Compiled by LVA Research
• December 18, 2014 10:38 New Year's Eve Party Details: More than 330,000 visitors are expected to descend on Las Vegas for "America's Party," the annual New Year's Eve celebrations on the Strip and downtown. On Las Vegas Boulevard, an 8-minute and 23 second fireworks display will be launched from the rooftops of MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, Venetian, and the Stratosphere choreographed to hits including Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines', 'Diamonds' by Rihanna, and 'Feel this moment' by Pitbull and Christina Aguilera.
The Fremont Street Experience will host the "Downtown Countdown" party from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., with headliners including Papa Roach, Blues Traveler, Loverboy, Vince Neil, and Adelitas Way, plus local bands including Arena, The Blackjacks, Clockwork, Kid Hollywood, and Monroy. Tickets are $30 in advance and are available now.
• December 18, 2014 10:28 New Cigar Lounge: Today sees a timely opening, in light of the recent announcement that relations between the U.S. and Cuba are to be "normalized", with PT's newly acquired Sean Patrick’s Pub & Grill in Southern Highlands (11930 Southern Highlands Parkway) hosting the grand opening of its first Cigar Lounge. The venue features three stand-up humidors and seating for 12-14 people, with brands including Ashton, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Padron, San Cristobal, Arturo Fuente, Opus X, Rocky Patel, La Flor Dominicana, and Diamond Crown available, among others. In celebration of the debut, there will be Guinness and Johnnie Walker drink specials, complimentary appetizers, and cigar deals including eight-for-the -price-of-five on Romeo Y Julieta 1875.
• December 18, 2014 10:26 Casinorama!: The annual "Casinorama" Super Casino Collectibles Show is coming to Arizona Charlie's Decatur Jan. 30-31, with chips, tokens, room keys, silver strikes, dice, players cards, and every other casino "collectible" you can think of for sale. Admission is $5, which is good for entry on both days.
• December 17, 2014 19:45 Yet Another Vince Neil Business Bust: Our dear friend Vital Vegas reports that Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil's Tatuado Restaurant & Cantina (formerly Tres Rios) has closed at the Westgate Las Vegas (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton/LVH). While Neil still has his catchily named "Tatuado Eat, Drink, Party" bar and restaurant at Circus Circus, he's not had a great track record when it comes to Sin City business ventures. See Question of the Day 7/24/2014, which was dedicated to this very subject (with a little Flavor Flav thrown in for good measure, because why not?) Having read some of his autobiography the other day, in the course of researching a Question of the Day, we'd like to see Tommy Lee open a bar here!
While plans for the space have yet to be announced (another Mexican restaurant is rumored...), Westgate Las Vegas did unleash a new eatery today, in the form of Sid's Cafe, which is so new, it's may be listed on our website before it makes it onto theirs!
• December 17, 2014 18:01 NY Awards Casino Licenses, with Surprises: Neither Caesars Entertainment nor Genting will be opening a casino in New York state anytime soon, after the Gaming Facility Location Board opted Wednesday not to award a license to NYC's suburban Orange County. Instead, sites in Sullivan, Schenectady, and Seneca counties were selected for properties to include, respectively: Empire Resorts' $630 million Montreign Resort Casino (to be built in the Catskills town of Thompson); Rivers Casino Resort, a $330 million project destined for Mohawk Harbor; and the $425 million Lago Resort & Casino -- the largest contender for the Finger Lakes-Southern Tier region.
• December 17, 2014 17:51 Pawn Stars Plaza is Happening!: The giant Rubik's cube-esque cousin to the Downtown Container Park, announced earlier this year by Rick Harrison of Gold & Silver Pawn/"Pawn Stars" fame, has moved a step closer to reality, with the addition of a banner proclaiming that space is for rent, and partially obscuring the construction equipment that is evidently bringing this funky idea to fruition.
By the way, Harrison has been a busy man: His new "Trivia Challenge" app was also launched last week and is available on Facebook, at the Apple App Store, and Google Play Store for free. For more information. Visit rickstrivia.com for more information about how to play this "speed trivia" game for prizes from Gold & Silver Pawn.
• December 17, 2014 16:48 Breaking News - Scuba Elves Return to Atlantis!: This is possibly the best news we've heard all week (maybe the only good news?!), but it's awesome: It's official, direct from @The_Forum_Shops: "The Elf Dive takes place Mon-Fri at 2:30 p.m. (possibly subject to change)."
• December 17, 2014 13:46 Opening Date for New Caesars Food Court: And that date is Dec. 23, when the new Forum Food Court – which is the replacement for the old Cypress Street Marketplace – will apparently feature Smashburger, Earl of Sandwich, Philip’s Seafood, Graeter’s Ice-cream, an "exciting new Mexican and Asian concept," and a pizza brand that has yet to be announced. All this the Queen of Comps gleaned from a "secret" source of CET information (well, it's not really secret, it's just not well know about and is somewhat hidden). Check out the latest post on Jean's Frugal Vegas blog, which also reveals that Caesars Palace has removed the guest robes from all rooms except its suites, plus there's a review of the new Fulton Street Food Hall (officially "it's not a food court"!), and lots more interesting tidbits.
• December 17, 2014 11:25 Vegas Visitation Hits the 40 Million Mark: For the first time ever, more than 40 million visitors came to our fair city in 2014 and, boosted in part by more international travelers thanks to the new terminal at McCarran International Airport and expanded passenger service from several airlines. With two weeks remaining in the year and the massive New Year's Night party still ahead of us, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is predicting that it might even hit 41 million by year's end. Tourism generates approximately $45 billion each year for the economy of Southern Nevada, according to the LVCVA, and employs about 376,000 people.
• December 16, 2014 19:37 Happy Hanukkah: This evening will see menorah-lighting ceremonies on Fremont Street (starting at 4 p.m.) and at M Resort, as well as at temples and synagogues around town. In addition, several casino buffets will include specialty Jewish-delicacy stations from Dec. 17 through 24 -- see Question of the Day 12/11/14 for more details.
• December 16, 2014 17:46 Bowl Season at LVASports: There's a lot going on in Las Vegas this Bowl season. What, exactly, you may ask? You'll find all the details at LVASports.com, plus information about our own FREE-TO-ENTER College Bowl Contest, with up to $650 in prize money!
• December 16, 2014 14:41 Hakkasan Buys Light Group for $36M: It's official: Morgans Hotel Group has agreed to sell The Light Group to Hakkasan for $36 million, a more than $10 million loss on the $46.5 million the New York-based hospitality company paid for a 90 percent interest in the Vegas nightlife brand back in late 2011. As part of the new arrangement, Morgans will assume control of the food and beverage offerings from TLG at its flagship Delano South Beach hotel and will retain its leasehold interests in the three Mandalay Bay restaurants that TLG will continue to manage (surprisingly).
• December 16, 2014 14:38 You Have One Hour Left to Order for Hols!: If you're doing some last-minute gift-buying at ShopLVA.com, you have one hour left to get your order in to guarantee (as much as USPS guarantees anything...) delivery by Christmas. So hustle, people!
• December 16, 2014 12:36 'Confidential' Harmon Terms Not So Confidential: Further to our earlier post, although the terms of the settlement between MGM Mirage and Perini were deemed "confidential," an immediate filing by the former with the Securities and Exchange Commission kind of let the cat out of the bag: R-J business columnist Howard Stutz reports that MGM Mirage has agreed to pay a total of $173 million to resolve the lawsuit, with $20 million going to CityCenter (a joint parntnership between MRI and Dubai World) and $153 million to Perini. "Of that total," he writes, "$72 million was in escrow from CityCenter condo sales. The company will pay out $101 million." Wow.
• December 16, 2014 11:38 Record-Breaking Rodeo: Having almost lost its 30-year relationship with the National Finals Rodeo (see Today's News 12/03/13), this year delivered record attendance figures, with more than 177,565 rodeo fans hitting Vegas during the 10-day event at Thomas & Mack Center -- 1,000 more than the record set in 2013. In January of this year, the contract was renewed for another decade.
