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JAZZ IN THE VEGAS QUARTER
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL WIRED
MISS SPECTACULAR AT BELLAGIO
HI SPEED L.A. TRAIN TO LAS VEGAS
NEW LAS VEGAS DRAG STRIP
SAHARA ROLLER COASTER
WET N WILD FOR SALE
LV TOURNAMENT PRODUCES NEW WORLD CHESS CHAMPION
DANNY GANS MOVES TO MIRAGE
NEW FRONTIER - NEW FACELIFT - SOON TO BE NEW RADISSON
NEW HACIENDA HOTEL OPENS SOON
FAMOUS BOULDER CITY RESIDENTS RESTORE ABANDONED THEATER
NEW TRAVEL SERVICES FROM "NATIONAL VACATIONS"
***** 7/8/99 - After baking in 110+ degree temperatures for the last few weeks Las Vegas was drenched today by nearly 75% of its annual rainfall in a matter of hours. Already being billed as the worst flash-flooding since the "great flood" of 1984, which is best known for sinking many cars in the Caesars Palace parking lot, parts of the area received over 3 inches of rain today. Two deaths so far have been credited to the flood, and the Las Vegas Strip was described as "a river" just before lunchtime. Many businesses, homes and casinos reported minor to moderate flooding damage with at least one large, local, southwest, grocery store closing completely after a large part of the roof collapsed from the water. While the weather is still cloudy heading into evening and the rains are predicted to resume into the evening (See Weather Central for more) the few hours of lull in the storm have allowed emergency vehicles to rescue motorists stranded on car-tops in flooded intersections, road crews to begin cleaning up the multiple feet of debris piled in the streets, mostly on the west side of town near the LVLG offices, and employees to try and make their way home through the messy streets. This time around Caesars Palace was luckier than last time and only had to close down a small part of the casino which reportedly had part of the roof leak and fall in and closed the entire Forum Shops complex, which didn't exist at the time of the previous flooding, when it experienced a freak gush of flood waters around noon time.
**** 7/7/99 UPDATE - Steve Wynn owner of the Mirage Resort Properties
has announced he is bored with the local athletic entertainment and wants to
buy himself a Professional Major Leaugue basketball team and bring them to
Las Vegas to play. In fact he even intends to help build them a domed arena
to practice in and house the games. Plans are still up in the air, but if
past experience is any indication, it will very probably happen soon.
Meanwhile, Las Vegas hopes to soon host, at least, a pre-season professional football game soon. Negotiations are underway with the NFL to try to attract an exhibition game next fall to the newly ($17 million) renovated Sam Boyd Stadium. Rumors say it might be the Dallas Cowboys.
**** 7/6/99 - The brand new, exclusive Resort at Summerlin is set to celebrate their soft opening July 12. Encompassing a relatively secluded 54 rural acres just off the parkway on the Northwest side of Las Vegas the resort will consist initially of two separate hotels (one intended for those wishing a quiet atmosphere and the other for those interested in a more lively venue) with a total of 253 guest rooms and 45 suites. Rooms start at about $150 per night with packages including Golf and/or onsite Spa starting around $250. Included onsite will be 50,000 square feet of casino space, 50,000 sq. ft. of shopping, a 40,000 sq.ft. spa, and 8,000 sq.ft. of putting greens! They also own 50% of all tee times for use of guests at the adjoining pro TPC Summerlin Golf Course where assorted national tournaments are held. Finally they will house, among other restaurants of course, a J.C. Wooloughan's Irish Pub offering 9 premium Irish beers and featuring a bar built and shipped intact from Ireland. Initial soft opening will be July 12 with an official Grand Opening probably in October. Their website can be found at www.resortatsummerlin.com
** 7/1/99 - Also on the sporting front, rumors have it that the
World Wrestling Federation's plans to take over the Debbie Reynold's Hotel
and turn it into a great big WWF wrestling-ring could have received a
Full Nelson. Various factors including recent litigation over the recent
broadcast death of a wrestler and the current time-share owners at the hotel
insisting on adequate compensation may force the organization to give up
and sell to another developer.
***** 6/1/99 - The second highest Megabucks jackpot in history was won this evening at Caesars Palace. The jackpot totaling $21,346,946 was won around 8pm this evening on the players first $3 pull of the handle. The jackpot is dwarfed only by the prior record high of $27 and a half million back in November of last year.
