll Ends Tonight: Our current hot-topic Reader Poll on the subject of whether or not you'd support an NFL team in Las vegas closes at midnight. We've been contacted by movers and shakers in this area who are very interested in the result, so be a part of it and get your vote in if you haven't already.
• May 31, 2016 09:58 New Bob Dancer Column Posted: The latest exclusive weekly column from video poker guru Bob Dancer has been posted -- just click the link to read.
• May 31, 2016 09:33 Hockey Decision Scheduled: The question of whether or not Las Vegas will get an NHL team in the near future may be answered on June 22, when the league votes on the expansion issue. If approved, Las Vegas could get its own NHL team as early as 2017, though that may be optimistic, at least in terms of the timing.
• May 31, 2016 08:07 Warriors Favored for NBA Championship: The Golden State Warriors opened -210 favorites over the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA Championship. The series begins Thursday at Golden State.
• May 30, 2016 17:44 Warriors/Thunder Game 7 Line: The Golden State Warriors are -7 favorites over the Oklahoma City Thunder in tonight's deciding Game 7 of the NBA's Western Conference Finals. The total is 219.
• May 30, 2016 16:34 Penguins/Sharks Game 1 Line: The Pittsburgh Penguins are -135 favorites over the San Jose Sharks in tonight's Game 1 of the NHL's Stanley Cup finals. The goal line is 5.5, over +125 and under -145.
• May 30, 2016 16:33 Check Your Sports Book: After the Golden State Warrior's 108-101 victory over the Oklahoma Thunder in Game 6 of the NBA Championships was in the books, part of the book changed when the official scoring total for Warrior's star Stephen Curry was amended from 29 to 31 points. No big deal, unless you were one of many bettors who had Curry over or under 30.5 points, which was the prevailing line. What should you do? Contact the sports book at which you made the wager, because different ones handle these situations differently. As Westgate sports book director Jay Kornegay told the L.A. Times, "It's all up to the house rules, and even how you interpret those rules." If nothing else, it's a good example of why it's sports betting basic strategy to cash winning tickets immediately and hold on to losers for a while.
• May 30, 2016 09:52 Happy Memorial Day: Some holidays get overlooked by the casinos, but Memorial Day isn't one of them. On machines, Boyd casinos are offering 15X points on penny slots, 11X on other slots, and 7X on video poker; South Point has 10X points on pennies, 5X on other slots, and 2X on video poker; and Station casinos have 3.3X on slots and 2X on video poker. South Point is offering a free buffet for two by showing military ID. Get one free buffet at Rampart for showing military ID, plus all bingo players get free hot dogs and chips. Silverton is offering one free buffet for veterans, active military, Nevada police and fire, and NHP personnel. El Cortez has free White Castle cheeseburgers for players from noon to 6 p.m. Other restaurants with deals are McCormick & Schmick's with a free lunch or dinner for veterans, active military, and National Guard, and Bistro 57 at Aliante and Cabo Wabo in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood with 20% off food and drink and Trevi in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace with 10% off for veterans and active military. And all day today, rides on the High Roller observation wheel are free by showing a retired or active military ID at the box office.
• May 29, 2016 19:38 Sports Leagues Warm to Gambling: Powerful representatives of two of the four major sports leagues made public comments in support of gambling this month. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who has spoken in favor of sports betting legalization in the past recently told ESPN, "It should be legal, it should be regulated, it should be transparent." Earlier this month, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft addressing the possibility of an NFL team coming to Las Vegas said, "We're living in a different world, technology wise. The risks in Vegas are no longer exclusive to Vegas."
• May 29, 2016 17:43 UFC Almeida/Garbrandt: Thomas Almeida is a -195 favorite over Cody Garbrandt in tonight's UFC main event. In the other featured match, Renan
Barao is -155 over Jeremy Stephens.
• May 29, 2016 09:48 Double Win for Lotto Player: A construction worker in New York won his second $1 million-dollar lotto jackpot last month. After winning the first in 2012, the man fell on hard times when medical expenses for his dying wife used up the windfall. He then hit a second $1 million scratch-off at the same convenience store. The odds of winning on the first ticket were 2.5 million-to-1, while the odds the second time were 7.7 million-to-1.
• May 29, 2016 08:13 Indy 500 Odds: It's crowded at the top of the odds board for today's 100th Indianapolis 500 race. Simon Pagenaud is the slight favorite at +600, followed by Scott Dixon, +610 and Juan Montoya and Will Power, both at +660, and Helio Castroneves at +715.
• May 28, 2016 15:36 Memorial Day Visitation: Memorial Day is one of the big holidays in Las Vegas, as partiers officially kick off the summer pool season. A projected 315,000 visitors will come to town over the three-day weekend, taking up more than 98% of the 149,563 available rooms.
• May 28, 2016 10:54 Penguins Cup Favorites: The Pittsburgh Penguins are -140 favorites over the San Jose Sharks to win hockey's Stanley Cup. The series begins Monday in Pittsburgh.
• May 28, 2016 10:48 Burgers at the Pass: For National Burger Day today, Railroad Pass is running a special of two burgers with fries for $5 in the coffee shop. If you don't want a burger, check out the $1 hot dogs or shrimp cocktail at the front bar.
• May 27, 2016 17:55 Encore Poker Room Opens: The new poker room at Encore is open. The 8,600-square-foot area features 28 tables, 37 TVs, and an exclusive poker menu with dishes out of the kitchens of Wazuzu and Jardin.
• May 27, 2016 17:00 Ainsworth Closed: The Ainsworth has closed at the Hard Rock. The funky bar off the main floor that opened in 2012 always seemed to be an afterthought to the hopping center bar, so you might not expect that another bar will replace it. Then again, the Hard Rock has a long history of running a main bar and a side bar, so we wouldn't be surprised if another bar took its place..
• May 27, 2016 08:03 Rock 'n Roll Wine Meets the '90s: "I Love the '90s" is the theme of the latest in the Concerts on the Beach series from Mandalay Bay this Saturday, May 28, with performances from veteran rappers including GRAMMY Award-winners Salt-N-Pepa, plus Tone Loc, Young MC, Kool Moe Dee, and others, and Rock 'n Roll Wine will be on hand with a side party at Moorea Beach, featuring 25 wines from around the world to sample. Tix for the "Wine Amplified" party, which includes access to the concert, are $59 in advance, with a $10 surcharge on the day (if space is still available, which it probably won't be, so hurry!)
• May 26, 2016 17:08 Plaza Pool Opening in July: The Plaza has announced that it's completely redesigned pool complex will open July 2 and be open free of charge to hotel guests and locals of all ages. New features for the rooftop pool include cabanas, a 12-person hot tub, and renovated tennis, basketball, and pickleball courts. The opening day festivities will conclude with a fireworks show.
• May 26, 2016 12:20 Free T at Rampart: Rampart is unveiling two new video poker games today -- Lucky Stud Draw Poker and Pyramid Poker. Everyone who plays between 5 and 7 p.m. today gets a free T-shirt.
• May 26, 2016 11:17 This Memorial day Weekend: While for many this holiday weekend has come to mark the beginning of pool-season in Las Vegas, with headliner-hosted parties throughout the three days, we don't want to lose sight of what Memorial Day is actually about, so here's a link to the Nevada Office of Veterans Services website, where you can find details of the official ceremonies state-wide, commencing May 27.
