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What promised/rumored Las Vegas attraction that never happened... [Continued]

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Today's News Archives

Today's News
Compiled by LVA Research
• October 21, 2014 17:09 Pro Sports Leagues Attempt to Block New Jersey Sports Betting: The NFL, NBA, NHL, and Major League Baseball, together with the NCAA, collectively have filed a motion in federal court attempting to block legislation signed into law last week by Gov. Chris Christie, which would in part overturn a state ban on sports betting and could see gamblers inside New Jersey state lines becoming the first in the nation, outside Nevada, to wager on single games as early as this coming weekend.

Following a telephone conference Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp has ordered lawyers for Christie and other state defendants to file a written response to the suit by Wednesday; the leagues must respond by Oct. 23.
• October 21, 2014 16:53 World Series Game 1: The Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants are pick 'em in Game 1 of the baseball World Series. The total is 6.5.
• October 21, 2014 16:52 Original Crooner Departing the Strat: Frankie Moreno, the singer whose original but vintage-style act harks back to the Rat Pack days of yore, with his piano skills and 10-piece band, will be leaving the Stratosphere, where he's been resident for the past three years, a year before his current contract was scheduled to expire, we learned today from Vegas Chatter. Whether a new Las Vegas home is in the works for the popular performer, time will tell, but in the meantime you have until Dec. 20 to take advantage of the 2-for-1 ticket offer in our 2014 LVA Member Rewards Book.
• October 21, 2014 16:47 Reader Poll Finale: The current LVA Reader Poll closes at midnight, when a fresh new juicy one goes live. We want to see if we can get the current total votes to break the 20,000 mark... So, if you haven't yet taken part, hurry!
• October 21, 2014 11:47 Cab-Fare Hike Approved: The Nevada Taxicab Authority has approved an increase of just over 8 percent, the first such fare-rise since 2008, which will see the rate for the initial drop rise from $3.30 to $3.45, with a two-cent increase for each 1/3th mile therafter (which equates to $2.86 per mile, as opposed to the current rate of $2.6). The wait-time charge will also be increased by $2.40/hour, but the $2 airport-pickup fee from McCarran will remain as is. When they take effect, the increases will result in Las Vegas having the second-highest taxi fares of any tourist city in the nation, behind Honolulu, Hawaii, but it's unclear when this will be, as the cost of changing all the meters in the 3,000-vehicle Vegas fleet will involve using budget reserve funds, which needs approval from Clark County. (According to a survey conducted earlier this year by website, the next three most-expensive cities for cab rides were all in California, with Sacremento at #2, San Jose #3, and San Diego #4.)
• October 21, 2014 11:03 Bob Dancer on the Game-Player Mindset: There's a lot more to being a good game-player -- be it in the NFL or a casino -- than just knowing the rules and honing your skills to perfection. There's also a lot of thinking involved if you're going to be able to recognize and exploit every possible advantage that comes your way. Check out video poker expert Bob Dancer's new column about mentality, in which he barely even mentions video poker, and you'll see what we mean.
• October 21, 2014 10:46 Pahrump Gets Lake, Hydro Jetpacks!: Known for its legal brothels and wineries, there's now a new reason to go "over the hump" with news that Pahrump has a new lake, and with the lake comes a new hydro-powered jetpack experience that enables thrill-seekers to fly, hover, dive, and walk under water! The attraction is run by Jetpack America at a brand-new eight-acre freshwater lake at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch. Guests must first undergo some "pilot training" prior to being equipped with a life vest, walkie-talkie helmet, and jetski-powered jetpack and soaring 30 feet in the air at up to 25 mph! Packages start at $179; paddleboards are also available for hire on the new freshwater lake. Budding James Bonds and aspiring superheroes can visit for more information.
• October 21, 2014 10:28 Elton Returns: Sir Elton John returns to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, with 2015 dates newly announced for his Million Dollar Piano show, extended for an additional three more years. Tickets for dates in January, March, and April go on sale Sunday, Oct. 26, at 10 a.m. PT:
• October 20, 2014 16:58 MNF Steelers/Texans: The Pittsburgh Steelers are -3 favorites over the Houston Texans in tonight's Monday Night Football game. The total is 44.
• October 20, 2014 12:40 New Vegas Webcam: Knowing how popular our Las Vegas Webcams feature is, we thought readers would be interested to learn of the latest addition to the roster, which is a static streaming construction cam of the progress of MGM Resorts/AEG's Las Vegas Arena, slated to debut in 2016 on the Strip lot between Monte Carlo and New York-New York. We have to admit it's not the most exciting of bunch, with hourly updates showing not much in the way of action, but there's a more-impressive timelapse option that depicts the transformation of the lot since ground was broken.
• October 20, 2014 12:09 Another Year for Boyz II Men: The GRAMMY Award-winning R&B vocal group Boyz II Men has announced an extension of its residency in the Terry Fator Theatre at the Mirage on select weekend dates through Dec. 2015.
• October 20, 2014 11:31 More Santana Dates Announced: Mandalay Bay's House of Blues has announced additional 2015 dates for Carlos Santana's Greatest Hits Live residency, with tickets for shows on select dates from May 20 through 31 on sale from Saturday, Oct. 25 at 10 a.m.
• October 20, 2014 11:30 Bucking Bulls Invade Las Vegas: From Oct.21-26, UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center hosts the Professional Bull Riders World Finals for the 21st consecutive year, with the world’s top bull riders and fiercest bucking bulls battling it out for the richest bull-riding event on the planet. Tickets start at $25. In tandem with this, South Point's Arena hosts the ABBI (American Bucking Bull INC.) Finals from Oct. 21-25, with tickets for each day's events (which start at 10 a.m.) just  $10 (plus a $2 charge when booking online).
• October 20, 2014 10:35 Record Revenues for Cali Lottery: California Lottery officials have announced annual ticket sales in excess of $5 billion for the first time in the state lottery’s 30-year history, a more than 13 percent increase on the previous fiscal year. The uptick has been attributed to a combination of the desire to to hit a succession of Mega Millions mega-jackpots that accumulated, plus the effect of recently introduced Powerball games.
• October 19, 2014 16:22 SNF Broncos/49ers: The Denver Broncos are -6.5 favorites over the San Francisco 49ers in tonight's Sunday Night Football game. The total is 47.5.
• October 19, 2014 12:14 Downtown Streets Closing for LiB Festival: In preparation for next week's big Life is Beautiful festival, several downtown streets are closing as of today. Streets will be closed day-by-day, with 15 city blocks eventually being affected. Be prepared to encounter travel barriers almost anywhere you're going downtown, possibly through Oct. 29.
• October 19, 2014 11:51 Indian Springs Casino Closes: The little Indian Springs Casino, located about 45 miles north of Las Vegas on Highway 95, has closed. The casino opened in the '80s and catered mostly to personnel from Creech Air Force Base. It was reportedly sold to the Air Force for $11.45 million and will be converted to an "anti-terrorist security buffer overseeing drone-combat operations."
• October 19, 2014 08:40 Henderson DUI Crackdown: Today through Nov. 3, Henderson police will be targeting impaired with extra vigilance, joining forces with officers from surrounding jurisdictions to impress on drivers that "the best treat is a safe and sober ride home after a Halloween party." Drivers who know or suspect that they are over the limit or impaired are strongly encouraged to make use either or a cab, or of the various designated-driver services in Clark County, including and, according to AAA.
• October 18, 2014 10:06 RiSE Lantern Festival: From 7:30 to around 9:30 p.m. tonight, the skies above Jean's Dry Lakebed will be lit up by some 20,000 personalized, biodegradable fire lanterns, released by attendees of the RiSE traditional lantern festival, which will also feature live music and food. Road access is limited to official shuttles carrying ticketed attendees, which will be departing from the Rio and Gold Strike casinos earlier in the evening.
• October 18, 2014 10:05 Oktoberfest Comes to Downtown Container Park: Yet another seasonal brew celebration has come to our attention, with a two-day Oktoberfest at the Downtown Container Park. The family-friendly event runs from 6-9 p.m. today and tomorrow and in addition to all venue restaurants participating with beer and food specials, there will also be face painting, a balloon artist, comedy juggler, and photo sculpture to keep the younger members in your party entertained.
• October 18, 2014 07:51 Vegas Writes Book Signing Today: Join Anthony Curtis and meet the nine writers of our new book, Lost and Found in Las Vegas -- What the City Hides and What it Reveals, today during a reading at the Vegas Valley Book Festival. The reading will be held in the Historic Fifth Street School at 401 S. 4th St., beginning at 11 a.m. Immediately following, the authors will sign books. This is a cool event that's usually well-attended by many of the city's writers who have either contributed to previous editions of the Vegas Writes series or aspire to be part of future projects. Plus, the school is a story in itself, having stood since 1936.
• October 17, 2014 16:45 N.J. Gov. Signs Sports Betting Bill: Gov. Chris Christie Friday signed the bill passed this week in the Legislature which,
pending a favorable ruling Nov. 21 by the state attorney general, would partially repeal New Jersey's prohibition on sports wagering. Christie said he believes the bill he signed Friday adheres to federal law and responds to the issues raised in federal courts.
• October 17, 2014 16:04 Nightmare on ... Industrial Road!: If you're looking for some early Halloween festivities, look no further than the Erotic Heritage Museum, which tonight hosts a "Nightmare at the Museum Night" party, with "walking corpses, human sacrifices, gory food, death and mayhem" -- oh, and there will be a DJ, too. For more, visit ToplessVegasOnline.
• October 17, 2014 14:13 Caesars Bankruptcy Grows More Likely: Following a massive $1.76 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2013, followed by 2014 Q1 and Q2 losses of $386.4 million and $466.4 million, respectively, Ratings agencies had already downgraded Caesars Entertainment Operating Company (CEOC) to near-default status. Now, with a report by Bloomberg that Caesars Thursday filed with the Securities and Exchange Committee for an amendment on its debt that would give senior bondholders a lien on its cash, analysts see the way being paved for a possible (even likely) Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing as early as mid-January. For further analysis and background, check out David McKee's Stiffs & Georges blog.
• October 17, 2014 13:44 MGM Sells Gold Strike: In more news from the world of corporate casino-dom, MGM Resorts International has announced the sale of the Gold Spike in Jean to slot-route operators JETT Gaming, pending regulatory approval. This follow's last month's announcement that the company was divesting itself of the storied Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino, the former speakeasy/brothel frequented by Hoover Dam workers back in the '30s and what is, at least for the time being, thought to be the longest-operating casino property in the land.
• October 17, 2014 11:21 Halloween Looms: It's one of the biggest party weekends (in fact entire months) in the Las Vegas calendar, with everything from family-friendly trick-or-treating zones, harvest festivals, and seasonal donuts, to R-Rated Haunted Houses, fetish balls, carnival freakshows, and naked zombie strippers, so we pretty much figure that covers something for everyone... Whatever form of festive entertainment takes your fancy, you should be able to find something that fits the bill in our annual Halloween listings - just click the pumpkin-orange tab in the Special Events section (bottom right on LVA home page).
• October 17, 2014 10:49 Talking of Beer, Some Keg-Tapping News: The annual celebrity keg-tapping festivities continue at Hofbräuhaus, with favorite Fräulein Holly Madison doing the honors once again at 7 p.m. this evening, while MMA fighter Ricardo "Demente" Abreu will "pound the keg" at the same time Saturday. The celebrations also include Bavarian food offerings, Oktoberfestbier imported from Munich, not to mention stein-holding competitions and "Jägermeister spankings" (we dare not ask...)
• October 17, 2014 10:30 Brewpub Stampede Downtown: Well, perhaps "stampede" is an exaggeration, but with Vegas definitely having decided that beer is not just for "Oktober," with hops-and-ale festivities now a regular fixture, from the Strip to Fremont St., comes confirmation from "Eater Vegas" that local pioneer Tenaya Creek Brewing Company is to open a 17,321-square-foot "urban lounge" and patio in the Arts District. It will be followed by two newer arrivals to the scene,  Luelling Orchard Brewing Company and Hop Nuts Brewery, which are also both in the process of constructing venues downtown.
• October 17, 2014 09:12 Royals Favored in World Series: The Kansas City Royals have opened as slight favorites over the San Francisco Giants to win baseball's World Series. The Royals are -115 at most books, though you can find the game close to pick 'em at some places.
• October 16, 2014 19:15 Vegas Restaurants Rock Revenue List: Restaurant Business magazine has released a list of the Top 100 independent eateries in the U.S. for revenue, and no less than 20 of them are in Las Vegas, which ranks only behind New York City for big earners. This city actually bagged the #1 spot with celebrity favorite Tao Asian Bistro at Palazzo, which boasted no less than $64.6 million in sales last year. Sister restaurant Lavo came in at #5 ($24 million), while there's a definite preponderance of Sin City steakhouses making the cut (no pun intended), among them Carnevino, SW Steakhouse, Prime, Delmonico, N9NE, Crafsteak, Jean-George Steakhouse, and StripSteak. Click to see the rest of the best (at least when it comes to revenues), plus links to the rest of the survey.
• October 16, 2014 17:27 TNF Patriots/Jets: The New England Patriots are -9.5 favorites over the New York Jets in tonight's Thursday Night Football game. The total is 44.
• October 16, 2014 16:15 Las Vegas This Weekend: It's an eclectic one, for sure:

  • Las Vegas Foodie Fest is now in full swing at The Linq Promenade (10/16-10/19)
  • Frank Caliendo brings his stand-up act to the Orleans for two back-to-back nights of laughter (10/17-10/18)
  • Flamingo kicks off Jimmy Buffet's concert with the Pre-Concert Party at Margaritaville (10/17-10/18), while the concert itself, featuring Buffet and the Coral Reefer Band, takes place inside MGM Grand's Garden Arena (10/18)
  • John Fogerty takes center-stage inside The Pearl at Palms (10/17), followed by Laura Pausini (10/19)
  • Zac Brown Band hits the Garden Arena at MGM (10/17)
  • Sam Boyd Stadium hosts this year's Monster Energy Cup, featuring the world's top riders (10/18)
  • Rock Star Beer Festival which features 30+ brewers and live music takes place this weekend at Hard Rock (10/18)
  • Henderson Pavilion hosts the Soul Food Festival and guests can expect traditional soul food, speakers, and plenty of live entertainment (10/18)
  • Wiz Khalifa with special guest Chevy Woods perform The Cosmopolitan's Boulevard Pool (10/18)
  • The JCC Barbeque and Cook-Off takes place at Temple Beth Sholom in Summerlin (10/19)
  • Venetian and the stars of Jersey Boys host the 4th Annual NF Hope Concert, benefiting Neurofibromatosis research (10/19

