Compiled by LVA Research
• January 28, 2015 11:10 Britney Returns: In more Planet Hollywood news, Britney Spears' Piece of Me performs its first show of 2015 tonight; the production has been extended with dates now through May 20.
• January 28, 2015 11:08 New Wave Pool for Planet Ho: Just when we were thinking that nothing much exciting had happened on the Vegas "daylife" scene in awhile, aside from the opening of Drai's, comes news that Planet Hollywood is installing a "Flow Rider" a "sheet wave" surf machine to the resort's rooftop "Pleasure Pools" complex, which is open to non-hotel guests for a $20 cover and features a summer bikini contest, with cash prizes. For information on all of Las Vegas' daylife venues, see our Cool Pools feature, which we'll be updating for the 2015 season as information becomes available.
• January 28, 2015 10:33 Tahoe Welcomes New Hard Rock Casino: It was back on April 1, 2014 that the Horizon Casino in Tahoe, which originally debuted in 1965 as Del Webb's Sahara Tahoe, closed for renovations. It was initially to reopen as the Park Tahoe Casino Resort but last summer it was announced that instead the property would be branded as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, which opens today. The539-room property has undergone a $60 million renovation to the rooms and casino and now features five restaurants, multiple bars, and a Hard Rock store. Tonight's opening festivities, which kick off at 7:45 p.m. and are open to public, will include the smashing of a giant ice guitar and a free concert in Vinyl, at 9 p.m., featuring West coast funk and soul band Mojo Green.
• January 28, 2015 10:20 Round 1 to CET in Bankruptcy Battle: It's bad news for the company's second-tier lenders, with a federal judge today ruling that Caesars Entertainment's Chapter 11 case should proceed in Illinois, the company's pick for a favorable environment, denying a motion by several creditor groups who are challenging the voluntary bankruptcy and had wanted the case heard in Delaware.
However, the ruling was evidently a close call; in an oral ruling, which will be elaborated upon in a written opinion still to come, the judge determined that CET's case only "narrowly supports" the choice of Illinois and observed that the company's conduct leading up to the filing "on its face is suspect" and would be put "under a magnifying glass" by the presiding Illinois judge.
• January 28, 2015 07:18 What About Our Sports Books?: In a study by WalletHub.com, Las Vegas came in last (142nd) in a ranking of the "Best Cities for Football Fans." It finished 128th in "Performance and Quality of Teams," 134th in "Stadium Accessibility," and 142nd in "Fan Friendliness & Engagement on Social Media." Had there been a category for "Most Available Betting Lines," the city would have fared far better. First in the study was (natch!) Green Bay.
• January 27, 2015 21:56 Yelp Readers Prove They Have Excellent Taste: Thanks to John Curtas (check out his new-look Eating Las Vegas blog) for the heads-up, via Slate.com, that the readers of Yelp have spoken (or rather "commented") and that the people's pick for the "100 best places to eat in America" features not one, but TWO Las Vegas venues, and in the #2 and #3 spots, no less (Thrillist, please take note).
According to user reviews, the second-best place to eat in the entire nation is gelato emporium Art of Flavors, and from our sole visit (to date) we could not find fault with that choice. The place is awesome, which is why Curtas also included it in the 2014 "Essential 50" restaurants to dine at in Las Vegas list. In third place on the Yelp list is a bigger surprise, in the shape of Soho Japanese restaurant, which we have not tried but which made the "Eating Las Vegas" 2013 list of "Restaurants that didn’t suck like we thought they would, or were much better than we thought they would be" -- relatively high praise coming from Curtas, but not in the same league as Art of Flavors.
• January 27, 2015 21:53 Another Stratta Shake-Up: Chef Alex Stratta's path has been somewhat erratic in recent years, with his flagship haute-cuisine restaurant, Alex, unexpectedly terminated by Wynn during the Great Recession, for example, plus recent wrinkles like word of the eleventh-hour venue change for his new tapas venture, planned for Tivoli Village. Now comes word, via Robin Leach, that Stratta has parted ways with erstwhile partner Preferred Restaurant Brands, owner of Capriotti's Sandwich Shops, among others. Although in a statement Stratta maintains that he still plans to go ahead with a spring 2015 opening for Tapas by Stratta, this latest upheaval leaves questions surrounding the future of all his current ventures, including the Italian steakhouse planned for the Gramercy, not to mention Alex's Elements Fine Casual Dining (Rainbow and Tropicana), the management of which was recently taken over by Preferred.
• January 27, 2015 14:31 I-15 Disruptions on Wednesday: Be aware that between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. tomorrow morning, the California Dept. of Transportation will be closing stretches of Interstate 15 near the Nevada state line for the installation of overhead power lines. The closures will be in 10-minute intervals, affecting the 5.2-mile stretch between Yates Well and Nipton roads in San Bernadino. Drivers are advised to find an alternate route between those hours.
• January 27, 2015 14:25 New Prop Bets Posted at LVASports.com: As promised, professional sports bettor and the curator of our sister site, LVASports.com (@LVASports), is making good on his promise to post all the betting info for Las Vegas and Reno for Super Bowl LXIX, including those from downtown's only independent sports book at the Golden Nugget, which takes the prize so far for "most creative prop bet." Keep checking back in the run-up to the Big Game, and follow @LVASports for instant updates.
• January 27, 2015 12:29 Countdown to White Castle: We feel we need one of those digital clocks to build the drama, but we don't have one, so this will have to suffice: White Castle opens in 26 minutes, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, then from 2 p.m. the hungry hordes can finally sample their favorite slyder [sic.] on the Las Vegas Strip. White Castle joins the newly remodeled and expanded Denny's -- the restaurant's busiest outlet bar none -- which opened at Casino Royale at the end of last year.
• January 27, 2015 10:14 Bob Dancer on Bankrolls and Egos: Who's smarter, on average, live-poker players or video poker players? In this Tuesday's column, video poker pro Bob Dancer makes his pick, plus he discusses the implications -- to your finances, your ego, and even your social life -- of a gambler sometimes having to recognize it's time to lower their stakes or risk going bust.
• January 26, 2015 22:02 1/27 is National Chocolate Cake Day: Yes, yes, we know all you think you care about is White Castle's much anticipated debut tomorrow, but while it might be Slider Day in Vegas, around the rest of the nation it's going to be National Chocolate Cake Day, so we're letting you know early since Bakeshop (2550 Anthem Village Dr.) will be doling out free chocolate cupcakes tomorrow, one each for the first 250 customers through the doors (which open at 10 a.m.) From 4-9 p.m., Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel (3400 Paradise Rd.) is celebrating the date enigmatically, with an invocation for guests to visit the lobby for "a special treat to celebrate THE most popular cake!" (Note, they are seguing right into "National Blueberry Pancake Day" with servings of $7 stacks from 6:30 a.m. Wednesday in ENVY steakhouse.) The final noteworthy happening we've read about so far isn't so much a happening as a posting of five top chocolate cake recipes, courtesy of Le Cordon Bleu culinary schools, the Las Vegas campus of which will also be hosting a "For the Love of Chocolate" cooking demo and open house Feb. 7, in time for Valentine's Day.
• January 26, 2015 19:01 Casino Marquee Destroyed in Fire: We just learned that the marquee of the Poker Palace in North Las Vegas was gutted by fire today, the cause of which has yet to be determined. We were in a meeting, but according to the LV R-J, flames and plumes of smoke were visible for miles.
• January 26, 2015 13:21 Total Rewards Has 623 Super Bowl Tix: If you're a member of Caesars Entertainment's Total Rewards players club, you can earn Rewards Credits by purchasing Super Bowl tickets from their fanxchange site, where you can also choose to redeem Rewards Credits to get tix (provided you have upwards of 393,750 points in your current balance). (P.S. There are now 621 tickets.)
• January 26, 2015 10:39 OMG, Vegas Made a Thrillist!: We have noted, over the past many months, that Thrillist.com, a city-guide resource that we have always enjoyed, is nonetheless snubbing Las Vegas in the food-and-drink department, with our eateries, chefs, and craft beers having been consistently overlooked. It was with happy surprise, therefore, that we scrolled all the way down through a new survey of top chefs' must-eat dishes and found that the very last entry was reserved for Chef Daniel Ontiveros of Comme Ça at the Cosmopolitan who, for his "I would eat this every day if I could" dish, picked the Kalbi Ribs from Soyo (S. Rainbow) for the "sweet and salty kalbi marinade [which] has an in-your-face garlicky flavor that will leave you with garlic breath and burps long after you eat it." We won't argue with that and would also personally recommend their Bi Bim Baap, among many other dishes.
• January 26, 2015 10:19 Crunch Time for Caesars Ent.: A two-day trial kicks off today in Wilmington with the objective of determining which of two bankruptcy courts -- Delaware or Chicago -- will review Caesars Entertainment Operating Co Inc's plan to cut $10 billion in debt. The ruling will be made based on which bankruptcy law(s) are deemed applicable, and how, to the complex and acrimonious filing that has pitted the company and its first-tier lenders against a group of hedge fund creditors representing second-lien noteholders who are protesting the prior transfer of company assets out of their reach. In a report, Fitch Ratings agency anticipates that the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is likely to be both protracted and contentious, with costs that could easily top $800 million.
• January 26, 2015 09:56 Happy Birthday Bouchon: Thomas Keller's French bistro at Venetian marks its 11th anniversary today and to celebrate, they're toasting to the future with $1 oysters (normally $18 for a half-dozen) and $11 truffle fries and Champagne by-the-glass (reg. $18 and $12.50, respectively). Everyone is invited to join the party!
• January 26, 2015 09:29 Northeast Storm Cancels Outbound Flights: The winter storm hitting the Northeast of the country, the severity of which is forecast to be of historic proportions, has caused as many as 3,000 flight cancellations nationwide, including about twenty flights out of McCarran that had been headed to destinations including New York, Newark, Boston, and Philadelphia.
• January 26, 2015 09:19 Knopfler to Colosseum: Legendary musician and Dire Straits front man, Mark Knopfler, has announced a 36-city N. American tour with one night only (no, it's not being termed a 'residency') in Las Vegas. "An Evening with Mark Knopfler and Band" hits the Colosseum at Caesars on September 16 and tickets go on sale 10 a.m this Friday, Jan. 30, although prices have yet to be announced. Fans who buy online will receive one physical copy of Knopfler's new album, "Tracker," for each pair of tickets purchased.
• January 25, 2015 17:12 Ferrall at SLS: Gravely voiced radio sports-talk host Scott Ferrall will broadcast is show "Ferrall on the Bench" all next week from the William Hill sports book at SLS. The show airs from 7 to 11 p.m. PST on AM 1140.
• January 25, 2015 16:56 Pro Bowl Line: Team Carter is a -3 favorite over Team Irvine in tonight's NFL Pro Bowl Game. The total is 68.5.
