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  • Everything Las Vegas Issue # 802

    New Hotel Debuts in Downtown Las Vegas
    the D Las Vegas Delivers Fresh, Energetic Attitude and Fun Atmosphere.

    The former Fitzgeralds Casino & Hotel has completed its dramatic transformation to become the D Las Vegas, revealing a sleek new style, energetic attitude and fun atmosphere in the heart of downtown Las Vegas.

    Located beneath the largest video screen in the world on Vegas’ famous Fremont Street Experience, the D sits at the center of four neon blocks of non-stop party action. The property’s complete interior and exterior renovation embraces the upbeat culture of downtown and invites guests to experience the modern amenities, first-class entertainment, fun culinary experiences and unique gaming that abound inside.

    Click here for photos, video and more: http://bit.ly/theDLasVegasGrandOpening

    “We’re incredibly excited to be part of a new era in downtown Las Vegas,” said the D Owner and CEO Derek Stevens. “the D’s renovations reflect the high energy and friendly atmosphere of Fremont Street, and we want everyone to have a blast when they stay and play with us.”

    Renovations at the D focus on modern styling, while maintaining elements from classic Vegas and introducing glimpses of Detroit:

    the D stands for many things. Drawing inspiration from its home in Downtown Las Vegas and its owner’s hometown of Detroit as well as his first name.

    A new lobby and valet lead guests to one of the only two-level casinos in the city offering the latest in slots and table games on the first floor and a Vintage Vegas gaming experience on the second, featuring an array of coin-operated slots and the beloved Sigma Derby simulated horse-racing game.

    624 remodeled rooms offer modern, updated accommodations while 14 luxury suites provide guests with a lavish space for relaxing or entertaining.

    Two new high-energy bars – LONGBAR inside the casino and D Bar on Fremont Street – serve up frozen libations, an extensive beer menu and traditional cocktails 24/7.

    Featured on The Today Show, The Food Network and The Travel Channel, Detroit’s iconic American Coney Island restaurant opens its first-ever location outside of Michigan, serving up legendary Coney Dogs.

    Offering an entirely new take on the neon signage of Sin City, the D’s Fremont Street façade is now home to an exclusive interactive video display, known as “Face to Face,” which broadcasts colorful, dynamic content across hundreds of feet of LED signage and forty giant flat screen televisions.

    A Glimpse into the D Las Vegas:

    Dream & Doze. Guests will enjoy 624 completely remodeled rooms. The contemporary accommodations feature clean lines, bold colors and sleek gaming-inspired decor. Amenities include pillow-top mattresses, flat-screen TVs, safes, iPod docking stations, high-speed wired and wireless Internet access and more.

    D-luxe Suites. the D’s expansive new suites offer first-class luxury accommodations in the midst of downtown Las Vegas’ exciting atmosphere. The two-room suites inspired by classic menswear feature rich woods, marbles and leathers complemented by custom, hounds tooth carpeting and a pinstriped, felt couch adorned with herringbone and tweed accent pillows. A full wet-bar with black marble countertops and two refrigerators leads into a large, well-appointed entertaining area with three flat-screens. Expansive windows look out across the Las Vegas Valley providing an unrivaled perspective from the tallest building downtown. A separate sleeping area with plush, king-sized bed, flat-screen and lavish bathroom offer a private escape.

    Double Down. The unique two-level casino boasts the latest in slots and table games manned by playful dancing dealers on the first floor, and transport guests back in time to old-school Vegas with a Vintage Casino on the second. Gamblers can rock out to today’s hottest songs and enjoy 10x odds on Dice and all Blackjacks pay 3 to 2. On the second floor, those nostalgic for days past will delight in the retro tunes, jingle of coins and restored neon. Complete with the beloved Sigma Derby simulated, horse-racing game and a wide assortment of classic coin-operated three-reel slots including Double Diamond, Wild Cherry and Blazing 7s, there is no shortage of old school charm in the second floor’s throwback gaming experience.

    Down a Drink. When it’s time for a cold one, guests can pick their poison at three distinct bars. Immersed in the bustle of Fremont Street Experience, D Bar invites guests and passersby alike to enjoy refreshing frozen libations and specialty cocktails as talented, flair bartenders send bottles and glasses flying through the air to the sounds of the best bands around. Inside, guests can cool off at LONGBAR – the longest bar in Nevada, stretching the length of the first floor casino. Outfitted with massive flat-screens for prime sports watching, LONGBAR is an uninhibited locale for gathering, gaming and drinking. Upstairs, guests can take a break from vintage gaming to select from the extensive beer menu offered at Vue Bar.

    Delectable Dining. Detroit’s iconic American Coney Island brings its first out-of-state location to the D. A favorite of Detroiters and visitors for nearly a century, American Coney Island is the oldest family-owned business in Detroit. Founder Gust Keros coined the phrase “Coney Dog” and introduced the now legendary treat to the city of Detroit in 1917. The high-quality, specially seasoned, natural-casing Dearborn sausage brand hotdog is topped with the Keros family secret recipe Coney Island Chili Sauce, fine mustard and sweet chopped onions, and served in a warm steamed bun. The restaurant has continued to attract loyal patrons from every generation in Detroit and around the country. American Coney Island joins Courtyard Grill, serving up traditional American fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner and Don B’s Steakhouse.