Entertainment-wise, here are the highlights:
- The annual Punk Rock Bowling & Music festival will be taking over downtown Las Vegas (5/26-30)
- The Springs Preserve welcomes the Brews & Blues Festival (5/28)
- The Cannery hosts the Kool Summer of Fun Kick-off Festival & Car Show (5/28)
- The Best Dam Barbecue Challenge takes place at Bicentennial Park in Boulder City (5/27-5/28)
- Jazz in the Park continues it's series at the Clark County Amphitheater with Jessy J (5/28)
- SLS features the annual KOMP Kegger at the Foxtail pool (5/27)
- The Lon Bronson All-Star Band performs at the Smith Center (5/27)
- Joan Jett and The Blackhearts are center-stage on Fremont Street (5/28)
- The Who are in the spotlight at Caesars Palace (5/29)
- Comedian Chris Tucker performs at The Pearl inside the Palms (5/28)
- And the Little River Band takes the stage at the Silverton(5/28)
• May 26, 2016 09:41 Vinnie Headin' to Hooters: It looks like comedian Vinnie Favorito is heading to Hooters. Favorito posted on his Facebook page that as of June 16 he'll be "Wingin' it at Hooters." No price information was disclosed and there's been no official confirmation, but Favorito says the deal's done.
• May 25, 2016 15:54 Another Arena!: Las Vegas Sands has announced that it will partner with Madison Square Garden Co. to build a 400,000-square-foot arena behind the Venetian and Palazzo. The 17,500-seat venue will feature luxury-seating options, clubs, and lounges, and be specifically designed for music and entertainment, but will also be suited to host sporting events and serve as a general conference center for trade shows and conventions. If the project is a go, it would likely be completed in 2018.
• May 25, 2016 11:14 Another Shot for Moulin Rouge?: An under-the-radar "groundbreaking" ceremony was held at the site of the old Moulin Rouge yesterday. A group called Moulin Rouge Holdings says it plans to build a $100 to $150 million hotel and casino there, though no solid timetables or funding information was forthcoming.
• May 25, 2016 08:59 Diamond China Changes Names: Not so fast. While the former Diamond China on W. Sahara is closed, as reported in this space yesterday, the restaurant remains open under new management and with a new name, Fortune Fountain.
• May 24, 2016 15:14 Hooters Book Robbed: The William Hill sports book at Hooters was robbed at gunpoint last night. A single perpetrator left on foot with an undisclosed amount of money and remains at large. No one was injured.
• May 24, 2016 13:42 Cherry Picker Back from Printer: Our new book, Cherry Picker -- A Literate Look at Losing at Slots, is back from the printer. This is a book for those of you who play the slots with pride and don't care what anyone thinks of you for it. Really? We published that? Yep. Loved the writing (though a bit high-brow) and thought the premise was cool. It's available now from ShopLVA.com for the best discount we'll be offering -- $11.98, includes shipping.
• May 24, 2016 12:12 New Las Vegas to London Route: Norwegian Air Shuttle will initiate Las Vegas-to-London routes beginning Oct. 31. The airline will fly 291-seat twin-engine Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets, with one-way tickets announced at an introductory price of $199. The airline currently provides service between Las Vegas and Copenhagen and Stockholm, and will soon add Oslo.
• May 24, 2016 09:49 New Bob dancer Article: Intelligent game playing or cheating a casino promotion? Check out what Bob Dancer has to say in his weekly video poker column.
• May 24, 2016 07:50 Chinese Favorite Closes: We knew something was up with Diamond China on W. Sahara, and now that's confirmed with the closing of what had been one of our favorite Chinese restaurants in town. Even if reopened under new management, many of the best dishes had already been changed or discontinued before the closing.
• May 23, 2016 16:38 MRI Launches Sports Betting App: MGM Resorts International has released its playMGM mobile betting app, which can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes store. MRI's app was somewhat late to the party, but it's the first to allow 24/7 betting, making it the most accessible in the state. The app can be funded at any of MRI's 10 Las Vegas sports books.
• May 23, 2016 13:23 Taj Poker Returns: After more than a year of dormancy, the poker room at Trump's Taj Mahal in Atlantic City has reopened. The room was Atlantic City's busiest in the late '90s when it was used for key scenes in the movie Rounders.
• May 23, 2016 07:44 Lake Mead Water Level Dropping: The water level at Lake Mead dropped to 1,074.7 feet above sea level last week, its lowest point since 1937 when the lake was first filled. It’s expected to drop to below 1,071 feet by the traditional low point of the year in June.
• May 22, 2016 13:08 Full Tilt Folds: After its meteoric rise during poker's heyday and nearly equally fast fall when its funds were seized in the Black Friday government shutdown, the online poker platform Full Tilt has been discontinued. Its players were merged into the PokerStars system last week. PokerStars acquired Full Tilt in 2012 and had been running the sites separately.
• May 22, 2016 11:20 GC Hot Dog Cart Adds Chili: The excellent hot dog cart in the sports book at the Gold Coast now includes chili as an option for $1 additional. You can still get a dog for $1.50, with onions, kraut, and relish at no extra charge. A chili dog with the works is $2.50.
• May 22, 2016 10:45 New Airline Set to Begin Service: Jet Suite, a public charter operator, is set to begin service between Las Vegas and Burbank, California by June. Because the airline operates out of private terminals, the security regimen is lessened and waits are reduced. The airline will fly 30-seat twin-engine Embraer 135 jets Sun.-Fri., with one-way tickets announced at $129 when purchased in advance.
• May 21, 2016 15:42 Preakness Odds Back to Normal: As expected, the betting pool for the Preakness Stakes has straightened itself out. Nyquist is again the favorite at 3-5, while the interloping Stratavari is back at 8-1.
• May 21, 2016 12:45 NFL Big Shots Endorse Vegas: In the past week, two of the league's most influential owners have come out in support of an NFL franchise in Las Vegas. First it was Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys indicating that he would back a move by the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas and yesterday Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots voiced similar sentiments. Addressing gambling's potential influence, Kraft said, "Whatever the risks, they're no greater [in Las Vegas] than playing a game in New Jersey." Whether or not Las Vegas could support a team is the subject of our current Reader Poll. Tell us what you think.
• May 21, 2016 11:10 Big Bet Changes Preakness Odds: There's been a huge shift in the odds for today's Preakness Stakes resulting from a $80,000 wager being placed on Stradivari. The effect of the large bet on the pari-mutuel pool makes Stradivari the new favorite at 1-2 and moves Nyquist to 5-2. It's unlikely to stay this way; however, as money will come back on Nyquist at those odds. We'll update close to post time.
• May 21, 2016 10:42 Preakness Odds: The morning line for today's Preakness Stakes makes Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist the favorite at 4-5. Exaggerator is 9-5 and Stradivari is 7-1. The long shot is Laoban at 60-1.
• May 20, 2016 16:41 PHamous GOLIATH Returns to Planet Hollywood: From May 26 to July 10, Planet Hollywood will once again host the PHamous Goliath Poker Series, with well over 100 tournaments, featuring a total of $8,250,000 in guaranteed prize money, and featuring highlights including the Main Event and five GOLIATH events, plus events from the Charity Series of Poker, the LIPS Poker Tour, and the Deaf Poker Tour.
• May 20, 2016 10:44 Accolade for Hoover Dam Bypass: The Hoover Dam Bypass, and more specifically its key feature, the Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, has made the Top 25 Landmarks list, as picked by users of TripAdvisor.com, coming in at #22. The arch bridge, located within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas, and spans the Colorado River between Arizona and Nevada. It opened in 2010. Top of the list was the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, followed by a double-whammy for San Francisco, with the Golden Gate Bridge at #2 and Alcatraz #3.
• May 20, 2016 10:34 Mickelson Implicated as Billy Walters Case Moves Forward: Golfer Phil Mickelson Mickelson has reached an agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to return profits of close to $1 million, apparently reaped from his part in the alleged insider-trading scandal that led to the arrest earlier this week, by the FBI, of legendary Las Vegas sports bettor Billy Walters. Mickelson reportedly became involved in the scheme as a means of repaying Walters substantial gambling debts he'd accrued; he has cooperated with the S.E.C. and is not named in the criminal complaint brought against Walters and former Dean Foods Co. chairman Tom C. Davis.