***** 5/26/99 - The first resort in the new Henderson, NV Lake Las Vegas celebrated their official topping off ceremony today. The Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort. More details and pictures to follow shortly.
***** 5/25/99 - Shoppers Rejoice! If you love shopping in Las Vegas, and the results of our online "Be Heard" polls shows most of you do, you're in for a new treat over the next two years. The existing Fashion Show Mall near mid-Strip owned by Howard Hughes Corp is planning a major expansion set to be completed by mid summer next year. Meanwhile Phoenix, AZ based Westcor and Circus Circus Enterprises are planning a brand new 1.2 Million square foot mall on the lower end of the Strip spanning Mandalay Bay Road between Mandalay Bay Hotel and the Luxor Hotel. Nordstroms Department Store, previously a stranger to Las Vegas, has already announced they will be anchoring the complex and many others are already signed on. Completion is not expected until sometime in mid 2001.
*** 5/25/99 - Also speaking of Mandalay Bay Hotel, you may have already heard of their nifty 6 ft high wave pool. You may have even tried to get in only to discover it is for the use of hotel guests only. Well don't fret. Due to popular demand, plans are in the works to build a SECOND wave pool for the use of non-guests. No completion date has been announced, but they WILL likely be charging admission.
**** 5/21/99 UPDATE - The new, world's first, WCW Nitro Grill held
their grand opening on the second level of the Excalibur Hotel Casino today.
On hand to celebrate the occasion and sign autographs were WCW
personalities Alex Wright, Van Hammer, "Glacier", Dale Torborg, Chase Tatum,
Bret Hanmer and veteran "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and others of the gang,
although previously announced Hollywood Hogan and the Nitro Girls were
nowhere to be found. The venue plans to offer announced
celebrity appearances and free autograph and picture sessions throughout this
weekend and frequently in the future as well as their daily fare of fun,
food and constantly piped in video highlights from the matches on video
monitors. Entrees at the new restaurant include Tag Team Pork Chops,
"Nelson Ribs", (with "Half Nelsons" available for those less starved) and
the Big Sexy T-Bone. Sides include Wrestling
(onion) Rings, Broken (chicken) Fingers, Macho Man Nachos, and Choke Hold
Chili. The restaurant interior features many familiar wrestler costumes on
the walls and reflects the different WCW Pay-per-view themes including the
"Road Wild" Bar, Bash Beach and the relatively secluded Death Cage section.
For more pictures refer to our attractions page Attractions/Neat Places/Nitro Grill.
**** 5/20/99 - Robbie Knievel appeared a bit dazed, but relatively intact shortly after completing a new record 230 foot motorcycle jump over a 1,500 foot deep section of the Grand Canyon on television May 20. His motorcycle, in typical dramatic style, crashed into hay bales after a perfect touch down on the ramp on the opposite side. Unlike his previous, aborted attempt on May 2, the weather was clear and nearly perfect except for occassional 20 mph wind gusts.
**** 5/4/99 - The Venetian Hotel and Casino finally opened to the public early this morning in a "soft opening" amid speculation that there could be yet further delays. County building inspectors waited until the last possible minute before giving the final go ahead for public occupancy of certain portions of the property. Despite last minute preparations throughout the day before the opening, most of the guest rooms however still are not completed and inspected and many guests had to be relocated elsewhere, including actress Sophia Loren who had been invited for the opening. Meanwhile thousands of union picketers marched on the sidewalk in front of the hotel protesting the hiring of non-union employees.
** 5/3/99 - Word is that Circus Circus Enterprises has decided they like the name of their new hotel so much that they want to change the name of their entire company to match! They are expected soon to present their shareholders with a vote to change the name of the company to "Mandalay Bay Resorts" or something very similar.
4/28/99 - Following is a virtual potpourri of tidbits to bring everyone up to date on the latest following our recent hiatus....
**** - Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, along with the other Caesars branded properties in Nevada, Atlantic City and elsewhere, sold 4/27 for a variously reported amount from $3.2 billion - $4 billion in cash, to Park Place Entertainment following a rumoured, heated bidding war between themselves and Steve Wynn of Mirage Resorts. Park Place is a subsidiary of Hilton Hotels Corp who originally bid on the same properties, and others, last year when they were beat out of the bid by Starwood Lodging who is now reselling them. Park Place already owns and manages the Las Vegas Hilton properties, Bally's and the soon to be open Paris Hotel. The Sheraton Desert Inn which was also a part of the same sell to Starwood Lodging last year was NOT part of this deal.