    Dazzling Display. On the D’s Fremont Street Experience façade, an exclusive new lightshow designed and developed by Cirque du Soleil visionary Roger Parent, brings the casino’s exterior to life with “virtual tapestry technology.” Unlike any other light feature in Vegas, “Face to Face” features forty massive flat-screens arranged in mobile panels to stream colorful LED content 24 hours per day. An adjacent LED exterior escalator whisks guests to the second floor as playful graphics dance and swirl across the screens, interacting with passersby and leading the way inside. Additionally, Face to Face’s panels contract to create a mega screen, displaying content from live acts performing on nearby 3rd Street Stage.

    Dance with Prince. Die of Laughter. the D offers a lineup of entertainment in the showroom, sure to appeal to any guest. “Marriage Can Be Murder,” an award-winning interactive comedy and murder-mystery dinner experience, invites audience members to become a part of the show every night at 6:30 p.m. Thursday – Sunday, guests can join Jason Tenner and his band as Purple Reign, THE Prince Tribute Show performs live renditions of the legendary singer’s famous hits.

    Do Business. Featuring 8,000 square feet of meeting space, the D Las Vegas is equipped with one ballroom and four reconfigurable break-out rooms privately located on the 12th floor and conveniently accessible to guest rooms by elevators. The space can accommodate groups up to 300 people, whether for meetings, weddings or special events and has audio and visual equipment to keep events running smoothly. All meeting rooms will also soon offer Hotspot Wireless access at broadband speeds.

    The D Las Vegas Completes Dramatic Transformation.

    On Wednesday, October 10, the former Fitzgeralds Casino & Hotel will unveiled its completed transformation as the D Las Vegas. Boasting a sleek new style, energetic attitude and fun atmosphere in the heart of downtown Las Vegas, renovations focus on modern styling, while maintaining elements from classic Las Vegas:

    A new lobby and valet lead guests to one of the only two-level casinos in the city offering the latest in slots and table games on the first floor and a Vintage Vegas gaming experience on the second floor, featuring an array of coin-operated slots and the beloved Sigma Derby simulated horse-racing game.

    624 remodeled rooms offer modern, updated accommodations while 14 luxury suites provide guests with a lavish space for relaxing or entertaining.

    Two new high-energy bars – LONGBAR inside the casino and D Bar on Fremont Street – serve up frozen libations, an extensive beer menu and traditional cocktails 24/7.

    As seen on Food Network and the Today Show, Detroit’s iconic American Coney Island restaurant opens doors to its first-ever location outside of Michigan, on October 10 at the D.

    the D’s Fremont Street façade is now home to an exclusive interactive video display, known as “Face to Face,” which features colorful and dynamic content broadcast across hundreds of feet of LED signage and forty giant flat screen televisions.

    Christmas show and ‘Loberace’ are the start of CeeLo’s Strip conquest.
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun.

    Superstar CeeLo Green plans to conquer the Strip with a longer run of his new show “Loberace” debuting in February and hopes it will develop into a full-blown entertainment experience that makes him a resident Las Vegas headliner.

    “I have taken on the name ‘Loberace’ not as theft but as an homage to someone whom I adored. I respect the bravery of entertainers and their contributions to creative culture. I just want to pick up that torch and carry it even farther.

    “I believe somebody has to do it, so why not CeeLo Green?” he told me in an exclusive interview on Monday. “If I had a blank check, I would have done anything and everything to give people the greatest show on Earth.”

    More here:

    Steve's Las Vegas Quickies:

    Actress and restaurateur Eva Longoria’s shuttered restaurant and nightclub Beso at Crystals in CityCenter is being converted into a chi-chi, edgy and erotic theatrical dining venue known as SHe. Multimillionaire Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta is masterminding the plans with his Morton’s chain of steakhouses, and longtime Las Vegas showman Jeff Kutash is producing the four-night-a-week, after-dinner, midnight-to-3 a.m. eroticism.

    Beso closed in August and is now set to open for New Year’s Eve with the feminine-driven Morton’s Steakhouse and SHe nightclub concept. Jeff, who was the producer of “Splash,” which ran at the Riviera for 20 years (it was a Cirque du Soleil show before there was Cirque) starts auditions for SHe on Monday for his show component.

    I’m told that its avant-garde, push the envelope attitude with performance artists and sexy dancers will compete with The Act opening Oct. 24 at the Palazzo, a spinoff from the highly successful the Box clubs in New York and London. I don’t know yet if the sexy dancers at SHe will be nearly topless, but there will be seductive aerial and pole acts. “Splash” introduced Las Vegas audiences to specialty acts, including dangerous high-speed skaters and the motorcycle cage of death!

    There will be two shows in competition inspired by the blockbuster erotic S&M bondage domination novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.” I’ve already reported on British producer David King’s “Shades of Temptation” that has a soft opening Friday at New York-New York.

