Compiled by LVA Research
• May 22, 2015 16:16 Earthquake Fallout Causes Major Ramp Closures: Apologies for the delay posting this item, but following this morning's earthquake, Nevada Highway Patrol has closed all ramps from U.S. 95 southbound to I-15 south and north due to damage, including a six-inch separation of asphalt in one instance. How long the closures will remain in effect has yet to be determined -- the latest estimates we've read range from as early as 8 p.m. this evening, to sometime later this weekend, to the possibility of weeks-long closures. Obviously, this is causing major traffic delays in the vicinity -- here's a brief statement from Tony Illia, Public Information Officer for NDOT.
• May 22, 2015 15:23 Reggae in the Desert Returns: This June 13, Las Vegas' celebration of Jamaican music and culture returns to the Clark County Amphitheatre (500 S Grand Central Pkwy.) with the 14th annual Reggae in the Desert festival, which features a big-name lineup including Maxi Priest, Yellowman, JBoog, and others, plus an array of Caribbean-style food vendors, a beer garden, exhibits, and island arts-and-crafts and other merchandise for sale. GA tix are $30 in advance, $35 day of show, and VIP tickets are also available for $100, which includes an event t-shirt, poster, meet-and-greet with select artists, a VIP cash bar, and an air conditioned VIP Lounge with couches and private restrooms (everyone else, bring a blanket!).
• May 22, 2015 12:30 (Sub-Aqua) Summer Comes to Bellagio: This evening, the new summer exhibit in the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens officially debuts, and perhaps we just missed it before, but to the best of our recollection it's the first time that the horticultural display has featured an underwater theme, with coral reefs, jellyfish, air bubbles, and even a sunken-treasure chest - very fun and imaginative! You can catch the finishing touches being added via the live webcam.
• May 22, 2015 12:21 Yes, That WAS An Earthquake You Just Felt: Apparently, the epicenter of the quake that momentarily shook the city at around 11:47 a.m. today was was approximately 150 miles northeast, near Caliente, and registered a magnitude of 5.4 on the Richter scale according to the US Geological Survey.
• May 22, 2015 09:43 Another Coffee Shop Bites the Dust: Effective June 7, at 2:30 p.m., The Café at Monte Carlo will close, clearing the way for a transformation into a "flexible meetings and event space." As a result, from June 8 The Pub at Monte Carlo will commence offering breakfast selections from 7 a.m., both indoors and on the outdoor patio.
• May 21, 2015 17:37 Las Vegas This Weekend: All we can say is, it's epic:
- Dirty Dozen Brass Band performs at Brooklyn Bowl (5-22), where Too Short & Tha Dogg pound also take the spotlight (5/24)
- MGM Grand has a iverse line-up, to be sure, with Bette Midler's Divine Intervention (5-22); comedian Joe Rogan at the KA Theater (5/22); and PBR Cowboy Spring Break with the professional bull riders competition and ancillary festivities (5/22-24). There's also fight night with UFC 187: Jon Jones vs Anthony Johnson at the Garden Arena (5/23), where the Eagles also perform the following night (5/24)
- Silverton welcomes Los Lonely Boys (5/22) and the LV Craft Show (5/24-25)
- Air Supply performs at the Orleans (5/22-24)
- Bikini model Andrea Rincon is at Eastside Cannery (5/22), where contenders also go head-to-head in The King of Cage (5/23)
- Nashville Unplugged returns to Sunset Station, with Bruce Wallace and co-host Michael Peterson (5/22)
- Comedy-wise, it's Joey Diaz at South Point (5/22); Craig Ferguson at The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan 5/23); Kevin Hart at the Mandalay Bay Events Center (5/23-24); and the Bianca Del Rio - Rolodex of Hate Tour at Hard Rock Live (5/24)
- Smith Center welcomes the Lon Bronson Band (5/22) and Guys Sing Dolls: A Feminine Toast With a Twist of Testosterone (5/23)
- Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds take center stage at The Joint at the Hard Rock (5/22) and Vinyl hosts Michael Grimm's CD Release Party (5/23)
- The Bunkhouse Saloon, Commonwealth, and Park on Fremont host a Rock Around the Block Memorial Day Party (5/22-25)
- Henderson Pavilion welcomes You're a Good Man Charlie Brown (5/22-23)
- Chinese vocalist Na Ying performs in the Axis, Theater at Planet Hollywood (5/23), where Romeo Santos performs the following evening (5/24)
- Downtown hosts the 17th Annual Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival (5/23-25) and The Color Run Shine Tour (5/23)
- Cadillac Tramps take the spotlight at Backstage Bar & Billards (5/23), where Icons of Faith are also performing (5/24)
- The Commodores take center stage at Primm's Star of the Desert Arena (5/23)
- M Resort features Hotel California - The Original Eagles Tribute (5/23)
- Springs Preserve hosts its annual Ice Cream Festival (5/23)
- Clark County Amphitheater hosts Jazz in the Park with Marc Antoine (5/23)
- Mariah Carey continues her run at Caesars Palace (5/23)
- The Kool Summer of Fun Kick-Off Festival & Car Show is at the Cannery (5/23)
- South Point hosts The Rocky Mountain Gun Show (5/23-24)
- And Harrah's continues to welcome the Cocaine Anonymous World Service Convention (5/21-31)
• May 21, 2015 16:53 Lucky Dragon Update: It's been more than three years since plans for a second Asian-themed Las Vegas casino (in addition to the Resorts World metaresort) were first announced, but now construction is finally also underway at the Lucky Dragon, Las Vegas' first entirely built-from-scratch hotel-casino since the Great Recession. Located on a site nestled between the Allure condominium tower and the Golden Steer restaurant, just west of the northernmost end of the Strip, the multi-lingual boutique property plans to offer an authentic Asian dining and gambling experience, with a 2016 debut slated. Eater Vegas has more details and the latest renderings.
• May 21, 2015 16:38 Swipe & Win at Silverton: Every Thursday in May, earn 300 points then swipe your players card at the Silverton from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. for the chance to win up to $5,000 cash.
• May 21, 2015 16:32 Job Fair Friday for New Goodwill Store: Some time this summer a new 28,000-square-foot flagship Goodwill of Southern Nevada location is set to open in the Boulevard Mall, and tomorrow they'll be holding a job fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Boulevard Mall (528 S. Maryland Pkwy.) in the main entrance in front of JC Penny. 50 full-time retail associate and managerial positions are open and the organizers encourage interested parties to fill out an application online at goodwill.vegas/goodwilljobs.
• May 21, 2015 12:38 Michael Grimm CD Release Party: Ahead of the June 5 commencement of his three-month residency at Hard Rock's Vinyl, 2010 "America's Got Talent" winner Michael Grimm will host a CD-release party this Saturday, May 23, in his future home, with doors at 7:30 p.m. and tickets, available from the box office only, priced at $30 ($10 for locals; limit two per ID).
• May 21, 2015 11:27 Win Free (Smash)burgers for a Year (and That's Not All!): National Burger Day is fast approaching (May 28) but Smashburger is already running a promo, with the chance for two winners to each bag an a trip for two to Las Vegas for the iHeartRadio Summer Pool Party music festival, plus free burgers for a year. To enter, simply sign up for their free "Smashclub" newsletter or, if you're already a member, look out for an email heading your way with instructions on how to get your name in the drawing.
• May 21, 2015 10:43 New Pool Attractions for 2015 Season: Tomorrow, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wet‘n’Wild water park is hosting a "Celebrity Slideboarding Competition" to raise funds for local children's charities and to mark the debut of the world’s first "Slideboarding" waterslide attraction. We confess we're still a little confused about what "slideboarding" is, but it has been which implemented on the park's Zipp Zapp Zoom ride, and apparently "integrates gaming and competitive sports into a waterslide experience that will change the waterpark industry forever." From what we can see, basically, it looks like you sit/lie on a mini surf/boogieboard-type piece of apparatus and, by the magic of smart technology, the attraction delivers an experience tailored to each rider and which tracks their progress/scores.
Meanwhile, yesterday afternoon on the Strip professional Flow Rider professionals were at Planet Hollywood's rooftop pool, demonstrating how to handle the new freestanding wave machine, which debuted earlier this season.
For something more sedate, you can always check out the new submerged chess board at the Delano's pool -- a new facility for the 2015 season. Note that this pool is open to hotel guests only, however.
• May 21, 2015 10:32 Clark County Hits 2 Million Mark - for Real: Back in March 2013, records from the Census Bureau indicated that the population of Clark County had officially crossed the two million mark for the first time; however, at that time state demographer Jeff Hardcastle, whose numbers determine the distribution of state taxes to local government, challenged the figure, which he calculated was just shy of the claim,at 1,988,195. Earlier this week, a report was released during the 35th annual Las Vegas Perspective event, a gathering of professionals from construction, finance, and tourism concerned with the latest word on the state of the local economy, which claimed Clark County's population grew to 2.1 million people in 2014, a 2 percent increase on the 2013. Still, we'll await official confirmation of this from Mr Hardcastle.
• May 21, 2015 10:18 Adventuredome Wants Thrill Seekers: The attraction at Circus Circus is running a contest in search thrill seekers but entering the sweepstakes involves no physical risk -- just complete the online entry form for a chance to win the grand prize of a family 4-pack of all-day ride passes good for all 25 rides and attractions, a $200 food-and-beverage credit, and a two-night stay at the hotel for four people. Entries must be submitted by May 31 and the winner will be selected by a random drawing on June 8.
• May 21, 2015 10:00 Palms Place Pool Confusion: Anthony Curtis recently wrote in his "The Deal" column for Vegas SEVENS magazine that Palms Place pool is open to locals for free this year, which would mark a change in policy for the venue, but that is what our research department was informed when we called to find out all the pools that are open to non-guests, "toptional," or offering gaming this year. We subsequently were contact by PR at the Palms, who said our information was incorrect, hence we updated our own Cool Pools feature accordingly.
However, today we called back to both Palms Place and the Palms and the representatives with whom we spoke both insisted that the former's pool is indeed open to locals this year, and for no cover. Whether this is an early-season promo only, which would not be unusual policy for a pool before the crowds arrive, we don't know, but we'll continue to pursue until we get to the bottom of it. In the meantime, we're pretty confident they'll let you in if you show up with valid ID.
• May 21, 2015 09:07 miX Update: miX Restaurant and Lounge at Mandalay Bay will close June 1, it's been confirmed, pending the venues' reinvention as Rivea, Alain Ducasse's Mediterranean concept, which specializes in southern French and Italian cuisine. The time-frame for the re-model has not yet been announced.
• May 20, 2015 15:54 Can't Sing or Dance? Don't Worry, There's Always Weed!: If a career in showbiz is not for you, how about marijuana? On Sunday, June 14, downtown's Plaza Hotel (1 Main St.) is hosting a FREE marijuana-industry job fair from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., with a chance to talk one-on-one with Nevada-licensed cannabis cultivation, production, dispensary, and testing facility owners, as well as a variety of cannabis industry booths/vendors sharing insights into this new industry and what it takes to become a part of it. It's a serious event, so dress professionally and come armed with your resume, business cards, and a list of references.
• May 20, 2015 15:32 Magician Mat Franco's Debut Delayed: The Season 9 "America's Got Talent" winner, who was set to open at The LINQ June 24, will now not commence his residency until August 5.
