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    by Published on 06-05-2015 09:13 PM
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    This Week's Las Vegas News

    Your First Look Inside the Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino
    BY: Bradley Martin/www.vegas.eater.com

    When the north Strip's Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino began construction last month, there were no visits from the governor, drummers, acrobats or Steve Wynn to herald the progress. The $373 million, 206-room boutique hotel and 19,000-square-foot casino project simply got on with the job and are now working full tilt for a 2016 debut.

    Spearheaded by the PENTA Building Group and a stunning vision from EV&A Architects, the laying of the foundation for the 10-story, ruby-red, Asian-themed resort is rapidly progressing. Project owners, The Las Vegas Economic Impact Regional Center, have now released more visions of their lush design plan for the resort, as they hope to lure final rounds of foreign investment money.

    More here:

    Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hotel & Casino Announces its First Ever
    New Member Guaranteed $1,000 Rebate Promotion

    Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hotel & Casino announces the debut of its new MY POINTS DOWNTOWN GRAND incentive play program, a generous $1,000 rebate program where members are guaranteed to “Get a Grand from the Grand”. Previously offered in only a handful of casinos, Downtown Grand is offering this rare gaming program for the first time ever, now through the rest of the year, ending on December 31, 2015.

    The only Las Vegas casino to currently offer this new member promotion, “Get a Grand from the Grand” provides new members with up to $1,000 back for play on all reel and video reel games. Open to both visitors and Nevada residents, the promotion requires a minimum loss of $50 to receive rebate. Rebate will be split up over three difference redemption periods totaling 100% of player’s loss. Players will have their Free Slot Pay automatically loaded onto their MY POINTS DOWNTOWN GRAND card.See the Downtown Grand Players Club for more information and official rules.

    “This casino program was designed with the player in mind, and is a very rare and generous promotion in the world of gaming,” says Seth Schorr, CEO of Downtown Grand. “We want our guests to feel excited ...
    by Published on 05-27-2015 11:21 AM
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    The News

    Jennifer Lopez: ‘It’s going to be the best J.Lo show you’ve ever seen and heard’
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun

    Global superstar singer, actress and dancer Jennifer Lopez says “the sky’s the limit” when it comes to creating her new residency at Axis at Planet Hollywood that begins Jan. 20. In an exclusive one-on-one interview, J.Lo told me that she’ll do 40 shows a year for the next two years on the Strip.

    “Everything I’ve ever done has led to this. I’ve spent my entire life waiting for this moment to create my own show,” she said excitedly.

    J.Lo says work on the setlist and music is only days away. She said that she’ll officially start the project June 1:

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    Hear that? Impressionist Veronic returns to Bally’s with her 50 ‘Voices’
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun

    Incredible French-Canadian singing-sensation Veronic DiCaire, who was discovered by French-Canadian superstar Celine Dion, returned to Las Vegas over the weekend from a European tour. She resumes 14 “Veronic Voices” shows at Bally’s starting today through June 15.

    “I missed Las Vegas while I was away traveling,” she told me as she was still unpacking from her touring. “We’ve been traveling a lot since the beginning of the year. We were in Quebec for the winter for two months, then we went to Europe for six weeks — Belgium, Switzerland and France.

    “I have to say I’m happy to be back and settle down and have my luggage and everything in my apartment and do what I have to do for the shows. It’s a luxury to be able to do that. I’m very happy to be back.“”

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    ‘X’ marks the spot for Flamingo burlesque beauties toasting 13 years
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun


    Call it Lucky No. 13: That’s the good luck charm number for Angela Stabile’s saucy, sassy and provocative show “X Burlesque” at the Flamingo. To celebrate its 13th anniversary on the Strip, Angela created new, sexy and barely there costumes and seductive dance routines.

    Celebrating with the cast of “X Burlesque” last Thursday night: Their curvy colleagues from “X Rocks” at the Rio, rival dancers from Jennifer Romas’ “Sexxy” at Westgate Las Vegas; Rich and Fitchy from “Puppetry of the Penis” at Erotic Heritage Museum; pro BMX rider and reality-TV star Ricardo Laguna; and Piff the Magic Dragon, formerly of the Cosmopolitan.