For separate Oktoberfest listings, see Today's News (NOTE: A couple of these listings have now expired), while the complete lowdown on Halloween in Vegas, with lots of events and attractions already underway/up-and-running, can be found by clicking the appropriate tab in our Special Events section.
• October 16, 2014 13:35 Hagar Happy Birthday Bash: We just learned the Sammy "The Red Rocker" Hagar will be throwing an impromptu and belated gig/birthday party for himself at the new Downtown Las Vegas Events Center. The birthday boy (whose 24th annual Cabo Wabo party in Mexico had to be canceled, due to Hurrican Odile) will be joined by "The Circle" (Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham, and Vic Johnson) plus Chickenfoot, featuring Joe Satriani and Chad Smith. General admission tickets for the event, which kicks off at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.) are $65, with "Red Zone" passes offering exclusive access to the Party Pit and prime views of the stage for $85. (A very limited amount of VIP Seats are available for $150.)
• October 16, 2014 11:31 Free Laughs at Open Mic Session Tonight: If you're looking for something a little different to do, tonight sees Sapphire Gentlemen's Club weekly comedy open mic session, which is free to attend and was the 2014 R-J pick for Top Open Mic Night in the valley. It kicks off at 9 p.m. and would-be performers need to sign up online, plus there's one-drink-minimum purchase required if you want your moment on stage. The Comedy Club also runs Fri/Sat at 8 p.m., but on those nights features known/professional comic talent, plus magic and burlesque acts, and a $20 cover. Visit ToplessVegasOnline for Arnold Snyder's (glowing) reviews of the pro night (to which he's also taken his wife, by the way).
• October 16, 2014 10:43 A.C. Casino Closure Fallout: In addition to the loss of 8,000 jobs, the closure of four Atlantic City casinos this year, including two last month, had a drastic affect on gaming revenues for the month of September, which were down almost 13 percent on the same month last year, despite the addition of online-gaming, which didn't exist in 2013. Internet gambling gambling took in $10.2 million in September, down $300,000 from the previous month. Figures just released by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement reveal that for brick-and-mortar gambling, the slot take was down 16.6 percent and table games took in 18.5 percent less.  However, the one ray of light in all the gloom is that for the eight casinos that remain operational, their total revenues, including from their online-casino partnerships, was up by 9.1 percent, indicating that they have gained traffic in light of their former competitors' closures. Trump Taj Mahal, the future of which remains in the balance, lost its online partner -- Las Vegas-based Ultimate Poker -- in September and posted the biggest monthly revenue decline of any New Jersey casino, down nearly 23 percent to $17.5 million, making a threatened Nov. 13 closure seem increasingly likely.
• October 15, 2014 19:10 Red Dragon Foodie Fest Underway: From this evening through Sunday, Oct. 19, The LINQ Promenade hosts Red Dragon Events'
Las Vegas Foodie Fest, featuring more than 50 food trucks and specialty vendors headlined cult classic White Castle. There will be live entertainment, carnival rides, and games, with tickets priced at just $12 for unlimited five-day access. A portion of proceeds will benefit The Shade Tree and Bamboo Bridges. Today and Thursday, hours are 4 p.m. to midnight, with an extended noon to midnight schedule Fri/Sat and 10 p.m. Sun.
• October 15, 2014 18:49 More Locals Love from Tahiti Village: The south-of-the-Strip Vacation Club has expanded its recently introduced locals-only "Open to Close" Happy Hour (wouldn't that make it a "Happy Day"?) at 17° South, with Goose Island IPA and an array of specialty cocktails added to the existing offerings of $2 Miller and Coors draft and 50% off domestic beers and well drinks. The cut-price bar is available to residents with valid ID from 11 a.m. daily.
• October 15, 2014 17:50 New Indoor Bouldering Gym Coming to Vegas: Having just added an update to today's already colossal Las Vegas Eating Challenges QoD, it's a relief to be able to write about something healthy learned about via soon-to-debut Beyond Vegas, which describes itself intriguingly as "a curated experience of outdoor adventure and lifestyle in Las Vegas." While Beyond's opening date is defined only as "fall 2014," they are pimping the unveiling this weekend of the first
new climbing gym in Vegas in almost 20 years. Refuge Climbing opens its doors on Friday, Oct. 17, featuring 11,300 sq. ft. of indoor bouldering and fitness facilities. Located at 6283 S. Valley View Bvld. and open daily, day passes are $12 for kids and $17 for adults. Visit the official website for more info.
• October 15, 2014 16:48 Wednesdays Downtown Reminder: The weekly downtown community block party takes place tonight from 6 p.m. to midnight on and around Fremont East, and Las Vegas Blvd. and Seventh Street will be closed in the vicinity for the duration.
• October 15, 2014 10:18 New Nightclub for Caesars: A new nightclub from the Hakkasan Group is coming to Caesars Palace in spring 2015. The 75,000-square-foot multi-level club called Omnia will take over the space that used to house Pure.
• October 14, 2014 19:21 Southwest Shares the LUV: The festivities at Southwest Airlines continue, with a crazy three-day-only airfare sale on reservations booked by by Thursday, Oct. 16. There are multiple routes offering one-way tickets for as little as $49 (including flights to Vegas from Burbank, L.A., Orange County, Phoenix, Reno, and San Jose), and myriad flights all over the country for under $99. Plus, as if that's not enough, in an apparent fit of hysterical delirium, the budget airline is also GIVING AWAY 500 FREE TIX to customers and fans in celebration of Monday's repeal of the pesky Wright Amendment -- watch their YouTube video for details.
• October 14, 2014 16:51 Giada Dishes Up Breakfast: Celebrity chef and New York Times best-selling author Giada De Laurentiis has added breakfast to the offerings at her first restaurant, GIADA, located in The Cromwell, with eight breakfast items and fresh-pressed juices now available from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, alongside the existing lunch menu.
• October 14, 2014 16:44 Total Eclipse of the (Blue) Moon: With cruelly ironic timing, given the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in Nevada, VegasChatter just broke the news that the Blue Moon All-Male Resort, which has been operating for 12 years on Westwood Drive, close to the Artisan (another funky one-of-a-kind Vegas hotel) is closing its doors abruptly as of tomorrow. While no official explanation has been forthcoming, the rumors seem to indicate a likely foreclosure situation. We're not sure what remedy there is, if any, for guests who have existing bookings after tomorrow; all we can suggest is that you call the resort (702/784-4500) for more information. (We just did and spoke with a very sad sounding staffer who knew only that those with bookings should have been contacted by now with a full refund. If you're looking for a specifically #LGBTQ-friendly alternative, options include Rumor, Artisan, New York-New York, Paris, Planet Hollywood, Luxor, and Wynn, all of which are actively gay-friendly, with the first two being "boutique" non-gaming off-Strip properties; you'll find room deals for all of the cited Strip hotels on our site, although we can't guarantee what rates and availability will be like at such short notice.)
• October 14, 2014 11:54 Late-Comer to Oktoberfest: It looks like there's a "Bier Garten" battle brewing downtown, with Park on Fremont today announcing the Oct. 17 launch of "Parktoberfest". Running through Oct. 31, the plan involves transforming the lot directly west of the Fremont East venue into a "rustic paradise" complete with hay-bale seating, keg-barrel tables, and a picnic area, rivaling the Plaza's recently debuted Bier Garten at the other end of Fremont Street. Parktoberfest, which will coincide with the Life Is Beautiful extravaganza, will also feature live entertainment nightly from DJs and bands, food offerings, specialty beers on tap, dancing, and games including beer pong, corn hole, and hammerschlagen (apparently a medieval precursor to "whack-a-mole.") The festival will run from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesday through Friday and 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
• October 14, 2014 10:19 Dancer on Quick Quads: Quick Quads is one of the few video poker variations that is still somewhat widely available (unlike Pick 'Em, which is a rarity these days), and today's weekly column from Bob Dancer focuses on a specific aspect of strategy for this particular game, so it's a wee bit niche, we understand. But QQs is a fun game, and the article has a link to an overview if you're not familiar and feel like adding it to your video poker repertoire.
• October 13, 2014 17:16 MNF 49ers/Rams: The San Francisco 49ers are -3 favorites over the St. Louis Rams in tonight's Monday Night Football game. The total is 44.
• October 13, 2014 17:14 Life is (Even More) Beautiful (in 2014): Amazingly, there are still single and 3-day passes available for the second (and extended) annual Las Vegas music/food/lifestyle extravaganza, which will be taking over much of the downtown area Oct. 24-26. If you haven't yet checked out the complete musical, culinary, artistic, and inspirational roster, you can find the complete Life is Beautiful festival lineup, including almost 70 chart-topping acts, on the official website, where you can also purchase tickets.
• October 13, 2014 15:17 Milestone for Southwest & Dallas: Today, Oct. 13, saw the expiration of the Wright Amendment, a 1979 law that made Southwest Airline's home airport of Dallas Love Field the first and only facility in the U.S. to be restricted to a small service area, with flights out of the airport limited to destinations in Texas and its neighboring states (later expanded to include Mississippi, Alabama, Kansas, and Missouri).

