A couple weeks ago, the 197-room Barbary Coast changed hands from the Boyd Gaming Group to Harrah's Entertainment. Along with the sale came a new name, Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon based on the company's founder Bill Harrah. Another change was the gourmet restaurant Michael's closed in order to move to Michael Gaughan's South Point resort on the far south end of Las Vegas Boulevard. The new gourmet restaurant is Steakhouse at Bill's.
Bill's Lounge is continuing with daily live entertainment and popular Big Elvis is now performing Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-Gr), the first and only FAA-approved provider of commercial weightless flights, will launch regular flights from Las Vegas for the general public beginning April 21. ZERO-G delivers the only commercial opportunity on Earth for individuals to experience true "weightlessness" without going to space. This is the identical weightless flight experience used by NASA to train its astronauts and used by Ron Howard and Tom Hanks to film "Apollo-13." G-FORCE ONE, ZERO-G's specially modified Boeing 727-200 aircraft, will depart from Signature Air Terminal at McCarran International Airport.
The aircraft's interior is a zero gravity playroom, complete with padded floors and walls and video cameras to record the unforgettable moments. The ZERO-G Experience consists of a brief training session followed by a 90-minute flight, during which parabolic maneuvers are performed. The controlled ascent and descent of the plane allows flyers to experience Martian gravity (1/3-gravity), Lunar gravity (1/6-gravity), and zero gravity.
Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Las Vegas, ZERO-G is led by a team of veteran astronauts and business leaders. Since launching the ZERO-G Experience to the general public in September 2004, the company has conducted about 100 weightless flights and flown more than 2,500 passengers.
Column Continues Below Advertisement
For information, call 1-800-937-6480. Currently, flights are scheduled for the following dates: April 21; May 26; June 16, 17 and 30; Aug. 4; Sept. 1 and 2; Oct. 6; Nov. 10; and Dec. 30 and 31. The ZERO-G Experience, which includes a flight of 15 parabolas, a flight suit, complimentary merchandise, awards, a post-event party, photos, and a DVD of the flight, is offered at a price of $3,500 per seat plus tax.
The 1,800-room Tropicana will reach a milestone on Wednesday, April 4, when it marks its 50th anniversary on the Las Vegas Strip. The kickoff event will be a VIP invited guest party on March 31. Other celebratory events will be held throughout 2007.
Ben Jaffe and Colonel Charles Baron opened the $15 million dollar, 34-acre, 300-room casino/hotel on April 4, 1957. From its groundbreaking when it was the twelfth resort on the Strip, the resort became known as the "Tiffany of the Strip," a metaphor first used by the "Saturday Evening Post."
The property is home of the world-renowned showgirl extravaganza "Folies Bergere" acquired directly from Paris in 1959. "Folies" is the longest-running show in Las Vegas history. It shares the Tiffany Theatre with the afternoon magic production "Xtreme Magic Starring Dirk Arthur." Another Tropicana offering is The Comedy Stop.
Columbia Entertainment, current owner of the Tropicana, recently announced plans for a multi-billion dollar property expansion and renovation slated to begin later this year.
Tickets to the new production "STOMP OUT LOUD" at Planet Hollywood are now on sale. Preview performances will begin March 24, with a grand opening slated for April 17. Tickets range from $50 to $110, call 702-785-5000 or 877-333-9474.
A unique combination of percussion, movement, and visual comedy, "STOMP" has created its own inimitable form of musical entertainment. The show originated in Brighton, UK, opened in New York in 1994, and has since played more than 10,000 shows worldwide. With "STOMP OUT LOUD," the experience will be transformed for Las Vegas with new sequences and choreography, a dynamically expanded cast and a completely new environment that will immerse the audience from the moment they enter the 1,500-seat theatre. "STOMP OUT LOUD" will be a journey through sound, a celebration of the everyday, and a comic interplay of characters wordlessly communicating through dance and percussion.
Previews for the award-winning Monty Python's "SPAMALOT" at Wynn Las Vegas are taking place prior to the show opening on March 31. The show is based on the screenplay "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and their quest for the Holy Grail. For tickets, call 888-320-7110 or 702- 770-WYNN.
"SPAMALOT" is starring John O'Hurley, best known as J. Peterman on "Seinfeld." O'Hurley was the ultimate champion on season one of "Dancing with the Stars" and is the new host of "Family Feud." O'Hurley has worked on stage throughout his career and starred on Broadway in "Chicago," as Billy Flynn.
"SPAMALOT" features a chorus line of dancing divas and knights, flatulent Frenchmen, a killer rabbit and one legless knight.
Emmy award-winning comedian Wayne Brady, will headline at The Venetian Showroom for a limited engagement from April 5-29, appearing every Thursday-Sunday at 9:30 p.m. Tickets to his show, "Making It Up!," are $69 and $89, call 702-414-9000 or 866-641-7469.
Brady is well known for his improvised antics, musical talents and impersonation skills as showcased on the hit show "Whose Line is it Anyway?" and the syndicated talk show "The Wayne Brady Show." No stranger to Las Vegas, Brady will bring a new comedic show featuring a live band and dancers for his month-long engagement at The Venetian.
The production spectacular "Le Reve" at Wynn Las Vegas is closed until next month while the show and theatre experience an $8 million makeover that will include the removal of 400 seats.
