Heard Around Town - Las Vegas
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These are all the latest Las Vegas area rumors, announcements, news and press releases that our staff has picked up on, which might interest the touring public. Some are well confirmed, some not, some humorous, some pathetic. Some of these border on pure speculation, while others were heard "straight from the source" (see the explanation of *'s in the right sidebar). Some may be future features, some may be duds. You've been warned! Even though we've done our best in following up to track down the details, LVLG assumes no responsibility for their accuracy nor for any damages resulting from their lack of accuracy.
If you have any, "hot tips", corrections, confirmations or inside stories of interest to the general touring public for our Heard Around Town Column or know about any upcoming events you'd like to see covered in our features, drop us a line. As usual, we reserve the right to decide what gets mentioned. Sorry, we cannot accept unfounded, vicious rumors (at least not without a valid return e-mail address and clear incriminating photos...). Please indicate clearly if you prefer to remain anonymous.

05/16/11 - Sahara Hotel and Casino Closes it's Doors
**** - The 1950's rat-pack hangout on The Strip, one of the oldest remaining, and location of the 60's "Oceans Eleven" movie, the Sahara Hotel and Casino HAS officially closed it's doors as of 2pm, May 16, 2011, a victim of the economy and increasing competition on The Strip. Future plans for the site are not yet firmed, although a sale and rennovation are not entirely off the table according to rumors. An auction of fixtures and property will be held Thursday June 16. Any remaining, previously made reservations will be honored by Circus Circus Hotel Casino.


10/19/10 - Hoover Dam Bypass Opens
***** - The "Mike O'Callaghan / Pat Tillman Memorial" Colorado Bridge Hoover Dam Bypass is now completed and open to all traffic as of Oct. 18, 2010. The 1900 ft wide and 900 ft high span presents a breathtaking view of the Dam, and is a marvel in itself as viewed from the Hoover Dam. The bypass is accessed fom Las Vegas via a Y intersection just prior to the descending portion of the Hoove Dam parkway. More info and numerous photos can be found at: The official Hoover Dam Bypass Website


12/02/09 - CityCenter Finally Opens
***** - MGM Mirage's new $8.5 billion CityCenter has opened as of December 2009 beginning with the 1,500 room, all-suite Vdara non-gaming hotel property, The Silk Road Restaurant and the on-site Salon and Spa. Roooms will go for as low as $159 per night. The half-million square feet shopping mall Crystals is also now open. It includes such high-end restaurants and stores as Louis Vuitton, Prada and Wofgang Puck. Also now open are the Mandarin Oriental Condo-Hotel with over 600 rooms and condos and the 4,000 room, 150,000 sq ft casino Aria.


08/12/09 - More Blasting on Interstate 15 for California Visitors
***** - Those visiting Las Vegas by car from Southern California on Interstate 15 should be aware that I-15 between Bailey and Nipton Roads North of Baker will be closed from approximately 10am until 11:30pm every Tuesday and Thursday through Oct 2009, except for holidays. Construction workers will be doing blasting on the sides of the interstate in order to widen the road by extra lanes.


06/05/09 - Trader Vic's on the Strip Closes
*** - If you're itchin' for a Mai Tai on the Strip, you'd better hurry. Rumors say Trader Vic's at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Hotel will be closing their doors as soon as mid June. A formal announcement is reportedly due soon.


01/05/09 - Plaza Hotel to Award FREE Room Nights to Low Buyers
***** - In a precedent setting move which could finally set the inevitable future of internet marketing The Plaza Hotel & Casino and Vegas Club Hotel & Casino are offering up to three free standard room nights to guests who find a lower room rate offered on any of their partner websites. Most other Las Vegas hotels currently only offer to match the price or offer a minor discount from them. The list of partners include (but are not limited to): Hotwire.com, Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotels.com and others. Call 1-800-634-6575 to book rooms and for full rules and details or visit their website.


12/24/08 - Miss Universe and Miss USA to move To Las Vegas
*** - An informal announcement suggests that Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants for 2009 and 2010 will return to broadcast live from Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Previous rumors placed it possibly in Puerto Rico. Miss USA airs on NBC in 2009 on Sunday, April 19 while Miss Universe airs Sunday, August 2.


12/20/08 - Wynn's Encore Opens
*****Steve Wynn has opened his newest Strip property to the public as of Monday, December 22 at 8pm. "Encore" is claimed to be a 2,034 suite "sophisticated, chic, ultimate luxury of space in a comfortable, residential setting."


10/15/08 - Aliante Station Opens
***** - Station Casinos officially opened their $662 million, 11th Las Vegas area property at 11:11pm on November 11 (11/11/08). Called Aliante Station Casino & Hotel and located in the new Aliante Planned Community in North Las Vegas, the property includes 202 guest rooms (including two 1400ft presidential suites.), 14,000 sq ft of convention and meeting space, 6 new dining establishments and a concert and show venue. Gaming will include all the usual table and electronic games (2500 multi-denomination slots), as well as a modern sports book, a poker room and a high limit VIP area.


12/12/08 - Interstate Tie-ups For Spring
***** - For those visiting Las Vegas by car from Southern California on Interstate 15, you should be aware that that I-15 will be closed from approximately 10am until 2pm every Wednesday through April 2009, except for holidays. Construction workers will be doing blasting on the sides of the interstate in order to widen the road by extra lanes. The first planned delay lasted only about 2 hours instead of the full planned 4 hours.


08/07/08 - Eastside Cannery Casino & Hotel Opens
***** - opened it's doors on the Boulder Strip at 8pm on August 28. The $250 million, 16-story, bronze, saw-toothed, resort tower features 300 oversized modern rooms, an array of dining options, 2100 slot machines, and all the usual gaming amenities including a large bingo hall. Rounding out the new resort is over 20,000 sq ft of ballroom/meeting space, 600 sq ft corner window suites with in-room spas and 900 sq ft executive suites on the top floor.


02/10/08 - Monte Carlo Hotel ReOpens After Fire
**** - The Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino, closed since Jan 15, 2008 when a fire set off by welders on the roof blazed through the topmost floors, is set to re-open February 15 with the entire casino level and over a third of its 3,000 rooms open for business. An additional third should be ready by the following week. The remaining top floor rooms will be closed indefinitely while undergoing extensive remodeling. In the meantime pre-registered guests for the closed rooms are being relocated to other MGM properties.


07/23/07 - New Frontier Hotel Closed and Imploded
***** - UPDATE After 65 years on the Las Vegas Strip, The New Frontier Hotel and Casino, one of the oldest remaining venues on the Strip, and the former home to Seigfried and Roy, Elvis Presley and other Las Vegas favorites, closed its doors Sunday (July 22) at Midnight. The property has been bought by the Elad Group, owners of the Plaza Hotel in New York, for a reported $1.2 billion, and they plan on demolishing the current hotel to erect a new $5 billion, Plaza Hotel style resort with 3500 rooms, a casino, private condos and shops by 2011. UPDATE: The New Frontier is slated for implosion at 2:30am on November 13 by Controlled Demolition, the same folks who brought down the Landmark, Aladdin, Hacienda, Sands and most recently the Stardust.


05/22/07 - Viva Laughlin a Flop in Prime Time
**** - Predictably: CANCELLED! After only 3 episodes!... As if to rival NBC's popular "Las Vegas" TV series, CBS Television just doesn't quite seem to hit the mark by presenting their own offering this Fall Season of a new primetime series called: Viva Laughlin! The full-hour drama tentatively set to be aired Sunday evenings, and loosely based on the BBC series "Viva Blackpool", features actor Hugh Jackman as Nicky Fontana and Lloyd Owens as Ripley Holden who wrestles, against all odds, with opening a casino and raising his family in none other than Laughlin, Nevada.

05/10/07 - Lladro's Queen of the Nile
***** - The Lladro Boutique in The Grand Canal Shops at The Venetian Resort will play host, through the month of May, to a new Lladro porcelain sculpture called the Queen of the Nile Lladro Queen of the Nile. The extravagant piece measures 5 feet long, took 5 years to develop and over 550 hours for construction. It retails for an equally extravagant US$135,000.

03/14/07 - Stardust Imploded
***** - In a highly secret, VIP invite-only affair, specially designed to minimize gawkers and traffic, in the wee morning hours of March 13, 2007 the remains of the already gutted Stardust Hotel and Casino were imploded amidst fireworks and just under 500 lbs of explosives. After nearly 50 years, one of the oldest remaining casinos on the strip closed permanently on Nov 1, 2006. The Stardust will be replaced by Boyd Gaming's new resort complex named Echelon Place between 2008-2010 which will combine casinos, hotel rooms, luxury condos and shopping in one location. At least the famous gaudy neon sign has been promised to the Neon Museum for future visitors to enjoy.

09/24/06 - Splash Closes at Riviera
***** - After 20 years at the Riviera Hotel and Casino and a recent overhaul just last year the long-running revue "Splash" officially closed it's doors. The last show was on the night of September 30, 2006.

05/09/06 - Boardwalk Imploded
***** - The Boardwalk Hotel & Casino was unannouncedly imploded in the wee morning hours of May 9, 2006 by new owner MGM Mirage to make way for their new $7 billion City Center project.

04/02/06 - The Price is Right - Live!
***** - Starting April 25, 2006 Bally's will be hosting the new "The Price is Right - Live" stage show (check our shows page for schedule details.) If you think you or someone you know has what it takes to be a "Price is Right - Live" showcase model and are 18 or older, "Come On Down" to Bally's Jubilee theater April 12 from 9am-2pm to try out. To RSVP for tryouts and for more info: priceisrightmodels@fremantlemedia.com

02/27/06 - Museum of the American Cocktail Opens
***** - The new Museum of the American Cocktail opened inside Commander's Palace at the Shops in Desert Passage at the Aladdin on March 5. The exhibit traces the last 200 years of history of the cocktail including vintage paraphernalia, ads, posters, barware and memorabilia. Free mixology seminars are offered periodically beginning March 8. Call the restaurant at (702) 892-8272 for more info and seminar registration.

01/09/06 - Boardwalk Hotel and Casino Closed
**** - January saw the closing of yet another Las Vegas Strip property. After nearly 40 years of operation, and numerous facelifts as recently as just 10 years ago, the Boardwalk Hotel and Casino is being closed and very likely soon imploded by new owners MGM/Harrah's to make way for their new "City Center" highrise and casino.
Following the recent implosion of the Castaways/Showboat in January and The Bourbon Street Hotel in February, soon (as in the next 12 months) to be on the toppling block are also the Stardust, New Frontier and Tropicana Hotels. Rumors have had the Imperial Palace on and off the hotspot, but now looks as if it will be at least a year before anything decisive happens there.