For the past decade the airline has been campaigning to see the repeal of this restriction and today saw these efforts come to fruition. The new nonstop service isn't limited to Vegas, but has also been extended to six other cities, including Baltimore/Washington; Denver; Orlando; Chicago Midway; Los Angeles; and Reagan National, with other destinations, including destinations from New York and California, coming online Nov. 2. Congrats!
• October 13, 2014 12:58 Caesars Sells A.C. Mall for Peanuts: Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein and Las Vegas-based casino architect extraordinaire Paul Steelman have teamed up to purchase the half-empty Caesars Pier shopping center in Atlantic City for a mere $2.8 million -- less than 2 percent of the project's original development cost a decade ago. The partners hope to close the deal this year.
• October 13, 2014 11:44 Speedway Driving Experience Releases Sched: There's something in the air today, evidently: First go-karts, and now the Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE) stock-car drive-and-ride experience at Las Vegas Motor Speedway has rolled out the 2015 track dates and the launch of a seasonal Petty Pass. The experience offers guests the closest they'll ever get to being in an actual race, with programs ranging from eight- to 50-lap options.
• October 13, 2014 10:12 Free Karting for Baldies: In honor of "Be Bald and Be Free Day" on Oct. 14, Pole Position Raceway will offer the "follicly challenged" a free race at either of their valley locations (4175 South Arville, across from Palms Place, and 7350 Prairie Falcon Rd. in Summerlin) tomorrow. Participants are encouraged to ditch wigs, toupés, hairpieces, and hats and enjoy the exhilaration of a complimentary race without fear of embarrassment. Karts are available in adult and kid's size (must be at least 48 inches to ride). Races last approx. 10 mins and the Arville location is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays (midnight on weekends), while Summerlin is open 1-10 p.m. weekdays (longer hours Fri-Sun).
• October 12, 2014 17:21 SNF Giants/Eagles: The Philadelphia Eagles are -1.5 favorites over the New York Giants in tonight's Sunday Night Football game. The total is 50.5.
• October 12, 2014 14:39 Video Poker Rebates Available: The "Sports" section of today's LV Review-Journal contains a valuable $100-rebate coupon for video poker play at Dean's Place bar, located behind Silverton (must be a new member of the players club). Up the road, Home Plate is offering a $20 VP rebate, though you have to hit a 4-of-a-kind to cash out the second $20.
• October 12, 2014 10:03 Sunday Funday 9 Free Poker Tourney at Noon: Registration is now open for our "Sunday Funday 9" poker tournament, co-sponsored by Ellis Island Casino and Brewery. Play begins at noon PST/3 p.m. EST today. Prizes are $100 for first; $25 in slots free-play at EI for second; $25 in table-game free-play at EI for third, and prizes for all final-table contestants, including an LVA membership, a suite of our top mob books, and a copy of our new book, The Moneymaker Effect, signed by Chris Moneymaker, plus a "bubble prize" 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 6278). 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.
• October 12, 2014 08:00 LINQ Gets LEED Certification: The LINQ has been awarded Silver LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council’ in recognition of the project's commitment to sustainability, conservation, and other eco-friendly practices.
• October 11, 2014 15:42 Expensive Mushrooms: If you're into white truffles and have the bucks, Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace has what you're looking for. As is customary this time of year, the restaurant is featuring the celebrated fungi in a six-course menu priced at $420 per person. Menu items are also available a la carte.
• October 11, 2014 14:57 LVA Teams With Ellis Island for Sunday Funday 9: Reserve some time tomorrow to play in our 9th Sunday Funday poker tournament. This month we've teamed up with Ellis Island again, and along with a $100 first prize, there will be EI table-game and slot free-play up for grabs. 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.
• October 11, 2014 13:59 Tivoli Village Art Walk: Collective Souls Fine Art & More transforms the main stage area at the west-side retail district into an al fresco gallery today from noon to 6 p.m., with live entertainment, cocktails, and a kids' zone.
• October 11, 2014 10:01 Lake Mead Celebration: Last Wednesday, Oct. 8, marked the 50th anniversary of Congress' vote to designate the country’s largest man-made reservoir as its first National Recreation Area. In honor of the date, today till noon the public is invited to help with a clean-up operation at Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave, where volunteers and divers will collect trash and debris on land and underwater. Participants will receive lunch, a T-shirt, and entry in a prize drawing. Also, informational displays and ranger vehicles and vessels will be available to explore until 2 p.m. and there will be birthday cake served at 1 p.m. after a special presentation. To register for the clean-up visit (when we checked last night there were still 153 spots available).
• October 11, 2014 10:00 Rappel for a Cause: Until 4 p.m. today, the public is invited to rappel 350 feet down the side of Planet Hollywood as part of a fundraiser for the Special Olympics Nevada. "Over the Edge" requires a $1,000 pledge-based donation and is open to participants of all ages -- local celebs, including Strip headliner Jeff Civillico, have already taken the plunge, so join them in raising money for a great cause.
• October 10, 2014 19:50 Open Bar at Crazy Horse III Tonight: Don't forget, in honor of the gentlemen's club's fifth birthday, there's an open bar for locals tonight from 8 to 11 p.m., plus bottle specials and an ice luge for all.
• October 10, 2014 17:58 Resort Fees on Comped Rooms: Many thanks to the several helpful reader who've shared their experiences with regard to whether or not you still have to pay the resort fee if a casino comps your room, as per the subject of today's Question of the Day. As we state in the answer, your emails underline the fact that this area is consistent only in its inconsistencies, but we've added lots of empirical feedback that's definitely worth checking out...
• October 10, 2014 16:20 Las Vegas This Weekend: Beer and bikes, wizards and wine, and so much more!:

  • Wicked, the Wizard of Oz Broadway spectacular, returns for another stint at the Smith Center (thru the beginning of November) (10/8-11/9)
  • Sunset Park hosts the three-day Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival (10/10-10/12)
  • Bill Maher brings his stand-up to The Pearl inside Palms ((10/10-11)
  • Desert Thunder Motorcycle Rally gears up at Palace Station (10/10-10/11)
  • Golden Nugget hosts their 5th Annual Fall Beer Fest that spans over two days (10/10-10/11)
  • MGM Resorts Village stays busy with the Wine Amplified Festival (10/10-10/11)
  • Big Dog's Draft House over on N. Rancho hosts the Dogtober Beer & Music Festival (10/11)
  • Ellis Island hosts Oktoberfest featuring music, contests, German food, all-you-can-drink beer, and more (10/11)
  • Red Bull Air Race World Championship takes place out at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (10/11-10/12)
  • The Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada, which is located downtown, leads Walk 'N' Roll for HIV/AIDS with a festival taking place throughout the evening outside the venue (10/11)
  • Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull take center-stage inside the Events Center at Mandalay Bay (10/12)
  • And the World Fighting Championships heat up this weekend at the new Downtown Las Vegas Events Center (10/12)
• October 10, 2014 13:18 Shenandoah for Sale: Need a home for your exotic-animal collection? Need seven spare homes for your nearest and dearest? Got a spare $30 mill burning a hole in your bank account? Then Wayne Newton's former home can be yours! Following aborted redevelopment plans and lengthy acrimonious legal battles (see Question of the Day Archives), the former home of Wayne "Mr Las Vegas" Newton is up for sale, we just learned via an LVA field scout* and a sale is expected before year's end, just as long as someone able to cover the Zillow-estimated $112K/month mortgage payment can be found. The performer's long-time beloved residence joins the ranks of other celebrity homes sold in the Vegas Valley in recent years, including Liberace's modest little pad and "Lefty" and Geri Rosenthal's awesome mid-century modern house.
• October 10, 2014 12:45 Confirmation - Vegas Ebola Scare Dismissed: A woman on board an inbound Delta flight from JFK that landed at McCarran Airport earlier this morning is NOT carrying the Ebola virus, it has now been officially determined, following a swift investigation from the Centers for Disease Control and the Southern Nevada Health District.
• October 10, 2014 12:25 McCarran Ebola Scare Seems Like False Alarm: Passengers on a plane that arrived at McCarran International Airport from New York have been quarantined after a mother and child on the plane, who had arrived from Africa, showed signs of fever. The Center for Disease Control has representatives on the scene and a passenger tweeting from on-board reports that the captain says initial signs are that the pair is NOT infected with the Ebola virus. Still, better safe than sorry and we're happy to hear these precautionary measures were taken: It's the only way this epidemic will be contained. The CDC is about to make an announcement, so stay tuned.
• October 10, 2014 11:04 Aria Nightlife Update Alibi Cocktail Lounge is scheduled to take over the spot vacated by City Bar on Oct. 30, while two days later Haze nightclub will close (still no word as to what's taking its place). Both ventures are projects from local nightlife impresarios the Light Group.
• October 10, 2014 10:48 The Who Coming to Colosseum Iconic Brit. rockers The Who return to Las Vegas next September when they bring "The Who Hits 50!" tour to Caesars Colosseum. Tickets go on sale Friday, Oct. 17 at 10 a.m. with seats starting at $96 (inc. of 10% Live Entertainment Tax). Note that it's a late event, with the showtime scheduled for 10:30 p.m.
• October 10, 2014 10:25 Drink Me Dry Party at Rehab: Hard Rock's notorious party pool winds up another season this weekend, with Rock Candy Friday Hosted by Bellina Rebelle Bikinis today, then the "Drink Me Dry" season finale on Sunday, with DJ Loczi and discounts on bottle service.
• October 10, 2014 10:21 Cake & Bubbly at Rampart: At 6 p.m. today, join fellow players, staff, and executives, including Michael Gaughan, for a cake-and-champagne toast to the Rampart Casino's 15th anniversary. The celebration runs until 9 p.m. (or when supplies run out).
• October 9, 2014 17:53 It's Official - Gay Marriage Now Legal in Nevada: The wild hokey pokey dance for same-sex couples continued today, with a last-minute bid by the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage to have a "yes" ruling earlier this week by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rescinded; this afternoon, however, a federal district court issued an injunction on Nevada's gay marriage ban, freeing marriage license bureaus statewide, including in Clark County, to begin issuing licenses to LGBTQ partners.
• October 9, 2014 17:07 TNF Colts/Texans: The Indianapolis Colts are -2.5 favorites over the Houston Texans in tonight's Thursday Night Football game. The total is 45.5.
• October 9, 2014 12:15 Vegas Restaurant Makes 'Best of' List: The 2014 TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice Awards have been announced and Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand has made the Top 25 list, coming in at #21. The comments, which include: "Best dining experience ever"; "Exceeded our high expectations"; and a simple "Awesome!", tally with those of local restaurant critic and Eating Las Vegas blogger John Curtas, who picks it for the uncontested #1 dining spot in town. He writes: "Dishes like risotto of soybean sprouts or roasted duck and seared foie gras with cherries-and-kumquat compote lead me to the flame like a helpless hungry moth. This food is so intense and so faultless, it will destroy your capacity to appreciate anything less. Join John in his online countdown to list the entire "Essential 50" Las Vegas restaurants, currently entering the home stretch with Mario Batali's B&B Ristorante at the Venetian in the #40 spot.