• December 16, 2014 10:15 Settlement Reached in Harmon Case: There will be some relieved jurors this morning, following news that a settlement has been reached in the $500 million civil damages trial concerning the structurally unsound Harmon Tower at CityCenter, which had been expected to last for at least a year. The terms reached between six out of seven parties, in which the key players were owners MGM Mirage and chief contractor Tutor Perini Corp., are confidential.
• December 15, 2014 17:59 There She Blows! CET Skips Interest Payment: It looks as if the widely anticipated Chapter 11 bankruptcy declaration by Caesars Entertainment is going ahead, if today's missing of a $225 million interest payment is anything to go by. The company is currently in talks with lenders about financial restructuring and while some analysts have expressed support for a concept that splits CET's assets into two companies, one of which would own the majority of the real estate assets, while the other would manage its casinos, Fitch Ratings Service has stated that it believes the current structure is too complex to be resolved via a prepackaged bankruptcy.
• December 15, 2014 17:13 MNF Saints/Bears: The New Orleans Saints are -3 favorites over the Chicago Bears in tonight's Monday Night Football game. The total is 53.5.
• December 15, 2014 14:43 Shania to Return: On Saturday, Shania Twain performed her 105th and final concert at Caesars' Colosseum, the culmination of a two-year residency. However, having seemed as if this was probably it for the country star's relationship with Sin City, it turns out AEG shook hands with her agent after the grand finale and she's set to return for an additional 21 dates next September/October (the only open slots now that Celine's returning in the summer and Brooks & Dunn and Reba McEntire are joining Elton and Rod in the residency rotation). There may be additional 2016 dates for Shania, too.
• December 15, 2014 13:58 Hakkasan to Buy Light Group?: According to Forbes, there's a strong rumor circulating that nightlife giant Hakkasan is about to purchase Morgans Hotel Group's 90% share in Vegas-based rival the Light Group, which operates venues including Bank, 1 Oak, and Light, but has been mired in controversy and lawsuits involving accusations of sexual harassment, among other things. LV Sun gossip columnist Robin Leach has more on the "racy rumor," indicating in his column late last week that TLG, which recently closed its Haze and City Bar venues at Aria, had effectively been ordered to get out by MGM Resorts Int'l and hand over management of its multiple remaining venues to Hakkasan. If an actual sale goes ahead, it would likely be valued in the range of $40 million in cash and debt and would see Hakkasan taking control of some 20 restaurants and clubs in Vegas, L.A., and Miami. The latter apparently expressed interest in purchasing the Tao brand earlier this year, but nothing ever came of that.
• December 15, 2014 13:44 Punk Rock Bowling Lineup Announced: Nevermind Life is Beautiful, Here Comes Punk Rock Bowling! The 17th Annual Punk Rock Bowling Festival has just announced the lineup for 2015 and Rancid, Dropkick Murphys, and Refused will headline the May 22-25 event downtown. However, we espied some other venerable punk artists in the small print, including former Dead Kennedy's frontman Jello Biafra and Ska legends Bad Manners (for some reason, we thought Buster Bloodvessel was dead, but evidently not. Good!) Tickets for the three-day event, which features poker and bowling tournaments in addition to all the obvious music and anarchic high jinks, are due to go on sale January 10 (prices have yet to be announced, though).
• December 15, 2014 13:10 DUI-Prevention from Tivoli Village: First a FREE NYE concert at the Riv, and now FREE NYE rides are by offered by Tivoli Village venues. In light of the recent horrific spate of fatal traffic accidents (20 deaths in just 13 days), anything to prevent DUI's this holiday season is welcome, and Tivoli Village "retailtainment" district on the west side is stepping up with the offer of free transportation home in a town car, within a 10-mile radius, for those who book at the valet stand located in front of Vasari between 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31 to 2 a.m. Thursday, Jan 1. Bravo, we say! (Designated Drivers of Las Vegas was forced to discontinue its complimentary service during the holiday season several years ago due to lack of sponsorship which, in a city awash with venues charging $300+ bottle service and a horrible traffic-accident rate is, in our opinion, utterly shameful.)
• December 15, 2014 12:49 Riv Announces Free New Year's Show: Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett's NYE performance at the Cosmopolitan may be sold out, but you can still catch crooner and Bennett personal fave George Bugatti performing live just up the street at the Riviera. The Steve Allen ("Tonight Show") protege, who was discovered in California but now resides in Las Vegas, will perform a two-hour set, from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., in the Riviera's Le Bistro Lounge and there's no cover. Must be 21+.
• December 15, 2014 12:32 Nugget Upgrade Completed: Downtown's Golden Nugget last week completed a $15 million renovation of 462 guest rooms in the Gold Tower, a project which commenced back in early August.
• December 15, 2014 12:26 Hit the Jackpot with Free Vodka!: New California-distilled liquor brand Jackpot Vodka has entered into a novel relationship with the Palms in Las Vegas and is offering a $25 casino-redemption credit with each purchase of the new spirit, having gained regulatory approval for the first promo of its kind. Each bottle of Jackpot Vodka features a unique five-character code on the cap, which can be redeemed online for a minimum resort credit of $25 at the off-Strip property, which recently completed a major renovation. Jackpot Vodka is currently available for purchase in Nevada and Arizona only, with a suggested retail price of $24.99, while the $25 resort credit is redeemable against game play, food and beverage, spa services (at Palms Place), shows, or hotel charges. (The bottle's pretty cool, too -- see link.)
• December 15, 2014 11:05 NY Casino Licenses to be Awarded: This week will see New York determining who will get to open the first Vegas-style casinos in the state, with 16 companies vying for up to four full-scale licenses. One of the biggest battles is between gaming giants Caesars Entertainment and Genting Bhd., both vying for the right to open a resort-casino within an hour's drive of the Big Apple in the Catskill Mountains-Orange County area. CET's proposal is for an $880 million casino in Woodbury, while Genting's bid is for a resort-casino in Tuxedo, closer to the potentially lucrative market of New York City and its 8.4 million residents.
• December 15, 2014 09:56 Opening Delayed for Historic Tahoe Casino: The Cal Neva Resort & Casino, which was closed back in September 2013 for renovations (see Today's News 9/22/2013) and was originally slated to be back in business this month, has pushed back its opening date by a year. Last Friday, Dec. 12, was originally picked as the opening date, since that would have been former owner Frank Sinatra's 99th birthday; now the new owners, who've struggled to raise the $49 million needed for major renovations, have set their sights on Dec. 12, 2015, to reopen. (There's a pretty snow-festooned photo of the resort in today's Sacramento Bee (although you'd think someone could've moved the "slippery floor" sign...)
• December 14, 2014 17:15 SNF Eagles/Cowboys: The Philadelphia Eagles are -3 favorites over the Dallas Cowboys in tonight's Sunday Night Football game. The total is 54.5.
• December 14, 2014 13:55 Half-Price at South Point: Speaking of the holiday bargain period, almost everything is half price at South Point from today through Dec. 24 when you pay with club points. This includes all restaurants and bars, rooms, shows, bingo, bowling, movies, and the gift shop. And if you don't have points, all drinks are $2.
• December 14, 2014 12:03 Cowboys Leaving: Today marks the end of this year's National Finals Rodeo. It's also the start of the best bargain period that runs from now through Christmas. Check room rates around town for the deepest discounts of the year.
• December 14, 2014 11:04 Another Downtown Restaurant: A new restaurant called Glutton is planned for downtown. Located on Carson Ave. near Container Park, the restaurant serving "new American cuisine" will open in January.
• December 13, 2014 17:13 UFC dos Santos/Miocic: Junior dos Santos is a -460 favorite over Stipe Miocic in tonight's UFC main event. In the other featured match, Rafael dos Anchos is -300 over Nate Diaz.
