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Today's News Archives

Today's News
Compiled by LVA Research
• April 23, 2014 16:22 Hot Dog Contest Time: On the back of our recent post about a new prime rib-eating challenge at Jerry's Nugget (see Today's News 4/21) comes news that at 3 p.m. this Saturday, April 26, New York-New York will again welcome competitive eaters from across the region for the 17th annual qualifying event for the 99th Annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, which takes place in Coney Island, NY. Vegas is the first stop on this year's qualifying route, with a special employee challenge and a "Heroes" competition for charity kicking things off at 1 p.m., so get on over to the new Strip-side park/plaza thingy and support our local eating talent!
• April 23, 2014 15:25 Downtown Taco Battle: It's kicking off at Beauty Bar this Sunday, April 27, with the "Dia de los Tacos" showdown between El Guanatos and The Taco Man. There will be a live Mariachi band, DJs, beer and tequila specials and, obviously, tacos, so head on down between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.
• April 23, 2014 15:18 How Do You "Buffet"?: A lot has changed on the Las Vegas buffet scene of late, with everything from all-you-can-eat caviar and bottomless booze, to chef's tables and seating reservations, while some properties are cutting back on their buffet offerings, or even doing away with the concept altogether. So, we're intrigued to find out if, how, when, where, and why you patronize this classic Las Vegas dining tradition and encourage you to vote in our new Reader Poll and email us your feedback!
• April 23, 2014 15:01 Fukuburger on the Strip: Popular local food truck Fukuburger will be the first to occupy the rotating truck stand at FAME (Food Arts Music Entertainment), the Asian night-market concept debuting at The LINQ in May. The burger-with-an-Asian-twist eatery will offer new menu items to coincide with the launch, with other fixtures in the market set to showcase the best of Japanese, Taiwanese, Thai, Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese cuisine, on menus serving dim sum, stir-fry, ramen, barbecue, crepes, and more, plus a huge selection of Asian microbrews and live "Asian-inspired" entertainment, including tiger and dragon dances, Taiko drum performances, and Gangnam-style beats.
• April 23, 2014 14:02 Last Cowboy Standing at PBR Rock Bar: From Wednesday, May 7 through Saturday, May 10, PBR Rock Bar inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Ho will host a four-day "Last Cowboy Standing" fest, with mechanical bull-riding competitions, drink specials, and the unveiling of a brand new ‘Ring of Honor’ wall, with 2010 NFR barrelman Robbie Hodges on-hand as emcee for the duration. Highlights include a last chance on May 8 for revelers to win tix to see PBR's Last Cowboy Standing event, taking place at Mandalay Bay May 9-10, by entering PBR's "Last Mechanical Bull Rider Standing" contest, held in conjunction with 95.5 FM The Bull. All contestants who sign up will also receive a 15% discount off any PBR Rock Bar food or drink item. On Saturday, May 10, at 11:30 a.m., big-name bull riders including Ty Murray, Cody Lambert, Jerome Robinson, J.W. Hart, and Justin McBride will be in attendance to sign the new "Ring of Honor" wall and greet fans.
• April 23, 2014 13:05 Another Race Track on the Outs?: Following the recent closure of the storied Hollywood Park race track comes word that Suffolk Downs, New England’s only thoroughbred facility, has warned that the 2014 season, which kicks off May 3, will likely be its last unless Mohegan Sun is awarded the sole eastern Massachusetts resort-casino license currently up for grabs. The Connecticut-based Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority has proposed a $1.3 billion casino on land Suffolk Downs owns in Revere and without the additional income and customer base that a major resort is hoped to drive, track officials do not believe sustaining racing will be economically viable.

Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts has a competing $1.6 billion proposal for an eastern Massachusetts casino license, but that bid is attached to a site along the Mystic River in Everett.
• April 23, 2014 09:55 Crash on 95 at Jones: A 5-vehicle crash on southbound U.S. Highway 95 at Jones earlier this morning has rendered most lanes out of commission, with only the HOV lane open according to the last report we read. Apparently, no major injuries were sustained in the accident, although two people have been transported to hospital.
• April 22, 2014 17:07 Lucky Brit Gets Surprise at Strat: On Monday, April 21, the Stratosphere Tower welcomed its 40 millionth guest, a British man here on vacation who was surprised by the property's Vice President as he waited in line for the attraction. James Kennedy, who hails from Birmingham, was rewarded for his random good fortune with balloons, streamers, and a stay-and-play suite package valued at $2,500, including a two-night stay, dinner at Top of the World, and more than $1,000 in slot free play.
• April 22, 2014 16:24 SLS Accepting Reservations: It's all happening on the Strip, with regular openings at The LINQ, yesterday seeing the debut of the The Cromwell casino, and now news that SLS, housed in the former Sahara, is accepting reservations starting August 25. The property continues its recruitment drive, too, and is updating available positions daily at
• April 22, 2014 15:36 Earth Day in Las Vegas: It's literally "earth" day, with facefuls of dust currently blowing around, but in terms of today's eco-conscious initiatives and promos, we're happy to say local ABC affiliate Channel 13 has done some of the legwork for us, so click the link for a round-up of who's doing what and how you can participate now through the end of the weekend (and beyond). Plus, other events include:

  • Shark Reef: Mandalay Bay's aquarium will join more than 130 other zoos and aquariums for the annual Party for the Planet Earth Day-awareness event, an open and complimentary celebration aimed to provide guests with information about conservation and sustainable living. Other local and national organizations, including Reef Check, The Nature Conservancy, Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association, Republic Services, and Go Outdoor Nevada will also be in attendance.
  • Home Depot is participating with its Eco Options program, which enables customers to more easily identify green products. There's also a currently a twofer offer on seed packets and ongoing workshops, while the home-improvement chain is also giving away one million Eco-Smart soft white CFLs to customers (while supplies last).
  • On Saturday, April 25, Silver Springs Recreation Center in Henderson hosts Project Green Earthday from 7:30 a.m. to noon, with volunteers wanted to help with trail building and trash clean-up at the Pittman Wash. Call 702-651-5874 for more info.
  • The Clark County Earth Day Rendezvous also takes place Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sam Boyd Stadium's Star Nursery Field and William Bennett Airfield, in a county-wide celebration highlighting the importance of sustainable practices in our everyday lives.
  • The movie Earth debuts at Galaxy Cannery Theatres, which are honoring Earth Day in conjunction with The Springs Preserve by providing prize packages to the winners of their Green Dreamers Art and Science Fair, taking place this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Springs Preserve.
• April 22, 2014 14:31 Bad Quarter for IGT: Slot-manufacturing giant IGT took a huge Q2 hit, with a reported 66 percent decline in earnings to $25.7 million, compared with $78.2 million in the same three-month period a year ago, with independent analysts attributing the drop to intense competition from large and small vendors domestically, while the company also blamed a "challenging business environment" in foreign markets. The only of the game-maker's reporting divisions to show a revenue increase was the company’s interactive segment, which includes the DoubleDown Casino social gaming application, plus revenue generated from distributing content to legal online casinos in New Jersey.
• April 22, 2014 14:26 More Santana: Carlos Santana has extended his relationship with House of Blues at Mandalay Bay for an additional two years. Tickets for November and January dates for An Intimate Evening with Santana: Greatest Hits Live, which start at $99.50 (plus tax and fees) will go on sale Friday, April 25 at 10 a.m., for performances on November 5, 7–9, 12, 14–16 and 18 and January 21, 23–25 and 28–31, 2015.
• April 22, 2014 12:49 Packer in the Running for Cosmo: James Packer, son of deceased Australian tycoon Kerry Packer, could once again be attempting to gain a foothold in the U.S. gambling market, with word that he's considering making a $2 billion bid on The Cosmopolitan, whose owners Deutsche Bank are looking for a buyer for the struggling Las Vegas Strip resort-casino. Packer is the owner of Australia's Crown Resorts casino group, which also operates casinos in Macau and Manila and is currently hoping to debut a $400 million resort in Sri Lanka (see Stiffs & Georges for more details).
• April 22, 2014 10:01 The Cromwell Casino Opens: The casino at The Cromwell has opened. There's been almost no publicity, as the property is in super-soft mode, but the casino is completely accessible to the public, while the hotel is accommodating invited guests only. The public opening, including all the restaurants and clubs, is Memorial Day weekend.
• April 22, 2014 09:48 Neon Museum Event Tonight: At 6 p.m. this evening, the Neon Museum downtown will host its next PRISM Times of the Signs event, with a panel discussion featuring leading representatives from the sign-making world, followed by a Q&A. The evening is free and open to the public, but will be preceded by a meet-and-greet reception from 5:00 p.m. for museum members only. Space is limited so attendees are encouraged to reserve a spot in advance to (Note that additional parking is available at the Cultural Corridor Theater across from the Neon Museum.)
• April 22, 2014 09:46 Dancer on Deuces: Want to start earning some money from video poker but don't know which game to play? VP pro Bob Dancer has some advice in his latest weekly column.
• April 21, 2014 16:58 Air-Quality Warning Issued: The Clark County Department of Air Quality and Environmental Management has issued a dust advisory, with winds expected to pick up Tuesday and those with respiratory diseases and sensitivities are advised to stay indoors if possible, although dust levels are not anticipated to be dangerous to the general populace.
• April 21, 2014 15:53 Pool Update: Today's QoD repeated the information we were given last week by Green Valley Ranch, when we were informed that this year, The Pond was open once again to non-guests and that The Backyard pool complex was also free to all. Not so! A reader confirms that today he was required to run at least a $25 bar tab to gain access to the former, or rent a $100 daybed for the latter. Pool season is always like this, with misinformation a-go-go, especially this early in the season. The rules change like shifting sands on a windy day Mandalay Bay beach so, as we continue to emphasize, call ahead (possibly even more than once) to any pool before you embark on a special trip, as we cannot be held responsible for the whims and vagaries of Las Vegas pool policy, although we'll continue to keep you abreast as best we can.
• April 21, 2014 14:20 Are Casino Comps Dead?: "Are casino comps a dying breed?", asks Frugal Vegas blogger Jean Scott. Check out her latest post for the answer (and don't worry, it's not as dire at it sounds!)
• April 21, 2014 11:55 #2Pac Sale Ends Friday!: Our massive publisher's discount on the newly released Third Edition of The Killing of Tupac Shakur ends 5 p.m. PST Friday, so get your order in now before it's too late! We're offering almost 50% off cover price, plus $3 reduced shipping, but only for a few days more... The book (also available for Kindle, Apple devices, and all that good stuff) is now in full-on trade paperback, with a new chapter and lots of updates throughout; it's acknowledged as the best bio ever penned of the iconic rapper, who's so far the only deceased hip hop icon to be resurrected via hologram, as far as we know, even if those sightings in South America are a little dubious.
• April 21, 2014 10:54 New Eating Challenge Hits NLV!: We have been monitoring the Las Vegas food-challenge scene assiduously since 2009, having penned no less than four Questions of the Day dedicated to the subject, plus a bunch of "Updates" added along the way. Sin City is home to some serious contenders on the professional guzzler circuit (shout out to @OMGitsMIKI!), so we're excited to announce a new eating contest to be launched by Jerry's Nugget in advance of National Prime Rib Day (April 27). On Wednesday, April 23, the casino, in partnership with the North Las Vegas Fire Department, will host a Prime Rib Eating Challenge with participants including firefighters from the NLVFD attempting to conquer the signature Double Cut Prime Rib meal at Jerry’s Famous Coffee Shop.

Thereafter open to willing participants weekly Sun.–Thur., from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., the entire meal comprises a dinner salad, 48-ounce prime rib entree served with baked potato, corn, and garlic toast, and a banana split. If you finish the whole shebang (no substitutions) in the allotted time, the $41.89 meal is on the house (you're still down for the tip, however), plus you'll receive a commemorative t-shirt and crown, and a spot in the Prime Rib Wall of Fame photo gallery. Fail and, well, you know how it goes... Click the link for a rull set of contest rules.
• April 21, 2014 10:19 Explosion Knocks Out Euro Bookies: Bookmaking and online-casino giants including William Hill, BetFred, PartyPoker, and Ladbrokes were among a number of European-based operations knocked offline Sunday afternoon when a fire, and subsequent explosion, at a power station caused a massive power outage on the island of Gibraltar. Many residents of the rocky tax haven had to be evacuated, but no injuries were reported and by late afternoon most businesses were up and running once again.
• April 21, 2014 10:03 Foodies for a Cause: Las Vegas Foodie Fest, organizer of major food-truck events, plus the iconic White Castle "original slider" brand and Jabbawockeez dance troupe are all joining forces Tuesday April 22, from 4 to 6 p.m., to host a community event for the women and children of The Shade Tree women’s shelter, which is dedicated to improving the lives of women, children, and their pets affected by domestic violence.
• April 21, 2014 09:58 Guy Fieri's Kitchen Open: Chef and TV personality Guy Fieri's much-anticipated new Vegas Kitchen & Bar in The Quad is now open daily from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
• April 21, 2014 09:34 Party for the Planet: On Thursday, April 22, Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef Aquarium will join more than 130 other zoos and aquariums for the annual Party for the Planet Earth Day-awareness event, an open and complimentary celebration aimed to provide guests with information about conservation and sustainable living. Other local and national organizations, including Reef Check, The Nature Conservancy, Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association, Republic Services, and Go Outdoor Nevada will also be in attendance.
• April 20, 2014 11:35 Disappointing? The travel site included Las Vegas on a list of the "10 Most Disappointing Destinations in the World." Do they know something the rest of us don't? Nah -- we're thinking someone probably had a bad run at the slots. Also on the list were Niagara Falls, Disney World, Hollywood, and Liberty Island (Statue of Liberty), all of which also seem like pretty cool places to us.
• April 20, 2014 11:21 Sporting Life Opens: A new bar called Sporting Life has opened at 7770 S. Jones. It's owned by the former manager of Crown & Anchor West, which runs some of the best gambler-friendly deals in town, so the potential is high.
• April 20, 2014 11:03 Easter Poker: Whether you're celebrating Easter or not, join us for some poker today. Registration for the noon PST tournament is open now at the LVA Casino. It's completely free and we're playing for Amazon gift cards today.
• April 20, 2014 10:15 Happy Easter: It's not one of the bigger holidays in Las Vegas, but the town is still busy. Look for Easter dinner deals all over town. And check out our listings of Easter happenings earlier in this space.
• April 19, 2014 17:41 UFC Browne/Werdum: Travis Browne is a -220 favorite over Fabricio Werdum in tonight's UFC main event. In the other featured matches, Miesha Tate is -180 over Liz Carmouche in a woman's match and Edson Barboza is -165 over Donald Cerrone.
• April 19, 2014 13:22 High Steaks: The steak special at Irene's has sustained its second big price hike in as many months. The complete dinner that jumped from $9.95 to $12.95 last month is now $16.95. The rising price of beef may eventually take its toll on many of Las Vegas' steak specials.
• April 19, 2014 10:56 Rampart Bingo Opens: Las Vegas' newest bingo room opens today at the Rampart. The 300-seat room will begin with sessions running every two hours from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. While you're there, check out Rampart's excellent video poker, which will be highlighted in the May Las Vegas Advisor.
• April 19, 2014 09:41 Viva Las Vegas Weekend: The '50s lifestyle festival continues at The Orleans, with the auto show today, featuring more than 800 classic cars on display, plus live entertainment from retro bands and DJs and sexy pin-up girls a go-go.
• April 18, 2014 15:51 Las Vegas This Easter: There's plenty to do this holiday weekend, whether you're a child, adult, or zombie, but it's going to be a hot one, so just make sure your bunnies don't melt. The LV R-J has a listings of area church services; below you'll find some of the main family and social events taking place around town:

Egg Hunts, Bunny Appearances, Etc.:

  • Honey Salt restaurant (1031 S. Rampart Blvd.) hosts its 2nd annual Salt Easter Egg Hunt and Sunday brunch April 20, with hunts scheduled for 10 a.m. and noon and included with purchase of the special Kid’s Easter Corner menu. Honey Salt opens for Easter Brunch at 10:30 a.m. and for Easter Dinner at 5 p.m.
  • The Pure Aloha Festival, ongoing at the Rio, will feature an Easter egg hunt at 3 p.m. on Sunday for kids aged 3-12. The egg hunt is free with paid festival admission and includes photo opps  with the Easter Bunny and more than $500 in prizes.
  • Tivoli Village hosts an Easter Petting Zoo with chances to have your photo taken with real bunnies, ducks, and chicks in the children’s play area (can grown ups get their photos taken with real bunnies and ducklings, too?) The petting zoo is complimentary but photo packages range from $5 to $40.
  • Hop over to Springs Preserve for a visit with the Easter Bunny on April 19 and 20, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It's free for members or with paid general admission to the attraction.
  • On Saturday, April 19, from 10 a.m., W. Wayne Bunker Family Park (at Alexander Rd. and Tenaya Way) hosts the 6th Annual Walk With Me event presented by Easter Seals Nevada, to benefit residents living with disabilities. Admission to the Annual Easter Carnival celebrations is $10 and includes unlimited carnival games in the midway, Easter Egg hunts, photo opps with the omnipresent Easter Bunny, live entertainment from School of Rock, face painting, and an Easter Bunny costume contest.
  • Town Square will host free Easter egg hunts for children aged 9 and younger every 10 minutes from 10 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. on Saturday, April 19 (registration opens at 8 a.m. in the valet parking area). Other activities will include photos with the Easter Bunny, face painting, rock climbing, bounce houses, and inflatable slides.
  • The St. Jude’s Ranch Bunny Bash is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Craig Ranch Regional Park, 628 W. Craig Road. For $5, children get to meet the Easter Bunny, hunt for Easter eggs and play in a bounce house and hay maze.

Other Random Treats and Specials:

There are a host of special menus being served at buffets and restaurants around town, but here are some of the more noteworthy options:

  • Payard Patisserie & Bistro at Caesars has created a one-of-a-kind snake-print Easter egg, filled with an assortment of mini eggs and handmade chocolates from their new  chocolate collection. The 8-inch tall limited-edition creation is $39.
  • Krispy Kreme will celebrate Easter by offering a complimentary Easter egg, plus a surprise sweet special, for every double dozen doughnuts (twelve original glazed and one dozen of your choice) purchased through Sunday, April 20 at all Las Vegas locations.
  • The new Sammy’s Restaurant & Bar in Henderson will offer an Easter brunch egg-stravaganza complete with live music from local artist Savannah Smith on Sunday, April 20.
  • And last but not least, Evil Dead: The Musical is combining celebrations of Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and 420 with some secret seasonal touches added to the show. You'll have to go to find out what they are...
• April 18, 2014 15:33 LVA Server Move: We apologize if our readers have been experiencing any slow-loading of our site over the past few days; we're in the process of moving all our websites to a new server, and it takes a while for everything to redirect smoothly; all should be back to normal within a day or two, but if you continue to experience any issues into next week, then please drop us a line with details of what happened and what browser you're using. Thanks!
• April 18, 2014 15:25 Official Record for High Roller: The observation wheel at The LINQ has officially been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the "World’s Tallest Observation Wheel," at 550 feet, 9 feet taller than the Singapore Flyer, which previously held the record.
• April 18, 2014 14:28 Las Vegas This (Easter) Weekend: Below is our round-up of non-Easter-specific entertainment highlights this weekend; stay tuned for our Easter listings (there are a lot, but we're on it!)