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    Fremont ...
    by Published on 05-06-2015 11:50 AM
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    The News

    A final look: The Riviera shuts its doors after 60 years on the Strip
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun

    Another one bites the dust.

    At high noon today, the doors to the renowned Riviera shut tight, and the life of a 60-year legendary icon comes to a bittersweet end.

    It truly is the end of an era, and it goes out with an ironic bang raking in all-time record room rates with sold-out occupancy because of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao fight.

    The 2,000-room building, which was the Strip’s first high-rise property, will officially die when it’s imploded this summer to make way for the new $2.3 billion Convention Center business district facility.

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    Riviera ends 60 years on Strip, closes for good

    In a surrealistic, you-don’t-see-that-everyday kind of way, the storied Riviera, a fixture on the north end of the Strip for 60 years, closed its doors for good Monday.

    Representatives of Paragon Gaming, the company managing the property for its previous owners, Starwood Capital Group, ushered late well-wishers out the door at noon as representatives of the state Gaming Control Board oversaw the closure.

    An hour before the 11 a.m. checkout time, men pushed carts of stage lights through the hotel lobby as the final hotel guests stared.

    Outside the casino’s Strip-facing doors, only about 10 passers-by stopped to photograph the landmark at 10:30 a.m. Crews working to remove the gold “R” door handles quickly caught the attention of others.

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    Longtime employees helped make memories at the Riviera
    BY: John L. Smith/LVRJ

    Closing time at the Riviera was less than four hours away, but Monday morning found Ernesto Caro in a familiar place at the once-fabulous Strip casino resort.

    While visitors came and went, Caro sprayed glass cleaner on the mirrors of the men’s room located between the Java Shop coffee kiosk and the Riviera Grande Ballroom. Once the foam covered the glass, he worked the cloth with vigor: once, twice and a third ...
    by Published on 04-29-2015 11:14 AM
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    The News

    Penn National to pay $360 million for the Tropicana
    BY: J.D. Morris/vegasinc.com

    Penn National Gaming said this morning that its acquisition of the Tropicana will cost $360 million.

    The day after the sale was first reported by VEGAS INC, Penn began to shed light on its vision for the classic property. Penn, a regional gaming company that operates the M Resort in Henderson, reiterated in a statement that it had long wanted to break into the Strip market and laid out a two-part plan for the Tropicana.

    Timothy Wilmott, Penn’s president and CEO, said in the statement that the acquisition was a “prudent transaction” that would allow Penn to run a “premier Strip asset at an attractive price of entry.”

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    Longtime Riviera headliner ‘Crazy Girls’ moves to Planet Hollywood
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun

    Days before the closing of the Riviera next Monday at noon and its 60-year run on the Strip comes exclusive news that the 28-year-old Riviera adult cabaret headliner “Crazy Girls” will move to Planet Hollywood.

    The topless beauties get their own Crazy Girls Theater in the new Strip location, which also is the home of Britney Spears and her “Britney: Piece of Me” at Axis at Planet Hollywood and the future home of Jenifer Lopez at the same Axis theater.

    I’m reliably told that Caesars Entertainment executives will transform the current Sin City Theater into Crazy Girls Theater on the mezzanine level of the casino resort. They hope to have it reopened for a May 13 premiere of the new “Crazy Girls” show.

    More here:


    It’s more than a hotel. It’s the Las Vegas connection.

    Parked right in the center of the Strip, The LINQ Hotel & Casino is the meeting of all worlds — European charm and American cool, the familiar and the creative, high tech and old Vegas. At the entrance to The LINQ Promenade where the Quad Hotel once stood is the shopping, dining and entertainment district’s namesake ...
    by Published on 04-17-2015 09:21 AM
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    The News

    Mariah Carey fans flood and crash Caesars Palace website
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun


    Fans of pop superstar Mariah Carey, who debuts her Las Vegas residency at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace from May 6-24 and again July 8-26, crashed the resort’s website Wednesday after she encouraged fans to read her cover story of its magazine Vegas Player.

    Mariah has sold more than 200 million records worldwide and surpassed Elvis Presley as the top solo artist with the most No. 1 singles in America.