• May 20, 2016 10:26 Resorts World Inches Forward: Earlier this week, the Nevada Gaming Control Commission unanimously granted signed off on a series of approval applications, including suitability assessments on various key executives and corporate entities, marking the most significant progress in a year for the long-awaited Strip megaresort. Phase I of the project was originally slated for completion in 2015, with a grand opening of the finished resort slated for sometime this year; now the latest estimated opening date is early 2019.
• May 20, 2016 10:09 Hard Rock Topping Off Postponed: The steel construction phase of the Hard Rock's new 18,000-square-foot convention-space expansion has been completed; however, due to the inclement weather, the traditional topping off ceremony has been postponed until Monday, June 23. When the new addition is completed, which is scheduled to be toward the end of this year, it will bring the total meeting/event space at the property to 110,000 square feet.
• May 19, 2016 15:14 Jamie Opens Jewel Tonight: Actor Jamie Foxx is the celebrity host of tonight's grand opening of Jewel, the new nightclub at Aria in the space formerly occupied by Haze.
• May 19, 2016 14:34 Las Vegas this Festive Weekend: Enjoy being outdoors while it's still humanly possible, with a whole raft of al fresco activities to choose from, plus the usual eclectic offerings on the comedy/music/fighting front; here are some of the highlights:
- Festival-wise, take your pick from the Rock Star Beer Festival & Nighttime Pool Party at Encore (5/20); Town Square's 2016 Wine Walk (5/21); Springs Preserve's annual Ice Cream Festival (5/21); Jazz in the Park with Vincent Herring at the Clark County Amphitheater (5/21); the Nevada Dragon Festival at Lake Las Vegas (5/21-22); the 2nd Annual Streetfest at Tivoli Village (5/21-22); and the Artisan Craft Festival at Suncoast (5/22)
- Smith Center welcomes The Doo-Woop Hall of Fame of America Gala Concert (5/20-21), while the Las Vegas Philharmonic performing works of Tchaikovsky the following evening (5/21-22)
- Boxing returns to The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan with the Showtime Championship Boxing Triple Header (5/21)
- SLS hosts the Neon Cowboy Country Concert Series, with Dan & Shay (5/22)
- Scorpions with Queensryche continue their mini-residency in The Joint at the Hard Rock (5/20-21); followed by Fantasia & Anthony Hamilton (5/22)
- LeAnn Rimes plays the Henderson Pavilion (5/20)
- And Three Dog Night are center stage at the Orleans (5/21-22)
• May 19, 2016 11:34 Life is Beautiful Lineup Released: The official 2016 Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival lineup has been released, with headliners to include Mumford & Sons, J. Cole, Jane’s Addiction, Platinum, The Lumineers, Major Lazer, and dozens of other acts, performing during the three-day downtown extravaganza that takes place September 23-25. Early Bird tix are already sold out, but Advance 3-Day Passes are currently available.
• May 19, 2016 09:49 Billy Walters Indicted: In a surprise development, the man who's been called "the most-dangerous sports bettor in Nevada," and a founding member of the legendary "Computer Group," was arrested in Las Vegas Wednesday by the F.B.I. on both criminal and civil charges stemming from a long investigation into possible insider trading by Walters and his associates. Walters, who also owns Las Vegas' Bali Hai golf course and back in 2011 was the subject of an in-depth profile by "60 Minutes," is being charged with securities fraud by the United States attorney in Manhattan, while the Securities and Exchange Commission has also filed civil charges; Thomas C. Davis, the former chairman of Dean Foods who stepped down last year after being suspected of leaking insider tips to Mr. Walters, has also been arrested.
The current situation is not Billy Walters' first brush with the law, having previously been acquitted on charges of both illegal gambling and money laundering. For more on Walters and his legendary sports-betting career, check out our exclusive collection of interviews and stories, available only from ShopLVA.com.
• May 18, 2016 14:55 Topgolf is Top Notch: We checked out the press opening for Topgolf last night and it's impressive. The majority of the complex is the huge driving range that takes up almost the entire area that used to be the MGM Grand Theme park, but the indoor portion provides lots to do for non-golfers, with pools, live music, several bars, and an extensive food menu. We didn't get prices because everything was complimentary, but the place is loaded with TVs of all sizes tuned to sports, making it an excellent option for catching a game.
• May 18, 2016 10:21 New Poll Up -- Would You Support Football in Vegas?: If an NFL team came to town, would you go to the games? It's a subject of great debate in Las Vegas and also our new Reader Poll. We're interested to see these results.
• May 18, 2016 09:40 Sports Book in the Grease: The Nevada Gaming Control Board has filed a complaint against CG Technologies (formerly Cantor Gaming) for underpaying customers on winning sports bets. The complaint alleges underpayments of $700,000 over more than 20,000 wagers, apparently all parlays. The underpayments were caused by a software glitch (about $100,000 was also overpaid), but the complaint alleges that CGT knew about it, didn't rectify it, then tried to block the state's investigation. Gaming is seeking a $600,000 penalty and disciplinary action. CGT has 30 days to respond.
• May 17, 2016 15:36 Two Days 'Til Topgolf: Las Vegas' Topgolf venue, the 25th location and new flagship for the state-of-the-art driving-range attraction, debuts at MGM Grand at 8 a.m. Thursday, May 19. The eight-acre, four-story facility not only features 108 climate-controlled hitting bays, but is also equipped with two pools, five bars, a concert venue and special-event spaces, and more and will operate daily from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. (4 a.m Sat./Sun.), with bay rentals starting at $30 (GA admittance is free).
• May 17, 2016 14:52 Good News for Foodies: As announced in dramatic style Monday night, when the TV chef rappelled down the facade of the Tropicana, Chef Robert Irvine of Food Network fame will be opening a new restaurant at the Strip resort in 2017. It's the first major news from owners Penn National since they purchased the resort and promised that a major dining overhaul would be top on their list of priorities for the resort-casino, so expect more announcements to follow in due course.
For a current culinary map of Sin City, and top tips on what to eat and where, check out the brand new 2016 edition of Eating Las Vegas, available for a limited time from our online store, ShopLVA.com, at a publisher's discount and with reduced shipping [you won't beat this price anywhere else, but hurry while the offer lasts!]
• May 17, 2016 13:22 Forbes Hearts Huntington Press (HP Hearts Back!) A big thank-you shout out to Forbes magazine, and more specifically to contributor Nicholas G. Colon, for the in-depth feature that takes readers inside the notorious and uber-secret annual gathering known as the "Blackjack Ball." A "Who's Who" of the most skillful blackjack players in the world, at which each year the "World's Greatest Blackjack Player" is crowned following a rigorous test of skills, Colon's account also reads like a "Who's Who" of Huntington Press authors, with publisher Anthony Curtis, Rick "Night Train" Blain (Blackjack Blueprint, three-time Blackjack Ball champ James Grosjean (check out his table-game strategy cards, exclusive to ShopLVA.com), Max Rubin (Comp City, and Bob Nersesian (The Law for Gamblers, our brand-new release) also receiving extensive coverage in the piece.
• May 17, 2016 13:01 Bob Dancer on Crosswords, Video Poker, and Marital Harmony: Does the couple that plays together stay together? Is blissful ignorance a good thing, and does that depend on whether or not it's costing you money? How competitive are you with your partner? These are some of the important life considerations touched upon by Bob Dancer in his video poker column this week.
