Compiled by LVA Research
• January 21, 2011 MTV Comes to Palms:
Following the success of their "Real World" collaboration, it's just been announced that the Palms will be "party central" for MTV's "Spring Break" from March 6-9, a first time for Las Vegas hosting the show.
• January 21, 2011 Osmonds Return:
After a hiatus from performing in Las Vegas while they took their show to Broadway for a limited holiday run, brother-and-sister act Donny & Marie are back on stage at the Flamingo tonight.
• January 21, 2011 Free Tix to Movie Premiere:
If you're going to be in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Jan. 26, take a look on the middle right-hand-side of the home page for a great FREE offer! We have 25 pairs of free tickets to give away for the Las Vegas premiere of new action flick sign up with your email and phone number, so we can tell you when and where to pick up your complimentary tix to the premiere on January 26 -- first come, first served!
• January 21, 2011 Artist Meet & Greet:
Meet artist and sculptor Richard MacDonald today from 1-4 p.m., and again from 8-10 p.m., at the gallery adjacent to the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at Bellagio.
• January 21, 2011 LVA in the Media:
There's been a flurry of activity at LVA in the Media of late, including the latest edition of Anthony Curtis' nationally syndicated weekly column just going live and lots of recent TV and print attention. Just click the link.
• January 21, 2011 Miami Beach Says No to Casinos:
Despite Gov. Rick Scott's support of Las Vegas-style resort-casinos (see this column 1/7/2010), Miami Beach city officials unanimously voted against allowing casino resorts in Florida this week. "If this happens, our entire city will change," Commissioner Ed Tobin is quoted as saying by the Miami Herald.
• January 20, 2011 Annual Membership Back at LVASports:
For a while we discontinued the discounted rate on annual subscription to the members-only LVASportsboards, which is available again ahead of the Super Bowl for $199.00 (monthly fee is $24.95). Benefit from many of the top minds in sports betting in the nation by joining the conversation today.
• January 20, 2011 More Sports News:
A new free "Featured Thread" is live, plus Anthony Curtis' weekly "Football Update" has been added at LVASports.com.
• January 20, 2011 Rockbar Rockin' on Thursdays:
Every Thursday PBR Rockbar in the Miracle Mile Shops will be featuring live music from Against The Grain and an open bar for $35, featuring all Jack Daniels drinks, draft beers, from 10:30 until 11:30 p.m.
• January 20, 2011 Las Vegas This Weekend: Highlights include an eclectic music lineup, plus plenty of laughs to suit all tastes. For full weekend listings, check out our Events section.
- The Las Vegas Hilton welcomes Gilbert Gottfried (1/19-1/30)
- Drew Carey's doing improv at MGM Grand (1/20-1/22)
- David Spade does stand up at the Venetian (1/21-1/22)
- Comedian Jay Leno's back at the Mirage (1/22)
- Funny lady Paula Poundstone performs at the Orleans (1/22-1/23)
- Social Distortion takes the stage at the House of Blues inside Mandalay Bay (1/20-1/21), followed by The Wailers (1/23)
- Jon Secada performs at the Tropicana (1/20-1/22)
- Weezer entertains at the Hard Rock (1/21), followed by the Jägermeister Music Tour featuring Buckcherry, Hellyeah, All That Remains, and The Damned Things (1/22)
- And Gladys Knight's out at Buffalo Bills (1/22)
• January 20, 2011 Ethier on Crap vs. Craps:
Question of the Day occasional Expert Contributor Stewart Ethier wrote in with an interesting "Update" to today's answer, so check it out, even if you've already read today's QoD.
• January 20, 2011 Kudos to New Boutique Hotel:
RUMOR, the new boutique adult-only hotel opposite the Hard Rock, is among Oyster.com's picks for "hidden gems", reports today's USA Today, which also contains a poll about readers' Las Vegas preferences. For our current reader poll about where you like to gamble, and the Poll Archives full of more than three year's worth of surveys, just click the links.