• May 20, 2015 15:16 Revamp in Store for Ducasse's miX at MBay: The ongoing reinvention of the former THEhotel, the non-gaming boutique portion of Mandalay Bay that is now The Delano, continues, with word that Michelin-starred Chef Alain Ducasse is to close miX later this year and reopen the 64th-floor (sort of) restaurant under his southern-Mediterranean Rivea brand. This is music to our ears because, regardless of how the cuisine may be, we feel we're likely not alone in our jubilation over the discontinuance of really annoying randomly mixed-case names in this town! Now, if shows could just stop with the exclamation points... (Yes, Eddie Griffin Experience!, Jubilee!, and VEGAS! The Show, we are talking to you!)
• May 20, 2015 12:12 Vegas the Show is Hiring: The celebration of Las Vegas entertainment that performs in The Saxe Theater at Miracle Mile Shops is casting for new talent. They're looking for female dancers (5'5" or taller, please, and partnering skills are a plus); female singers (from Peggy Lee to Cher, via Tina Turner and Keely Smith, style-wise!); African American male vocalists (Louis Armstrong to Sonny Bono); male Caucasian singers (Elvis, Elton, Wayne, Frank); and male dancers technically trained in ballet and jazz (5'10" or taller). The auditions will take place in the theater on June 8, beginning with female dancers at 9 a.m. and running throughout the day. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
• May 20, 2015 10:27 Crazy Girls Returns to the Strip: Thanks, or rather no thanks, to their recent robbery, it's a week later than originally planned, but today Las Vegas' longest-running topless revue returns to the Strip, with the opening of Crazy Girls at its new home at Planet Hollywood. The show performs Wednesday to Monday at 9 p.m. and tickets start at $54.
• May 20, 2015 10:11 New Stratosphere Pool to Debut Thursday: It was back in 2004 when the Stratosphere got in on the "toptional" action, with the debut of Club 25, a revamped pool facility on the 25th floor of the hotel. It operated for a few seasons but in 2011, if we recall correctly, it closed "indefinitely" for renovations and has remained closed ever since. Until tomorrow, that is, when it reopens as Radiusº Rooftop Pool & Wet Lounge. Located more than 300 feet above the Strip, with awesome panoramic views of both Las Vegas Boulevard and the wider Vegas Valley, Radiusº will operate as a boutique pool by day and open-air wet lounge by night, with an "East meets West-inspired menu" (with items starting at $11) and a daily Sunset Happy Hour from 5 to 8 p.m., featuring $3 domestic beers, $4 imports/craft beers, and $5 you-call-it cocktails. You can reach the new pool by way of the North elevators (near McCall’s Heartland Grill on the casino level) and entry is free to guests and $15 men/$10 women for non-guests, but members of the Take Vegas Back receive half off with their card.
• May 20, 2015 09:33 Dancer on Going Broke, Quitting Drugs, and Kelly Criterion: You don't have to be a video poker player to gain some useful life insights from Bob Dancer's latest column, in which he shares the ups and downs of his personal professional-gambling history. Highly recommended!
• May 19, 2015 17:25 Rock Vault Celebrates with Ticket Promo: In honor of its upcoming 500th performance, Raiding the Rock Vault at the Tropicana will be offering the first 500 tickets for shows the weekend of May 29-30 for just $10 (includes one well drink, too!), plus there will be a special FREE "live outdoor-concert party" from 1 p.m. on 5/30, culminating in a free Strip-side performance of the show at 5 p.m. Various paid-for VIP packages are also available.
• May 19, 2015 16:35 Defunct Las Vegas Casinos Poll: At midnight our current survey, which asks which casino you miss most of all those that have closed, will itself close, so get your vote in while you can! Tomorrow, a new LVA Reader Poll goes lives -- and we predict it's going to generate some heated and polarized responses!
• May 19, 2015 12:07 Life is Beautiful Lineup Released: Following last year's hit with Lionel Richie comes the announcement that Stevie Wonder will be headlining at this year's downtown music festival, which takes place September 25-27. It's a stellar lineup all round, with more acts still to be confirmed, but here's the list as it currently stands and believe us when we say, there's definitely something for every musical taste (well, no string quartets, but pretty much every other musical taste is covered):
Imagine Dragons, Kendrick Lamar, Duran Duran, Hozier, Kid Cudi, Weezer, Major Lazer, Death Cab for Cutie, Brandon Flowers, Kygo, Atmosphere, Twenty One Pilots, Porter Robinson, Thievery Corporation, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Metric, DJ Snake, AWOLNATION, Walk The Moon, RL Grime, Run The Jewels, Rebelution, Griz, Future Islands, SOJA, Royal Blood, Madeon, Glass Animals, Lindsey Stirling, Clean Bandit, Badbadnotgood & Ghostface Killah, Best Coast, Robin Schulz, The Green, Tchami, SZA, Against Me!, Dan Deacon, Meg Myers, Cashmere Cat, New Politics, Tommy Trash, Two Gallants, Ryn Weaver, Shamir, What So Not, Big Data, Elle King, Jauz, Saint Motel, BØRNS, X Ambassadors, Kingande, Halsey, Salva, Leikeli47, The London Souls, Kaleo, Giraffage, Andra Day, Mercer, Night Terrors of 1927, Parade of Lights, Peking Duk, Jared & The Mill, and Mercy Music.
• May 19, 2015 11:07 Report Names Las Vegas Best-Deal Destination for Families: According to a recent study by financial-advice site SmartAsset.com, Las Vegas ranks #1 in the nation for affordable family-vacation destinations, ahead of Orlando and Tampa. "According to the FAA, the average roundtrip airfare to Vegas in the summer is just $265, cheaper than to any other major U.S. city. Once you’re there, if you’re willing to forgo the penthouse at the MGM Grand, you can score an average hotel room for $116 per night, 8th lowest in our study," the report states. They're not wrong, and if you're looking for a deal on a Vegas hotel room, or a room-and-flight package, we can help with that! (P.S. We have great discounts on production shows, too, but for the very best savings, enroll in our Member Rewards program, where an annual membership for just $37 can really save you big bucks across the board, with buffet, dining, and entertainment discounts, not to mention great gambling bonuses that might even pay for your vacation!)
• May 19, 2015 10:45 Gloves Off in MayPac 'Fraud' Feud: There may be more of a fight after the much-hyped Mayweather vs Pacquiao match than there was in the ring that night, with more than 30 class action lawsuits now having been filed from several different states. Plaintiffs, who include pay-per-view customers, along with bars and clubs who paid top dollar to screen the fight live, are claiming that they were ripped off on account of Pacquiao's subsequently disclosed shoulder injury, on the grounds that it could have hampered his performance and rendered the fight a "fraud." However, while Pacquiao, who has since undergone surgery on the torn rotator cuff, could still face a perjury charge for checking the "No" box on an official commission medical form turned in the day before the fight at the weigh-in, apparently outside legal experts are skeptical about the claims having any merit, since the boxer had no direct contract with fans or pay-per-view buyers.
• May 19, 2015 10:27 Blue Men (or Women) Wanted!: On May 27, Blue Man Group will host an open call recruiting new performers for its productions in Las Vegas, Orlando, Boston, and Chicago. The casting will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Blue Man Group Theater inside the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, and both male AND female performers (yes, there has been a Blue Woman, and perhaps there will be again!) are invited to audition. Here are the official guidelines if you think you've got what it takes to be a part of the popular show:
- Strong candidates frequently have backgrounds in physical theater and improvisation. They are compelling and genuine nonverbal storytellers. They must thrive
- Drumming skills / musicianship are an advantage but a good sense of rhythm is necessary.
- Pperformers must be between 5'10" and 6'2", with an athletic build.
- Must be willing to relocate. All training takes place in New York City.
For more information, visit blueman.com/casting.
• May 19, 2015 07:59 Venetian Poker Perks: We've just learned of a good promotion in the Venetian poker room. The max rake on all games is $2, plus players earn $2 per hour in comps that don't expire. The promo ends May 24.
• May 18, 2015 18:03 Country Cookout at Town Square: Keeping with the country theme, the weekend after Cowboy Spring Break sees a Country Cookout at Town Square, in conjunction with 95.5 The Bull. Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic-style downhome country cookout, with BBQ provided by Pot Liquor, live country music, and a raffle, with proceeds to benefit the Communities In Schools program. The event runs from 5-8 p.m. and tickets, which are $25 for adults/$15 for kids, are on-sale now.
• May 18, 2015 18:02 The Cowboys are Coming!: This May 22-24 sees the fifth annual Cowboy Spring Break invade the MGM Resorts Village, with an event lineup that includes Last Cowboy Standing on Friday, May 22 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 23 at 6 p.m., as the Top 50 bull riders in the world compete for a grand prize of $180,000, plus concerts by artists including Montgomery Gentry, Gary Allan, and The Band Perry. There will be on-site VIP pool parties at properties including Luxor, MBay, MGM Grand, and the Mirage, volleyball, meet-and-greets with autograph signings, mechanical-bull riding, western-themed vendors, and more. It's complicated, so check out the official Cowboy Spring Break website for the lowdown of what's happening where, and when. Single-day passes start at $50 ($99 for a full three-day pass).
In addition, South Point will also be getting in on the action with a free event on Saturday, May 23, featuring a special poolside appearance from retired three-time World Champion Bull Bushwacker, plus bull-riding stars Matt Triplett and Reese Cates, followed by live music and other festivities, and this event is free to anyone to attend.
• May 18, 2015 12:40 Learn to Cook Sinatra's Favorite Dishes: This June 5, Sinatra at Wynn Las Vegas will host an exclusive culinary demonstration by executive chef Theo Schoenegger, who cooked regularly for the star at New York's San Domenico restaurant and will teach guests the secrets to preparing some of Ol' Blues Eyes' faves, including pasta e pomodoro and veal Milanese, just how he liked them. Sinatra’s granddaughter, A.J. Lambert, will also be there for the interactive cooking demo and will regale guests with stories about her grandpa during the three-course lunch. Tickets are $85/person (all inclusive) and include a copy of Frank Sinatra Duets to take home. For more info, or to make a reservation, call 702-770-5320.
• May 18, 2015 11:58 Public Viewing Friday for B.B. King: Before his body is flown home to Mississippi to be interred, fans will have a chance to pay their last respects to blues legend B.B. King at a public viewing of his open casket, to be held at Palm Mortuary West (7400 W. Cheyenne) from 3 to 7 p.m. this Friday. A private family funeral will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday at Palm Mortuary's chapel facility downtown.
• May 18, 2015 11:40 Military Mondays at Station Casinos: Throughout the month of May, Boarding Pass members with valid military I.D. receive free coffee, free bowling sessions, 2-for-1 buffets, half-point bingo, and discounts on dining, childcare, drinks, and more at Station Casinos locations.
• May 18, 2015 11:23 Zombies Heart Punks: Downtown hosts the annual Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival this May 22-25, and Evil Dead the Musical is supporting the alt./indie music cause with an exclusive two-for-one ticket offer for the duration. Use coupon code PRB0515 when buying tickets online, over the phone, or in person at the box office at the V Theater Box Office (inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood).