#1 on the TripAdvisor list was Chicago's Alinea.
• October 9, 2014 11:48 On Again, Off Again for Gay Marriage: Same-sex couples in Nevada hoping to legally marry this week, after a Tuesday ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that appeared to offer a legal resolution in their favor, are once again disappointed following a motion filed by the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage, requesting a stay and that the court's ruling to allow gay marriage be rescinded. The deadline for all parties to file their responses has been set for 5 p.m. today and a definitive ruling is anticipated shortly thereafter, but for the time being the ambiguity has led to scenes of confusion at the Clark County Marriage License Bureau, reports the R-J, with clerks unsure how to handle the numerous same-sex couples who are showing up hoping to obtain a marriage license.
• October 9, 2014 10:21 Downtown Summerlin Debuts: Today sees the long-awaited debut of Downtown Summerlin, the 1.6 million-square-foot retail, restaurant, and entertainment complex on the west side of town, which originally started life back in 2008 as The Shops at Summerlin but was mothballed until last year due to the economic downturn. The facility opened this morning with a majority of the retail outlets, including anchor tenants Macy’s and Dillard’s, all fully operational. About 30 of the venues, including a number of the restaurants, will not come online until later this year or early 2015, however.

To mark today's grand opening, there will be festivities from 6 p.m. this evening, including live music, an interactive sound-and-light show, and fireworks. In light of many of the eateries not yet having opened, there will be an array of food trucks on hand to feed the hungry crowds, too.
• October 8, 2014 18:22 SLS Cuts Back Buffets: We've just learned that non-weekend buffets at SLS Las Vegas have been eliminated. We're getting conflicting information, but it looks like it's Friday-Sunday only now (or possibly Friday and Saturday only). We'll confirm and post the new hours, but you definitely don't want to try to go tonight or tomorrow.
• October 8, 2014 15:17 Oktober [sic] Casino Promos: We apologize for the late delivery, but Frugal Vegas blogger Jean Scott has just returned from a trip visiting her great grandson, so we'll definitely cut her some slack (congrats, Queen of Comps/Kids!). There's good news (Palms), some so-so news (Plaza/Las Vegas Club), but no real bad news we've spotted (unless you were excited about the Sam's Town farmer's market...). For now, we'll post this Ellis Island tidbit right here; click the link above for the rest of this month's news (especially if you're a local and/or senior).

On Oct. 11, from 5-10 p.m., Ellis Island throws its annual al fresco (weather permitting) Oktoberfest party, with (great) German food and beer (obviously), while all day on Oct. 31st the off-Strip casino is running a Trick-or-Treat slot tourney, with lots of "sweet and spooky prizes." Their famous Halloween Scaryoke party and costume contest takes place from 9 p.m.-4 a.m. that night, while from 11 p.m.-2 a.m. they're throwing a '70s-disco costume party.
• October 8, 2014 13:07 Green Light for Gay Marriage: Following some confusion earlier today, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has clarified that Nevada is cleared to begin offering same-sex marriages and that an earlier order blocking gay unions applies only to Idaho, where opposing state officials have requested a delay. No such request was issued by Nevada authorities, so the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declaration Tuesday, which legalized gay marriage in both states, still stands as far as Nevada is concerned.

The Supreme Court's move Monday to allow similar rulings from three other appeals courts has effectively raised to 30 the number of states in the U.S. where same-sex couples currently can, or will soon be permitted, to marry. A decision has not yet been made by the the Clark County Clerk's Office as to when it will begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples, but a spokesman today said that hopefully that decision will be rendered soon.
• October 8, 2014 10:38 Waxwork Exhibit Hearts Locals: In celebration of its 15th anniversary in Las Vegas, Madame Tussauds at the Venetian is offering locals a special with $15 tickets now through Dec. 31. Guests must present valid Nevada I.D. at the box office upon pick-up; one valid I.D. is good for up to 8 guests.
• October 8, 2014 10:04 Brit. Judge Rules Ivey Cheated: Although conceding that the poker pro had acted in accordance with his own view of legitimate advantage play, a British judge has ruled that the tactics employed by Phil Ivey and a companion at Genting's Crockfords casino in London did amount to cheating. The week-long trial focused on Ivey’s bid to be paid the $12.4 million that he won in 2012 playing punto banco, a variation of baccarat, but Judge John Mitting argued that by manipulating the dealer's actions without her knowledge and by employing the long-known practice of "edge sorting," in which a player exploits flaws in the printed pattern on the back of the cards in order to gain insight into which cards have been dealt, he gave himself "an advantage which the game precludes," which is tantamount to cheating. Ivey had argued that he was merely using the casino's own weaknesses to gain an edge over the house. The judge also denied the 10-times WSOP-bracelet winner the opportunity to appeal his ruling.
• October 7, 2014 17:18 Future of Las Vegas Reader Poll: Our Reader Poll closes at midnight, so get those last-minute votes and suggestions in while you can!
• October 7, 2014 15:08 Big Cat Magic Returning to Strip: Las Vegas Sun entertainment columnist John Katsilometes reports that Dirk Arthur, whose magic show last performed at O'Sheas back in 2012, will be returning to the Strip as of Dec. 1 when Dirk Arthur’s Wild Illusions is set to open at the Riviera. Tix for the show, scheduled to perform nightly at 7 p.m. with seats starting at $40, are slated to go on sale Oct. 18.
• October 7, 2014 13:03 Gambling on the Big and Little Screens: A remake of The Gambler, the 1974 film starring James Caan as pathological gambler Axel Freed, is scheduled for a December release. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, who reportedly dropped from 197 to 137 pounds for the role. And tonight is the premier of Playing for the Mob, the story of the Boston College point-shaving scandal that was orchestrated by the same crew featured in the movie Goodfellas. The documentary includes lots of footage from the film and is narrated by Ray Liota. In the movie, Liota played Henry Hill, who was also focal in the point-shaving scam.
• October 7, 2014 12:14 More Casino TV as Phil Ivey Hits '60 Minutes': Poker pro Phil Ivey's ongoing battles with two casinos will be the subject of a piece on "60 Minutes Sports" airing today, in which the 10-times World Series of Poker-bracelet winner argues that he won a total of $22 million not by cheating at baccarat, but rather thanks to legal "advantage play" techniques, having requested certain conditions to which the casinos both willingly agreed to cater. What the outcome will be of his ongoing court cases with Atlantic City's Borgata and London's Crockfords remains to be seen, but the casinos' contention that they believed Ivey wanted a certain brand of playing cards and an automatic shuffler, among other things, on account of "superstition" would seem to be naive in the extreme -- we're pretty sure it's neither superstition nor luck that has taken the 38-year-old to no less than 40 WSOP/World Poker Tour final tables...