  • Gabriel Iglesias is back at the Mirage (4/18-19)
  • Jim Belushi & Chicago Board of Comedy are Venetian (4/18-19)
  • Cosmopolitan welcomes Foster the People (4/18) and Slim Jenkins (4/18-20)
  • The Cabaret Jazz Showroom at the Smith Center welcomes "Storm Large - Taken by Storm" (4/18)
  • Aloe Blacc's at the Hard Rock (4/19)
  • Bastille plays House of Blues at Mandalay Bay (4/19)
  • Vinyl at the Hard Rock hosts Empire Records' All '90s Experience (4/19)
  • Tribal Seeds play Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip (4/19)
  • Tyler Farr's at Silverton (4/19)
  • And Orleans welcomes the Viva Las Vegas lifestyle festival, featuring the coolest cars, hippest retro bands and DJs, and sexiest pin-up girls, with Saturday featuring the auto-show highlight, with more than 800 classic cars on display (4/18-20)
• April 18, 2014 14:24 New Arena to Break Ground: The next major project to break ground on the Las Vegas Strip will be AEG and MGM Resorts International's joint arena project, with construction on the $350 million, 20,000-seat venue scheduled to commence May 1, it's been officially announced. The arena site is located behind New York-New York's parking garage, east of the I-15.
• April 17, 2014 14:43 Mexican Singer on the Mend: Mexican music star Juan Gabriel is due to be released from a Las Vegas hospital this weekend, after being admitted Monday with pneumonia after he was rushed to intensive care Sunday following his concert at Mandalay Bay. The performer was forced to reschedule upcoming "Volver" tour dates in California, which have been moved to May.
• April 17, 2014 10:53 Downtown Gets Horsey: The Las Vegas City Council voted four to three Wednesday to allow horse-drawn carriages to return to downtown Las Vegas on a trial basis, following a 30-year absence stemming from an accident on the Strip in which four people were thrown from a carriage, reports the R-J. A year-long test period will commence, pending the approval of business licenses, with various streets excluded and restrictions on when the carriages may operate in the interests of animal safety (including any days on which the temperature reaches 90 degrees or more, which will presumably cut out a huge swathe of the year).
• April 17, 2014 10:45 Pure Aloha Reminder: The four-day celebration of Island culture kicks off today at the Rio, with scores of food vendors and live bands and more. Check out yesterday's Today's News item for more details; G.A. is $8/day.
• April 17, 2014 10:44 More Military Deals: Cabo Wabo Cantina in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood will offer a 20% discount on all food and drinks for active-duty military members and vets with valid ID in honor of National Military Appreciation Month in May.
• April 17, 2014 09:35 B.Y.O.B. Day at Liquid Pool: That's "B.Y.O.B." as in, Bring Your Own Blow-Up for National Blow-Up Day and anyone showing up at Liquid Pool at Aria today with an inflatable receives open bar all day. Plus, the best blow-up item wins a full-on bouncy house! (We wonder what ever happened to that infamous Beastie Boys stage prop...)
• April 16, 2014 16:52 Bourdain Vegas Show Airs Sunday: The Vegas episode in the current season of CNN's "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" series airs this Sunday, April 20, at 6 p.m. and takes the feisty food critic on an epic journey downtown and on and off-Strip, exploring the latest culinary delights the city has to offer, while pondering some of the less welcome developments he perceives. We want to know how much of his infamous spat with former Mayor Oscar Goodman made it to the final cut...
• April 16, 2014 13:05 Updated Tupac Bio Out Now!: The Killing of Tupac Shakur, penned by acclaimed local crime writer Cathy Scott and acknowledged as the definitive biography and account of the iconic rapper's final days, has now been released in an expanded and updated 3rd Edition, containing the never-before-published eye-witness testimony from 'pac's personal bodyguard, which could not be printed until after the death of "Big Frank." Upgraded from "pocket pulp" to trade paperback format, for a limited time only Huntington Press is offering a deep discount and reduced shipping on this best-selling title, so snap up a copy of the new edition while you can! Also available for all major e-book readers, including Kindle, Nook, and Apple devices (just click the above link for all the details).
• April 16, 2014 12:14 Pure Aloha Time: Thursday, April 17 sees the 13th Annual Spring Pure Aloha Festival kicking off at the Rio. Running through Sunday, April 20, more than 20,000 guests are expected at the event, which features traditional live entertainment, evening concerts featuring the best in island music, 100+ specialty food and retail vendors, and a large carnival with midway rides. General admission is $8/day ($6 for kids, seniors, and members of the military with valid ID) and a complete list of performers is available at, where tickets may also be purchased. Note that this year, an Easter Egg Hunt for children ages 3-12 has been added on Sunday, which includes the chance to take photos with the Easter Bunny and over $500 in prizes.
• April 16, 2014 12:02 Presale for The Voice Tour Tix: On Friday, July 25, The Voice Tour, with Tessanne Chin, Jacquie Lee, Will Champlin, and Dia Frampton, hits The Joint at the Hard Rock and through 10 p.m. today there's a pre-sale on tix, which start at $45 and aren't officially available until Thursday. Use password: VOICE.
• April 16, 2014 11:37 Cosmopolitan for Sale: Deutsche Bank is in talks with potential buyers of The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, reports Bloomberg News, and is seeking more than $2 billion for the resort, although sources close to the deal set the value lower, at $1.5 billion. Apparently, there are at least four possible bidders for the property, which foreclosed on the money-losing property back in Jan. 2008, which cost $3.9 billion to build. Germany's largest bank always stated that its takeover of the property was intended only as a temporary investment; although Cosmo has yet to turn a profit, the resort’s revenue rose 9.6 percent to a record $653 million in 2013.
• April 16, 2014 11:25 Aliante Hearts Military: Aliante Casino + Hotel will honor veterans, active military personnel, and their families throughout the month of May, with dining and hotel specials for Military Appreciation Month. Special offers will include a three-course prix-fixe menu at Bistro 57 (named for the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base - who knew?) for $18, with 10% of proceeds benefitting Operation Warmheart dedicated to helping airmen in need). The property will also offer a 10% discount on admission to The Deck salwater pool and on all food purchases at Bistro 57, MRKT Sea & Land, The Salted Lime, Medley Buffet, and FARM 24-7 for veterans and active military members with a valid ID.
• April 15, 2014 12:59 Henderson Firefly Snuffed Out: The ongoing controversy surrounding the local tapas-restaurant chain and its repeated run-ins with the Southern Nevada Health District continues, with an announcement from the owners that the Firefly location on Eastern Avenue in Henderson closed permanently on Monday. Meanwhile, the former Firefly location on Paradise Road has been reopened, under the same ownership, as Imperial Tacos & Beer, serving lunch daily from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. The new Firefly on Paradise remains open, as does the original venue on W. Sahara.
• April 15, 2014 12:24 Dancer on Deuces Wild: If you're a video poker player and you like playing deuces (who doesn't?), you should definitely check out Bob Dancer's latest weekly column, where he lays out which pay schedules to look for and how to play optimally when you find them.
• April 15, 2014 10:05 Da Vinci B'Day Discount: Renaissance man that he was, it figures that Leonardo Da Vinci's birthday would be on some sort of red-letter day -- like tax day. Today is the 562nd birthday of the legendary inventor/sculptor/painter, and to commemorate it, you can get $5 off admission at Da Vinci the Exhibition at the Venetian. Mention "Happy birthday, Leonardo" at the box office from now until April 29 to get the discount.
• April 14, 2014 18:47 Red Rock Revisited: It's been a confusing Monday, with more than one property apparently not knowing what's going on in-house. First the PR company for Royal India Bistro at the Rio countered that we had been misinformed by the restaurant and that the happy hour there is still alive and well. Now we don't know who to believe, so a trip across that expansive parking lot in front of our office is firmly on the agenda. (Note to self: What is going on with that VooDoo ZipLine? There's been a return to what appears to be the former state of complete inactivity, since we reported on some apparent line-stringing and testing early in March...)

Meanwhile, it looks like the helpful receptionist at Red Rock at least got things partially correct when we called earlier. T-Bones will indeed receive a facelift, while Mercadito will take over the spot formerly home to LBS Burger. Terra Rossa does have a remodel in its future, but this will likely involve not just a lick of paint, but a complete re-branding, although it's set to remain Italian (the same fate is almost certainly in store for sister restaurant Terra Verde at GVR, too). Oh, and despite pending cases in two courts, stemming from separate allegations of assault, battery, sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, and drug use, the Light Group is said to be opening yet another "small plates" concept in the spot formerly occupied by Hachi.
• April 14, 2014 15:36 Lunar Eclipse Tonight: Clear skies permitting, there should be a great sky-gazing opportunity tonight, with the first of four visible total lunar eclipses that are scheduled to take place over the next year, and the College of Southern Nevada's planetarium, located at 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave. in North Las Vegas, will be open to the public from 10 p.m., offering a telescopically enhanced view of the phenomenon for free. The beginning of the total eclipse will occur at 12:06 a.m. and end at 1:25 a.m.
• April 14, 2014 12:29 Some Dining Updates: Big things are afoot at Red Rock, with a new outpost of Chicago's Mercadito Mexican joint set to open sometime this summer. The representative with whom we spoke said it has yet to be announced where the 5,500-square-foot restaurant will be located, but we do know it will also feature a lounge and indoor/outdoor patio, with seating altogether for 170 guests. She also informed us that remodels are in the works for Terra Rossa, T-Bones, and the spa.

Down on the Strip, La Cave at Wynn has introduced a new gourmet-sandwich lunch menu (with prices starting at $14!), while the Burger of the Month & milkshake combo at Kerry Simon's KGB gourmet burger joint at Harrah's is Chef Reg’s Burger Special (two beef patties topped with American cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, grilled tomato, pickles, and secret sauce on a brioche bun), served with a similarly limited-edition pralines and cream milkshake ($18).

And a little off the Strip, Royal India has scrapped its happy hour ("it wasn't working," we were told -- contrary to the confusing press release we just received) but has updated its dinner menu, including the addition of three types of masala dish (goat, tandoori shrimp, and vegetable).
• April 14, 2014 10:43 Flavor Flav Pleads Guilty: Ex-Public Enemy rapper-turned-chef Flavor Flav this morning pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence charges stemming from an altercation in 2012 in which he allegedly threatened his fiancees teenage son with a knife. Flav, who's real name is William Drayton, Jr., was sentenced to a year of informal probation and ordered to complete 12 counseling sessions by August. He's not out of the woods yet, however: Drayton still faces felony and misdemeanor charges in New York for aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and criminal possession of marijuana from earlier this year, when he was pulled over for speeding on the way to his mother's funeral.

