Compiled by LVA Research
• March 27, 2015 16:20 Air-Traffic Streak Continues: The passenger count at McCarran International Airport was up 2.9% in February. The result preserved a streak of 18 straight year-over-year increases and was the largest percentage increase since August.
• March 27, 2015 13:30 Reid Retiring: Nevada Senater Harry Reid has announced that he'll retire at the end of his current term in 2016. Reid is the senior Democratic Senator and has been an important cog in the advancement of the gaming industry over the past three decades. The announcement prompted an immediate statement from the American Gaming Association (AGA) calling for action to fill the void that Reid's retirement will create.
• March 27, 2015 11:05 Searsucker at Caesars: Searsucker has opened at Caesars Palace. It's a restaurant out of San Diego that advocates "social dining," which is described as a feel of being at a dinner party with close friends. Searsucker is located near the sports book in the space that used to house Munchbar.
• March 27, 2015 09:34 Party Slowly: According to an article in today's LV Review-Journal, plans for a "party train" between Los Angeles and Las Vegas are still in the works. Though several problems are yet to be resolved, the would-be operators of the "X Train" are sticking to their story that the inaugural run could take place on New Years Eve 2015. We make it a big underdog, but assuming they make it happen, it will be interesting to see how slow this "low-speed" train will really go -- representatives say a one-way trip will take six to seven hours.
• March 26, 2015 19:23 Flamingo Project Pending: Prepare for construction misery on Flamingo, as a $40 million improvement project kicks off in April. The project will apply to a 14-mile stretch of Flamingo and be implemented 25% at a time over an 18-month period. Can you say Tropicana?
• March 26, 2015 11:31 Las Vegas Weekend highlights: No chance of being bored, with everything from comedy to Monster Trucks on the entertainment roster this weekend:
- Comedy-wise, Larry Reeb and Penny Prince are at the Riviera (3/27-29); Hard Rock presents Andrew Dice Clay's Indestructible Tour at Vinyl (3/27-28); funny man Charlie Murphy's at South Point (3/27-29); and Shaquille O'Neal's Next All-Star Comedy Jam performs at Aliante (3/28)
- The Smith Center welcomes Girls Night: The Musical (3/26-29) and Pops IV: Symphonic Spectacular (3/28)
- The Orleans hosts the 30th Anniversary Stellar Gospel Awards (3/27-28)
- An Evening with Karl Denson's Tiny Universe can be seen at the Brooklyn Bowl (3/27)
- The Hard Rock presents Widespread Panic at The Joint (3/27-28) and Survivorman Live with Les Stroud (3/29).
- Nashville Unplugged at Sunset Station welcomes guest Songwriter David Tolliver (3/27)
- Manadalay Bay offers a diverse line-up, with eNVY Showcase - Wretched Sky (3/27), followed by R & B singer, Jazmine Sullivan at The House of Blues (3/29), and the Forever Charlie Tour with Charlie Wilson at the Events Center (3-28)
- Savor the Whiskey Revival Grand Tasting Experience at the Golden Nugget (3/27-28) or you can Run Away with Cirque du Soleil, walking 1 mile at Springs Reserve (3/28)
- It's fight night at the Palms with Johnny Gonzales vs Gary Russel Jr. (3/28)
- The Mopars at the Strip featuring Queensnych take center stage at the Cannery (3/28)
- Restless Heart are live at Star of the Desert Arena at Primm Valley (3/28)
- Snoop Dog does Snoopadelic Cabaret at TAO Nightclub inside the Venetian (3/28)
- And the Monster Jam World Final's are underway at the Sam Boyd Stadium (3/26-3/28)
• March 26, 2015 09:55 Hardball!: TMZ Sports is reporting that transmission of the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight will be limited to MRI properties only. That means there will be no arena showings or viewings of any sort at CET, Wynn, Venetian, or other casinos. The black-out apparently extends to hotel rooms, where guests of non-MRI hotels will not be able to order the PPV telecast.
• March 25, 2015 15:53 Suzanne Somers residency announced: Westgate Las Vegas' Shimmer Cabaret will be renamed "Suzanne's" in honor of new headliner Suzanne Somers, who will begin performing there May 23, kicking off a 28-week-a-year residency. Somers also gets an on-property, Somers-branded spa and an organic café on the pool deck into the bargain. It marks a comeback for Somers to the former Las Vegas Hilton, where she toplined Moulin Rouge during the 1980s. Differentiating herself from the current crop of "fly and flip" Vegas entertainers, Somers told reporters she wanted to be a throwback to those who "You just wanted them, because there was something about them that drew you to them." The Westgate promises a live band and "cocktail seating." "Suzanne Sizzles," as the show will be called, will run Tuesday through Saturday nights at 7 p.m., with a $65 ticket (not inclusive of taxes and fees). A so-far-unpriced meet-and-greet package will be offered as well.
• March 25, 2015 14:26 One Drop Drops Six: The One Night for ONE DROP concert held last weekend inside the LOVE Theatre at the Mirage did its job, raising more than $6 million for the favorite charity of Cirque du Soleil head honcho Guy Laliberte. More than 100 Cirque performers teamed up with recording star John Legend to put on a specially created show to raise money for international water awareness. It was the third year the event has been held.
• March 25, 2015 10:27 Dunham Extending: More good news from the star front: Jeff Dunham's run at Planet Hollywood has been extended. Jeff Dunham -- Not Playing With a Full Deck will play at least through October 4. Tickets for the all dates are $103 after fees.
• March 25, 2015 06:38 Celine Returning: It’s official, Celine Dion will return to performing in the Colosseum at Caesars Palace beginning August 27. A 40-date schedule has been announced, with performances each month, including on New Year's Eve, through January. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on March 28 and start at $55.
• March 24, 2015 19:20 Frank B on EOG: LVASports' Frank B will be on the EOG Sports Hour radio show tonight with John Kelly. The show airs at 10 p.m. on 1230 AM.
• March 24, 2015 15:13 Sapphire Dayclub Hiring Reminder: Tomorrow's sees the second open casting call for Sapphire Dayclub, which returns for its second season the last weekend in April. Hiring tomorrow is from 5-8 p.m. in the Sapphire Showroom.
• March 24, 2015 11:38 Bob Dancer talks jackpot celebrations: In this week's column, Bob Dancer reminisces about his very first Royal Flush and how much emotion a big jackpot generates.
• March 24, 2015 11:17 No More NFL 'Blackouts': The National Football League is dropping its blackout rule for the 2015 season. However, changing the rule that prevented games from being broadcast in a team’s home market if tickets weren't sold out, may not be as big a deal as it sounds, considering that the NFL says that no games were blacked out last season. The impact of the rule change will be evaluated at the conclusion of the season.
• March 23, 2015 14:14 Judge Deals Blow to Poker Star: Legendary poker player Phil Ivey, who last year was found guilty of cheating in an upscale (and apparently incredibly naive) London casino, today failed in his bid to have a separate case brought against him by Atlantic City's Borgata casino dismissed. The case involves four sessions of baccarat that took place at the casino back in 2012, during which Ivey and co-defendant Cheng Yin Sun won a total of w$9.6 million via a technique known as "edge sorting" that takes advantage of a printing flaw on the backs of the cards. In this instance, not only is the casino demanding that Ivey repay the money he was paid (as occurred in the similar case brought by Crockfords), but Borgata is also demanding that the players serve more than a year in jail for fraud. How this case will be resolved remains to be seen: Although the judge did hint at some perceived negligence on the part of the casino when he expressed surprise at how long it took them to figure out what the players were doing, and also agreed with the players' contention that the casino itself engages deliberately in deceptive practices, he still saw merit in Borgata's suit and is permitting it to proceed.
• March 23, 2015 13:55 Proposed Speed Limit Increase Passes First Stage: The move to increase the speed limit on select Nevada highways from 75 to 80 mph is one step closer to becoming a reality, with a Senate committee having unanimously passed a bill to that effect, which now heads to the Senate floor. An earlier version of the bill had proposed a 10 mph increase, but some members of the committee were not comfortable with that. If the bill becomes law, it will make Nevada one of only three states to permit speeds higher than 75 mph, the other two being Texas and Utah.
• March 23, 2015 13:45 Go From Pool to Poll with CHIII: This summer, Crazy Horse III topless club's hosting "Pool to Pole" after-parties, beginning nightly at 8 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, commencing now and running through this fall. Daylife-goers who still have some party left in them can arrange a complimentary limo from pool to club, where drink specials including buckets of four Bud Lights for $20 and duos of Absolut Vodka and Absolut Tune Champagne (at $150, likely the cheapest "pair" you'll enjoy in a strip club!), will await them.
(Speaking of strippers, we feel compelled to share this hilarious TV blunder from Chicago's WGN-TV live morning show, brought to our attention by ToplessVegasOnline.com. All we can wonder is, what on earth did they think was going to go down when they invited a notorious erotic dancer and her power tool onto the show? We suspect there may now be a vacancy in the research department, and the anchor may never be quite the same again...)
• March 23, 2015 12:38 Awesome (Not Basketball) Bracket: Thanks to the @LVA_Tweet follower who shared this bracket for the Tournament of Upper-Middle Class Afflictions with us, which we're now sharing with you, for your Monday morning amusement. For the angst-ridden among you, please note that this site features extensive listings for gluten-free dining options in Las Vegas, and our brand new edition of Tax Help for Gamblers can help take some of the pain out of those pesky complex returns, but we regret that when it comes to the rest, you're pretty much on your own.
• March 23, 2015 12:19 Blue Men Get a Facelift: The ever-evolving Blue Man Group show, which performs at the Monte Carlo, just reinvented itself once again, with new music, instruments, lighting, and some fresh vignettes inspired by contemporary cultural phenomena, including selfies and emojis. The trio have apparently also upped the ante when it comes to the famous finale, too, with added whizz-bang hi-techery.
• March 23, 2015 12:02 Groundbreaking for MA Casino Imminent: Tomorrow, a groundbreaking ceremony is planned for Massachusett's first full-blown resort-casino, and $800 million property being constructed in Springfield by MGM Resorts International, expected to debut some time in 2017.
• March 23, 2015 09:39 Coach's Son Triumphs in A.C. Free-Throw Contest: A free-throw shooting contest that's being billed as the first skill-based event to feature legal wagering, took place in Atlantic City's Borgata Casino on Saturday. It was won, appropriately enough, by the son of a basketball coach, who walked away with $10,220. A total of 1,022 patrons had each paid $20 to enter the event, which was made possible by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement's ruling last October that casinos in its jurisdiction could conduct skill-based or social games as part of an effort to attract a new breed of gamblers to Atlantic City.
• March 23, 2015 08:22 South Point Dealing 105: The South Point sports book is dealing -105 on all NCAA basketball-tournament games through the Final Four weekend. That means you have to bet $105 to win $100, as opposed to the standard $110/$100 being offered everywhere else. The -105 is for sides only (no totals) and as of now won't be offered on the championship game.
• March 22, 2015 17:08 Super Mary Cancelled: The amazing Bloody Mary that used to be a offered on the last Sunday of the month at the Porchlight bar has been discontinued. Among this baby's ingredients was a filet and a lobster tail (no kidding!). Who's gonna take the spot?