• January 25, 2015 16:42 Happy National Irish Coffee Day: Today's the day, apparently, although the only "deal" we've come across is for $5 Irish coffees today at McCormick & Schmick's.
• January 25, 2015 13:52 Schlesinger to Blackjack HoF: Blackjack theorist and writer Don Schlesinger was elected to the Blackjack Hall of Fame at the annual Blackjack Ball last night. Schlesinger is best known for defining the "Illustrious 18," the 18 most important deviations from basic strategy as prescribed by a card-counting system. Schlesinger is the author of Blackjack Attack, considered to be an essential desktop reference book by blackjack pros. The skills competition was won by Rick "Night Train" Blaine, author of our book Blackjack Blueprint.
• January 25, 2015 09:53 Sunday Funday 12 Free Poker Tourney at Noon: Registration is now open for our "Sunday Funday 12" poker tournament. Play begins at noon PST/3 p.m. EST today. Prizes are $100 for first; a Full LVA membership for second, our new poker book Flop, Turn, River for third, and prizes for all final-table contestants, including our 2015 gambling-cartoon calendar, the third edition of Whale Hunt in the Desert, and Mad Huey logo wear. 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 7495). 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.
• January 25, 2015 09:16 JLo? JNo!: Although rumors have long swirled about a possible long-term Las Vegas gig for Jennifer Lopez, who added fuel to the fire with her "The Best is Yet to Come" private performance here on New Year's Eve, but apparently Jenny from the Block wanted too much money for a residency to be a viable option, a spokesman for Caesars Entertainment recently confirmed.
• January 24, 2015 17:07 UFC Gustafsson/Johnson: Alexander Gustafsson is a -335 favorite over Anthony Johnson in tonight's UFC main event. In the other featured match, Gegard Mousasi is -585 over Dan Henderson.
• January 24, 2015 14:00 Dollar Blackjack: A sign at Binion's is advertising "Thursday Throwback Blackjack." It features $1-minimum blackjack dealt on Thursdays only from noon to midnight. The sign says "Single Deck Pitch Games," with no additional information about rules. The February Las Vegas Advisor newsletter will cover dollar blackjack (predominantly the ongoing dollar game at the Riviera), explaining why bad rules in this game aren't that worrisome.
• January 24, 2015 13:28 Illegal Super Bowl Betting: According to an estimate by the American Gaming Association, Americans will wager about $3.8 billion illegally on next week's Super Bowl, an amount about 38 times the legal handle in Nevada. The AGA called the projection conservative, as it's based on the low end of estimated betting ranges.
• January 24, 2015 09:19 Free Star(dust) Gazing at Neon Museum Tonight: From 6-9 p.m. this evening downtown's Neon Museum is hosting a free "star party," featuring star-gazing opportunities with telescope stations hosted by the Las Vegas Astronomical Society, a self-guided Space Scavenger Hunt, a scratchboard art project, and complimentary hot chocolate (while supplies last). The family-friendly event is free to attend.
• January 23, 2015 16:00 January Sale at ShopLVA Ends 5 p.m.!: Our massive annual clearance sale is drawing to a close: You have until 5 p.m. PST to take advantage of some of the crazy current deals in the Bargain Bin at ShopLVA, with HUGE discounts on top titles like Annie Duke's Decide to Play Great Poker, our fun handheld electronic blackjack and video poker games, the 2015 Gambling Cartoons calendar, and much more. There's an hour left, so get your order in at ShopLVA.com.
• January 23, 2015 13:29 National Pie Day: For a city replete with sweet-tooth emporiums, Las Vegas is surprisingly lackluster in its offerings today which, of course, is National Pie Day (did we think they meant pizza?) So far, the only place we've heard about that's offering anything of note isn't even a bakery, but a seafood restaurant, but we're happy Joe's Stone Crab (Forum Shops) has come to the rescue, nonetheless! Their promo extends from today through Jan. 29, too, and offers a complimentary slice of homemade pie (choices include Chocolate Fudge, Old Fashion Apple, signature Key Lime, Peanut Butter, and Boston Cream) with purchase of an entrée.
Marie Callender's also has a couple of extended specials in honor of Pie Day, including the Perfect Pie Trio promo. Now through March 28, order a Chicken Pot Pie for $9.99 or Shepherd's Pie for $11.99, and both orders will come with a Caesar salad and slice of Marie Callender's famous pie (excludes cheesecakes, seasonal fresh fruit pies, and "promotional" pies). The chain is also celebrating National Pie Day with the limited-edition Red Velvet Dream Pie, available through February 28 ($13.99, plus tin).
If you are a Vegas venue and you have a pie promo, please let us know via @LVA_Tweet and we'll spread the
pie filling word.
• January 23, 2015 12:36 Moody's Downgrades Atlantic City, By a Lot: Investors Service Moody's downgraded Atlantic City's general obligation debt by six levels Friday, from Ba1 to Caa1 with a negative outlook, citing the likelihood of default. The move follows Gov. Chris Christi'e appointment, earlier in the week, of an "emergency manager," whose daunting task is to resolve the city's deeply troubled finances, which could include the "restructuring" of its $397 million of total debt, $12.8 million of which is due Feb. 3.
• January 23, 2015 11:48 TWO February Hotel Implosions Scheduled: If all goes according to plan, next month will see two Las Vegas implosions, the first since the mini-implosion that took out the former O'Sheas parking garage during the property's temporary transition to The Quad (now The LINQ). The Clarion hotel tower is currently set for an early-morning departure on Feb. 10 (see Today's News 1/12/15), what's left of an abandoned Gramercy residential-tower (located on Russell at the 215) will be dynamited five days later, at 8 a.m., as the re-purposing of the site as an "urban village", with tenants to include celebrated chef and restaurateur Alex Stratta, approaches completion. While the razing of the Clarion will likely feature some kind of demolition celebration, the owners of the former ManhattanWest site have not yet decided if any additional festivities will accompany the Gramercy implosion, reports Vegas Inc.
• January 23, 2015 11:16 Vegas Musical Opens on Broadway: While Broadway musicals in general -- pre-Smith Center -- have had a rough ride in Las Vegas, now a Vegas-themed show has opened on Broadway, with the debut of Honeymoon in Vegas, starring Tony nominee Rob McClure and Tony Danza ("Who’s the Boss?," "Taxi"), who previously starred in The Producers when it performed briefly on the Las Vegas Strip. The show, which is garnering rave reviews, is an adaptation of the 1992 movie starring Nicholas Cage, James Caan, and Sarah Jessica Parker.
If you're in Vegas and you're a fan of theater, this is the last weekend to catch Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat's brief run at the Smith Center or, for something a little different, check out Four Dogs and a Bone, a satiric Hollywood snarkfest from John Patrick Shanley (Moonstruck), which opens tonight for a three-weekend engagement at The Onyx, Vegas' venerable home to alternative theater. Shows are 7:30 p.m. Fri./Sat., with a 2 p.m. Sun. matinee performance, and tickets are $20).
• January 23, 2015 10:56 Opening Date for Bally's Shops Announced: The opening of the Grand Bazaar Shops, bordering the Strip in front of Bally's, has been announced for February 26. Among the more than 120 shops will be Swarovski, Swatch, Hammitt, UK fashion designer Superdry, and Brazilian footwear retailer Havaianas.
• January 22, 2015 19:19 Las Vegas This Weekend: Coming to you a little later than the norm, but we've been all tied up in White Castleness all days. Better late than never, here are the highlights:
- Stand-up comedian Aries Spears brings laughs to the Suncoast Showroom (1/23-24)
- Lights Out - Tribute to Frankie Vallie and The Four Seasons can be seen at the Cannery (1/23-24)
- International artist Tommy Roe is center stage at South Point (1/23-25)
- The Smith center of Performing Arts presents Tony Desare's Night Life (1/23-24), plus the concluding performances of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1/24-25)
- The adult-entertainment world's 32nd annual "Oscars" (AVN Awards) are being hosted by the Hard Rock, with lot of other parties around town, primarily in the strip clubs (1/24)
- Dennis Wise - "King for a Night" presents a tribute to Elvis Presley at Sunset Station (1/24)
- Vintage pop singer Helen Reddy is live at the Orleans (1/24-25)
- Sax player Michael Lington performs center stage at the Red Rock Resort (1/24)
- Ronnie Milsap, one of country music's most popular performers, is in the spotlight at Silverton (1/24)
- And Sunny Turner, former lead singer of The Platters, will be appearing at Sam's Town (1/24)
• January 22, 2015 19:08 The NFL - A Bad Lip Reading: Yup, it's back, we just discovered, and this is one of the better ones since it started (they're all funny, but this represents a return to top form, we'd say). Watch it and weep (with laughter). Just wondering, how come the focus on eating rodents this year? Surely most NFL players can afford to eat something better than vermin, although we guess they're a good source of protein?
• January 22, 2015 17:47 White Castle Wait Almost Over: Since the rumor was first whispered, back in May 2014 (see Today's News 5/27/2014), following mobbed appearances at successive food-truck festivals, White Castle Slyders will debut their first west-coast brick-and-mortar restaurant in Casino Royale at 2 p.m. on Jan. 27, it was announced today.
• January 22, 2015 13:38 Kudos to Runnin' Rebels for Tarkarnian Statue Honor: The 2,000 lb bronze statue of legendary former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, which was unveiled back in 2013 and sits outside the Thomas & Mack Center, this week was named the best college-basketball statue in the country by the NCAA as part of its "High Five" series. Congratulations!
• January 22, 2015 13:36 Free White Castles at El Cortez: The historic downtown casino is rewarding Club Cortez machine and table-games players today with a brace of complimentary @WhiteCastle sliders through 6 a.m. Plus, there's one remaining Monday in January to make use of the iconic brand's coupon for a free veggie slider with any purchase at all White Castle venues (which soon will include one in Las Vegas, on the Strip!)
Plus, it's #ThrowbackThursday at El Cortez, with $5 Champagne (yes, the real McCoy French stuff!), a free performance in the Parlour Bar by Sinatra tribute artist Peter Pavone from 6 p.m.-10 p.m., the weekly five-hand "Beat the Boss" five-hand shoot-out blackjack tournament ($25 entry, all fees returned to players), and more!
• January 22, 2015 11:07 Looks Like Revel Sale, the Sequel, is a Go: Creditors of Atlantic City's bankrupt Revel resort-casino are out of luck, with a U.S. District Judge ruling Wednesday that they failed to make a convincing case that they'd be "irreparably harmed" by the terms of its purchase by developer Glenn Straub and did not want to risk jeopardizing the agreed sale, which Straub had been threatening to abort. Those terms include the fact that the property would be purchased "free and clear of liens, claims, encumbrances and interests," meaning that numerous tenants and suppliers could stand to lose millions in investments and unpaid bills.