• December 13, 2014 15:28 Wedding Day: Today's date, 12/13/14, is expected to generate a rush on weddings, as many couples want to take advantage of the last sequential date of this century. One popular place to do the deed in Las Vegas is the High Roller wheel, where weddings are being hosted from 10:11 a.m. to 12:13 p.m.
• December 13, 2014 12:12 Free Holiday Movie Downtown: At 4 p.m. today, Downtown Container Park will host a FREE screening of the Christmas classic The Polar Express. All the family's welcome to attend.
• December 13, 2014 11:52 Mariota Heisman Fave: Oregon's Marcus Mariota is a huge favorite to win college football's Heisman Trophy today at -65000 (bet $650 to win $1). You can get +17500 on Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon and +87500 on Alabama's Amari Cooper. Despite being the runaway fave, Mariota is a dog to get 90% of the votes, with under lined at -190.
• December 13, 2014 11:19 December to Remember at Neon Museum: Today sees the second annual "December to Remember" event at the Neon Museum downtown, with holiday activities including ornament-making from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Boneyard Park, followed by hot chocolate and caroling by the Las Vegas Academy choir in the Neon Museum Boneyard from 5 to 6 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Overflow parking will be available across the street at the Reed Whipple building.
• December 13, 2014 08:54 CardMageddon at Cashman Center: Today and tomorrow sees a two-day "Magic: the Gathering" tournament at the Cashman Center, the first in a series of tournaments hosted by CardAgain with a guaranteed prize pool of at least $25,000 (and potential to reach $100,000). The base entry fee is $42. Visit the official CardAgain website for more information.
• December 12, 2014 20:16 UFC Namajunas/Esparza: Rose Namajunas is a -135 favorite over Carla Esparza in tonight's UFC main event to decide the first woman's Strawweight Champion. In the other featured match, Jeremy Stephens is -175 over Charles Oliveira.
• December 12, 2014 14:42 Pop Goes to Red Rock: Commencing Jan. 10, 2015, David Perrico and his 15-piece Pop String Orchestra will be bringing a regular 11 p.m. show to Red Rock Resort's Rock Lounge. The shows will be free to attend, with limited seating available on a first come, first served basis.
• December 12, 2014 13:45 Holiday Entertainment From Miracle Mile Shops: The shopping mall at Planet Hollywood is getting into the seasonal spirit with a program of surprise holiday greetings from famous faces, to be broadcast from the Miracle Mile's Stripside LED banner every half-hour, from 10 a.m. to midnight through Dec. 31. More than 20 different messages will be shown throughout the month, with contributions from Mayor Carolyn Goodman (and hubby Oscar), the casts of VEGAS! The Show, Absinthe, Rock of Ages, and various Cirque productions, plus gossip columnist Robin Leach, "Bar Rescue" host Jon Taffer, the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, and many others.
• December 12, 2014 12:12 Last Call for Shania: Saturday, Dec. 13 is the last night to catch Shania Twain: Still the One at The Colosseum at Caesars Paris, bringing to a close her two-year residency which, unlike the majority in the high-profile venue, was not extended beyond its initial contracted run.
• December 12, 2014 12:02 Vote for Carson City!: USA Today Travel is conducting a reader poll to pick the 10 most visit-worthy state capitals in the U.S. and Carson City is among the 20 nominees, so support the Silver State capital, singled out for its "inexpensive lodging and food in a picturesque setting."
• December 12, 2014 10:39 Vegas Makes a 'Best' List: Travel and Leisure has named Las Vegas among the "Best Places to Travel in 2015." The city was ranked at #25 on a list of 52 international destinations and it was the thriving revival in "Old Las Vegas" that was highlighted, although their geography is a little off: "If you’re looking for a good time in Las Vegas these days, all signs point to south of the Strip," writes T+L, but it's venues like the Downtown Container Park, Mob Museum, Downtown3rd District, and newly renovated casinos like the D and Downtown Grand that get name-checked.
• December 12, 2014 10:26 Free High Roller Weddings 12-13-14: The observation wheel at The LINQ is celebrating tomorrow -- the last sequential date of the 21st century -- by offering free wedding ceremonies from 10:11 a.m. until 12:13 p.m. and the line starts at 8 a.m. Don't be late, because from 12:14 p.m. onward, wedding packages for private-cabin ceremonies start at $1,700...
• December 12, 2014 10:01 New Casino for Atlantic City?: In the midst of all the doom and gloom from the struggling East Coast casino destination, comes some positive news: Following approval of a bill earlier this week by a state Senate committee that eases some previous standards with regard to new casino projects, the owner of the city's Chelsea hotel has expressed a desire to open the first "boutique" casino. Formerly, casinos needed to be located in new purpose-built venues and required a minimum of 200 hotel rooms, but with mandated future expansion to 500. The Chelsea has 330 rooms.
• December 11, 2014 18:05 Shipwrecked Santa at Shark Reef: Someone had better go rescue him, and fast, because Santa Jaws is in the house [aquarium] too! Now through Dec. 24, Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef attraction is featuring Santa Claus and Santa Jaws in the shipwreck exhibit every weekend in December and kids aged 12 and under can get a free photo with aquarium admission.
• December 11, 2014 17:42 Wait, There's More!: Talking of monthly gambling round-ups, we totally forgot to remind you that Jean Scott has posted December Casino Promotions on her "Frugal Vegas" blog, and it's a two-parter. The Queen of Comps pretty much covers everything except sports betting so, pair her with Frank B at LVASports and you're totally covered re the latest best casino offers, insider tidbits, and other ways to make your gambling dollars work for you to the max. Together, these two resources are totally a winning combination that you can't afford to miss.
• December 11, 2014 17:25 New Pearls of Sports-Betting Wisdom Posted at LVASports: Las Vegas Advisor's sports-wagering guru Frank B has been busy. He just posted his latest update on the Las Vegas' sports book scene, including promos (lost and found), contest info and tips, and a lot more, so check out the latest edition of "Vegas Sportsbook Notes" at LVASports.com.
• December 11, 2014 17:15 TNF Rams/Cardinals: The St. Louis Rams are -6 favorites over the Arizona Cardinals in tonight's Thursday Night Football game. The total is 40.5.
• December 11, 2014 15:07 Here Comes the Rain: We've been watching the crazy images of people canoeing down the streets of NorCal, but now the massive rain storm is headed our way, albeit with less dramatic consequences anticipated. Southern Nevada is expected to get the "fringes" of the system currently causing major flooding in Northern California and parts of southern Oregon, with scattered showers expected for Las Vegas by Friday afternoon. While the weekend should be drier, more rain is expected early next week, so drive safe, everyone.
• December 11, 2014 10:41 McManus Love for Moneymaker Effect: Renowned poker player and writer James McManus recommends Huntington Press' The Moneymaker Effect: The Inside Story of the Tournament that Forever Changed Poker in his recent "Holiday Gift Guide for Poker Fans" for Bloomberg News, calling it "a vivid history of the epoch-making 2003 [WSOP] championship."
• December 11, 2014 10:25 Countdown to New Year's Begins: Fuller details are due to be announced next week, but for now it's been confirmed that "America's Party," Las Vegas' traditional New Year's Eve celebration, will culminate in a Strip fireworks display launched simultaneously from the roofs of MGM Grand; Aria; Planet Hollywood; Caesars Palace; Treasure Island; Venetian; and Stratosphere.