• March 22, 2015 16:11 Remember the Alamo (Game): What was for the last few years Las Vegas' best blackjack game is no more. The little Alamo casino in the TA truck stop at Blue Diamond and Dean Martin has converted its single-deck game to a 4-decker and restricted doubling to 10 and 11 only. Full details will be provided in the April Las Vegas Advisor.
• March 22, 2015 14:45 Somers Residency Planned: After a several-years hiatus from performing in Las Vegas, it looks like Suzanne Somers is on the brink of a return. The Westgate is holding a press conference on Wednesday, during which its expected that a residendcy relationship with Somers will be announced.
• March 22, 2015 09:33 Timely Debut for Yahoo's New Vegas Comedy: With Las Vegas fully in the grip of March Madness, Monday sees the debut of "Sin City Saints," the new streaming comedy from Yahoo Screen about a pro-basketball team. Set in Las Vegas, the show features cameo appearances from some Strip-headliner notables, including Carrot Top and Penn Jillette, plus former NBA players Baron Davis and Rick Fox. Click to watch the official trailer.
• March 22, 2015 08:58 Kudos to Ellis Brewery: According to a survey produced by the Brewers Association and now translated into a colorful map graphic by mental_floss, Ellis Island boasts the largest craft brewery in the entire state of Nevada, in terms of beer sales by volume, so congrats! (We wonder if they can claim the same accolade for their egg nog? We'd wager they could!)
• March 21, 2015 15:41 Bargain Weekend Options for Live-Music Fans: Rocks Lounge at Red Rock Resort offer a double bill of musical goodness today, with Hotel California: The Original Eagles Tribute band performing two sessions, at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m., followed by local favorite David Perrico and his 15-piece pop orchestra, who take over the venue at 11 p.m. All of these sessions are free. Meanwhile, tomorrow jazz lovers can catch a live 10-piece band at Ron DeCar's Event Center (1201 Las Vegas Boulevard South) for "Swingin' Sundays," which is also an open mic session for professional soulful vocalists from around the valley. GA tix are $10 (first come, first served), or upgrade to a VIP "Golden Circle" ticket, which includes allocated seating and a buffet, for $25. Doors open at 4 p.m. and showtime's 5-8 p.m.
• March 21, 2015 12:52 Caesars Shuffle: The Caesars Palace poker room has been moved to make room for the new Omnia nightclub. It's now on the opposite side of the sports book in the spot where the bar used to be and the bar has been relocated between the poker room and Omnia. Don't worry -- just go to the sports book and you'll find them all.
• March 21, 2015 11:54 Big Fight Brings Rate Hikes: Room rates at MGM Grand reportedly start at $1,600 per night for the weekend of the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight and the resort says its 6,800 rooms are 98% booked. Rates are up all over town for that weekend, though not as drastically as MGM's are as the host casino.
• March 21, 2015 10:28 Bracket Busting: ESPN reported that of 11.5 million brackets submitted in its March Madness contest, only 274 remained perfect after Thursdays slate of upsets that had two 14 seeds winning. No report yet after Friday's games, there should still be several live ones given that the day-2 results had mostly favorites winning.
• March 20, 2015 16:48 Rollover Crash Blocking the 95: Several northbound lanes of U.S. 95 are blocked, just north of Boulder Highway, following a rollover crash, so avoid if you can...
• March 20, 2015 16:31 Paris De-Themes (Just a Little Bit): Actually, it's possibly more of an "up-theming," as Paris reveals its new-look lobby bar, which has seen a ditching of some of the more kitsch notes (the faux streetlamps and trees have gone the same way as the short-lived onion-and-striped-shirt-wearing cyclists who'd deliver baguettes to your room). In their place is what "Eater Vegas" termed a "giant chandelier tree" and we can't think of a better description, although we can't help seeing it as a giant purple mushroom (albeit one of the more elegant fungi we've seen.)
• March 20, 2015 15:31 (Another) Groundbreaking Date for Resorts World: It was back in December 2013 that news first broke of a buyer with a plan for the abandoned Echelon Place site and at the time Genting said they'd be breaking ground sometime in 2014, with Phase I completion set for this year and Phase II in 2016. By March of last year, the absence of any activity at the site was questioned by the R-J, which was informed that the company had simply been "very busy" but that by December of last year, the site would "look very different." It didn't. By January of this year, the word was that groundbreaking would be between March and April. Now, according to Clark County Commissioners, the big day is May 5 (although they also have a "decommissioning plan," in place, just in case the whole project falls through. Let's hope not.)
• March 20, 2015 15:16 Celine Plans Earlier Comeback: While the last we heard was that Celine Dion would not be returning to her Colosseum residency until the end of the year, the latest word is that the chanteuse will be back at Caesars Palace "late August" (which still means she won't have to share a dressing room with Mariah, who'll be out of there by July 26.) The official start date for Celine has yet to be announced, and tickets are not yet on sale, but we'll keep you posted.
• March 20, 2015 12:18 National Ravioli Day: Today's the day, and Buca di Beppo is celebrating with a 50%-off ravioli offer, but you need to be a member of their free "e-club" in order to receive the coupon. We asked if new sign-ups today would qualify, and they aren't sure, but suggest you try and see what happens! Even if you don't get that coupon, you qualify for a free pasta dish just for signing up, so it's pretty much a win-win situation.
• March 20, 2015 12:05 New Additions to Caesars Food Court: The lineup at the new Forum Food Court, which debuted at the end of last year, now includes the first La Gloria location to open outside of San Antonio, offering gourmet street food including tacos, ceviche, and quesadillas. Also new is family-owned ice cream eatery, Graeter’s Ice Cream, out of Cincinnati.
• March 19, 2015 19:02 Las Vegas This Weekend (of Mayhem): On the "mayhem," front, you'll find our round-up of the best March Madness viewing option in an earlier post; meanwhile, here's all the other stuff going on:
- Join comedians Johnny Sanchez and Carla Rea at the Riviera (3/16-22)
- The Smith Center welcomes the musical Newsies (3/17-22) and Jake Shimabukuro (3/20-21)
- The Letterman perform at the Orleans (3/20-22 and if you're into horses, check out the Silver Dollar Circuit Quarter Horse Show & Western Gift Expo there, too (3/17-22)
- Jo Kay takes center stage at TI (3/20)
- Funnyman Andrew Dice Clay brings his "Indestructible Tour" back to Vinyl at the Hard Rock (3/20-22)
- Performer Bill Luther and guest Scott Reeves play Club Madrid at Sunset Station (3/20), as do Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine (3/21)
- The annual Cirque fundraiser, One Night for One Drop, takes place at MGM Grand (3/20)
- SCREAM NATION: The Reintroduction Tour performs at Planet Hollywood (3/20)
- It's going down at Mandalay Bay's House of Blues, with a diverse weekend lineup that kicks off with The Officail NBC Undateable Comedy Tour (3/20), followed by Elvis Monroe and RNR (3/21), then the Local Brews, Local Grooves festival (3/21)
- The more of that at the Silverton, which is hosting the Cork & Kegs 2nd Annual Wine & Craft Beer Tasting (3/21)
- The Orleans welcomes the Temptations ((3/21-22)
- Dan Shay takes center stage at Brooklyn Bowl (3/22), where Railroad Earth performs that same night (3/22)
- And funnyman Tom Papa Taking is in the spotlight at Suncoast (3/20-21)
• March 19, 2015 16:35 Best Dive-Bar Food Joint in Vegas?: In our opinion, it's tough to beat the Money Plays/El Taco Felize-combo option on W. Flamingo, where the awesome jukebox and shuffleboard just ice the cake; however, we just learned (via Eater Vegas), that the Hard Hat Lounge (1675 Industrial Rd.) has added Cody’s Smokin’ Barbecue to its culinary repertoire, which already boasts an awesome Mexican kitchen, serving some of the best tacos around (and with a big smile, too!). Now, you also have a choice of Texas-style barbecue, with combo plates starting at $10.50 and sandwiches from $5, apparently (Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.). Throw in the live music and open mic nights, and it's pretty much all the entertainment we could wish for under one roof (plus the adjacent parking lot). Haven't tried the BBQ yet, but our expectations are high.
• March 19, 2015 13:45 Vegas Flips Out Over March Madness: In a good way, we mean. Anthony Curtis just went over to Caesars to check out the scene and reports that every drinking hole he encountered was packed to the rafters, so we figure that's probably the norm everywhere. Still, if you can get a seat, or even just a small patch of standing space, here are our top picks for NCAA-tournament viewing. (Full disclosure: The first part is lifted direct from Anthony's weekly "The Deal" column for Vegas Seven, supplemented by some extra inclusions that column space did not permit.)
- SLS has a $50 party in Umami Burger that comes with a $10 bet.
- It’s all-you-can-drink for $65 at New York-New York’s Double Barrel Roadhouse and $75 at Hard Rock’s Joint.
- Caesars properties are offering several programs, ranging from $25 beer buckets at the Rio bars to a $2,760 food-and-drink package for eight ($345 per) at the Flamingo (which is OK, but you can do the entire first four days for well under $345 by sticking with the old standards -- see below).
- Heading that list of old dependables is always South Point, which will run parties each day, Thursday through Sunday, with $3 beers, buckets of six for $16 ($2.67 each), and $25 Bloody Mary and margarita pitchers.
- Right there with South Point is Westgate Las Vegas’ "Hoops Central" party, with $3 beers and $2 hot dogs.
- Get $2 drafts and $5 burgers or wings in JC’s at Rampart.
- Station casinos and El Cortez are running viewing parties with $1 dogs and $2 beers (except for GVR, Red Rock, and Santa Fe), and shot specials from $2 to $6.
- The Fremont Street Experience is hosting the 6th annual "Downtown Hoopstown" celebration with free entertainment, drink specials, and the "World’s Largest NCAA Bracket" displayed on the canopy.
- Other traditionally good spots to watch are Gold Coast, Orleans, and Aliante.
- This year two new venues deserve special consideration. With 25 TVs in action, it’s as if the sports bar at Suncoast called The Game was configured specifically for March Madness.
- And the Sporting Life at 7770 S. Jones is the only bar in town to have a full-sized and real-time odds board. There’re also TVs everywhere, great food, and a giant beer selection. You’ll think you’re in Lagasse’s Stadium (also a great place to watch), except at a fraction of the cost.
- Another pretty new venue, The LOFT above Cabo Wabo Cantina in the Miracle Mile Shops is featuring the games on its multiple flat-panel, big-screen TVs (including a 184" video grid and 180-inch projection screen!), with drink specials include beer buckets priced at $21, which ain't bad for the Strip.
- The Ballroom at TI is hosting FREE nightly viewing parties, with banquet-table seating, food and drink specials, and satellite betting stations. Doors open 7:30 a.m. daily and seating is first come, first served.
- The Chelsea at Cosmopolitan hosts a three-day "Hoops & Hops" party March 19-21, with multiple TVs showing every game. A VIP pass for the event is $375, which gets you access all three days, plus unlimited well drinks, beer, wine, soda, and water (shots you'll need to pay for). GA tix are $65 ($45 on Sunday) and come with three drink tickets and access to open seating on a first come basis. Doors open 8:30 a.m.