• January 22, 2015 10:53 More Crustacean News: Crab Corner just announced that they have a "limited supply" of fresh live blue crabs at both venues, Eastern and Rainbow, plus Thursday's Pub Trivia Night at the west-side location -- starts at 7:30 p.m., with $3 beer and drink specials and prizes, including bar tabs, t-shirts, and more. (They have some daily specials on oysters and lobster that piqued our interest, too.)
• January 22, 2015 10:14 Grosjean on the Truth About Facial Recognition Software: There's a new post at Beyond Numbers, where the ever-forthright and informed James Grosjean busts a few myths about casino surveillance, taking no prisoners along the way.
• January 21, 2015 17:12 Atlantic City Update - Casino Deals in Limbo: The sales of both Revel and two Trump casinos remain up-in-the-air, report Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg, respectively. The purchase of the former by erratic Florida developer Glenn Straub (who may or may not want the deal to go through) is now in jeopardy due to a challenge from creditors, while Carl Icahn's bid to take over two casinos owned by the bankrupt Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. is in a similar boat, with a hearing scheduled for last week now postponed until Jan. 28.
• January 21, 2015 16:37 Holy Cow! Golden Steer Felled by Out-of-Control Crustaceans: Thank goodness for VitalVegas, thanks to whose blog we can sleep easy tonight, without fear that one of Las Vegas' few surviving historic landmarks/objets d'art, the bovine statue that has hung outside the legendary Golden Steer steakhouse for some 56 years, man and bull, is safe! Fears that the iconic symbol had been stolen have been allayed and it turns out it was the victim of an inexperienced lobster-delivery driver but will be returning to its former perch in due course. Phew!
• January 21, 2015 16:06 Change at the Top for Resorts World Las Vegas: The yet-to-materialize megaresort-casino promised for the Stardust/Echelon site, which is allegedly destined to look like this, but continues to look just like this, has replaced the executive who was previously heading the $4 billion project, reports the R-J's Howard Stutz. The latest word is that construction is due to start sometime "between April and June," but we've heard that several times before, so we're not holding our breath.
• January 21, 2015 13:21 Yup, More Pool Positions Open: A local paper wrote yesterday about how there are more than 200 open positions for summer pool and restaurant jobs. Um, make that more like TWO THOUSAND (MGM Resorts alone has 700 jobs to fill). Two more properties to add to the list of those recruiting are Red Rock and Green Valley Ranch, which collectively have 150 openings. Interviews for Red Rock are taking place today until 6 p.m. in Rocks Lounge and again from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. Green Valley Ranch is auditioning in the Lobby Bar from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 26 and 27. The usual criteria apply (see previous posts) and the usual positions are up for grabs; if you're interested, you must first apply online at sclv.com and bring a resume and recent photo for in-person interviews.
• January 21, 2015 11:42 It's Porn Star Time!: It's that time of year again, when Las Vegas is even more overrun than normal with adult entertainers, here for the annual AVN Novelty Expo, the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo, and the 2015 AVN Awards Show, all being hosted by the Hard Rock Hotel today through Saturday, Jan. 24 when the porn equivalent of the Oscars takes place.
Sapphire Las Vegas is the official gentlemen's club of AVN 2015, with lots of parties hosted by XXX performers and a special edition of the weekly Sapphire Comedy Club open mic night, which this Thursday has a "Carnal Comedy" theme and will feature all adult-film comics, hosted by Rebecca Love. No cover (and, insider tip from ToplessVegasOnline.com: the drinks in the comedy club are cheaper than in the main strip club, so stock up if you plan to stay for a lap dance after the show).
• January 21, 2015 10:51 Le Rêve Celebrates with New Scene: The acrobatic aquatic spectacular at Wynn is celebrating its 10th anniversary (really?!) this year and to mark the milestone, choreographer Maksim Chmerkovskiy returned to the show after a five-year hiatus to add an ambitious new scene. Apparently, the four-minute sequence dreamt up by the "Dancing With the Stars" Season 18 winner incorporates fire, water, and projection technologies with his signature high-energy ballroom choreography.
• January 21, 2015 09:28 Wynn Dealing -105 on Super Bowl: The Super Bowl line at the Wynn is PK/-105, meaning neither team is getting points and you have to bet only $105 to win $100, as opposed to the standard $110/$100. It's the only book in town dealing the 105 line, which constitutes a betting value. However, Seahawks backers can currently get +1/-110 at most books. For outstanding coverage of all things betting leading up to the game, check out the rapidly expanding LVASports.com.
• January 20, 2015 16:33 The Great CET Buffet Massacre: We're in the process of doing our monthly update of buffet listings, in the course of which we've learned that Flavors at Harrah's now serves lunch Friday through Sunday (the buffet is closed from 11:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Mon.-Thurs), while the cuts at the Flamingo are even more drastic: The buffet serves brunch daily ... and that's it! Wow.
• January 20, 2015 15:49 Cal Celebrates Milestone with...Soup!: While all the recent buzz has been about last Friday's debut of the new Cal Noodle House, the latest example of Boyd Gaming's group-wide Vegas dining upgrades announced last November (see Today's News 11/7/14), we were interested to know what the casino was doing to celebrate its 40th anniversary at the end of this month. Here's what we've found:
- On Jan. 31, hit a natural 4 of a kind (no wilds) with all 4s at any Cal casino bar for $40 in bonus slot dollars. That same day, hit a suited blackjack (table games only) and win a commemorative t-shirt or hat.
- Jan. 30 to Feb. 2 the Redwood will serve a three-course dinner for $40, featuring bacon-wrapped scallops, steak au poivre, and Bananas Foster cheesecake for dessert.
- Last, but by no means least, Jan. 30-Feb. 2 will also see a dining special at the Market Street Cafe, which will be celebrating with "96 hours of oxtail soup!" (We're not sure if that's a promise or a threat? Just kidding; w love oxtail soup, although a four-day diet of it might dent our enthusiasm...)
• January 20, 2015 15:01 REALLY Bad Week for Gordon Ramsay (and Not Too Good for Nobu, De Niro): If Caesars Entertainment's voluntary bankruptcy filing goes as the company hopes it will, it turns out that some of the creditors likely to be stiffed include Nobu partners Robert De Niro and Chef Nobuyuki, who are owed $459,963, and Chef Gordon Ramsay, who's owed $307,479. That's the least of Ramsay's current troubles, however, with a High Court Judge in London today finding the TV celebrity personally liable for approximately $1 million in rent owed for a gastropub he bought in London. Ramsay had claimed that the signature on the lease had been forged by a former employee, since terminated, who also happens to be his father-in-law...
Returning to the CET situation, the company originally listed Clark County as another unsecured creditor, owed almost $47 million, dating back to 2008, for a bond issued to move power lines located underground on Caesars' land on Flamingo Road. A spokesman for the agency, however, confirmed that the county is in fact a secured creditor, meaning that it's much more likely to be reimbursed.
• January 20, 2015 12:21 Job Fair at M Resort: The latest resort recruiting for seasonal positions at its two pools is M, which will hold a six-day job fair, in two parts, from Tuesday, Jan. 27 to Thursday, Jan. 29 and again Feb. 10-12. All events will take place inside Ravello Lounge, with calls for cocktail servers, exclusively, from 10-11 a.m. and 4-5 p.m. each day (must audition in swimwear); other positions, including bartenders, barbacks, cashiers, lifeguards, security officers, VIP sales reps, and cooks will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
• January 20, 2015 10:11 Celine Changes Mind, Not Returning in March: According to gossip site TMZ, Celine Dion has decided "to pass" on returning to Caesars' Colosseum this March, as had previously been announced. She is instead opting to continue caring for her husband, who is battling throat cancer. The earliest the headliner is now likely to return to performing on the Strip is the end of the year.
• January 20, 2015 09:24 Card Counting on KNPR: Game-protection expert and Huntington Press author Bill Zender is one of the guests on KNPR's "State of Nevada" show, airing right now on 88.9 FM, where the topic under discussion is card counting. If you can't tune in now, you can catch the repeat at 7 p.m. this evening.
• January 19, 2015 15:32 Scorsese, De Niro, Di Caprio, Pitt in Casino Flick/Ad.: The Audition is being described, basically, as a feature-length promo vehicle for Melco-Crown's new Macau casino project, Studio City, and was produced by James Packer's production-company offshoot, RatPac Entertainment. However, with that kind of heavyweight Hollywood "A"-list involvement, the comedy casino caper, penned by Wolf of Wall Street and "Boardwalk Empire" writer Terrence Winter, promises to be a lot more substantial than your average casino-ad campaign. It also marks the first time that DiCaprio and De Niro have co-starred in a Scorsese pic and is fueling rumors that this may be a precursor to a long-promised Sintra bio. from the director. The film is due to debut with the casino itself, allegedly later this year; visit casino.org/newsw for more.
• January 19, 2015 14:18 Celebrity Guest Star for Rock of Ages: From Feb. 20, on select dates through April 29, catch lovable former NSYNC member and "Dancing With the Stars" contestant Joey Fatone guest starring as Bourbon Room owner Dennis Dupree in Rock of Ages, currently performing nightly at the Venetian. The show performs at 8 p.m. and tix start at $60.45.
• January 19, 2015 13:16 Another Poker Room Closes: The poker room at the Linq has closed. Following closures in the past two years at O'Sheas and Bill's (now the Cromwell), the only Caesars Entertainment poker rooms in that area are at Flamingo and Harrah's.
• January 19, 2015 12:17 Celebrity Apprentice Bingo!: We just discovered this via @TrumpCollection -- you can increase the fun factor while viewing "Celebrity Apprentice" by playing along with the bingo cards created by Ivanka Trump, who suggests you also mix up some cocktails for maximum enjoyment. Tonight's episode, which airs 8 p.m. ET, also features the final guest appearance on the show by Joan Rivers.
• January 19, 2015 11:29 Bankruptcy Bonus from Total Rewards: The numerous readers who've written to us querying what the implications of Caesars Entertainment's imminent bankruptcy may be for players can sleep easy, it would seem. We just received a notice forwarded by a Total Rewards member (we're not sure what level they are), confirming that not only are their existing points "safe," but that from Jan. 1 (yes, it's being applied retroactively) through March 31, Total Rewards is awarding a 50% bonus on the first 50,000 Tier Credits earned.
According to the fine print: "Member must earn at least 1,000 Tier Credits by March 31, 2015 to be eligible for the promotion. 50% Tier Credit Bonus will be awarded on up to the first 50,000 Tier Credits earned from January 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015, for a maximum total bonus of 25,000 Tier Credits...Loyalty bonuses are not earned Tier Credits and thus, are not eligible for this promotion." Visit the players club or ask your host if you have any additional questions.