• December 11, 2014 10:13 Las Vegas This Weekend: Here are your entertainment highlights; for more, check out our Event calendar:
- The NFR party is still underway with Rodney Carrington at the MGM Grand Garden Arena (12/11-12/13) and Gary Allan inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center (12/11-12/12)
- Alabama rocks out with back-to-back shows at Golden Nugget (12/11-12/12)
- X1075 presents Holiday Havoc 2014 inside the Joint at Hard Rock, which features bands such as Bush, The Airborne Toxic Event, and Priory & Meg Myers (12/12), followed by Hard Rock's second impromptu Wine Amplified "Plugged-In" Festival, where the advance-sale-only ticket gets you twenty 2oz pours of wine and access to the concert (12/12)
- Bill Engvall entertains at TI (12/12)
- Orleans welcomes the Charlie Daniels Band for two shows inside the Orleans Showroom (12/12-12/13)
- Funny duo Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy perform two shows inside Planet Hollywood's Axis Theater (12/12-12/13)
- Smashing Pumpkins take center-stage at Brooklyn Bowl (12/13)
- And finally, for those eager to start celebrating the Christmas season, there's Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenter's Christmas at Suncoast inside The Showroom (12/13-12/14), The Nutcracker series at The Smith Center begins this weekend (12/13-12/21), and Disney On Ice presents Let's Celebrate! at UNLV's Thomas and Mack Center (12/14-12/18)
• December 10, 2014 12:24 Deadly Week for Vegas Casinos: What began on Sunday with the fatal shooting of a suspected serial armed-robber at the Rio was followed today by an armed SWAT standoff at MGM Grand that ended in the apparent suicide of a guest in their room. From Metro's reports, at no point during either incident was any hotel guest or employee endangered.
• December 10, 2014 11:23 Rock Out with Your Cork Out: That's what Rock 'n Roll Wine is suggesting you do this Friday, with the surprise announcement that they're throwing a second, impromptu, Wine Amplified "Plugged-In" event this Friday, Dec. 12 at the Joint at the Hard Rock. The event, which will feature live performances from Bush, The Airborne Toxic Event, Priory, and Meg Myers, is being held in conjunction with X107.5's Holiday Havoc (which starts on Dec. 11 with headliners Imagine Dragons) but will also feature an exclusive Wine Amplified tasting from 7-9 p.m., limited to 200 attendees. To be one of the lucky few, sign up to receive a secret access code and purchase your $50 advanced-sale ticket (there will be no tix at the door), which includes a custom tasting glass, a wristband for twenty 2oz pours of wine (equivalent to eight glasses!), and access to the concert.
• December 10, 2014 11:17 Jack White to Brooklyn Bowl: Prolific and eclectic musician/producer Jack White is to play the Brooklyn Bowl on Wednesday, Feb. 4. Tickets are $65 in advance or $70 DOS and are available now via ticketfly, the Brooklyn Bowl website and box office (open daily at noon), or by phone at 702-862-2695.
• December 10, 2014 11:12 Last Straw for Lake Mead: That's "straw," as in, the third and final intake and tunnel that will enable water to be extracted from Lake Mead to supply Las Vegas, even if the level falls so low that the existing two straws become redundant. Today's projected completion of the tunnel will conclude the most ambitious stage in an $817 million project and has taken more than six years to complete.
It's a construction feat of monumental proportions, which involved drilling a three-mile tunnel underneath the lake to arrive at its target with an allowable margin of error of just two feet. But even when this stage is completed, there are still fears that in time this third -- and final possible -- straw may not be enough indefinitely, hence today the board of the Southern Nevada Water Authority is due to vote on whether to spend another $650 million on what's effectively an insurance policy in the form of a new pumping station that would keep the third intake working, even in the worst-case scenario that water levels sink too for the Hoover Dam to release water downstream. For more coverage of this story, see today's Las Vegas Review-Journal.
• December 10, 2014 09:13 Online Gambling Bill Doesn't Materialize: With the failure to attach an outlawing provision to the last "must-pass" bill of the year, it appears that there will be no threat to online gambling arising during this session of Congress. While it's still possible that a move could be made before the session ends next week, it's expected that the fate of online poker and other casino games will be determined in 2015.
• December 9, 2014 16:52 New Nugget Opens Early: Tilman Fertitta's fifth Golden Nugget property opened a few hours ahead of schedule, on Sunday afternoon, although the official festivities were reserved until Monday when the new $700 Golden Nugget Lake Charles debuted in Louisiana.
• December 9, 2014 15:36 Momentary Chaos in Chinatown: The lights are out at Spring Mtn. and Decatur and it just took us a half-hour to get to Valley View, so avoid the area right now if you can or, if you're dining, order another course and relax for a few.
• December 9, 2014 11:55 ONJ Extends at Flamingo: Olivia Newton-John's Summer Nights show has been extended at the Flamingo through September 2015, it's been announced, with additional dates starting March 3. There's a Facebook-fan pre-sale commencing Wednesday; tickets for the general public go on sale Friday.
• December 9, 2014 10:24 Martinis & Masquerade at Sapphire: One of the largest gentlemen's clubs in the world will be celebrating its 12th anniversary in Vegas this Thursday, as Sapphire throws a Martinis & Masquerade party, with open hosted bar and hors d'oeuvres from 9-10 p.m. and live performances. Dress to impress; complimentary masques provided.
• December 9, 2014 10:07 What Would Dancer Do?: In this week's regular Tuesday column, video poker expert Bob Dancer poses the hypothetical question: "How should I attack this coupon?" Warning: How he arrives at his conclusion involves a lot of math and, if you have the stomach to tackle it, you might require an extra cup of coffee first.
• December 9, 2014 10:03 Christmas Comes to Fremont Street: Tonight at 5 p.m. Mayor Carolyn Goodman, aided by a Santa Elvis, will light the official 50-foot downtown Christmas Tree.
• December 9, 2014 07:55 UNLV Football Coach Chosen: The University of Nevada Las Vegas reportedly will name Tony Sanchez its new football coach. Sanchez compiled a record of 85-5 with six consecutive state championships as coach of Las Vegas' Bishop Gorman, which is expected to be named this year's high school national champion.
• December 8, 2014 16:39 Venerable Strip Taco Joint Closed: Tacos El Gordo, located just to the north of Encore, has closed, we just learned via "Eater Vegas."
• December 8, 2014 15:35 MNF Packers/Falcons: The Green Bay Packers are -13 favorites over the Atlanta Falcons in tonight's Monday Night Football game. The total is 54.5.
• December 8, 2014 12:34 23 Days of LVA - Savings on the Strip: The 2014 LVA Member Rewards Book has multiple offers for downtown and locals casinos and bars, but if you're a Strip dweller there's plenty for you, too. For example:
- Dining deals, show and spa specials at the New Tropicana: LVA members can enjoy 50% off their entrée at the award-winning Bacio Pasta & Vino Italian or Biscayne Steak & Seafood restaurants, catch the latest lineup at the Laugh Factory comedy club with a 2-for-1 offer, and receive 25% off any treatment at Glow, a member of the acclaimed Mandara spa family.
- At the other end of the Strip, you'll find a similar raft of dining, entertainment, and gambling offers at the Riviera. Looking for a casual bite? We have a 2-for-1 menu item offer in Wicked Vicky Tavern, plus a twofer entrée offer in R Steak & Seafood, if it's something more formal you're after. Make a night of it, with a buy one, get one ticket offer at Riviera Comedy Club and you might just get lucky at the tables with our $10 matchplay!
Those are just a couple of current suggestions to try out if you want to give membership a spin with a 3-month trial (offer ends Dec. 22) or just jump right in and sign up for a 2015 Las Vegas Advisor membership right now! (Starts at $37; make sure you check the "2015" option prior to checkout.) We'll be releasing the final list of Member Rewards offers very soon and it looks to be even better than last year's.
• December 8, 2014 11:59 The Egg ... And You!: Popular breakfast/lunch chain The Egg & I, which currently has a Las Vegas location west of the Strip (4533 W. Sahara), is offering franchise opportunities. To qualify, applicants must have $200K liquid and minimum assets of $750K, plus business-management and/or restaurant-operations experience. Complete the form on their website if you'd like more info.