- In strip-club land, Sapphire Gentlemen's Club continues its established "Ultimate March Mayhem Party" tradition and will be airing every March Madness game live all the way through to the National Championship game and an inaugural Ultimate March Mayhem Viewing Party April 6th. The parties feature an open bar during the first half of the games, plus additional drink specials and a complimentary buffet provided by Kerry Simon's Sapphire Grill starting from 4 p.m. daily. In addition, there are $1 halftime dances and endless raffles and giveaways for prizes including iPods, digital cameras, iPads and a big-screen TV. See ToplessVegasOnline.com more more information. And Crazy Horse III continues to celebrate its new sports bar addition, with "Hoops and Hotties" March Mayhem parties featuring four Bud Lights for $20 and other beer specials. No cover. Oh, and Sheri's Ranch is positioning itself as the official brothel of March Madness and is the only venue on this list (at least that we're aware of) whose specials include a full-body wet-massage fantasy experience (we did note the absence of any mention of TVs in the press release, however...)
One final thought from Anthony Curtis, who says "Be sure to take advantage of tournament-associated gambling deals. Many of the local bars run brackets promos and video poker bonuses, while a few casinos will give you something extra for your action. For example, get a logoed T-shirt for a $25 parlay-card wager at the Westgate or for a $100 table-game buy-in at the D or Golden Gate. If you’ve been thinking of funding a mobile betting app, now’s a good time at Station Casinos, where the normal $25 sign-up bonus has been raised to $50 in March.
Happy Hoops Time, Everyone; Let Mayhem Reign!
• March 19, 2015 12:36 Carl Icahn is Pi$$ed: In a new blog post today, property-investment tycoon Carl Icahn pens an open letter to Local 54 employees of the Trump Taj Mahal, in response to what he deems a recent series of libelous articles about him and his intentions toward their bankrupt place of employment. And believe us, he holds nothing back, blasting not unions in general, but just the leadership of this particular one and what he perceives as their agenda, likening their tactics in no uncertain terms to the bad old days of Mob extortion rackets. It's passionate and compelling stuff and Icahn makes his position crystal clear: "Despite seeing my face, name and motivations mocked and mischaracterized on signs on the Boardwalk and the local news, I will not be intimidated."
As distant objective observers, we're simply enjoying the great theater we've been experiencing, courtesy of Messrs. Icahn, Straub, and Trump, not to mention the various judges and other bit-part players in the rollercoaster-of-a-soap-opera that Atlantic City has morphed into in recent months. It sure makes a pleasant change from the preceding months previously months of spiraling doom and gloom; this fightin' talk is much more fun and it's refreshing to have some colorful characters at the helm, as opposed to the corporate monoliths. Can't wait for the next installment!
• March 19, 2015 11:21 Announcing World's First Penis Job Fair: While even Blue Man Group embraces equal-opportunity hiring (there was once a Blue Woman, for real!), we have a feeling this is strictly one for the boys, with word that quirky international hit show, Puppetry of the Penis, is looking for fresh meat, so to speak. There are openings for performers (both for the Vegas production, which opens April 14 at Erotic Heritage Museum, and for the international tour), in addition to front- and back-of-house gigs. The job fair will take place Tuesday, March 31, from noon to 3 p.m. in the Jewel Box at EHM, with prospective performers having the chance to attend a "masterclass." For more information about any of the available positions and how to prepare for an interview, email email@example.com.
• March 19, 2015 11:01 Obama Reveals His Bracket, with Reservations: With a record, to-date, of just 1-4 since his first year in office (the only time he picked the winner), President Obama urges caution to anyone considering copying his NCAA tournament bracket, which he shared with ESPN Wednesday, as has become the tradition. For what it's worth, he has Duke, Arizona, Villanova, and Kentucky in the Final Four, with Kentucky his pick to triumph in a Wildcats vs Wildcats final April 6, but given his track record, "I wouldn’t necessarily take my bracket and copy it," advised the President, who conceded "clearly I’m not spending as much time watching college basketball as I once did." That won't deter him from returning to ESPN today to share his picks for the women’s NCAA basketball tournament.
• March 19, 2015 10:45 2022 World Cup Date Finalized: The protracted and contentious machinations surrounding the date for the next soccer World Cup have come to an end, with confirmation from ruling body FIFA that the 2022 event will kick off Dec. 18, an unprecedented time of year dictated by the awarding of the hosting role to the Arabian-peninsular state of Qatar, where average daily temperatures exceed 100 degrees in June/July, when the World Cup traditionally takes place.
• March 19, 2015 09:59 Free App at Outback: Today only, use this coupon for a free appetizer of your choice with any purchase at Outback Steakhouse (and yes, that includes their signature Bloomin' Onion).
• March 19, 2015 09:43 Dancer Experiments with New Way to Skin Old Cat: As the feedback from our recent Reader Poll about gambling and superstition demonstrated, there's something about casinos and games of chance that can bring out irrational behaviors among the best of us, even though we know that, say, moving machines cannot possibly statistically affect the outcome of your result or end a losing streak, which Bob addresses in this week's column. He also presents the concepts of "winning" and "losing" in the broader context of what future rewards (in terms of comps, cashback, etc.) that your session may generate and offers practical advice on how to assess when and where to play -- or not.
• March 19, 2015 09:26 Wet 'n' Wild OK'd for Liquor License Application: A plan from the west-side water park to begin serving alcohol has been unanimously approved by the Clark County Zoning Commission, allowing the attraction to go forward with its application for a conditional liquor license that would permit the serving of beer and wine only in a designated area. If the license is granted, adults will be permitted a maximum of two drinks each and alcohol will not be available on days when a nearby school is open.
• March 18, 2015 17:17 Closing Bell Comes to Vegas Thursday: Thanks to the LVA subscriber who tipped us off to the fact that on Thursday, March 19, CNBC's "Closing Bell" (the show that broadcasts through the last hour of trading, with live coverage from Chicago and New York), is coming to Las Vegas, where guests will include "Mr Las Vegas" himself, Wayne Newton, plus Rick Harrison of Gold & Silver Pawn fame, an executive from Boyd Gaming, and various non-gaming commercial interests in town. The show airs at 3 p.m. ET (noon local time).
• March 18, 2015 17:07 R-J Sale a Done Deal: The $102.5 million cash sale of Stephens Media LLC, parent company of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and a portfolio of other regional papers, to New Media Investment Group of New York has closed, the R-J today confirmed, while the new owner announced plans for a hiring initiative to fill some "critical positions" that are currently open. Look out for a "community message" to readers from New Media in tomorrow's edition.
• March 18, 2015 14:02 Foxtail Hosts Food & Beer Fest: The "daylife" pool at SLS is to host the Vegas Food & Beer Festival on Friday, April 3, with unlimited samples of more than 50 craft brews, plus food and other beverages, courtesy of Stone Brewing Co., Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas, College Street Brewhouse, Dirty by Falling Doves and Dan Fester, as well as a Rock ‘N Roll bikini fashion show, and complimentary access to an after-party at LIFE nightclub. GA tix are $35.
• March 18, 2015 11:49 Hardcore Biking Returns to Boulder: The weekend of March 27-28, the 3rd Annual Bootleg Canyon BANZAI Enduro Race returns to the the tough mountain-bike trail system in Boulder City, with numerous race categories tailored to men, women, and children of various levels. Event registration starts from $50 and includes discounts on bike swag, in addition to event entry. Visit bikereg.com/bootlegenduro for more details.
• March 18, 2015 11:17 Disputed Full Tilt Account Settlements Imminent: It's been almost four years since the Feds raided the offices of several leading online poker sites, including Full Tilt, shutting down their websites and freezing the accounts of U.S. players and any monies therein. Now, finally, the painstaking process of settling the claims relating to Full Tilt, which were complicated by several of the company's principals also being charged with operating a giant Ponzi scheme and crimes including bank fraud and money laundering, with a second tranche of payments set to take place by the end of this month that encompasses those players who a) had disputed funds totaling $500 or less or b) a total of $501 to $2,000 in their account, with a discrepancy amount listed between Full Tilt's records and their own of less than 20%.
This latest round of approvals by the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section will affect around 3,500 players and covers petitions totaling approximately $2.8 million. For more coverage see PocketFives.com and the website of GCG, the Full Tilt Poker claims administrator, where future updates will be posted with regard to those players who will still have outstanding claims. (Note that any player who owes money to the IRS will have this automatically deducted from any monies coming to them from FTP, courtesy of the Treasury Offset Program.)
• March 18, 2015 09:24 Collectibles Show at the Riv: This Friday, March 20, through Sunday, March 21 sees the 52nd annual Las Vegas Numismatic Society Coin Show taking place for the final time at its long-time home at the Riviera, with more than 200 dealers in attendance, free appraisals, educational seminars (including sessions on counterfeits and silver dollars) and, the star of the show: a 1943 copper cent valued at $250K! Doors open at 10 a.m. each day and admission's $3, or free with this coupon!
• March 18, 2015 09:06 Megabucks Hits: The Megabucks jackpot was hit this Saturday at Westgate Las Vegas (formerly LVH). A 78-year-old woman from Utah hit for $10.7 million while playing a $100 buy-in.
• March 17, 2015 16:19 March Madness Bigger than Super Bowl -- or President: According to the American Gaming Association, an estimated 40 million Americans will wager approximately $9 billion -- double the figure for the Super Bowl -- on this year's NCAA tournament, and fill out in excess of 70 million brackets -- more than the 66 million ballots cast for President Obama in 2012. We'll be posting our party-and-promo round-up imminently (i.e., tomorrow), so stay tuned.
• March 17, 2015 15:21 Comme Ca to Close, Finally: It was back in July of last year that we first heard that Comme Ça at Cosmo was set to close; since then, chef David Myers has quit David Myers Group to pursue his own solo ventures and now comes confirmation that the days are definitely numbered for his former bistro at Cosmopolitan, which is definitely closing, likely as soon as at the end of this month. What may take its place remains to be announced.
• March 17, 2015 13:28 St Paddy's Day Pizza Party: You might not necessarily associate St Patrick's Day with pizza, but it's our willingness to party for any excuse, regardless of relevancy, that helps make Las Vegas so special, hence Pizza Rock has its grand opening at Green Valley Ranch today, St Patrick's Day, and why not? The much-anticipated second Vegas venue from 11-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani is already open for lunch today; the media shindig is from 6-8 p.m. tonight.
Ooh! Update: We just leaned that March 17 is also Italy's birthday (Carlo's "Cake Boss" Bakery at Venetian/Palazzo has made a gondola-shaped gateau to mark the occasion), so now this Pizza Rock grand opening makes perfect sense!
• March 17, 2015 13:12 NCAA Tourney Odds: With the March Madness tournament's play-in games about to start, Kentucky is the favorite to win the championship at +130, followed by Wisconsin at +715, and Arizona at +775. The long shots are Hampton and Robert Morris, each at +150000 (1,500-1).
• March 17, 2015 11:32 Whale Hunter on the Radio: Steve Cyr, the subject of our newly updated best seller Whale Hunt in the Desert: Secrets of a Vegas Superhost, is a hot property this week! At 1 p.m. today you can catch him on CBS radio's "The Power Hour" with Pauly Howard on 920 AM, then tomorrow, he'll be spilling more beans about the real world of high rollers on ESPN's "Clubhouse" show with Mitch Moss (1 p.m. 1100 AM/98.9 FM). An amateur boxer himself, Steve's fought on every Vegas "industry" card for the past nine years and will also be sharing his take on the upcoming Mayweather vs. Pacquiao showdown May 2, which will be a huge night for Vegas casinos and their VIP gamblers.
