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    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.

    More here:

    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.

    More here:

    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.”

    More here:

    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 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.

    More here:

    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.

    More here:

    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 02-11-2015 12:32 PM
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    ‘Ka,’ technical marvel of entertainment and acrobatics, celebrates 10 years
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun

    The athleticism and gymnastics are extraordinary. The agility is more than amazing. The computer technology and machinery to bring Cirque du Soleil’s “Ka” to life twice nightly at MGM Grand are exceptional.

    It’s all about fearless courage and tenacity in a unique family of performing artists. They’ve been defying the laws of gravity for 10 years and are still climbing.

    Tonight is the start of the 10th anniversary celebration shows, and it’s good to take a look back at the spectacular that still has audiences confounded and wondering if what they saw was real.

    More here:

    Even at its implosion, plan goes awry at the Clarion Hotel Casino
    BY: John Katsliomentes/Las Vegas Sun

    Photo Credit: Steve Marcus

    The building was never known for its cooperation.

    From when it opened in 1970 as the Royal Inn to its days as the Paddlewheel, Debbie Reynolds Hollywood Hotel, WWF hotel-casino and Greek Isles, nothing ever worked out as planned at the old Clarion Hotel Casino.

    Monday night and early this morning brought more of the same from the hotel just west of Piero’s on Convention Center Drive. Doomed for implosion around 3 a.m., the Clarion is still not totally destroyed.

    The elevator tower on the west side of the building, the strongest component of the structure, stood tall after owner Lorenzo Doumani hit a ceremonial plunger to set off the explosives designed to drop the old hotel.

    More here:

    With a few final tugs, the Clarion Hotel is history

    After a post-implosion delay lasting nearly 12 hours, the final piece of the Clarion Hotel and Casino collapsed into Las Vegas history on Tuesday afternoon.

    Originally scheduled for a 2:30 a.m. implosion, most of the 200-room Clarion came down in 10 seconds, tossing up a cloud of dust as 1,100 pounds of dynamite sent the 44-year-old resort crumbling to the ground at 2:57 a.m.

    But the remains of an elevator shaft and stairwell withstood the blast. The demolition crew eventually brought in a crane that attached cables to the tower and then trucks. With some hard tugs, the rest came down around 2:30 p.m.

    VIDEO HERE: http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/la...-hotel-history

    Seven of Top 10 U.S. nightclubs are in Las Vegas; XS is No. 1 again
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun

    For the fifth consecutive year, XS at Steve Wynn’s Encore Las Vegas has been ranked as the top-grossing nightclub in the country based on $100 million-plus annual revenue in Nightclub & Bar’s new Top 100 list for 2015.

    XS’ claim on No. 1 for the fifth year in a row is a first in industry history. Hakkasan at MGM Grand is right on its heels with $100 million in revenue.

    Here’s the Top 10 with Las Vegas with seven of the largest-grossing nightclubs in America, with The Tao Group owners hitting $150 million-plus in revenue at Marquee in the Cosmopolitan, Tao in the Venetian and Lavo in Palazzo, although add another $30 million-plus from sister club Lavo in New York, and they come out the big dogs in the nightlife fight.

    More here:

    ‘Jubilee’ dancers join Rod Stewart to toast his 100th show at Caesars
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun

    It’s a major milestone when you amass 100 shows on the Strip, and British rocker Rod Stewart accomplished it this weekend as he continues with the fourth year of his residency of sellout shows “Rod Stewart: The Hits” at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace.

    Eight of the gorgeous, leggy dancers from “Jubilee” at Bally’s across the Strip made a surprise appearance onstage at the Colosseum to congratulate the 70-year-old superstar who has sold more than 200 million ...
    by Published on 01-28-2015 11:26 AM
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    Here's When White Castle Opens on the Las Vegas Strip
    BY: Bradley Martin/www.vegas.eater.com

    Photo credit: Troy Herbst

    Nine months since Eater Vegas first broke the news White Castle was bringing their first Nevada outpost to Strip, the chain has officially announced it will open for slider sales at 2 p.m., Jan. 27. From then on, it will be serving around the clock 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Located at the front of the Best Western Plus Casino Royale, next door to the nation's number one earning Denny's restaurant, this will be the furthest west location for the cult East Coast burger favorite.