• December 8, 2014 11:58 Downtown Gets an Indie Bookstore: Las Vegas is now home to the state's second-only independent bookstore (the other is in Reno). Located at 1020 Fremont Street (across from Atomic Liquors), The Writers Block is open Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Sun. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and tonight from 7-9 p.m. they're hosting an open house, with complimentary wine and a 15% discount on books, stationary, and more, plus you can meet The Baron, the 16-inch-long store rabbit who resides close to the register and, according to the store's official Facebook page, is currently eating Upton Sinclair's The Jungle.
• December 8, 2014 10:16 Bears are Back at Bellagio: Polar bears, that is, and penguins, and reindeer, and a giant walk-through snowglobe, all signalling that it's officially holiday season on the Strip. In addition to the seasonal wildlife, there's a 42-foot tree (and lot of "baby" 18-footers), 34,000 flowers, and lots of other festive adornments, on display for free 24/7 now through Jan. 3. If you can't make it in person, check out the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens courtesy of our Vegas Webcams feature.
• December 8, 2014 09:22 How Stressed is Your Zip Code?: Real estate firm Movoto recently surveyed more than 28,000 U.S. zip codes, ranking them in order of how stressful it is to live there, based on various criteria including: unemployment rate; mean number of hours worked per week; median household income; percentage of income spent on rent/home-owning costs; average commute time; and other pertinent factors. While no local zip code made the top 10 (the top three were: #1 Williamsfield, OH; #2 Michigan City, MS; and #3 Mendota, CA), of the Las Vegas-area zip codes for which data was available, almost half fell within the top 50 percent of stressful places to live. Every single zip code in the central Las Vegas Valley ranked in the top 10 percent in the country for stress (the worst being 89101), while Henderson ranked least stressful. Visit Movoto's official website to view the national stress map and check out your own specific zip code.
• December 8, 2014 09:14 Big Red Truck Coming to Vegas Tues: Tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fortinet's "big red bus" will be at the Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip, offering information and tips about network security and data protection and privacy. Lunch will be served for attendees from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Hard Rock Cafe. The event is free; sign up here to register.
• December 7, 2014 16:22 SNF Patriots/Chargers: The New England Patriots are -3.5 favorites over the San Diego Chargers in tonight's Sunday Night Football game. The total is 53.
• December 7, 2014 14:26 24 Days of LVA - 50% Off All Station Casino Buffets: You'll find close to 30 buffet offers in the 2014 Member Rewards Book, but today we're paying particular attention to our exclusive offers from ALL Station Casinos buffets. Unlike many seemingly similar discounts you may come across via other outlets, these are good not only for half-off for a single diner (as opposed to that 2-for-1 restriction that frequently applies), but are redeemable seven days a week, meaning they're good for weekend brunches, too! It's no surprise that when we ran a Reader Poll early in the year, inquiring which offers our subscribers were most excited to use, the Station and Fiesta buffet discounts came out on top. Check 'em out for yourself with a 3-month trial LVA membership (just $12!)
• December 7, 2014 11:42 Red Rock Buffet Twofer Extended: The 2-for-1 buffet offer at Red Rock has been extended through Dec. 24. Get the deal by showing a same-day receipt for at least $20 from a Downtown Summerlin store . Must be a Boarding Pass member.
• December 7, 2014 11:41 College Football Playoffs Opening Lines: The four teams that will play in the college-football playoffs were chosen today and the opening lines were quickly posted. First-seeded Alabama is a -9.5 favorite over #4 Ohio State and #2 Oregon is -8 over #3 Florida State.
• December 7, 2014 11:20 XXXMas Burlesque: Absinthe star Melody Sweets will present a special sexy XXXMas Burlesque holiday spectacular on Dec. 23, with fellow cast members and other burlesque performers, plus an all-star band of Strip musicians, including David Perrico of Pop Evolution. Advance tickets are $20 from MelodySweets.com; cover at the door is $30. The show will perform in the Absinthe Theater at 10 p.m.; must be 18+ to attend.
• December 7, 2014 09:01 Pick the Pros Prize Rises: The prize pool for Boyd's Pick the Pros contest goes up today to $50,000 per week through the end of the regular NFL season. You still have time to put your picks in today. Just swipe your B Connected card in a kiosk at Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, Sam’s Town, California, or Fremont before kick-off of today's games.
• December 7, 2014 08:49 Sunday Sax Sessions at Caesars: Commencing today, Rotella Gallery in the Forum Shops at Caesars launches a recurring monthly Sunday Sax session, from 1-3 p.m. The featured artist today is Steve Golden, a veteran saxophone and flute maestro who's performed with Diana Ross, Shirley McClain, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Tom Jones, Sammy Davis Jr., and Wayne Newton, and many other luminaries of the music industry.
• December 6, 2014 19:12 25 Days of LVA; 14 Nights of Frankie Moreno: Actually, make that nine nights, because that's how many performances remain at the Stratosphere, counting tonight's, from the man who's been voted "Best Strip Headliner." For all those of you who miss the classic Rat Pack-era days of Las Vegas live entertainment, catch Frankie Moreno with our 2-for-1 offer while you can, before Frankie and his 10-piece band depart Las Vegas for the likes of Carnegie Hall, following their final Dec. 20 show.
Regular tickets are $43.99, plus tax, so if you purchase a $12 3-month trial membership to Las Vegas Advisor and this is the only offer that you use in the 2014 Member Rewards Book, you still save more than $30. MRB's will be available for pick-up from 9 a.m. Monday (so you'll have eight remaining chances to catch the show at the Strat.). Frankie says: Do it!
• December 6, 2014 17:32 UFC Hendricks/Lawler: Johny Hendricks is a -210 favorite over Robbie Lawler in tonight's UFC main event. In the other featured match, Anthony Pettis is -300 over Gilbert Melendez.
• December 6, 2014 14:57 Carnegie Renovates: Carnegie Deli at the Mirage has closed for minor renovations. The restaurant is scheduled to reopen on Dec. 10.
• December 6, 2014 14:54 'Uncle Creepy' Hosts UFC Party at CHIII: Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall hosts a UFC 181 viewing party tonight from 5 p.m. at The Sports Bar at Crazy Horse III topless club, as Johnny "Bigg Rigg" Hendricks takes on "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler. The bar features 70- and 100-inch flat-screen TVs and will offer discounted beer and free pizza. You can watch for $10 at the following Station Casinos properties: Jack’s Irish Pub at Palace, Club Madrid at Sunset, Century Theaters at Santa Fe, and Rocks Lounge at Red Rock.
• December 6, 2014 14:12 Free Downtown Concert: Downtown Container Park hosts Smoke Season's Cold Souls Winter 2014 Tour tonight, kicking off with Pet Tigers at 10 p.m., followed by Smoke Season, and Leopold and His Fiction. There's no cover for this event.
• December 6, 2014 09:51 Santa Run Blocks Streets: Streets around downtown will be blocked again today for the "Great Santa Run." The 5K run and 1-mile walk will take place mostly on north end of Las Vegas Boulevard. Streets will reopen around noon and associated entertainment and events will take place all day at the Fremont Street Experience.
• December 6, 2014 08:56 Sunset Station Toy Drive: Sunset Station hosts their 11th annual Toys for Tickets All-Star Jam this evening, in conjunction with 95.5 The Bull. Locals who drop off a new, unwrapped toy ($10 min. value) to Findlay North Volkswagen at 7500 W. Azure Dr. or Findlay Honda Northwest at 7494 W. Azure Dr., will receive a ticket to the show, featuring performances by country music superstars Big & Rich, David Nail, Frankie Ballard, The Swon Brothers, Josh Thompson and Maddie & Tae, One ticket per toy; two-ticket maximum per person. Doors open at 6 p.m. All donated toys will benefit Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada.
• December 5, 2014 17:33 26 Days of LVA: Cravings Buffet & Binion's Steakhouse: Our ongoing odyssey through the 2014 Las Vegas Advisor Member Rewards Book continues, as we shine the spotlight on two more of our favorite offers. We'll let some happy members do the talking for us:
- 2-for-1 at Cravings (Mirage): "I use the it for the weekend champagne brunch. Excellent quality and selection for a top-of-the-line buffet without the $50+ price tag. The sparkling wine flows and they will give you a go cup if you ask :) If you are lucky sometimes they offer a 2-for-1 coupon to come back, without an expiration date."