    Now comes word that producer Adam Steck (Human Nature, Thunder From Down Under, Australian Bee Gees) is to launch a parody of “Fifty Shades” titled “Spank.” It will debut at Crown Theater in the Rio on Nov. 1. Adam, who says it will start as a limited run but if successful will be extended, describes it as “part Second City and part Thunder From Down Under starring one gorgeous girl and one handsome guy,” as detailed in the bestselling book.

    Cantina Laredo, a new Mexican restaurant coming to Tivoli Village, is hiring for all positions and has 140 openings in total for bussers, servers, hosts, and kitchen positions.You can drop off your resume at the restaurant, which plans to hold interviews through October.

    As reported by Channel 3 News, Las Vegas Blog (Caesars Ent. official blog), and the LV Sun, the race to complete the first observation wheel in Las Vegas has apparently ground to a halt, at least at the south end of the Strip, where the developer behind the independent SkyVue owes more than $40 million in unpaid bills to lenders for the land parcel next door to the site, to prisoners hired as welding labor on the project, and to the state, for the use of prison facilities and staff. Developer Howard Bulloch has apparently asked for more time, but has reportedly failed to make a payment in years and has at least three federal tax liens against his company, totaling close to $700,000 for unpaid payroll taxes.

    Spago, Wolfgang Puck's famous power-lunch spot in the Forum Shops at Caesars, celebrates its 20th anniversary this December with a special limited-duration throwback menu. The celebrity chef will be in town this Dec. 11 to celebrate the event by greeting guests, taking photos, and cooking in the kitchen that day, while the limited-time-only throwback menu, featuring retro pricing and menu of Wolfgang and Spago’s signature dishes, will be available during dinner only beginning Monday, December 10 through Friday, December 14.

    For a significant number of dates in November and December, center-Strip Bally's offering an incredible Friends & Family rate of just $15/night, with no resort fee. We have no idea how long this deal will last, so check it out now if Las Vegas is in your upcoming travel plans.

    Downtown's National Museum of Organized Crime & Law Enforcement, aka the Mob Museum, recently recorded its 100,000th visitor, reports the LV Sun. The long-awaited attraction, which finally opened earlier this year, is on target to see double that many visitors by the end of the year. While these figures don't match an ambitious pre-opening projection of between a quarter of a million to 600,000 visitors per year, that study predated the recession, and museum officials remain confident that the attraction will have no problem covering its expenses in its debut year.

    Early-bird sign-ups have been announced for Caesars Entertainment's $550 million LINQ project, the 300,000-square-foot open-air retail, dining, and entertainment retail complex that's currently under construction center Strip. Among the first tenants to stake their claim to a spot are Sprinkles Cupcakes and Brooklyn Bowl restaurant, concert, nightclub, and bowling venue out of New York City.

    Other confirmed tenants, to date, include Yard House, an Asian restaurant called F.A.M.E. (food, art, music and entertainment), Flour & Barley, a brick oven pizzeria from Block 16 (The Barrymore, Public House, LBS Burger, etc.), Chayo Mexicano, an upscale casual eatery, featuring multiple bars, private dining rooms and indoor/outdoor seating, a bistro called Off the Strip Bistro, and the return of The Tilted Kilt Celtic-themed sports pub, which previously had two venues in the Rio and on Spring Mountain Road that closed a few years back. Also confirmed is KOTO lifestyle-trend and gift store, plus Ruby Blue, selling women’s accessories, including costume jewelry, novelty legwear and hats, and lingerie.

    Garrett Popcorn Shops, a Chicago tradition for more than 60 years, is opening its first Las Vegas store in Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood this week and will held its Grand Opening festivities on Thursday, Oct. 11, with a copper kettle christening to mark the ceremonial “first batch.” From 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 11, guests will receive complimentary treat-sized bags of The Chicago Mix. Also, Garrett Popcorn Shops fans on Facebook will receive a complimentary upgrade from medium to large for the entire day when they whisper the secret phrase.

    Tom Colicchio, renowned New York chef and head judge of Bravo's “Top Chef,” will open a new dinner restaurant at The Mirage next summer. The 250-seat restaurant will focus on meats prepared entirely over an open flame – from wood-burning ovens to charcoal grills. Colicchio's eatery will take the location currently occupied by Kokomo's, which will close in early 2013.

    Madame Tussauds Las Vegas at the Venetian will unveil a wax figure of pop superstar Madonna on Thursday, Oct. 11. The Madonna wax figure arrives at Madame Tussauds in time for her sold-out shows on Oct. 13 and 14 at the MGM Grand. The look was inspired by Madonna's 2012 Super Bowl performance.

    This Dec. 1-8, Cirque du Soleil will hold the third annual "Cirque Week" promo, with offers ranging from $150 for a two-show ticket package, to a $540 bundle that includes tickets to all seven Cirque du Soleil productions in Las Vegas. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit: www.cirquedusoleil.com/cirqueweek

    British singing sensation Susan Boyle makes her Las Vegas debut with Donny and Marie Osmond next Wednesday. She’ll duet with Donny at the Flamingo on “This Is the Moment,” one of the songs from her new album “Standing Ovation” to be released Nov. 13. Susan also will perform a solo of “Who I Was Born to Be.”