    The castle's signature sliders come in original beef, chicken breast, fish and, as of this month, the new "Veggie Slider." They are also noted for their crinkle cut fries and the ability to buy the sliders in a "crave case" of 30 mini-burgers.


    Confirmed! Diana Ross returns to Las Vegas with start of mini-residency
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun

    The Supremes superstar singer Diana Ross has inked April dates for the first nine performances of her new mini-residency contract at the Venetian. Soon to follow in this new entertainment lineup set for the former “Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular” theater will be Janet Jackson, Lionel Richie and Ricky Martin, all exactly as we revealed in an exclusive story posted Jan. 5.

    The decade of the solo-superstar entertainer returning to the Strip is underway.

    Diana, named “Most Successful Female Vocalist of All Time,” takes the stage for her new show “The Essential Diana Ross: Some Memories Never Fade” as of April 1, and this ain’t no April Fools Day joke. Tickets go on sale Friday for three weekends of shows April 1, 3-4, 7-8, 10-11, 15 and 17-18.

    More here:


    BY SUSAN STAPLETON/Las Vegas Magazine

    Whether you want to watch the Super Bowl, NCAA Tournament action, your favorite football club or even horse racing, Las Vegas has a sports bar for you. Grab some suds and good grub at these bars, restaurants and entertainment meccas up and down the Strip.

    More here:

    BY: Jacob Coakley/Las Vegas Magazine

    After an early morning spent sketching outlines for an original production that will have audiences following military personnel, prostitutes and preachers through different rooms at a Downtown motel, Troy Heard has just enough time to grab a cup of coffee before heading to the dark theater to paint sets for his holiday show, A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant. But right now, he’s not thinking about edgy, new-form theatricalism. He’s talking about the old chestnut Harvey, with its invisible 6-foot-tall rabbit.

    “It’s beautiful. It’s so good,” Heard gushes. “First of all, it’s funny as hell. It’s totally screwball and has these great characters that are completely over the top. But the message—it’s a salute to the happiness in insanity and the blissful ignorance of a cynical, grasping world.” We pick up our coffees and head outside so he can enjoy the crystal-blue sky for a minute. Heard squints into the sun, and it’s as if his glare turns to the play. “But it’s dark, too. I mean, Christ, there’s Jimmy Stewart, about to receive shock treatments! If you’re starting out and trying to be all artistic in theater, the idea of Harvey leaves a bad taste in your mouth—it’s not edgy enough. But if you read it!”

    He shakes his head and dismisses the idea of producing it any time soon. “It’s a well-made play, but it’s not what audiences want right now. Audiences—especially younger, millennial audiences—want experiences. They don’t want to just plop their money down to be entertained. They want to be involved, they want to be a part of the story and feel it that way, not just by watching it. How do you take them to that point? Not everything can do that. Not everything lends itself to that. But whatever can is worth trying.”

    More here:

    by Published on 01-16-2015 12:29 PM
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    They belong together: Mariah Carey is newest Caesars Palace headliner
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun

    Pop diva Mariah Carey made it official this morning that she will be the new headline star added to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace lineup filling in during Celine Dion’s prolonged and delayed absence.

    The 44-year-old Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and producer tipped her own hand Wednesday when she promised “big news” on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that aired first today on the East Coast. You can catch the syndicated talk show at 4 p.m. today here in Las Vegas on Fox 5.

    It’s exactly as we were first to report on Jan. 1 when we tipped that it would be Mariah and not Jennifer Lopez who would sign on as the next Colosseum superstar.

    Mariah will perform 18 shows this summer titled “Mariah Carey Number 1’s” starting May 6 and wrapping in July. The 18 dates: May 6, 9-10, 13, 16-17, 20 and 23-24 and July 8, 11-12, 15, 18-19, 22 and 25-26.

    More here:

    Palazzo's Trying To Do It His Way With New Sinatra Show
    From: www.vegaschatter.com

    Over the course of many years of writing about Las Vegas entertainment, this VegasChatter writer has often been asked something akin to, “where can I find a good Frank Sinatra act?” Since the legend passed in 1998, the best we can hope for is a solid tribute act. As with most tribute acts, there is a wide variety of quality, degree of physical and vocal similarity and, of course, overall production value.