• May 18, 2015 10:46 The LINQ to Host New Hot Rod PowerFest: TEN, he Enthusiast Network, has announced the creation of two new premier events for auto fans, with the launch of HOT ROD PowerFest EAST and WEST, two annual two-day destination events for cool-vehicle owners and fans that put a new spin on the conventional car-show format. Hot Rod WEST will take place at The LINQ parking lot this Sept. 26-27, and in addition to featuring a wide range of vehicles, from muscle cars and low riders, to street rods and high-end exotics, entertainment highlights will include the "Dyno Challenge" (check your horsepower!); autocross events; acceleration and burnout competitions; live entertainment; and a bikini contest.
A pre-registration discounted rate of $125 is available now through Sept. 23, for $125 at raceit.com/Register/?event=32827; HOT ROD PowerFest EAST will be hosted by Darlington, S.C., October 3–4.
• May 18, 2015 10:37 Road Conditions Not Great: Heavy rain throughout the Vegas Valley is leading to standing water and other driving hazards, so please take care and don't be a statistic.
• May 18, 2015 10:27 Thrillist Vegas Picks Hidden Gem Restaurants: The local branch of Thrillist today is running a feature on "9 Restaurants in Vegas You Haven't Tried... But Should and it's a good list that includes our friends at Sporting Life bar -- probably the best sports bar in Vegas (they even have a lines feed!) and great food, too, so add it to your list to check out, if you haven't already. Also features dart league, weekly "Geeks Who Drink" trivia night, and homemade chocolate chip cookies!
• May 18, 2015 09:42 Casa di Amore Closed for Remodel: The classic old-school Italian eatery on E. Tropicana Avenue, famed for its osso buco, "vintage Vegas" decor, house band, and complimentary limo service, closed today for a remodel. The restaurant is due to reopen June 12.
• May 17, 2015 19:26 American Pharoah PK for Triple Crown: Opening lines have American Pharoah at -115, essentially pick 'em, to win the Belmont, which would complete horse racing's Triple Crown. That's a fairly strong endorsement of his chances, given that the task hasn't been accomplished since Affirmed in 1978.
• May 17, 2015 12:29 Come Hang with AC: Anthony Curtis and Arthur Flowers will be at Silver Sevens today from 3 to 5 p.m. signing their book, The Art of Gambling Through the Ages. Come by and say hi. Anthony will be the one with the Heineken.
• May 17, 2015 09:56 Sunday Funday 16 Poker at Noon: Registration is now open for our "Sunday Funday 16" poker tournament. Play begins at noon PST/3 p.m. EST today. Prizes are $100 for first; a suite of three of our top poker books for second; Full LVA membership for third, and prizes for all final-table contestants, including books and gift cards. There's also a "bubble" prize this month for 10th place. 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 8536). 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 17, 2015 09:19 Mayweather/Pacquiao Numbers: The fight might not have lived up to the hype, but the numbers sure did. Just-released figures indicate that a paid attendance of 16,219 generated a record live gate of $72,198,500. An additional $6.9 million was taken in from the sale of more than 46,000 closed-circuit seats. But that was just at MRI properties. The big bucks came from the Pay Per View receipts, where 4.4 million buys generated more than $400 million, obliterating the previous record of 2.45 million buys and $150 million for the Mayweather/De La Hoya fight.
• May 16, 2015 16:23 Art of Gambling Book Signing Tomorrow: Join Anthony Curtis and Arthur Flowers at Silver Sevens tomorrow from 3 to 5 p.m., when they'll be signing the book they co-authored, The Art of Gambling Through the Ages. A-Play Platinum members get a free book, while other club levels can get a complimentary copy by earning 500 points ($500 coin-in) tomorrow.
• May 16, 2015 16:21 Another Boyd Card-Swipe Promo: Swipe your B Connected card today at Gold Coast, Suncoast, Orleans, or Sam's Town to win cash, comps, and point multipliers. The "A-May-Zing May" promotion runs on every Friday and Saturday through the end of May. These recent swipe promotions have been worthwhile, especially when combining the multipliers with the good VP schedules at these casinos.
Update: This is for Emerald and Sapphire cards only. The Ruby level (red card) does not qualify.
• May 16, 2015 15:51 Drink Party at Hustler: It's "Sexy Saturday" at Larry Flynt's Hustler Club, with free drinks from 4 to 8 p.m. today. Well, it's not exactly free unless you're a local with a Vu card. If you don't have the card, you can buy one for $10. It's $50 admission for non-locals, so you'll need to be thirsty. Get more details about Hustler, including the opening of its new Fuso nightclub, as well as information about all the gentlemen's clubs in town at LVA's adult site, ToplessVegasOnline.com.
• May 16, 2015 13:37 Free LVA Poker Tourney Tomorrow: Reserve some time tomorrow to play in our 15th Sunday Funday online poker tournament. First place gets $100 and everyone at the final table will win prizes. 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 16, 2015 13:35 QoD Glitch Repaired: We had a problem with the QoD generation today, with the wrong question showing with no answer. Sorry for that. All is right now, with a good installment that covers a former Reno casino and a cool story about The Cooler.
• May 16, 2015 09:43 Preakness Odds: The morning line for today's Preakness Stakes makes Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah the favorite at 3-5. Dortmund is 7-2 and Firing Line is 4-1. The long shot is Tale of Verve at 30-1.
• May 15, 2015 15:58 Downtown Salutes the King of the Blues: BB King is to join the ranks of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor,Nelson Mandela, Joan Rivers, Dick Clark, and Jerry Tarkanian, reports the LV Sun and will receive an homage tonight on the Fremont Street Experience Viva Vision canopy. The light show honoring the blues legend, who died last night at home in his sleep, is expected to follow the regularly scheduled video shows that run every hour, on the hour, from 8 p.m. until midnight.
• May 15, 2015 15:50 Happy 110th, Vegas!: Today marks the city's 110th anniversary and the first hotel opened a year later at #1 Fremont Street (with Las Vegas' first telephone, also reached by dialing '1'). It was named the Hotel Nevada and is still available to stay at today, with the original rooms (and some new ones) only now it's called the Golden Gate.
• May 15, 2015 10:36 Free Chocolate Chip Cookies for EVERYONE!: It's National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and to celebrate, DoubleTree by Hilton, known for its signature gesture of greeting arriving guests with a warm choc-chip cookie, is extending the love to anyone who stops by any of their 415 Doubletree by Hilton properties around the world Friday. In addition, Virgin Atlantic passengers will receive complimentary gooey goodness at check-in counters at Las Vegas' McCarran Airport (and at San Francisco International Airport, LAX, and London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports).
• May 15, 2015 09:58 Nevada Approves Skill-Based Gaming: Thanks to the unanimous approval of Senate Bill 9 by the Nevada legislature, a measure which has Gov. Sandoval's approval and is en route to receive his signature, will open the door to allowing skill-based games in Nevada casinos. The move is in response to advances in technology and an acknowledged need to attract younger generations and transform "gamers" into gamblers. Atlantic City is also urging companies to diversify their gambling offerings and transform existing social-media games with an element of skill into gambling products. It was back in May 2013 when the US' first platform for legal real-money gambling on mobile games involving skill was launched for Android devices by San Francisco-based startup company Skillz and reportedly the company's average daily profits tripled in the first week.
• May 15, 2015 09:53 New Gig for MO5AIC: The male vocal group that Tony Bennett describes as the best he’s ever heard, have a new Las Vegas gig (they formerly performed at LVH), with a residency at Bally's that commences Friday, June 5 at 9:30 p.m. inside the Windows Showroom. The show schedule will be Thursday-Monday, at 9:30 p.m., running through Dec. 7 and tickets start at $100.
• May 15, 2015 09:45 BB King Passes: As we reported last night on Twitter, as soon as we heard the news, legendary blues artist BB King passed away last night in his sleep in Las Vegas, where he lived, aged 89. He had been suffering from ill health for awhile. Fans of BB King, who inspired generations of artists, including the likes of Eric Clapton and Bono, can catch a former member of his band here in town: Billy Ray Charles and his band, The Boys in the Parking Lot, perform regularly at venues around town, including New York City Bar & Grill (6168 Spring Mountain), the Hard Hat Lounge (1675 S Industrial Rd.), and City Bar (1000 E. Sahara -- formerly the Square Apple), where they play tomorrow night from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. "I hitched a ride with BB King and he took me all over the world! And one night at The Cellar Lounge, he hitched a ride with me! RIP" Billy Ray posted on his Facebook page when he heard the sad news.
• May 14, 2015 15:51 Las Vegas This 'Rock in Rio' Weekend: We hope the weather forecasters are incorrect and that the weather stays decent for all the outdoor events going on; if not, maybe check out the marijuana convention first, and you won't care!
- It's the concluding "pop" weekend for Rock in Rio, at the Festival Grounds at the northernmost end of the Strip -- look out for road closures (5/15-16)
- Weird Al Yankovic brings his signature brand of humor to Planet Hollywood (5/12-17)
- The Helldorado Days Festival takes place at the Downtown Rodeo Grounds, located at the northeast corner of Symphony Park and Grand Central Parkway (5/14-17)
- Smith Center welcomes "Horizons: An Evening with Lisa Hilton and Her Band" at Cabaret Jazz (5/15-16) and Pops V: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra will perform at Reynolds Hall (5/16)
- It's the 7th Annual Wine Fest at the Golden Nugget (5/15-17), which also hosts the annual Marie & Rich Foundation benefit show (5/17)
- Nashville Unplugged returns to Sunset Station with Chris Cavanaugh and co-host Michael Peterson (5/15)
- Rapper Earl Sweatshirt takes center stage at Hard Rock Live (5/15), where Like Wade also performs (5/16)
- For marijuana enthusiasts, Hempcon Cup Las Vegas takes over at Cashman Field Center (5/15-17)
- The 2015 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS take place at MGM Grand (5/16)
- Funny man Jeff Ross does stand-up at Mandalay Bay's House of Blues (5/15), while Bryan Adams (5/16) and Neil Diamond (5/17) perform at the Events Center
- Legendary rock band Journey rocks on at The Joint at the Hard Rock (5/15)
- Karlos Rose performs at Eastside Cannery ((5/15)
- Little Dragon takes center stage at Brooklyn Bowl (5/15)
- The Bronx Wanderers play South Point (5/15-17)
- Tuff-N-Uff presents "Festibrawl" at the Cannery (5/15)
- Debby Boone performs at the Suncoast (5/16-17)
- Sante Fe Station welcomes Keiko Matsui (5/16)
- Mariah Carey returns to the spotlight at Caesars Palace (5/16-17)
- And Tivoli Village hosts the "Tivoli Village Street Fest" with family fun, food, and shopping! (5/16)
• May 14, 2015 13:21 Fuso Nightclub Debuts Tonight at Hustler Club: Don't forget tonight (and tomorrow, because this is Vegas) sees the grand opening of the new rooftop nightclub, Fuso, at Larry Flynt's Hustler Club. The venue features a separate entrance from the two-story topless club downstairs, plus fire pits and a line-up of big name DJs, kicking off with back-to-back gigs from The Crystal Method. We're trying to find out what the cover charge is, but right now their phone isn't working...
• May 14, 2015 13:12 Riviera Sign Heads Downtown: With the liquidation sale now underway, today one item you can't buy, namely the Riviera sign, headed downtown to its new home at the Neon Museum. The famous Crazy Girls butt statue, meanwhile, was recently spotted heading in the opposite direction on Las Vegas Boulevard. All that's missing now on the Strip is the Deja Vu Stripper Mobile!