• March 17, 2015 11:00 Kudos to Reno Casino: USA Today "Travel" has named the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa the best casino in the U.S. outside of Las Vegas, which is no mean feat considering the amount of competition these days. The feature, which particularly highlights the spa, casino floor, and restaurants at the property, describes how the Atlantis is a place where "guests are treated like royalty – literally." We confess that we're not quite sure what that means, but we like Atlantis, too, and LVA readers who find themselves in Reno can enjoy a $5 match play there. Pechanga Resort & Casino in Southern California was picked as #2, by the way.
• March 17, 2015 10:26 Sketchiest Club in Vegas Returns, Is Hiring: 1700 E. Flamingo has to be one of the most notorious addresses in Las Vegas. What started out in the '70s as Don Jose’s Mexican Restaurant has been home to various nightclubs, including Botany's, Metropolis, and later Suge Knight's Club 662 (where he and Tupac were headed when the latter was fatally shot), and other 'urban' incarnations, including Club SRO and Club 702, all of which were witness to fatal shootings. The last ventures at that address we can recall were Spin nightclub, an unsuccessful transplant from Alexis Park that couldn't overcome the venue's dubious reputation, and a hookah lounge/club called Kiss. Now, we understand, someone's taking another stab with word that a new after-hours called TRU is moving in. It's hiring, allegedly, although the online ads we've seen link only to a Facebook page that lists zero information...
• March 17, 2015 09:36 Big Day at Emerald Isle: Henderson's penny-only, Irish-themed casino is going all out this St Patrick's Day, with corned beef and cabbage on the menu for $9.99 until 8 p.m. this evening (seriously, we've seen the photos and there's 1000 lbs of beef in their oven!), plus free cake, Irish coffees, hors d'oeuvres, and party favors. As if that's not enough, from 2-9 p.m. they'll be spinning the Super Bonus Multiplier Wheel of Cash every 20 minutes, for the chance to win up to $1,100 cash.
• March 16, 2015 16:12 Tipsy-Tow Tuesday: Apparently anticipating that more than a few drams may be imbibed in Sin City tomorrow, AAA is stepping in with its holiday "Tipsy Tow" service, providing FREE transportation home for drivers, and their vehicles, within a 10-mile radius of the Strip. So, don't even think about trusting in the luck o' the Irish and just dial 1-800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) if you, or your designated driver, is over the limit. The FREE AAA service will be offered from 6 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday and just weigh it up right now, while you're sober: A FREE RIDE HOME FOR YOU AND YOUR VEHICLE, so you don't even have the hassle of remembering where you left it on Wednesday morning, versus the whole Pandora's Box of a DUI and its consequences (which start at around $12,000 in fines and penalties, and that's best-case scenario).
• March 16, 2015 15:04 Free Booze Tastings at the Airport: The bad news is, we discovered this too late to inform you about (or attend) the free Jameson's tasting from 2-3 p.m. today at the airport; the good news is, better late than never and we now know, for future reference, that The Liquor Library -- the only non-duty free packaged liquor store located within the baggage claim of any airport in the United States -- dishes out free samples, almost on a daily basis, and served to you by cute fishnet-clad wenches, to boot (because Vegas, baby!). Never again allow baggage claim to be a drag, or complain that you have to drive all the way to the Double Down to get your personal party started: Wednesday, March 18 will feature free samples of Gnarly Head Wine from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., followed by Hennessy Black from 8-10 p.m.; Thursday spotlights Salt Tequila, Patron, Kinky Liqueur, and Crown Apple. Check the full upcoming sched. at liquorlibrarylv.com.
• March 16, 2015 14:33 Pool News from the MBay End of the Strip: We have an opening date for Daylight, the year-old party pool at Mandalay Bay, which apparently isn't set to get the party started until April 17, making it a fashionable late-comer to the 2015 "daylife" scene. Meanwhile, as if news of the new rooftop "surfing" experience at Planet Hollywood wasn't exciting enough, we just stumbled upon a totally new pool, with underwater chess! Yes, the Delano is getting its own pool, which is tentatively slated to open April 3, but it's still under construction so don't hold us to that date. We're excited to see the submerged chess board but it has not yet been determined whether this facility will be reserved exclusively for guests of Delano Las Vegas, or if Mandalay Bay guests/the general public will also be admitted (MBay axed its non-guest pass program a few years back, but Moorea Beach Club still admits non-hotel guests for a fee). We just started getting stuck in to our 2015 Cool Pools feature, where you'll be able to find all you need to know about topless sunbathing, where to find swim-up or poolside gaming, who has concerts or the best pool parties, and which pools you can enjoy without being a registered guest.
• March 16, 2015 14:21 MGM Clamps Down on Poker Cash Play: Beginning April 1, poker players at any MGM Resorts properties in the U.S. will no longer be permitted to keep cash in play, but will be required to convert all cash to chips before it can be used in a game. With no official reason having been given for the move, the speculation is that it's in reaction to the general increased scrutiny under which casinos are now finding themselves when it comes to accounting for players' monies and complying with their obligations in terms of IRS reporting and anti-money laundering statutes. The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Unit (FinCEN) has been stepping up its scrutiny of casinos of late, and recently opened a new office in Las Vegas.
• March 16, 2015 12:14 Big Birthday Bash for Bartenders: March 29 to April 1, the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Expo hits Sin City, but this is not your average trade show. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, this is one of the few large expos that's open to the general public, albeit for the price of a $125 Expo Pass (applies through March 28; all registration fees go up thereafter). From what we can surmise, it basically looks like a four-day party, with the odd workshop thrown in (and even those are probably fun). Las Vegas resident and "Bar Rescue" host Jon Taffer will be hosting a bunch of parties, with live performances by Ludacris, Nelly, and T-Pain, a DJ lineup that includes DJ Vice, Nick Cannon, Avicii, and Tiesto, and there's even a nightclub bootcamp you can sign up for (we told you this isn't your grandma's convention...) The two back-of-house tour options -- always popular -- are already sold out, although there's a wait list you can sign up for. Visit the official website for the complete lowdown.
• March 16, 2015 09:49 Arrest Made in Infamous 'Mob'-Style Cold Case: There's been a major development in the "cold case" of journalist Susan Berman, who was murdered, execution-style, in her California home in 2000. Berman, whose father "Davie the Jew" had been a partner of Bugsy Siegel in the Flamingo, was the author of a 1981 memoir titled Easy Street, which chronicled her life as a "Jewish Mafia Princess"; following her death, she was also the subject of Murder in Beverly Hills: The Mob-Style Execution of Susan Berman, Her Crime Boss Father, and the Deadly Secret She Took to Her Grave, penned by acclaimed crime writer Cathy Scott, also author of The Killing of Tupac Shakur, in which real estate scion and long-time Berman friend Robert Durst was singled out as a prime suspect. Although a "person of interest" at the time, there was insufficient evidence to pursue him, but now Durst has finally been arrested in the wake of an HBO documentary series, during the filming of which he apparently inadvertently confessed off-camera that he had "killed them all." (The "all" presumably referred also to his ex-wife, Kathleen, in whose disappearance he's also long been suspected, and a Texas neighbor whose killing by Durst at the time was ruled self-defense.)
The 71-year-old was arrested Saturday by FBI agents at a New Orleans hotel, a day prior to the screening of the final episode in the six-part biopic; Durst had checked in under an alias, paid with cash, and was found with fake documents, leading the FBI to conclude that he planned to take advantage of new direct flights to Cuba to flee the country.
• March 16, 2015 09:23 Queen of Soul Heading to the Palace: Aretha Franklin will play The Colosseum at Caesars Palace for one night only on Friday, Aug. 14, at 8 p.m. Tickets, which start at $55, go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 20.
• March 15, 2015 20:39 St. Paddy's Matchplay: Here's a heads-up for a Saint Patrick's Day deal. Sean Patrick's Pub & Grill on W. Flamingo is doing a $20 matchplay on Tuesday as part of its St. Pat's celebration. We don't know if the offer is being made at the three other Sean Patrick's-branded bars in town. Must join the players club. Do it.
• March 15, 2015 18:37 NCAA BB Tourney Seedings: The brackets for the college basketball championships were announced today. The four #1 seeds are Villanova, Duke, Wisconsin, and Kentucky, which is the overall first seed. The first line we've seen on the championship has undefeated Kentucky +135 vs. the field, which makes them an underdog to win it all.
• March 15, 2015 14:30 Celine Status: It was reported this week that Celine Dion's management has confirmed that she will return to performing at Caesars Palace. While it wasn't specified when that return would be, she's expected to be back, with a completely revamped show, before the end of the year.
• March 15, 2015 09:58 Sunday Funday 14 Poker Tourney at Noon: Registration is now open for our "Sunday Funday 14" 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 books and gift cards. There's also a "bubble" prize this month for 10th place. See the entire prize pool and register to play at the LVA Casino (once signed in, click on "Poker Tournaments" and register for Tourney ID 8039). 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.
• March 15, 2015 09:25 Omnia Opens: The latest and (they hope) greatest Vegas nightclub is open. Omnia debuted this weekend at Caesars Palace with Justin Bieber celebrating his 21st birthday. What better way to start?
• March 14, 2015 17:52 UFC Pettis/Dos Anjos: Anthony Pettis is a -485 favorite over Rafael Dos Anjos in tonight's UFC main event. In the other featured match, Carla Esparza is -145 over Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
• March 14, 2015 16:12 Brown Box Opens: The Wyndham Desert Blue timeshare has opened on W. Twain Ave. just north of the Rio. We say "brown box," because there's absolutely nothing you can do there unless you're a timeshare customer. You can't look around or go to the bar (which doesn't have a liquor license yet). It did effectively diminish the view of the Strip from our office, however.
• March 14, 2015 12:04 Free LVA Online Poker Tourney Tomorrow: Reserve some time tomorrow to play in our 14th Sunday Funday online poker tournament. First place gets $100 and everyone at the final table will win a prize. The game kicks off at 3 p.m. EST/noon PST. It's completely free to play, with registration beginning two hours before the tournament at the LVA Casino.
• March 14, 2015 11:10 Super Pi Day: March 14 is called Pi Day, because 3/14 stated as 3.14 makes the first three digits of "pi," the unending number that represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Since it's 2015, the number can be extended to 3.1415. And what makes this "Super Pi Day" is that at 9:26 and 53 seconds this morning, pi was extended to 10 digits at 3.141592653. Of course this doesn't mean it's a particularly good day to gamble, get married, or anything else for that matter. But it's kinda cool.
• March 13, 2015 16:23 Lock Up Your Lions - Miley's Coming!: Caesars has just announced that on Saturday, March 21, Miley Cyrus will be hitting Las Vegas (and hard, we'd wager) to host The Heart of Omnia at Caesars' newest nightclub. No further details as yet, but she appears to be "wearing" a lion in the publicity pic (which also reveals the famous tongue to be in full working order, we're happy to report). We'll post additional deets in our Event calendar, if we get any.
• March 13, 2015 15:12 Magic Makes a Comeback: Back in the late '90s, you couldn't swing a Cheshire Cat on the Strip without hitting a prestidigitator, but then the whole family-friendly experiment was quietly abandoned, Roy Horn almost lost his head to a tiger, and magic for awhile was the red-headed stepchild of Las Vegas entertainment (aside from Penn & Teller, of course, who don't count). Fast forward to today, however, and Mac King's going as strong as ever, joined by some notable others including Jeff Civillico, Nathan Burton and, for the time being at least, Dirk Arthur and his animals. Hence, it's perhaps timely that for the first time in the show's history, season nine of "America's Got Talent" was won by a magic act and that sometime this summer, that same close-up phenom Mat Franco will be making The LINQ his new home. Further details still to come, but we'll keep you posted.