• May 16, 2016 13:42 Online-Gaming - Good News for NJ; for CZR, Not So Much: In some rare positive economic news to emanate from New Jersey, in April the state scored an all-time high, at $17 million, for its monthly online-gambling win (although this still falls far short of the original estimates, which predicted cyber wagering to be a $500 million-to-$1 billion industry in the state, prior to its launch back in late 2013). The latest figures continue a trend started back in March, when the previous record of more than $15 million record was set and reflects an almost 40 percent increase on the same month the previous year.
For Caesars Entertainment, however, prospects are less rosy, with word that the company is now considering various unsolicited bids for Caesars Interactive, its mobile- and social-gaming subsidiary, as the parent company joins its operating company, CEOC, in facing the genuine specter of bankruptcy. According to reports in the Wall Street Journal, offers could top $4 billion for the fast-growing unit that owns numerous online games, including the iconic World Series of Poker brand, plus social and real-money online casino entities in Nevada, New Jersey, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere.
• May 16, 2016 10:42 Buckle-Up, Vegas, It's 'Click it, or Ticket' Time: Monday marks the commencement of a two-week national safety campaign, being run locally by Nevada Highway Patrol, in conjunction with other law-enforcement agencies across Southern Nevada, and targeted primarily at the enforcement of seat-belt wearing laws, but also with an eye to catching speeding and distracted drivers, and other dangerous behaviors behind the wheel. Las Vegas Metro, together with the North Las Vegas and Henderson police, are participating in the annual nationwide "Click It or Ticket" event, which aims to increase safety awareness and compliance, save lives, and reduce injuries and traffic accidents.
• May 16, 2016 10:32 From Meatballs to Sofas, IKEA's Giving It Away: The lines are forming already, although Las Vegas' first IKEA home-improvement store doesn't officially open its doors until 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 18. The reason for the queues is the announcement by the company that inaugural shoppers will be rewarded with a slew of freebies over the first three days of opening, ranging from sofas, mattresses, and gift cards, to plush toys, cinnamon buns and, a year's supply of family meals featuring IKEA's famous signature Swedish meatballs. But the early bird catches the meatball, so to speak, with the top swag being awarded to the first customers through the door Wednesday through Friday; the store's located at Durango and the 215 Beltway (and, if you click the link, you can also get a sneak-preview tour of the facility courtesy of FOX5 News).
• May 15, 2016 18:40 More Details Re Trop's New Topless Production: Cherry Boom Boom (not to be confused with Lady Gaga's frequent musical collaborator, who has an extra 'Cherry'), is the new topless burlesque revue coming to the Tropicana and bills itself as a "One-of-a-Kind RockNRoll-A-Go-Go Theatrical Dance Show." While that description might sound dubious, the show is already an established performing entity in the Los Angeles area and comes with some impressive credentials, including boasting Pussycat Dolls founding member Lindsley Allen as its co-producer (with actress Shana Betz) and choreographer. (Allen is also known for portraying the "Darling Nikki" character for Prince's "Around the World" tour and, more recently, for her involvement with Charlie's Angels and "Dancing With the Stars"). According to the official Twitter, auditions are already underway, with callbacks having taken place last week, so this is definitely a "thing."
• May 15, 2016 10:01 Sunday Funday 28 Poker Tournament at Noon: Registration is now open for our "Sunday Funday 28" poker tournament. Play begins at noon PST/3 p.m. EST today. Along with $100 for first, prizes include an autographed hard cover of The Law for Gamblers, the new 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 11112). 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.
• May 15, 2016 09:33 GN Jackpot: A visitor from Texas hit a $1 million jackpot at the Golden Nugget earlier this month on a Wheel of Fortune machine. It was the second million+ jackpot at GN this year after another guest hit for $2.8 million in March.
• May 14, 2016 17:40 UFC Werdum/Miocic: Fabricio Werdum is a -175 favorite over Stipe Mioci in today's UFC main event. In the other featured match, Ronaldo Souza is -300 over Vitor Belfort.
• May 14, 2016 11:50 Free LVA Online Poker Tourney Tomorrow: Reserve some time tomorrow to play in our 28th Sunday Funday online poker tournament. First place gets $100, and prizes will be awarded to the top 14 places. Prizes include the autographed hard cover of our new book, The Law for Gamblers, the new 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.
• May 14, 2016 11:24 Helldorado Days Festival: The Helldorado Days Festival runs through tomorrow in the area across from Luxor that's now called Las Vegas Village. The festival features rides, food vendors, and a rodeo. Tickets are $10 to enter the grounds; rodeo tickets are separate. Note that there will likely be traffic disruptions downtown till early afternoon, due to streets being closed off for this morning's Helldorado Days parade.
• May 14, 2016 09:07 Free Cake!: It doesn't even have to be your birthday to enjoy the monthly b'day festivities at Railroad Pass. From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today there's free cake and champagne for everyone, regardless of your star sign (but while supplies last).
• May 13, 2016 19:01 Avicii Out: Citing "personal reasons," the 27-year-old Swedish DJ today abruptly canceled all remaining Las Vegas performance dates at Encore's XS Nightclub and Encore Beach Club, which already were being billed as "farewell" shows following his recent retirement announcement. Anyone holding tickets for scheduled Avicii performances in Las Vegas "will be contacted via email with further instructions" according to Encore's official Twitter; on Sat., May 14 he'll be replaced by Dillon Francis and on Sun., May 15, by Marshmello.
• May 13, 2016 17:02 Male-Confidence Conference Coming to Vegas: Men, are you you held back by self-doubt? Conquer your fear at the Limitless Man Summit lifestyle conference, coming to Las Vegas May 25-27! (Click the link for details; just be aware that confidence don't come cheap: Tix start at $300 for one day.)
• May 13, 2016 16:32 Beauty & Essex - Tomorrow's the Day: The newest eatery to join the ever-evolving lineup at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is the much-anticipated Beauty & Essex, which debuts Saturday, May 14. The restaurant/cocktail lounge/retail store-concept from TAO Group is modeled after the original B&A in New York City and features a menu of upscale modern-American cuisine.
• May 13, 2016 15:40 First Triple-Digit Day of the Year: While a top temperature of 98 degrees was predicted for Friday, apparently official thermometers have passed the 100-degree mark, making today the first of many triple-digit days the Vegas valley can look forward to.
• May 13, 2016 15:03 Cool Pools Updated: We just completed the first (it's an ongoing labor of love all summer long) major update to our long-running and popular Cool Pools feature, where you can find details of which Las Vegas pools are "toptional"; who has pool parties/concerts; where to find swim-up and poolside blackjack; which facilities are open to non-hotel guests (with or without a cover charge); and more!
• May 13, 2016 14:10 Rich Little Extends Run at Trop: Evidently the dust is settling in the Entertainment Department at the New Tropicana, in the aftermath of the Jan Rouven scandal, and following news earlier this week of the new topless revue, Cherry Boom Boom, comes word that veteran Strip comedian Rich Little has extended performances of his family-friendly show at the Laugh Factory comedy club through January 2017.
• May 13, 2016 09:40 Friendly Dealer ... or Toke Hustler? Grosjean Calls It at Beyond Numbers: If you're simply gambling to have a good time and money's no object, go ahead and be as "george" as you like; but if you're playing with a finite bankroll and/or actually trying to eke out an advantage over the casino, over-tipping can be deadly. James Grosjean teaches the rookies among us how to wise up in his latest post at Beyond Numbers.
• May 12, 2016 19:06 Prelude to a KISS: The "kiss" we refer to, of course, is KISS Monster Mini-Golf, debuting soon at its new home at the Rio, and by the looks of the pictures that the almost-complete attraction just teased on Twitter, there's nothing "mini" about the production values of the new location, which looks pretty awesome!