    Singer Shania Twain is ready for her relocation here next week to start the preliminary studio rehearsals for her new hits show “Still the One” at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace starting Dec. 1. Sir Elton John starts his newest run of dates tonight through Oct. 28, and Shania is expected to start her staging in early November. Although she admits to writing new songs, she says “Still the One” will be all about her favorite hits. Expect to see Lionel Richie there on opening night! Shania says she won’t think about planning a new album until the show is up and running.

    Congratulations to magician Murray Sawchuck, who has agreed to extend his run as the only headliner currently at the Tropicana into next year.

    Self-described magic nerd Kyle Marlett is to become the first resident headliner in the new Tahiti Village theater at Tahiti Joe’s. He starts Thursday and will perform an adults-only show late night every Saturday.

    It’s a gift from Santa Claus for the contestants of NBC’s hit “The Voice.” Mentor judge and superstar singer CeeLo Green is planning to have 19 present and former winners and hopefuls from the show’s first three seasons at the Planet Hollywood taping of his Christmas special with Rod Stewart and the Muppets on Wednesday.

    He’s just signed Season 2 finalist Juliet Simms to a management contract, and his entire Season 3 team will be in the special, which promotes his Oct. 30 release of his first-ever Christmas album “Magic Moment.” Fellow “Voice” coach Christina Aguilera sings with him on “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

    Congratulations to the celebrated restaurants Picasso and Le Cirque at the Bellagio for winning 2013 AAA Five Diamond Awards. The hotel also won the award for the 12th consecutive year.

    The Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon on Dec. 2 is looking for a celebrity couple to take part in a three-minute run-through ceremony on the Brooklyn Bridge in front of New York-New York. Nearly 100 couples get married or renew their vows each year in the "Only in Vegas" experience. Organizers want a celebrity couple to participate in the race and either exchange or renew vows. Las Vegas' "running reverend" Jaime Firzlaff will be officiating.

    The first Tropical Smoothie Cafe on the Strip has become a tourist and locals magnet, and who would have guessed the team behind the counter could have a future star among them. Panic at the Disco singer Brendon Urie worked at TSC in Summerlin, and actress Megan Fox’s first job was in one of the Florida outlets where she dressed in the banana suit.

    It will be a set of opening-day celebrations for chef Gordon Ramsay when he’s back on the Strip in mid-December. We’ve already revealed that he’ll be here for the hoped-for Dec. 11 opening of his sleek, modern, London-styled gastropub Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace. Now we officially hear that he’s staying on for the Dec. 17 opening of his Flame Burger overlooking the Strip and Extra Lounge’s north entrance at Planet Hollywood.

    If you haven't heard yet (and, apparently, word is still getting around), Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. will be opening its first Las Vegas location on The Strip this winter. The restaurant will be found in Harmon Corner, home to the Goretorium, a 24-hour-a-day Tropical Smoothie Cafe, a two-story Metro McDonald's, a two-story Walgreens, some Rockin' Tacos and the also coming soon Twin Peaks breastaurant. But, getting the chain restaurant to spill details on just what we will find is proving a tough crab leg to crack.

    The Internets are abuzz with heard-from-someone-who-works-there rumors that The Range steakhouse at Harrah's will close next month. Vegas message boards are reporting that The Range will close on or around November 15. And, that it will be replaced with a Ruth's Chris. A move, allegedly, to go after the "young crowd."

    Is “Jersey Shore” star Jennie “JWoww” Farley considering an offer to star in “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood when Coco Austin’s run wraps in March?

    Stratosphere headliner Frankie Moreno performed in front of a television viewership of 13.18 million people on "Dancing With the Stars" on Tuesday. The prime-time exposure could be quite a boost to both Moreno's show and the new album he recently released independently, after more than a year of waiting for Sony to exercise an option.

    Leave your car outside but come on in for football on flat panel TV screens and a great game day menu in the Lounge at Tender Steak & Seafood inside Luxor, every Sun & Mon, 5p-9p throughout the regular season. Between cheers or boos, tuck into exec chef K.C. Fazel’s homemade Texas chili fries with cheddar, Angus beef tenderloin strip taco salad topped to a faretheewell, bbq wild boar ciabatta sandwich, and Bluepoint oyster shooters served with seaweed salad, cocktail sauce and vodka. Prices $3-$20.

    Wynn Las Vegas has debuted Allegro, offering “a new take on Italian-American favorites. Inspired by the literal translation for the musical term ‘allegro’ – a cheerful, brisk and lively tempo – this busting Italian eatery provides Exec Chef Enzo Febbraro a stage from which to create classic Italian-American cuisine, merging old-world tradition and new-world innovation.”

    The ingredient-driven menu crafted by Naples native Chef Enzo counts among its specialties baked lasagna Napoletana, ossobuco d’agnello, veal chop parmigiano, roasted pink snapper, and risotto pescatora, featuring shrimp, scallops, calamari, mussels and clams. Find it near the theaters. Dinner nightly from 5:30, late night menu till 6a.

    Dirty money: A look at notable casino scams.
    BY: Jackie Valley/Las Vegas Sun.

    As the old saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

    In Las Vegas and other gambling hubs, that certainly holds true when it comes to cheating. Some swindles have been successful; others failed miserably.

    But it doesn’t keep people from trying.