• March 13, 2015 13:38 Better Day for Icahn Than Straub: While Glenn Straub is likely (although with him, who knows?) bemaoning today's unfavorable ruling that thwarted the consummation of his Revel purchase, Carl Icahn is likely cracking open the bubbly with the news that his own purchase of Trump Ent's Taj Mahal and Trump Plaza properties is finally a done deal, under a bankruptcy-restructuring plan approved by a federal judge Thursday. It must be the icing on the cake of a week that also put an end to squabbles over use of the Trump name at the Taj Mahal.
• March 13, 2015 12:57 TAO to Get Snoopadelic Again: On March 28, the one-and-only Snoop Dogg brings his Snoopadelic Cabaret and general shenanigans back to TAO at the Venetian, transforming the entire three-story venue into a modern speakeasy, with his and his crew's own special brand of "Roaring '20s" flare (if it's anything like last time). Note that the more social among you can save $5 on your wristband by sharing the event with your
dog pack friends at checkout if you purchase online.
• March 13, 2015 11:12 AAA Gets Twisted!: The prestigious Four and Five Diamond hotel and restaurant designations from AAA/CAA have been announced for 2015, and there's a Las Vegas newcomer to the highest echelon, with the inclusion on the exclusive Five-Diamond list of Twist by Pierre Gagnaire at Mandarin Oriental. It joins the predictable ranks of Joël Robuchon (MGM Grand), Le Cirque and Picasso (both at Bellagio), and Restaurant Guy Savoy (Caesars Palace). Congrats to both the restaurant and its host property, since the non-gaming CityCenter hotel also was awarded the coveted Five Diamond ranking, along with neighboring ARIA and ARIA Sky Suites, plus Bellagio, Four Seasons, SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand, and
Wynn Tower Suites.
• March 13, 2015 09:49 Friday 13 Unlucky for Revel Buyer: The saga of Revel's sale, or rather non-sale, took yet another turn today, with a bankruptcy judge ruling that she lacked jurisdiction to approve the latest sale of the property to Glenn Straub, for $82 million, citing both the ongoing mêlée of disgruntled creditors, not to mention a recent amendment to the terms of the sale, which leave the door open for new, higher bids. According to involved parties, there are as many as 19 potential bidders expressing interest in the $2.4 billion albatross, but to date Straub's the only one to have put his money where his mouth is. He has remained uncharacteristically tight-lipped so far, with regard to this latest hurdle, but an attorney for Revel asked the judge to reconsider her ruling, which she said she would on Monday... New readers, start here!
• March 12, 2015 12:15 Potential Buyers Swarming Revel?: Today's the day when a federal bankruptcy judge will determine whether Florida investor Glenn Straub's $82 million purchase of Atlantic City's Revel resort will stand, or if that sale will be voided and yet another chapter in the property's rocky road to redemption is to be embarked upon. If the latter scenario comes to pass, various parties close to the situation are indicating that a whole slew of alleged potential new buyers, most of them anonymous, have been reaching out, hoping to get a foot in the door. A spokesman for Revel’s investment bankers, Moelis & Co., has disclosed that no less than 19 parties, including seven brand new would-be bidders, have contacted the firm since last week, while a representative for ACR Energy Partners, Revel’s power plant and among the creditors attempting to stop the sale to Straub, claims he's spoken with another five potential buyers "that Moelis doesn’t know about," so depending on today's ruling, things could be about to get even more interesting in Atlantic City. Stay tuned!
• March 12, 2015 11:59 Step Into Downtown Grand's Cash Machine: Fridays and Saturdays in March, from 6-11 p.m., two winners every hour will be randomly selected to enter Downtown Grand's "Cash Machine," with the chance to (literally!) grab up to $5,000 in cash. See the players club for more info. NOTE: LVA has a veteran "Whirlwind of Cash"-grab expert on staff, who once shared some tips in Question of the Day... (yes, we do have an advantage-play strategy for just about everything!)
• March 12, 2015 11:30 Bingo! It's Rock Shot Bingo Night at GVR: It's the second Thursday in the month, which means Rock Shot Bingo night at Green Valley Ranch. Registration opens at 8 p.m., session starts at 9 p.m., with prizes up to $1,000, live DJ, free shots for all winners (and their tablemates!), free pizza from Slice House, and complimentary craft beer on tap. It's $25/person, which includes 10 games/30 electronic cards. For more on "novelty" bingo sessions around town, in and out of the casinos, see our recent Question of the Day (2/17/15).
• March 12, 2015 10:57 $50K Weekend BJ Tourney at the Westgate: Registration opens on Friday, March 13, for Westgate's "$50,000 Pot of Gold Blackjack Tournament, which runs March 14-15. The buy-in's $249 (in cash or comp dollars) and includes a 2-night stay and one entry into the event, which features a $50,000 cash prize pool and $25k first prize (pays down to 7th place).
• March 12, 2015 10:43 13 Hours of Big Giving Remain: Nevada's Big Give event runs for another 13 hours and 16 minutes, from time of this writing, so pick your favorite local non-profits and lend some support, if you can. Donation level starts at $10.
• March 12, 2015 10:21 Las Vegas This Weekend: Check today's Question of the Day for our St Patrick's Day event roundup; here are the highlights as far as everything else is concerned:
- It's a comedy-bonanza weekend, with Jeff Wayne & Greg Vaccariello at the Riviera (thru 3/15); Craig Ferguson at The Chelsea at Cosmo (3/13); Dana Carvey's at the Orleans (3/13-14); the Mirage welcomes George Lopez in the Terry Fator Theater (3/13-14); Jim Breuer performs at South Point (3/13-14); and Andrew Dice Clay's back in Vinyl at the Hard Rock (3/14)
- Rascal Flatts wind up their mini run in The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (3/13-14)
- Bayside perform at Hard Rock Live on the Strip (3/13)
- The Smith Center welcomes the musical Once on This Island (3/13-15)
- The "In Its Entirety" tribute season continues in Red Rock's Rocks Lounge, feat. The Eagles, Their Greatest Hits (3/13)
- Veteran English rockers Uriah Heep take the spotlight at Boulder Station (3/13)
- The Salute to Supernatural fanfest takes place at the Rio, with lots of stars of the screen in attendance (3/12-15), while Town Square hosts the Brew's Best Hand-Crafted Beer Festival (3/14)
- Ringo Starr takes center stage at The Pearl in the Palms (3/15)
- M Resort hosts an Elvis Tribute starring Justin Shandor ((3/14)
- Celebrating Crosby Stills Nash and Young pays tribute at the Suncoast (3/14-15)
- Spend an acoustic evening with Jason Mraz at Cosmo's Chelsea theater (3/14)
- Guatemalan singer Ricardo Arjona is in the spotlight at Axis, Planet Hollywood (3/15)
- And Rebel Souljahz take over at the Brooklyn Bowl 3/15)
• March 11, 2015 16:59 (Not Pool) Jobs Available at MRG: Marshall Retail Group just dropped us a line to inform us that they're actively hiring for multiple positions in customer service, accounting, operations, distribution, and more, so visit their careers page to submit your resume.
• March 11, 2015 16:23 Downtown Gets (Even More) Retro: Evidently unable to wait for #ThrowbackThursday, or just wanting to stand out from the crowd, tonight sees the launch of Gold Spike's new regular weekly PYT #RetroWednesdays events. The inaugural party kicks off at 9 p.m., with Bootie Vegas (bootleg mashups of '80s faves by DJ duo A Plus D) recurring on the second "hump day" of the month. Third Wednesdays will see the return of the Down & Derby roller-skating disco dance party (they provide the skates; the hairspray and "spandex unitard" are down to you). Other Wednesdays will feature different DJ lineups/themes, drink specials, and so on.
• March 11, 2015 15:44 Femme Fatales Need Our Help!: This June 5-8, the Orleans Hotel & Casino will once again host the annual Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, an institution since 1957. Las Vegas is a hotbed of neoburlesque revivalism, with a line-up of recurring and one-off events at numerous venues around town, from showrooms to strip clubs to dive bars (check out the regular Brunchlesque booze-bacon-n-boobs extravaganza at Boomer's, next taking place March 29).
With Las Vegas' new-found appreciation of history, downtown is also now proud home to the Burlesque Hall of Fame museum attraction, which is struggling to raise funds to help as many talented performers as possible attend the annual Hall of Fame festival and awards ceremony by asking for support from enthusiasts willing to host and/or donate to "Burlesque Challenge" events (we're lobbying for our sister site ToplessVegasOnline.com to run a bake sale, so far without success...) The window for fundraising is now through June 1, so lend your support to this classic form of erotic entertainment with a Burlesque Challenge" all of your own!
• March 11, 2015 14:27 New Lunch Deal at Sammy's Woodfired: We don't usually bother highlighting the panoply of menu specials lauded around the valley, not least because many of these "deals" aren't actually that great, but popular gourmet pizza chain Sammy's Woodfired has introduced a new "2-for-$10" lunch special and, having paid TWENTY-ONE DOLLARS for a salad and juice downtown last week, the choice of several salads, or soups, PLUS a pizza, for $10, is sounding like a real deal.
• March 11, 2015 12:22 Party Like Hunter S Thompson: Okay, perhaps not that hard, but downtown is gearing up for the epic Mint 400 off-road race that inspired Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and will welcome the 330 competing teams by dishing up street food-style favorites along Sixth Street and Fremont today through March 13. Visit the Mint400 official website for all the race details and associated events, including a vehicle parade from South Point to Fremont Street that kicks off at 1 p.m. today.
• March 11, 2015 11:27 Dig Deep for the Big Give on Thursday: This Thursday, March 12, sees the third annual "Nevada Big Give" 24-hour fundraiser in support of nonprofits around the state. Myriad diverse causes are looking for support, in donations of $10 or more, with additional cash prizes of up to $4,000 awarded to the top three fundraisers. Visit the official website to browse by category, with causes including the Springs Preserve, Neon Museum, Smith Center, Reno Pops Orchestra, Mob Museum, numerous animal-rescue organizations and shelters, the Desert Tortoise Group, Jewish Federation of Las Vegas, Three Square Food Bank, and many others.
• March 11, 2015 10:43 Good Week for History Fans: Not only have there been some treats from the photo archives of the Riviera, but in addition the Culinary Union has donated decades-worth of photographs to UNLV's Special Collections, chronicling the history of Las Vegas' most powerful union and the role of its members and the hospitality industry in shaping Las Vegas' evolution.
• March 11, 2015 10:30 Riv Triv: The Riviera Casino - the subject of our new Reader Poll - is marking the countdown to closing with a celebration of the vintage property's past. They've discovered a treasure trove of old docs and rarely seen pics that had evidently been forgotten in a cupboard somewhere or somesuch, so look out for a celebrity-studded retrospective of the oldest extant casino on the Strip, which turns 60 this year. Follow @RivieraLasVegas for some visual treats, like the making of the iconic Crazy Girls statue and classic moments with stars including Liberace, Michael Jackson, Marlene Dietrich, Louis Armstrong, and many other entertainment legends. And a donkey. (Insider tip: Look out for the armadillo racing, still to come!)