12/26/05 - Stratosphere High Roller Closed Down
***** - You missed your last chance ever to ride the High Roller, the worlds highest roller coaster, atop the Stratosphere Casino Hotel. After almost 10 years of operation on the 112th level of the tower, it was shut down after December 30, 2005 and will be dismantled over the next few months. No news on what will be replacing it as yet.

08/30/05 - New Grand Canyon SkyWalk Announced
***** - The Hualapai Nation has unveiled their new Destination Experience at the West Rim of The Grand Canyon, about 120 miles out of Las Vegas, known as The Indian Village and The Hualapai Ranch [o] Opening Sept 1. Along with authentic native dwellings and a western town with horseback and wagon rides, another part of the new attraction to be opened in late February 2006 is the Skywalk, [o] a glass walking bridge suspended 4,000 ft over the canyon floor. More details can be found at the National Parks Service website.

11/05/05 - New Casino Surrender Blackjack
**** - The popular new Casino Surrender Blackjack option is taking Las Vegas by storm. Introduced recently by Casino Gaming LLC (rules and info: (708)547-5555 ) the new game provides lucrative player odds by allowing the player to FORCE the casino to surrender and lose under specific scenarios. So far Stardust, Sunset and Boulder Stations, Binion's and Sahara are, or soon will be, offering it, on at least a portion of their blackjack tables, with others on the way.

08/23/05 - Aladdin, Imperial Palace Changes
**** - On the Las Vegas hotel front, it has been announced that Harrah's has purchased the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino on the Strip, for a cool $370 million. Rumors say it will probably be torn down and replaced, if the new owners can find a solution for the annual spring garage flooding issue they currently face, however, due to regulatory issues the deal probably will not be completed until at least Mid November. Also Planet Hollywood, who has been trying for over 8 years to come up with a Strip hotel, will be taking over the recently rebuilt Aladdin Hotel Casino by the end of the year and adding some spectacular new restaurants and other attractions. And last, but not least, The old San Remo Hotel on East Tropicana will be re-opening any day now as the new and improved Hooter's Hotel and Casino.

07/25/05 - Steve Wynn's Spamalot
**** - Variety Magazine reports that Steve Wynn has struck a deal to bring Eric Idle's (of Monty Python fame) sold-out Broadway musical spoof of the King Arthur tale "Spamalot" to Las Vegas. He'll be building a specially designed $70 million Spamalot Experience and Grail Theater to house the Tony Award winning production beginning sometime in 2007.

06/01/05 - Rainbow Bar & Grill
***** - Legenday L.A. restaurant and nightspot Rainbow Bar & Grill opens its newest location in Las Vegas to the public June 3 across from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on South Paradise Road. Jerry and Bob Greenberg, owners and renowned record executives, worked with artists as diverse as The Rollings Stones, AC/DC and Eric Clapton, and will be on hand this weekend to open their new 24 hour venue for R&R memorabilia, good food and entertainment. Las Vegas Nightlife.

06/03/05 - Penn Jillette Produces Offspring
***** - Comic/Magician Penn Jillette of the Las Vegas show Penn and Teller, and Emily, his wife of less than a year, received their first born child June 3. They have named her Moxie CrimeFighter Jillette.

04/03/05 - Studio 54 & Voodoo Lounge Renovations
***** - The MGM Grand's Studio 54 nightclub has just completed a major renovation adding three new bar themes. The new Steel Bar adds an edgy, classic, industrial element, while the Hot Bar keeps the fires ablaze in orange and red. The new Voyeur Bar overlooks the action from the Mezzanine level and inserts guests into a montage of steamy shots with mirrors. It's open Tues-Sat. 10pm. Meanwhile Rio's Voodoo Lounge, in early May, are a couple months from completing their own renovations after closing the top floors of the hotel recently to lift a 20 ton custom staircase by helicopter over the Vegas skyline. The stairs, open to the sky above, will connect the lounge to the Voodoo Cafe's observation deck below and feature go-go dancer platforms on either side. Find out more about Las Vegas Nightlife.

05/04/05 - Elvis on TV
***** - Elvis fans will be excited to learn that the CBS Television Network will be broadcasting "ELVIS", a new four-hour movie event, as the "CBS Sunday Movie" Sunday, May 8 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) and Wednesday, May 11 (8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT). The fact-based drama is about the life of Elvis Presley between the ages of 18 and 33 and will be the first time Elvis' actual master recordings will be heard in a biographical film through the cooperation of the Presley Estate. Jonathan Rhys Meyers stars as Elvis Presley, Randy Quaid stars as "Colonel" Tom Parker, and "Charmed" actress Rose McGowan stars as Ann-Margret. Elvis Movie Photos Elvis Movie Photos Elvis Movie Photos

04/28/05 - Wynn Las Vegas Grand Opening
***** - Wynn Las Vegas opened Midnight, April 28. No media photo peeks behind the Man-made Mountain on the Strip are being permitted until the release of an exclusive granted to Vanity Fair Magazine due out on May 4. Initial reports are of a "more complex, more colorful than Bellagio style resort built in a fraction of the time". Wynn expects the first-rate, hand selected staff to far overcome any shortcomings in the architecture. Click Here for Photos Click Here for Photos

03/22/05 - Cirque Du Soleil Artists Exhibit
***** - The Cultural Action team of Cirque Du Soleil will open it's first "Collective Art Exhibition" at The Arts Factory downtown Las Vegas throughout the month of April. The exhibition features artwork created by cast and crew memebers as part of Cirque's aim to encourage individual creativity and support their artistic endeavors. Many artistic formats will be included from oils and acrylic, to photography, plexiglass and leather.

01/17/05 - Rio New World Series of Poker Home
***** - The Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino is the new home of the legendary World Series of Poker. Due to popular demand they've also added a brand new poker room featuring 10 tables of "any (poker) game customers want to play" (Indian Poker anyone?) in the heart of the sports book. For info about upcoming tournaments visit their website at: playrio.com.

01/07/05 - Let it Snow!
***** - Let It Snow, Let It Snow, let it snow...
Up to 4" of it fell on West Las Vegas Friday 01/07/05. Pictures: Click Here for Pictures Click Here for Pictures

01/03/05 - Hootie and The Blowfish Take over Silverton Lounge
**** - 90's Easy rock supergroup Hootie and the Blowfish are taking over the formerly named Shady Grove Lounge at the Silverton Casino Hotel the "contemporary Adirondack lodge" themed property on the south end of the Strip. The hotel has recently completed the first phase of major renovations which include a 165,000 sq ft Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and the Mermaid Restaurant and Lounge including a 117,000 gallon saltwater tank with 8,000 fish and a few live mermaids, NEITHER should be missed! Also in the Blowfish partnership deal will be multiple appearances by the group through the year starting with the one January 8. See Concerts for details.

12/14/04 - Manilow Does Hilton
***** - Pop star Barry Manilow has been signed to a $60 million deal to perform his greatest hits nightly at the Las Vegas Hilton in his new show entitled: "Manilow: Music and Passion". The current schedule has him performing Wed-Sat nights for a year starting February 24 ( although some rumors have him starting as early as Feb 14 ) with tickets going on sale Dec 18 for $85-$145. Watch our shows page for future schedule changes. Phone 1-800-222-5361 for tickets and info.

11/14/04 - Last Section of Desert Inn Hotel Imploded
**** - Almost 3 years to the date of the initial implosion the last remaining section of the Desert Inn Hotel and Casino in the center of the strip will be imploded Tuesday (11/16/04) morning at 2:30am to make room for the new Wynn Hotel and Casino. There will be no formal adieu ceremony, however police and guards will be controlling vehicle and pedestrian traffic for safety.

**** - The Mirage showroom has been dark for just over a year since Roy Horn's unfortunate onstage incident and today they have announced Siegfried and Roy's replacement show. It will be a brand new Cirque Du Soleil and Apple Records offering about "living the Beatles Experience" and featuring the music of none other than the Beatles themselves. Originating from a past suggestion by the late George Harrison, the project concept has passed the approval of Paul, Ringo, Yoko and others and will be the first time such full-fledged cooperation has been leant to a musical production utilizing their ageless hits. The show is expected to open in mid 2006.

08/17/04 - Hooters Hotel Announced
***** - MSNBC reports today that The Hooters Restaurant chain will be taking over and re-branding the Hotel San Remo, just off the Strip on Tropicana Ave, as their own first hotel casino. As part of the 'full overhaul' to be completed by the end of 2005, the 711 room hotel will receieve a new Hooters Beach Club atmosphere and a number of new restaurants including, naturally, Hooters. The property will remain open throughout the transformation.

07/12/04 - Monorail Opens with Themed Cars
***** - The long awaited, and oft delayed, Las Vegas Monorail is finally open to the public! The initial 4-mile section following the Strip mostly, from Tropicana Ave to Sahara Ave, opened July 15. The $3 ride will take about 15 minutes from end to end and features themed cars including a BORG Invasion car sponsored by STAR TREK: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton decked out in Star Trek imagery inside and out, green lighting and a chilling BORG voice instructing riders. For more info, maps and more checkout the the Las Vegas Monorail and Star Trek: The Experience websites.

07/01/04 - MGM - Mandalay Meger Madness
** - By now you've probably heard about the $8+ billion MGM mega-merger with Mandalay Resorts which will result in MGM owning practically every existing hotel From the south end of the Strip to the California State Line and a total of 28 properties nationwide. But even before the deal has been signed and approved, the latest rumors have MGM looking at selling off some of their current properties, most notably the TI (formerly Treasure Island) while keeping most all of those to be acquired in the new deal. For those of you keeping score:
Current MGM Mirage Southern Nevada properties:
Bellagio, Boardwalk, Golden Nugget, MGM Grand, Mirage, New York-New York, TI, Golden Nugget Laughlin, Primm Bufallo Bill's, Primm Valley (Primadonna), Primm Whiskey Pete's
Current Mandalay Bay Southern Nevada properites:
Circus Circus, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, Silver City, Slots-A-Fun, Colorado Belle Laughlin, Edgewater Laughlin, Jean Gold Strike, Jean Nevada Landing
Current Jointly Managed Properties:
Monte Carlo

And now... Harrah's wants to buy Caesars in an even larger deal than the MGM-Mandalay merger.