• May 14, 2015 12:11 Atlantic City Casino Will Extend Your Life: Our favorite casino-owning maverick, Glenn Straub, has yet another plan for his new Atlantic City purchase, reports Bloomberg News, with the announcement that he plans to turn Revel into a casino-cum-health-clinic, with futuristic medical facilities offering IV-nutrient therapy, cold-temperature cryotherapy, and genome therapy. "We can make you live to be a hundred years old," he promised the reporter adding, somewhat menacingly, "I don’t know if you want to live to be a hundred years old. But we can make you."
We're not sure if Mr Straub is aware of M Resort's short-lived experiment with an on-site pharmacy and doctor's office, which went the same way as the property's airship, but he's evidently not one to let sanity get in the way of his dreams which, as far as Atlantic City is concerned, currently (he changes his mind a lot, too) include a $1.5 billion investment in an equestrian center for polo, show jumping, and dressage (à la South Point, but with gambling on the events to enhance the entertainment factor because, he observes, "Oh my God, it’s like watching paint dry"); a marina ("for boats too big for Greenwich or the Hamptons"); a pier featuring a laser light show; a giant water park; and an airfield featuring a fleet of two dozen small planes to fly in high rollers from anywhere in the world. Previous talk of his building an underground tunnel to connect Atlantic City's remaining casinos was absent from Straub's latest summary of what he's calling "The Phoenix Project."
• May 14, 2015 11:33 Anthony Curtis, Live at Silver Sevens!: LVA/Huntington Press publisher Anthony Curtis, and co-author Art Flowers (Anthony's dad!), will be signing copies of The Art of Gambling Through the Ages at Silver Sevens this Sunday, May 17, from 3 to 5 p.m. A-Play Platinum members get a free book, while other club levels can bag a complimentary copy by earning 500 points that day. (That’s $500 coin-in, which is about a $10 expected loss, to get a $65 signed book.) It's a beautiful history of the depiction of gambling games in art that makes a great addition to any gambler's book shelf or coffee table and this will be the first signing they've ever done together, so go say hello!
• May 14, 2015 09:43 Preakness Tips at South Point: The south-of-Strip casino will be holding one of its free gaming tutorials this Friday at 6 p.m. in the Grandview Lounge, with race-betting experts giving tips for Saturday's Preakness Stakes. Then, if you feel like hanging around for awhile, you can catch the weekly "Dirty at 12:30" free (adult) comedy club in the same venue.
• May 14, 2015 07:59 Mariah Misses: Last night's performance of "Mariah #1 to Infinity" at Caesars Palace was canceled at showtime. Arriving customers were given a sheet of paper explaining that Mariah Carey was "feeling ill and [following] doctor's orders to take an additional night off and rest her voice." It can happen. All tickets are being refunded. Carey isn't expected to miss any additional shows, with the next one scheduled for Saturday.
• May 13, 2015 17:29 New Partner for Life is Beautiful: This year's downtown music-food-and-culture festival, taking place September 25-27, is to be co-produced by Insomniac Events, which is also responsible for the Electric Daisy Carnival and other EDM extravaganzas. The news has just been announced and no further details were given, so we're not sure if this will entail any style or content change for LiB, or if the event is merely going to be drawing on the organizational experience of the folks behind EDC, which itself will take over Las Vegas Motor Speedway June 19-21. We'll let you know the scoop when more info becomes available.
• May 13, 2015 17:11 Don't Pack Your Winter Wardrobe Up Just Yet ...: The weather forecast later this week does not bode too well for Rock in Rio, we regret to pass on, at least not for Friday's concerts: A storm system is apparently headed our way, with wind gusts of 25 mph already in effect and rain, even snow, on the way, according to the National Weather Service. There's a 30 percent chance of rain on Thursday evening, jumping to 40 percent for Friday, with nighttime lows dipping to around 58 degrees and a daytime high of 63 degrees predicted. At least the outlook is better for Saturday, when conditions are set to be partly sunny, with highs in the low 70s.
• May 13, 2015 16:55 LVL UP EXPO - Great News for Gamer Geeks: This May 30-31, downtown's Cashman Center hosts the third annual LVL UP EXPO (LUX), a nonprofit video game/anime/technology convention based in and out of Las Vegas. The expo is open to the public -- the pre-registration fee for a one-day pass is $25, or $40 for the whole weekend -- and the event promises to be jam-packed with tournaments, cosplay, expert panels, a dance battle, and arts/crafts contest, a movie premiere, a raffle, plus vendors, artists, giveaways, and more, so mark your calendars!
• May 13, 2015 12:42 Tivoli Village Street Fest This Saturday: By the sounds of it, Tivoli Village is throwing a big block party this Saturday, with the regular farmer's market to be complemented with the promise of live music, gourmet street food, fashion shows, new store merchandise, discounts, free samples, and more to showcase all the west-side "retailtainment" complex has to offer. Speaking of retail, every Tivoli store receipt on the day qualifies as an entry into a raffle for "Tivoli Bucks," with winners picked every hour and prizes of up to $500.
• May 13, 2015 11:01 New Strip Gig for Michael Grimm: The 2010 "America's Got Talent" winner has performed in numerous venues around town, including Green Valley Ranch, Red Rock, and the Flamingo (not to mention plenty of non-casino lounges, and even a sports bar!), and now Michael Grimm has landed a three-month residency in Hard Rock's Vinyl, commencing Friday, June 5 and running through Sunday, Aug. 30. The show will perform each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the duration and tickets, which start at $19.95 ($10 for locals with valid I.D.), are on sale now.
• May 13, 2015 09:38 Your Chance to Own a Piece of Strip History: The Riviera's liquidation sale begins at 9 a.m. tomorrow and will run for 28 days, or until every last item has sold -- whichever occurs first. Everything is up for grabs, from kitchen utensils and cleaning equipment, to a baby grand piano and the contents of all 2075 guest rooms -- including the famous Frank Sinatra Suite. There's artwork, chandeliers, gaming tables, forklifts, boilers, pool and patio furniture, more than 2,000 flat-screen TVs, signage, and a leaded glass ceiling, among many other items, and everything is marked with a price and must go!
The sale starts Thursday at 9 a.m. and is open to the public and commercial buyers. A $10 admission charge applies for the first four days and if you've got your heart set on something, we recommend you get there VERY early. When the shuttered Sahara staged a similar event four years ago, the line to get in reached all the way to Paradise Road and many people faced an hours-long wait to get inside and take a peak.
• May 13, 2015 09:29 Another Makeover at Aria: Aria's Deuce Lounge is to join the ranks of City Bar, Haze, Lift Bar, and Gold Nightclub & Lounge at the property and undergo a major remodel, affecting both the lounge and the adjacent casino space. Details have not yet been released regarding time-frames or what form the upgrade will take, but new owners Hakkasan, who took over from the Light Group, intend to invest upward of $1.2 million on the revamp.
• May 12, 2015 19:33 It's Official -- JLo to PlanetHo: On Tuesday's "American Idol" Season 14 finale, Jennifer Lopez finally confirmed the long-rumored news that she's negotiated a residency in Planet Hollywood's AXIS Theater, currently home to Britney Spears. While the will she, won't she saga has been rumbling on since last October, at least, it all seemed to be done after her New Year's Eve performance at Caesars' Colosseum, when a company spokesman announced that the plans had fallen through due to Jenny from the Block's too-high price tag.
However, evidently a compromise has been found and tix for the first 20 shows, which kick of Jan. 20, 2016 with dates through June 12, will go on sale this Saturday, May 16 and start at $59 for seats, which is less than we'd expected. "I've been preparing for this moment my entire life," the singer gushed on tonight's "Idol" episode. "The show is going to be a multifaceted high energy Jenny from the Block party, mixing all aspects of what my fans and I love - Dance, Hip Hop, Latin and Pop. It’s going to be the show I’ve always dreamed of creating."
• May 12, 2015 19:03 Vegas Strip Clubs Blur the Lines: We wrote in this column yesterday about Seamless gentlemen's club bringing back its after-hours nightclub concept, and now comes word that Larry Flynt's Hustler Club is turning its rooftop area into a nightclub called Fuso, which is set to debut May 14 and 15 with back-to-back gigs from former homeboys The Crystal Method, featuring C.B. Shaw. Doors at midnight, $50 cover ($25 with Nevada I.D.) We're not yet sure precisely how this relates to the strip club, but presumably it's like a night-time equivalent of Sapphire Dayclub (which was actually Hustler's plan back in the day, before they opened, but they couldn't obtain permission for a new pool due to the water shortage, whereas Sapphire's lot was grandfathered in since it had previously been an athletic club, with a pool). Look out for more details coming soon at ToplessVegasOnline.com (where a new "Dancer of the Month" gallery was just posted, by the way, featuring the lovely Savannah from Deja Vu Showgirls #NSFW).
• May 12, 2015 17:40 Scientific Proof That Poker is Game of Skill?: An interesting experiment just concluded, which pitted four of the world’s top heads-up no-limit players against Carnegie Mellon University’s poker bot named "Claudico" in a two-week long match that took place at Pittsburgh's Rivers Casino and which was sponsored by Microsoft, who paid $100K to any player who beat the bot. Bjorn Li, Doug Polk, Dong Kim, and Jason Les each played 20,000 hands against the machine and were up a combined 732,700 chips (more than 7,300 big blinds), with three of the quartet emerging victorious over Claudico, the strongest computer poker program in the world.
However, the researchers still feel the small sample size, among other things, leaves ultimate superiority open to doubt and the experiment's results will be used to hone Claudico's game. Still, in the ongoing debate over whether poker is a game of chance (and hence should be considered akin to any gambling pursuit) or if it is a game of skill, we'd chalk one up to the skill side.
• May 12, 2015 17:20 MGM Boss Confirms Changes in Store for Monte Carlo: It was several months back that our mate Vital Vegas wrote that a re-branding of the Monte Carlo was in the works and now, finally, MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren has confirmed that the company has "big, big plans" for this "underutilized asset" and while he didn't confirm a name change was in store, he hedged with "I wouldn’t rule anything out." It sounds as if the changes will be geared toward tying in the property more with The Park development to the front, and the Las Vegas Arena currently under construction to the rear. Watch this space!
• May 12, 2015 16:51 Rock in Rio Offers Prizes: It was a rocky start for Rock in Rio's Las Vegas debut, with dodgy weather, noise complaints, and general teething problems causing some headaches for last weekend's "Rock" weekend. This Friday and Saturday's concluding "Pop" events have already suffered a blow with the last-minute cancellation of Sam Smith's performance (see earlier post -- it's OK, John Legend will be taking his place) and it appears the organizers are trying to give the whole thing a shot in the arm with the announcement today that those who load up their wristbands with at least $50 in "Rock Cash" between now and 11:59 p.m. May 14, are eligible for a random drawing to win prizes (add $200 and you're in the drawing for one of five mystery VIP gifts). This incentive serves not only to boost enthusiasm for the event, but evidently is aimed at encouraging people to come prepared to the cashless concerts and avoid long wait lines to load up wristbands on the day.
• May 12, 2015 15:57 John Legend Replaces Sam Smith at Rock in Rio: Saturday's "pop" finale at Rock in Rio has had a last-minute lineup change, with John Legend stepping in to take the place of Sam Smith, who has been forced to cancel his performance due to a "medical emergency." We wish the singer well; it has to be gratifying for a relative newcomer to the music scene to have a nine-time GRAMMY Award winner acting as your "substitute."