    Matt Goss at Caesars Palace was sort of like the second coming of Sinatra on the Strip in that his voice could mimic Sinatra’s well and he has the good looks and swagger similar to Ol’ Blue Eyes. Steve Wynn produced a dance-centric “Sinatra: Dance With Me” back in 2011 featuring a live orchestra. “Shades of Sinatra,” last at the Clarion, was a well-received show that lived up to its title.

    Many have attempted to recreate the magic and now Palazzo is giving it a go with “FRANK -- The Man. The Myth.” The show will feature vocals from Bob Anderson and a 32-piece orchestra under the musical direction of Vincent Falcone, Sinatra’s own musical director.

    More here:
    http://www.vegaschatter.com/story/20...w+Sinatra+Show ...
    by Published on 01-07-2015 09:53 AM
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    In 2014, the Word of the Year in VegasVille was …
    BY: John Katsliomentes/Las Vegas Sun

    From: lasvegasweekly.com




    2014 in Review: Triumphs, closings and litigation

    Best New Hotel Of 2014

    Most Memorable Moment Of 2014

    Biggest Disappointment Of 2014

    Unexpected Surprises Of 2014



    A Look Back At Gambling In 2014


    It’s the J.Lo show as the Colosseum sets the stage for something big
    BY: John Katsliomentes/Las Vegas Sun

    The great casino showed its cards right from the top. That’s how confident Caesars Palace was that it would win this hand and this night, New Year’s Eve, at the Colosseum.

    Flashing across the giant indoor LED screen that seems as big as the great outdoors were legends of yesterday and today. These were superstars who who have played the Colosseum or the famous showroom that stood for decades in the same spot, Circus Maximus. Lola Falana. Diana Ross. Celine Dion.

    And the next name, and the next star, to be ushered to the stage was Jennifer Lopez.

    More here:

    BY KIKO MIYASATO/Las Vegas Magazine

    The old man wanders through the halls of Graceland. Up on the walls, gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums framed and hanging, serving as a chronological history of success. More than 600 albums sold, 91 gold records, more than any other artist. The day is Jan. 8, and the old man takes a deep breath—today he turns 80. He casts a last glance towards his records, continues down the hall and into his bedroom to go to sleep. He’s lived a long life. The pelvis that belonged to Elvis is only a fond memory. He’s tired.

    Is that how it would be if Elvis Presley were still alive today—turning 80 this year, and living peacefully at Graceland? Would the King of Rock ’n’ Roll be shuffling in his slippers through his vast castle of luxury?

    Or would Elvis at 80 be in good enough physical shape to able to stage late-in-life Vegas performances a la Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett? After all, country singer Willie Nelson packs his concerts with fans (he plays Vegas this week), and he turned 81 last year.

    Nazarian out of day-to-day operations at SLS
    BY: J.D. Morris: www.vegasinc.com

    Sam Nazarian will no longer have any involvement in the day-to-day operations of SLS Las Vegas, the resort said Tuesday.

    Nazarian has been the driving force behind the property — his company SBE Entertainment bought it when it was still the Sahara in 2007 — but he encountered serious difficulty two weeks ago at a public hearing before Nevada gaming regulators.

    In a statement today, the private equity firm that owns 90 percent of SLS cited that hearing as motivating the change.

    “Sam brought the leadership, vision and creativity needed to revitalize the former Sahara into the new SLS Las Vegas,” said Terry Fancher, executive managing director of Stockbridge Capital, in the statement. “Following a recent hearing by members of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, we have made a collective decision to change the operating structure for the property, which Sam and I agree is in the best interests of the SLS Las Vegas.”

    More here:

    ‘Rock of Ages’ at Venetian toasts two years, is better than ever
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun

    A surprise, commemorative 1980s-themed cake replicating the set of the hit musical “Rock of Ages” at the Venetian was wheeled onstage after the finale to celebrate the show’s second anniversary and its renewal for a third year through December 2015.

    There was a standing ovation from the crowd, and raucous narrator Mark Shunock, who plays Lonny, thanked the audience and Las Vegas community for their continued support of the production.

    Carlo’s Bakery, made famous by TLC’s “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro, designed the monster cake, which featured members of the cast.

    More here:

    ‘Legends in Concert’ holiday show ...
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