03/24/04 - Life Imitates Art at Bellagio
****** - In honor of an upcoming exhibition at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art The Bellagio Conservatory at the Bellagio Hotel has unveiled a Free springtime recreation to bring to life Claude Monet's painting "The Water Lily Pond, 1900" in 3-D which will also be on display in the Gallery through May 16. Months of planning and design went into the unique garden display of lillies, iris' and ferns to reproduce the famous pond in Giverny, France. More info about the exhibit at: the Bellagio Botanical Garden and Conservatory Website.

03/08/04 - Desert Robot Races
****** -Hey race fans! If the past week's NASCAR excitement wasn't enough for you how about a slightly different sort of race. Saturday (March 13) the DARPA Grand Challenge, begins at dawn at the Slash X Ranch (28040 Barstow Rd) near Barstow, CA and will wind up at Buffalo Bill's Resort in Primm, NV late that afternoon. What's so differemt about this race? The drivers will be 25 robots! Vehicles will include modified Humvees, souped-up sport utility vehicles, dune buggies, all-terrain vehicles, a six-wheeled military truck and even a motorcycle competing for a whopping $1 million! The 200 mile course is secret until the day of the race and will include highways, back roads, trails and open desert from Barstow to the Nevada state line. More info at: San Diego Union-Tribune

02/13/04 - Borg Invasion Coming!
****** - Star Trek: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton has announced the opening date for their new Borg Invasion 4D attraction is March 18. The pre-opening "BORG Ball" will offer fans willing to assimilate $299 a piece a 3 hour costume party preview of the attraction at midnight the prior evening. The new attraction features an original 3D film staring Robert Picardo (The Doctor) Alice Krige (BORG Queen) and Kate Mulgrew (Admiral Janeway) and adds a fourth dimension of movement and sensation using state-of-the-art theater technologies such as timed air blasts, surround sound rumbling, motion platform floors and even seat back probes to simulate being assimilated into the Borg collective.

01/07/04 - Mac King Calling Guinness Book
****** - Afternoon show headliner Mac King at the Harrah's Las Vegas Casino & Hotel, entered the Guinness Book of World Records recently for the "longest game of telephone" the traditional kindergarten passtime. With 614 players, including local celebrities Penn & Teller, Clint Holmes and Sheena Easton, the former record of 564 participants, set last year in Dublin, Ireland was verified broken. So what was the result? Mac King started the game with the words: "Mac King is a comedy magic genius" and predicted the final result via a sealed envelope to be "Macaroni Cantaloupe knows the future",

12/24/03 - Rio's Tallest Observation Wheel
***** - The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino is soon to host the "World's Tallest Observation Wheel" just west of the Las Vegas Strip. Similar to England's famous London Eye Wheel, the 600 foot ride will dwarf the Rio hotel by 150 feet and provide a unique panoramic view of the strip and city. Each of the 30 luxury cabins will carry 20 people plus a personal steward, not to mention a restroom and fully stocked bar, for a 27 minute ride for about $18 per person and cabins may be reserved for private parties as well. The estimated opening date is July 2005.

10/12/03 - ROY HORN, Siegfried and Roy, UPDATE!
**** - ROY HORN, Siegfried and Roy, UPDATE!
- Local television station KLAS-TV maintains an updated listing on Roy's Progress.
- As of December. 23 Roy Horn's condition has improved to the point that he has returned to his home in Las Vegas for the holidays and to continue his recovery under the care of physicians.

On the evening of Oct 3, his 59th birthday, Roy Horn of The Magic Duo Siegfried and Roy at the Mirage Hotel and Casino was attacked while on stage, midway through a performance, by one of his famous white tigers, and dragged off stage. Early reports indicated a major loss of blood, a possible stroke and left throat injuries, but subsequent information says the tiger's jaws "narrowly missed his carotid artery. In recent interviews Siegfried has expressed optimism that Roy is over the worst part and will recover completely but the show's future is very doubtful. The name of the tiger responsible, and currently in quarantine was identified by Alan Feldman, V.P. of the Mirage as 7 year old, show veteran, Mantacore (alt. sp Montecore) and confirmed that prior reports by other sources, that the tiger was 9 years old and debuting in that very show, were "just a part of the act", and entirely untrue. All performances for the forseeable future have been officially cancelled and refunds are being issued by the hotel.

8/15/03 - Las Vegas Leisure Guide Free Coupons
***** - Las Vegas Leisure Guide launches new TOTALLY FREE Las Vegas Coupons section. Looking for bargains when visiting Vegas? Tired of searching all over town for card racks and magazines for discount coupons. Just launched, all new and constantly growing, page lists great attraction admission, show, tour and other discount offers free for the printing.

7/15/03 - ParkPlace Entertainment to change name to Caesars Entertainment
*****/*** - Park Place Entertainment holders of such Las Vegas hotel names as Hilton, Caesars Palace, Bally's and Paris Las Vegas, announced Tuesday (7/15/03) that they will be changing their name Park Place Entertainment to Caesars Entertainment in order to make better use of the highly recognizable Caesars Palace name in the US and overseas. Inside word also hints that the corporation could be working on a casino in the UK under the new Caesars label in the near future. The name change will be effective January 2004 pending shareholder approval.

7/13/03 - Hunting For Bambi
**** - So you're a hot-blooded male looking for something completely different to do on your next Las Vegas convention trip besides the usual casino games? Some are fulfilling a once in a lifetime fantasy through HuntingForBambi.com. Sure, the website looks cheesey and could easily be mistaken as a joke, but this is apparently for real! In a recent 2 part investigative story, Las Vegas television station KLAS-TV8 exposed the de-tails about the new experience available to those willing to shell out a cool $10,000 each: Hunting helpless women in the desert with a paintball gun. Oh yeah, by the way, they have no clothes on either. Hey, this is Vegas. We don't make it up we just report it... visit the two mentioned websites for the naked facts and visuals.

7/13/03 - New Stratosphere Extreme Thrill Ride
***** - Undaunted after being turned down, some time back, from building an ambitious 900 foot tall cross-Strip roller coaster, The Stratosphere Hotel, Casino and Tower has unveiled their newest ultimate experience. The new ride, from the makers of the "Big Shot", temporarily named "Project X Sky" pending a final name decision, will push thrill-seekers "over the edge", a whole 9 yards, at up to 30 m.p.h., and back again . The open-air, 8 person, "escape-proof", rider capsule will also be floorless, allowing riders to dangle, often weightlessly, 900 feet over the Las Vegas Strip below, simulating free-fall. A nifty feature of the innovative ride is that it is programmable thru thirty settings, from the fun-for-the-whole-family level to Bucking-Bronco-Rambo-Buster. Completion is expected by early fall 2003.

6/23/03 - Boston Bar and Grill Back in Town.
***** - Back in town is a past favorite locals bar, The Boston Bar & Grill . It is re-open to the public at 1030 E Flamingo, with a new, tasty, full service restaurant menu, game room, big screen sports and lots of local, Las Vegas music groups performing live and loud.

6/20/03 - Bidding Over for Aladdin Hotel.
***** - Planet Hollywood has as far back as 1996 been interested in creating a Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino. This week they may finally have realized that dream. Together with Starwood Hotels (Sheraton) They put up $635 million and assumed outstanding debt to acquire the relatively new Aladdin Resort and Casino and attached, historical Theatre for Performing Arts on the South end of the Las Vegas Strip. Mike Mecca former General Manager of the Green Valley Ranch Casino will head up as CEO and President of the joint venture. New celebrity and movie themed suites will be added to the top floors drawing from Planet Hollywood's vast collection of memorabilia and they plan to host weekly Hollywood-style movie premieres and major headliners at the theatre. Up to 600 units at the hotel will be made a part of the Starwood Vacation Ownership program to add a Westin Vacation Resort. The adjoining Desert Passage Mall is not part of the deal and will remain as is.

10/24/03 - Legalize Prostitution to Generate Tax Revenue
***** - Las Vegas' KLAS news station reports (see story) that in a recent radio interview, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman suggested that the city consider legalizing prostitution in Las Vegas city limits. While not going so far as to actually recommending it yet, Mr. Goodman indicates that not only would it legalize something known to be already happening in the shadows illegally, but would generate revenue for the city and possibly encourage more tourism. Currently prostitution is legal only in 15 out of 17 counties in Nevada, but not Las Vegas. The Mayor is inviting comment and input. He can be reached via e-mail on the Las Vegas city website if you'd like to let him know what YOU think.

05/13/03 - OPM Opens at Forum Shops
***** - The first late night lounge and nightclub in The Forum Shops at Caesars is set to open May 22. OPM is a joint partnership with Wolfgang Puck's Asian-French fusion Cafe Chinois and features an entrance from both the cafe and directly through a free valet entrance behind the shops. Inside, the 8,000 sq ft club is a world of ultra-modern feng shui furnishings, exotic textures and a state of the art light and video system with an arial view of the Forum shops. An after-hours menu of Wolfgang's fresh sushi, dim sum and desserts is served at small-party tables amidst the action until 3am.

05/02/03 - Sirens OF T.I. Tryouts
***** - Think you or someone you know is "part muse, part pirate and part temptress" and can dance a little? Then Treasure Island Hotel wants you! Monday May 5, starts a national casting call for their new Pirate battle show to re-open in October. In a new re-vamp of the famous, 10 year old, Buccaneer Bay Sea Battle show fronting the Las Vegas strip which fires its' final canon July 7, the casino will be adding the sexy "Sirens of TI" to battle the male pirates in the new version of the show. Applicants must be female, age 21-28, physically fit dancers trained in jazz or hip-hop with gymnastic and acquatic abilities. Contact Kirvin Doak Communications for more details and locations (702-737-3100).

05/06/03 - Nearly Famous 2: More Vegas Showgirls
***** - E! Entertainment Television Network will premiere a sequel ten-part reality mini-series called "Nearly Famous 2: More Vegas Showgirls" Monday Night, June 2 (10:30 pm in most locales, check local listings). The first "Nearly Famous" featured Bally's "Jubilee" stage show. The 10 half-hour episodes will follow the intimate lives of a group of men and women trying to balance every day life and art to "make it" in the Harrah's Las Vegas Casino & Hotel "Skintight" production show.