• May 12, 2015 12:01 The Queen of Comps Speaks!: Tonight, Jean Scott, of Frugal Gambler fame, will be speaking at a meeting of the Southern Nevada Casino Collectibles Club, where there will be memorabilia trading/selling sessions before and after the main event. Jean will have autographed books on hand and is happy to sign copies of any of her titles that you already own. The meeting is taking place at 7 p.m. (first trading session is at 6 p.m.) in the Founders Room at the El Cortez and anyone is welcome to attend. And don't forget to check Jean's Frugal Vegas blog, which is a great source of up-to-date info about casino promotions (primarily in Vegas, but she and husband Brad also venture further afield and are never without a players card in hand!), plus all kinds of other useful tidbits for visitors and locals alike.
• May 12, 2015 10:13 More 'Deflategate' Fallout as Brady is Suspended: The four-game suspension that has been imposed on New England quarterback Tom Brady, for his reported collusion in the Super Bowl scandal involving his team's use of underinflated balls during January's AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts, continues to impact the odds being made by Las Vegas' sports books. For example, at the Westgate SuperBook, New England’s regular-season win total opened at 10½ (over minus-130) on May 3, but has since been adjusted to 10 (under minus-150). The price on the Patriots to win the AFC East has dropped from minus-230 to minus-160. But with a strong appeal likely to be launched by Brady and his team, which is facing a $1 million fine over the incident, it's not over yet. (As an aside, we just read an amusing tweet about the whole situation posted by SuperBook boss Jay Kornegay via his personal account: "Receiving a lot of inquiries about #DeflateGate Minor adjustments-appeal coming-besides cheaters never prosper...Oh wait, never mind.")
• May 12, 2015 10:01 Bob Dancer Refines His Quick Quads Strategy: "Creating good video poker strategies is as much art as it is science," writes Bob Dancer in this week's video poker column, wherein he also explains how a tip from another player recently has inspired him to hone his basic strategy for 9/6 Double Double Bonus Quick Quads to make it simpler. Hooray!
• May 12, 2015 10:00 CET in Hot Water Over Money Laundering Charges: Caesars Entertainment has been under investigation by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the United States Department of the Treasury (FinCen) since 2013, and has revealed that the company could be hit with a fine of up to $20 million over charges that have not been made public, but which relate to alleged violations of the Bank Secrecy Act at Caesars Palace. The case is being investigated by a grand jury, with which the company has apparently been cooperating fully.
• May 12, 2015 09:43 Hooters Sale Details: After much rumor-mongering and conflicting whispers, it's now confirmed that the only Hooters Casino has, indeed, finally been sold to New York-based Trinity Hotel Investors LLC. The sale price was reported to be around $70 million (which apparently includes about $20 million-worth of "personal property," according to a spokesman for the seller, Canyon Capital Advisors). What the future holds in store for the diminutive hotel-casino has yet to be confirmed; the Hooters-branded restaurant will almost certainly remain, according to Hooters of America, which controls the franchise, but we anticipate a complete remodel of the rest of the property (which recently underwent something of an upgrade and closed its poker room).
• May 11, 2015 17:58 One Night for ONE DROP - The Movie: On June 10, you can witness the magic of myriad Cirque du Soleil shows showcased in the annual unique fundraising performance for founder Guy Laliberté's ONE DROP charity, which seeks to see a world where everyone has access to clean and safe drinking water. The gala performance, filmed live in Las Vegas with some of Cirque's star performers, will be shown in movie theaters in select cities nationwide at 7:30 p.m. local time and tickets are now available online at FathomEvents.com or by visiting participating cinema box offices.
• May 11, 2015 12:23 db Brasserie Serving Anniversary Burger: Throughout the month of May only, in honor of its first anniversary at the Venetian, Chef Daniel Boulud's db Brasserie is serving the limited-edition Le Grande Burger, a 100% Angus beef patty topped with braised short rib, foie gras, and fixins, served on a Parmesan-oregano bun. The special comes with French fries and a glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne for $50.
• May 11, 2015 11:17 Downtown Wine Fest: This Friday, May 15, through Sunday, May 17, downtown's Golden Nugget will host the 7th annual Wine Fest, featuring vino selections from a slew of California, Oregon, and Washington wineries. Events kick off with a poolside wine reception and meet-and-greet on Friday ($45), followed by a surf-and-turf Winemakers Dinner hosted by Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse ($195). Saturday features a wine-tasting and seminar ($35/tasting), while on Sunday there's a Champagne and Jazz Brunch with a live auction highlighted by wine lots, collector bottles, vacation packages, and more. The weekend concludes with a "Wine Down with the Winemakers" reception at The Hideout Pool.
• May 11, 2015 10:36 Here Come the Helldorado Days Again: There's a treat in store this week for Wild West fans, with the annual Las Vegas Elks Helldorado Days celebration taking place May 14-17 at the Downtown Rodeo Grounds (by the Smith Center). In addition to a celebration of rodeo, with local and regional amateurs participating in bull riding, team roping, and barrel racing contests, the event, which has been going since 1934, will this year feature a carnival and parade, live music, an art show and auction, a golf tournament (a change from the traditional poker tourney, which we seem to recall from previous years), festive fare to eat and drink, the legendary "Whiskerino" beard contest, live music, vendors, exhibits, and a beer tent. You have until May 13 to enjoy the online advanced-purchase GA price of $15 (it starts at $20 at the gate, with admission from 5 p.m. daily, 2 p.m. Sunday).
• May 11, 2015 10:09 Good and Bad News from Strip Club Land: We'll start with the bad news and get it out of the way: Las Vegas will be home to America's only all-nude male dance revue, with liquor, for just two more weeks, when the Palomino will wind up this long-running Sunday-night institution in order to extend the wildly popular "Big Booty" urban nights at Lacy's Lounge to perform four consecutive nights a week (Thurs-Sun). (If you're reading this, Craig, congrats on making this such a big success - you deserve it, man!) For our review, see ToplessVegasOnline.com.
In other news, the (somewhat understated) return of Seamless gentlemen's club (across the street from the Orleans) may involve an interesting twist: In addition to re-introducing its former dual concept as a strip club that morphs into an after-hours experience, local blog "Vegas Chatter" was informed by a dancer there that management at Seamless will be hiring a male Cirque performer to diversify the performers' repertoires and teach them unique skills to incorporate into their stage shows, including silk ropes, juggling, and fire breathing! We'll keep you posted. (As an aside, note that the door policy here is pretty strict: Aside from the usual sartorial code, both "pimps" and "pimpettes" are expressly forbidden.)
• May 11, 2015 09:45 Major Event-Venue Poll: There was a problem with our system when the last poll results went live, and for some reason it didn't do the math to calculate the results; it's now been kicked into action, so check back if you missed the results before. Spoiler alert: If our readers are anything to go by, you might want to reconsider that major investment in a Las Vegas arena project that you've been considering...
• May 11, 2015 09:36 Scintas on the Move: The veteran Vegas musical act that had been billed specifically under frontman Frankie Scintas' name in recent months, is to end its two-year run at the D on May 20. Apparently the plan is for a summer tour, then a new Vegas venue in the fall.
• May 11, 2015 07:50 Senior Deal for Everyone: The good "Young at Heart" promotion for ages 50+ that runs on Wednesdays at Gold Coast, Suncoast, Orleans, and Sam's Town is open to everyone today. Swipe your B Connected card to get a multiplier of up to 50X points, and get a 2-for-1 buffet after $10 coin-in. Get a free buffet after playing $100. Must swipe, earn points, and collect buffet vouchers between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
• May 10, 2015 12:11 Opera House Razed: The Opera House casino in North Las Vegas has been knocked down and the area completely cleared. There are no signs on the vacant land and we've seen no official announcements, but we hear that a Dotty's will be built there.
• May 10, 2015 09:46 Happy Mother's Day: There are dining specials all over town today. Here are some of the more interesting ones if you're looking for a last-minute plan to make mom feel special:
- Cabo Wabo in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood is offering a complimentary cocktail and breakfast to moms accompanied by another adult (18+). From 8 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 10, mamas may choose from a variety of signature breakfast options, including: eggs Benedict; breakfast quesadilla; and croissant French toast, plus they'll receive one complimentary signature or blood-orange "mom-mosa."
- Luxor's Tacos & Tequila is celebrating with a Mariachi Brunch and complimentary Morenita Brownie Bites for moms from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
- The Mother's Day Brunch at Border Grill (both locations) comprises unlimited small plates for $39.99, with free bottomless mimosas for all moms.
- For those wishing to push the boat out, there's a rare opportunity to indulge your mom with a special brunch at Restaurant Guy Savoy (Caesars Palace). Normally open for dinner only, on Sunday the restaurant will serve a Mother’s Day brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for $250 per person (price includes a champagne cocktail).
- Give your mom the High Roller experience -- for free! The observation wheel at The LINQ Promenade is free to ride for mothers from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
- Treat yo mama to brunch at one of Town Square's several available options and she'll receive a $10 gift card and a complimentary rose when you present your receipt to the concierge (while supplies last).
- Tivoli Village has a few specials, but the one that caught our eye was from D'Annata Boutique, which is offering 20 percent off all purchases by moms today and Sunday, plus a complimentary rose.
- Lastly, if your mom's the thrill-seeking type, take her to Vegas Indoor Skydiving! On Sunday only, from 9:45 a.m. to 8 p.m., all moms fly free with the purchase of one single flight at retail price -- use the phrase "Mom flies free" when purchasing.
• May 9, 2015 17:26 DG Rebate Update: The $1,000 rebate on loss deal at the Downtown Grand is good for play on slots only (no video poker). It's for new club members only, with different reimbursement rules for in-state and out-of-state-players, though both get 50% of their loss back with 24 hours. It's still a good deal and we'll have full details in the June LVA.
• May 9, 2015 17:25 Belly Dancing Mob in Miracle Mile Shops: In honor of World Belly Dance Day today, local dance troupe Fuego Fusion will be performing a choreographed belly dance routine called "Mob on the Raqs" at 4 p.m. in the shopping mall at Planet Hollywood and everyone is invited to watch.
• May 9, 2015 17:24 Turnout Light for Rock in Rio: Eighty-thousand attendees per day? We'll take the under. Crowds were reportedly far below expectations for the first night of the Rock in Rio concert on the north end of the Strip, prompting predictions to drop to as low as 30,000 per day, though an official count has not been released. Cool temps and the parking conundrum, combined with a line-up with the least star power of the four-day (over two weekends) event, were cited as reasons for the low attendance. We're thinkin' exorbitant ticket prices -- now heavily discounted in the secondary market -- might have also had something to do with it.
• May 9, 2015 09:17 Wrestling at South Point: Today is the final day of the U.S. Open Wrestling Championships at South Point, featuring many of the country's top amateur wrestlers, several of whom are considered favorites to represent the U.S. at the next Olympics. There will be action all day, with the finals starting around 7 p.m. Las Vegas has become a wrestling hotbed and the Orleans will be the site of the World Championships Sept. 7-12.
• May 8, 2015 18:51 Tickets Still Available for May 9 Rock in Rio: We just checked and there are still single-day GA tix available at $169 from Ticketmaster for Saturday's Rock in Rio event, with headliners including Metallica, LINKIN PARK, Rise Against, Hollywood Undead, Deftones, Sepultura, Coheed and Cambria, and Of Mice & Men.