    “There’s always a temptation to cheat whenever there’s money,” said Howard Schwartz, who, as a former owner of the Gambler’s Book Club, keeps tabs on the gaming industry. “People are always looking for an edge.”

    When the Global Gaming Expo rolled into town last week, it included several sessions devoted to security and surveillance in casinos. A description of one such session, “Finding Fraud: Current and Future Trends in the Gaming Industry,” noted that, “Scams and thefts can take many forms, but they all involve fraud in one way or another.”

    Despite technology advances through the years, con artists have used phones, computers and magnets, among other tactics, to gain a winning advantage, Schwartz said.

    Here are a few notable scams that have been used to swindle money from casinos since the 1970s:


    Javier’s restaurant opens in Las Vegas at Aria.
    BY: Ron Sylvester/Las Vegas Sun.

    A beach-inspired blend of Mexican and Southern California flavors has come to the Aria with this week’s opening of Javier’s restaurant.

    It’s the fourth location for Javier’s, which grew from a location on Pacific Coast Highway in 1995. Although it’s not what some would consider authentic Mexican food, it is steeped in tradition, co-founder Javier Sosa said.

    “The dishes we present at Javier’s are derived from generations upon generations of my family’s recipes,” said Sosa, who oversaw the training of some 200 employees at the Las Vegas restaurant.

    More here:

    10/11/12 and 12/12/12 weddings are mass matrimony merriment in L.V.
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun.

    There’s no place in the world quite like Las Vegas for weddings. We can handle a “quickie.” We’re all organized for Elvis lookalikes to legalize vows. We can lay on as many showgirls as you wish for a glitz and glamour extravaganza. We can even throw the biggest and best the world has ever seen.

    With 120,000 licenses a year, we’re the undisputed Wedding Capital of the World where everybody from Elvis and Priscilla, Angeline and Billy Bob, Frank and Mia and Paul and Joanne were hitched here, and how can we forget Mickey Rooney, who had seven of his eight marriages celebrated in Las Vegas.

    With today’s magical date of 10/11/12 and the looming 12/12/12, we’re going to have a bigger rush of matrimonial memories than the thousands who were wed five years ago on 7/7/7. Even with today’s atrocious weather, think of it as the sky on fire with spiritual sounds of thunder and lightning courtesy of Mother Nature to celebrate the ceremonies.

    More here:

    The dubious history of horror movies set in Las Vegas.

    The Amazing Johnathan’s SCREAMont Experiment opens to the public.
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun.

    For years, eccentric Strip headliner magician the Amazing Johnathan has invited just a few select friends to tour the mind-blowing haunted horror house he creates at his secret warehouse, but this Halloween, he’s opened it to the public for the first time and turned it into a 35,000-square-foot spectacle.

    “I have always enjoyed designing and creating my annual haunt for friends and family. This year, I am ready to share the Amazing Johnathan’s SCREAMont Experiment with the public and allow them to experience the warped, wicked theatrics that others have enjoyed for years,” he told Vegas DeLuxe.

    It’s been constructed as a multi-level maze with eight themed rooms packed with his mind-bending magic, terrifying twists and turns and optical illusions. A.J., with his new residency at Bally’s, described the gut-wrenching experience:

    More here:

    Nathan Burton, Michael Turco reappear after disappearing act in tangle.
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun.

    It was musical chairs for dueling magicians Nathan Burton and Michael Turco, and at first it also looked like it would be magic wands at dawn! Plans for Nathan to film his upcoming reality TV series at his Flamingo afternoon theater performances hit a snag in rules and regulations.

    Then Michael, who was in the same afternoon time slot with his “Magic & Mayhem” at Saxe Theater in Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops, ran into his own problems. Theater owner David Saxe explained: “We had tried to solve some of the economic problems with concessions and gave him time to correct some of the defaults in the lease.”

    Michael had to pull out on the same night that Nathan also had to exit after his nearly five-year run just up the Strip. Within 24 hours of the dual “midnight changeovers,” Nathan had landed at Saxe Theater and began his new residency run there with the TV show being shot without hiccups.

    More here:

    Photos: Nicole ‘Coco’ Austin can’t wait to get nekkid in ‘Peepshow’

    Photos: Downtown D Hotel aims to be dramatic, different and daring.

    Photos: Blue Man Group marks move to Monte Carlo with skydiving.

    Photos: Muppets, Rod Stewart, ‘Voice’ singers, Eric Benet join CeeLo for Christmas.

    Angel Porrino takes over Bo Peep in ‘Peepshow’ from Oct. 22-Dec. 2.
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun.

    Reality TV star and Las Vegas darling Holly Madison’s one-time assistant Angel Porrino, who also has graced the pages of Playboy, is about to step into her former boss’s high-heeled shoes as Bo Peep in “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood. Angel, who starred with Holly in “Holly’s World,” starts Oct. 22 and will perform through Dec. 2.

    Rapper and actor Ice-T’s curvy and buxom wife Coco, aka Nicole Austin, takes over as Bo Peep starting Dec. 3 and continues through March, when it’s likely that another guest star will be added. I am talking with Coco today, and we’ll post that interview Wednesday.

    More here:

    Why some performers choose Circus Circus over Cirque du Soleil.
    BY: Ron Sylvester/Las Vegas Sun.