04/21/03 - New Blue Man Group Video with Dave Matthews
***** - A brand new Blue Man Group music video for their first single to be released from their second album, has showed up on VH1 recently. The "Sing Along," video opens with Dave Matthews and the Blue Man Group trio on a drab gray street and rooftop. Things get messy after a pipe bursts and spews orange paint in many directions drenching Matthews like the trio's trademark act. Their new album entitled "The Complex" [o] featuring Dave Matthews will be released April 22. Tracy Bonham also guests on the new album available online at Amazon.com now. Tickets and more information about Blue Man Group who appear nightly at the Luxor Hotel are available on our Shows Page.

04/18/03 - New Upcoming Las Vegas TV Series'
**** - Media Life Magazine this week (April 15), reports on a new high budget TV series slated for next season called "Las Vegas". The NBC/Dreamworks production is being compared to "The New Love Boat' on steroids." It is produced by Gary Scott Thompson writer of "The Fast and The Furious" and will star James Caan in the leading role. Also mentioned is a new reality show which will be spending 4 months in Las Vegas (no specific name given) and a new crime show spoof called "Reno 911!" to debut on Comedy Central in July.

03/14/03 - Tilted Kilt, Full Tilt Ahead
***** - From the owner of the famous, award-winning, Las Vegas Tillerman restaurant comes a new venue opening on St. Patrick's Day. The Tilted Kilt located in The Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino offers 24 premium beers on tap, great games, hearty food and the sexy, tartan-clad "Tilted Kilt Girls" to serve it all up, amid a decor of Celtic artifacts and eye-catching, pop culture memorabilia. The food includes some unique exclusives like Drunken Clams steamed in your choice of beers and Sloppy Jane's (think Sloppy Joe's only different).

02/20/03 - Rio Looking For a Few Good Bevertainers
***** - The Rio All-Suite hotel and Casino has announced plans to launch a new form of casino entertainment. The new multi-year contract with Dick Foster Productions, which currently produces the Rio's ever-popular Masquerade Show in the Sky, will turn 80 otherwise unassuming beverage servers into a major Las Vegas style production show complete with music, singing and choreography at the same time as serving drinks to customers! Auditions for the new BevErtainers will begin in late February in Las Vegas, Reno, Los Angeles and later in Orlando and Nashville. Interested talent should contact Dick Foster Productions for audition times and schedules.

12/05/03 - Michael Jackson Shops Vegas
*** - The Australian newspaper reports that pop star Michael Jackson recently strolled about the shopping malls of The Luxor and The Venetian buying up furniture and home fixtures left and right to the tune of $6 Million in a single shopping trip.

12/31/02 - Baby Penguins for New Year
***** - Las Vegas has a couple of New Year's Babies. They're um... penguins? In the desert? The Flamingo Las Vegas resort's Wildlife Habitat announced their newest bouncing baby African Penguin chick Dec 30 with a second expected New Year's Day. The new addition will bring to a total of 13, the flock of the "threatened" species at the Flamingo. The chicks' 4 year old mother named Sweat Pea, is on loan from her home at the Baltimore Zoo though the American Zoos, Parks and Aquariums Association's Species Survival Program. The whole family, including the father, 10 year old Norton, can be visited daily, for no charge, with narrarated feedings at 8:30 am and 3:00 pm.

12/18/02 - Finally a REAL Elvis Convention
***** - This is for all those who have asked us over the years, about "Elvis Conventions" in Las Vegas which they had seen on TV or at the movies, most of which are entirely fictitious, and whom we previously had to disappoint. On January 3-5, 2003 more of "the worlds finest Elvis impersonators from around the world" than would fit into a single day will compete for cash and prizes at Jamie Coyne's Elvis Extravaganza Impersonator Contest and National Finals Fan Convention at the Westward Ho Hotel and Casino. Besides the weekend-long contest there will also be appearances by Elvis' backup group the Jordanaires and cousin Donna Presley. Tickets and details are available at the link above.

11/13/02 - Kid Rock / Anderson NOT Married Yet
**** - Contrary to previous rumors, the New York Daily News confirms that Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson did NOT get married while in Las Vegas the weekend of November 9, when the Kid was opening for Aerosmith at the MGM. The recent visit was however commemorated by the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino with the issuance of a new $5 casino chip bearing his image.

11/06/02 - National Airlines Calls it Quits
***** - Las Vegas based National Airlines Wednesday (November 6) announced they will be ceasing operations effective immediately. After two years in bankruptcy, the just over three year old company failed last month to procure a key $2 million in additional financing it needed to continue flying. The airline is not able to offer refunds on pending tickets but recommends customers contact their credit card companies immediately concerning individual refund privileges. Visit the National Airlines Wesbite for the official press release. More details from the Las Vegas Review Journal .

07/29/02 - The Celine Dion Theatrical Spectacular
***** - Over a year since the initial, official announcement, Caesars Palace has announced further details about The Celine Dion Theatrical Spectacular coming to their new Colosseum Showroom. Showtimes will be 8:30pm nightly Wednesday -Sunday, beginning March 25, 2003 with tickets ranging from $87.50 up to $150 per person. The new tickets are not yet on sale at the Caesars Box Office, but advance sales are currently available by phone through your favorite Ticketmaster outlet. Additional details and changes will be available as we get them on our Las Vegas Shows Pages.

06/26/02 - Seen Cruising Grand Canyon
***** - The next time you visit the Grand Canyon National Park, the natural formations may not be the only thing attracting attention. The National Park Service has announced the start of a feasibility trial, in June, of the new Segway Human Transporter (previously referred to by such names as IT or Ginger), the self-balancing, two-wheeled transporter revealed less than a year ago. Park rangers and supervisors using the nearly-silent, electric-powered vehicle at the South Rim hope it will enhance productivity and employees' ability to assist the public while protecting the environment.

Happy Valentine's Day... [o]
...From Kuuma, Gandara and Akasha

Siegfried & Roy's newest, three-month-old Royal White Tiger Cubs. To Learn more about them, and how they got their names, visit them at their online home

05/29/02 - Bras off To Breast Cancer
**** - This weekend (June 1) The Showgirls at the Rio will be taking off and donating their bras in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. The project will be announced by Sunny of The Showgirls show at the Rio Casino beginning at this years annual Junefest concert. Donations (bras as well as cash donations for breast cancer research) will be accepted at The Hard Rock Casino and KKLZ radio station. Contributors will receive 2 for 1 tickets to "Showgirls". The project hopes to collect enough bras by July 28, to stretch end to end on the Las Vegas Strip from Tropicana to Sahara.

05/28/02 - Hoover Dam Celebrates Important Anniversary
The Hoover Dam visitor center will be closed June 17, 2002 for a VIP only event: A re-enactment of the June 17, 1902 passage of the Newlands Reclamation Act, the legal foundation of The Bureau of Reclamation and the bill which made the Hoover Dam possible. No tours will be available that day but the parking garage will be open from 8am - 2pm for visiting the top of the dam. For more details visit: The Official Hoover Dam Website.

03/25/02 - Liberace Museum Announces Remodeling Re-Opening Date
***** - The Liberace Museum has set a date for the ribbon cutting ceremony for their new museum remodeling for May 30, 2002. The new facility will add a new giant rhinestone and piano key entrance, an outdoor "Record Garden" area and patio, a new 3,000 ft Grand Gallery of changing exhibit space and a new museum store three times the size of the old one. The brand new marquee will feature an enormous cutout of Liberace in his famous red flying cape, and pink neon lights.

02/20/02 - M&M's Global Color Vote Race Car
***** - M & M World Las Vegas hosted an autograph session Friday March 1 to unveil the Global Color Vote Race Car. The event, which was open to the public, featured Ken Schrader NASCAR Driver of Mamp;&M's race car #36 and Miss Universe 2001 Denise Quinones. M&M World is located on the 4th floor of the Showcase Mall on the Strip next to the MGM Grand.

02/15/02 - MTV's Real World in Vegas
**** - The seven newest stars of MTV's The Real World were hanging out at the new Las Vegas Palms Resort the end of February. The resort made arrangements to house the group and crew on the entire 28th floor for the duration of the recent taping.

01/08/02 - Vacation Village Closes
**** - Vacation Village on the far, south end of the Strip, closed their doors Wednesday January 9, after the last visitors checked out. The casino had been closed the day before when the bankruptcy sale was completed to real estate entrepreneur Shawn Scott. While closed for the short term, rumors and the examples set in similar past deals by Scott, who currently does not have a Nevada gaming license to operate the casino, indicate the property could be re-sold and re-opened before long, by other licensed operators who plan on upgrading the casino and hotel size.

10/10/01 - The Las Vegas USO Show
***** - Las Vegas strip hotel stars Siegfried & Roy, Wayne Newton, Clint Holmes, Lance Burton, The Scintas, Bob Anderson and Earl Turner have announced that they will join forces for the first time in Las Vegas Strip history with the USO to produce a concert for the benefit of our troops called to action.

10/23/01 - Desert Inn Down, Wynn Property Rumors
***** - Another piece of Las Vegas history recently came to an end as the main tower of the Desert Inn was imploded in the wee hours of Oct 23, 2001. The central-strip property will become the location of the new 15 story Le Reve to be completed sometime in 2003. See earlier stories for more details.
*** - UPDATE Prior rumors had Steve Wynn selling off the recently closed Desert Inn rather than leveling it as rumored, and focusing instead on building from scratch on the undeveloped parcel immediately adjacent to the south. However, recent moves have now turned that rumor. Mr. Wynn has applied and been approved for permission from Clark county to demolish the DI and most of the buildings, casino and hotel towers associated with it. No massive implosion is planned at this time and the work is expected to be more "subdued and surgical" in nature than The Dunes for which Wynn was responsible. Possibly spared will be the newer built sections to the north end of the property. There are still no definite plans released beyond our former report other than the comment that it will be "similar to the Bellagio but with more waterfalls" and is to be named "Le Reve" French for "The River". Construction is not expected to begin until summer of 2002 with completion somewhere in 2005.
(remainder of former story: ) The flurry of recent activity behind safety fences at the former Desert Inn turning most of the formerly pristine white front exterior to a tacky brick red with oriental flourishes is in preparation for yet another movie being filmed on the Las Vegas Strip. Rush Hour 2 is the sequel to Jackie Chen's 1998 release Rush Hour and will include a number of the same parts and actors as the original including Chris Tucker and Chris Penn (brother of Sean Penn).