• May 8, 2015 16:00 Hooters Sold to NOT Holiday Inn: The latest twist in the protracted non-sale of Hooters Casino appears to be ... a sale! Contrary to recent reports of a new Holiday Inn re-branding for the diminutive off-Strip property, we have it from a trusted, if unofficial authority, that Hooters' only casino property has been sold to a private equity firm. Our business blogger at Stiffs & Georges has the skinny on this latest turn of events.
• May 8, 2015 12:37 Rock in Rio - Road Closures, Parking, etc. It's less than two and a half hours until Rock in Rio gets underway, and here's the lowdown on road closures and lane restrictions (there's a map on the official website, but they've not-too-handily covered over the pertinent street names...)
- Las Vegas Boulevard is closed for the two-day event all the way from Convention Center Drive to Sahara Ave.
- Circus Circus Drive is also completely off limits to vehicles.
- S. Bride Lane is closed eastbound.
- One lane of Riviera Blvd. eastbound is closed, between the Strip and Paradise.
- For those determined not to take an organized shuttle or the monorail, SLS and the Stratosphere are offering paid public parking for $30/day and $40/day, respectively, on a first-come basis.
• May 8, 2015 10:26 Another Slice of Strip History Relocates Downtown: Following a path similar to that of their former neighbor, the La Concha motel lobby, which was dismantled and transported downtown to begin a new life as the Neon Museum's visitor center, those slot machines owned by the Riviera will be moving downtown, in their case to Fremont Street. While the majority of the Riviera's contents will be up for grabs at the upcoming May 14 public sale, those machines that weren't on loan from IGT were snapped up by downtown casino owner Derek Stevens (who also owned a small piece of the Riv), as we reported in Question of the Day (5/5/15). Stevens apparently plans to install some of them at the D and Golden Gate casinos, while the rest will be sold at auction -- we'd guess most likely to industry buyers, as opposed to the general public, but we'll keep you posted if we hear otherwise.
• May 8, 2015 10:06 Early Bird Tix for Life is Beautiful: The ticket pre-sale for the 2015 Life is Beautiful music-food-and-culture festival, which takes over downtown this September 25-27, go on sale in less than 15 minutes, at 10 a.m. PT. Three-day GA passes are $195 if you purchase now.
• May 7, 2015 17:05 USO Aims for a 'Million Moments' in Military Appreciation Month: In honor of Military Appreciation Month and the "Every Moment Counts" campaign, USO is working in conjunction with various local entities and the public in order to honor servicemen and women throughout the month, with the "Million Moments in May" concept of giving back. On Wednesday, May 6, the light bulbs that encircle the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign were switched out to be red, white, and blue (you can see on the Welcome sign webcam, if you can't get there in person; if you're viewing live during the day, check an "archived" nighttime view to see the lights); similarly, The High Roller observation wheel at The LINQ will change colors to red, white, and blue in support of local military spouses on Friday, May 8 at 7:34 p.m. The attraction is also offering free rides to all active duty military and veterans with a valid military ID that day in honor of Military Spouse Appreciation Day. More free rides will be offered Saturday, May 23 through Monday, May 25 in honor of Memorial Day, too. Other special offers will be taking place throughout the month, including: free movie night at Galaxy Theaters inside the Cannery on May 21; a special raffle at the Las Vegas 51s game on May 23; plus multiple donation drives, and more.
• May 7, 2015 14:20 Patriots Odds Come Down at Vegas Sports Books: William Hill sports books in Las Vegas, together with the Westgate LV SuperBook, have taken down odds for the New England Patriots’ season-opening game, reports Bloomberg, on speculation that quarterback Tom Brady could be suspended for his role in the Patriots' use of under-inflated footballs during this year's Super Bowl. The move comes in the wake of the release of the 139-page Wells Report Thursday afternoon, which details the findings of the investigation into the incident commissioned by the NFL. "Now, obviously, we’re waiting on [NFL Commissioner] Goodell to make an announcement," William Hill sports book manager Nick Bogdanovich is quoted as saying.
William Hill has not taken down its odds on the Patriots to win the AFC (5-2) or the Super Bowl (7-1), however, and all other futures odds involving the Patriots remain untouched at the Westgate. Online book Sportsbook.ag has posted on Twitter that it took "a bunch" of bets on the Steelers +6.5 in the minutes after the report was released to the general public, but has now closed betting on all Patriots games, and its AFC East odds. It remains to be seen if, and how, other brick-and-mortar and offshore books will respond.
• May 7, 2015 14:00 The Feeding Frenzy Continues: So, not only do we add to the previous foodie-fest posts, with a reminder that this weekend sees the first of the bi-annual Feast of San Gennaro Festivals; now Bally's Grand Bazaar has announced that it will have a dedicated food truck zone, beginning Friday, May 8, and running through the summer. With featured mobile eateries to include 2015 "Best of Las Vegas" winner, Dragon Grille; Bacon Boys; and "The Great Food Truck Race" season five winner, Middle Feast, it sounds like the Great American Foodie Fest will bring a welcome additional dimension to the current food offerings at the new Strip-side shopping mall. Hours will be daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
• May 7, 2015 13:56 Las Vegas this Rock in Rio, Pt. 1, Weekend: We'll be posting a Mother's Day-specific entry later, so stay tuned on some fun ways to treat your mama this Sunday. Meanwhile, here's everything else:
- So, the BIG highlight, of course, is the first of the two Rock in Rio events, this being the "Rock" Weekend, which will be taking over the northernmost end of the Strip. See our entry yesterday for useful-info links, plus look out for a dedicated transportation post before day's end -- be warned, it's going to be crazy around there! (5/8-9)
- Eclectic as ever, South Point hosts the 2015 Open Wrestling Championships (5/8-9) and John Mueller's "Winter Dance Party", a re-creation of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and Bigg Bopper's final performance (5/8-10)
- The 36th Annual San Gennaro Feast runs until Sunday night at The Grand Canyon Shopping Center, south of Flamingo Rd., with live entertainment, carnival rides (free for moms!), Italian food (5/7-10)
- Funnyman Bruce Bruce does stand-up at the Suncoast (5/8-9)
- Capital Cities are performing live at Drai's at The Cromwell (5/8)
- Red Rock presents the next installment in the In It's Entirety Concert Series, featuring a live-and-complete tribute to Led Zepplin IV (5/8)
- Journey will take center stage inside The Joint at the Hard Rock (5/8-9)
- Nashville Unplugged returns to Sunset Station, with Lisa Carver and co-host Michael Peterson (5/8)
- Burt Cummings is at the Orleans (5/9-10)
- The Nevada Ballet Theater performs Giselle at the Smith Center (5/9-10)
- Mariah Carey continues her new stint headlining at Caesars Palace (5/9-10)
- Springs Preserve is hosting the Ohana Festival (5/9)
- The Cannery welcomes the Sinatra Forever tribute (5/9)
- Walk the Moon take center stage at The House of Blues, Mandalay Bay (5/9) where Ministry perform on (5/10)
- And Abba the Concert - Direct from Sweden will be rockin' Eastside Cannery
• May 7, 2015 10:48 Movie Night Could Be Boozy Night: Las Vegas City Council members have unanimously approved an ordnance that opens the door to allow standalone theaters to serve beer and wine, as several already do in Henderson and unincorporated Clark County, although apparently there's still some red tape to navigate before this can become a reality.
• May 7, 2015 10:42 Gumball 3000 Comes to Vegas: This May 29-30, MGM Resorts Village will be Gumball 3000 HQ, as it gets taken over by supercars and stars drivers for the international road rally’s finale event, the Gumball 3000 Las Vegas Festival. Fans will get to watch celebrity drivers cross the finish line at the venue after the seven-day, 3,000-mile road trip, which spans two continents. The evening of May 29 will see live entertainment with performances by Gumball 3000 participants including The Alchemist, Bun B, and deadmau5, while May 30 features a skate demo by Tony Hawk and friends and a closeout performance by DJ Diplo. Day tickets are $40 and a weekend pass is $50. Food and drink vendors will also be on hand throughout.
• May 7, 2015 10:36 More Gastronomic-Event News: It's going to be tough keeping your bikini bod this summer, as the gourmet tasting events keep coming. Here's another one, courtesy of the Epicurian Charitable Foundation and hosted poolside by Mandalay Beach September 11. M.E.N.U.S. 2015 will feature samplings and spirits from more than 30 of the top restaurants and specialty vendors in the city, plus live music and a silent auction. Tickets start at $500, with proceeds benefiting annual scholarship awards for Clark County high school students seeking careers in the hospitality and food and beverage industries.
• May 7, 2015 10:18 Foodie Season at Venetian/Palazzo: First, on May 21, Palazzo sees the return of the popular poolside Epicurean Affair, with participation from approx. 75 Las Vegas restaurants who'll be showcasing their cuisine and cocktail programs poolside from 7-10 p.m. In addition, Friday June 5 sees the seventh annual Carnival of Cuisine. The "tasting party," also taking place poolside at Palazzo, features fare prepared by the resorts' top restaurants and will be hosted by Chef Mario Batali. More information and tickets for both events are available via the official website.
• May 7, 2015 10:07 Texas Station to Host Mega Work Expo: As part of Infrastructure Week 2015, on May 13, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Texas Station will host the "Mega Work Expo," featuring information about careers in the architecture, engineering, and the construction industry and a chance to meet with potential employers, including: Kimley-Horn; Slater Hanifan Group; Poggemeyer Design Group, Inc; CMWorks, Inc.; PENTA Building Group; and Tompkins & Peters. The event is free to anyone to attend.
• May 7, 2015 09:58 Loss-Rebate at Downtown Grand: The Downtown Grand is advertising a $1,000 loss rebate for new club members. We don't have the details on the rebate procedure, but this is a monster -- the best since the Riv did the same a couple years ago. Our advice: Get on it now; this one doesn't figure to last long.
• May 6, 2015 16:22 Zappos Sheds Multiple Positions: More than 200 employees, or approximately 14 percent of the workforce, will be leaving Zappos, following the announcement of the introduction of the Holacracy management system announced last month by CEO Tony Hsieh. Staff were given until April 30 to accept the elimination of "pepole manager" positions or take a buyout, and evidently a significant percentage opted for the latter.
• May 6, 2015 15:59 Good Times at Light Tonight: Ibiza-based EDM-disco fusion DJ duo The Aristofreeks make their U.S. debut (try saying that after a couple of cocktails) at Mandalay Bay's Light nightclub tonight, and they'll be performing in conjunction with Next Step, the funky female former backup singers for iconic '70s disco greats Chic, plus Kathy Sledge (as in "Sister"), Cirque performers, and more!
• May 6, 2015 14:40 EDC Lineup Released: The official lineup for the 2015 EDC Vegas festival, taking place June 19-21 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, has been released, and it includes the usual roster of big names from the EDM scene, including Avicii, Benny Benassi, Bingo Players, Calvin Harris, Carl Cox, Hardwell, Kaskade, Krewella, Moby, Steve Angello, Tiesto, Z-Trip, and more. A LOT more.