• March 10, 2015 18:54 Gambling Superstition - The Survey: With Friday 13th looming (again? so soon?), here's a timely reminder that our current Reader Poll about superstition and gambling is about to expire. You have until midnight to cast your vote (and 'fess up!), so don't waste another minute!
• March 10, 2015 18:06 Lake Las Vegas, in Words and Pictures: Those words would be courtesy of today's Question of the Day, while by a happy stroke of coincidence that we only just discovered, Las Vegas Weekly recently supplied the pictures.
• March 10, 2015 13:08 Taj Gets to Keep Trump Name: It would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall in the meeting during which Donald Trump and Carl Icahn reached an agreement for the bankrupt Trump Taj Mahal, currently in the process of being purchased by the latter. Regrettably, we were not that fly, and the terms of the concord have not been specified, other than the fact that the property must maintain acceptable standards, befitting the Trump brand, which will include carrying out some renovations. The Plaza, by contrast, must be completely de-Trumped, although in practice this has proven to be somewhat tricky...
• March 10, 2015 12:58 Iggy Azalea Cancels April Show: The Iggy Azalea that was slated to take place April 25 at MGM Grand has been canceled, for vague/dubious-sounding reasons ("to accommodate for creative team availability and tour production plans," according to the official press release). What's left of the tour has been rescheduled for the fall but certain dates, including Las Vegas, Sacramento, and Baltimore, have so far not been rescheduled. Refunds are available at original point of purchase.
• March 10, 2015 10:53 Sex, Seizures, and Video Poker: In this week's column, Bob Dancer examines (ir)rationality vs. probability and how and when our observations and gut feelings are valid, and when they may steer us down the wrong path. Take his mini questionnaire and see how you fare...
• March 10, 2015 10:44 MJ on the Move: Michael Jackson tribute show MJ Live, which closed at the Rio last month and had been slated to relocate to the Riviera, has found a new home at the Stratosphere, where it's slated to open March 30. Tickets, which have been dropped in price (previously, the cheapest seat was $70; in the new venue they will start at $50), go on sale March 11.
• March 9, 2015 17:15 Hockey Goal Almost Scored: In more sporting news, according to the latest official word the effort to bring Major League Hockey to Las Vegas is now just 20 percent away from reaching its target goal of 10,000 season-ticket deposits, with some big names like Floyd Mayweather and Steve Aoki now lending their support to the cause.
• March 9, 2015 16:45 Man vs. Woman vs. Burrito: Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a humungous sporting-news item to break, with news that the Denver Outlaws, in conjunction with Major League Eating, are to host the first-ever Outlaws World Burrito-Eating Championship on May 24 at their Sports Authority Field at Mile High home. Registration for the event opens at noon, March 13, and there's a total prize pool of $5,000 cash, with $2.5k going to the winner, so expect the competition to be fierce. This also, we learned, marks the return of the burrito to the arena of major-league eating after a multi-year hiatus: The press release does not elaborate as to whether this absence was due to injury, recipe malfunction, or doping, and we're not going to ask, but we trust that local competitive-eating legend and "weapon of mass consumption" Miki Sudo, currently ranked #4 in the world, will be there to represent Sin City in this new culinary challenge. (Miki once devoured 8.5 pounds of kimchi at one setting. She's hardcore.) With 26 known Las Vegas eating challenges currently known to this site, we think Sin City deserves to have Competitive Eating Capital of the World added to its many accolades (and where is Las Vegas' National Eating Contest, to silence the haters who say we have "no culture"?!)
• March 9, 2015 15:06 Caveman Finds a Home: Long-running comedy (and a great friend of LVA) Defending the Caveman is returning to its downtown roots, with a new residency at the D commencing March 19, producer and star Kevin Burke confirmed today.
It's a timely announcement, although we think probably coincidental, since this is not the only recent big prehistoric news from Sin City. If you haven't heard, an anthropologist from our very own UNLV just co-directed the international team of researchers whose recent discovery in Ethiopia of a 2.8 million-year-old jawbone could be the earliest human remains ever found and is providing crucial clues in the understanding of human evolution. Nice work, Dr. Villmoare & Co.!
• March 9, 2015 11:38 Additional 2015 Dates for Santana: House of Blues' resident rock star has announced more fall dates for Carlos Santana: Greatest Hits Live, with September 16, 18-20, 23 and 25-27, and November 4, 6-8, 11 and 13-15 just added. Tix start at $138.
• March 9, 2015 11:28 Caesars Hearts ... Caesars!: It's employee-appreciation time at Caesars Entertainment this week, with free rides (after 8 p.m.) for staffers, plus one guest, on the VooDoo Zipline. The promo is for different Las Vegas properties on different days this week, so hit up a friend who works for CET if you want to be that lucky +1:
- Monday: Flamingo, The Cromwell, O'Sheas, The LINQ, and "corporate"
- Tuesday: Paris, Bally's, Planet Hollywood
- Wednesday: Rio, Harrah's Caesars Palace
• March 9, 2015 10:41 $4 Billion Offer for Pinnacle Real Estate: Like Caesars Entertainment, gaming giant Pinnacle Entertainment is looking to divide its operating business and real estate holdings into separate entities (as Penn National has already done), and it's been offered $4.1 billion for the latter by Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc., the latter company confirmed Monday. Pinnacle's assets include 16 casino/racino properties throughout the U.S., including two in Nevada; the company is apparently refusing to engage with GLPI, which is taking its offer direct to the shareholders.
• March 9, 2015 10:20 Crabby Monday: Today's National Crabmeat Day, and while the only seafood buffet on Mondays is the Rio's Village Seafood Buffet (3-9:30 p.m., $42 with players card), McCormick & Schmick's (335 Hughes Center Dr.) is celebrating all day with unlimited seafood-stuffed-mushrooms for $1 each. They claim they're "incredibly delicious" and they do look pretty yummy...
• March 9, 2015 09:41 Aeromexico Deals from Vegas: Aeromexico has launched a seven-day sale on spring flights from Las Vegas to South America and Mexico for select departure dates through May, with round-trip fares from $299 nonstop to Mexico City and $899 each to Santiago (Chile) and Sao Paolo (Brazil). Booking window ends March 15; use coupon code 228452B9 in the "redeem your coupon" box to search for sale fares.
• March 8, 2015 19:50 Showstoppers Sets Ticket Prices: Showstoppers at Wynn Las Vegas will conclude its preview pricing at the end of next week. As of March 14, tickets will be $100, $125 and $150.
• March 8, 2015 19:45 Record Bac Tournament: What's being touted as a record first prize for a baccarat tournament was paid in Macau. The winner of the "1st World Series of Baccarat" got HKD 100 million, which is just under $13 million US.
• March 8, 2015 14:59 Second Sagos: The owners of Sagos on the west side have opened a second bar at Spring Mtn. and Decatur in the in the space that was formerly Kilroy's. Sagos is known for running good video poker promotions. There's no word yet on what the official name of the new place will be.
• March 8, 2015 14:58 More Race Traffic: Today's NASCAR Kobalt 400 starts at 12:30 p.m. at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, meaning traffic on I-15 will be snarled leading up to the race. The crowd will be letting out around 4 p.m. Avoid the area if you can.
• March 8, 2015 14:57 Change Your Clocks: Don't forget to move your clocks ahead an hour for daylight saving time. The change carries particular importance for sports bettors, as the start times for Sunday games are affected.
• March 7, 2015 16:13 Cheap Trick on the Cheap: Cheap Trick will play a free concert tonight at the Fremont Street Experience as part of the RaceJam party for NASCAR weekend. They're scheduled to play at 9 p.m. on the 3rd Street stage. Free is about at cheap as you can get.
• March 7, 2015 14:57 Family Fun on Fremont: Don't forget that this afternoon, Park on Fremont continues its Park Jam! event, with a pro-snowboarding contest (snow blowing starts at 3 p.m.!), food and drink specials, vendor booths, live music, art, and simulated rides for kids.
• March 7, 2015 12:00 Race Traffic: A good traveling strategy today is to avoid I-15 during racing hours. Today's Boyd Gaming 300 begins at 1 p.m., and exiting traffic will be heavy after 5 p.m.
• March 7, 2015 09:19 Vegas Welcomes NASCAR Fans: There are several properties around town offering specials for NASCAR fans this weekend, but two that particularly stand out are:
- Downtown Grand, where you can watch the broadcast at multiple television locations including Furnace, Art Bar, and the Sportsbook, while the outdoor bar on Downtown 3rd will be serving Bud specials (one for $4 or two for $7), with two blackjack tables and a DJ from noon to midnight. Saturday and until 8 p.m. Sunday, plus there will be two Exotic Racing cars displayed for the duration.
- PBR Rock Bar in the Miracle Mile Shops on the Strip is throwing down the gauntlet:
NASCAR fans that make it to the bar on March 8 within one hour of the checkered flag at the Kobalt 400 will have access to a free open bar the entire night! Must have a ticket stub in hand to redeem the promotion.
• March 6, 2015 15:47 Rock in Rio Final Lineup Cemented: The complete lineup has finally been released for artists and DJs set to perform at May's double-weekender Rock in Rio USA festival, which kicks off in 62 days, 7 hours, and 53 minutes (not that we're counting). Additions to the list since the last time we checked include Big Sean, Sam Smith, and Smallpools, plus this will be the first time the festival's featured a dedicated EDM stage. See you there!
• March 6, 2015 15:35 Surprises in Store from the Riviera: This is a total tease, because we cannot tell you what, but we are privy to some exciting (to us, anyhow) news (nothing to do with auctions or implosions or farewell casino promotions or anything of the like). Sorry, to leave everyone hanging, but you'll know soon enough...
• March 6, 2015 15:27 McDonald's Loves Vegas: This is evident from the fact that today only, and in participating Las Vegas venues only, you can celebrate #FanFriday with a FREE serving of regular fries, no purchase of anything whatsoever required. Lovin' it!
• March 6, 2015 11:00 Mermaid's Correction: We stand corrected, having been informed by the diminutive-yet-mighty downtown casino that it is in fact the "#DeepFried Oreo Capital of the World" and that "of course we knew [it's Oreo Day]" (even though they didn't actually mention it until we reminded them. Just sayin'...)
• March 6, 2015 10:53 Deep Discounts on Doggy Adoptions: Commencing today, the Animal Foundation is once again offering a limited-duration deep discount on adoption fees for select dogs, so if you're in the market for a new pet, check out more than 100 who are in need of a happy home and enjoy the reduced rate of $40 today through Sunday (a $10 city license fee may also apply). Discounted adoption is available at both of the Animal Foundation's locations (655 N. Mojave Rd. and Petsmart Charities Everyday Adoption Center at 286 W. Lake Mead Pkwy.).
• March 6, 2015 10:42 IRS Considers Lowering Gambling-Win Tax Threshold: We receive frequent queries from our readers, via Question of the Day, Jean Scott's Frugal Vegas blog, and other portals, inquiring about when the $1,200 threshold for declaring gambling wins was introduced by the IRS, and when they might consider raising this in line with inflation. Hence, we were surprised this week to learn that on the contrary, the IRS is contemplating lowering the level to $600 for slot, keno, and bingo players. Nothing is yet set in stone, but should the plan come to fruition, it likely won't be a welcome move for casinos, either, which will presumably see a doubling in their paperwork obligations.