TOP OF NEXT COLUMN
The Riviera is opening Banana Leaf, an Asian cuisine restaurant, independently owned by the SINOMA Restaurant Group. This is the second Banana Leaf Restaurant in Las Vegas; the original is located in Las Vegas' Chinatown on Spring Mountain Road.
Unlike the Chinatown location menu, which largely specializes in Malaysian cuisine, the Riviera's restaurant includes offerings from a variety of countries throughout Asia and provides table service for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and sells food-to-go.
Hours are Sunday through Thursday 7 a.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. For reservations, call 702- 697-4233.
Mentalist Gerry McCambridge after a nice run at the old Stardust, which was imploded this past week, has returned to the Rampart Casino through March 29, performing nightly at 9 p.m.
The Sirens of TI have already started their summer free show hours in front of Treasure Island. The saucy vixens are appearing nightly at 7 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
Hooters, which celebrated its first anniversary last month, is currently offering for a limited time a $16.99 all-you-can-eat baby back ribs special at its award-winning Dan Marino's Fine Food and Spirits. Diners have a choice of three signature sauces including: Sweet Whiskey BBQ, Spicy Chipotle BBQ or Tangy Apple Cider BBQ.
The high-rise east Turnberry Tower under construction on 10 acres at the corner of Paradise Road and Karen Avenue is on track for completion in June. The west tower is more than 60 percent sold and will open in mid-2008. Prices range from $550,000 to more than $1.3 million.
The booking was short lived. Louis Prima, Jr. and the Witnesses are no longer performing on Wednesday and Thursday at 3121 inside the Rio.
Stand-up sensation Rich Ceisler, best known for his performances on cable television comedy programs, will return to the Riviera Comedy Club on Monday, April 9, for seven nights.
Ceisler, also known as "The Corporate Chameleon," spends much of his time working the "boardroom belt" for clients such as Reebok, Gillette, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, General Mills, Burger King, Honeywell and Nissan Motors.
In addition, Ceisler is active on the comedy club circuit and performs at colleges and universities across the country. He also frequently appears on cable television comedy shows.
H&M, Hennes & Mauritz, the design-driven international retailer known for its stylish and accessible fashions in 24 countries, announced their newest real estate development deal with Boulevard Invest, the owners of The Shops in Desert Passage at the Aladdin. The store that will open this summer will be a part of the renovation project that will transition The Shops in Desert Passage at the Aladdin shopping center into the revamped Miracle Mile Shops - a move to create synergy with the adjoining casino's re-branding into the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino.
The United States has been one of H&M's most important expansion markets since the company's debut seven years ago in New York City. The new store will measure approximately 7,410 square feet.
The CineVegas Film Festival is partnering again with MySpace.com, the world's leading lifestyle portal, on both an online short film competition and the 2007 festival being held at the Palms and Brenden Theatres, June 8-16. CineVegas is considered one of the fastest growing film festivals in the world.
For the online short film competition, filmmakers can submit entries by uploading their films on their own MySpace profile pages through March 22. After festival programmers select three finalists, MySpace users will be able to view and vote on their favorite short film from April 10 - 20. The winner will be entered into the official competition at the ninth annual CineVegas Film Festival and will also attend the festival's opening weekend. Entrants must be at least 21 and videos cannot exceed five minutes in length.
The Cannery in North Las Vegas has booked The Fabulous Thunderbirds at The Club on Saturday, April 14. Tickets are 20.95, $15.95 and $9.95; call 702-617-5585 or 866-287-4643.
For the past 30 years, The Fabulous Thunderbirds have been the quintessential American band. Co-founder Kim Wilson still spearheads the group. The California native moved to the music scene of Austin, Texas, met Jimmie Vaughan and founded the T-Birds in 1974. The band developed a reputation as a compelling live act and subsequently signed a record deal with CBS/Epic Records and released their first self-titled album in 1979. Primarily blues influenced, it became a cult classic. In 1986, the group reached a commercial peak with the album, "Tuff Enuff." The song was featured in the film "Gung Ho" starring Michael Keaton.
JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa has teamed up with Child Focus once again to host the Fourth Annual Mother's Day Tea. This year, the event on Saturday, May 12 from noon to 2 p.m. is going to be bigger and will be moved to the Marquis Ballroom. Attendees are invited to wear their best hat.
The event will include a complimentary glass of champagne or mimosa, a reception with a silent auction, story telling and a balloon twisters for the littlest set, a tea, fashion show, mini-makeovers for teens, and a 'balloon draw' for the event's grand prize of diamond Mother/Daughter pendants.
Event pre-registration is required; call 702-436-1624. Adult tickets are $50 and children 10 and under are $25.
Lake Las Vegas Resort will celebrate its Easter Egg-stravaganza with a variety of holiday activities on Saturday, April 7 and Sunday, April 8. The Easter bunny will be in the village both days from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. and pictures with him will be $10. There will also be a petting zoo and pony rides for a small fee from noon until 4 p.m.
The annual Easter Egg Hunt with 25,000 eggs at MonteLago Village will be held on Easter Sunday at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. for children 12 and younger. Admission will be a $2 donation toward the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation. For more information, call 702-564-4766 or visit.
CONTINUE ON TO...:
>THIS WEEK'S LAUGHLIN SEGMENT
>LAST WEEK'S LAS VEGAS SEGMENT
>VEGAS VIEW FULL ARCHIVES
>Return to "Heard Around Town"
>Return to Las Vegas Leisure Guide