    Photo credit: Leila Navidi

    Paolo and Veronika Ernesto didn’t run away to join the circus. They grew up under the big top.

    Before falling in love and getting married, they lived in families that had spent 150 years or more performing in sawdust rings around the world. They performed on television shows in Europe and in tents in Japan.

    But the place Veronika Ernesto remembered most fondly was the casino midway at Circus Circus, where she performed as a teen. For years, she dreamed of returning there.

    More here:

    Hyde Bellagio INTRODUCES Delectable NEW dishes TO ‘early evening’ menu.

    Hyde Bellagio introduces new gourmet small plates to its early evening menu, served fountain-side every evening from 5 – 10 p.m. The new menu continues Hyde’s exclusive culinary collaboration with neighboring Circo, holding on to popular favorites while indulging taste buds with enticing new bites.

    New menu highlights include:

    Caprese Crostini – Toasted slices of fresh ciabatta topped with fresh buffalo mozzarella, baby heirloom tomatoes, balsamic gelée and campari tomato jam.

    Spinach Frittata – A decadent take on a classic French dish, this offering features fresh spinach and savory prosciutto encased in light puff pastry and served with truffle caviar and crème fraîche.

    Hamachi “Cones” – Made with sushi grade Hamachi tuna and seasoned with fresh citrus, these mouth-watering “cones” are wrapped in a fried wonton and topped with vegetable confetti and wasabi foam.

    Grilled Curry Chicken – Perfectly seasoned and grilled curry chicken skewers are coated in toasted pistachio and served with a sun raisin puree and Greek yogurt for dipping.

    Cinnamon Dusted Churros – Those with a sweet tooth will be tempted by warm, crispy churros accompanied by a trio of dipping delicacies including hand-whipped cream, raspberry coulis and chocolate fondue.

    Other new additions include house-made potato crisps served alongside an espelette pepper and tomato fondue for dipping; a colorful spread of San Danielle Prosciutto and compressed melon topped with balsamic gelée; and frito misto, a lavish spread of shrimp, calamari and squash blossom seasoned with roasted garlic and served with lemon aioli.

    These dishes join favorites such as Kobe Beef Sliders; Salmon Flatbread; and Hyde’s adult version of milk and cookies – freshly baked chocolate chip cookies served with a White Russian. With dishes ranging from warm to chilled and savory to sweet, the diverse menu offers an indulgence for every palate. Guests are invited to gather on Hyde’s beautiful terrace nightly as the sun sets while enjoying these whimsical bites, hand-crafted cocktails and the unparalleled views of the Fountains of Bellagio.

    Top 10 Ways to Save Money in Vegas by Rick Garman.

    Several years ago, as the economy was taking a nose dive, I did a story about ways to save money in Las Vegas. It focused a lot on finding ways to still have a Vegas vacation without worrying about bank failures and rising unemployment rates.

    Four years later, the economy is showing signs that it is recovering, slowly, but does that mean you should throw caution to the wind and go blow your 401K in Vegas? Of course not. The frugality lessons we tried to embrace as the recession took over are the same ones we should be holding onto today if for no other reason than we don't really know what's around that next corner, now do we?

    Visiting Las Vegas these days is cheaper than it has been in years. Average room rates have been ticking up this year but they are still well below the averages of most of the last decade. Many expensive restaurants have been replaced by more moderately priced eateries. Even shows have gone out of their way to make sure that there are at least some affordable tickets mixed in with the pricey ones. They may not be the best seats in the house but at least you'll be in the room.

    So I took that piece I wrote back in 2008 and updated it to a 2012 way of thinking. To be honest, there weren't many changes.

    1. Be Flexible
    I know not everyone has the luxury of being able to pick and choose when to have their vacation but if you can come up with even three or four different options, it can go a long ways toward saving you money. Room prices in Vegas vary dramatically from week to week and having a few different periods when you could take your trip could mean you could save yourself hundreds of dollars on your accommodations. For instance, I'm looking at the Bellagio rate calendar for October through December and if I were to stay at the hotel on Friday and Saturday, October 19-20 I would pay $728 plus taxes and resort fees for the two nights. If I were to go the next weekend I would pay $538, a savings of nearly $200! And if I could swing it to the weekend of December 14th I'd pay $359 for the two nights, less than half the original rates.

    2. Know What’s Important
    If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that cost is one of your primary considerations when considering a vacation, but you’d be amazed how many people still think they can get 5-Diamond luxury for Motel 6 prices. Saving money means you will probably forgo some of the niceties like bazillion thread count sheets and bathrooms big enough to park a ship in, but were those things really important to you anyway? If you're looking for bargains, you can't be a snob and that applies to everything from hotels to restaurants to shows and beyond. You don’t have to pay $100 a head for a great meal; you don’t have to pay $150 per ticket to see a great show; and you don’t have to pay a $30 cover charge to get into a fun club. People equate price with quality and it doesn’t always work out that way.