9/04/01 - New Concept, Gambling by Braille
***** - Don't look now... you don't need to! Alliance Gaming Corp. has released a new line of video slot machines which feature braille labeling and audio-assist features especially for the visually impared. The series of three coming to a casino near you, feature American music icon Ray Charles and bear titles such as "Ray Charles' America the Beautiful," "What'd I Pay," and "Ray's Jukebox.

7/11/01 - Nevada Numbers, Lottery, Keno, Neither
**** There's an all new game in town called "Nevada Numbers". Game creators Las Vegas Gaming Inc describe it as a little like Keno and a little like state lotteries, but neither. The game will be available in the Keno areas at most of the Park Place properties (Bally's, Paris, Flamingo, and Hiltons) state-wide by the end of July with plans to offer it to other properties soon. The once-nightly drawing is held at Bally's in Las Vegas. [o] To play you pay $2 to pick only 5 numbers from 1 to 80 and if you guess all 5 you win a state-wide progressive of over $5 million. You can also arrange to play the same numbers up to 50 days in a row on one ticket. Details and current results are available at their official website nevadanumbers.com.

6/29/01 - Puck Cili at the Bali Hai
***** The Bali Hai Golf Club is host to Las Vegas' fifth new restaurant by Master Chef Wolfgang Puck. Cili extends the South Pacific Bali style of the Club, and offers both an Asian cuisine as well as a separate American menu. The elegant dining room and outdoor patio areas which seat up to 300 are open 7 days and theres even a happy hour and frequent live music in the bar. [o] [o]

5/30/01 - Celine Dion In Minimum 3 Yr Caesars Contract
***** - Caesars Palace has finally announced that Celine Dion will be the featured performer of a new spectacular theatrical presentation in their new 4,000 seat Colosseum Theater when it opens in March 2003. The un-precedented alliance with Sony Music, Concerts West and producer Franco Dragone, will feature the "worlds best-selling female artist" in an exclusive, three-year-minimum, extended engagement. More info has been promised soon at (877) CELINE-4 and on the Caesars Palace website.

11/26/01 - Ethel M Chocolates Begins Holidy Festivities
***** Ethel M Chocolates started their observance of the holiday season Wednesday (11/28) with the "throwing of the switch" on their 8th Annual "Light The Night," cactus garden, holiday spectacular. Henderson City Mayor James Gibson officiated. Strolling musicians and free chocolates highlight this years 100,000 light display kick-off which has become a Las Vegas area tradition. The display will continue nightly, 4:30pm to 11:00pm, through January 3, 2002.

11/26/01 - POST 9/11 UPDATE
UPDATE Most things are nearly back to normal in Las Vegas, with a few minor exceptions.
  • McCarran Airport, like nearly every airport these days, is backed up with extra security checks, but moving surprisingly quickly. Curb-side check-ins ARE now being accepted, but NOT in-hotel baggage check-ins. Allow at least 2-hour for most check-ins. For up to the minute updates check the McCarran Airport website: www.mccarran.com. Most air sightseeing tours ARE flying, some with slightly modified flight plans, but check with the individual carrier for details. Links and phone numbers for most are located in our Air Tours section
  • Many hotel room prices have plummeted and some properties are rethinking near-term construction projects. Caesars Palace, for instance, has announced they will postpone construction of a new 29 story, 900 suite, $475 million, hotel tower. Recent checks have reported some unprecedented low rates! Check our Hotels page for the best current rates!
  • Hoover Dam is now open again for passenger vehicles only and traffic is often slow. All dam INTERIOR TOURS are CANCELLED at this time, however the visitor center and parking garage ARE open for visitors who may still walk across the dam and many specially permitted Lake Mead tours and Hoover Dam sightseeing tour buses ARE running - confirm with individual tour companies prior to ticketing. The recommended alternate route for commercial vehicles, non-permit buses, and trucks with most trailers (pickup trucks with small boat trailers are okay) to or from AZ is through Kingman, AZ via Laughlin, NV. For updates check the Hoover Dam site at: www.HooverDam.usbr.gov


***** - Recent visitors were treated to be among the first to have a chance to see the new $265 million "retro-futuristic" Palms Casino Resort. Built by the Maloof family who previously built and sold the Fiesta Casino in Northwest Las Vegas, the 42 story, 450 room tower is located just a stone's throw from the Strip on Flamingo Road and I-15. It opened Thursday, November 15. The Resort is currently offering Grand Opening room specials on their website of $89 to $109 per night. Also included are the intimate Ghostbar lounge with a 55th floor view of the Strip, a 2-acre pool courtyard and lounge and a 20,000 square foot Spa. A unique 25,000 square foot, multi-tiered, special-effects-filled, water themed, entertainment venue named Rain in the Desert rounds out the resort and opened November 16 with an evening concert by Macy Gray.

***** - Long running Las Vegas show Jubilee! passed their historic 20th Anniversary at Bally's recently. Over 8 million people have attended the more than 6,000 shows over the years, which feature nearly one hundred cast memebers in such original sequences as "The Sinking of the Titanic" and "The Destruction of the Temple by Samson". See our Shows Page for times and ticket info.

**** If you always wished you could cruise the Las Vegas Strip in your own vehicle at your own leisure, rather than walking or taking public transportation, but just couldn't justify the time and expense of renting a car just for the short drive, then the new Neon Light Package is for you. You can now rent, low speed, electric cars, right in front of La Concha Motel Mid-Strip, by the hour to go at your own pace. Ranging from $29 for the first hour to $69 for up to 4 hours, the silent, environmentally green machines will go up to 35 mph and up to 100 miles per recharge. Enough for dozens of trips up and down the popular route.

06/25/01 - Convention Authority Makes It Official: There WILL be a New Year's Eve
***** The Las Vegas Convention Authority has announced that there WILL be a New Year 2002 celebration in Las Vegas (like we just couldn't have one without them.) It will climax with over half of a million dollars worth of fireworks set off in 7 minutes from at least 15 locations on the strip and downtown. The 30,000 rockets will be choreographed to music by a bank of dozens of personal computers.

*** 6/28/01 - Rumors are circulating that the Maxim Hotel on Flamingo Road, will be closing for good in the next couple months. The hotel has been without an operating casino for nearly two years after the property was closed for bankruptcy and then reopened. Although employees have already been given 60 day closure notices the hotel is still accepting reservations and expecting to remain open at least through August 12. More obscure rumors say the property could eventually re-open some day as a timeshare property.

06/15/01 -
**** - Downtown will be seeing some more renovations besides the continuation (finally) of the long-delayed Neonopolis project (see side bar). A new entertainment venue called The Birdcage Cabaret based loosely on the movie by the same name, will be "a downtown alternative" to mainstream entertainment and will feature cabaret style stage acts with in-drag entertainers. Finally, the Las Vegas Neon Museum will be getting a more permanent installation. While another 5 new signs were recently installed on the 3rd street cul-de-sac, an entire new 2 acre , $4 million, outdoor museum is in the works just up the street near Cashman Field. Due to begin construction this fall, it will include an 18,000 sq ft warehouse amphitheater, visitor center and a 1/2 acre temporary "sign boneyard" filled with many finished, in-progress and not-yet-restored relics of Las Vegas' history on public display for the first time in almost half a century.

***** - Studio 54 at the MGM Grand has added a unique new act to their Tuesday night "Erotically Delicious Entertainers Night" amusements. They're called the Wall Walking Duo and consist of two glossy, black, bodysuit clad performers who stealthily climb the central dance floor pillars and perform agile overhead acrobatics while descending. Studio 54 opens Tuesday thru Saturday at 10pm and the Wall Walkers perform at 2:45am on Tuesdays.

06/08/01 - Mayor Goodman Goes Hollywood
**** - Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman will appear in a cameo role presenting a jackpot check on an upcoming 2-hour edition of the popular German television series "Das Traumschiff" (Dreamship). Filming wrapped up May 30 at Caesars Palace for the 20th-anniversary-of-the-series episode which features a million dollar jackpot win by one of the fictional ship's crew while on holiday in Las Vegas. The episode airs January 2002. [o]

***** - Because LVLG readers have been so decisive and influential over the last couple years with their online selections of the BEST Las Vegas oriented books through our affiliate Amazon.com, Las Vegas Leisure Guide has been selected as one of an elite group of websites to be the first to preview Amazon's new, site based "Recommendations" technology. Not only does the list change constantly as new books about Las Vegas become available and reader opinions change, but the list is customized for each new visitor and changes with each subsequent visit. Click here or scroll down to see it in action and help test it out. It just happens to be a great place to pick up discounted popular and USED books on ALL subjects too.

**** - Caesars Palace awarded their second $1 million slot jackpot in 2 months this week. The stunned 73-year-old Boston bookkeeper who was in Las Vegas celebrating her birthday, had taken a break from the craps tables to play a few slots and hit for over $1.2 million. This makes Caesars 21st million-plus award since they awarded the first one ever in Las Vegas in August of 1983.

**** - Former Riviera entertainment director Steve Schirripa who is now a regular on HBOs The Sopranos isn't, however, the Riviera's only recent claim to fame. The next time you're strolling the moving walkways at McCarran Airport listen for the voices of The Riviera's Crazy Girls proclaiming their famous "No Ifs, Ands or ..." on the Public Service Announcments and promotions for Nevada Tourism Week in May. They're the first showgirls ever to be featured on the popular messages in one of the worlds busiest airports, joining the likes of legends Yakov Smirnoff, Jack Nicholson, Carol Channing and Paul Lynde. You can also catch, at least one of the Riviera's "Crazy Girl's", dancer Kelly Adkins on the big screen in a speaking part opposite Brad Pitt. The new remake of the classic Frank Sinatra movie Oceans 11 was filmed at various places around the Strip In April. The new version stars Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon, with many other popular stars and dozens of local extras. An exact 2001 release date has not yet been annouced.

***** - If you're planning on being in town this year for the Fourth of July, keep an eye out for Bally's unique new marquee debuting then. They've already broken ground on the unique 150 ft. tall, 150 ton, $10 million project on one of the most heavily trafficked corners in the world. The eye-catching three-sided display New Bally Marquee (see artists composite), to be installed by 80 yr Las Vegas veterans Young Electric Sign Co., will feature nearly a mile of neon and 3.2 million multi-color LEDs in six high-definition monitors on a sign which is both classical and high-tech at the same time.