For more on the ups-and-downs of this ever-colorful Las Vegas resident, check out our recent Question of the Day (3/25) which you can find in the QoD Archives (access is one of the many exclusive benefits afforded to LVA subscribers).
• April 14, 2014 09:59 Caesars to Host Culinary Battles Finale: The "Culinary Battles" quest to find the nation’s top Asian chef, an initiative launched by CET in conjunction with various food and beverage partners to promote appreciation of Asian cuisines, will hold its final in Las Vegas April 26. After intense regional competitions in Atlantic City and Los Angeles, the final four contestants in the East Coast vs West Coast culinary rivalry will compete in the grand finale at Caesars Palace, to be judged by a panel of esteemed foodies and hosted by TV personality and author Diane Henderiks. Tickets to be a member of the live audience are free but space is limited; interested parties should RSVP via the website.
• April 14, 2014 09:38 Pay Taxes, See Sharks: Here's a quick reminder that if you haven't yet filed your federal tax return, for the 12th consecutive year Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef exhibit is working in conjunction with USPS' Post Office on Wheels to offer a mailing service from noon to 8 p.m. Taxpayers who drop off their returns at the Official Shark Reef Station, located outside of the aquarium, will receive a voucher for one complimentary admission to the attraction valid through May 22.
• April 13, 2014 20:29 Wow! A "Celebration of Life" meet-up for recently deceased gambler Denny Mason was held tonight in Las Vegas. Anthony Curtis attended and says, "Wow! What an amazing gathering. Gamblers, telemarketers, casino hosts, reality-TV participants, attorneys, gaming-business owners -- what a turn-out for an amazing character, that wasn't all that much of a good guy, but kinda was." Anthony says he'll explain in the May LVA.
• April 13, 2014 13:25 Scintas Twofer: If you can get your hands on the Neon section of the Friday LV Review-Journal, it contains a 2-for-1 coupon for Frankie Scinta at the D. This is the same show formerly called The Scintas and it's good.
• April 13, 2014 13:17 The Next Big Wheel: According to Time magazine, the 550-foot High Roller's place at the top of the list of the world’s tallest observation wheels may be in jeopardy. Time writes, "… the New York Wheel (630 ft.) and Dubai Eye (689 ft.) are both racing to open by 2016 and claim the title."
• April 13, 2014 10:07 Sunday Funday III Free Poker Tourney at Noon: Registration is now open for our "Sunday Funday III" poker tournament with more than $500 in prizes that begins at noon PST/3 p.m. EST today. Prizes are $100 for first, a full LVA membership for second, a suite of our top four poker books for third, and gift cards and other prizes will be awarded to all who make the final table. 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 4493). This tournament is completely free to play and we're adding bounties for knocking out Anthony Curtis (LVA membership) and Blair Rodman (signed copy of Kill Phil). There will also be other tourneys running all day for gift cards and play chips. Come have some fun! See you at noon.
• April 13, 2014 07:50 Masters Line: Going into today's final round of the Masters golf tournament, Bubba Watson is the +300 favorite. Jordan Spieth, tied with Watson for the lead going in, is +385 and Matt Kuchar is +400.
• April 12, 2014 17:45 Pacquiao/Bradley Line: Manny Pacquiao is a -280 favorite over Timothy Bradley in tonight's big fight. The line has risen steadily today, with Pacman money coming in. The total is 10.5 rounds, with over the favorite at -300.
• April 12, 2014 13:25 Anthony Curtis Interviewed on The Pogg: An interview with Anthony Curtis was recently published on an online site called The Pogg, and the subjects covered were definitely not of the usual variety. Read Anthony's take on what aspiring gambling pros should be aware of, playing with Stanford Wong, and why tournament blackjack didn't work (as well as his five favorite albums) at
• April 12, 2014 11:48 Resort Fees Addressed in Today's Poll Results: If resort fees are important to you, and we know they are, you won't want to miss the results of our most recent poll on which amenities are important to you. The poll garnered nearly 14,000 votes and particularly interesting are the comments about resort fees in general. Click "Poll Results" in the "Features" section on the home page.
• April 12, 2014 11:02 LVA Poker This Weekend: Don't forget to set aside time to play our "Sunday Funday III" poker tournament tomorrow, with more than $500 in prizes. The game begins at noon PST/3 p.m. EST, with registration open two hours prior to the event. In the meantime, there's a full schedule of tournaments today, beginning at 10:30 a.m. PST. All are free to play at
• April 12, 2014 10:47 New LGBTQ Pool Party: The Tropicana is following the example of the Luxor, whose Temptation Sunday's LGBT pool party will this year be back for its sixth season, and from May 3 (we think - that's the first date for which a DJ has been announced) will host a weekly Saturday gay pool party, with a $20 cover.
• April 12, 2014 09:22 New Sunday Brunch at Pink Taco: Just in time for the Rehab pool-party season, Pink Taco has introduced a means for party-goers to line their stomachs with the launch of a new Sunday Brunch menu starting tomorrow. In addition to complimentary pastries, sopapillas, and spiced tropical fruit being provided to each table, signature menu items will include machaca deviled eggs served over a tortilla strip nest; mini lobster quesadillas; pollo churrasco skewers; beef empanadas with lime and pique sauce; goat cheese enchiladas; chorizo sliders; and bacon-wrapped jalapenos.
• April 11, 2014 16:36 Fire in Northeast Valley: We first heard from an associate, and just confirmed via Fox5 News, that there's a fire in the northeast part of the valley, in the vicinity of the I-15 and 215, generating a large plume of black smoke. As yet, the source of the blaze has not yet been identified but we'll keep you posted.
• April 11, 2014 13:59 Tax Procrastinators Get Shark Perk Again: For the 12th consecutive year, tardy taxpayers are invited to drop off their federal tax returns to USPS Post Office on Wheels clerks at Mandalay Bay on Tuesday, April 15, from noon to 8 p.m., in exchange for free admission to Shark Reef Aquarium, valid through May 22.
• April 11, 2014 11:44 Zombies on the Loose, Again: The cast of Evil Dead: The Musical just don't seem to be able to sit still, and tonight they're out and about yet again, this time as special guests at the "Attack of Fandom" art show at Zombie Zone (931 S Rainbow Blvd.), where they'll be giving out prizes, hosting raffles, posing for pix from 7 to 8 p.m.
• April 11, 2014 10:54 IGT Linked Progressives Launched: Following approval from gaming regulators first in Nevada (see Today's News 11/22/13) and then New Jersey (2/27/14), this week game maker IGT launched its Powerbucks inter-state progressive system, linking the games of casino operators Caesars Ent. and Boyd Gaming in the two states. Under the new system, certain slot games at Caesars’ 13 casinos in Nevada and Boyd’s nine Las Vegas casinos will be linked with similar games at CET's four Atlantic City properties and Boyd’s Borgata casino in the same jurisdiction, which should generate multi-million dollar jackpots to rival those from multi-state lotteries.
• April 11, 2014 10:19 Oldest Restaurant in Vegas to Close: El Sombrero, the diminutive Mexican hole-in-the-wall joint that opened at 807 Main St. in 1950, will close tomorrow. Look out for a tribute by R-J columnist John L. Smith this Sunday, while for our history of this venerable and much-loved institution, check out the Question of the Day archives from 8/30/2006.
• April 11, 2014 10:04 New Reno Casino: At 1 p.m. today, the new Siri's Casino will open its doors to the public at 241 N. Virginia St., in what was formerly the location of the Primadonna Club. Owned by Jeff Siri and affiliated with the Club Cal Neva, the new slots-only casino boasts a bright blue South Beach-style façade and is expected to serve 151-proof daiquiris.
• April 10, 2014 17:03 Curtis on the Radio: Our own Anthony Curtis is the guest on Bob Dancer and Richard Munchkin's weekly radio show tonight, so tune in to KLAV 1230 AM at 7 p.m. local time for whatever the conversation may entail -- while we're not sure what they'll be chatting about, the recent death of a legendary Vegas old-time gambler may be on the agenda and whatever else these three brains come up with, you know it will be interesting and informative.
• April 10, 2014 16:29 Las Vegas This Weekend: Here are this week's highlights, folks!