• January 20, 2011 Historic Cal Neva to Reopen:
The casino at the Lake Tahoe resort once owned by Frank Sinatra and frequented by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and the Rat Pack, closed last April after three years of operating at a loss. But now operators say they plan to reopen the casino with limited gaming as soon as early February, beginning with video poker machines at the bar and slots in the lobby.
• January 20, 2011 Top 40 Restaurants:
The annual "Restaurant Edition" of Gayot names the Top 40 eateries in the U.S., four of which are in Las Vegas. Joël Robuchon, Picasso, Restaurant Guy Savoy, and Twist by Pierre Gagnaire are also among the Top 10 of the "50 Essential Restaurants" named in Eating Las Vegas.
• January 19, 2011 Murren Guest at State Dinner:
The Washington Post has published the guest list for tonight's Chinese state dinner, and reveals that MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren is among those invited. The company is one of the big international players with a casino presence in the booming Macau market.
• January 19, 2011 Hard Rock Beach Casting Call:
It's just been announced that the Hard Rock's Beach Club casting call will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 1 from noon to 7 p.m. The open audition will be to fill all seasonal postions, including at SKYBAR and REHAB, including cocktail servers, lifeguards, cabana attendants, VIP hosts, and more. Patrons are asked to bring a resume and dress to impress in beach attire. Audition photos will be taken. For full listings of Las Vegas' hottest pool scenes, check out our Cool Pools feature, which we'll be updating for the 2011 season as soon as details of this summer's events are announced.
• January 19, 2011 A.C. Hilton Foreclosure Called Off:
A foreclosure hearing for the Atlantic City Hilton has been called off while both sides continue to try to work out an agreement to possibly sell the Boardwalk resort-casino, which is in default of its mortgage. Attorneys were scheduled to appear today before state Superior Court Judge William C. Todd III to argue a motion that would allow lenders to foreclose on what is Atlantic City's smallest casino, but both sides have agreed to put the litigation on hold for the time being, reports the pressofAtlanticCity.com.
• January 19, 2011 Atlantic City on NPR:
Today's episdoe of NPR's Marketplace show features a story about Atlantic City's efforts to diversify away from its dependence upon casino revenue, in the light of its persistent economic decline and is eyeing the convention business. The show airs locally at 3 p.m. on 88.9 KNPR.
• January 19, 2011 Shrimp Hunt in the Desert:
According to today's LV Sun, a Las Vegas company is getting a tax break to open an organic, sustainable shrimp farm in North Las Vegas. Apparently, about half the facility's shrimp will go to the local market.
• January 19, 2011 Possible New Casino for Canada:
Vancouver city council has given preliminary approval for what would be the largest casino in Western Canada, although councillors are awaiting answers to many questions before the plan goes to a public hearing on Feb. 17. If the project gets the green light, the casino would be part of a massive development around BC Place and would include 150 gaming tables and 1,500 slot machines, making it three times the size of the Edgewater casino.
• January 19, 2011 Macau Still Booming:
Analysts have predicted that casino revenue in Macau may climb 30 percent to $30 billion in 2011, thanks to increased visitation from mainland China. "Improvements in the macro environment, as well as China's tourism push, should result in higher average spending and hence revenues," wrote analysts for CLSA Ltd., as reported by Bloomberg.
• January 18, 2011 CNN Blog Weighs in on Vegas Food Scene:
It's been a turbulent couple of weeks on the Las Vegas dining scene (see earlier posts in this column), and now CNN's Eatocracy blog is weighing in, with Frank Pellegrino, Jr., co-owner of Rao's in Caesars Palace, and Eating Las Vegas author John Curtas sharing their thoughts on the apparent shift from "fine dining" to a more casual-oriented culinary scene.