***** - The Tropicana Hotel has announced they will induct five new legends into their Casino Legends Hall of Fame Friday afternoon, March 23. Bob Anderson will host a ceremony where headliners Tony Orlando, Clint Holmes, Pat Cooper, Bernie Allen and Nat King Cole will be recognized for their tremendous accomplishments and achievements that have impacted Las Vegas entertainment and gaming. Nat King Cole's daughter Ms. Casey Cole will be accepting the award on behalf of her father.

***** - The long awaited announcement concerning magic legends Siegfried & Roy. At a previously postponed private reception February 26 and during shows that same night, as LVLG earlier predicted the pair dispelled rumors of an early retirement, and revealed instead an unprecedented "LIFETIME CONTRACT" with MGM to perform exclusively at the Mirage Resort. The actual wording of the contract renews the present contract thru 2004 with an option to be extended by Siegfried and Roy at that time. Rumors published elsewhere had the duo retiring when their contract with the Mirage ends in December 2001, and even that Siegfried was "deathly" ill causing them to cancel almost 2 weeks worth of shows earlier this year. A new official website for Siegfried & Roy is currently under construction but can be previewed via a link from their original site at: www.sarmoti.com.

*** - Send the kiddies to bed early and keep an eye on your local TV stations for "racier" ads for Las Vegas casino destinations. The Las Vegas Convention Authority, once again in their infinite wisdom, have released a memo to the major hotel marketing departments which advises running high profile ad campaigns portraying Las Vegas only as a "Naughty, Mysterious and Very Adult" fantasy playland destination with "no more kids stuff". Fortunately there's still at least one good internet site around to prove otherwise.

***** - The long-standing King of the Quick Comeback, Mr. Warmth himself, Don Rickles has appeared in Las Vegas every year for the past 36 years and will continue for the next two years at the Stardust Resort and Casino per an exclusive contract deal. The first in a series of such engagements Feb 2-3 at the Wayne Newton Theatre will include singer-impressionist Bob Anderson.

UPDATE *** - International casino wars are simmering once again. A London based developer has purchased the land across the Strip from Mandalay Bay Hotel. The property is large enough to build 3 average resorts. However, prelimary sketches show a single London themed resort complete with the London Bridge, Big Ben and the House of Parliament.
MEANWHILE ACROSS THE STREET... Design plans have been submitted for an oriental themed resort area called Dynastytown. The "Chinatown" venue is planned for the west side of the South Strip next to Warm Springs Road (Just south of Mandalay Bay). It will include a number of hotel casinos, the first being a 600 room hotel named for a recreation of the Emperor's Forbidden City, with a 1200 slot casino and a simulation of the Great Wall of China encircling the parking structure.
FURTHER UP THE STRIP... Recently The Venetian announced plans to expand with another hotel tower with 1100 suites. They expect the rooms to be avilable by the end of 2002.
ONE MORE ADDITION... Hilton Grand Vacations has purchased the land across the street from the Sahara Hotel on the Strip. They plan to build their third Las Vegas timeshare property there with 1500 units.

*** - Web addicts rejoice! Over a year ago we reported about the Four Seasons Hotel being the first LV property to offer high speed internet access in every room. Well, now they're going one better. The property has just installed a new wireless ethernet access system to allow guests to connect to the internet with their laptops from virtually anywhere on the property without wires. They'll be selling and renting for daily use, laptop plug-in adapters for guest use. Sounds like a great place to hold DEFCON next year...

**** - Popular Strip shopping destination Fashion Show Mall has started their newest round of a two year long renovation. The 1 million square foot expansion will include Las Vegas' first Nordstrom, a Bloomingdale's and a Dillard's. The new centerpiece will be an enormous events hall including a fashion runway and a 400 square foot video wall. And best of, or at least our favorite addition, is valet parking with NINE check-in/check-out points all interaccessable. That is you can pull up near Sak's, valet, shop through the mall to Dillard's and pickup your car there instead of walking all the way back to where you started!

**** - You'll soon be able to hop a flight directly to our casino city to the South. Air Laughlin will be flying Boeing 737's daily between the Laughlin International Airport and Ontario, Burbank, San Jose and Phoenix beginning Jan. 12, 2001 for a meager $99 round trip. A great alternative to full Las Vegas flights and the often busier Las Vegas casinos.

11/12/00 - NEW CRAZY GIRLS
**** - The Riviera's Crazy Girls show will get a complete makeover for the 2001 season beginning in January. They will return from their winter hiatus on January 5 with many new musical numbers and the usual alluring costumes to go with them. Even if you've seen the show before, and it would be difficult not too have, since it's been running for over 13 years in Las Vegas and for 50 years in Paris, France, you'll now have an excuse to see the all new revamped version on your next visit.

** - Another new hotel may be opening on the Strip in the next month or two. The "Rainbow Paradise" intends to cater to the male gay community exclusively. The hotel will be located just south of Downtown and is planned to open by February 2001.

*** - Kenny Rogers christened Sam's Town new $10 Million Event Center and $86 Million property renovation finally completed this past week. Other changes included adding an 18 screen cinema, buffet, child care center, and of course, many more gaming machines while virtually eliminating our favorite Western Emporium gift shop area which, for us, really completed the property's Western motiff. While supposedly intending to maintain the Western theme, expect a lot less Wild West inside in the future and more standard Vegas glitz.

**** - With the reduction of the fine arts museum at the Bellagio, an artistic gap has been left, but to the rescue, will be a new seven story Guggenheim Museum. The sixth such museum around the world will be built behind the Venetian Hotel on Koval Road and is expected to be completed by mid Spring of next year.

*** - Like Las Vegas didn't already have enough golf courses, the newest resides at the south and of the Strip and is called the Bali Hai Golf Club. To offset the lush foliage of thousands of palms and other tropical plants, the new water efficient oasis replaces the traditional roughs, with acres of crushed white granite and white sand... Don't forget your neon colored golf balls!

**** - For our Pacific friends, Aloha Airlines has announced that they will begin daily non-stop round trips to Las Vegas from both Honolulu and Maui just in time for Valentine's Day. This should make it easier for Hawaii locals to reach their favorite vacation spot.

**** - Station Casinos owners of a number of off-the-strip properties, including Palace Station, Sunset Station and the Texas Station, has added yet another location. They announced Wednesday that they will buy The Reserve Hotel and Casino in Henderson for approximately $70 million. The African wild animal reserve themed Reserve Hotel, opened in February of 1998, will be renamed "Reserve Station".

**** - The Venetian Hotel is featured in a recent episode of The Learning Chanels new Ultimate 10 Series featuring hotels to air Oct 18. The episode which also covers such "ultimates" as the legenday "Oriental" hotel in Bangkok and the palatial "Hotel de Crillon" in Paris describes The Venetian in Las Vegas as the "Ultimate Fantasy Hotel".

***** - Just in case you happen to have a spare $100,000 burning a hole in your pocket this paycheck, take note. The Shelby American, Inc The Shelby Series I automotive factory located next door to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in North Las Vegas announced that they have begun shipping their limited edition, model year 2000, Shelby Series I. Only 500 of the handcrafted automobiles, sure to Carroll Shelby and the Cobra CSX4000 quickly rise to collector status like the formerly produced Shelby Cobra, will be produced this year. Carroll Shelby, also nationally known for his Chili Seasoning line, opened the factory and museum in 1998 to produce and model the new Cobra CSX4000 automotive line. Free daily factory and museum tours are open to the public (see also Shelby Museum)

*** - The Hard Rock Cafe chain has recently announced they will be suddenly turning their theme to, of all things, MUSIC! Uh-duh. It's not like it's not already their middle name or something. After 30 years in the biz, they plan on bringing more live acts to their venues, including the Las Vegas location. Watch our shows page for updates. On a sadder note, after barely a year in operation, the WCW Nitro Grill at the Excalibur Hotel will be closing it's doors. We suspect the out-of-the-way location on the second floor food court of the Knight-dom simply was not conducive to high traffic.

**** - UPDATE - One of the oldest hotel casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, The El Rancho met the demolitionists early Tuesday (10/3) morning. In the wee hours, a low-key, non-publicized, implosion, leveled the aging landmark, to make way for a more attractive street front venue. The exact nature (park, hotel, apartments?) of future construction on the property is still undecided.(prior story)

*** - Funding has finally been approved for the long awaited Strip Monorail. This clears the last major hurdle for the $650 million project which will connect the MGM Grand with the Sahara Hotel & Casino. Other major stops planned and funded at this time are at the Flamingo (Hilton) Hotel, The Las Vegas Convention Center, and The Sahara Hotel. Don't expect it in time for your NEXT convention however. Completion is not expected before 2002.
In the meantime, A much needed pedestrian overpass linking the Venetian to Treasure Island is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2000.

** Actor Robin Williams has been tentatively cast in an upcoming movie about the life of legendary Las Vegas performer Liberace. It is anticipated that there will be much filming with the star to be done IN and about Las Vegas.

**** - After opening barely one year ago, the Paris Hotel celebrated it's one millionth (1,000,000th) visitor to the top of its one half scale Eiffel Tower this week. The lucky visitor was rewarded with not only a fantastic view of the Strip, but also a collection of prizes from the Paris Hotel including a free 2 night stay at the Paris and a visit to their reknown spa.

**** - Harrah's Entertainment announced in a press release and in an interview with the company chairman on CNNfn Friday Morning that they are officially "banning all future advertising" for their properties nationwide including Las Vegas of course, "targeted toward customers with gambling problems and minors under the legal gambling age". Apparently they finally realized they just weren't convincing enough teenagers to come in and gamble... could have something to do with all those legal looking signs at the door and imposing looking security guards, ya' think? Perhaps they'll change their minds when they see the new Pokemon series of video slot machines. Only time will tell if other venues will follow suit.

**** - Coast Resorts opened their newest hotel / casino venture September 12. Located on the west side of town across from Angel Park Golf Course, and next door to the recently opened Resort at Summerlin, the Suncoast Hotel and Casino, slightly reminiscent of Coast's Orleans Casino closer to the Strip (with more open space and a Mediterranean theme), offers a 16 screen Century Theatres movie complex, a headliner showroom (which was opened by Las Vegas veteran Debbie Reynolds and will feature such greats as Phyllis Diller, The Lettermen and Frankie Lane in the near future - check our shows page for complete schedule), a bingo parlor and a bowling center. Their five restaurants include: Via Veneto's (Italian & Seafood), St. Tropez (buffet), Senor Miguel's (Mexican), Cafe Siena (American & Chinese) and Primo's (steakhouse). The hotel accommodations mini-suites with floor-to-ceiling windows for a wonderful view of the surrounding mountains.