• May 6, 2015 14:00 Rock in Rio Releases Event Info and App: Las Vegas is just two days away from hosting its first Rock in Rio weekend, and the event organizers have released some useful information about transportation (expect many streets in the vicinity of the City of Rock, across from SLS, to be out of commission for the duration), wristband registration and how to add "Rock Cash" funds (it's a totally cashless event), various Dos & Donts (yes to sunblock, no to recording equipment), plus an app that contains a map of the (huge) venue and other useful stuff, so check it out and be prepared, whether you're attending Rock in Rio, or trying to navigate your way around it.
• May 6, 2015 13:24 More Good News for Fantasy Sports Fans: The inaugural National Fantasy Football Convention will be hosted by the Venetian this July 10-12, featuring multiple exhibits and parties, keynotes, celebrity appearances and signings, Q & A sessions, live music, and the chance for six lucky attendees to win the chance to play in and draft live on stage in a league with six active NFL stars. Registration starts at starts at $195/person and hotel-room packages are available at the host property. Visit the official website for the complete schedule of events (subject to change). Note that there are no refunds or registration-level downgrades.
In addition, Equus Interactive’s Racetrack Warriors has announced an agreement with the Jockeys’ Guild and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund to launch a new fantasy draft game called "Jockey Draft" May 8. The fantasy league-style game has players selecting a lineup of jockeys, in a "salary cap"-style draft, riding at various race tracks from around the country and receiving points for their mounts' finishing positions.
• May 6, 2015 09:50 New Owners for Reno's Siena Casino: Grand Siena LLC Siena is selling the Siena Hotel Spa Casino in downtown Reno to an undisclosed buyer, who apparently plans a multimillion-dollar renovation for the 214-room property and a partnership with an "internationally recognized hotel and resort brand." The deal is expected to close this summer.
• May 6, 2015 09:44 Postrio Out at Venetian: Wolfgang Puck's casual eatery in the Grand Canal Shoppes closed April 26, after more than 15 years, with rising mall rent and the demands of other projects cited as the reason for the decision by the restaurateur.
• May 6, 2015 09:34 New Restaurants Hiring at Bally's: A Buca di Beppo, branded as Buca Café Italiano, is set to open early this summer at Bally's, and plans to serve a breakfast and lunch buffet, in addition to its signature dinner dishes. Also in the works is Tequila Taqueria, serving classic Mexican fare from noon to 6 p.m. Both venues are hiring.
• May 5, 2015 16:07 Major Event Venues -- the Poll: Don't forget, our current Reader Poll, regarding your entertainment-venue preferences in Las Vegas and your thoughts on the proliferation of stadiums and arenas, closes at midnight tonight. We've been receiving some interesting feedback via email, in addition to the voting, so please join the conversation if you haven't already taken part, while we think of what interesting topic to survey you about next...
• May 5, 2015 15:59 Britney's Ankle Needs More Time: Britney Spears' next scheduled performance of Piece of Me this Wednesday, May 6, is to be rescheduled following her tumble on stage last week that saw the weekend's shows canceled (and there was us speculating that she took a dive so she could catch the fight...) Exchanges or refunds are available at the original point of purchase. There's no word as yet if she'll be fit enough to perform May 8 and 9, which is when the next shows are scheduled. We'll keep you posted.
• May 5, 2015 15:40 Resorts World is Actually Finally Happening: We're not at the press conference, but LV Sun/Vegas Inc gaming columnist J.D. Morris is, and he reports that the new casino-resort destined for the Echelon site is now slated to open in 2018. The ground breaking is finally taking place, the lion dancers are lion dancing and, as Gov. Sandoval put it, "This is a day that we have been waiting for for a very long time." Indeed.
• May 5, 2015 13:47 Hooters Shutters Poker Room for Good: The off-Strip property, which apparently is in the process of transitioning into a Holiday Inn (perhaps? see USPoker.com's blog, where they list all 13 Las Vegas casino poker rooms that have closed since 2012. We're wondering how we missed the Hooters news before, but the room was so tiny, it seems barely anyone actually noticed its passing.
• May 5, 2015 13:38 Crazy Girls Update: The stolen flatbed truck that contained many items integral to the Crazy Girls topless revue has been found abandoned on the east side of town, but apparently most its contents are still missing, according to Fox5News. We'll keep you posted of further developments as we hear them.
• May 5, 2015 13:24 Another Burst Water Main Closes Stretch of E. Flamingo: Westbound Flamingo Road, between Koval Lane and Las Vegas Blvd., is expected to be closed through Tuesday afternoon as repairs to a burst water main are made. Yesterday morning a similar incident closed all but one lane of Flamingo, between Linq Lane and the Strip, adding to the delays already taking place courtesy of the Flamingo Road Improvement Program that's currently in progress (check the link for details of where work is currently underway).
• May 5, 2015 10:16 Crazy Girls Robbed; Reward Offered: In a bizarre turn of events, Crazy Girls planned May 13 debut at Planet Hollywood may now be delayed, due to the theft from a storage facility of a flatbed truck that contained approx. $300,000 worth of props, costumes, set pieces, and a laptop that contained the music and video for the production (please tell us they have a backup...) Show producer, Norbert Aleman, is offering a reward for information leading police to the recovery of the property, which was taken from Stage Crew Productions (Sunset and Paradise) around 3 a.m. Monday morning, reports Fox5News.
• May 5, 2015 10:12 Cinco de Mayo Reminder, with Added Metalachi Madness: No, we're not reminding you that it's Cinco de Mayo today; we're reminding you of the best party spots we found at which to celebrate, to which we'd like to add The Bunkhouse Saloon downtown, which is proud to present Metalachi, the world's first and only heavy metal mariachi band (Dave Lombardo, of Slayer fame, apparently is a fan). You can catch Vega De La Rockha, Pancho Rockefeller, El Cucuy, Ramon Holiday, Maximilian "Dirty" Sanchez, and Warren Moscow performing at 7 p.m. tonight; cover's $20.
• May 5, 2015 09:33 Dancer on the Perils of Penalty Cards: This week, Bob Dancer hones in on the thorny issue of the auto-hold function on Oregon lottery (video poker) machines and whether or not the manufacturers should set them to play perfect strategy, or computer-perfect strategy. In a classic instance of how you can't please all the people all of the time, the answer is not as clear-cut as you may think.
• May 4, 2015 19:45 Caesars Joins Cashless Poker Movement: Effective Friday, Caesars Entertainment's Las Vegas properties joined the ranks of Wynn and MGM Mirage by ending the practice of allowing cash play in all of its poker rooms.
• May 4, 2015 13:48 McCarran Snarled Post-Fight Weekend: Up to 85,000 people are expected to depart from Las Vegas' McCarran Airport today, with plane occupancy running at 100 percent through Tuesday (so don't miss your flight or you'll likely be stuck here until Wednesday, and passengers are advised to print boarding passes in advance to prevent additional delays). Thanks to the volume of celebrity guests and performers in town for the fight, an entire airfield became filled with private jets, necessitating the shut down of a taxiway to allow more space for incoming jets.
• May 4, 2015 11:07 Teachers: Raid the Rock Vault, for Free!: In honor of Teacher Appreciation Month, hit show Raiding the Rock Vault at the Tropicana is offering a pair of complimentary tickets to teachers with a Teachers Union card or CCSD ID throughout the month of May. Those wishing to purchase additional tickets will receive a special ticket price of $20 (plus taxes/fees).
• May 4, 2015 11:02 Cinco de Mayo Time (Almost): The annual May 5 festivities happily coincide with Taco Tuesday this year, so make the most of the multiple deals to be found around town, but if you're looking for a more full-on party, here are some suggestions:
- Tacos & Tequilla at Luxor is throwing a "Sexy de Mayo Dos" party from 6-9 p.m., hosted by UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste and featuring food and drink specials and human "Cock-A-Doodle Duel" rooster fights, with a $500 first prize.
- Aliante's Salted Lime is celebrating with a live mariachi band, Taco Tuesday and drink specials from 5 to 9:30 p.m., and complimentary Tequila Cazadores promotional shots for all guests who dine in between 5 and 7 p.m.
- Downtown, Park on Fremont will be partying with Taco Tuesday specials, including $1 street tacos, plus drink specials like $2 7-oz. Coronita beers
- Additional downtown celebrations are to be found at Commonwealth, which is hosting a rooftop party from 5 p.m. Tuesday, with live music and $5 Corona-ritas and hand-crafted Jameson Horchata cocktails.
- For the hardcore party-goers among you, starting at 11 a.m. Downtown Grand's The Commissary will be serving $4 tequila shots/drinks and $2 tacos. Or, for $15 per person, guests can enjoy all-you-can-eat tacos and unlimited tequila drinks, with a live mariachi band from 6-9 p.m.
- Señor Frog’s at TI is also kicking off the fiesta early, with a party both inside and on the patio, featuring a bikini contest, Karaoke, conga lines, and more.
- Hussong’s Cantina in Mandalay Place will feature a rock ‘n’ roll mariachi band and a special appearance by Pee Wee Herman at 7 p.m. (eh?!) to lead the "Tequila Dance." $5 Sauza Bandera shots and $5 puebla-style guacamole will be available.
- Hecho en Vegas at MGM Grand will be offering interactive margarita and guacamole-making demonstration, followed by a three-course lunch with tequila pairings at 2 p.m. Tickets are $75.
- Rockhouse at Venetian will be serving $1.50 tacos all day on Tuesday, plus $5 shots of tequila and $7 margaritas.
- There are food and drink specials at both Border Grill locations, at MBay and the Forum Shops at Caesars, but the latter is also featuring a featured "secret menu item of the day" today and tomorrow.
- On the west side, Made L.V. at Tivoli Village will have festive food specials from $7-12, plus $5 Coronas, $8 house margaritas, $11 perfect margaritas, and $25 bottomless micheladas or margaritas.
• May 4, 2015 10:24 As One Strip Resort Closes, Another Breaks Ground: It was back in December 2013 that news broke of the sale of the unfinished Echelon Resort site to Genting, which announced plans for a two-phase, $4 billion makeover for the resort-casino, including a new Asian theme. Phase I was set to be completed this year, but instead ground-breaking was repeatedly postponed. Then, following a change of personnel at the top, a May 5 date was announced back in March and we've heard no change to that plan (nor any further confirmation, it should be added). So, stay tuned and we'll see what transpires Tuesday at the north end of the Strip...
• May 4, 2015 10:13 Pinnacle Moves to Sell Real Estate Assets: Gaming giant Pinnacle Entertainment, which is in the currently fashionable process of splitting into two separate publicly traded companies, one controlling the real estate assets and the other handling casino operations, today confirmed that it is in constructive talks with Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. to sell the former, although no deal has yet been inked. Gaming & Leisure first made a $4.1 billion offer back in March.
• May 4, 2015 09:57 Locals Love from Fantasy Sports Seminar: Conference organizer Fantasy Sports Combine is hosting its inaugural three-day seminar at Wynn/Encore this July 17-19 and is offering a limited-number of Saturday-only passes exclusively for Nevada locals at the majorly discounted rate of $250 (reg. price $895/person). To take advantage of this offer, you must use promo code NVLOCAL when purchasing the pass and present a valid Nevada ID when picking up your ticket. VIP passes are also available, covering one-on-one meetings and dinners with coaches, players, fantasy experts, and media; visit FantasySportsCombine.com for details, and to enter a contest with the grand prize of all all-expenses trip for two to the inaugural Fantasy Sports Combine event.