• January 19, 2015 11:25 Westgate Sweepstakes: Westgate Las Vegas is running a sweepstakes through the end of January, with patrons encouraged to vote on their favorite innovation/new attraction at the latest incarnation of the former Hilton, for a chance to win a vacation package for two. Visit the property's Facebook page for more details and to enter the contest.
• January 19, 2015 11:17 Celebrate MLK Day with Freebie Offers: In addition to the BOGO offer on the LINQ's High Roller observation wheel, today also sees free admission to National Parks, including Death Valley and Lake Mead Recreation Area, so take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors for free! (Shouldn't it always be?!)
• January 19, 2015 10:10 MLK Bonus Points: South Point is marking Martin Luther King Day with its standard holiday slots-points bonus. Get 5X points all day on slots and 2X on video poker.
• January 19, 2015 10:09 Golden Nugget Ups Resort Fee by 300 Percent: What was, until yesterday, a $5 nightly "Downtown Destination Fee" at the Golden Nugget is, as of today, a $20 resort fee. This is applicable to all reservations made from today onward (it's not applied retroactively), and includes: in-room WiFi for two devices; two bottles of water; daily newspaper; valet/self-parking; access for two to the fitness center; boarding-pass printing; and a coupon book containing discounts for Springs Preserve, Mob Museum, Neon Museum, Downtown Outlet Center, and more. It's a massive price hike, to be sure, but on the bright side, this covers a lot more than some equivalent hotel resort fees (although we're never going to understand how a paying guest could or would be charged for self-parking).
• January 19, 2015 09:30 Downtown Parade Reminder: Don't forget, the annual Martin Luther King Day parade downtown kicks off at 10 a.m. at Fourth Street and Gass Avenue, concluding in the vicinity of Fourth Street and Stewart Avenue around 2 p.m., so drivers should find alternate routes for the duration.
• January 19, 2015 08:25 Super Bowl Line: The Seattle Seahawks opened as -2.5 favorites over the New England Patriots for the Super Bowl. The line went to -3 for an instant, then was bet down fast to pick 'em. The total opened 49 and is now 48.5.
• January 18, 2015 19:49 Parade Downtown Monday for King Day: Downtown Las Vegas will stage its annual parade in honor of Dr Martin Luther King on Monday, with 125 to 150 entries anticipated, including school bands, music groups, student organizations, and floats. The festivities are scheduled to commence at 10 a.m. at Fourth Street and Gass Avenue, heading north on Fourth to Ogden. The parade will disperse on Fourth Street and Stewart Avenue around 2 p.m.
• January 18, 2015 18:08 Oops! (But Not Ours, for a Change): Personal-finance advisory site Crainswealth.com could use a geography lesson, or a new photo archivist, apparently, having evidently gotten their "Fremonts" confused (courtesy of Jeffrey Compton of CDC Gaming Reports.) Granted, the downtown area has lately become known for its tech companies and start-ups, but we're pretty sure we would've noticed the advent of 55,000 trees on Fremont STREET...
• January 18, 2015 16:01 UFC McGregor/Siver: Conor McGregor is a prohibitive -1050 favorite over Dennis Siver in tonight's UFC main event. In the other featured match, Benson Henderson is -130 over Donald Cerrone.
• January 18, 2015 15:59 Monday BOGO Offer at High Roller: In honor of Martin Luther King Day, tomorrow the High Roller observation wheel is running a buy one, get one free offer for tickets to ride the attraction. Offer good Jan. 19 only.
• January 18, 2015 15:23 AFC Championship Colts/Patriots: In today's AFC Championship, the New England Patriots are -7 favorites over the Indianapolis Colts. The total is 52.
• January 18, 2015 12:15 Jubilee! Hiring: A quick reminder that Monday sees the open casting call for this iconic spectacular at Bally's. There's a call for male dancers at 10 a.m., female dancers and showgirls at noon, and male and female singers at 2 p.m., with callbacks at 4 p.m.
• January 18, 2015 10:53 NFC Championship Packers/Seahawks: In today's NFC Championship, the Seattle Seahawks are -8.5 favorites over the Green Bay Packers. The total is 44.
• January 18, 2015 09:12 Rock in Rio Adds Artists: The picture is now almost complete, with just a couple of pieces of the puzzle left to be revealed in terms of who will play this two-weekend rock-and-pop event in May. On the May 8-9 "rock" weekend, added to the previously announced lineup (Metallica, Linkin Park, No Doubt, Deftones, etc.) are Foster the People, Bleachers, The Pretty Reckless, and others, while the "pop" event May 15-16 sees the likes of Jessie J, Charli XCS, Empire of the Sun, Echosmith, and other joining Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Joss Stone, and Ed Sheeran. Electronic acts still remain to be named for both weekends, but you can see the complete list of named performers to-date on the official Rock in Rio USA website.
• January 18, 2015 08:09 Downtown Restaurant Job Fair: On Jan. 19 and 20, Andiron Steak & Sea (the latest venture from team Canteenwalla/Blau), is holding a job fair to fill a total of 75 front and back-of-house positions. The hiring sessions will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day in Suite 205 at Downtown Summerlin (above BCBG/True Religion). Applicants are asked to bring a current resume, driver’s license, social security card and/or passport and applicable work cards (health, TAM, metro non-gaming card). Call 702-685-4015 for more info.
• January 17, 2015 18:13 GC Book Extended Hours: With the NFL championship games being played tomorrow, the Gold Coast sports book is open tonight until 4 a.m. It will close for only two hours, reopening at 6 a.m.
• January 17, 2015 18:08 Stiverne/Wilder Line: In tonight's heavyweight championship fight in Las Vegas, the first in several years to garner any significant attention, Deontay Wilder a -200 favorite over Bermane Wilder. The fight is expected to end early with under 7.5 rounds the favorite at -225.
• January 17, 2015 12:37 Stratosphere Pool Hiring: It hasn't been confirmed that the topless pool on the 25th floor will return this year (we doubt it...) but the main "8 Pool" at the Stratosphere has joined the hiring frenzy. They seek friendly and courteous beverage servers (who doesn't?) -- if that's you, apply here.
• January 17, 2015 09:57 Cannery Rebate Down: The $500 rebate-on-loss offer at the Cannery and Eastside Cannery has been discontinued. We're told that the offer that was available to locals only was discontinued on Jan. 8.
• January 17, 2015 07:19 Big Band Saturday: The weekly event at Ron DeCar's Event Center (1201 S. Las Vegas Blvd.) pays tribute to the heyday of big-band jazz, with a different 16 or 20-piece band featured each week. The event runs 1-4 p.m. (doors at noon) and tickets start at $18 (inc. fee). Full bar, lunch, and dinner are available.
• January 16, 2015 15:10 Anthony Curtis on 'Seven Minutes with Seven': The regular Friday slot on 97.1 The Point, featuring a guest from Seven magazine's roster of writers, this week features our own Anthony Curtis, author of "The Deal" column that appears each week, offering tips on money-saving -- or money-making -- opportunities in Las Vegas for the savvy. Tonight's piece is being recorded as we write and will air sometime during the 6 p.m. hour, so tune in to catch some useful recommendations...
• January 16, 2015 12:45 CET Bankruptcy Hits Roadbump: A Delaware judge on Thursday thwarted Caesars Entertainment's bid to enter into voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy, at least for the time being. The judge presiding over a challenge to the plan launched by CET's junior lenders intervened to halt the case filed in Chicago, with representatives of second-tier noteholders arguing that the involuntary bankruptcy petition filed on Monday should take precedence. We await the next installment...
• January 16, 2015 12:09 Local Band Seeks 'Super Fans': Locals boys made good, Imagine Dragons, have put a shout out for the most ardent fans of the band to take part in an upcoming music video shoot, slated for Feb. 6 and 8 in Las Vegas. Recruiting site 1iota, where interested parties can apply to take part, reports that the casting will also include a special fan giveaway.
• January 16, 2015 11:59 Final Day for Historic Race Track: Today sees another loss for east coast gamblers when, after 69 years in operation, Atlantic City Race Course--a life-long favorite hangout of Grace Kelly's--closes for good today, as announced last week. (Amidst all the ongoing woes, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian seemed to be damning with faint praise/clutching at straws Thursday when he remarked of the city, "At least we are not Detroit." No offense intended to Anthony Curtis or Derek Stevens, obviously.)
• January 16, 2015 10:47 Last Rink Standing: While skating season is long-since over at Cosmopolitan and Caesars Palace, there's still one last chance to take to the ice, with this being the last weekend to skate at Downtown Summerlin. Tonight and tomorrow night will feature a DJ, while there's "skate school" tomorrow at 9 a.m. ($20, includes skate rental and day pass), with "princess visits" from 1-4 p.m., so bring the kids!
• January 16, 2015 10:32 3-Day Beer Fest at Nellis Brewpub: Today through Jan. 18, Aces & Ales Nellis location (3740 S. Nellis Blvd.) is hosting the Fifth Annual Winter Beer Festival, with more than 60 craft brews available to sample - see here for the complete list.
• January 16, 2015 09:34 Gaming Control Considers Betting on Olympics: It's a subject we've written about in detail in Question of the Day, most recently back in 2012, with many readers curious as to why betting on the Olympics is prohibited in Nevada. It's not, as some sports books erroneously maintain, because of the number of events in which judges determine the outcome (if it was, then betting on boxing matches and UFC fights would be illegal, which it certainly is not). No, what currently prohibits legal wagering on Olympic events is Nevada Gaming Control Board Regulation 22.120, which states, "No wagers may be accepted or paid by any book on any amateur non-collegiate sport or athletic event" (among other things). This rule was modified back in 2000 to permit betting on Nevada collegiate teams and on college sporting and athletic events in the state of Nevada (see Question of the Day 7/31/12).
However, the two primary reasons for the lack of Olympic wagering, according to our source at Gaming Control, were a) ignorance, in terms of books here not having the requisite knowledge to make informed lines on many Olympic sports and b) the fact that no one had asked them to legalize it. The implication was, if there was demand, Gaming would consider lifting the ban, and now South Point owner Michael Gaughan, with support from CG Technology, William Hill US, and the Westgate Las Vegas, has asked, Howard Stutz reports in the LV R-J. The GCB will now consider their petition, and at the same time consider allowing betting on non-sporting events, like the Oscars and reality-TV shows, although the latter is more problematic, since outcomes are known to insiders before their official release. Watch this space!
• January 15, 2015 15:58 Health Stores Offer Extended Hours for Insurance Stragglers: Today's the deadline for Nevada residents to enroll in a health plan in order to qualify for coverage from Feb.1 and, in order to cope with late demand, Nevada Health Link's brick-and-mortar stores in the Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas and at Longley and McCarran in Reno will be open until 9 p.m. tonight. In addition, a satellite enrollment center at the Durango Hills Community Center is in operation today only in order to assist Las Vegans wanting to sign up. Feb. 15 is the ultimate deadline, when open enrollment closes altogether.