***** - Legendary Actor Tony Curtis, star of over 100 movies, is retiring to Las Vegas to persue his art career. He will be on hand to greet fans and take part in a celebrity hand print ceremony at Planet Hollywood Saturday (Aug. 26) at 6:00pm. Samples of Mr. Curtis' limited edition art prints are online on his personal web site: www.tonycurtis.com.

*** - The Desert Inn Hotel originally set to be closed for good on Wednesday August 30, has announced they will instead be closed Monday August 28, at 2:00pm. As of this weekend, business is already winding down with the closing of the inhouse restaurants and boutiques as many employees have already quit and left for more promising long-term jobs with the newly opened Aladdin Hotel and other local venues.

**** - The WWF has announced that the Las Vegas Outlaws extreme football team will be included in this seasons XFL lineup. The team logos, details, schedules and even tickets can be found at the XFL website XFL.COM. Jim Criner of the Scottish Claymores will coach the team which will call Sam Boyd Stadium home. All they need now... is a team... applicationss are being accepted now.

**** At the Orleans Hotel, Jerry Lewis announced that he has made a commitment to perform regularly in Las Vegas. His new 20 year contract with the Orleans has him performing a minimum of 4-5 times each year for 4 nights at a time. The comedy legend will be 94 years old when the contract finally expires.

08/07/00 - ELVIS KILLERS!
***** Ok, even WE admit Las Vegas can be rather tacky and irreverent at times, but this one takes this years prize. On the anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, August 16, the Orleans Hotel Showroom will premiere a brand new independent film by Las Vegas writer director Terry King called "The Elvis Killers". Prior to the screening, the cast and director will be at the Las Vegas Planet Hollywood August 15 at 1pm to donate memorabilia and props from the, ahem, "sure-to-become-a-cult-flick" film. We cringe to "dig" into the details, but the comedy-horror film is about hunting Elvis impersonators who come back to life as killer zombies when they smell fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches... What more can we say but, watch your local theater listings and whatever you do, don't step on the blue suede shoes...

**** Open your wallet...the National Park Service has upped the ante on visiting Lake Mead! Toll booths have been installed just inside the entrances into the Lake Mead Recreational Area to collect admission fees. Passes will be $10 until December 31, 2000. Starting January 1, 2001 the passes will double to $20 per car, per year. If you have a watercraft you'll need to add an additional $20 for a total of $40 per year. A Day pass (which, just like many other government misnomers, is in fact good for 5 days) will cost you $5.

**** The Riviera Hotel is offering a new way to enjoy Las Vegas entertainment on their property...from their skyboxes. Yes, you read it right, skyboxes! They range in size from 600 sqft to 1024 sq ft and can be combined to accommodate larger gatherings. For a cost of $500 plus the price of your group's tickets, the Riviera will provide your group with a private bartender, servers and network feeds on 2 televisions with VCRs in your very own skybox which sits above the Riviera's Royal Pavilion. What a way to watch a concert or even hold a Super Bowl party!

07/26/00 - MORE ROOM!
*** Rooms, rooms and more rooms...Park Place (a division of Hilton Hotels) is considering adding a new 1500 room tower to the Caesars Palace property to take advantage of their viewpoint of the Bellagio Fountains and the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas. Bellagio meanwhile has drawn up designs for an additional 1300 rooms with construction maybe starting as early as this year. Las Vegas now has more top-rated four-diamond hotel rooms (according to AAA) than other US city including, Chicago, New York and Orlando.

**** - The Resort at Summerlin held a public "Street The Paseo de Vida Festival" to celebrate the opening of their new "Paseo de Vida" marketplace. Among strolling jugglers, artisans and a jazz band, visitors first got to sample the newest additions to the budding resort. With exclusive dining like Gustav Mauler's Cigar Bar and Spiedini gourmet italian Ristorante, Nicholas Nickolas' Nevada Nick's Steak House and Hamada of Japan steak house and sushi bar guests at the resort will be able to spend a quiet evening entirely away from the bustle of the Strip. J.C. Wooloughan's is an authentic Irish Pub built entirely in Ireland and shipped to the Las Vegas location which keeps 9 premium irish beers on tap and serves traditional Irish fare 24 hours a day, and live Irish bands on weekends. Also in the new marketplace are an assortment of jewelry stores and art galleries and various other upscale fashion and accessory outlets.
Resort at Summerlin Interior The Resort at Summerlin itself opened in July but will not celebrate its Grand opening until sometime in October. Located at Rampart Blvd and Summerlin Parkway just off Expressway 95 in the Northwest of town, the resort consists of TWO hotels, the Regent Grand Palms and the Regent Grand Spa with a total between them of just under 600 rooms and luxury suites providing an intimate, peaceful retreat. Guests at the Aquae Sulis Spa hotels will have access to the exclusive Aquae Sulis Spa or one of the three surrounding golf courses including Nevada's only two Tournament Players Clubs and preferred tee times at an assortment of others nearby. The resort also offers over 20,000 square feet of conference and banquet space, a sumptuous, endless buffet (offering live jazz on Wednesday and Friday nights), two piano bars with live music nightly, and of course a centralized casino, with a very comfy race and sports book, located between, rather than within, the two hotels.


***** Check out MSNBC's latest fascinating Special Report on living and playing in Las Vegas called "Las Vegas The American Fantasy". Geraldo Rivera interviews a diverse selection of locals from Venetian Hotel owner Sheldon Adelson, and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman to the average prostitute on the street about what attracts and keeps the American wage earner working and gambling in Las Vegas.

**** Pahrump city locals want to ban the famous Nevada brothels? A petition drive by certain new residents could get such a referendum on this fall's ballot. But the majority of long-time residents seem to be for keeping the old tradition. Hear the in-depth story from National Public Radio's All Things Considered (July 27) - click here & Listen While You Browse! (Real Audio Player Required)

**** In the local entertainment trade-around: The Los Angeles-based disco era band, Boogie Knights after four-and-a-half years have departed from the Rio Hotel showroom and will be relocating to the C2K showroom at The Venetian. Meanwhile, Breck Wall's "Best of Bottom Up," a topless, afternoon show will open at the Flamingo Hilton on Aug. 14. And finally, an outdoor, multi-functional, covered stadium will open at Caesars Palace Sept. 1.

***** For Whom the Bells Toll? After barely 200 performances since opening in January of this year the elaborate production "Notre Dame de Paris" at the Paris Las Vegas Resort will drop the final curtain Saturday, July 29. Although critically acclaimed and a huge hit in France, something was apparently lost in the English translation as it never quite wowed the Las Vegas audiences in the same manner.

** A new Las Vegas based movie starring John Cleese and POSSIBLY Whoopi Goldberg is in the works. Tentatively named "Rat Race" the movie, loosely based on the 60's movie comedy "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World", will involve a group of Las Vegas high-rollers in search of a multi-million dollar bankroll.

**** UPDATE Celebrities Pauly Shore, John Landis, Leonard Maltin and veteran director George Romero amongst others were spotted at a VIP reception Sunday evening at the Planet Hollywood in the Forum Shops. The Video Software Dealers Assoc. brought the distinguished group to town this week to jury the First Annual DVD awards which recognize studios and independent DVD producers for excellence in content and DVD production techniques.
Marie Osmond also was spotted at the Forum Shops recently, promoting and autographing her new line of designer dolls. [o] [o]
Zany comedian and frequent Las Vegas performer Carrot Top officially opened the Las Vegas Planet Hollywood CyberCafe while also introducing his own flash-y new website www.carrottop.com. The specially designed CyberCafe features complimentary access to e-mail and the internet via S/DSL and four Pentium III's with 15" touch screens. A special live chat with Carrot Top debuted the new chat section on the Planet Hollywood website: www.planethollywood.com July 13. Upcoming chats include Teen Pop Queen Britney Spears on July 27.

***** Robert Goulet put in a personal appearance at Planet Hollywood in the Forum Shops Caesars Palace Friday June 30. [o] [o] He was there to imprint his hands in wet plaster for permanent display in the wall of fame outside of Planet Hollywood.

***** The Las Vegas Motor Speedway has announced that the NASCAR Winston Cup series will return for its fourth visit to Las Vegas, March 4, 2001. The scheduled four day racing event weekend will also include the Sam's Town 300 Busch Series on March 3 and The Pennzoil World of Outlaws March 1-3. This year the various events will be televised on FOX Sports, F/X Cable and TNN. For all race schedule details check our Las Vegas Sports section

** Although plans for the New Frontier implosion which was considered for July 4th, are confirmed to have been put on indefinite hold due to law suit issues regarding the building of the new San Francisco themed casino (see below for details) there are distant (g)rumblings of another, entirely unexpected, property going up for sell and likely under the wrecking ball in the historic downtown area, real soon. We can't name names at this time, but it starts with the letter "F"... On the up side, a new casino may be going up in Pahrump, NV on the rather infamous property, now under new ownership, where the late Ted Binion's secret vault was buried, presumably after they clear all the police lines. Vague rumors say someday you'll be able to visit the now famous vault as a part of the new venue.

*** The next time you attend a concert by The Dixie Chicks and take a look at the projection screens onstage, seeing may not be believing. It seems that after their recent concert at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, lead singer Natalie Maines married her boyfriend, actor Adrian Pasdar in a Las Vegas chapel, and the group later attended a performance of La Cage at the Riviera Hotel and Casino to celebrate. They apparently loved the show so much that afterward they went backstage to talk star Frank Marino and two of the La Cage gang into doing a special act impersonating The Dixie Chicks to be filmed and shown as a part of each concert of their upcoming tour!

**** 2ND UPDATE A new movie starring Sylvester Stallone will be using Las Vegas Motor Speedway attraction CART Driving 101 vehicles. In preparation for the movie, star Sylvester Stallone was to be training Saturday morning, July 1 at the CART Driving 101 school, however his plane got delayed in Toronto and he never made it. The training went on with other members of the cast but Stallone's session will be rescheduled for a future date. The movie tentatively titled, "Champs", will focus on "Championship Auto Racing Teams" racing. So if you've planned to visit CART Driving 101, check in with them first because many days from now until September have a limited numbers of vehicles available due to this movie production for which they've agreed to loan a dozen cars for use in the movie, and who knows, you just might get to bump fenders with a movie star.