*** - Andrew Lloyd Webber of Broadway musical fame, has repurchased the rights to many of his popular musicals and is looking for financing to build a $500 million Strip hotel / theater complex dedicated to live Broadway style entertainment.
**** - A new restaurant complex called the NASCAR Cafe is under construction
at the intersection of Sahara and Las Vegas Blvd. as part of the
Sahara Hotel It is being billed as an
"EATertainment restaurant" and you may soon be able to select from various TV
show themes such as a Flintstones Bronto Burger or a Hogans Hero Sandwich.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the Strip, following the major success of their Harley Cafe, Harley-Davidson has opened their largest new facility in the world at 2605 S. Eastern Avenue a couple miles east of the Strip. With 27 thousand square feet of repair and service area and $3 million in parts inventory and apparel and a sizable "hang-out" area for entertainment, food and games it is quickly becoming an attraction all its own.
**** - Hold on to those Hard Rock Hotel logo shirts, caps, etc. they may soon be collectors items. The hotel has announced they will be changing their logo come May so that they will not be confused with the Cafe next door. I suppose all those of you who have driven up and tried checking into the Cafe with luggage, you know who you are, are responsbile for the decision. The hotel is also planning on opening their new 320 room and Beach Club expansion May 10. Plans are in the works for a Wednesday night concert series at the new Beach Club starting in June.
*** - If anyone happens to have a spare skating rink handy, the Las Vegas Thunder hockey team is looking for you. The renewal of their seven year lease at the Thomas and Mack Arena is doubtful and at this point, unfortunately, so is the future of a hockey league franchise in Las Vegas.
**** - Guests at the Continental Hotel recently showed up only
to find the doors padlocked shut and no forwarding address following the
abrupt closure of that property.
**** 3/17/99 - The Texas Station Hotel Casino and The Fiesta Hotel Casino are next door neighbors on Las Vegas's far West side of town. But far from playing kissin' cousins, it's becoming a constant game of keeping up with the Jones'. Texas Station for instance, just completed a $50+ million expansion this past winter. Now The Fiesta has announced their own $20+ million addition to further enhance their property. This expansion, the second in 5 years for them, will add another 20,000 square feet of casino, close to a dozen themed restaurants and fast food establishments, covered parking and more convention space before the end of 1999.
*** - 3/15/99 - One of the suggested original names for the Bellagio Hotel was supposedly the Beau Rivage. Well Steve Wynn obviously liked the name well enough that it stuck... to his new property in Biloxi, Mississippi which opened this week. The new hotel casino boasts 31 boat slips for customers to boat right up to the hotel dock (boat valet is extra) and yet another new Cirque Du Soleil show.
**** - 3/15/99 UPDATE - The historic Gold Strike Inn on US Hwy 93 between Lake Mead and Hoover Dam burned down exactly 9 months ago. Plans have been finally unveiled for the rebuilding of a new hotel property on the former location. Now follow closely. The new property, still owned by Circus Circus Enterprises as was the former Gold Strike, will be renamed The Hacienda. Shades of Deja Vu! This is the same name as another historic Las Vegas Strip property which Circus Circus owned and recently tore down to build the Mandalay Bay which just opened earlier this month. The NEW Hacienda property will feature a more modern theme than the old Gold Strike (along the lines of Mandalay Bay some sources claim) while still retaining the old western style street facade it formerly had, 300 guest rooms, and a couple secret attractions still in planning. The landmark panning 49er from the original Gold Strike unfortunately is NOT planned to remain. Opening should be around October 1999.
**** - 3/3/99 - The Mandalay Bay hotel and casino opened to the public
at 11pm Tuesday night. The Blues Brothers featuring Dan Akroyd, Jim Belushi,
and John Goodman performed the opening show to a VIP audience at the House of
Blues opening night followed by Bob Dylan at midnight. The Blues Brothers were
later presented with a key to the city by Mayor Jan Jones. On hand for
the opening were celebrity guest Taylor Dayne, Drew Barrymore, Quincy Jones, George
Lucas and Smokey Robinson among others. Other celebrities are expected to
attend shows throughout the rest of the week and weekend.