• May 12, 2016 14:48 New Burger Joint for Aria: On May 15, Las Vegas' first Burger Lounge will debut at Aria, near the poker room. An "eco-conscious" chain out of Southern California, the upscale fast-food outlet features non-GMO sustainable ingredients and will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
• May 12, 2016 11:20 Paid Parking Begins June 6: MGM Resorts International says that it will begin charging for parking at New York-New York, Monte Carlo, Bellagio, Aria, and Vdara on June 6, with others following a few days later. However, there are several departures from MRI's originally announced blanket plan. Notably, locals will not be charged at least through the end of the year. There will also be no charge for stays of less than one hour and for members of specified high tier levels in the M life players club. Others, including hotel guests, will apparently be charged fees ranging from $5 to $10 for garage parking and $8 to $18 for valet, depending on length of stay and the property. Free parking for locals will require scanning a Nevada driver's licenses at a kiosk.
• May 12, 2016 11:15 Las Vegas Weekend highlights: The weather promises to be nice, which is good, as there are plenty of outdoor activities this weekend. Here are the highlights:
- Festival-wise, you have Helldorado Days at the MGM Resorts Village (5/13-15); while Downtown hosts the Hellodorado Days Parade (5/14); the Locals Only Beer Festival 2016 takes place at the Neonopolis downtown (5/14); Clark County Amphitheater welcomes Jazz in the Park with Brian Simpson (5/14); Golden Nugget brings you the 8th Annual Wine Fest (5/13-14); and Town Square hosts a Taste of Town Square (5/13-14)
- Billy Idol continues to rock the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay (5/13/16)
- CBS Radio's SPF takes over the Boulevard Pool at Cosmo and features Iggy Azalea, Alessia Cara, Lukas Graham, Fifth Harmony, Kygo and Mike Posner. (5/15)
- Reba Brooks & Dunn return to Caesars Palace (5/13-14)
- The Hard Rock welcomes comedian Ian Bagg to Vinyl (5/13) and Scorpions with Queensryche to the Joint (5/13-5/14)
- And Night Ranger is center-stage at the Orleans
• May 11, 2016 13:17 Angel Delays Mindfreak Debut: The debut of Mind Live!", the new re-imagined Criss Angel production at Luxor which the TV magician had planned to "soft" open tonight, has been pushed back to an unspecified date, reports LV Sun entertainment columnist Johnny Kats, as the cast continues to work on the show. Presumably this will have a knock-on effect of delaying the planned June 23 Grand Opening performance, too, although nothing has been announced; we'll keep you posted.
• May 11, 2016 12:10 New Topless Revue for the Trop: As the Tropicana deals with the fallout following the overnight shuttering of Jan Rouven's illusion show, the latest announcement is that a burlesque comedy, Cherry Boom Boom, will be sharing the showroom with Tropicana Theater as the 10:30 p.m. complement to Raiding the Rock Vault. Additional details TBA.
• May 11, 2016 11:54 American (Pie) Troubadour to Boulder Station: Don McLean is bringing his American Troubadour Tour to Las Vegas for a special one-night-only performance at The Railhead inside Boulder Station on Friday, July 1 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $27.50, plus tax and fees, and go on sale Friday, May 13 at 10 a.m.
• May 11, 2016 11:13 Vegas Tops Trip Advisor Value List: Even though our dining scene no longer specializes in graveyard steak-and-eggs* specials, and our tours are not the cheapest, the combination of low hotel room rates and other advantages won out among Trip Advisor users, who picked Las Vegas as top of the list for Summer Vacation Value destinations this summer. Sin City beat out other popular hotspots, including Cancun, Punta Cana, and Orlando, even though at $2,224 for the average cost of a one-week trip, Las Vegas actually works out a couple hundred bucks more expensive than the popular Florida family pick.
(While Las Vegas is now deservedly acknowledged as a fine-dining destination with world-class chefs, the new section in Eating Las Vegas 2016 dedicated to the city's best steakhouses spans the spectrum from wallet-crushing Wagyu, to some bargain-beef deals that are still to be had, so carnivores of all persuasions would be well-advised to check it out because John Curtas knows his onions, and his cow.)
• May 11, 2016 10:38 (Minor) Fontainebleau Update: While he could not confirm anything specific, John Knotts of CBRE's Global Gaming Group casino real estate advisory and brokerage services, dropped some hints while guesting on KNPR's "State of Nevada" show this morning, saying that "I think we are fairly close to making a deal" to sell Fontainebleau, and that the purchaser (there are several candidates in the race) would be buying the property with a view to completing it, since demolition would not be cost-effective.
• May 10, 2016 14:36 Station/Red Rock Resorts Buys Palms - It's Official: As Las Vegas Advisor reported yesterday, Red Rock Resorts (formerly Station Casinos) has released official confirmation regarding the company's purchase of the off-Strip Palms for $312.5 million.
• May 10, 2016 14:21 New Restaurant from Guy Savoy: The delightful chef behind the eponymous restaurant at Caesars Palace is celebrating 10 years in Las Vegas by debuting a brand new eatery, Brioche by Guy Savoy, inspired by his quick-service pastry-and-savories Goût de Brioche concept in Paris and open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. In addition, Restaurant Guy Savoy is serving a $300 five-course celebratory chef's menu now through the end of May, featuring signature dishes including: "Golden" osetra caviar; roasted turbot; Savoy's signature artichoke and black truffle soup (looks like a puddle of ditch water, tastes awesome); veal chop; and a strawberry dessert. Merci, et bon anniversaire, M. Savoy!
• May 10, 2016 13:53 Donny Osmond - Will He, Won't He?: In an interview with Las Vegas Sun gossip columnist Robin Leach, published Monday, the male half of Donny & Marie, has a tough decision to make in the next week or so, regarding whether he'll continue the show at the Flamingo or take up the offer of a role on Broadway. (Our money's on him quitting Vegas for New York, for what it's worth, and we won't have to wait long as apparently Caesars Ent. has given the performer an ultimatum and time's running out...)
• May 10, 2016 13:23 Bob Dancer on Ignorance vs. Stupidity: In this week's column, the video poker pro calls on the wisdom of Sir Winston Churchill to support the topic under discussion which, in a nutshell, is that to be ignorant about something -- say, an expert gambling strategy -- is both forgivable and "curable;" mental incapacity, however, is not. Which category do you fall in to, if either? Read Bob's column and
weep find out!
• May 10, 2016 09:42 PBR Rock Bar Ticket-Stub Discount: Throughout the month of May, show a bona fide ticket stub as proof of attendance at any qualifying headlining show currently performing at Planet Hollywood, including Britney Spears' Piece of Me, Frankie Moreno's Under the Influence, or Lionel Richie's All the Hits, and receive 15 percent off your bill. (Follow this link for discounted show tickets, too!)
• May 9, 2016 19:18 World Series of Beer Pong Moves to Westgate: Having previously been hosted by the Flamingo, and then the Riviera, for its 11th year the WSOPB is moving to Westgate Las Vegas, where it's going down July 6-10, with more than $65,000 in prize money up for grabs.
• May 9, 2016 16:01 Dog Haus Does Burgers: It's National Burger Week and, to celebrate, each day this week Dog Haus, the new gourmet hot dog joint on Paradise Road, is rolling out a new burger each day this week, for the special price of $5 (Monday's burger du jour is the classic cheeseburger, BTW). This is all building up to the grand crescendo that is May 28, a.k.a. National Hamburger Day, when diners will also be offered a free burger upgrade, comprising an extra patty, plus cheese.
By the way, if you're looking for the best patties in town, you'll find some choice picks, at both ends of the price spectrum, in the "Best Burgers" list in Eating Las Vegas 2016's "Additional Recommendations" section.