• January 15, 2015 14:03 CET Bankrupty (Yawn) Update: This whole saga is getting really tedious, so we hope it's resolved soon. Today, as expected, Caesars Entertainment Corp. placed its largest unit under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Chicago. Now it's up to a bankruptcy judge in Delaware to make a ruling and settle the dispute raging among the company’s first- and second-tier creditors and the investment firms whose buyout left the unit with the $18.4 billion debt mess it's now in.
• January 15, 2015 13:34 Trop Introduces Rock Star Wedding Package: The Tropicana has introduced a new rockstar wedding package, in conjunction with Raiding the Rock Vault star and former Quiet Riot front man Paul Shortino, who just happens also to be a fully ordained minister.
• January 15, 2015 13:15 As Usual it's Good News and Bad News for Atlantic City: The good news is that New Jersey's gambling enclave has been selected to receive $100 million as part of a flood-relief program that will see homes and roadways raised and defenses beefed up; the not-so-good news is that Atlantic City's casino revenues have dropped by 50 percent in just eight years. According to figures released Wednesday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the $2.74 billion taken in last year sees a drop that returns casino revenues to the same level as 1988. Not too healthy a picture.
• January 15, 2015 12:55 Las Vegas This Weekend: There's all kinds of stuff to choose from this weekend. Here are the highlights:
- See your favorite Disney characters at Disney on Ice: Let's Celebrate performing at Thomas & Mack (1/14-18)
- It's fight night at the MGM Grand: Stiverne vs Wilder (1/17)
- WWE returns to Mandalay Bay, with Chris Jericho hosting the Official After-Match Party at the Hard Rock (1/17)
- Also at the Hard Rock, Anisong World Tour - Lantis Festival (1/16-17) and funny man Adam Carolla with "The Adam Carolla Show - Live Podcast" (1/17)
- The Smith Center of Performing Arts presents "Ira Glass: Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host" (1/17) and the award-winning Soul Men starring Spectrum (1/17-18)
- Stand-up comedian Rob Schneider appears at South Point (1/16-17)
- Mary Wilson of The Supremes is performing at the Suncoast - catch her while you can as she's relocating to L.A. (1/17-18)
- Former "AGT" winner Michael Grimm takes center stage at the Silverton (1/17)
- Grammy Award-winner Patti LaBelle is performing at Primm Valley Resort's Star of the Desert Arena (1/17)
- Join funny man Rickey Smiley's at the Orleans (1/17-18)
- And TBone Thugs-N-Harmony are live at the Brooklyn Bowl (1/18)
• January 15, 2015 10:17 Hawaii Appreciation Week at the D: Who knew?! We just discovered via their Twitter that downtown's the D is giving the California a run for its money, with week-long Hawaii Appreciation celebrations through Jan. 17. Festivities include: "ono" food specials; free entry to the daily "$10,000 HOLOHOLO Slot Tournament" with Hawaii I.D.; and live comedy acts today through Saturday ($20 cover), followed by free Karaoke sessions.
• January 15, 2015 10:16 Vegas Strip Club is Giving Away Free Bottles: Connect with Larry Flynt's Hustler Club on a choice of social media platforms, complete the form with your name, date of birth, etc., and be eligible to receive a complimentary bottle at the topless club. The only other terms are that you must arrive in your own vehicle or the complimentary Hustler limo, bring at least two friends, and arrive before 10 p.m. That's it!
• January 15, 2015 09:24 Curtis on the Radio: Anthony Curtis is the guest on tonight's episode of Gambling with an Edge, the weekly radio show hosted by video poker pro Bob Dancer and Gambling Wizards author, Richard Munchkin. Tune in to KLAV Talk-Radio 1230 tonight at 7 p.m., or catch the podcast later.
• January 15, 2015 08:39 Mariah headed to Caesars: It's official, Mariah Carey will be performing at the Colosseum inside Caesars Palace. Mariah announced the news today on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," and tickets are already on sale ($55-$250). Performances are scheduled for May 6, 9-10, 13, 16-17, 20, 23-24 and July 8, 11-12, 15, 18-19, 22, 25-26.
• January 14, 2015 17:38 The Pool Gigs Keep Coming: There should be no job shortages among Las Vegas' "model" population this summer (and for the rest of us, there's always White Castle). The latest wave of pool hirings includes Drai's (The Cromwell) where, atypically, initial applications are invited online only at DraisLV.com. Meanwhile, Tao at the Venetian will hold two extended casting calls for cocktail waitresses, go-go dancers, bartenders, security, promoters, and all the other usual suspects, from Jan. 21-24 and again from Jan. 28-31. Auditions will be from noon to 5 p.m. (11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 22 and 29) in Tao nightclub and candidates are asked to bring a resume and head shot, if possible. Pool attire preferred.
• January 14, 2015 11:30 White Castle is Hiring!: Never mind all the "daylife" casting calls now underway; prepare for a stampede in the vicinity of Casino Royale, following word (from FOXNews) that the cult slider provider is hiring! Today through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., candidates are invited to visit the Terrible Herbst Employment Center (5775 S. Polaris Rd.), armed with valid I.D., a Las Vegas Metro Police Department Non-Gaming Card, a TAM card, and a Southern Nevada Health District health card.
• January 14, 2015 10:31 Betting on BitCoin: LVASports guru Frank B has been out of action for a couple of weeks but we're happy to report that he's back in the game and just posted an insightful feature about the pros and cons of betting with bitcoins -- essential reading for any sports bettor or online-poker player. He's also really been building out the content at LVASports.com -- even we were shocked to see how many new features have been added while we weren't looking! So, next time you have a spare moment, check out the scoreboard, the "Podcasts" section, and the awesome "Betting Tools", just for starters. We honestly don't think there's a better source of independent information out there for sports bettors, and it's guaranteed troll and tout-free!
• January 14, 2015 09:31 Happy Birthday Rio: The off-Strip Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino is celebrating its silver (25 year) anniversary today with a reception at the VooDoo Rooftop Nightclub from 4-6 p.m. The event is open and free to the public to attend and will feature appearances by headliners Penn & Teller and the Chippendales, a complimentary champagne toast, and celebratory cake.
• January 14, 2015 08:50 Mercadito Taco Challenge: Commencing February 1, the new Mexican restaurant at Red Rock is throwing down the gauntlet and introducing yet another eating contest to the valley. According to our most-recent calculation, this will bring the total number of Las Vegas culinary challenges to 25 (yes, you read that right -- see Question of the Day 10/15/2014). This new addition is a goodie, too: If you can devour 32 or more tacos within a one-hour window, not only is the $40 charge waived, but you'll be rewarded with a $200 gift certificate for future use at the restaurant AND entered into a competition, to be held in the fall, with a grand prize of FREE TACOS FOR LIFE!
• January 13, 2015 18:01 America's Got Talent...: ...The question is: Do you? If so, get ready for your big chance because next month the show is coming to our fair city and we feel the Entertainment Capital of the World needs some Season 10 representation. So, polish your dancing shoes, darn that hole in your best singing socks, and pre-register now at AGTauditions.com. The open call will take place in the convention space at Bally's on February 12.
• January 13, 2015 14:14 Country Stars Add Caesars Dates: With the first three announced June performances for REBA, BROOKS & DUNN: Together in Vegas at Caesars Colosseum having already sold out, three additional dates have been announced for that month, with tickets (which start at $59.50) now available for shows on June 17, 19, and 20.
• January 13, 2015 12:52 No Neighbor in the Works for M: In spite of support from its founder and president Anthony Marnell III, M Resort won't be welcoming a new resort-casino in its vicinity anytime soon, with news that the city of Henderson has rejected a local developer’s bid to purchase federal land opposite M for the purpose of building a new casino. Apparently, Henderson's Property Management Committee nixed the idea -- at least for now -- on the grounds of economic timing and that the proposal for the strategically key site was too vague.
• January 13, 2015 12:46 Rock of Ages Celebrates Super Bowl: Rock of Ages, the big-hair comedy rock show currently performing at Venetian, is offering a Super Bowl weekend discount, with $49 tix available for shows on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 in honor of the 49th annual "Big Game." To redeem the offer, use code SUPER49 at time of purchase; the deal is available for rear and side-orchestra seating only.
• January 13, 2015 12:29 More Job Opps: For the beautiful people, Encore Beach Club hosts the second and final day of auditions for the 2015 season today, with openings for servers, bartenders, and lifeguards, while later this month chef and restaurateur Brian Malarkey will be hiring for his new Searsucker outlet, destined to debut at Caesars Palace later this spring in a spot next to Omnia nightclub (formerly Pure). The job fair will run Jan. 26-28 in owner Hakkasan Group's nightclub at MGM Grand; visit the official website for more details about available positions and how to apply.
• January 13, 2015 11:12 CZR Bankruptcy Battle Rumbles On: As anticipated, representatives of Caesars Entertainment second-tier lenders on Monday filed papers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware in an effort to force the company into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a move aimed at derailing CET's proposed financial-restructuring plan. Appaloosa Investment LP, Oaktree Capital, and Tennenbaum Capital are claiming that senior creditors have "plundered" millions of dollars while divesting the company of its key assets.
• January 13, 2015 10:32 Dancer on How 'Hoping' is Not a Strategy: "There are no accidental champions. You can't hope your way to victory." That's actually a quote from an insurance ad, but Bob Dancer uses it in this week's column to make the point that exactly the same is true of video poker as is true of football, and keeping a video poker strategy card in your pocket/purse ain't going to help your result: "Successful players prepare for doing well at gambling just as football players do for the playoffs." How do you "prepare" to play video poker optimally? You can start by reading Dancer's weekly column!
• January 13, 2015 10:04 Atlantic City Update: There is some unusual re-purposing of shuttered casinos afoot on the east coast (maverick Glen Straub apparently has "seven or eight" ideas in the air for Revel, from his controversial "Tower of Geniuses," to a giant water park, to the "tallest archway in the world," to ... who knows what else?), so it should perhaps not come as a surprise that it looks as if the Atlantic Club's future will be as an old folks' home. It's a year, to the day, since the former hotel-casino was closed but it's already changed hands twice since then, the new owner being a Pennsylvania real estate company that specializes in residential projects and senior-citizen housing.
In other news, filings on Monday demonstrate that Carl Icahn isn't budging on his demands, insisting that Trump Entertainment will not emerge from bankruptcy unless potential union pension liabilities are kept to an acceptable level and the company is freed from its contract with Unite Here Local 54 workers at the Taj Mahal. Meanwhile, last week the City Council approved a tough financial rescue plan for Atlantic City, including tens of millions of dollars in budget cuts and layoffs, in an effort to stave off intervention at a state level.
• January 12, 2015 16:49 College Football Championship Oregon/Ohio State: In the inaugural college-football National Championship Game, Oregon is a -6 favorite over Ohio State. The total is 73.