    Fans by the thousands caused the website to freeze and then shut down. Caesars officials confirmed that for hours afterward when it went back online, it was experiencing a “very slow” situation and that they will have to reconfigure it for possible future overload.

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    ‘Duck Commander Musical’ begins previews at Rio; grand opening April 15

    The official red carpet gala premiere of “Duck Commander Musical” isn’t until next Wednesday at the Rio, but today is its first run of previews. Broadway veterans and Las Vegas locals have joined together to celebrate the Robertson family’s rags-to-riches story aired on A&E’s “Duck Dynasty.”

    The Louisiana bayou has been transported to the Las Vegas stage in a 90-minute show with Southern spirit and down to Earth humor from some of America’s most famous rednecks. Upcoming Caesars Palace headliner Mariah Carey’s former husband, record producer Tommy Mottola, is one of the producers of the new musical.

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    Jennifer Romas’ ‘Sexxy’ is renewed at Westgate Las Vegas
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun


    Executives at Westgate Las Vegas have given Jennifer Romas and her “Sexxy” showgirls their first “indefinite” contract renewal.

    “We are very happy with the show and look forward to its continued success,” Westgate COO Mark Waltrip told me.

    Jennifer originally launched the sexy dance adult cabaret show just before New Year’s with three weeks’ notice.

    Sixty years of the Riviera: Making a ‘Splash’ with Las Vegas’ first water show
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun

    The Riviera moves closer and closer to its final days. The doors shut to the public on Monday, May 4. To date, we have looked at Liberace, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton and Pia Zadora’s connection with the hotel as it ends its 60-year run as a legendary Las Vegas icon.

    Time now to turn the spotlight on producer Jeff Kutash as we continue our look back at some of the highlights, fun facts, celebrity sightings and rarely seen photographs that helped build the Strip’s first high-rise hotel and casino.

    Week five of RivFacts honors the long-running aquatic show “Splash.” Premiering June 22, 1985, “Splash” was billed as an “aquacade” of music and dance.

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    BY: Susan Stappleton/Las Vegas Magazine

    Back in 1987, three friends put together a comedic performance art piece that started with small shows in New York clubs and grew into a full-fledged production four years later housed in its own showroom, the 300-seat Astor Place Theatre. Blue Man Group still performs there to this day.

    For Las Vegas, something much more dramatic is required in a 1,200-seat space at the Monte Carlo. The men in blue just revamped their show to stay fresh with the times, retooling about half of the acts, adding new vignettes and removing others. Only two pieces remain the same, says Michael Dahlen, one of the two creative directors of Blue Man Group.

    “We’re constantly looking at our shows and thinking, ‘What’s next?’ It’s a real luxury as an organization to do that,” Dahlen says. “I just don’t think Blue Man Group survives if that’s not part of our DNA.”

    He says the whole 105-minute show flows better with these upgraded acts. Crazier instruments and snazzier lighting add to the dramatic way the new show unfolds.

    More here:

    ‘Duck Commander Musical’ review: Before fame, money and beards
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun

    Now don’t misunderstand me: I don’t want the new “Duck Commander ...
    by Published on 03-15-2015 07:26 AM
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    The News

    Sixty years of the Riviera began with Liberace on opening day April 20, 1955
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun

    It is without doubt the end of an era.

    At noon Monday, May 4, the doors to the Riviera will be shut, and gamblers, tourists and regulars will no longer be able to enter the historic and venerable Riviera.

    Sadly, that’s just two months away, and it will bring to a close after 60 years some remarkable highlights of Las Vegas history at the Strip’s first high-rise hotel and casino.

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    Official confirms Celine Dion’s return to Colosseum at Caesars Palace
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun

    For the first time, superstar singer Celine Dion’s management has officially confirmed her return to the Las Vegas stage with a new and refreshed show. Plans have begun to move forward with Celine’s return to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace as I reported last week.

    This morning, her new manager, Aldo Giampaolo, head of her production company Feelings, confirmed through his press representative Francine Chaloult in Montreal: “I want to reassure the media, the public and her fans that Celine is returning, although no actual date has yet been determined.”

    He also confirmed the news that four of her musicians, musical conductor Claude “Mego” Lemay, who has been with her for 28 years, will depart the band along with Yves Frulla, Andre Coutu and Jean-Seb Carree when their contracts end this weekend.