    3. Do Your Homework
    Usually in my life I go with the theory “the dumber you are, the happier you are” but when it comes to Las Vegas vacation planning I stick with the “knowledge equals power” motto. Read Vegas books (preferably mine), visit Vegas websites (preferably mine), and talk to friends, co-workers, or people you pass on the street who have visited the city and can share insights. This is important when looking at budget alternatives for hotels, restaurants, and shows so that you can find not only inexpensive options, but good inexpensive options.

    4. Pack Smart
    One of the ways they “get you” in Las Vegas is overcharging for everything for a bottle of shampoo to a bottle of water. Make sure you pack all of your necessities so you don’t have to go out and buy things when you get to town.

    5. Rent a Car
    People keep not believing me when I tell them that the best way to save money is to spend more money on a rental car, but I’ll make it simple with an example. You could take a cab from the airport to your hotel on The Strip and back again, then use cabs, buses, the monorail, and your feet to get you around to the places you want to see. You’ll probably pay $200 a night easily for that room and another $100 on transportation. If you’re staying for five nights that’s $1100 before you factor in the higher prices you’ll pay on everything from food to water in the gift shop. Or, you can stay off The Strip, pay $100 a night for a perfectly find hotel room and spend another $150 for a mid-size car rental to get you to all the places you want to go. That’s a $350 savings right there, plus you’ll be able to save money on other items that are cheaper off The Strip AND see things you normally wouldn’t get to see by staying on Las Vegas Boulevard.

    6. Stay Off the Strip
    As mentioned above, if you rent a car you can stay off The Strip and save yourself a ton of money. They may not be as luxurious as some of the grand palaces on The Strip, but there are many hotels in Downtown Las Vegas and in other parts of the city that offer very good rooms for a fraction of the cost of what you’ll pay in the heart of the action.

    7. Watch Out for the Extras
    By now just about everyone knows about those nefarious Resort Fees, the added on nightly charges that cover things like Internet and gym access and maybe a few other things. They range from about $10-$25 per night at hotels on The Strip. If you plan on regularly using the things they cover, they can be a good deal but if not it's wasted money that you have to pay no matter what. There are plenty of hotels that don't charge resort fees so look for those. But resort fees aren't the only things to keep an eye out for. Hotels love to tack on extras for everything from early check-in to extra people in the room to the bottles of water they leave on the nightstand. Be careful!

    8. Look for the Deals
    I get e-mails all the time about coupons and 2 for 1 deals and the like. They aren’t as common as they used to be but you can still find them, primarily in the in-room magazines that you’ll find once you check in and in the local newspapers. There are a few places that sell coupon books and those multi-attraction passes that you can pay for, but – and this is strictly my opinion – for the most part they aren’t worth the money. Most people don’t use enough of the coupons or the attraction passes to make up for the cost of buying them in the first place.

    9. Join the Club
    If you’re planning on spending any time gambling, be sure to join the players’ club at every single casino you visit. Every dollar you spend will earn you points that can get you discounts on meals, future lodging, shows, and more or even get you cash. Plus, depending on your level of play, you may get mailings with free room offers and more that can save you money for future trips. Having said that, if you really want to save money...

    10. Don’t Gamble
    I know, it’s Las Vegas and that’s sort of like saying “Let’s go to Orlando but NOT go to Disney World.” But seriously, if you gamble you most likely will lose. That’s a harsh reality but it’s true: most people lose. They didn’t build these multi-billion hotels and casinos because most people win. You can have a great time in Vegas without gambling, but if you do feel the urge to splurge on a slot machine, be sure to set a budget before you go and stick with it! Once that money is gone, do not make another trip to the ATM machine in the hopes that your luck will change – it probably won’t.

    Vegas4Visitors Weekly Awards by Rick Garman.

    The Black Hole Award of the Week goes to the new CBS TV show "Vegas," which continues to remove entire chunks of Las Vegas geography as it recreates Sin City in 1960. In last week's episode it placed the fictional Savoy casino (run by the mobster played by Michael Chiklis) on Fremont Street next to The Golden Nugget, more or less where The Four Queens is now. And then on the other side of the Savoy, using CGI, they put The Stardust, which was on The Strip, not in Downtown. They really need to hire me to help them get it right.

    The Splashdown Award of the Week goes to the water park under construction on the west side of Las Vegas, which has dropped the Splash Canyon name it was going to go by and adopted the much beloved (at least to many Las Vegas visitors) Wet 'n' Wild moniker. Wet 'n' Wild was a popular water themed attraction on The Strip next to The Sahara for years. The new one is scheduled to open by May of 2013.

    The Waxy Buildup Award of the Week goes to Madonna, who will be getting her very own wax figure at the Las Vegas Madam Tussaud's at The Venetian on Thursday, October 11 at 10am, just in time for the real Madonna's two sold-out shows at the MGM Grand next weekend.

    The Mmmm Cupcakes Award of the Week goes to Linq, the upcoming entertainment plaza under construction between The Flamingo and Imperial Palace (sorry, The Quad... stupid name), which will be home to Vegas' first Sprinkles Cupcakes outlet, a Los Angeles favorite. Other tenants will include The Strip's first Yard House, and Asian market, and Brooklyn Bowl, a concert, nightclub, and bowling alley venue. The project should be complete by late 2013.

    The Know When to Hold 'Em Award of the Week goes to The Venetian, which has just opened the biggest poker room on The Strip with 59 tables and room for 600 players.