  • Olivia Newton-John has started her run at the Flamingo (4/8-4/12)
  • Lana Del Rey performs at the Cosmopolitan (4/11), followed by Young The Giant (4/11)
  • Nashville Unplugged features Lisa Carver over at Sunset Station (4/11)
  • Wayne Brady does stand up at the Mirage (4/11), followed by Jay Leno (4/12)
  • Hard Rock hosts an Acoustic Evening with Sevendust (4/12)
  • The Palms welcomes Bryan Ferry and Dawn Landes (4/12)
  • Switchfoot takes the stage at the Hard Rock Cafe (4/12)
  • Juan Gabriel entertains at Mandalay Bay (4/13)
  • And Manny Pacquiao takes on Tim Bradley Jr. at MGM Grand (4/12), which may or may not be followed by some of the Filipino fighter's famous Karaoke
• April 10, 2014 16:06 Downtown Demonstration Update: Culinary Union Local 226 has released a statement indicating that picket lines downtown will form on Saturday, apparently not on both Saturday and Sunday as reported here earlier. The demonstrations will take place between the D and the Four Queens.
• April 10, 2014 14:43 New Dates for Meat Loaf: The Jacksons are out and as yet to be replaced, but the intimate RockTellz & CockTails series at Planet Ho will pick up again with a third stint from Meat Loaf confirmed, with dates running May 6-June 21. More of an interactive musical bio than a regular concert, live performance is supplemented with personal stories and anecdotes, Q&A sessions, archive film and photos, for a journey through the performer's full career.
• April 10, 2014 12:50 AC Vid Top Pick for USA Today Site: Thanks to USA Today Travel's dedicated "Experience Las Vegas" site for sharing the love: Apparently, Anthony Curtis' Vegas Basics introductory video was their most-viewed in the past year. It's good; you should watch it!
• April 10, 2014 11:41 Final Defendant Pleads Guilty in Palms Betting Scheme: The last of four defendants indicted by a federal grand jury back in July 2012 for their part in a scheme that rigged horse-race wagers at the Palms pleaded guilty Wednesday. The other three defendants, including a former supervisor in the race and sports book, have already previously pleaded guilty and are waiting sentencing. The scheme, which involved staff accepting quinella bets on races that should have been withdrawn from the betting due to a reduced number of runners, allegedly defrauded the casino of $800,000 between 2006 and 2007.
• April 10, 2014 11:19 JT Presale Starts Today: Tickets for Justin Timberlake's Nov. 28 "20/20 Experience World Tour" stop at MGM Grand Garden Arena went on sale today, with a presale running through Friday, April 11 at 5 p.m. Use password "priority" to purchase advance tix; the public sale begins Monday, April 14 at 10 a.m.
• April 10, 2014 11:13 Trop to Buy Sands Bethlehem?: Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, which has been quietly on the market for a year or so and was recently at the forefront of the hacking scandal that potentially compromised the data of many casino customers, could have found a buyer in Tropicana Entertainment Inc.'s Carl Icahn, according to sources close to the companies, although nothing official has been confirmed as yet.
• April 10, 2014 10:39 Caesars' Secret Suites for Sale: Somehow, this announcement passed us by and we can find very little mention of it elsewhere, but it turns out that last month, Caesars Entertainment began offering to the public those of its ultra-exclusive high-roller and celebrity accommodations that hitherto had not been available to reserve at any price. Included in the new "Anthology Collection" are the Palazzo Suites at the Rio, the opulent European-style private villas located behind the pool area, which were designed with close attention to the principles of feng shui and have been home to both Prince and Celine Dion, among many others, and the Marcus Aurelius and Titus Villas at Caesars. These accommodations, are now available starting at $9,000 and $25,000/night, respectively. Other accommodations in the collection, all of which typically feature such luxury amenities as 24-hour butler service, movie-theater rooms with state-of-the-art sound systems, and private pools and spas, include suites, villas, and penthouses at Bally’s, Nobu, Paris, and Planet Hollywood. Some of the bigger and most opulent suites feature private elevators, kitchens, dining rooms, billiards rooms, fireplaces, grand pianos, and the kind of OTT pampering only previously afforded to whales.
• April 9, 2014 18:37 Weekend Picketing Expected Downtown: The Culinary union has announced that there will be picketing downtown this weekend, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., presumably on both Saturday and Sunday. It's being termed an "informational picket," which should mean a relatively tame presence by the demonstrators, though there's never a guarantee of that. Check out tomorrow's Question of the Day for more details on the current labor-contract situation.
• April 9, 2014 18:36 Last Dancer VP Class Today: Today is the last Bob Dancer video poker seminar of the semester at South Point. Today's subject is "What Video Poker Players Should Know About Slot Clubs," beginning at noon and admission is free. Following this class, Dancer will take a break for a couple months before launching a new schedule later in the year.
• April 9, 2014 18:35 Sporting House Closing: The Sporting House bar and restaurant at New York-New York will close in June to make way for two new restaurants -- Shake Shack and Tom's Urban. Both are part of the ongoing transformation of the facades at NY-NY and Monte Carlo.
• April 9, 2014 09:53 SLS Taking Reservations: The reservations lines are open at SLS, the north-Strip resort at the site of the old Sahara. The first night for booking is Aug. 25 and rates opened at $109 weekdays and $139 weekends, with a two-night minimum.
• April 9, 2014 09:23 Wallace Wins Judgement: Comedian George Wallace was awarded a $1.3 million judgment from the Bellagio for injuries sustained during a performance there. Following the announcement of the jury's verdict, Wallace expressed disappointment about the size of the award, then disclosed that he'll end his show at the Flamingo on April 27 to pursue other opportunities, which may include a Las Vegas-based TV show.
• April 8, 2014 17:18 NCAA Woman's Basketball Championship Line: Connecticut is a -6.5 favorite over Notre Dame in tonight's championship game featuring the two undefeated teams. The total is 143.
• April 8, 2014 12:00 Discount at Downtown Grand: Downtown Grand restaurants will give you 50% off meals on Sundays in April if you're dining before or after a Smith Center show. Show a ticket stub or other proof of ticket purchase to get the deal.
• April 8, 2014 11:55 Free Ice Cream: Ben & Jerry's in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood is holding its 36th annual Free Cone Day today. Just show up between noon and 8 p.m. to get a free scoop. Donations are also being accepted for the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada.
• April 8, 2014 11:45 Angry Birds Taken to Task: An anti-online-gambling ad being distributed by Sheldon Adelson's Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling apparently portrays Angry Birds and other online games as gateways to online gambling. We haven't seen the ad, so can't comment further, but pro-online forces are taking umbrage at the ad that's titled 'Don't Bet on It."
• April 7, 2014 17:43 NCAA Basketball Championship Line: Kentucky is a -2.5 favorite over Connecticut in tonight's championship game. The total is 135.
• April 7, 2014 16:15 More Hiring at The LINQ: Blvd. Cocktail Company will debut soon at The LINQ and is currently hiring for all positions. Send your resume to if you're interested and qualified.
• April 7, 2014 16:11 Double Down Hearts Animal Lovers: Adopt a pet from any area rescue shelter today through March 12, bring along your receipt for fees paid to the Double Down Saloon on Saturday, and enjoy a complimentary matching bar tab, up to $100. (Please, don't just adopt an animal for the free booze; we feel dumb even saying this, but...)
• April 7, 2014 14:20 Power of Love Gala: Keep Memory Alive, the fundraising arm of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, will hold the 18th annual Power of Love Gala on April 16 at MGM Grand Garden Arena, featuring an all-star lineup including guests of honor Gloria and Emilio Estefan and Quincy Jones, plus performers Ricky Martin, Carole King, and Jon Secada. Other stars scheduled to attend the fundraiser include: Andy Garcia; Sharon Stone; Queen Latifah; Rita Moreno; Christopher Meloni; and Jordin Sparks. The cheapest individual seat for the event now is $3,000, with tables for parties of 10 starting at $1,500.
• April 7, 2014 12:14 Hotel Amenities: So, the question is which, of any of the useful and not-so-useful amenities commonly included in hotel resort fees to you generally use and pay for anyhow? Vote in our current Reader Poll! (We're really surprised by what's leading the pack among the options we listed...)
• April 7, 2014 10:24 National Beer Day: It's National Beer Day all day today, and we've found a few promos around town worth sharing, including: PT's pubs are serving free Dos Equis today (limit one per person, and you need to show the promo email to your bartender, so make sure you're on their list); Cabo Wabo Cantina inside the Miracle Mile Shops is offering buy-one, get-one drafts of owner Sammy Hagar's signature Red Head beer ($8 - it's the Strip); Rockhouse at Palazzo is celebrating with twofer brews all day until midnight; and Ellis Island is serving $1 20 oz EI Micro Beer drafts. If we hear of more, we'll let you know; please reciprocate!
• April 7, 2014 10:09 Free Entry to Titanic for Passenger Namesakes: On April 15, to commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the sinking, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at Luxor will offer free entry to anyone bearing the same name as any of the 2,228 passengers or crew members on board the ill-fated liner. Check your name against the ship's manifest at
• April 6, 2014 14:52 Klondike Sunset Hit with Complaint: After we wrote in the April Las Vegas Advisor that the Klondike Sunset "might be heading for its own Sunset," the Henderson casino was hit with a complaint for not maintaining the required minimum bankroll. The Klondike was put on a sort of probation and the rule is the rule, but when we stopped by there was one player, which suggests that the realistic bankroll requirement was probably satisfied.
• April 6, 2014 14:47 Robocoin: A Las Vegas company called Robocoin has created a Bitcoin ATM of the same name that has made it to market in several cities. Thus far, Robocoin machines haven't been installed in casinos, but we've heard they are being considered in a few. Downtown's D and Golden Gate are still the only casinos that accept Bitcoins.
• April 6, 2014 12:29 Picnic Opens: Picnic, the pool area at the Donwtown Grand, has opened. Ads describe it as an "urban rooftop pool experience," and the fine print says "public access subject to availability."
• April 6, 2014 10:09 Sunday Poker Schedule: Get in on the fun today at the LVA Casino, with free-to-play poker tournaments for prizes running all day. Today's featured tournament runs at 3 p.m. EST/noon PST, and the entire schedule is presented below. NOTE: All times quoted are EST.