For more insights into the at-times esoteric world of advantage players, their techniques, and the obstacles they face in the ongoing cat-and-mouse game of player vs.  casino, check out Las Vegas Advisor's exclusive Beyond Numbers blog by James Grosjean, who is widely recognized as the greatest living gambler and exponent of "advantage play" (a term he personally eschews, along with many other associated phrases and words that hurt) and has encountered similar scenarios (and worse) to Phil Ivey.
• October 7, 2014 11:43 Bob Dancer Column Posted: We won't lie, this week's column from Bob Dancer demonstrates why he's the most successful video poker player in the world (to the very best of our knowledge) and highlights the role of figuring out and playing the optimal strategy for any hand encountered in any particular game; hence, it includes some very advanced concepts that may cause your eyes to glaze over. As video poker is the way Bob earns his living, and is the endeavor that takes up the majority of his waking hours, he deems it absolutely worth his while (and a rewarding challenge) to delve into the minutiae of a game and figure out its anomalies and subtle variations from the norm. You could call it an obsession. Whether or not the quest to master the same level of expertise as the maestro is in your interests is a personal choice and, if you can handle it, reading this week's article (or realizing you don't want to/can't) will definitely help you decide!
• October 7, 2014 10:18 Revel Sale Challenged: The runner-up bidder for Atlantic City's bankrupt Revel resort-casino is challenging the sale and requesting a new auction, on the grounds that a personal medical emergency forced him to absent himself in the latter stages of the bidding process and that he was given a deadline to make a new bid that did not provide enough time for him to contact his financial advisers. The sale to Brookfield Asset Management has yet to be ratified by gaming regulators and if it isn't, developer Glenn Straub may still win by default anyhow. Both bidding parties have question marks against them, Brookfield on account of their financial problems with the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, Straub due to his plans for the property, which have been viewed by many with skepticism (he wants to turn the resort into elite university think tank).
• October 6, 2014 17:23 Craft Beer, Whisky Destination to Close: Don't panic, however, as apparently the Freakin' Frog and its Whisky Attic will only be on temporary hiatus while the mall in which they have resided for the past 13 years undergoes a facelift, which is resulting in the forced exit of its tenants for a while. The Frog -- also a popular live-music venue -- is the city's oldest home of unusual and international brews (currently more than 1,700 of them), while the liquor den upstairs claims to house the largest selection of whisk(e)ys in the U.S., at around 800, and also hosts occasional events, including tastings. The closure will take effect at the end of this month, reports EaterVegas; no word yet on when the duo will reopen.
• October 6, 2014 16:54 MNF Seahawks/Redskins: The Seattle Seahawks are -7 favorites over the Washington Redskins in tonight's Monday Night Football game. The total is 45.5.
• October 6, 2014 13:06 Early-Bird Discount for AVNs Ends Oct. 15: While the majority of our readers may not be interested in attending the annual porn industry convention and awards show, we know that at least some of you are (see Question of the Day Archives, so be aware that discounted early-bird ticketing ends Oct. 15. The AVN Adult Entertainment Expo runs Jan. 21-24, 2015, the Adult Novelty Expo runs Jan. 21-23, and the Awards Show takes place Jan. 24. All are hosted by the Hard Rock, which is offering discounted room rates to fans, vendors, etc. Visit [#NSFW!!] for more info (and nipples).
• October 6, 2014 11:51 Grosjean Gets Mystical (Maybe) and Hilarious (for Sure): The ever-erratic Mr Grosjean just threw up two posts simultaneously at Beyond Numbers. We were about to question this move until we discovered that the first of these will be intelligible to perhaps three other people on the planet (if no less intriguing to we uninitiated masses). Still, it's as well he posted something new for the rest of us mere mortals, even though his brutally honest words may cause offense or alarm to many. We laughed repeatedly (albeit in a sick/self-deprecating kind of way), but we love a man who can legitimately and deftly incorporate references to Tom Cruise, euthanasia, casino cheating, and Sweet Brown all into on post (even if the dude can't spell for toffee ;-)
• October 6, 2014 10:55 Suggestions Wanted for Ultimate Gambling-Song List: Today's Las Vegas Advisor Question of the Day is re-run of one we first ran back in 2007, and have added to sporadically since, but not for awhile. It's a list of songs that are Las Vegas or gambling related, and it's an eclectic compendium to be sure, from blues to punk to disco to reggae to pop to folk to dance, and everything in between. We know it's a never-ending task, but we'll keep adding as long as the suggestions keep coming, so use the Submit a question link to send in yours.
• October 6, 2014 10:23 LINQ Goes Pink Reminder: Just a quick reminder that for Breast Cancer Awareness month, Olivia Newton-John, currently headlining at the Flamingo and herself a breast-cancer survivor, will light the High Roller at The LINQ in pink this evening. Members of the Chippendales will be there, sporting special pink collars and cuffs, and fellow breast cancer survivors, plus those wearing pink ribbons, will be invited to ride the attraction for free from 6 to 8 p.m.
• October 6, 2014 08:42 USA List Includes Hard Rock: In a USA Today list of dishes served at restaurants around the country that invoke the fall season, Las Vegas was represented by the Hard Rock. Sited was the sweet potato cannelloni served in Culinary Dropout.
• October 6, 2014 08:22 Name Drop: The Trump name is being removed today from the exterior of the shuttered Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. The move is apparently being made in response to a lawsuit filed by Donald Trump, who is seeking to discontinue the association of his name with Trump Plaza and the Trump Taj Mahal.
• October 5, 2014 16:24 SNF Bengals/Patriots: The Cincinnati Bengals are -3 favorites over the New England Patriots in tonight's Sunday Night Football game. The total is 46.
• October 5, 2014 16:04 Adelson Drops a Spot: Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson fell one spot in this year's Forbes ranking of the richest people in the U.S., despite increasing his net worth by $3.5 billion over last year. Adelson's $32 billion tabulation puts him in the 12th spot.
• October 5, 2014 12:15 Surrender Dome: Surrender nightclub at Encore will debut a giant glass solar-panel dome on Oct. 22. The $2 million dome will cover the pool area, allowing the "outdoor" club to continue operation through the winter months.
• October 5, 2014 09:56 The LINQ Goes Pink: At 6 p.m. Monday, singer and breast-cancer "thriver" Olivia Newton-John, currently headlining at the Flamingo, will ceremonially light up the High Roller observation wheel in pink lights in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Ms. Newton-John will be joined by cast members of the Chippendales and $1 from all tickets sold on Monday will be donated to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia, while fellow breast-cancer survivors, and anyone showing their support by sporting the pink ribbon, are invited to ride the attraction for free from 6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow. In addition, The LINQ Promenade retail shops will be offering special "pink deals" throughout the month of October and all the coins collected from The LINQ Fountain will be donated to the ONJCWC.
• October 4, 2014 19:56 UFC MacDonald/Saffiedine: Rory MacDonald is a -400 favorite over Tarec Saffiedine in tonight's UFC main event. In the other featured match, Raphael Assuncao is -385 over Bryan Caraway.
• October 4, 2014 11:44 Art in the Park: Boulder City hosts its 52nd annual arts-and-crafts fair today and Sunday, with more than 300 participating artists and artisans, plus lots of food and drink stations. In previous years this event has sometimes been hampered by winds, but this weekend promises perfect weather and it's a great chance to support the arts community while picking up some one-of-a kind early Christmas gifts (or treats for yourself). The festival extends across three parks -- follow the signs for the free parking lot, then hop on one of the shuttle coaches which run to and from the event at regular intervals throughout both days.
• October 4, 2014 10:22 IRONMAN Hits Henderson: One of the premier triathlon events in the world comes to Henderson this weekend, with the IRONKIDS one-mile fun run today pushing off from the Henderson Pavilion (200 South Green Valley Pkwy.) at 9 a.m., followed by the IRONMAN 70.3 Silverman main event on Sunday, which offers 35 qualifying slots for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. The race begins with a 1.2-mile swim in Lake Mead, followed by a 56-mile bike ride through Lake Mead National Recreation Park, then a 13.1-mile run through Henderson.
• October 3, 2014 16:38 Fright Dome Debuts with Leatherface: One of Las Vegas' most notorious Halloween attractions debuts tonight, with the launch of Circus Circus' Fright Dome. This year featuring a Texas Chainsaw Massacre theme, it includes no less than SIX haunted houses, plus 25 thrill rides, live shows, and real chainsaws (okay, we made up that last one). GA tix are $34.95 and doors open at 7 p.m. til midnight tonight and Saturday (closed Sunday, but the schedule opens up to include additional nights as we get closer to Halloween). Note: This is NOT recommended for children under 12 years old (or grown ups of a nervous disposition - click here for video teaser if you're not sure if you're hard enough.)
• October 3, 2014 14:24 Oktoberfest Time: This annual German stein and Schwein fest seems to be bigger than usual this year, so here's a quick round-up of specials and events we've heard about so far:

  • Naturally, they're old hands at this at Hofbräuhaus, the German beer hall on Paradise, and their annual traditional keg tappings have been underway since Sept. 13, when Siegfried and Roy did the honors. There will be celebratory keg tappings every Friday and Saturday now through Oct. 31 (click the link for the lineup), plus a different food special served daily after 4 p.m. and live entertainment.
  • Downtown's going big on beer this year, with the Fifth Annual Beer Fest at the Golden Nugget Oct. 10-11, featuring in excess of 125 brews to choose from at the All American Craft Beer Tasting on Friday ($55) and Saturday's Oktoberfest Pool Party featuring live music, food, and and MORE beer at the Tank Pool. Admission's fee to this one; food and drink tix are purchased separately.
  • Plus, the Plaza's new Bier Garten celebrates its first Oktoberfest with brews, brats, and wursts. The venue's open from 11 a.m. to midnight daily.
  • Oyster Bay Seafood & Wine Bar in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood is serving a special Oktoberfest menu this month.
  • Distill – A Local Bar (Summerlin) is hosting an "OctoberFeast" beer-pairing dinner on Sunday, Oct. 19, with a variety of specially selected beers and a four-course meal featuring menu items including sausage and sauerkraut fritters pork loin medallins schnitzel. Tickets are $55 per person.
  • Public House at Venetian is offering the Lebensmittel und Bier pairing menu, with fresh baked pretzels served with a trio of sauces and beer brats, paired with craft brews including seasonal offerings including Firestone Oaktoberfest, Ballast Point Oktoberfest, and Ayinger Oktoberfest. (We've had bizarrely conflicting info on how long this runs for, with one listing stating the cutoff was "Friday, Oct. 5" (huh? today is Friday Oct. 3 and, um, that would be pretty early to END your Oktoberfest festivities; so we called the venue and they said, oh no, it runs all month, so you have another week. Is this some ancient Teutonic calendar that these people are working to? Did the clocks change big time this year and we missed it, or ???)
  • The newly reincarnated Westgate Las Vegas is serving German specialty dishes at Burger Bistro, the SuperBook Deli, and Fortuna all month long, with a chance to win 15 cases of Warsteiner beer with a drawing ticket awarded with each Warsteiner beer or Bavarian entrée purchase. The grand prize drawing will be held at 9 p.m. Oct. 31 in Fortuna.
  • Aliante's Medley Buffet will be featuring an Oktoberfest station for lunch and dinner every day this month.
  • Oct. 17 Park on Fremont launches "Parktoberfest". Running through Oct. 31, the plan involves transforming the lot directly west of the Fremont East venue into a "rustic paradise" complete with hay-bale seating, keg-barrel tables, and a picnic area, rivaling the Plaza's recently debuted Bier Garten at the other end of Fremont Street. Parktoberfest, which will coincide with the Life Is Beautiful extravaganza, will also feature live entertainment nightly from DJs and bands, food offerings, specialty beers on tap, dancing, and games including beer pong, corn hole, and hammerschlagen (apparently a medieval precursor to "whack-a-mole.") The festival will run from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesday through Friday and 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. .
• October 3, 2014 12:56 Asylum, Hotel Fear Open Tonight: The first of Las Vegas' numerous haunted houses come online tonight at 6:30 p.m., with the opening of veteran Halloween attractions Asylum and Hotel Fear, both of which will be open until midnight. Located at the Meadows Mall northwest parking lot, across from JC Penny's, from now on they will be open Thursdays through Sundays till Halloween week, when the events will operate Wednesday Oct. 26 through Nov. 1. General admission to each attraction is $15, or save with a combo pass to both for $25 (plus, look out for Look for $2-off coupons at area Sonic Drive-In, Smith's, and Terrible Herbsts locations.)

As to age restrictions, we will let the awesome FAQ on the official website do the talking:

Q: Can I bring children?
A: While you can bring children, it is up to the individual parent. We try and present a very realistic environment that may be disturbing for those of an impressionable age. But it will vary with the individual. We have had adults pee their pants and the 8 year old with them want to go through again!! Only YOU know what is best for your child.
• October 3, 2014 10:17 Las Vegas This Weekend: From beer to bikes, Asian cuisine to art, harvests to Hawaiian, and hemp to hops, it's a veritable festivalpalooza this weekend! So, whatever your cup of tea may be, get out and enjoy the lovely weather.

  • BikeFest 2014 gears up for a four-day festival at the Cashman Field Center (10/2-10/5)
  • MGM Resorts Village across from Luxor hosts the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival (10/3-10/5), with the After-Harvest party taking place inside the Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay (10/3-10/5)
  • Disney Live will be inside Orleans Arena (10/3-10/5), while Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts will be performing in The Showroom (10/4-10/5)
  • The festivals continue with the Pure Aloha Festival over at Rio's Pavilion parking lot (10/3-10/5)
  • Funny woman Wanda Sykes takes center-stage at Treasure Island (10/3)
  • Boulder City hosts this year's Art in the Park throughout Wilbur, Bicentennial, and Escalante Parks, with more than 300 artists, artisans, and craftspeople selling their wares, plus food offerings and more (10/4-10/5)
  • Aziz Ansari brings his stand-up to the Events Center at Mandalay Bay (10/4)
  • Grapes & Hops Festival takes places at Springs Preserve, benefiting Par for The Cure (10/4)
  • Clarky County Amphitheater hosts Hempfest which features exhibits, vendors, and speakers (10/4)
  • Don't miss the outdoor celebration of Asian cuisine during LUCKYRICE at Cosmopolitan's Boulevard Pool (10/4)
  • Join Pawn Stars in their Poker Run as they raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation of Nevada by leading thousands of bikers through Las Vegas, with festivities and plenty of celebrations to follow (10/5)
  • And for those planning to check out Mandalay Bay's Stoplight ABC (Anything But Clothes) Party inside the Foundation Room, make sure you're in costume if you want some free cocktails!
• October 3, 2014 10:05 QoD Live: Today's Question of the Day, about the future of a downtown Major League Soccer stadium, is now live.
• October 3, 2014 09:29 Q0D Problem: Today's Question of the Day will be posted late, due to a database oddity, but don't worry we are working on it and it should be up and live in about 30 minutes.
• October 2, 2014 13:53 Suspicious Package Closes I-15 at Trop: All southbound lanes of I-15 at Tropicana avenue have been closed  in the vicinity of the Tropicana exit while a suspicious package is investigated. NHP is currently forcing traffic to exit at Trop and re-enter the I-15 and Russell Road. We'll post more details as and when they become available.
• October 2, 2014 12:15 Winning Bidder for Revel Announced: The surprise winner of the bankruptcy-court auction for Atlantic City's Revel resort-casino Wednesday, with a bid of $110 million, was Canadian asset-management company Brookfield US Holdings. The company, which also owns the Hard Rock hotel-casino in las Vegas and Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas, says it plans to reopen the property as a casino, but some questions remain, including how the resort will be branded going forward. Revel's name was not part of the package and is the one asset retained by the resort's original owners, while east of the Mississippi the Hard Rock brand is under an exclusive licensing deal with Florida's Seminole Tribe, which not so long ago considered introducing a boutique Hard Rock to the New Jersey gaming enclave, but scrapped the plan as the economy tanked. In order to operate as a Hard Rock, Brookfield would presumably need to enter into an agreement with the Seminoles.