Some quick facts about Mandalay Bay:
*** - 2/28/99 UPDATE- Robbie Knievel, following in his father's footsteps, successfully jumped his motorcyle over 120 feet from the top of one 20 story tower of the Polo Towers Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip to the other this February 4 at 6pm. The event was aired on FOX television live. Rumor has it that he was seen recently at the West Rim of the Grand Canyon scoping out the area for a try at another attempt of his father's: a crossing of the Grand Canyon! More as we hear it.
**** - 2/25/99 - National Airlines begins flights April 15 with Las Vegas as a new hub city. They will be offering a first for Las Vegas with "Hotel Check-in". You'll be able to check your baggage and get your seat assignment right from the hotel lobby! Since Las Vegas will be a hub city, they will also be offering another unique special. Take their airline from any city in the US that they fly, to any other city, through Las Vegas, and you can stop over in Vegas as long as you like for no additional fare! What a deal!
**** - 2/4/99 - Countless visitors have been out to see the natural beauty of Red Rock Canyon just West of Las Vegas, and many have been warmly welcomed and excited by the sight of the beautiful wild horses roaming the valleys and occasional wild burros, left over from the historical days of the Wild West and the Goldrush 49's, wandering out to the roadway for a visit and hopefully an occasional handout. Well the Bureau of Land Management, who has control over the disposition of the area wants to remove most or all of these local favorites and relocate them to other areas, simply because they claim they don't have the manpower to manage them. These beautiful animals have roamed this area freely and "un-managed" since before the Bureau existed! We want to prompt all of you reading this and interested in preserving this wonderful natural sight, to contact the Bureau of Land Management at 702-647-5000 and let them know what a crime against the history and beauty of our area and parks this action would be. If you're interested in doing or finding out more please contact our local office of the National Wild Horse Association at 702-452-5853.
**** - 1/26/99 - Siegfried and Roy (Previously at: www.sarmoti.com) yesterday announced that in celebration of their 4,000th performance during their 10-year run at the Mirage Hotel and Casino they will be premiering a brand new finale to their popular nightly magic show on February 1 as well as a couple of all new illusions sure to please. The duo have surpassed 16,000 performances worldwide to date performing before 22 million visitors in Las Vegas alone.
**** - 1/23/99 UPDATE - Back in June of 1996, at the opening of the then new Desert Inn arterial Jim "Jet" Nelson "opened" the new road by being the first to race down it in his jet powered limo. Saturday, he repeated the feat in the same car, this time breaking his previous road speed record by exceeding 391 miles per hour! The record was made on the new East leg of the route 215 beltway, at noon on Saturday the 23rd.
***** - 1/19/99 - While a number of tour companies have provided motorcoach transportation directly to and from various Las Vegas hotels from various California origins for years, most have been limited to Southern California or San Francisco areas and one or two departures each day. Beginning Friday January 22, Greyhound Lines will begin a daily TEN trip schedule directly to four specific Las Vegas hotel casino destinations from Phoenix, Los Angeles and Fresno for about $50 per person Round Trip. The Station Casinos properties covering much of the primary metro Las Vegas tourism areas, except downtown, will be exclusive hosts to the new "Lucky Streak" service which will include casino bonuses and incentives. The service has been popular for a number of years in other gaming destinations such as Atlantic City and Connecticut. For more info you may contact Greyhound directly at 800-231-2222.
**** - 1/18/99 - Another priceless old Las Vegas hotel casino will be biting the dust in the pursuit of modern progress and entertainment. The Debbie Reynolds Hotel and Casino just down the street from the Convention Center (formerly the Paddlewheel Hotel Casino) will be torn down in the next few months to make room for a brand new, 1000 room resort owned by the World Wrestling Federation to be completed mid-year 2000. Meanwhile, not to be outdone, World Championship Wrestling stars Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash and Diamond Dallas Page were on hand just last Tuesday to break ground, (actually a "wall breaking") through a restaurant site wall with sledgehammers, on the new Nitro Grill at the Excalibur Hotel. The 350 seat "Sports Dining and Entertainment Complex" is due to be completed late this spring. More details and pictures are available on the Official WCW site.