  • 1:30 pm $10K Play Chips          
  • 3:00 pm $30 Amazon Gift Cards
  • 4:00 pm $10K Play Chips
  • 6:00 pm Kill Everyone Poker Book
  • 7:30pm $500K FreeRoll          
  • 9:00pm ALL IN Magazine subscription and Double Deck of Copaq Cards          
  • 10:30pm $10K Play Chips          
  • Midnight $10 Amazon Gift Card
• April 5, 2014 20:43 First Line for Championship: Wynn Las Vegas put up the first line for Monday's NCAA Basketball Championship. Kentucky opens as a -3 favorite.
• April 5, 2014 17:38 Final Four Kentucky/Wisconsin: Kentucky is a -1 favorite over Wisconsin in today's second Final Four game of the NCAA Basketball Championship. The total is 138.5.
• April 5, 2014 16:35 The Linq in USA Today: The Friday edition of USA Today contains a big story in the "Life" section on the Linq. Predominantly a tallying of what's now open, the coverage is favorable, as has been almost all that we've seen to date.
• April 5, 2014 14:07 Final Four Florida/Connecticut: Florida is a -7 favorite over Connecticut in today's first Final Four game of the NCAA Basketball Championship. The total is 127.
• April 5, 2014 12:15 Free Pie at EC: Players get a free slice of Marie Callender's strawberry pie today at El Cortez from noon to 6 p.m. The pie is delivered to your machine or table while you play.
• April 5, 2014 09:21 No Parking: The parking situation at the Linq we warned you about on Thursday is as bad as advertised. Last night there was no self parking anywhere. We were able to get into Linq valet, but it took 15 minutes to get there from Flamingo.
• April 4, 2014 14:02 More Nightlife Upheavals at the Palms: The off-Strip party spot has announced that Moon nightclub is joining the ranks of Rain and relatively new venue The View, in being closed for anything other than one-off private/special events for the foreseeable future, pending remodels and new identities for the nightlife locations. Ghostbar, which underwent a makeover while retaining its name last year, remains open.
• April 4, 2014 10:46 Tix on Sale for OBC at Cosmo: May 29 sees the second "Our Big Concert" event hosted by The Cosmopolitan, in conjunction with X107.5 FM and, as of 10 a.m. this morning, tickets ($35, plus tax/fees) are now on sale. The lineup includes Phantogram, Kongos, Cherub, The Orwells, and Bad Things, with announcements about additional bands expected in the coming weeks. The concert takes place by the Boulevard Pool, with views overlooking the Strip.
• April 4, 2014 10:20 Las Vegas This Weekend: In case you hadn't noticed, it's all country, all weekend, with the ACM Award show taking over at Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, The LINQ, and suitably tailored entertainment elsewhere, from the Mirage to Hard Rock to Sunset Station. But there's plenty of other stuff going on too, if country ain't your thang (or even if it is):

  • MGM Grand Garden Arena hosts the 49th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards, MGM Grand (4/6)
  • To complement the award ceremony, Mandalay Bay hosts the 4th Annual ACM Fan Jam (4/6)
  • No longer downtown or free, the two-day Annual ACM Party for a Cause Festival will be at The LINQ (4/4-4/5)
  • Andrew Dice Clay in Vinyl at the Hard Rock (4/4-4/5)
  • Nashville Unplugged, with Kyle Jacobs, is out at Sunset Station (4/4)
  • Ray Romano & Kevin James headline at the Mirage (4/4)
  • Rob Thomas is in The Pearl at the Palms (4/4)
  • The Tom Green Show's at the Hard Rock (4/4-4/7)
  • Jeff Rose is at the Mirage (4/5)
  • Las Vegas Philharmonic presents Pops IV at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts (4/5)
  • And it's First Friday-time downtown, with this month's theme being "the fool," so watch out for clowns and puppets and jugglers and stuff. Just a heads-up to all you coulrophobics out there. (4/4)
• April 4, 2014 10:04 Saturday Poker Tourneys at LVA Casino: There are still two open tournaments today at the LVA Casino: 10:30 p.m. ET $10k Play Chips; midnight ET $10 Amazon Gift Card. Below is the full lineup for Saturdays's events and we'll post Sunday's schedule tomorrow. NOTE: All times quoted are ET.

Saturday, March 5:

  • 1:30 pm $10k Play Chips          
  • 3:00 pm $30 Best Buy Gift Cards
  • 4:00 pm $10K Play Chips
  • 6:00 pm Kill Phil Poker Book
  • 7:30pm $500k FreeRoll          
  • 9:00pm ALL IN Magazine subscription and Double Deck of Copaq Cards          
  • 10:30pm $10k Play Chips          
  • Midnight $10 Amazon Gift Card
• April 4, 2014 09:20 Sigma Derby Update: "Oh, the sickness that is SD Fandom," as a reader (and SD fan) put it this morning, as they wrote to inform us of the latest news on the Sigma Derby-sighting front, in response to today's Question of the Day, so check back for the "Update" that was just added.