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    BY MATT KELEMEN/Las Vegas Magazine

    It was once considered one of the most valuable underused pieces of land on the Strip, but the puzzle of how to best use the parcel at the southeast corner of Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Boulevard in front of Bally’s is coming together in the form of The Grand Bazaar Shops. The new shopping destination was initially inspired by world-class shopping destinations such as Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar or London’s Portobello Road and developed to suit Vegas sensibilities. Dozens of vendors inhabit stalls and small shops laid out in several rows, with a wide-open promenade dominating the layout and adjoined by islands and covered alleys that offer everything from ...
    by Published on 03-06-2015 10:01 AM
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    The News


    Elvis Presley’s Graceland and Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino announced today that they will bring the authentic Elvis Presley back to Las Vegas for the first time in 40 years. “Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition - The Show - The Experience” will include an expansive, new permanent exhibition featuring hundreds of artifacts never before displayed outside of Graceland, and live entertainment shows that celebrate the life and legacy of Elvis Presley. Graceland Holdings LLC Managing Partner Joel Weinshanker and Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegel together made the historic announcement that Elvis will be back in the building, and unveiled specific details of the upcoming exhibition and entertainment, which are scheduled to debut April 23, 2015. The press conference took place on the 46th anniversary of Elvis’ first press event at the construction site of the same venue, then known as the International Hotel, where Elvis performed over 600 record-breaking, sold-out shows.

    The first-ever permanent Graceland exhibition outside of Memphis will encompass over 28,000 square feet and include hundreds of artifacts from the Presley family’s treasured Graceland Archives, showcasing the man, the performer and the music that revolutionized popular culture around the world. Visitors will experience an unprecedented journey through Elvis’ life and career, beginning with his early days in Tupelo, Miss., through his first recording session in Memphis, rise to fame, Hollywood career, life at Graceland, the Las Vegas years and more. Graceland-produced videos will immerse guests in the experience, concluding with a 26-minute retrospective film featuring Elvis’ greatest performances.

    Some of the rare artifacts include Elvis’ high school yearbooks, his first Gold Album, his 1957 Harley Davidson motorcycle, a 1962 Lincoln Continental, 1971 Stutz Blackhawk, jewelry and iconic stage wear from Elvis’ live performances, including the first outfit worn on stage for his first concert at the International Hotel in 1969. Select artifacts will be rotated regularly with artifacts in the Graceland Archives, to keep the exhibit constantly evolving and fresh. The exhibition will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and tickets are priced at $22 plus taxes and fees, and available for purchase now.

    The newly renamed and renovated Elvis Presley International Showroom will present Elvis-themed live shows for limited engagement runs on the very stage where Elvis performed for millions of guests during his record-breaking, seven-year stint from 1969 through 1976. The debut show will be “The Elvis Experience,” a large-scale production replicating one of Elvis’ legendary Las Vegas shows, starring actor Martin Fontaine and featuring 24 musicians and eight choir members portraying the original musicians and artists on stage with Elvis. The Elvis Experience is scheduled to open with the exhibition on April 23 and perform Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and start at $49 plus taxes and fees. After this limited engagement, the property will feature other limited-run, Graceland-produced live shows in the Elvis Presley International Showroom.

    Another exciting feature will be the new, “Elvis Presley’s Graceland Wedding Chapel” which will be the first-ever wedding chapel in Las Vegas to be operated by Elvis Presley Enterprises. Additional information on the chapel and special packages will be announced in March. The chapel is also scheduled to open on April 23.

    The grand opening of the exhibition, live show and wedding chapel will be marked with a star-studded celebration, with Priscilla Presley joining the roster of VIPs and celebrities on the red carpet. Tickets for the exclusive opening celebration and opening weekend are on sale now.

    “Elvis is synonymous with Las Vegas and this property, so we are tremendously excited to have this new attraction and live show here to entertain Las Vegas visitors,” said David Siegel, CEO of Westgate Resorts. “It is a true honor to join forces with Elvis Presley’s Graceland to bring Elvis to the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. We are thrilled to have Elvis back in the building.”

    “After a 40 year absence, it’s time for the authentic Elvis Presley to return to Las Vegas,” stated ...

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