• January 12, 2015 16:25 Clarion Implosion - Date Update: The wee hours of Feb. 10 is when Las Vegas' next implosion -- the first of a Las Vegas casino since the New Frontier in 2007 -- will take place, according to the Clark County Public Communications department, who kindly responded to our query this afternoon. New owner Lorenzo Doumani had originally stated that the implosion of the building, where a "manual" demolition is already underway, would take place tomorrow, Jan. 13.
• January 12, 2015 15:52 Countdown to Rock in Rio: If you pre-registered for tix, now's your time to bag some pre-sale weekend passes to Rock in Rio, the four-day, two-weekend music marathon coming to an outdoor stadium on the North Strip this May 8-9 (rock acts) and 15-16 (pop/R&B). GA tickets start at $298 for either weekend, with other entertainment in the "City of Rock" to include a giant Ferris wheel, zip lines, and ethnic food vendors. The early-bird pre-sale for those who registered in advance (like us!) runs today through Jan. 18.
• January 12, 2015 14:28 Menopause on the Move: Unlikely long-running comedy hit Menopause the Musical is abruptly to close at the Luxor this Jan. 18, reports the R-J's Mike Weatherford, pending a move to the more intimate Improv Theater at Harrah's, former home to Defending the Caveman (itself soon to be in search of a new Vegas home).
• January 12, 2015 14:14 Steampunk Residency for Hard Rock Venue: When is a residency really a residency? When it lasts for six months (as opposed to six nights), as with the just-announced gig for BBR Las Vegas and their show, ALICE - A Steampunk Fantasy, coming to the Hard Rock's Vinyl Feb. 17. We can't tell you much more, since we barely even comprehend what this phenomenon may be, but we're duly excited by the eye makeup and hats.
• January 12, 2015 14:12 Lines Back Up at LVASports: The live feed from Sports Options, which supplies the current offshore and Las Vegas lines at listed LVASports.com, underwent an upgrade last week that took the feed out of operation for a few days, but we're happy to report that all is now up and running once more, so get back in action!
• January 12, 2015 12:13 New Digs for Stratta (Already!): Tapas by Alex Stratta, the latest venture from the acclaimed chef and former Steve Wynn darling, did not open late last year, as planned, and will now see its debut delayed a little longer thanks to an eleventh-hour venue change. Stratta had planned to open his new small-plates concept at Tivoli Village in the former home of the defunct Pizza Lounge but will now occupy the larger two-story spot vacated by the Poppy Den, instead.
• January 12, 2015 11:55 Roller Coaster Rewards Top Students: Clark County School District students who bring in their most recent report cards showing straight As will receive 2-for-1 passes to ride the Big Apple Coaster at New York-New York from January through August, 2015. Guests must be at least 54 inches tall to ride and the offer is good for one-time use only.
• January 12, 2015 11:42 Silverton Buffet Play: Looks like we're all about buffets today, appropriately enough, with our next money-saving tidbit being the discovery that Silverton is running a half-off/twofer promo at Seasons Buffet each Thursday in January for rewards card holders.
• January 12, 2015 11:24 Fight Week at MGM Grand: There are some treats for boxing fans this week in the build up to Stiverne vs. Wilder WBC World Heavyweight Championship fight at MGM Grand on Saturday, Jan. 17. The "Grand Arrival" event kicks off at 1 p.m. Tuesday in the MGM Grand lobby and is open to the public, while there will be fighter workouts from 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14, adjacent to the race and sports book, which are also free and open to watch. Finally, the official Stiverne vs. Wilder weigh-in takes place at 2:30 p.m. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and is also open to the public (doors at 1 p.m.)
• January 12, 2015 11:20 Snap a Selfie at Caesars for Store Discount: Take a self-portrait at the designated "Selfie Spot" (look for the black and yellow sign) at the Forum Shops at Caesars and receive $10 off your purchase of $30 or more in the mall. Sweet!
• January 12, 2015 10:27 National Buffet Day: Apparently, today's the day, so if you're planning to celebrate with an all-you-can-eat feeding frenzy in the acknowledged Buffet Capital of the World, then allow us to direct you both to our comprehensive buffet venue listings and to the 2015 Las Vegas Advisor Member Rewards Book, in which you'll find substantial discounts on close to 30 different Las Vegas buffets (many of which are for 50 percent off). Bon appétit!
• January 12, 2015 10:16 Online Poker Alliance: In an effort to increase prize pools and player base, WSOP and 888poker will today began a new partnership, sharing their players in the New Jersey online-casino market. Following disappointing first-year results in the market, where revenues fell short to the tune of approximately 90 percent of the hoped-for $1 billion, the new alliance should enable an increase in the level of prize guarantees for tournaments (commencing with a guaranteed $130,000 shared each week), while generating a greater number of available players for cash games. Each site will continue to maintain its individual reward and VIP programs.
• January 12, 2015 09:59 Bacchanal Price Up AGAIN: Only last month, we reported that the price for weekend brunch at Caesars' Bacchanal Buffet had been raised by $1 to $45.99; we just learned that as of Jan. 1, all prices at this gourmet spread were raised again, by between $2 (breakfast, lunch, dinner, the latter which is now up to $55.99 on the weekend) and $4 (weekend brunch, now $49.99).
• January 11, 2015 17:38 AFC Championship Line: The opening line for the SFC Championship is New England Patriots -7 over the Indianapolis Colts. The total is 53.5.
• January 11, 2015 15:28 NFC Championship Line: The opening line for the NFC Championship is Seattle Seahawks -7 over the Green Bay Packers. The total is 47.
• January 11, 2015 15:24 Indiana Wants Sports Betting: An Indiana legislator has introduced two bills that would legalize sports betting in the state. They would allow sports wagers and fantasy bets to be taken at casinos and race tracks, but similar to efforts in New Jersey, there are several legal hurdles to clear.
• January 11, 2015 13:18 NFL Divisional Playoffs Broncos/Colts: In today's AFC playoff, the Denver Broncos are -9 favorites over the Indianapolis Colts. The total is 54.
• January 11, 2015 09:42 NFL Divisional Playoffs Cowboys/Packers: In today's NFC playoff, the Green Bay Packers are -6 favorites over the Dallas Cowboys. The total is 52.5.
• January 11, 2015 09:12 Opportunity for Rugby Fans: US Rugby Sevens has a promo offer for fans: If you'd like to appear in a TV advertisement for your team promoting next year's event and can be available to film this Saturday, Feb. 14 (note, males of the species, that this is Valentine's Day, just in case that escaped you), you're invited to sign up online and fill in a few details, including a description of your intended costume/fan outfit. Those selected to take part can win prizes, including complimentary tickets, merch, and shuttle passes.
• January 10, 2015 17:08 NFL Divisional Playoffs Seahawks/Panthers: In today's NFC playoff, the Seattle Seahawks are -13.5 favorites over the Carolina Panthers. The total is 40.
• January 10, 2015 16:29 WSOP Wants Your Feedback: The World Series of Poker is inviting interested parties to vote in their poll, which poses a few questions aimed at making the 2015 event even better so, if you're a player, take a few minutes and share your feedback.
• January 10, 2015 12:26 NFL Divisional Playoffs Ravens/Patriots: In today's AFC playoff, the New England Patriots are -6.5 favorites over the Baltimore Ravens. The total is 47.5.
• January 10, 2015 08:48 Nugget Pools Closed for Remodel: Downtown's Golden Nugget is taking the opportunity of some seasonal downtown to implement upgrades at The Tank, its famous shark-infested pool area, and at The Hideout. So, while most Las Vegas hotels keep at least one heated facility open year-round, both the Nugget's pools are closed through January 23.
• January 9, 2015 16:24 Sightings in NLV - Gas Under $2/Gallon: At least two gas stations in North Las Vegas have been spotted offering regular unleaded gas for sale for $1.99/gallon in the past 24 hours, including the Arco station at the intersection of Durango Drive and Deer Springs Way and now the Smith's at Durango and Elkhorn, according to consumer-info site Gasbuddy.com. Sweet!
• January 9, 2015 14:07 One Less Place to Park Downtown: The parking garage at the Las Vegas Club has closed, leaving not much left that's actually open at the long hotel-less property. For our in-depth survey of the downtown parking scene, for better and worse, and what opportunities remain for stashing your vehicle somewhere sans fees, check out the Question of the Day Archives (9/22/14).
• January 9, 2015 12:39 'I Can't Bet' - Grosjean Gets Activistic: The ever-provocative James Grosjean is back with a vengeance and has some typically incisive observations to share in his latest post at Beyond Numbers. What do card counters have in common with the racially profiled? Check out I Can't Bet. Are you a white male? Vote in his new Reader Poll!
• January 9, 2015 12:34 Support Your Local Food Truck in Cutthroat Rookie Race!: Today is your last chance to vote in the Mobile Cuisine Rookie Food Truck of the Year contest and Las Vegas has a hot contender in the race in the shape of newcomer Stripchezze Truck LV, purveyor to the masses of gourmet grilled-cheese sandwiches on-the-go since July 2014. It's neck-and-neck in the voting so don't let this revered title get away from us: Support our awesome homegrown food truck scene and Vote for Cheese!
• January 9, 2015 11:52 Veteran Strip Club Reopens: Nope, we're not referring to the briefly revived Crazy Horse Too (if you blinked, you probably missed it) but rather to Club Paradise topless gentlemen's club, which has been shuttered for some months now, following an investigation into some distinctly dubious practices (multiple accusations of patrons being drugged and their credit cards raped) by a few bad apples (see ToplessVegasOnline.com for complete coverage). Evidently, this dark period is now behind it and the club, located opposite the Hard Rock, is set to get back in action at 6 p.m. this evening, with a two-day Grand Re-Opening party promised, although no specific details have been forthcoming as yet.
• January 9, 2015 10:33 Four More Years of Mac Magic: Mac King, LVA's favorite comedy magician, has had his contract at Harrah's extended for another four years, meaning King will tie with fellow prestidigitator Lance Burton, who currently (according to our calculations) holds the record for longest continuously-performing Strip headliner (see Question of the Day 7/14/14). Congrats, Mac! We're also delighted to see the return to the 2015 LVA Member Rewards Book of our free-ticket offer (with purchase of a drink) to the show. If you haven't seen it, go!; if you have, go again!
• January 9, 2015 10:11 Another Strip Property Re-Branding: And that's as much as we can tell you, but remember you read it here second, right after we got it, live and direct, from our friend @VitalVegas.
• January 8, 2015 19:32 Revel/Not Revel Now a Water Park: The unpredictable lurches of crazy dude Glen Straub show no signs of letting up, we're pleased to see, with Revel's ADHD-esque new owner (yes, it's now official, whether he likes it or not ) now declaring that his plans (at least today) for the property have come full circle in terms of now thinking he'll preserve it as a resort-casino, but with the emphasis very much on the "resort" part (there will be "some gambling," apparently), with much money going instead to develop the largest water park in the world. That's a new one! One of the ways he intends to realize this $108 million indoor-outdoor year-round attraction is by selling the rights to rename Revel. This should be fun!