    The Disappearing Act of the Week goes to Nathan Burton, whose magic show at The Flamingo closed suddenly recently without any notice or warning. Word on the streets is that he may be moving his illusions to Planet Hollywood but that is not confirmed yet.

    Ten places to grab a great slice of pizza in Vegas.
    BY: Kristine McKenzie/www.blogvegas.com

    Most people never need an excuse to indulge in pizza, but just in case you’re looking for one, October has officially been designated National Pizza Month.

    According to Pizza.com, 94 percent of Americans eat pizza at least once a month, which equates to about 45 slices of pizza per person in the U.S. each year. That’s 100 acres of pizza per day, or 350 slices per second.
    In Las Vegas there are plenty of places to indulge in the popular pie whether you’re looking for New York-style, gourmet toppings or just traditional margherita.

    Here are 10 of Las Vegas’ best places to grab a slice (in no particular order):

    More here:

    10 ways to escape to the islands in Vegas.
    BY: Renee LiButti/www.blogvegas.com

    Love palms trees, sand and surf? Enjoy listening to ukulele music? Like to put on a grass skirt and do the hula? Even though Las Vegas is situated in a desert valley, you can still chill out and have an island-style getaway here. Below you’ll find 10 ways to tap into the spirit of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands in Sin City.

    More here:

    New Craps Bonus Bets Are Out.
    From: www.vegaschatter.com

    We saw a lot of slot machines at G2E last week and that was awesome. We even learned a little bit more about slot machines, but it wasn't until we were leaving that we found something new and interesting for the table game players.

    After leaving the Oompa Loompas at the WMS Gaming booth, we came across the Galaxy Gaming booth. Galaxy Gaming had new versions of a variety of table games but one, specifically, caught our attention. There was a full-size empty craps table (unlike the empty Cee Lo game using a half-size craps table) that looked like a typical craps game with one exception. There was a place atop the felt to make one of three new side bets -- All Small, All of Nothing at All and All Tall.

    There was a sign on the table showing that this new craps betting option was available at a slew of Las Vegas Strip casinos including The Palazzo, right next door to the convention.

    More here:

    Blue Man Group adds new material, including Showbot character.
    BY: Mike Weatherford/Las Vegas Journal.

    You have your new toys, but the Blue Man Group does too. Just don't expect Smoke Drums or a Neuronulum to fit in your pocket.

    Phil Stanton, a Blue Man founder and one of its three original performers, admits to phone separation anxiety like the rest of us. He doesn't just have to have it on his person: "I realize how much I actually have it in my hand."

    So the themes of information overload that ran through the original Blue Man show in early 2000 now seem a little quaint. "Information overload is now absorbed into our DNA," Stanton says.

    More from the LVRJ here:

    Dogs, dinosaurs and a ducky? It's 'America's Got Talent Live!'
    By: Mike Weatherford/Las Vegas Review Journal.

    Must love dogs? Not exclusively.

    You can also love the light-up ducky, the dancing birds or the tiger who fights dinosaurs with a light saber.

    But those are puppet illusions. So the only reason why a dinosaur swinging a light saber is not the best part of any show, anywhere, is because it's real dogs up on their hind legs, waltzing like Fred Astaire.

    More from the LVRJ here:

    Dining Pick of the Week: Hungry Howie's.

    Dining Pick of the Week: Jacobi's Pizza.

    Murals add panache in upgrade of standard rooms at the Palms.
    BY: Ron Sylvester/www.vegasinc.com

    What you first notice in the newly revamped rooms at the Palms are the eyes above the headboard.

    A pair of women’s eyes gaze out from above the beds in a 16-foot mural surrounded by neon screened images of Palm leaves. It’s the most stark image in a boutique redesign of 370 standard guest rooms at the Palms — the latest in a $50 million renovation.

    It’s the first room redesign in the original tower since the Palms opened in November 2001.

    More here:

    The Flamingo Fab Rooms: The VegasTripping Review 2012.
    From: www.vegastripping.com

    Lore tells us that Las Vegas' modern era started at the Flamingo. Easy money says that the Flamingo will outlast pretty much everybody reading this review. A Las Vegas without a Flamingo is like a Washington D.C. without the White House, New York without the Statue of Liberty, Paris without Notre Dame, Rome without The Colosseum, Athens without the Acropolis. The Flamingo will be on the Las Vegas Strip at the precise location where the road bends to the right, forevermore, at least until Las Vegas grandly and slowly erases itself into the sands of time.

    Under current stewardship, this might happen sooner rather than later.

    We've stayed at The Flamingo more than any other hotel in Las Vegas, thanks to Total Rewards forcing its dusty plumage on us as the sole reward for our slot machine donations. We decided to swear off the Flamingo and experience more of what Vegas had to offer, even if we had to pay for it up front with cash, not comps. Our last stay here, during the optimistic days of capital reinvestment (The Go Rooms) gave us renewed optimism that the Flamingo was destined for a thorough rebirth. As we all know, that didn't happen. The Go Room expansion slowed to a trickle as the old bamboo tropical rooms languished laughably like a smirking cat stuck in a dirty birdcage.

    More here:
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