We'll keep you posted, but in the meantime don't forget that our essential Tax Help for Gamblers, co-authored by Jean Scott and EA/gambler Marissa Chien, is just out in a fully-updated 2015 edition (e-Book only). For just $7.99, we guarantee the invaluable advice in there will save you both tax-filing headaches and money.
• March 6, 2015 10:02 How to Celebrate #OreoDay in Las Vegas: Today, March 6, is it; here are some suggestions for those wishing to celebrate the classic cookie on its special day:
- Talking of "classic," obviously we must start with Mermaid's Casino downtown which, if not the official birthplace of the deep-fried Oreo, is certainly its home-away-from-home in Las Vegas. For 99 cents, you get a trio of the beasties, dusted with icing sugar and garnished with chocolate sprinkles (just because they can). Many venues in town offer this dessert, but you can't beat the value -- or ambiance! -- at Mermaid's.
- If you're on the hunt for something more calorific, check out the Deep Fried Oreos & Ice Cream Sundae at Serendipity 3 (Caesars) which, for $16, comprises: deep-fried Oreos, cookies 'n cream ice cream, all topped off with hot fudge & marshmallow sauce.
- Wanna get fancy? How about the $12 Oreo Zeppole dessert at LAVO (Grand Canal Shoppes at Venetian), which one Yelper described as "the highlight of the meal. We got the plate of Oreo zeppole with malted vanilla dip. Yes, it's like what you'd get at a street fair or carnival, but without the gut-clenching pains to follow after." Sounds like a five-star recommendation to us!
- Prefer to drink your cookies? The mixologists at Renaissance Las Vegas' Grill 55 have concocted an Oreo martini, available today only, from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. (okay, so that's technically a bit of tomorrow, too, if you want to split hairs).
• March 5, 2015 20:20 Cheer Up, Ladies!: We could all use a laugh after that last depressing item, so picking up where we left off, with Rita Rudner, here's USA Today's Experience Vegas site's feature on Vegas comedians, each sharing their best "Vegas" joke.
• March 5, 2015 13:19 Vegas Sucks for Women: Or so say the results of a survey conducted by Wallethub.com, in conjunction with Women's History Month. They crunched our numbers, and the results are not too palatable, with Nevada ranking eighth-worst state in the nation for overall female quality of life. We scored particularly badly for some criteria, including scoring last place for both health care (no great surprise there*) and unemployment rate. Nevada ranked #35 for women in terms of social and economic well-being (only Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Georgia fared worse), #50 for female uninsured rate, #34 in both life expectancy and high-school dropout rate, and we came in 28th place for the percentage of women living in poverty. A couple of bright sparks include scoring a more respectable #15 for business ownership and #18 for median (adjusted-for-cost-of-living) earnings (buoyed up, perhaps, by the above-average number of strippers here?).
*Rita Rudner: "I’m on the Las Vegas health-care program. If I get sick, I get to see a magician."
• March 5, 2015 11:42 Sapphire Dayclub Dates: In case you didn't catch it yesterday, one of our favorite party pools has finally spilled the beans and informed us that they plan to open the last weekend in April, with the Grand Opening festivities slated for the first weekend in May. We were there at the official debut of Sapphire Dayclub, which is the only pool operated by a Las Vegas gentlemen's club, and we had a blast, plus the food from Kerry Simon's Sapphire Grill was among the best we've ever sampled from the chef, so we sincerely hope this venue will fall into the "Carson Kitchen" bracket (and stay open), as opposed to suffering the fate of Simon Restaurant and KGB (both closing soon).
• March 5, 2015 11:31 Riv to Go Out with a Bang: No, we're not yet referencing any implosion plans, we're talking about the $500,000+ that the Riviera is giving away in cash prizes to celebrate its 60th (and final) birthday throughout the month of April. For every 600 points earned, Riviera Rewards Club members will receive entries into special Classic Cash Giveaway drawings for cash prizes up to $10,000 every Sunday through Friday at 7:00 p.m. throughout the month of April, with additional cash prizes being awarded each Saturday in the month, all concluding with the ultra grand-prize giveaway of a Harley Davidson on April 25. Check with the players club for all the details.
• March 5, 2015 10:09 Downtown Stays Sporty (and Foodie and Boozy): First there was the Valentine's Undie Run, followed by last weekend's Color Run, and now Park Jam! Hosted by Park on Fremont (506 E. Fremont Street) on the adjacent lot, it's a two-day al fresco "extreme sports" celebration that culminates in a professional snowboarding competition Saturday, plus there will be food, drinks, vendor booths, music, live art, and simulated rides for kids. Doors open to the public on Friday, March 6, at 5:30 p.m. and the party picks up again at 2 p.m. Saturday (with snow-blowing from 3 p.m.!)
• March 5, 2015 09:42 Las Vegas This (Mucho Macho?) Weekend: We predict a massive outbreak of testosterone this weekend, what with all the bull-riding, pig-roasting, snowboarding, NASCAR-ing, basketball-ing action. Plus, Chris Brown's in town...
- American pop/country music group Rascal Flatts perform at The Joint at the Hard Rock (2/25-3/4) and if you're considering saving on pricey hair products, the St. Baldrick's Foundation will happily accommodate you, and for a great cause, with its head-shaving inside Vinyl (3/7)
- The Smith Center has a diverse line-up, with the funky Lon Bronson Band (2/28), Hapa (3/6-7), and Masterworks IV: Cabrera Conducts Mendelsshon & Schumann (3/7)
- The Orleans hosts the West Coast Conference Basketball Tournament (3/5-10), and Marshall Tucker also performs (3/6-7)
- Comedy-wise, Bobby Tomberline's at Sunset Station (3/6); Santa Fe Station presents Kelly Clinton (3/8); funny man Bill Bellamy's at the Suncoast (3/6-7), and Bill Engvall's at TI (3/6)
- The Righteous Brothers' Bill Medley perform,s with special guest McKenna Medley, at South Point (3/6-8)
- Roll the dice downtown at this month's First Friday event, where the theme will be "Chance, Risk, Fortune" (3/6)
- Mandalay Bay's House of Blues welcomes Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience (3/6-8), while Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and Tyga take over the Events Center (3/7)
- Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosts the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (3/6-8)
- Park on Fremont hosts Park Jam 2015, with a professional snowboarding contest and two days of family-friendly entertainment (3/6-7)
- It's Championship Bull Riding time at South Point (3/7)
- "Caribbean Queen" singer Billy Ocean's at the Cannery (3/7)
- Red Rock Resort welcomes Frankie Moreno (3/7)
- And if none of that appeals, try the Red Sangria Brunch & Pig Out at Town Square's Whiskey Lounge (3/7)
- Wet Republic, MGM Grand: March 13th
- Palms Pool & Dayclub: Opens March 13th, with Ditch Fridays returning May 1st
- Encore Beach Club: March 6, with Grand Opening April 4
- Hard Rock: Rehab, Nirvana, and Breathe Pools open March 6th; Rehab kicks off with a soft-ish opening March 13th for Spring Break
- Marquee Dayclub, Cosmopolitan: March 6th
- Bare Pool Lounge, Mirage: March 12th
- Liquid, Aria: March 13th
- Mandalay Bay: Lazy River and Wade pool open March 6th, at which point Moorea Beach Club reverts to being adult-only and "toptional." No word yet on opening date for the Beachside Casino, but Daylight is slated to debut April 17.
- Foxtail Pool, SLS: Soft opening March 12th; Grand Opening April 24th
- Drai's, The Cromwell: March 6th
- TAO Beach, Venetian: March 12th
- Oasis, Luxor: Temptation Sundays begins May 17
- Naked Pool, Artisan: Cuban Nights pool parties kick of March 28
- M Resort: Daydream opens March 7, weather permitting, with parties kicking off April 14; Villagio del Sole opens April 3
- Sapphire Dayclub: Soft opening last weekend in April; Grand Re-opening first weekend in May
- 3030 W. Craig Road.
- 4001 S. Decatur Blvd.
- 3602 E. Bonanza Road.
- 2255 Las Vegas Blvd. North
- 4965 E. Sahara Ave.
• March 5, 2015 09:31 Caesars Loses Round in Bankruptcy Battle: In what Steven Church, writing for Bloomberg, describes as "the first substantive courtroom losses for the company" since Caesars Entertainment seven-week-old bankruptcy plan came into effect, a judge in Chicago ruled Thursday that creditors will be permitted to investigate the company’s pre-bankruptcy restructuring efforts, while also denying CET's request to disband one of the two panels of noteholders who are among those opposing the current bankruptcy plan. The presiding judge warned, however, that his ruling did not mean that the two committees -- which represent those unsecured creditors who hold debt not backed by collateral (among them chefs Gordon Ramsay and "Nobu" Matsuhisa and actor Rober De Niro), together with a group of second-lien creditors who, when it comes to any financial restitution, fall way down in the pecking order behind the banks and holders of senior-secured bonds that are owed billions -- are guaranteed access to all the documentation they're requesting.
Caesars opted to have its case heard in Chicago, as it was regarded as a venue that offered favorable precedents. The next round, in what is expected to be a protracted battle, will likely be over the question of how much authority to investigate will be granted to a yet-to-be-appointed examiner when it comes to probing the legality of CET's pre-bankruptcy restructuring.
• March 4, 2015 17:58 Revel -- It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over: Just when it was seeming as if everything was finally zipped up with regard to the sale of Atlantic City's Revel resort-casino, comes word today that a new suitor has entered the fray. On Wednesday, a federal bankruptcy court judge postponed approving the sale of the property to Florida developer Glenn Straub, much to the latter's chagrin, in light of an unexpected new offer for the bankrupt property from Izek Shomof, a Los Angeles real estate developer who's considering purchasing Revel for $80 million. Although Straub's purchase price of $82 million ostensibly seems higher, in reality that offer is effectively $8 million less, since it includes a $10 million deposit, already forfeited when Straub failed to complete the purchase by a Feb. 9 deadline, argues this new stalking horse. The presiding judge has said she needs another week to ensure that Straub's offer is truly the best available.
• March 4, 2015 14:41 March Casino-Promo Summary: Jean "Queen of Comps" Scott has posted her monthly round-up of "locals" casino promos (i.e., off-the-Strip properties) via her Frugal Vegas blog. As she is a comp wizard of mature years, there is a special skew toward senior-oriented deals; stay tuned for details of the players club changes at Ellis Island...
• March 4, 2015 13:03 Visitation Low at High Roller: Ridership at CET's High Roller at The LINQ, for the time being the tallest observation wheel on the planet, is less than half what was hoped, reports Bloomberg.com, despite drawing almost 5,000 riders a day, on average. Pre-opening projections had estimated something more like 3-4 million guests per year, or up to 11,000/day. Ridership did increase by 10 percent in Q4 over Q3, however, and there are plans for more proactive and targeted promotion of the attraction. (If it's the price tag that's deterring you, we coupon for that!)