• January 8, 2015 17:57 January Casino-Promo Round-Up: Jean "Queen of Comps" Scott has posted her monthly survey of the best casino promos in town, focusing on off-Strip and "locals" properties (and with an eye particularly toward seniors). It's always an informative and detailed overview, packed with updates and other useful tidbits, like parking tips. Check it out at her Frugal Vegas blog.
• January 8, 2015 17:51 Food Truck Spaces Available: Registration is now open for the downtown food-truck lottery, with four parking spots available to the winners. Mobile eateries have until 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23 to register at the Parking Services office (500 S. Main St.); the City of Las Vegas lottery to allocate the available spaces is scheduled to take place Jan. 26. For more info visit www.lasvegasnevada.gov/business or call 702/229-6281.
• January 8, 2015 17:42 'Hard Rock Rising' Seeks New Bands: For the fifth consecutive year, Hard Rock is holding a worldwide search for talented bands to showcase for the world's largest battle of the bands competition, giving local groups a shot at stardom with an all-expenses-paid trip to Spain for the company's inaugural Hard Rock Rising Barcelona music festival this summer. More than 15,000 hopeful bands annually apply to the talent-search program, which is a collaboration with ReverbNation, and registration is open now through Monday, Jan. 26. To be eligible, a band must originate within 100 miles of a Hard Rock location; early rounds will be determined by fan votes, with a panel of local judges for each area determining the finalists. Visit HardRockRising.com for more info and to register to compete in the global battle.
• January 8, 2015 17:26 Jon Anderson Cancels, Again: Rocker Jon Anderson, who had been slated to play The Railhead at Boulder City back in November, has now canceled the rescheduled performance, set for Jan. 17, due to continuing ill health. Apparently the concert will be rescheduled for a future date, but this has yet to be set, so all tickets purchased for the Jan. 17 show will be refunded at the original point of purchase (those bought online or via phone will automatically be refunded.)
• January 8, 2015 13:02 Tropicana Cinemas to Screen The Interview: On Friday, Jan. 9, Tropicana Cinemas (3330 E.Tropicana Ave.) will begin screening Sony Pictures' controversial comedy release The Interview, with regular showings throughout the day commencing at 12:30 p.m. General admission to the cinema is just $2 ($1 on Tuesdays).
• January 8, 2015 12:51 Coin Cloud Launch Party: Las Vegas-based Bitcoin ATM provider Coin Cloud is celebrating "tech week," and the installation of its latest machine, with a launch party at downtown's Goldspike on Friday evening from 6-9 p.m. where guests will receive a complimentary libation from the bar. The new digital currency ATM is the company's fourth in Las Vegas, joining the "Bitcoin Bodega" at Harmon and the Strip and one each at the Premium Outlets, North and South, and enables patrons to buy or sell bitcoins with the touch of a screen. It's the second Bitcoin machine we're aware of downtown, the first being installed by casino-owner Derek Stevens at the D which, along with sister property Golden Gate, were the first properties to accept payment in bitcoins (outside of the casino).
• January 8, 2015 12:06 Las Vegas This Weekend: With the holidays over, the entertainment scene is getting off to en eclectic start in 2015. Here are some of the highlights; click to see our full Events Listings.
- Check out An Intimate Evening with Diane Schuur inside the Cabaret Jazz theater at The Smith Center (1/8-1/9), followed-up by Masterworks III: Rising Star in Reynolds Hall (1/10)
- South Point hosts the 24th Annual MidAmerica Antique Motorcycle Auction, with hundreds of vintage, sometimes famous, bikes on display (1/8-1/10)
- The Orleans Arena hosts Shrine Circus, with elephants, tigers, and human performers, including a cannonball (1/8-1/11), while Grand Funk Railroad performs back-to-back shows inside the Showroom (1/10-1/11)
- Willie Nelson & Family take center-stage inside House of Blues at Mandalay Bay (1/9-1/10)
- Katchafire performs at Brooklyn Bowl (1/11)
- In keeping with "Mob Month," Clark County Library holds "The Fix Is In: Sports and The Mob," which features a panel of experts in sports betting, athletics, and sports journalism, shedding some light on how the Mob was able to infiltrate the sports world (1/13)
- And the 14th Annual Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival kicks off this weekend, running through Jan. 25, with film screenings at the Palms, South Point, and The Adelson Educational Campus. Visit lvjff.org/venues for more information.
• January 8, 2015 11:58 Expensive Eats: Las Vegas' Big Two restaurants have shown up on the Daily Meal's Top 10 list of the most expensive restaurant (set) menus in the U.S. MGM's Joel Robuchon came in second on the list with a $425-per-person menu and Guy Savoy was fourth at $375. Leading the list was the $450-per-person menu at Masa in New York City, run by Masa Takayama, who also runs Bar Masa at Aria.
• January 8, 2015 11:52 Milestone Reached: Clark County has reached a milestone today, issuing its 1,000th same-sex marriage license. Clark County's Marriage License Bureau began issuing same-sex licenses on Oct. 9, 2014 and typically issues more than 80,000 marriage licenses each year.
• January 7, 2015 20:33 Mariah Coming to Town?: We're beginning to wonder how many divas Las Vegas can handle, with rumors intensifying of a stint at Caesars on the cards for Mariah Carey. If all the possibles come to fruition, that could see Britney, JLo, Diana, Janet, Celine, and Mariah ALL hanging out in Sin City, not to mention Elton and Frankie Marino, our resident headlining Diva. Did someone say, "cat fight"?
• January 7, 2015 14:05 Vintage Bike Auction at South Point: This Thursday Jan. 8 through Saturday, Jan. 10, South Point will hosts the world's largest vintage motorcycle auction as the 24th Annual MidAmerica Antique Motorcycle Auction returns to Las Vegas. More than 750 bikes will be on Mecum Auctions' block, including Jerry Lee Lewis’ 1959 Harley-Davidson and the original stunt bike ridden by Gary Davis and used in the 1990 Marvel Comics Captain America movie, among many other notable models. The three-day auction, which runs from 4 to 8 p.m. Thurs., 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fri., and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sat., is open to buyers, sellers, and spectators. GA tix are available at the gate for $20 per person, per day, or $50 for a three-day pass (free for kids aged 12 and under); bidder registration is $100 and includes admission for two to all three auction days.
• January 7, 2015 13:57 MGM Job Fair Today - Reminder: Today sees the conclusion of the two-day MGM Resorts career fair that aims to fill up to 700 seasonal positions group-wide in Las Vegas. Opportunities include openings for bartenders and barbacks, cocktail servers, pool attendants, lifeguards and apprentices, massage therapists, pool receptionists, and more. Interested candidates are encouraged to fill out an application online at mgmresortscareers.com and bring copies of an up-to-date resume to the Marquee Ballroom inside the MGM Grand Conference Center (4701 Koval Lane). The event runs until 7 p.m. this evening.
• January 7, 2015 13:51 Silver Sevens Hearts Cabbies: January, we just learned, is Taxi Appreciation Month at Silver Sevens hotel-casino, celebrated by offering cabbies a complimentary Deuces Wild breakfast (two eggs, two pancakes, and two pieces of bacon or sausage) each Thursday in the month. Must show driver permit and players card to redeem offer.
• January 7, 2015 12:35 Big Name Music Headliners Rumored: According to Robin Leach, who tends to know these things, pop icons Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Janet Jackson, and Ricky Martin are in talks with a major Strip property regarding mini-residencies for early in the spring, but the venue is not Caesars' Colosseum, but rather the former Phantom theater at Venetian, where Faith Hill and Tim McGraw performed most recently.
• January 7, 2015 10:07 CES in Town: The giant Consumer Electronics Show is in full swing, running through the rest of this week. The industry show is expected to draw more than 160,000 attendees, and is so sprawling that it's being staged at both the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Sands Expo, with related events at Aria, Westgate, Cosmopolitan, Wynn, and Encore.
• January 6, 2015 16:11 Revel Sale -- Round 2: The saga of Revel is seemingly never-ending, with the bankrupt Atlantic City resort's apparent sale to Brookfield Asset Management last year falling apart at the eleventh hour. Still, the ongoing tale has been consistently entertaining (at least to outsiders) thanks to the bizarre antics of rival bidder Glenn Straub. Some of the highlights have included his announcement that he would turn the resort-casino into an elite university for "white people," his absence from the latter stages of the original bidding while he searched for a pharmacy due to a "personal medical emergency," and his announced plan to construct an underground tunnel to connect Atlantic City's remaining casinos so that visitors wouldn't be put-off from visiting in winter months by the crappy weather.
Now comes perhaps the strangest twist of all with word that, having finally had his purchase allowed Monday by the Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Straub is now himself attempting to block the sale, on the grounds that he wants the winning price to revert to his original pre-Brookfield offer, which the Judge is vetoing. More mystifying details are available courtesy of our Stiffs & Georges casino-business blog.
• January 6, 2015 15:54 Jubilee! Not Closing ... Hiring!: Jubilee!, the sequined showgirl spectacular at Bally's, will go dark Jan. 11, but if you'd heard the newly (and somewhat controversially) made-over production was for the chop, fear not! The brief hiatus is only for a week, gossip guru Robin Leach assures (which is in fact what we'd heard, too), and to further put paid to any rumors, auditions are being held later this month for new cast members. If you're interested in applying, there will be a casting call for dancers in New York starting Jan. 12, with another here in Vegas starting Jan. 19 (and we doubt the process is quite as terrifying as it was back in the day when our dear friend Fluff LeCoque was literally running the show and was known to bark the likes of, "Too fat. Next!" at sub-par hopefuls.)
• January 6, 2015 11:27 48-Hour Sale Underway from Virgin America Vegas: Virgin America has just launched a 48-hour sale on flights out of McCarran International Airport to LA (from $49 one-way), San Francisco (from $49), and New York (from $99). These prices include tax and are good for travel into early May on select Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. The sale ends at 11:59 p.m. CT Wednesday, so book now!
• January 6, 2015 10:29 Dancer on Free-Play Strategies: In this week's column, Bob Dancer discusses the issue of casino free-play, with insights and tips on if/how you can collect when you're unable to visit the casino in person. Enlightening stuff!
• January 6, 2015 09:45 Liberace Mansion Restored to Former Glory: It was back at the end of 2013 that we reported how Liberace's former Las Vegas home had been bought by a British vacation-property broker who had plans to restore the dilapidated property to its former glory (see "Today's News" 11/7/13). Today the R-J confirms that the owner has made good on his promise and that the restoration is proceeding apace, with two dangerous sinkholes beneath it now filled and much of the structural upgrade completed, leaving mainly cosmetic touches left to do (if anyone out there has a stuffed peacock, please contact the owner, who needs one!), as you can see in this photo gallery. There are plans to open the mansion to the public at some future point and anyone with stories to share or ideas is encouraged to share them on the Liberace Mansion Facebook page.