• May 9, 2016 13:19 Station to Buy Palms: It has not been officially announced, but Las Vegas Advisor has it on extremely good authority that the Palms, which was recently placed on the market, is being bought by Station Casinos in a move that would make sense. The company previously purchased the original Fiesta (now Fiesta Rancho) from Palms founder George Maloof, which also adds a certain pleasing symmetry to the transaction. Stay tuned for updates!
• May 9, 2016 11:18 Westin Casino to Close: What was dubbed "The Max Casino" back in late 2013, as a nod to the property's former incarnation as the Maxim, is to close in order to make way for a restaurant. Presumably that also means the end of the line for the William Hill race and sports book at the off-Strip Westin, which has struggled to lure tourists from the Strip and is now firmly positioning itself for convention trade.
• May 8, 2016 19:37 Powerball Popped in Jersey: Last night's $429 million Powerball jackpot was hit by a single ticket in New Jersey. The winning numbers were 5-25-26-44-66 and a Powerball of 9.
• May 8, 2016 11:34 UFC Overeem/Arlovski Alistair Overeem is a -225 favorite over Andrei Arlovski in today's UFC main event. In the other featured match, Stefan Struve is -210 over Antonio Silva.
• May 8, 2016 08:56 Happy Mother's Day!: There are plenty of special menus and drink deals in honor of mothers today if you haven't yet made plans, but for something a little different, take your mom to Vegas Indoor Skydiving and she'll get to ride for free and receive a complimentary cupcake from The Cupcakery if you purchase one regular adult ticket. And while the San Genaro Festival seems to have skipped its tradition of free carnival rides for moms there will be a Mother's Day fireworks show at 9 p.m. at the new Craig Ranch Park location. If mom's a player, South Point has 5X points on slots today and 2X points on video poker.
• May 7, 2016 16:30 Alvarez/Khan Line: In tonight's Middleweight Championship fight, Canelo Alvarez is -515 over Amir Khan. The total is 9.5 rounds, with under the favorite at -130.
• May 7, 2016 14:09 Salute to the Queen of Soul: Local chanteuse Avana Christie, plus a cast of friends, pays tribute to Aretha Franklin this evening at Ron Decar's Event Center (1201 S. Las Vegas Blvd.) Doors at 6:30 p.m. showtime's 8-9 p.m., and tickets start at $22.
• May 7, 2016 13:43 Triple Crown Dreamin': Will there be back-to-back Triple Crown winners in horse racing? Following last year's Triple Crown campaign by American Pharoah, talk swirls around the chances of the Kentucky Derby favorite, Nyquist, or any horse in today's race, duplicating the feat. Don't count on it. The NO is -800, meaning you have to bet $800 to win $100 if betting that it won't happen. The YES is +600.
• May 7, 2016 11:07 Derby Parties: The casinos promote hard for the Kentucky Derby. For our round-up of the best places to catch the race, check out Friday's post in this column, and add that Station Casinos is serving $3 Stella Artois, $3 shots of Jack Daniel's, and $5 mint juleps in the race and sports book bars.
• May 7, 2016 10:58 Kentucky Derby Odds: The current odds for the Kentucky Derby make Nyquist the favorite at 2-1, followed Exaggerator at 5-1 and Gun Runner at 9-1. The long shot is Shagaf at 72-1.
• May 7, 2016 08:25 Free Museum Entry: It's the first full weekend of the month, which means today and Sunday Bank of America/Merrill Lynch card holders can enjoy complimentary admission to participating museums; in Nevada, includes Springs Preserve, DISCOVERY Children's Museum, and the Natural History Museum in Las Vegas, plus the Museum of Art in Reno.
• May 6, 2016 11:29 Male-Revue Scene Gets Complicated: Having first dipped a (perfectly honed) toe in Las Vegas waters back in February, with a mini run at downtown's Las Vegas Country Saloon as Men of Steele, recently came word that male revue STEELE was moving to the Strip, with a gig in the Tommy Wind Theater. Tickets to these shows, which start at $49.95, are available Wednesday-Sunday through June 26, but apparently this is just a prelude to greater things for this production from the makers of Magic Mike.
HOWEVER, in big breaking news earlier this week, the Hard Rock is to convert the former Body English nightclub space into a showroom that will host a rival male-stripper production backed by Channing Tatum, the stripper-turned-actor upon whom Magic Mike allegedly was based (Tatum denies it). It's really complicated and has already been the cause of litigation; check blog "Vegas Bright" for the back story.
• May 6, 2016 11:16 Kentucky Derby Primers & Promos: Ahead of Saturday's 142nd Kentucky Derby, known as "The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports," today sees two free betting seminars hosted by casino race and sports books, while tomorrow will feature various parties and promotions taking place around town. Here are the highlights:
- Today at 1 p.m. The Cosmopolitan, in conjunction with CG Technology, will host a complimentary Kentucky Derby betting seminar at new Race & Sports Book, featuring expert panelists explaining the major bet types (Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, and Boxed Exotic bets), while breaking down details about the racetrack and offering insights into this year's field.
- From 6-7 p.m. this evening the Race Book at South Point will also host a Kentucky Derby handicapping seminar, hosted by John Kelly and featuring handicappers Patrick McQuiggan and Toby Turrell. It's free to attend. In addition, there will be a free viewing party Saturday in the Grand View Ballroom, with food specials all day and free drinks for wagers placed at the mobile betting stations.
- Jerry's Nugget traditionally goes big for the Derby and this year's no exception. Place a $10 wager on the race and receive a commemorative glass; place a $25 bet on the Derby Matchup Parlay Card and receive a $10 Jerry’s Nugget Dining Card (limit two glasses and one dining card per guest, while supplies last). On race day itself, there will be complimentary morning coffee and donuts, $2 Track Sandwiches from noon to 4 p.m., and a stemmed red rose given to all ladies.
- Now through Saturday, place a $20 minimum wager on the Kentucky Derby at the sports books at Arizona Charlie's Boulder or Decatur properties and receive a free t-shirt while supplies last.
- Double Barrel Roadhouse at the Monte Carlo will be hosting a viewing party and offering $5 Mint Juleps from noon to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
- The new Montecristo Cigar Bar at Caesars Palace is offering a viewing party with the option of VIP registration for $200, with sign-ups receiving guaranteed seating, complimentary Miller Lite and Coors Light, Woodford Reserve and Woodford Reserve Mint Juleps, Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label, wines, and light appetizers, plus party favors and a personal-sized custom engraved bottle of Woodford Reserve.
- Bound by Salvatore at The Cromwell will host the Ultimate Derby Party, beginning at noon, with guests encouraged to dress in their Derby best and buy one, get one free Mint Juleps for $14.
- Downtown's El Cortez will host a free viewing party in the Fiesta Room from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with $5 traditional Mint Juleps.
- Aliante will offer its prime rib slider cart in the Race & Sports Book throughout the weekend, featuring one slider for $3 or two for $5. In addition, the Race & Sports Book will offer a Woodford Reserve Mint Julep for $3 -- the best price we've seen anywhere -- plus $2 beers and $3 Jack Honey, Jägermeister, or Fireball shots with the purchase of any beer.
• May 6, 2016 10:40 Free Boxing at T-Mobile Today: Today's weigh-in for the big Alvarez/Khan boxing match tomorrow will be held today, outdoors in the Toshiba Plaza that fronts the T-Mobile Arena. The weigh-in is at 3 p.m. and it's free to view. Following the weigh-in (at 4 p.m.), Golden Boy Promotioins will stage a three-bout pre-card, also outside and also free, featuring Petr Petrov vs. Marvin Qintero in the Main Event. The possible fly in the ointment is that it's been raining and it's not clear how that will affect the plan if it continues.