• March 4, 2015 11:42 Pool Time? Yes, Already!: First comes the annual swathe of pool hirings; now the daylife scene is announcing opening dates, regardless of the fact that temperatures are currently in the high 50s, which to us does not denote dipping weather. Here's the lowdown so far; obviously, a bazillion or so other party pools have yet to declare, so stay tuned to our Cool Pools feature, where we'll be updating as info becomes available:
• March 4, 2015 11:16 Shave Your Head, Love Your Liver!: The Juice Standard (4555 S. Fort Apache Rd.) is offering a complimentary juice to guests who shave their heads in support of St. Baldrick’s Foundation during the entire month of March. To qualify for a free drink from the juicery, tag The Juice Standard in their social media photos during the head-shaving promo period and show the pics to the cashier in exchange for a complimentary bottle of their liver-cleansing Bee Pure or immune system-boosting Bee Vibrant lemonade-with-a-twist blends.
• March 4, 2015 10:45 Rampaging 'Sex Bandits' at Erotic Heritage Museum: And what better place for sex bandits? Online gossip site TMZ.com has been handed surveillance footage by Harry Mohney's Erotic Heritage Museum, showing the exploits of a couple who apparently got a little too excited by the attraction's Valentine's Day homage to Fifty Shades of Grey-style kink by "stowing away" in the building for an after-hours sex romp ... all of which was captured by surveillance cameras. There's an amusing annotated montage on TMZ -- it's okay, it is safe for work. (We can only now wonder at what antics may ensue at EHM once Puppetry of the Penis is unleashed...)
• March 4, 2015 10:16 Lion Habitat Ranch Saved From Extinction: We've learned, courtesy of the R-J and of Clark County, that Henderson's Lion Habitat Ranch was under threat of imminent closure due to apparent code violations, on account of the six-acre facility being home to other "exotics," including ostriches, emus, and a giraffe, and a total number of 46 lions, a total of six in addition to its permitted 40. However, the good news is that a compromise seems to be in the works between the non-profit and Clark County, which is delaying any decision for a couple of weeks, apparently in part thanks to the intervention of Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak. The ranch facility was approved as an "exotic animal compound" back in 1999, when it became home to the animals on display at MGM Grand's lion attraction. It also provided refuge to some of the animals and birds rendered homeless by the 2013 closure of Las Vegas Zoo.
• March 3, 2015 21:24 Wet'n'Wild to Serve Booze?: The water park on the southwest side of town has an application in with Clark County, requesting to be allowed to serve alcohol in this, its second season, we just learned from Channel 13. On March 18, commissioners will decide if it's okay for the attraction to serve beer and wine to adults on non-school days, in the light of some local parents voicing opposition to the plan.
• March 3, 2015 17:36 Terrible February for Macau: The latest figures are more bad news for China's gambling hub, which suffered another record drop in year-on-year monthly revenue, this time to the tune of almost 50 percent. The $2.54bn generated by Macau's casinos last month represents a 48.6% drop from February 2014, marking the ninth consecutive month that the year-on-year monthly total has decreased, following 12 consecutive years of gain.
• March 3, 2015 17:29 Uncork'd Tix are Popping!: Apparently, tickets are selling like hot cakes for Bon Appétit's ninth annual Vegas Uncork’d culinary festival, with 14 events already completely sold out. Hosted by Aria, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, and MGM Grand, the events span April 23-26 and include dinners, food and wine tastings, live demonstrations, and more, hosted and presented by chefs, sommeliers, and mixologists including Emeril Lagasse, Gordon Ramsay, Julian Serrano, Shawn McClain, Brian Malarkey, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Guy Savoy, Michael Mina, François Payard, Masa Takayama, Mary Sue Milliken, and Susan Feniger.
• March 3, 2015 17:26 Major Makeover for Gold Lounge: The lounge that was originally built to complement Cirque's Viva Elvis show at Aria is the first of the former Light Group venues purchased by Hakkasan to undergo an upgrade and, according to "Eater Vegas," it's going to be a big one. A renovation is already underway that will see a complete remodeling of the interior, an almost tripling of the venue's current 3,756 square feet, and the addition of a restaurant and outdoor patio, all of which is expected to cost upward of $4 million.
• March 3, 2015 13:10 Video Poker vs. Basketball: In this week's column, Bob Dancer examines the parallels, and disparities, of playing professional video poker and professional basketball. "An NBA player who showed up to work as ill-prepared as most video poker players show up at the casino would be eliminated from the league quickly," he concludes. "If you're not smart enough, skilled enough, and motivated enough to study --- too bad. That's your problem. The casino will welcome you with open arms." Ouch! Fortunately, he also has some solutions to that problem.
• March 3, 2015 12:19 Pancake Frenzy!: For the 10th consecutive year, IHOP is celebrating National Pancake Day today by offering a complimentary short stack to customers at all area locations until 10 p.m. (part of a fundraising effort to benefit St. Rose Dominican Hospitals). In addition, on Wednesday, March 4, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., the newly expanded Denny’s location at Casino Royale is marking its reopening with a "Golden Grand Slam Celebration." The first 100 customers to arrive at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 5 p.m. will each receive a "golden ticket," which will either bag them a $10 Denny's gift card or, for one lucky winner at each drawing, the grand prize of a Golden Grand Slam breakfast for two. This comprises two original Grand Slams (buttermilk pancakes, eggs, bacon, and sausage links), dished up on gold plates with golden flatware, and to wash it all down, a bottle of Armand de Brignac "Ace of Spades" Gold Brut Champagne, served in souvenir Golden Grand Slam flutes. There will be celebrity impersonators and other giveaways throughout the day to keep the party going, with $2 from each stack of pancakes purchased from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow to be donated to Three Square food bank.
• March 3, 2015 12:17 Home Cooking School Coming to Silverton: On March 10, The Taste of Home Cooking School is bringing its interactive style to the Silverton, for an event featuring live recipe and product demos and food samplings, plus gift bags and the chance to win prizes for attendees. America's largest live-cooking program, the school visits more than 250,000 home cooks at more than 250 locations nationwide each year. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. and GA tix are $15 ($40 VIP); visit the official website for more info.
• March 3, 2015 11:18 Bennett and Gaga Return: Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga will play the AXIS Theater at Planet Hollywood on April 10 and 11. They're making a return engagement in their Cheek to Cheek Tour (the tour began at the Cosmopolitan over New Year's Eve), promoting their Grammy Award-winning album of the same name. Tickets that run $69-$250 go on sale March 7 at 10 a.m. at Ticketmaster.com.
• March 2, 2015 15:44 Whale Hunter Fights at Brooklyn Bowl: The "whaler" in question is casino "superhost" Steve Cyr, the subject of Huntington Press' best-seller, Whale Hunt in the Desert, the definitive exposé of the lengths to which casinos will go to bag the highest of the high rollers. It's just been released in an updated, post-Great Recession third edition, so check out the (very) limited-duration publisher's introductory discount at ShopLVA.com and pick up a copy for less than $10, but only if you strike fast!
Anyhow, talking of striking fast, when he's not schmoozing millionaires and their girlfriends, Steve likes to box. In fact, he's the only fighter who's fought in every industry fight for the last nine years and you can catch Steve in brawling action, along with your favorite (or least-favorite) Strip bartenders, promoters, hosts etc. all duking it out tomorrow night for the second Vegas Nightlife Fights card to be hosted by The LINQ's Brooklyn Bowl. There's a happy hour from 5-7 p.m., with the National Anthem at 6:45 p.m. then BAM!... it's Cyr time! Tickets start at $25 ($35 for ringside seats). Check out the details on the official Facebook page.
• March 2, 2015 13:48 Legends Loves Locals: It's not just #ThrowbackThursday but #ThrowbackMarchANDApril at Flamgingo's Legends in Concert tribute show, where for two months locals with valid ID can enjoy the 1983 ticket price of just $9.95! There's a purchase limit of six tickets for the throwback price, with current characters portrayed in the recently updated show including: Elvis; Michael Jackson; Steven Tyler; Katy Perry; and Celine Dion.
• March 2, 2015 12:52 New Valley Smith's Stores to Open: If, like us, you've been mourning the loss of Food 4 Less and feeling bereft at the drastically reduced number of convenient places to buy cat food, there's good news! At 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning (March 4), six new rebranded Southern Nevada Smith's stores, having completed a $4+ million renovation of a half-dozen former Food 4 Less locations, including at 8180 S. Las Vegas Blvd., where the new Smith's will offer fresh sushi, Boars Head deli meat, and the first Murray’s Cheese in Nevada. Other new stores opening Wednesday include:
• March 2, 2015 10:28 Beltway Ramp Closed Thru 3/3: The 215 Beltway ramp to southbound U.S. Highway 95 is closed today and will remain so until 5 a.m., March 3 while a ramp realignment is carried out.
• March 2, 2015 10:14 Inaugural Poker "Oscars" Awarded: The first-ever American Poker Awards took place Friday night at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, with honorees including Daniel Negreanu, who was awarded as "Poker's Best Ambassador" in 2014 (a category for which Phil Ivey, somewhat bizarrely, was also nominated), and World Poker Tour founder Steve Lipscomb, who picked up the "Lifetime Achievement Award." Mark Newhouse won "Tournament Performance of the Year," after making back-to-back WSOP "November Nine" main event final tables, and Vanessa Selbst was celebrated at Female Player of the Year. See PokerListings for more details and complete lists of nominees and award winners.
• March 2, 2015 10:02 Basketball Tix on Sale: Tickets for the 2015 Mountain West Basketball Championships, being hosted March 9-14 at Thomas & Mack, went on sale two minutes ago. All-session packages start at $180.
• March 2, 2015 09:37 Opening Date Announced for Andiron Steak: Andiron Steak & Sea, the latest venture from husband-and-wife restaurateur team Elizabeth Blau and Chef Kim Canteenwalla, will open at Downtown Summerlin on Tuesday, Tuesday, March 10, "paying homage to all things grilled, roasted, shucked, and seared, " including "more contemporary vegetarian and seafood" creations, in addition to more traditional steakhouse fare.
• March 2, 2015 09:23 Wynn Resorts Attempts to Remove Elaine Wynn From Board: Citing potential conflicts of interest, concern over a lawsuit she filed against her ex-husband and co-director in 2012, and her "lack of independence under NASDAQ listing standards," Wynn Resorts is trying to oust Elaine Wynn from its board of directors, reports the R-J. Apparently, Steve Wynn is not behind the move, which in a recent letter to the company Elaine Wynn has stated that she intends to fight, including soliciting votes from shareholders in the company which she co-founded in 2000.
• March 1, 2015 19:05 New Bar at Vdara: Vdara's former nondescript Bar Vdara is now Vice Versa Patio & Lounge. In addition to a redesign, food is now served, which is something that was needed, given the limited dining options there.
• March 1, 2015 13:43 Dollar Blackjack Pulled at Binion's: We've gotten word that the Thursday $1 blackjack promotion at Binion's has been suspended indefinitely. The busy upcoming calendar that includes the March Madness tournament played a part in the decision and the promotion may return. We'll let you know.
• March 1, 2015 09:51 Tough Tix: If you want to go to the May 2 Mayweather/Pacquiao fight, get your wallet out. Norm Clarke of the LV Review-Journal wrote today that ticket-scalping websites are asking a minimum of $4K per seat, up to $29K ringside.
• March 1, 2015 09:50 Tark Tribute: A celebration of the life and career of former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian will be held today at the Thomas & Mack Center. Among the many former players and Las Vegas celebrities scheduled to be in attendance is Bob Anderson, star of the show Frank The Man. The Music., who will sing "My Way." The tribute begins at 2 p.m. and there is no admission charge.