**** The famed "Radio City Rockettes" will be performing their last show at the Flamingo Hilton this month. As of July the show will close for good. On a brighter note, "Catch a Rising Star" which closed last November at the MGM Grand, is expecting to re-open very soon at another strip hotel/casino.

**** UPDATE - The ink was barely dry on the contract to sell the Mirage Resort a couple months ago when Steve Wynn as you may know, recently bought the Desert Inn, which just celebrated it's 50th birthday, as a birthday present for his wife. It was announced today that the hotel will be closing as early as mid september and come December 30, he'll be bringing in the wrecking ball (or possibly a New Years Eve implosion - reminiscent of The Dunes implosion years ago to build his Bellagio) to level the gorgeous, recently remodeled property. He also spent some $22 million to buy up approximately 24 parcels of residential property in the middle of the former Desert Inn Golf Course with offers to other owners to buy nearly 60 more bordering the course, resulting in approximately 32 acres of contiguous prime real estate east of the Strip. After plowing under his east 30 next spring, various reports are that Wynn's planning everything from a new hotel and casino with two 2500 seat showrooms for broadway shows and probably a lake, or even a Disneyland style amusement park just off the strip.

**** Fish in the desert? You bet! The Mandalay Bay walk-through aquarium exhibit is completed and open to the public. The one million gallon, tank includes a wide variety of rare and exotic sea animals, sharks, golden alligators and even a "petting tank" for the kids and child in all of us.

**** Just as we thought it was curtains for Neonopolis (see accompanying feature story) when their anchor movie house, Mann Theaters, recently claimed bankrupcty and the construction site appeared to become a ghosttown, we are now hearing new stirrings that the project may go on after all and in fact they'll be adding an extra two floors! They have signed a new movie house to the project and are hoping for completion sometime in mid to late 2001.

**** Station Casinos, has bought the Santa Fe Hotel and Casino for $205 Million in cash! Be watching for a new name, a new look and possibly a major expansion in the next year onto the nearby 20 acres of land which may become part of the deal to close by this fall.

*** Tee time again? Yep, this time Jack Nicholson has entered the Las Vegas arena. He is designing a new course, Bears Best Golf Course, in the Summerlin area West of Las Vegas.

**** A To-Do List has been generated by Clark County and the number 1 priority is widening Interstate 15 from Las Vegas to the California border. Yeah!! Rumors have finally made it back to someone that traffic moves at a snails pace along that stretch of road during a holiday week-end. So, from all of us who have actually driven it, to our newly enlightened buddies at Clark County, all together now: Uh-duh! Now the only question is how long will they have traffic tied up worse-than-ever in order to fix it?

*** Lake Las Vegas, actually in Henderson, just southeast of Las Vegas may be getting another new tenant. The Ritz Carlton may be the next new property on the shore.

**** - The US Postal Service brought Majel Barrett Roddenberry, wife of Star Trek series creator Gene Roddenberry, to the Star Trek Experience [o] at the Las Vegas Hilton today to unveil one of the newest postage stamp designs in their "Celebrate The Century" collectors stamp series. [o] The new stamp design, one of a series voted on by the public, to commemorate the 1960's, features an illustration of the familiar starship from the 1966 TV series and subsequent movies. The new stamp series issue will be released later in the month. (see also Star Trek the Experience)

04/26/00 - Y2K+1 NEW YEARS EVE
*** Rumor has it that the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has budgetted funds for a Y2K+1 New Years Eve blowout celebration in Las Vegas. Perhaps last New Years Eve's disappointing turnout proved a valid point. Start making your plans now. You can browse the available hotel rooms on our Online Hotels Directory and be sure to book early to avoid the rush!

*** Added to the list of closures this month is the OmniMax Theater at Caesar's Palace. No reason has been forthcoming as yet, but all future shows have been cancelled as of the last week in May.
*** On the other hand, The Venetian will reportedly begin construction on an additional beach-themed tower as early as October of this year.


04/20/00 - MARINO CAN TALK
***** Frank Marino aka "Joan Rivers" in The Riviera's, La Cage, "can still talk" a while longer... The Riviera has announced that they have signed him on to the show for an additional ten years for the remarkable sum of $10 million! Frank was 20 when the show began its cautious first 3 month run in September of 1985. Since then the show featuring impersonators of stars like Diana Ross, Judy Garland and Madonna has become a Las Vegas legend. See our shows section for more details on showtimes and ticket reservations. Frank Marino's own website can be found at www.frankmarino.com.


*** UPDATE - We reported back in August about the recent remodeling of the Frontier Hotel on the strip. Well, after all the changes and improvements, the new owners recently announced they want to just tear the whole thing down and start over. The proposed new name would be: "The City by the Bay" which, in case you hadn't guessed yet, would sport a San Francisco theme. Okay, same old fish story, another Frantastic Strip implosion (nothing a well placed aftershock can't handle), two years of rebuilding, invite Tony Bennett to sing at the grand opening ("I Left My Cash, in San...") and you're in business. But wait. That's not always how the fortune cookie crumbles in Chinatown! Another company claims to have already planned an identically themed hotel... on the Strip... in fact right across the street! And they don't like the idea of TWO San Fran-Casinos so close together, to the extent of a major lawsuit! Through in yet another, yes a third, rumored, proposed, identically themed casino and what do you have? Is that a three-ring-Cisco? Anyway, implosion plans are on hold for the moment pending the outcome of all the legalities.


***** The Bureau of Land Management has reported that Red Rock Canyon (20 minutes from the famous Las Vegas Strip) has the largest herd of wild horses near a metropolitan city. There are more than 60 horses in small herds roaming the park just a stone throw from the west edge of town. You can check out this great recreational area in our Parks category.


***** The Rio Hotel has opened their new performing arts center. This traditionally designed auditorium will join the ranks of two other new theaters at Paris-Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay. Can Broadway shows be far off now?


**** Danny Gans has finally opened in his new customized show room at the Mirage. Check our Shows category for his as well as all the latest headliner, concert and special event listings at www.lasvegas-nv.com/shows.htm.


** First it was going to be reopened under the original name, then it was to be called Countryland USA. Then any of a rumoured, half-a-dozen other assorted things were to happen to it, but ultimately it just might be quietly demolished soon. We're talking about The El Rancho one of the oldest remaining properties on the Las Vegas Strip and closed since 1992. A Miami real estate developer currently developing a luxury condominium adjacent to the El Rancho property is rumored to be in negotiations to annex the Strip-front property.


**** Yet Another new airport in Las Vegas? Like, two's not enough? Is three company? While the existing McCarran Airport can certainly handle the current and expected future flow of visitors in and out of Las Vegas, the airspace overhead reportedly cannot. Therefore, officials are recommending yet another airport to offload some of the traffic expected in the next 5 to 10 years. The proposed airport, which could be completed as soon as 2010, will cost from $500 million to nearly twice that and will be located on 6300 acres in the Ivanpah Valley about 30 miles south of Las Vegas between Jean and Primm, Nevada. If you're driving up from Southern California it would be on your right after the first group of casinos just past the state line. In the meantime there will also be some more additions to the existing McCarran Airport, including substantially expanding the D Gates and adding a third terminal.


**** Sad but true, the wonderful "World of Coca-Cola" has closed its doors. There is still a small retail outlet there on the first two floors and of course the 100 foot tall replica bottle stands guard over the Strip-front entrance to The Showcase mall. Coca-Cola reportedly has an indefinite term lease on the location however, and no immediate plans have been announced for the empty venue. See Also


**** Yes, the rumors are true... the days of fun and frolic and sqaure dancing 'till the wee hours at Helldorado Days are gone! The annual event and parade was held for the last 50 odd years, in Las Vegas - most recently outside the Thomas & Mack Center. The story is, the town has grown too large to accommodate this annual down-home, western-style, family entertainment (but not the highly commercialized National Finals Rodeo of course, mind you). We'll sure miss those bumper boats, old western sideshows and dunking tank!


***** UPDATE - The British are coming! Thanks to Virgin Atlantic Airlines for the hard work they did to get approval for their first-class airline to fly non-stop from Britain to Las Vegas. The current schedule calls for direct flights between London and McCarran International Airport to begin on Thursdays and Sundays in June 2000. The inaugural non-stop flight into Las Vegas will be on June 8th. In celebration of this event Virgin Airlines is giving away a special Las Vegas wedding package and guess who's planning to offer his services as best man? None other than Mr. Branson, the owner of Virgin, himself! In case you're not the winner, find out about other Las Vegas wedding offerings on the LVLG wedding pages.

*** Spring Fever may come to the Entertainment Capitol. Mayor Oscar Goodman has been talking with several major league baseball teams to bring spring training to Las Vegas.

***** - Cranberry World West in Henderson, NV, the nationally reknown visitors center for Ocean Spray cranberry products is closing its doors to the public as of mid-April. The factory in Henderson will reportedly continue operating for at least the time being. For a last glimpse of their official website before it is taken down you can take the link from our Free Fun section or go directly to www.cranberryworldwest.com.


*** - Margaritaville... is moving in. George Maloof, owner of the Fiesta Hotel & Casino, is planning a 500-600 room hotel and gaming complex called Margaritaville. The location for this new venture is across from the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino on West Flamingo Road. Groundbreaking is scheduled for June. So far no word from Jimmy Buffet... The Fiesta Hotel has acquired the 1927 Kimball Pipe Organ once used at the famed Roxy Theater in NYC. They are using the musical centerpiece for their new dining and entertainment venue.


**** - Maybe, it was due to the lucky omen of being his first major win in over 5 years, or perhaps, he just likes the climate, but professional race car driver Al Unser Jr. who won Saturday's Vegas Indy 300 race has announced he will be relocating from his lifelong home in Albuquerque, NM to a brand new home in Henderson, NV, just south of Las Vegas within the next month.

03/24/00 - SHOWBOAT SOLD
**** - Harrah's Entertainment has sold the stately 45 year old Showboat Casino. Soon to be remodeled and renamed, the showboat theme will be changed to a Mediterranean theme.


**** - An illusion on a "Grand " scale! The Showcase Mall located along the Strip next to the MGM Grand is planning to lure shoppers by creating a 22,000 square foot fake Grand Canyon in their 43,000 square foot expansion. The fake canyon will have some theatrical spectaculars like flash floods and roaring thunder storms. Shoppers will be able to take a simulated helicopter trip over this canyon from a hovering second floor yet-to-be developed "helicopter" ride. Ground breaking is expected in November. For real grand canyon adventures click here.

Want More? See Heard Around Town Part II - for older stories.

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