• January 18, 2011 Top 50 Most Influential in U.S. Food Scene:
Food site The Daily Meal has put together a list of what it deems to be the 50 most powerful people on the U.S. food scene. While some, like chefs Nobu Matsuhisa, Mario Batali, Tom Colicchio, Wolfgang Puck, are no surprise (and all have a presence in Las Vegas, as does Rich Melman, founder of the Lettuce Entertain You group that includes the likes of Mon Ami Gabi, El Segundo Sol, and Stripburger), other inclusions are more oblique, like Steve Jobs and Michael Bloomberg. Click the link for the full list.
• January 18, 2011 Street Entertainers Coming to FSE?:
Las Vegas officials voted today to send an ordinance to the full City Council which, if passed, would allow for street performers and entertainers under the canopy of the Fremont Street Experience, provided that certain criteria were met, including not interfering with pedestrian traffic and staying a designated distance from doorways, ATM machines, outdoor cafe areas, and so on. The proposal could go to a vote as soon as Feb. 2, reports this afternoon's R-J.
• January 18, 2011 Wet Republic Recruiting:
Yesterday it was the Palms Pool; today Wet Republic at MGM Grand begins holding auditions for the 2011 pool season. The first casting call runs from Jan. 18-21, followed by a second wave Jan. 24-26. Auditions will take place inside LAX nightclub at the Luxor from 1-5 p.m. and the events are limited to 100 people each day, so get there early to avoid disappointment or a wasted journey.
• January 18, 2011 Another Rabbit Display:
Following in the pawprints of Bellagio and Palazzo, Crystals at CityCenter unveils itw own Year of the Rabbit display tomorrow, described in the press release as a "gargantuan golden display of a graceful rabbit ... weighing 1,200 pounds, reaching over 11 feet tall, and stretching 12 feet long." The exhibit will be on display from January 19 – March 7.
• January 18, 2011 New Bob Dancer Column Posted:
The latest exclusive weekly column from video poker guru Bob Dancer has been posted -- just click the link to read.
• January 17, 2011 Witnesses Sought in IP Death:
Channel 8 reports that Metro is currently investigating a death at Imperial Palace and trying to ascertain whether the person jumped deliberately or accidentally fell. Any witnesses are urged to come forward.
• January 17, 2011 Gayot Names Vegas' Top Dining Spots:
Gayot.com has named its Top Ten dining hotspots in Las Vegas. While there's some interesting crossover with our author's Top Ten of the "Essential 50" restaurants in Las Vegas, as reviewed in Eating Las Vegas, there are some notable absences and additions. We'll let you make your own mind up.
• January 17, 2011 Nevada Ranks as Moderately Tolerant:
According to a list compiled by The Daily Beast, Nevada ranks #20 in the list of most tolerant states in the U.S., reports today's LV Sun.
• January 17, 2011 Poker Stars Launches Home Games:
The world's largest poker site has introduced online home games that allow serious or recreational players to set up private 'Poker Clubs' and play in online home games together, regardless of where they are in the world.
• January 17, 2011 Defending the Caveman Debuts:
Opening in what we believe is its third Las Vegas home, popular comedy Defending the Caveman debuts at Harrah's tonight. Don't forget there's a twofer/50%-off offer in the 2011 MRB, which also features more than 40 other Las Vegas show deals.
• January 17, 2011 Criss Angel Guest Appearance:
First Carrot Top was on "CSI" last week; now you can catch Cirque headliner Criss Angel guesting on an all-new episode of "Rules of Engagement" tonight on CBS.
• January 17, 2011 Hussong's Birthday Bash:
Hussong's Cantina at Mandalay Bay turns one today and is celebrating with live music and all-you-can-drink margaritas for $18.92 from 6 p.m. to close, plus bring one non-perishable food item and receive a complimentary tequila sunrise shot.
• January 17, 2011 Points Promo at South Point for MLK Day:
Get 5X points on slots and video reel machines and 2X points on video poker all day today at South Point in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
• January 17, 2011 Angel Stands In:
Angel Porrino stands in for headliner Holly Madison in Peepshow this week, following her successful run filling in for the former Playmate last year. Click the link for a seat upgrade.
