New York financier Carl Icahn opened his third Las Vegas hotel/casino, Arizona Charlie's East on Boulder Highway at the end of May. He also owns Arizona Charlie's on the west side of the valley and the Stratosphere. Icahn is known for his takeovers of financially distressed companies.
Icahn picked up Arizona Charlie's East in a bankruptcy auction in January for $43 million and has since spent $10 million on improvements and equipment. The property includes the casino, a 300-room hotel and an adjacent 224-space RV park. The property was formerly called Sunrise Suites and the hotel portion has been open since late 1998.
Arizona Charlie's East is about one-third smaller than its sister property, and features 826 slots and 13 table games. A future expansion should use some of the RV park and will include bingo, a sports book and an expanded buffet, all popular player components at the other Arizona Charlie's. Shuttle buses for Arizona Charlie's regular patrons will begin running from the new casino by the end of the month.
The valley's newest golf course with a South Seas theme is under construction just south of Mandalay Bay on the Strip. The Bali Hai 110-acre, 18-hole course began construction last summer with completion slated this October followed by the clubhouse opening next January or February. The entire project is estimated at $32 million.
Marty Allen and Karon Kate Blackwell have returned home to Las Vegas after months of performing on cruise ships. The comedian and his singing wife are now entertaining fans through June 26, at the Gold Coast Showroom doing 8 p.m. shows Friday through Monday. Tickets are $19.95, call 702-251-3574.
The multi-talented musician, orchestra leader and songwriter Lon Bronson is basking in the long overdue "Vegas limelight." He currently conducts for the David Cassidy show at the Rio, oversees another group of musicians backing "The Rat Pack Is Back" at the Sahara, and serves as production manager for the entertainment at the Riviera's Mardi Gras complex, where his association with the resort celebrates 10 years on Saturday, June 17. Holding late night court for the past decade, Bronson has also led some of the hottest musicians in town for weekend evening jam sessions in the Le Bistro Lounge.
The Riviera will recognize its permanent fixture and his world renowned "Lon Bronson All-Star R&B, Rock & Soul Revue," with a special midnight party and the public is invited. For the price of a two drink minimum, the celebration will include free T-shirts to everyone in the audience and birthday cake. For more information, click on www.theriviera.com.
Singer Marlene Ricci and former prot‚g‚e of legendary crooner Frank Sinatra has taken over the special guest star spot from Rip Taylor in "The Great Radio City Spectacular," starring the Radio City Rockettes. Sinatra discovered Ricci in Las Vegas and she became his opening act for two and a half years and 200 performances.
Ricci went on to perform on her own CBS Special, to record two top-40 hit records in Europe, and to make concert appearances in Chile, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Germany and The Philippines.
The famous Rockettes began as the "Missouri Rockets" in 1925, debuting in St. Louis. They first performed at Radio City Music Hall in 1932. Since then, more than 2,000 women have danced as Rockettes.
The MGM Grand recently introduced a new topography on the casino slot floor with the introduction of Family Feud Slots, based on Pearson Television's again-popular game show. In addition to the actual machines, the attraction includes custom signage, lighting, seating, carpeting, and other fixtures all of which reinforce the Family Feud brand and heighten the game playing experience. The MGM Grand and its affiliated casinos, New York-New York, and three in Mesquite, NV, Primadonna, Whiskey Pete's, and Buffalo Bill's, will be the exclusive Nevada venues for the Family Feud attraction.
The Family Feud games are based on three of Silicon Gaming's most popular product types, two of which are reel slots: the multi-line, multi-coin and the multi-spin. The third is a multi-deck poker implementation. What remains consistent across the game variations is the Family Feud Bonus.
The Bonus Round of the game begins when a player acquires a four-of-a-kind or a three-symbol match depending on the game. What happens next is the player becomes a participant in an assimilated on-the-spot version of the game show complete with a camera, stage manager, theme music, Q & A, audience, etc.
Fans of the brothers-and-sister act, The Walkers will find them doing afternoon shows in the Lady Luck's bubble domed showroom. The show called "Stars of the Strip" features the talented trio doing incredible star impressions for the 2 and 3:30 p.m. shows, Mondays through Fridays. Admission is $3.95 for one drink.
The final performances of "Wheel of Fortune - Live on Stage!" at the MGM Grand's newly renovated Cabaret Thetare closed on June 4. Comedienne Rita Rudner will take over the Cabaret Theatre from June 14-July 29.
The Studio 54 nightclub at the MGM Grand will play host to the closed circuit telecast of the World Welterweight Championship between Oscar De la Hoya and Shane Mosley on Saturday, June 17. General admission tickets are $40, call 702-891-7777.
Penn & Teller, "The Bad Boys of Magic," will return to the MGM Grand's intimate 670-seat Hollywood Theatre for two engagements, June 15-21 and July 27-Aug. 9. Tickets are $37.50 plus tax, call 800-929-1111 or 702-891-7777.
CONTINUE ON TO...:
>THIS WEEK'S LAUGHLIN SEGMENT
>LAST WEEK'S LAS VEGAS SEGMENT
>VEGAS VIEWS FULL ARCHIVES
>Return to "Heard Around Town"
>Return to Las Vegas Leisure Guide