*** - 1/17/99 - Remember Jethro from the ole' Beverly Hillbilly's TV show? Well, you'll be hearing a lot more from him if he gets his way. Plans are in the final draft for a Jethro's Beverly Hillbilly's Mansion & Casino in South Reno, NV. Plans are still sketchy but Lake Tahoe, NV resident Max Baer Jr, who starred as Jethro Bodine on the once-popular long-running television show, is proposing to build a 480 room hotel and entertainment complex based on the old television show. He is also seeking permission to construct either a 450 foot oil derrick or 250 foot "gushing oil well" on the property to draw attention to the new destination. More as we get the re-runs... er... details.
***** - 12/18/98 - The Las Vegas Motor Speedway in North Las Vegas which will be hosting the Las Vegas 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series and Busch Series Grand National Division Races in March 1999 has announced their sale to Speedway Motorsports today for about $215 million. Talk about bargains! The new 107,000 seat speedway complex alone cost over $230 million to complete in September of 1996. The buying company chairman O. Bruton Smith, intends to separate and resell the attached warehouse space and surrounding real estate which is part of the purchase. Speedway Motorsports which already owns major racing facilities in Atlanta, Charlotte, Texas and the Bristol and Sears Point raceways already has plans to enhance the frequency and quality of the events schedule and to work to blend with Las Vegas tourism as a whole.
***** - 12/15/98 UPDATE - We report this week random tourism related tidbits from the Annual Governor's Conference on Travel and Tourism taking place Sunday thru Tuesday at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
**** - 12/12/98 - Just a reminder. Due to years of solid growth, the state of Nevada now has so many people that we need to add another telephone area code! Beginning today the Northern portion of the state including Reno, Tahoe, Carson City and Pahrump, will switch from the current 702 area code to 775. The Las Vegas, Laughlin and Mequite areas will remain at the old 702 area code. Existing toll-free numbers should not be affected. Please bear with us as we make the few necessary changes throughout the entire Las Vegas Leisure Guide website.
***** - 12/1/98 - The Resort At Summerlin celebrated the TOPPING OFF of not one, but TWO new hotels today. The Regent Grand Spa and the Regent Grand Palms located at Canyon Run & Rampart Blvd on the northwest side of town. Both are scheduled to open April 30, 1999. A "Topping Off" is when the roof is put in place by huge cranes, a kind of finishing touch to the main structure and an accomplishment for all those dedicated construction workers. Not many properties can lay claim to "Topping Off" TWO together!
**** - 11/17/98 UPDATE - Rumors stated Sports "Bad Boy" Dennis Rodman tied the knot, the matrimony one that is, with ex-Baywatch star Carmen Electra late Friday night in Las Vegas. Dennis and the Chapel, who were originally sworn to secrecy, have since confirmed the marriage previously denied by his agent and has formally denied the accusations that he was intoxicated at the time. The wedding took place on the Strip at the Little Chapel of the Flowers. The Little Chapel of the Flowers' website is somewhat unique in that family and relatives unable to attend the cermony are able to watch it via the internet. We understand the camera was intentionally NOT turned on during the Rodmans' ceremony.
***** - 11/17/98 - The MGM Grand has finally officially
announced who will be taking over for David Cassidy when he leaves
the EFX show at the end of this year. His replacement will be
veteran Broadway choreographer / dancer / singer Tommy Tune. Tommy
in his pursuit to "do something new and exciting" will take over as star
of the show January 12, 1999.
Meanwhile, Siegfried and Roy, stars of the Mirage Hotel show bearing their name, joined Frank Sinatra as the only entertainers ever to be inducted into the Gaming Hall of Fame for their lifetime accomplishments and positive contribution to the casino gaming industry.
PREVIOUS STORY - If you still want to catch David Cassidy as the star of EFX at the MGM Hotel and Casino you'd better hurry, as his contract is up for optional renewal at the end of November and sources say he's calling it quits. It's not that he hasn't enjoyed his two year stint in the show, taking over in Nov 1996 for Michael Crawford who left on somewhat less friendly terms, he just feels it's time for him to move on to other things like his new music CD Old Trick, New Dog. He is planning on staying on living in Las Vegas for at least a while.