• January 17, 2011 Palms Pool Reminder:
The Palms Pool is hiring lifeguards, cocktail servers, bartenders, food runners, porters, security, and managers from 1-7 p.m. today in Rain nightclub. Fill in an application and upload your resume at www.ninegroup.com/careers.
• January 17, 2011 Downtown Gets Funky New Grocery Store:
The Las Vegas Sun reports how downtown has finally got a convenient grocery store, and not just any grocery store. Resnicks is a 1,400-square-foot "bodega" located in SoHo Lofts (900 Las Vegas Blvd. Sth.) that features vintage and modern artwork and stocks organic and eco-friendly lines, as well as home-made sandwiches and salads. For more on eco-friendly living in this town, check out our Vegas Green Guide, where you can find information on eco-friendly hotels, attractions, and dining options.
• January 17, 2011 Local Food Critic Shunned by Wynn?:
We have yet to speak with the man himself, so this is purely what we've read as reported in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, but according to gossip columnist Norm!, Eating Las Vegas co-author John Curtas was told he was unwelcome at the closing party for Alex at Wynn on Saturday, following comments he made in his blog about the resort's attitude towards fine dining vs. nightlife. Curtas allegedly showed up to pay his respects to chef Alex Stratta, but was told by a PR representative that his presence was not wanted. We'll bring you more on this if we hear anything.
• January 16, 2011 Room Fire at Bally's:
We were just on the Strip and encountered several fire trucks at the Flamingo/Las Vegas Blvd. intersection. It turns out that the Fire Department was recently called to deal with a mattress fire on the 25th floor at Bally's. We'll keep you posted if we hear more, but for now it doesn't seem that Strip traffic is any worse than normal and reports say the fire was extinguished by the hotel's sprinkler system. (This item posted at 3:35 p.m.)
• January 16, 2011 60 Minutes Reminder:
Tonight's episode of 60 Minutes includes a feature on Billy Walters and sports betting. Walters is considered the king of sports betting and he granted what appears to be a surprising level of access. Should be interesting.
• January 16, 2011 Lotta Lotto:
A 29-year-old Idaho woman has stepped forward as the second of two winners of the $380 million Mega Millons, the second-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. She'll split the prize with a couple from Washington. How do you win a huge lottery? According to an article in today's Parade magazine, maybe you just have to visualize it. A woman who won a $112 million prize says she concentrated on winning that exact amount long before the lottery she won ever reached that level. Stranger things.
• January 16, 2011 Today's NFL Lines:
In today's first NFL playoff game, the Bears are solid 10-point favorites over the Seahawks. The total is mostly 43, though you can find from 42 to 43.5 if you shop for the side you want. In the second game, the Patriots are 9.5 favorites over the Jets and the total is 45.
• January 15, 2011 Today's NFL Playoffs:
In today's first NFL playoff game, the Steelers are 3.5 favorites over the Ravens and the total is 37. In the second game, the Falcons are 1.5 favorites over the Packers and the total is 44.
• January 15, 2011 Alex Closes:
It's a sad day for fine dining with today's closing of Alex Stratta's signature French restaurant at Wynn. The restaurant's setting will now be used for special events and private parties, while the high-end Italian wines will go to Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare and the majority of the other wines from the cellar will be added to the SW Steakhouse wine list. For recommendations on the best of Las Vegas' restaurants, from gourmet to hole-in-the-wall, check out Eating Las Vegas 2011, available from ShopLVA,.com.
• January 15, 2011 Free Parks:
Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area will offer free admission for visitors through Jan. 17 in recognition of Martin Luther King Day.
• January 15, 2011 Garth on Sale:
Tickets for Garth Brooks' shows at Encore, with limited dates March 25 through July 23, go on sale at 10 a.m. today. These tickets, available exclusively through Ticketmaster.com or by calling 877/65-GARTH, have typically sold out within minutes of going on sale. Whether the newly increased ticket price of $225 will slow sales or not remains to be seen, but we advise those wanting tickets to strike early to avoid disappointment.