Featured events include:
- Keynote from ESPN’s "NFL Insider" Adam Schefter and senior fantasy analyst Matthew Berry on "How to Win";
- Film breakdown with championship-winning coach Mike Shanahan
- Half-time lunch session with legendary coach Mike Ditka
- Breakout sessions with star receiver Brandon Marshall, all-pro linebacker Von Miller, fantasy expert John Hansen, daily experts from team DraftKings and many more;
- Panel discussion and Q&A session with more than 20 fantasy experts, athletes, coaches, and broadcasters.
• May 4, 2015 09:54 QoD Stardust Image Restored: For unknown reasons, the picture accompanying today's Question of the Day about the history and whereabouts today of the Stardust's signage, were not showing earlier; now, just as mysteriously, it's back! Click the thumbnail for the large montage. It's a timely topic, as we ready ourselves to say goodbye to its vintage neighbor up the street today.
• May 4, 2015 09:10 Final Hours for the Riv: There's just a few hours left to get a last look at the Riviera, which closes today at noon. We were there late last night and the scene was surprisingly subdued, though almost all of the table games were in action, including the $1 blackjack that was dealt right to the end when the pit closed at 2 a.m. The machines will presumably continue to operate till close. A public sale of the fixtures and fittings is slated to take place mid-May; stay tuned for details as they're made available.
• May 3, 2015 15:38 Dine Just Like Frank ... at Sinatra!: In honor of what would have been Frank Sinatra's hundredth-birthday year, his namesake (and officially sanctioned) restaurant at Encore is offering a special set menu, for $125/person, featuring some of the entertainer's favorite dishes. Prepared by Executive Chef Theo Schoenegger, who cooked for the man in person in New York, back in the day, the set menu includes: sautéed Santa Barbara spot prawns and cannellini beans tossed in a rosemary-garlic olive oil; Frank’s Clams Posillipo; veal milanese and eggplant parmigiana with a baby arugula salad; and other dishes favored by Ole Blue Eyes.
• May 3, 2015 12:07 Locals Buffet Deal Extended: The good buffet deal for locals at Suncoast has been extended through May. Locals pay $8.88 for a dinner buffet Sun.-Thurs. through the end of the month. Must show B Connected card. This is a good buffet that's normally $17.99 or $12.99 with the card.
• May 3, 2015 10:56 Last Night for the Riv: If you're planning to visit the Riviera one last time, the last night is tonight. The casino closes tomorrow at noon.
• May 3, 2015 09:47 Win Cash/Car/Boat at Silverton: Commencing May 8, each Saturday in May the Silverton will host a drawing at 8 p.m. for prizes that include $5,000 (May 9 and 23), a Mini Cooper (May 16), and a Tahoe Boat (May 30). Earn one entry per 100 points, with double drawing entries on Sundays.
• May 2, 2015 18:24 Mayweather/Pacquiao Line: After dropping to as low as -180, Floyd Mayweather is now a -210 favorite over Manny Pacquiao in tonight's championship fight. The take back on Pacquiao is +180. The total is 11.5 rounds, over -255. Illustrating the value of shopping, the draw ranges from +300 at Jerry's Nugget to +1300 offshore.
• May 2, 2015 16:40 Spurs/Clippers Line: The LA Clippers are -2.5 favorites over the San Antonio Spurs in tonight's Game 7 of their NBA Playoffs series. The total is 204.
• May 2, 2015 12:20 May/Pac Viewing Dicey: Better check your plans for tonight. We're getting reports, and a quick call-around confirms, that there's a lot of uncertainty about who will/can show the fight tonight. The word is that a blackout that targeted non-MRI casinos may also affect PPV packages in Las Vegas bars. The Miller's Ale House in Town Square has canceled its airing and it's "undetermined" at Rebel Republic. The official word via phone at Larry Flynt's Hustler Club is that they're "showing all major sporting events today" (you decipher). As of now, the Miller's Ale House in Henderson is showing it, but it's sold out. MRI properties are also sold out. The Henderson area is a possibility and there will be secondary-market (scalper) possibilities at MRI viewing venues and outside the MGM Grand Arena for the fight itself. Or you have about seven hours to make friends with a local who can order it at home.
• May 2, 2015 09:29 Derby Line: The morning line for the Kentucky Derby makes American Pharoah the favorite at 5-2, followed Dortmund at 3-1 and Carpe Diem at 8-1. The long shots are Ocho Ocho Ocho, Keen Ice, War Story, Mr. Z, Far Right, and Frammento, all at 50-1.
• May 2, 2015 08:49 Revamp for Rock Bar: PBR Rock Bar in the Miracle Mile Shops has undergone a patio renovation, with the addition of picnic tables, party lights, shade screens, fire pits, and HDTVs. It's open from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily, weather permitting.
• May 2, 2015 08:43 Big Betting Day: Today will be a monster betting day in the sports books, combining the NHL playoffs, the Kentucky Derby, Game 7 of the NBA playoff series between the Spurs and the Clippers, and the Mayweather/Pacquiao World Championship fight, going off in that order. It won't eclipse a Super Bowl, but the combined action will be formidable. Check back throughout the day for updated lines.
• May 1, 2015 17:24 Data Breach at Hard Rock Hotel: If you visited the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas between September 3rd, 2014 and April 2nd, 2015 and used your credit or debit card at a restaurant, bar, or retail location, then the property urges you to check your statement for any unauthorized activity, just as a precaution. Should you note an suspicious transaction, then you should not be found liable, provided that you report the incident to your bank/credit card company in a timely manner. Note that the hacker attack did NOT affect transactions at the hotel, casino, Nobu, Affliction, John Varvatos, Rocks, Hart & Huntington Tattoo, or Reliquary Spa & Salon. For more information, check out the official statement just posted on the property's website.
• May 1, 2015 15:55 Legendary Annual Telethon to End: The annual Labor Day TV telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, famously hosted until 2010 by Jerry Lewis, is terminating, with organizers citing changes in television-viewing habits, and in philanthropic giving, as the reason. Since Lewis stepped down from hosting the event, amid some controversy, the broadcast's duration had shrunk from 21 hours to just two ... and now zero.
• May 1, 2015 14:48 Expansions and De-Themings for Strip Malls: While some of the new retail complexes promised for the Strip have failed to materialize, to date (think: Tropicana), or at least not in the forms at first announced (think: TI), a couple of the existing complexes are receiving significant facelifts, as VegasInc reports. At Fashion Show Mall, yet another expansion is underway, to the tune of an additional 22,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, while at Planet Hollywood's Miracle Mile Shops, a de-theming is underway, as the last vestiges of its former Moroccan-inspired Desert Passage days are removed on the Harmon Ave. side (similar to the de-pagoda-ing of the former Imperial Palace) and the space reconfigured to accommodate new tenants, including Buffalo Wild Wings and Texas Land & Cattle, both slated to open by year’s end.
• May 1, 2015 13:24 Another Viewing Spot: We've just learned that the Rebel Republic bar (W. Sahara/Valley View) is showing the fight Mayweather/Pacquiao fight tomorrow night. The fee is $100 and it includes a munchies buffet. They tell us there are a few spots left.
• May 1, 2015 12:24 Grand Poker Series Returns to Golden Nugget: This May 27-July 3, the Golden Nugget will host the eighth annual Grand Poker Series, which features some upgrades and structural changes, including two daily events on most days and improvement to both blind structures and payout percentages. Of the 56 events on the schedule, 16 are in forms other than hold’em, including two HORSE events, with the series designed to offer appeal to all levels of player, from novice to advanced, and bankroll (buy-ins range from $100 to $560). Visit the poker room for more details.
• May 1, 2015 10:42 Dead Duck at the Rio: Yep, it's been announced that barely a month after it debuted at the Rio, Duck Commander Musical is closing May 17. We will refrain from making any stating-the-obvious-type observations--at least for now--but we make no similar promises about future bad puns, which happen to be a house specialty. You have been warned.
• May 1, 2015 09:55 Kentucky Derby Day Deals, Promos, and Parties: While there's a certain other sporting event taking place this weekend that's tending to dominate the headlines and eclipse all else, let us not forget that this Saturday also sees another big fixture in the sports, and sports-betting calendar, namely the Kentucky Derby. Here are some of the many venues that have opted to promote an event that they can actually screen:
- Commonwealth in the Fremont East Entertainment District downtown is teaming up with El Cortez to host the "Talk Derby to Me" party from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, featuring classic cocktails, live music, and passed hors d’oeuvres. Plus, guests get a stake in the action, with one complimentary sports-book ticket from El Cortez, featuring a bet placed on a horse chosen at random. Tix are $20 before the event or $25 at the door, with proceeds from all ticket sales to benefit United Way of Southern Nevada.
- If you want to experience race day in an actual casino, El Cortez will also be throwing its traditional viewing parties for both the Kentucky Oaks (today!) and the Derby (tomorrow!) in The Fiesta Room from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. There will be $1 hot dogs, $2 Budweiser drafts, and $2 mint juleps, with commemorative glasses available with a wager of at least $20, and t-shirts with wagers of $50 or more. For your convenience, a betting terminal will be located in front of The Fiesta Room.
- Also downtown, the D and Golden Gate casinos will be running a contest for a grand prize of up to $10,000 in promo chips or slot play, with entries awarded when you be on horse races leading up to the big day (so, that would be today or never!) or for slot and table-game play (see players clubs for details). Both casinos will be screening the race on flat-screen TVs property-wide.
- Guests at Lagasse’s Stadium at Palazzo can enjoy the custom-designed sports venue's 100 HD screens, while sipping on traditional mint juleps (supplied by Woodford Reserve in commemorative glasses, for $16). There will be food specials, promotional giveaways from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Derby hats for those feeling extra-festive.
- Summerlin's Honey Salt (1031 S. Rampart Blvd.) is really getting into the spirit, with specialty Derby-themed cocktails available from 2 to 4 p.m., $10 race-day bites, and a "Best Hat Contest" (so dress for the occasion, if only from the neck up).
- Rockhouse at Venetian will have the bourbon and mint juleps will be flowing, with a $50 all-you-can-drink open-bar special and guests are encouraged to wear their most off-the-wall chapeaux -- speaking of which, hang on to those hats: There will be a mechanical bull to ride, too (because...Vegas!)
- Celebrations continue at The LINQ Promenade, which already has its own party going on, with a Derby Hat Contest featuring a $1,000 grand prize and all the of the races from Churchill Downs being broadcast on big screens.
- Derby Day at the Stratosphere will feature a free viewing party in the theater, with all the day's races shown on nine huge viewing screens. Doors open at 8:30 a.m., so get there early to bag a table.
- South Point is hosting a handicapping seminar in the race and sports book TODAY at 6 p.m.!
- A traditional Derby Day hotspot, Jerry’s Nugget will open its betting windows at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, with race book specials including a free Derby Day glass with a $10 wager and a $10 dining card when you play a $25 Derby Matchup parlay card. There will be free coffee and donuts in the morning, $2 track sandwiches from noon to 4 p.m., and complimentary roses for the ladies while supplies last. (Now, that's doing Derby Day right!)
- And Eastside Cannery's offering a free official Derby t-shirt with a wager on the race of $25 or more.
• May 1, 2015 09:46 May Casino Promos Posted at Frugal Vegas: "Queen of Comps" Jean Scott has posted her monthly round-up of the best off-Strip casino promotions at her all-new-look Frugal Vegas blog -- check it out!