- Binion's Steakhouse"I've eaten at Binion's Steakhouse for free the past three years on your coupon and slot points. I go on my anniversary, so there is a complimentary dessert, too!" And another: "The 25% off at Binion's Steakhouse was particularly useful this year, because I went with a party of 8 and we got 25% off of the entire meal.
If you'd like to get in on the money-saving action, check out our three-month trial membership. For just $12, you get to use these two awesome deals -- and 130 more! There are still more than three weeks left to make the most of your coupons but hurry, as the trial offer ends Dec. 22. We don't mail this offer -- available for pick-up only, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from our office (behind the Rio).
• December 5, 2014 16:17 Spike TV Casting Call: Spike TV's "Catch A Contractor" is casting Las Vegas families for Season 3, so if you've been the victim of shady contractor or you're living with a botched construction job, tell your sob story to Catch a Contractor and you may get picked as one of the featured families that Spike's expert team tries to settle the score for.
• December 5, 2014 14:48 Last Call for Cyber Room Deals: The extended "Cyber Monday" room-rate deals from Caesars Entertainment and the Palms expire at midnight tonight, so book today to bag CET rates at up to 25% off and rooms at the Palms starting at just $39!
• December 5, 2014 14:41 Culinary Weekend Kicks Off at Venetian/Palazzo: Venetian's weekend-long Ultimo culinary event kicks off this evening at 5 p.m., with a red carpet event in Palazzo's atrium featuring chefs Daniel Boulud, Emeril Lagasse, and Buddy Valastro, plus renowned wine-makers from around the world, and entertainers including Sisaundra Lewis (NBC’s "The Voice") and Danny Wright.
• December 5, 2014 13:53 Wet'n'Wild Giveaway: Wet‘n’Wild water park is running a "12 Days of Giveaways" holiday promo on Facebook, commencing today and running through Dec. 16, with 12 daily winners each to receive a pair of Silver season passes to the attraction. Visit the official Wet'n'Wild Facebook page for entry details.
• December 5, 2014 10:56 Taj Closing Delayed: Reports out of Atlantic City indicate that the closing of Trump Taj Mahal will be delayed a week. Previously scheduled to close its doors on Dec. 12, the new closing date has been pushed back to Dec. 20. The delay buys a little more time to find a solution that will avoid the closing completely, but that depends on tax concessions that still appear unlikely to be granted.
• December 4, 2014 18:21 27 Days of LVA: Free Pizza, Free Pancakes, Free Play!: We're profiling a triple whammy of goodness today, because who doesn't like free food and free money? LVA members get lots of both and you can, too! Check out three more offers in the 2014 Member Rewards Book, yours for a limited time for just $12. Next year's MRB is in the works and promises to be even BIGGER and better--hard to believe, we know, but it's true. In the meantime, if you can eat, say, four slices of pizza and a stack of pancakes before the end of the year, you'll already be a winner -- if you do it with an MRB!
- Naked City Pizza: As profiled by Food Network's "Diners, Drive Ins and Dives," this famed homegrown deep-dish pie is legendary and with our exclusive upgrade coupon, you can enjoy a signature Not So Wee* for the price of a Wee [that's half a baking sheet of pie we're talking here: The next size up officially is the "Frickin' HUGE"]. Headed downtown? Enjoy our 2-for-1 slice deal at Pizza Rock from the best pizza maker in the world - and that's official.
- Earn just 25 points in 24 hours at the Golden Gate casino and earn yourself a free serving of the "Best Pancakes in the World" from Du-Par's. It's that simple. And they're that good.
- You'll find slot free play and matchplays for casino and bar venues all over town in the MRB. Here's what a couple of readers wrote to us this year: "I can’t pick just one of the matchplay coupons for BJ or any other game that may be available, as they all are great coupons and I would probably not visit those casinos if it were not for the coupon. I prefer the Strip, but will take a day or two and do a coupon trip every year when I come to Vegas to use those deals." And: "I used my $10 free play at El Cortez to play video poker and hit a $150 jackpot, which paid for most of a new computer when I got home!" That's what we like to hear.
• December 4, 2014 17:29 TNF Cowboys/Bears: The Dallas Cowboys are -3.5 favorites over the Chicago Bears in tonight's Thursday Night Football game. The total is 50.
• December 4, 2014 15:58 Free Prima Jr. Show at Red Rock: Louis Prima Jr. and his band The Witness, son and heirs to the former King of Swing, are scheduled to perform a free show at Red Rock Resort at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 30. The performance will be recorded for an upcoming music video and complimentary seating is on a first come, first served basis, so get there early (doors open at 7 p.m.)
• December 4, 2014 14:58 Metro Strip Traffic Update: As per the official Twitter of Las Vegas' Metropolitan Police Department: "The #VictoryLap will run from Harmon to Spring Mtn and back ending at The Linq, expected to last until 4 p.m." So, there you have it.
• December 4, 2014 13:18 Strip Traffic Warning: In case you missed our earlier post, from around 3 p.m. onward, for what we anticipate will be a couple of ours, expect major disruption to Strip traffic as the NASCAR Victory Lap parades up and down to give fans a peek at the drivers and their cars.
• December 4, 2014 12:43 Las Vegas This NFR Weekend: It's a NASCAR, NFR kinda weekend, with lots of treats for car and Country fans, and some other cool stuff for the rest of us:
- Hank Williams Jr. rocks the Golden Nugget (12/4-12/6), followed-up by Merle Haggard (12/7-12/8)
- Caitlyn Smith performs during Nashville Unplugged at Sunset Station (12/5)
- Big & Rich hit Brooklyn Bowl with back-to-back shows (12/5-12/6)
- Even First Friday gets into the country vibe this weekend, with their "Round Up" event, featuring visual and performing arts, live music, food, and good people-watching opps (12/5)
- Lady Antebellum performs at Downtown Las Vegas Events Center (12/5)
- American country/folk singer John Prine performs inside The Pearl at the Palms (12/6)
- Rodney Carrington plays nightly for a full week inside the MGM Grand's David Copperfield Theater (12/7-12/13)
- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week 2014 is already underway (see earlier post today). The Ultimate Tell-All takes place today inside The Pearl at the Palms, featuring the top 16 drivers live on stage sharing the most memorable moments of the season (12/4)
- Stand-up comedian and actor Bill Engvall performs at TI (12/5)
- Amy Schumer takes center-stage inside The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan (12/6)
- MGM Grand welcomes singer-songwriter Andrea Bocelli at the Garden Arena (12/6)
- Jay White steps into the spotlight as Neil Diamond at Suncoast (12/6)
- Attention gamers: The 2-day Playstation Experience comes to Venetian, featuring over 400,000 sq. ft. of the best PS games, contests, signings, giveaways, and more (12/6-12/7)
- UFC 181: Hendricks vs Lawler kicks off (literally) at Mandalay Bay Events Center (12/6)
• December 4, 2014 11:48 Blackstone Pretty Much In; Nazarian Almost Out: There have been some movings and shakings at the upper echelons of casino management this week, with both the sale of the Cosmopolitan and the licensing of SLS' casino both up before state gaming regulators. Global asset-management company Blackstone LLP moved a step closer toward ownership of the Cosmopolitan, which it agreed to purchase from Deutsche Bank for $1.73 billion earlier in the year, with unanimous approval of the deal from the Gaming Control Board. Now only a green light from the Gaming Commission is required when it meets Dec. 18.