In addition, and perhaps more significantly, the Associated Press reports that Brookfield has financial woes of its own in relation to the Hard Rock Las Vegas, stating in an August filing with securities regulators that it did not have sufficient funds to make an interest payment due at the end of that month and was "trying to work things out with its lenders," who could demand immediate payment of almost $1 billion. The majority of that debt was accrued thanks to an extensive and ill-timed expansion and the property has continued to lose money since Brookfield took control in 2011. The bankruptcy court has not yet approved the Revel sale and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement must decide what entities need to be licensed and conduct the standard background investigations before the Gaming Commission can hold the relevant hearings. Should Brookfield's purchase fail to be ratified, then runner up Glenn Straub, the Florida property developer who proposes an unorthodox plan to turn the resort-casino into a university think tank, could yet be the new owner.
• October 2, 2014 11:13 15th Anniversary Giveaways at Rampart: Another casino birthday, this time at the Rampart, which is celebrating a decade and a a half with a $100,000 15th Anniversary Giveaway. – Every Friday and Saturday in October there will be qualifying drawings at 8:15 p.m. and 10 winners selected for prizes of between $250 and $5,000 cash. Every 100 points in slot play or one hour with a $10 average bet on table games earns one entry (earn two times entries Monday through Thursday). Each winner in the qualifying drawings will be entered in the grand prize giveaway on Friday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 25 at 9:15 p.m., with the chance to win up to $10,000 cash.

On Friday, Oct. 10, there will be a champagne and cake ceremony for players from 6 to 9 p.m. and throughout that weekend Resort Rewards players who earn 50 base points will receive a free, commemorative 15-year anniversary T-shirt.
• October 2, 2014 10:43 Aliante Celebrates Two Years: Aliante Casino + Hotel + Spa, to quote its official title since leaving the Stations fold, is celebrating two-year anniversary as an independently owned and operated property with a range of promotions throughout October and November. There's a sweepstake, now underway, for a chance to win a two-night stay and dinner for two by becoming a fan on Facebook and "liking" Aliante’s page. In addition, a "Spa-nniversary" promo from Friday, Oct. 24, through Sunday, Nov. 30 includes a complimentary 25-minute express treatment for the face, body or nails when any treatment of 50 minutes or more is booked. Other  celebrations include specialty fall menu items at FARM 24-7.
• October 1, 2014 18:26 Bond Movie Screening ... in 39 Minutes*!: Apologies for the late notice, but we've been deluged with "news" today. After all the bad variety that's been emanating from downtown, here's something good to share, namely a 7 p.m. screening of classic (yup, it's Sean as 007) James Bond movie Diamonds are Forever, which features lots of on-location filming in Las Vegas (and plenty of "on-location" filming pretending to be in Las Vegas). It's part of Vegas Seven's "Seven Essential Vegas Movies" series and, as such, admission is free (if you count the purchase of one $7 cocktail, beer, or non-alcoholic cocktail as "free"); candy and other movie snacks are available at the front counter. Now, hurry!

*Make that 35 minutes -- it took us four to write this.
• October 1, 2014 18:05 Record-Breaking Attempt Underway at Rí Rá: It kicked off at 1 p.m. today but fear not if you weren't there, because Rí Rá Irish pub's attempt to break a Guinness World Record for hosting nonstop live music will continue for at least 16 days, possibly longer. The marathon concert at the Mandalay Place venue will feature a variety of musical styles, with participating bands/artists (some of whom are flying in from the Emerald Isle especially), to include: The Black Donnellys; John Windsor; Dirk Vermin; Paul Cray; Louise Barry; Sharon O’Brien; Eugene Quinn; Roy Buckley; Dave Rafferty; Dave Hughes; The American Diddle Idols; Clare Peelo; Gavin Carpenter; Na Cairde; Darby O’Gill and the Little People, and many more. Good luck!
• October 1, 2014 17:49 World Vegetarian Day: Yup, it's "eat a vegetarian day," with discounts and wine pairings all over town! We jest. And apologies for failing to post this in time for lunch, but hopefully we'll still reach all the hungry herbivores in time for dinner, so check out our extensive section on veggie and vegan-friendly restaurants in Las Vegas.
• October 1, 2014 16:28 New Social at El Cortez: While Vegas StrEATS evidently quietly parted ways with El Cortez some months ago (when? why?), the hip downtown casino is launching a new social event on Jackie Gaughan Parkway, with the launch of "Wineyard" on Friday, Oct. 10. The event, which evidently will take place on Fridays in October (we're not sure if it's ongoing) from 5 p.m. to midnight and will feature live music, wines by the glass/bottle, craft beers, and a selection of charcuterie and cheeses to nibble on.
• October 1, 2014 14:31 Zappos Founder Quits His 'Other' Job: The unexpected announcement Tuesday that Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos and the man whose vision was behind Las Vegas' ambitious Downtown Project, had stepped down from his position as head of the startup-city development, handed over the reigns to his attorney, and laid off a sizable element of the workforce, has caught national media attention, including the New York Times small-business blog, "You're the Boss." What Las Vegas Weekly has described as a "bloodletting" has so far seen at least 30 employees terminated, with DTP stating in its official statement that, "We continue to evaluate all of our initiatives in terms of those that achieve the right balance of both ROI (return on investment) and ROC (return on collisions)."

In 2012 Hseih personally invested $350 million into the redevelopment group, but in the wake of this week's seismic news, accusations of gross mismanagement and lack of leadership are flying (it's seemingly no coincidence that no less than three key figures involved in the project have committed suicide in past months). While some fruits of what has in part been an exercise in social engineering have been called "safe" (the newly reopened Bunkhouse live-music venue and 11th Street Records, which is set to debut later this year, for example), the fate of many other enterprises, both for-profit and non-profit, undoubtedly hangs in the balance.

For some interesting and informed insights into this story, check out the ongoing in-depth coverage by tech/media site Re/code, which has been featuring the DTP as part of its Las Vegas Special series, filed under "Innovation Nation."
• October 1, 2014 14:29 Arrivederci Circo: Bellagio's ground-breaking Italian restaurant, Osteria del Circo, finally closed for good last Monday, Sept. 29, after a 15-year run, and no one will mourn its passing more than Eating Las Vegas blogger John Curtas, who recalls its 1998 debut as the moment that changed everything on the Las Vegas dining scene. Circo's ultimate fate has been known for well over a year, but somehow the restaurant won a stay of execution past its announced "spring 2014" denouement, much like Bradley Ogden, which had numerous reprieves before finally exiting Caesars Palace, back in 2012. The space left by Circo's departure will be filled by Lago, a new Italian offering from Spanish star chef Julian Serrano, which is slated to open in March 2015.
• October 1, 2014 11:21 Big News Day for RV Parks: (And how often do you read that as a headline?) Following the news posted earlier about the Kampground of America site at Circus Circus having closed abruptly comes further word of major shake-ups on the LV RV scene. What we are now gathering from various press releases is that KOA will no longer the be the operator the the RV park at CC when it reopens later this year; meanwhile, KOA has taken over operations of the RV park at Sam's Town, effective immediately, under the terms of a long lease that sees the facility renamed Las Vegas KOA at Sam’s Town. It's a move that sees the company come full circle and return to its roots, since it was at a location on Boulder Highway where Las Vegas' original KOA debuted, back in 1971.

The new completely landscaped KOA at Sam's Town features almost 500 spaces across two parks, offering both 30- and 50-amp full-hook-up sites, spacious pull-through sites, and extended-stay opportunities. The park is fully landscaped and offers amenities including: designated pet areas; two pools with hot tubs; laundry and shower facilities; cable and WiFi; and a communal BBQ area.
• October 1, 2014 10:11 Circus Circus Campground Closed: As of today, the KOA Campground at Circus Circus is closed. However, at some point later this year, it's scheduled to reopen on the same site, but with only around 170 spaces (as opposed to the former count of 366). The re-imagined RV park will feature 60- to 80-foot pull-throughs with options for grass, patios, and outdoor furniture. It will continue to offer complimentary Wi-Fi, plus pool and laundry facilities. Pricing has yet to be announced, but it sounds as if the previous option for tent camping will be discontinued. For more info. or reservations call 1-800-444-2472.

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