But as aside, we only just discovered that our friends over at Vegas Chatter coincidentally wrote about Derby only yesterday, just as we were writing something entirely independently in answer to a recent reader query. It is, indeed, a highly contagious disease, apparently borne on the wind! And to return the favor to Chatter, whose quest was to find Sigma Derby outside of Las Vegas (and confirms there are two in Tahoe, plus one at the Royal River Casino & Hotel in Flandreau, South Dakota), we can add that back in 2005, we tracked down an original Derby game at the Salamis Bay Conti Resort Hotel in northern Cyprus, and heard rumor that it had been spotted in a casino in Venice, Italy, but were unable to verify the latter. Plus, an updated version called Derby Mark VI was reported as being spotted in a slot arcade in the Asakusa district of Tokyo (we saw photographic proof, too!), at Ontario's Casino Windsor, and at Grand Boulevard Hotel in Manila (now closed). This high-tech futuristic version features eight horses and seats 28 players around a two-tiered track, with races that can also be viewed on TV screens around the section where the game is located. It goes without saying that if anyone out there knows of any other examples, whether gambling versions in casinos or modified games in arcades, then drop us a line!
• April 3, 2014 20:53 American Fish Closing: Michael Mina's American Fish at Aria will close in July. Another Mina restaurant, BARDOT Brasserie, will open in the space later this year.
• April 3, 2014 15:09 Oil Spill Snarls NW Traffic: A large oil spill around lunch time today is causing traffic delays in the vicinity of Decatur Boulevard and Vegas Drive and motorists are requested to avoid the area while the clean-up operation is concluded.
• April 3, 2014 12:33 ACM on the Move: Talking of the Academy of Country Music Awards, the R-J's Mike Weatherford reports that the annual event, which has been hosted by Las Vegas for more than a decade, will next year relocate to the Dallas Cowboys' stadium in Texas. Fear not, however, since this is just a one-off move in honor of the ACM Awards' 50th anniversary and they should be back in Vegas the following year.
• April 3, 2014 12:17 High Roller Alert: We just learned two things from a friend of LVA who happened to go try to ride the new observation wheel at The LINQ: Although the ticket office opens at 10 a.m., currently the attraction isn't open to ride until 1 p.m. Also, due to the Country Music Awards this weekend and the big shindig that's moved from downtown to The LINQ, there is no parking available out back, and they're not allowing customers to use The Quad parking lot instead, so try the Flamingo (don't don't tell them where you're going) or be prepared for a walk from Bally's or the Westin etc., if  you can find a spot in their lots.
• April 3, 2014 10:38 Fee Breaks Ending for Downtown Venues: To boost the burgeoning nightlife scene downtown and jump-start new venues, for the past four years "taverns and urban lounges" have been receiving a break on the costly one-time origination fees, with collective savings among 33 venues amounting to three-quarters of a million dollars. But all that's about to end, or at least the origination-fee waiver break in the Fremont East district will be cut in half, to $10,000; new venues opening in the less-developed Arts District, however, will continue to receive substantial financial incentives for the next two years.
• April 3, 2014 09:56 Pet-a-Palooza: This Saturday, April 5, Sunset Park hosts the 15th Annual Pet-a-Palooza, in conjunction with Mix 94.1 and Admission to the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and features music from live bands, food and drink vendors, and even lions, is free both to owners and to pets (on leashes). There will be more than 40 non-profit animal-rescue groups on-site offering pets in need of adoption, so head on over to support a great cause if you're looking for a new furry friend.
• April 2, 2014 14:48 Curtis on the Radio: At 3 p.m. today Anthony Curtis will be the guest on the Mark Hoke Radio Show on KLAV 1230 AM radio show, which features a mix of poker luminaries and news, with updates on the Las Vegas entertainment scene.
• April 2, 2014 12:32 Penultimate Strip Magic Show Live: The fifth show in the YouTube-only web series featuring magician and poker pro Antonio Esfandiari baffling tourists on Las Vegas Vegas Boulevard went live today.
• April 2, 2014 12:18 Another Buffet Novelty: The past year or so has seen some changes introduced to the classic Las Vegas hotel-buffet scene, from the discontinuation of breakfast at several venues (LVH, Rio, and M), to the introduction of unlimited caviar (Bellagio), to the ability to make reservations (Paris). The latest innovation we just learned about from a reader, with confirmation that Cravings buffet at the Mirage (for which we have an ongoing twofer deal in the 2014 MRB) now offers a take-out option. For $16 (any meal), the buffet will give you a to-go box, which you may cram with as many goodies as you can fit into it (apparently a challenge that many patrons are rising to, according to our source). Interesting.
• April 2, 2014 10:34 Pole Position Autism Day Fundraiser: Pole Position Raceway, the indoor racetrack experience, today kicks off a month-long fundraising campaign in support of World Autism Awareness Day (March 2). The fundraiser, being held in conjunction with Chapman Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram and Families for Effective Autism Treatment, will enable children with their families to visit the track and race during off-peak hours, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit the FEAT foundation. In addition, throughout the month of April, Chapman Automotive will give $250 to customers purchasing a car who mention the word "autism."
• April 2, 2014 09:36 Get Wed with Evil Dead: Evil Dead: The Musical, which continues to enjoy a long run at V Theater in the Miracle Mile Shops, is introducing a new dimension to the production, with the debut of wedding packages. Couples celebrating wedding and commitment ceremonies, or vow renewals, can now choose from a range of on-stage experiences including being showered in blood after saying "I do," with the option to invite up to invite up to 200 guests. Wedding packages start at $750, plus tax and fees.
• April 1, 2014 17:16 Penn & Teller Pancake Victory: Adding yet another string to his already eclectic bow (see today's Question of the Day, irrepressible magician Penn Jillette, along with sidekick Teller (himself no slouch), each has chalked up yet another impressive accolade, with word that the duo won Hash House a Go Go's recent celebrity pancake contest. With their tangy orange-honey invention, the pair has proved that while fellow Rio headlining performers, Chippendales and X Rocks, may look better naked, the beauty of a flapjack lies not in the eye of the beholder but in the belly of the eater. Congrats to the bad boys of magic, whose uncharacteristically fluffy-sounding creation, with its positively cuddly warm-maple-syrup-and-honey-butter garnish, raised almost 900 bucks for Opportunity Village.
• April 1, 2014 14:57 ELV to Merge with Yelp: Yup, folks, it's true. John Curtas this (April 1) morning finally broke the news on his Eating Las Vegas blog that a major merger is on the cards and it promises to be a messy one, what with all the peanut butter and porn stars...
• April 1, 2014 12:05 April LVA Online and Dancer Live: There's been a flurry of activity here this morning, so we can reveal that the April issue of the LVA newsletter has been posted for your enjoyment and edification, featuring the scoop on The LINQ, a killer bargain-breakfast find (with spaghetti!), and all kinds of other cool stuff. Plus, Bob Dancer's regular weekly column also just went live, in which you'll find him sharing some interesting tips and observations about irrational behavior, which you may be more guilty of than you think...
• April 1, 2014 11:40 Renovation at Ellis Island: We just learned, via a reliable LVA scout, that half of the dining room at Ellis Island is currently closed for a remodel, so the lounge area is currently being seconded to handle the overflow of diners. The work is expected to be complete in a week or so, we understand.
• April 1, 2014 10:42 Shout Out to Las Vegas - The Game: Thanks for the cake, guys but your #prank was a #fail! (Well, Anthony Curtis looks like he just filleted a small squid, but it's all smiles at LVA, if you know what we mean.) We're just relieved that no one's clothes came off, as we were in the middle of a staff meeting and it could have gotten awkward.

So, may we extend a warm April Fool's welcome to the new experience in town (is like "Extreme Kidnapping Lite"? If anybody out there is asking themselves, "Is this a movie, or is this my life?", it could just be The Game.
• April 1, 2014 08:43 April Fool's QoD: Even if you're not a regular Question of the Day reader (and you should be), be sure to check out today's April Fool's Day submission for a laugh. This comes courtesy of our Internet-content manager, Jessica Roe, who's responsible for having kept this only-at-LVA feature going strong for nearly a decade.

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