At the north end of the Strip, however, things didn't go as smoothly for Sam Nazarian, with only two out three GCB members voting to approve his application and granting him a one-year limited license only, with stipulations that include the nightlife entrepreneur submitting to random drug testing and being excluded from any involvement whatsoever in casino operations at SLS. The provisos came in the wake of revelations that the owner of the former Sahara had used cocaine as recently as this year, and had prior involvement with dubious characters including Suge Knight, who was among several recipients of sizable payoffs Nazarian made during a period when he was being extorted by a former close associate. The Gaming Commission will still need to ratify this limited approval at its Dec. 18 meeting.
• December 4, 2014 11:01 Service Returns to McCarran: The FAA has lifted a "ground stop" order issued early this morning due to the foggy weather conditions in the Las Vegas area, but there may be a knock-on effect of further delays at McCarran Int'l Airport. Low visibility forced a reconfiguration of normal runway usage, resulting in a lower-than-normal arrival rate, which then leads to a shortage in the supply chain for departing planes.
• December 4, 2014 10:23 NASCAR Fans Get Treat Today: If you're in the vicinity of the Strip this afternoon, starting at 3:30 p.m. you can catch the traditional NASCAR Victory Lap, as the cars of the Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week Las Vegas parade down Las Vegas Boulevard in their race cars. The NASCAR Victory Lap will start in front of the Miracle Mile Shops -- where PBR Rock Bar is advertising its patio as the prime viewing spot (their happy hour kicks off at 3 p.m., with $21 beer buckets of beer, twofer well drinks, $3 domestic drafts, and $5 shots), and finishes at The LINQ Promenade, with two burnout sections and viewing areas along the route. Portions of the event will be broadcast live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and www.NASCAR.com will live-stream the event, beginning at 3:15 p.m.
While Wynn is "NASCAR Central" for drivers this week, The LINQ Promenade is also in on the action. What's being dubbed NASCAR fan HQ is an area open from 10 a.m.–8 p.m. each day by the High Roller, where fans can purchase Chase merchandise, get their photo taken with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy, and view Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver cars on display.
• December 3, 2014 18:21 28 Days of LVA - Mint Indian Bistro: Today's exclusive Las Vegas Advisor Member Rewards offer that we've chosen to highlight is one of our favorite "ethnic" restaurants, because what could be better on a miserable day like today than a comforting curry and some fluffy naan bread?
Located just a few blocks off the Strip on E. Flamingo (close to Hard Rock and Silver Sevens), Mint Indian Bistro is the only of Las Vegas' Indian restaurants ever to have made the Eating Las Vegas Essential 50 list, where it's been featured for three years, consecutively. You can read LVA's review of the awesome lunch buffet, but we'll defer to the experts, with food critic Max Jacobson calling Mint "the best Indian spread for hundreds of miles" and co-author John Curtas describing this Nepalese hotspot as "Las Vegas’ own master of all sub-continent cuisines" with diverse "lip-smacking" dishes to suit every palate (including veggies, vegans, and the gluten-intolerant) and a staff that is "exceedingly friendly and helpful to novices to this cuisine (who isn’t?) [who] take your order on their iphones—how cool is that?"
Intrigued? You should be. So, take advantage of our exclusive offer for 20% off your entire dinner bill*--including booze! (and Mint boasts awesome wine and beer lists, too)--with a $12 three-month trial membership to LVA. We guarantee you cannot find this offer anywhere else, so enjoy it while you can before year's end. You won't regret it. [*Not valid for daily $11.99 lunch buffet.]
• December 3, 2014 18:07 Betfair Folds N.J. Poker Site: After something of a lackluster performance -- the site posted $0 in October 2014 poker rake, down from $1 the previous month -- on Dec. 1 Betfair New Jersey shut down its online U.S. poker site. The move follows the October exit by Ultimate Poker and its UCasino product, although Betfair will continue to operate its online casino partnership with Atlantic City's Golden Nugget. Borgata/Party Poker, WSOP.com, and 888 currently continue to offer online poker in New Jersey.
• December 3, 2014 16:42 April Debut Announced for MGM/AEG Arena: The new joint-venture event arena from MGM Resorts and AEG is set to debut April 2016, and while both boxing promoters and the UFC have been vying to present the opening event, with talk also of a National Hockey League team franchise, AEG CEO Dan Beckerman says he envisions a slate of different opening events over several weeks to inaugurate the building. In the meantime, you can keep an eye on its progress via the construction cam, which you'll find among those listed in our Vegas Webcams feature.
• December 3, 2014 16:39 Dotty's in Danger?: It was back in April, 2011 that valley "tavern" chain Dotty's first came under regulatory fire, with county commissioners complaining that these and similar establishments (Jackpot Joanie's, and the like) are essentially slot parlors and make more money from gaming than food and beverage. Today, an ordnance was passed that would limit such businesses to a total of eight gaming machines (as opposed to the current maximum of 15) or demand proof that more than half of their revenue is derived from food and beverage (tough, we would think, when Dotty's offers myriad free snacks and gamblers drink for free...) If enacted, Dotty's representatives say the cost implications of the move could force the closure of its 100+ Vegas locations.
• December 3, 2014 14:26 More Vegas NFR Specials: We posted an initial roundup of National Finals Rodeo entertainment highlights (many of which are FREE) in this column yesterday, but as expected more specials are still being announced, including:
- Dec. 4-13 the Casino Bar at the Riviera will be serving the Wrangler NFR 3-2-1 drink special, which includes $3 call drinks, $2 well drinks and select domestic bottles, and $1 specials. Wicked Vicky is also getting in on the rodeo action, with an ice-cold bottle of Coors Banquet and a shot of Jack Daniels for $5 and the Coors Banquet bucket, with five bottles for $15.
- Venetian/Palazzo may sound like an unlikely venue to be cowboy central, but for the NFR Lagasse's Sports Stadium will transform into Cowboyville, with guests able to catch the live feed of the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, with beer-and-bites specials from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. nightly during NFR, plus live performances by CMA Closeup magazine’s "Who New To Watch in 2014" artists Mckenzies Mill (Dec. 4-11) and Lexi Larson (Dec. 12-13). On Dec. 12, from 6-8 p.m., bull-riding fans can catch an autograph signing by PBR rider Rocky McDonald. Last but not least, the entire ground floor of the Sands Expo Center will be given over to the Stetson Country Christmas Western Gift Expo Dec. 4-14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
• December 3, 2014 11:14 Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn to Caesars: While rumors of a possible Katy Perry booking for Caesars' Colosseum have yet to materialize into anything, today comes an announcement that the venue is to host its first country music "residency," with a unique teaming up giants Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn for a (so far) very limited number of dates (12 in total) commencing June 24, 2015 and currently running through Dec. 12. Tickets, which start at $59.50 (inc. tax), go on sale tomorrow, Dec. 4, at 10 a.m. PST.
• December 3, 2014 11:04 New LVA Reader Poll Touches a Nerve: We've been nice all year (well, in the main) so we figure we've all earned a good venting session. Thanks to our brand new Reader Poll, you can get it all off your chest as you pick the most annoying type of gambler you encounter. Feel free to send us additional email suggestions, personal embellishments, and so on; we've received some awesome (and right-on-the-money) feedback already and we remain all ears...
• December 3, 2014 10:24 Repeal Day in Vegas: Friday, Dec. 5 is the 81st anniversary of the end of the Prohibition Era and Las Vegas is celebrating "Repeal Day" with parties and drink specials all around town. Here's what we've heard about so far:
- Main Street's Velveteen Rabbit (which we recently checked out - it's cool) is getting the festivities underway early, with a speakeasy-style shindig on Thursday, Dec. 4. For access, you'll need the secret password (don't tell anyone, but it's "botanist") for a party showcasing Botanist Islay Dry Gin and featuring a live performance at midnight from Prohibition-era throwback band The All-Togethers.
- Former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman will get the party started with a gin toast at the Mob Museum, which hosts its 3rd annual Repeal Day Party featuring live cabaret dancers, a jazz band, casino table games, a 1920s costume contest, and of course cocktails. Tickets start at $40.