• May 5, 2016 23:27 Happy Cinco de Mayo - Here's Where the Party's At!: Las Vegas traditionally goes BIG for Cinco de Mayo and this year's no exception, so expect celebratory tequila-and-taco deals all over town. What follows are some of the more notable fiestas we've come across, on and off the Strip; for a list of the best Mexican restaurants and taquerias in town, check out the new dedicated section in the new 2016 edition of Eating Las Vegas (currently avail. with an introductory discount - but not for long!):
- Tacos & Tequila at the Luxor is throwing a party hosted by social media personality/model Jessa Hinton. "Sexy de Mayo Très" kicks off at 6 p.m., with food and drink specials, including "Mexican" pizza and $5 shots and beers, plus interactive games and more until 9 p.m.
- Cabo Wabo in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood is bringing its party right onto the Strip, with live music on the patio from 7 p.m. and the ubiquitous tequila, cervesa, and food specials.
- Newcomer at the Rio El Burro Borracho, from TV chef Guy Fieri, is celebrating through Saturday, with live music tonight and three days of taco specials.
Border Grill – Mandalay Bay
- Both Border Grills (MBay and the Forum Shops) will feature a live Mariachi band tonight, plus $8 Casa Noble margaritas and $25 beer buckets. Food specials from the "Too Hot Tamales" include the spicy chicken tamale and agave-charred pork chop.
- Expect one big party at The LINQ, but the party's already underway at Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar, which opened at 6 a.m. today for a 24-hour marathon of beer carts and street tacos, live music and drink specials, plus ladies can compete for a $500 prize in the bikini rooster riding contest tonight and Sunday will see the launch of a new Mexican brunch.
- It's "Drinko de Mayo" at downtown's El Cortez, with drink specials, food trucks, Skee Ball lanes, a Mariachi band, tequila-limbo contest, and a donkey show. Yes, we said a donkey show. there will be free chips and salsa and $5 Patron shots and Patron margaritas available today at all casino bars.
- Celebrate "Pink-O-de-Mayo" at the Hard Rock, with a DJ, Mexican beer and tequila specials, the de rigueur Mariachi band [who knew Vegas had this many Mariachi bands?], and a taco-eating contest. It all kicks off at 6 p.m.
- Downtown Summerlin's Pancho's celebrates its first Cinco de Mayo with a party featuring traditional entertainment from noon to 6 p.m., followed by blues-rockers A Slight Return from 9:30 p.m. until closing. There's a party tent with a DJ and drink specials from 4 p.m. to midnight.
- And last but not least, La Comida downtown is combining its third anniversary party with a three day "Cinco de Drinko" blowout, with Mariachi action, piñata smashings, and the ‘Cinco Trio’ of a fish taco, a Coronita,and shot of Milagro tequila for $9.99.
• May 5, 2016 19:10 Las Vegas This Weekend: It's a festive one, to be sure -- check our earlier post for Cinco de Mayo celebrations stretching through the weekend, but there's a whole bunch of other cool stuff going down too, if you're all taco-and-tequila'd out:
- Downtown hosts the monthly First Friday arts-appreciation happening (5/6); the 37th San Gennaro Feast takes over Craig Ranch Regional Park (5/4-8); Clark County Amphitheater begins its Jazz in the Park series with Lavay Smith (5/7); Springs Preserve hosts the Ohana Festival (5/7); Lee's Beer Experience will be going down out at Sunset Station (5/7); it's the annual Art Festival at Henderson Events Plaza (5/7-8); and the Spring Jamboree takes over various locations in Boulder City (5/7-8)
- In other news, Sam Boyd Stadium hosts the 2016 Monster Energy Supercross Finals (5/7), while the Orleans hosts 2016 Amsoil Arenacross (5/6 & 5/8)
- Smith Center welcomes Makana & Paul Fuga: The Soul Slack Tour (5/6-7); Mariachi Sol de Mexico (5/6); and Soul Men starring Spectrum (5/8)
- Downtown's Golden Nugget presents The Spinners (5/6) and the Scintas are center-stage at the Plaza (5/6-7)
- MGM Grand stages the Kabuki-Lion-Shi-Shi-O show in the David Copperfield Theater (5/3-7)
- Reba Brooks & Dunn return to Caesars Palace (5/6-7)
- Selena Gomez performs at Mandalay Bays Event Center (5/6), while Billy Idol rocks the House of Blues (5/6-7)
- Umphrey's McGee performs Umbowl VII at Brooklyn Bowl (5/6-7)
- Todd Rundgren plays The Foundry at SLS (5/7)
- Hard Rock features comedian David Cross' "Making America Great Again" inside The Joint (5/7)
- Or catch Jennifer Nettles at The Pearl at the Palms (5/7)
• May 5, 2016 17:24 Lucky Dragon Rides Again: In some unexpected good news, Vegas Inc. reports that backers behind the unfinished north-of-Strip Lucky Dragon boutique hotel-casino now claim to have all the required financing in place to complete the project before the end of this year. Having originally sought Asian financing for what's being billed as the "first casino resort to deliver an authentic Asian lifestyle experience" in Vegas, in fact the latest commitment has come from two local businessmen, both of whom are involved in the project. Lucky Dragons' distinctive features will include signs in Chinese first and English second, multilingual staff members, and a high-end tea garden, in addition to a 27,500-square-foot casino, multiple restaurants, a boutique 204-room hotel, and a spa.
• May 5, 2016 16:27 Summer of Psycho at Hard Rock: Forget the Summer of Love; for three days this Aug. 26-28, the Hard Rock will become home to the "Psycho Las Vegas" rock festival, headlined by Alice Cooper and Blue Oyster Cult and featuring 90+ bands from around the world. Tickets are on sale now.
• May 5, 2016 14:23 Home Plate High Hand: Here's a Cinco de Mayo promo with a gambling angle. The newly reopened Home Plate bar, at 2460 W. Warm Springs Rd., is serving $3 Coronas and Cuervo shots, but is also running video poker high-hand tournaments from 3 to 7 p.m. today. Each tournament will last for 30 minutes, with the high hand in that period winning $25. There might be a good opportunity early.
• May 5, 2016 14:21 McDonald's Out at MGM Resorts: As of this week, all McDonald's venues in MGM Resorts' Strip-hotel food courts have closed, we know not why.
• May 5, 2016 13:02 The LINQ Bets on Bunk Beds: The new generation of "boutique" Las Vegas hotels continue in the quest to "out-hip" each other with hi-tech amenitie,s in pursuit of the elusive and demanding millennial customer, but the latest innovation from The LINQ is decidedly low-tech: Bunk beds. Of course, the dozen newly revamped rooms that just came online still feature "hip technology and chic décor" but now also offer guests on a budget, and/or nostalgic for their dorm-room days, the chance to bunk with a group of friends for an economical center-Strip experience. The rooms are available to book now, starting at $69/night (plus resort fee and tax).
• May 5, 2016 11:29 'Legends' Now Legendary for 33 Years: Nationally franchised tribute show Legends In Concert, which performs 10 shows per week at the Flamingo, today celebrates its 33rd birthday in Las Vegas, making it now the longest-running show on the Strip. The summer lineup of stars impersonated in the production will include Whitney, Lady Gaga, Adele, Elvis, and Prince, among others.
• May 4, 2016 13:20 Twisted Folds at Westgate: In an entirely expected twist in the plot that is the entertainment lineup at Westgate Las Vegas, French variety-show import Twisted Vegas has closed, the only surprise being that it lasted as long as it did (it debuted Feb. 18).