• January 6, 2015 09:27 Journey to Hard Rock: Veteran rockers Journey will be the next band to host a mini-residency inside The Joint at the Hard Rock, with nine dates on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays commencing April 29 and ending May 16. Tickets, which start at $59.50, go on sale Jan. 16.
• January 5, 2015 13:56 First Super Props Posted: One of the biggest components of the Super Bowl is proposition betting, and before the game is played there will be hundreds of props on Las Vegas and off shore betting boards. Most of those won't be posted until we know who's playing in the game, but some were put up today at Station Casinos sports books. Among them are two of the most popular, "Will there be a safety" and "Will there be overtime," both lined at No/-900 and Yes/+600. In the 48-year history of the Super Bowl, there's never been an OT. However, the last three have produced safeties. Let the Big Game wagering begin.
• January 5, 2015 11:19 Home Plate Matchplay: Get two more days of $20 video poker matchplays from Home Plate Grill & Bar at 4785 Blue Diamond Road. Home Plate has allowed one matchplay per person per day since Jan. 1 with the promotion ending tomorrow. You have to lose $20 before getting the match. The system isn't perfect, so if you don't get it automatically, notify the bartender.
• January 5, 2015 09:53 Opening Update: In the January LVA, we attributed the opening of The Park at NY-NY/Monte Carlo to the end of 2015. MRI contacted us to inform that the scheduled opening is spring 2016. Sorry for that mix-up; we must have been hoping too hard for SOMETHING to happen this year. Topping the list for 2015 is now the Bally's Grand Bazaar shopping area and the City of Rock north-Strip concert venue.
• January 4, 2015 19:48 Presley Planes for Sale: Two private airplanes once owned by The King are being sold by Julien's, an auction house well versed in celebrity-memorabilia sales. Since 1984, the "Lisa Marie", a Convair 880 Jet, and the "Hound Dog II", a Lockheed Jet Star, have been on display at Graceland, Presley's Memphis home, but now they can be yours! Elvis purchased the Lisa Marie from Delta Airlines for $250,000 in 1975 and the plane subsequently underwent a $600,000 upgrade, which included the addition of a conference room, a penthouse-style bedroom with a custom-made queen bed, an executive bathroom with gold faucets and sink (natch), and a videotape system linked to four TVs and a stereo system with 50 speakers. Note that neither plane can be flown -- these are strictly collectibles. The sealed-bid auction opened last Friday and closes Feb. 2. Click the link for more information.
• January 4, 2015 13:28 NFL Wild Card Lions/Cowboys: In today's NFC Wild Card Playoff, the Dallas Cowboys are -6 favorites over the Detroit Lions. The total is 48.
• January 4, 2015 11:28 MGM Group Hiring En Masse: The summer hiring season is definitely underway, with news that MGM Mirage is holding a job fair to fill 700 seasonal vacancies for the summer. The open casting call will take place on Jan. 6 and 7 inside the Marquee Ballroom at the MGM Grand Conference Center (4701 Koval Lane) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and from 1 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Positions available include lifeguard apprentice, bartender, assistant chef, assistant manager, manager, pool supervisor, pool attendant, bar porter, cabana host, busperson, bus/runner, cocktail server, cashier, cook, pool engineer, helper, host, lead lifeguard, massage therapist, pool greeter, sales associate, pool receptionist, and VIP pool guest attendant to be spread across 12 different Strip resorts. Interested parties are encouraged to fill out an application online in advance and bring copies of an up-to-date resume.
• January 4, 2015 09:52 NFL Wild Card Colts/Bengals: In today's AFC Wild Card Playoff, the Indianapolis Colts are -3.5 favorites over the Cincinnati Bengals. The total is 47.
• January 4, 2015 09:46 Station Hearts Seniors: Station Casinos is re-launching its Boarding Pass player-loyalty program for the 50+ crowd on Wednesday, Jan. 7, with "MyGeneration" replacing the former "Seniors 50+ Wednesdays" promo days and new dining and gaming promotions. Wednesdays in January will feature half-point dining in all Station Casinos or Fiesta steakhouses and cafés, plus a $9.99 chicken fajitas special at Cabo inside Boulder Station, Palace Station, or Sunset Station, Amigo’s inside Fiesta Henderson and Garduños inside Fiesta Rancho. MyGeneration players can also take part in the $108,000 Hot Seats Slots and $72,000 Bingo Bonus in January (see players club for details), together with popular ongoing offers, including $4 movie tickets, half-point bowling, and weekly free slot tournaments.
• January 3, 2015 17:24 UFC Jones/Cormier: Jon Jones is a -205 favorite over Daniel Cormier in tonight's UFC main event. In the other featured match, Donald Cerrone is -125 over Myles Jury.
• January 3, 2015 16:57 NFL Wild Card Steelers/Ravens: In today's AFC Wild Card Playoff, the Pittsburgh Steelers are -3 favorites over the Baltimore Ravens. The total is 46.5.
• January 3, 2015 14:14 Catch the Magic While You Can: This is the final weekend to enjoy the Magic Forest at Opportunity Village, with Sunday the last day of the season. Admission is from 5:30 p.m. Meanwhile, today's the last day for the Winter exhibit at Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Garden -- on Sunday the transition to Chinese New Year begins, with completion set for Jan. 9. (The free attraction remains open throughout the changeover, although some areas may be temporarily out-of-bounds for safety reasons while scaffolding is in place etc.)
• January 3, 2015 13:21 NFL Wild Card Cardinals/Panthers: In today's NFC Wild Card Playoff, the Carolina Panthers are -5.5 favorites over the Arizona Cardinals. The total is 37.5.
• January 3, 2015 08:56 Another Downtown Project Bites the Dust: It seems the fallout is ongoing from some well-publicized hiccups and financial flops that beset Tony Hsieh and his Downtown Project last year. The latest non-happening appears to be the promised renovation of the long-shuttered Fergusons motel, where there were ambitious plans for another retail/dining/entertainment complex. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, however, the project manager was quietly let go last September, with the distinct impression that there was no longer an appetite to realize what he had estimated was a $9 million investment. It sounds as if a portion of the land that the Downtown Project bought up may well be leased to other businesses, with Hsieh now taking on the role of landlord as opposed to developer.
• January 2, 2015 18:50 Cactus Bowl Line: In today's Cactus Bowl, Washington is a -6.5 favorite over Oklahoma State. The total is 57.
• January 2, 2015 18:49 Alamo Bowl Line: In today's Alamo Bowl, Kansas St. is a -1 favorite over UCLA. The total is 62.
• January 2, 2015 16:33 World Series of Beer Pong: This noble event is currently underway at the Riviera, running through Jan. 5, and we just discovered that Sapphire is the "Official Gentlemen's Club of the WSOBP": Call the club for a free limo ride and addition to paying no cover, mention "WSOBP" for a free shot.
• January 2, 2015 15:32 First Friday Weather Wipeout: It hasn't been canceled, but all activities for the inaugural First Friday event of 2015 have been relocated indoors, where possible, due to the cold weather. We thought that the whole "Endless Summer" theme and attendant request for attendees to don grass hula skirts was, to put it as politely as we can, optimistic. Guess we were right. The event organizers encourage anyone interested to check the First Friday Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates about what will be open, including the debut of Parade: The Collective, the Trifecta Gallery's swansong exhibit produced by members of the Cirque family.
• January 2, 2015 15:16 SlotZilla Rider Rescued: For reasons that have not yet been revealed, a rider was stuck briefly on downtown's SlotZilla zipline earlier this afternoon, but was brought safely down with help from the Fire Department.
• January 2, 2015 10:22 China Poblano is Hiring: Chef José Andrés' Chinese-Mexican fusion restaurant at the Cosmopolitan has openings for a restaurant manager and a sous chef. Click the links for more details and application forms.
• January 2, 2015 09:54 LVA Member Rewards Books are Here!: The 2015 Las Vegas Advisor Member Rewards Book is in-house and available for pick-up today when you join or renew your membership. An annual subscription starts at just $37 and we've calculated that the discounts and bonuses in this year's MRB are worth almost $3,000 with optimal use -- we reckon that's a pretty good deal! Click the link above to see the complete list of this year's offers, which are valid all year, then visit ShopLVA.com to sign up. If you're in town, you can come purchase your membership in person at our office; we're open until 5 p.m. today and you can start using your discounts right away!
• January 2, 2015 09:04 Bikini Time: While the Las Vegas "pool scene" right now is a lot more about skating than swimming, the Hard Rock is already readying for the 2015 season of its notorious Rehab pool party, with two hiring events scheduled. The open casting calls for "model" servers, bartenders, barbacks, cabana attendants, lifeguards, cashiers, etc., take place Jan. 15 and 16 and again Feb. 12 to 13, from 2-6 p.m., inside Body English nightclub.
• January 2, 2015 07:51 College-Football Championship Opening Line: Oregon opened as a -7 favorite over Ohio State in the college-football championship game that will be played Jan. 12. The total is 74.
• January 1, 2015 17:08 Sugar Bowl Line: In the second of today's two semifinals in the college-football playoff, Alabama is a -8.5 favorite over Ohio State. The total is 57.5.
• January 1, 2015 13:56 Rose Bowl Line: In the first of today's two semifinals in the inaugural college-football playoff, Oregon is a -7.5 favorite over Florida State. The total is 73.5.
• January 1, 2015 12:11 Lounges Live! Who says free lounge acts are a thing of the past? According to a Station Casinos’ press release, 14 venues across 9 properties provided more than 2,000 free shows and 5,000 hours of free live entertainment in 2014. That’s almost 14 hours day of the year at Station properties alone! The lounges are alive and well.
• January 1, 2015 09:52 Citrus Bowl Line: In today's Citrus Bowl, Missouri is a -3 favorite over Minnesota. The total is 46.5.
• January 1, 2015 09:51 Cotton Bowl Line: In today's Cotton Bowl, Baylor is a -3 favorite over Michigan State. The total is 70.
• January 1, 2015 08:48 Outback Bowl Line: In today's Outback Bowl, Auburn is a -5.5 favorite over Wisconsin. The total is 64.5.
• January 1, 2015 08:30 Happy New Year: The city is packed with visitors in for the weekend, with many converging on the Strip last night. Crowd counts were reported as lower than usual, likely due to temperatures that fell into the 20s, though the threatened New Year's Eve snow didn't materialize. The grand fireworks display went off without a hitch, and only a few routine arrests were reported. If you're in town today, the buffets and restaurants will be serving New Year's specials and the sports books will be humming with the college bowl games.