- Make a real night of it with Downtown Grand's one-night-only "Repeal Day" deal. Offered in partnership with the Mob Museum, the thoughtful package starts at $189 for a Deluxe Room with two GA tickets to the museum bash, plus two (more!) cocktails, two bowls of special-recipe Hangover Oxtail Soup at S+O, and complimentary late (2 p.m.) check-out. A VIP upgrade is also available for $249.
- On the Strip, Caesars Entertainment is hosting a four-property, five-bar celebration, with not-so-secret password "Repeal" opening the door to specialty off-menu libations at 3535 at The LINQ, Lobby Bar at Caesars Palace, Bound and Interlude at The Cromwell and BLT Steak at Bally’s.
• December 2, 2014 18:22 29 Days of LVA - $50 at Palms, Free Booze at Ellis: You have one month left to take advantage of the 130+ offers in the 2014 Member Rewards Book, so we figured we'd highlight some of the great deals for those who still don't know about our subscription program, or those of you who already have an MRB but may have overlooked an offer or two. Due to a technical glitch yesterday (and the fact that we only came up with this wizard idea just now!), we'll profile TWO of our fave coupons today:
- $50 All-Purpose Comp at the Palms: This unique offer has been an LVA exclusive since George Maloof built the Palms, and it's being going strong every year since. It doesn't take a math genius to work out that if you simply use this one discount, you've already paid for your membership, so everything else is gravy. It's good for a 50% discount (up to a maximum discount of $50) for: hotel-room bill; charges in bars, including Social & Tonic; admission to Ghost Bar; or charges in 24/7 Café, Bistro Buffet, or NOVE.
- Ellis Island 3 Rounds of FREE Drinks: Enjoy three rounds of free cocktails for two people, no gambling required. Don't just take our word for how cool this deal is; here's what an LVA member wrote to us: "The Ellis Island coupon has always been my favorite. It's a neat little place I would never have gone to without the coupon. I'll sit at the bar, have some free drinks, watch a ball game, play a little BJ and grab a steak and a beer (also a great deal) after I get the munches! Keep up the great work, LVA!! And thank you!" [Ed: You're welcome and yep, we have a 50%-off entrée deal in the Cafe, too!)
Stay tuned -- we'll be back with more Las Vegas coupon goodness tomorrow, but that will leave you one less day to take advantage of all these awesome 2014 savings with our limited-time offer on a $12 3-month trial. Just sayin'...
• December 2, 2014 17:12 NFR Highlights: It's that cowboy time of year again, and having narrowly dodged the possibility of losing this major event (now safely ensconced in Las Vegas once more for the foreseeable future), the city is celebrating with plenty of parties and other happenings. Here are some of the highlights:
- All National Finals Rodeo events are hosted by the Thomas & Mack Center, but if you can't make it, CBS Sports Network will also air them all nightly from 10 p.m.–1 a.m. (ET) Tune into Dish: Channel 158; Direct TV: Channel 221, or check your local listings(12/4-13)
- Each night at 5 p.m. South Point presents the Ram Rodeo Tailgate Party inside the Grand Ballroom and admission is FREE (12/4-12/13)
- The Mirage hosts Rodeo Vegas, the official NFR After Party, featuring free admission, 24-hour drink specials, and live performances each night (12/4-12/13)
- Sam’s Town hosts the 4th Annual Mechanical Bull Riding Competitions from 5 p.m.-midnight, with $500 in cash and prizes and 5 winners each session (12/5-12/13)
- Gary Leffew’s Legendary Buck’n Ball takes place inside the Arizona Ballroom at Gold Coast from 9 p.m. "until the cow's come home!" and features live music and free admission (12/5-12/13)
- As an official sponsor of NFR, Silverton hosts Mark Chesnutt (12/5) and Little Texas (12/12) inside the Veil Pavilion. No cover.
- Catch country sensation Bobby McClendon and his band, the Dirt Road Cartel, for three performances at Cabo Wabo Cantina inside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood (12/4-12/6)
- Autograph signing will take place in the MGM Lobby from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., featuring Gold Buckle Champions such as Trevor Brazile & Tuf Cooper (12/5, 12/8)
- Chateau Nightclub at Paris hosts Country Fried Mix, an after-party with Cowboy Troy and DJ Sinister (12/6)
• December 2, 2014 14:27 School of Rock Showcase Fundraiser: On Saturday, Dec. 6, from 1-4 p.m., Hard Rock Live on the Strip will host a mid-season fundraising event, showcasing some of the Vegas Valley's upcoming rock talent, from contemporary acts to hair metal tributes and everything in between. Advance tickets are $10 and all proceeds from the event, which will also feature a silent auction, will go towards funding School of Rock scholarships, so get down and rock for a cause!
• December 2, 2014 12:19 Cyber Monday = Cyber Week at Palms: Just as Black Friday started on Thursday and rolled into Sunday, "Cyber Monday" is actually "Cyber Week," with ongoing deals at lots of great hotels, including $39 rates at The Palms, where you can also use our $50 Member Rewards voucher. Sweet! (Not an LVA member? Sign up today for our $12 three-month trial -- use of just one coupon in our Member Rewards Book can easily recoup that 12 bucks; use two-or-more and you're ahead like Usain Bolt!)
• December 2, 2014 11:56 Bob Dancer on Practice: "Practice makes perfect," as the old saying goes and, conversely, not practicing tends to lead to a deterioration in your skills, whether it be your golf swing or your video poker play. While this may seem commonsensical, Bob Dancer underlines the importance of practice in this week's column to the extent that if you're someone who willfully opts to notpractice, he may not even let you read his column anymore!
• December 2, 2014 11:20 We're Back!: There were some overnight issues with a Yahoo server (we won't bore you...) that prevented us from posting the news, including last night's NFL lines, and also bounced a lot of incoming email. Some of the mail is now filtering through, but if you tried to contact us and received a "hard bounce" notification, please re-send. Sorry for the temporary shutdown; normal service has now been restored.
• December 1, 2014 15:54 Holiday Magic with Dirk: Dirk Arthur Wild Illusions has added 4 p.m. matinees Dec. 20-30. Dirk's new show at the Riviera begins tonight with tickets starting at $47 and show times Saturday through Thursday at 7 p.m.
• December 1, 2014 13:53 When in Vegas...: ...Where Do You Stay? This is the query posed by our current Reader Poll, which ends tomorrow and is yielding some enlightening results. So, as you scramble to bag that awesome Cyber Monday room deal, what other factors will you be taking into account?
• December 1, 2014 12:15 Macau's Slump Continues: For the sixth month in succession, Macau’s casino revenue took a hit in November, with the just-released numbers proving to be slightly worse, even, than analysts' estimates. Casino revenue was down by almost 20 percent last month, following the biggest drop ever in October, when the numbers were down by 23 percent on the previous year, which had seen a massive high as the second-best month on record. Falling casino revenues are in part being attributed to a government campaign against conspicuous and excessive expenditure by officials.
• December 1, 2014 10:02 Megabucks Hits: The Megabucks jackpot was hit on Sunday for $14.3 million at the Rampart. It was the first Megabucks jackpot in almost a year, with the last hitting at MGM Grand last December. The timing was fortuitous for Rampart, which recently embarked on an extensive "Loosest Slots" campaign.
• December 1, 2014 09:58 Claus Couple to Hit Rio Zip Line: It's a busy month in Las Vegas for Santa Claus, who's been appearing all over the place; his latest engagement will feature a rare public appearance by Mrs Claus, who will be joining Kris Kringle as he flies in on the Rio's VooDoo Zip Line at 11 a.m. this morning.
• December 1, 2014 09:45 Gaga and Bennett Double Up: The Cosmopolitan has announced a second evening with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, ahead of their sold-out New Year's Eve engagement at The Chelsea. The second date will actually become the first show, since it's been scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 30, with doors at 7 p.m. Tickets for the new concert, which start at $125, go on sale at 10 a.m. PST Friday, Dec. 5.