• May 4, 2016 10:10 Strip-Transportation & Convention-News Digest: While Clark County commissioners reiterated their (noncommittal) support Tuesday for the concept of a $200 million raised-expressway project to connect McCarran International Airport to the Las Vegas Strip, the Las Vegas Monorail was busy firming up its plan to use interest earned on its "doomsday account" to fund the design and planning stage of a one-mile extension of the transit system from MGM Grand to Mandalay Bay. The southern-most resort on the Strip which is in the process of massively expanding its convention space and the Commission approved the expenditure; however, the $2 million in funds that Monorail Co. has available to tap is a mere drop in the ocean of the estimated $100 million required to build the track extension and pay for two new trains.
In related news, the Tradeshow News Network recently once again named Las Vegas the top destination for conventions and trade shows, based on total numbers of attendees and event-space squarefootage; in 2015, 54 of the 250-biggest shows were hosted in Sin City.
• May 4, 2016 10:07 WSOP Ups Digital Ante for 2016: Organizers of the World Series of Poker have announced some digital innovations for 2016, which will see the 47th annual event taking place. Changes, apparently, will include an increase in live web streaming and a means for players to keep online viewers continually and directly updated with their chip counts via the official WSOP website, plus an online-poker tournament schedule tailored to accommodate players taking part in the live events.
One other, non-digital, change of note is that the WSOP will pay prizes to 15 percent of the field this year, whereas 10 percent had been customary in the past. The additional place payments will come at the expense of the size of the higher shares, but a similar move in last year's Main Event was received favorably overall.
• May 3, 2016 18:51 Downtown Coin - the Update: Our man-about-downtown, VitalVegas.com, confirms that the California, Fremont, and Main Street Station (Boyd) casinos still both have coin-out slots/video poker games, even though they are hiding their respective lights under some serious bushels. Great news (but why no mention on your websites? People want to know this stuff!) Thanks for saving us a phone call or three, Mr Vital. (Not that most machines these days, even if they pay out in coins, will only accept a TITO buy-in, so don't count on skipping change fees by lugging your nickels to the casino.)
• May 3, 2016 15:25 Legalize It! -- Yay or Nay? Pot Poll Ends Tonight: Our current hot-topic Reader Poll on the subject of weed and how you feel about the concept of Nevada legalizing pot for recreational purposes, closes at midnight; so get your vote in if you haven't already, because everyone has an opinion on this topic -- and we want to know yours!
• May 3, 2016 14:02 Win a Stay in Real World Suite: The Oasis at Gold Spike is hosting a winner-takes-all "Real World Suite" contest, for the chance to score a two-night getaway in the TV-featured penthouse suite. Just answer a simple question to enter your name in the draw (and score extra chances by spreading the word on social media). Contest ends June 1, when the lone winner will be named.
• May 3, 2016 10:05 Demise of Downtown Coin Machines: With last year's quiet replacement of all the vintage coin machines on the second floor of the D (with the exception of the sacred Sigma Derby, of course) and the impending late-June closure of La Bayou and Mermaids, we're pretty sure that the Plaza and the El Cortez are the only casinos remaining downtown where fans of the coin-bucket days can still get an old-school slot or video poker fix.
• May 3, 2016 09:40 The Zen Master of Video Poker Speaks!: In this week's column, a tongue-in-cheek Bob Dancer reflects on the importance of humility (and strategy cards) in the life of a video poker guru.
• May 3, 2016 09:28 Secret-Passageway (and Stardust-Carpet) Discoveries at Binion's: Thanks to a leaky ceiling, and an intrepid social media person, Binion's has been posting some cool findings on their Facebook page recently, including a gem-of-a-cartoon from the 1984 World Series of Poker (prize if we can name all the players?!), and some awesome "backstage" footage in part of the shuttered hotel, where discoveries include multiple secret escape routes (keep scrolling), plus some original carpet from the Stardust! (As a bonus fact, former lovable downtown dive the Western featured leftover "Atomic" carpet from the Plaza on the casino floor, we noted while it was still open.)
• May 3, 2016 08:32 Soccer Mega-Long-Shot Comes In: In clinching the championship in English soccer's Premier League yesterday, Leicester City pulled off one of the biggest sports upsets of all time. While it's difficult to compare to one-off upsets such as Buster Douglass beating Mike Tyson or the U.S. hockey team's "Miracle on Ice," the odds were far longer against a Leicester championship, with English bookmakers reportedly taking bets at 5,000-1 at the beginning of the season. That's right, a $100 bet by one of the Leicester faithful (they hadn't won the championship in 132 years in the league) paid $500,000.
• May 2, 2016 16:14 Cantina Out, Pub 365 In at Tuscany: Following the closure, a couple of weeks back, of The Cantina Mexican restaurant at Tuscany Casino, comes word that opening in the spot will be Pub 365, currently slated for a July debut.
• May 2, 2016 12:29 Paid DFS Out of Idaho: After three months of negotiations, Daily Fantasy Sports giants DraftKings and FanDuel have agreed to cease offering any paid DFS contests in the state of Idaho, effective today, May 1, pending future regulation of the industry or future court rulings. Existing players in Idaho will have their balances returned and accounts closed in a timely manner, according to the terms of the agreement reached with the District Attorney.
• May 2, 2016 11:21 Lion Found in Desert: Fear not, hikers, it's not an escapee from the Lion Habitat, but instead the golden lion statue, stolen over the weekend from its erstwhile home as part of a street-art exhibit on the median at Decatur and Flamingo, has been found abandoned in the desert. The recovered lion, which appears to be unharmed by its ordeal, is now in police protective custody.
For more coverage of Nevadan roadside-art mysteries, check out today's Question of the Day.
• May 2, 2016 10:32 Atlantic City Dodges Bullet, for Now...: Atlantic City made a $1.8 million bond payment Monday morning, narrowly averting what would have been the first default for a New Jersey municipality since the Great Depression, reports the Wall Street Journal. However, at a press conference Don Guardian, mayor of the beleaguered East Coast gambling destination, cautioned that, "Financially we're running on fumes. We really are teetering on the edge." Two proposed financial-rescue packages remain stalled in the legislature and there are insufficient funds to cover much outside of payroll and school funding.
• May 2, 2016 09:43 Cabanas for a Cause at the Palms: Actually, it's cabanas for two causes today: Rent a poolside daybed or cabana at Palms Pool & Bungalows today and $100 of the fee will be donated to the Neon Museum or Hope for a Cause, a local non-profit aimed at preventing homelessness and aiding the poorest communities with practical assistance.
• May 1, 2016 20:13 New Street Art Stolen: It's only been a matter of days since one of ten new permanent art installations, part of a Clark County initiative titled "Centered," was installed on the median at Flamingo and Decatur, but already the gold lion has been stolen and the accompanying pink alligators -- the work of artist Chris Bauder -- vandalized, we just learned via the official county Twitter account. A police report will be filed.
• May 1, 2016 15:03 Adios, Sports Authority: All 450 Sports Authority stores nationwide are to close, including the two in Las Vegas, following in the sneakersteps of Sports Chalet.
• May 1, 2016 14:19 South Point Bonuses in May: Every Mon.-Wed. in May, earn 300 same-day points at South Point to get a swipe for free-play, comps, and bonus points worth an advertised combined total of $500,000. The play requirement for this promo used to be 200 points, but this is still an easy play for $300 coin-in on South Point's good video poker schedules.
• May 1, 2016 13:42 May Casino Promos Posted at Frugal Vegas: The Queen of Comps has posted her monthly round-up of off-Strip casino offerings at Frugal Vegas, so check it out.
• May 1, 2016 10:16 Buffet Twofer at Silverton: Get a 2-for-1 buffet at Silverton today, good for brunch or dinner. There's no play necessary; just use your club card to print out a voucher at a kiosk. This deal will be offered every Sunday in May, except May 8).