**** - 11/16/98 - There could be changes in store soon for the
New York New York Hotel and Casino. Recently, MGM Grand Inc
agreed to buy Primadonna Resorts, Inc. which is their partner in
the relatively new property at Flamingo and the Strip. Primadonna Resorts,
also own Whiskey Pete's and Buffalo Bill's casinos in Primm, NV on the
stateline with California, as well as The Primm Valley Resort golf courses
in California besides their half share in the New York New York hotel. The
deal is expected to be final in early 1999.
Harrah's Entertainment, meanwhile, is working feverishly to get everything ready for final approval this week by the Nevada Gaming Commission to approve their acquisition of the Rio Hotel & Casino. If all goes well, the deal could be completed before the end of the year.
**** - UPDATE 11/16/98 - The record Megabucks jackpot has finally been won!! The approximately $27,581,000 jackpot (give or take a few thousand for other minor jackpots won simultaneously), was won by a 66 year old, local woman at the Palace Station Hotel in around 7:30pm Sunday night (November 15). Not only is the Jackpot a Nevada record, but is reportedly a WORLD record as well. The winner will receive over $1 million each year for the next 25 years. It's been over a year since the last jackpot was hit. The last record jackpot of $12,510,549 was won from Megabucks on April 14, 1997. The jackpot had been climbing an average of $3/4 million/week!
**** - 11/5/98 - We've written recently about Steve Wynn's $300 million art collection on display at the Bellagio. If you didn't get there in the first weeks. you've already missed something. This week it appeared that a few (about 5) pieces had been misplaced from the collection. The hotel confirms they have NOT been stolen. Rumor is there is a major art auction coming up this weekend which Mr Wynn will reportedly be attending and he'll be bidding to "exchange" the removed paintings for something even more impressive. We'll have to wait and see.
** - 10/27/98 - Could music star Michael Jackson be planning on following in the footsteps of his fellow recluse Howard Hughes? Rumor is he could be negotiating this week with new Desert Inn Hotel owners, Starwood Lodging, for the famous penthouse where the once owner Hughes lived for many years, as well as the property and hotel beneath it.
***** - 10/16/98 - Despite 35 mph wind gusts which dowsed onlookers with
fountain show mist, Las Vegas Blvd traffic backed up for nearly a half mile and
a massive fireworks display which had to be cancelled due to the weather,
thousands of curious pedestrians filled the sidewalks and streets in front of
the Bellagio Hotel and Casino Thursday evening for its grand opening.
Billing it as the "most expensive hotel ever built" at a staggering US$ 1.6
billion, including the $300 million art collection in the quite museum setting
(admission to the gallery has been announced at $10 for a 45 minute tour) and scattered throughout the hotel and in
locations like "Picasso's" one of
the new restaurants at the Bellagio. Those who made it in during the initial
rush after 11pm Thursday night (security was limiting entry for safety reasons)
were not unimpressed. Art and elegance is everywhere. A full feature story
UPDATE to our pre-view story
will be coming soon. The massive fountain show, quite visible from the sidewalk,
and even better from a height like one of the private balconies at the hotel,
DID however go on throughout the night, to the tunes of Pavarotti and "Singing
in the Rain".
The much awaited, mysterious new show from Cirque Du Soleil called
simply "O" (which in French refers to "water") will feature a revolutionary
new three-tiered concept with plenty of action happening on stage, on
water, AND UNDER WATER! The reported initial price for the new show
will be $90 to $100. The show opens to the public Saturday night.
EARLIER STORY - The Bellagio Hotel and Casino opens to the public late this Thursday night following a special VIP pre-opening. While everyone over 18 will be permited, there will be a restricted dress code and admission to the $300 million dollar, primarily impressionist, art museum will reportedly be $10 per person. The free fountain show in front of the hotel which has already been seen in test mode the last couple weeks, will run every half hour throughout the evening (we'll have exact hours for you soon). And by-the-way, the answer to our number one question of the week: the now-famous song which you hear on the Bellagio TV commercial is called "Time to Say Goodbye" ("Con Te Partiro") sung by Andrea Bocelli and can be found on his "Romanza" CD released in 1997 on the Philips/Polygram label as well as the newer "Bocelli" album released in 1998.
***** - 10/16/98 - Meanwhile right across the street from the newly opened Bellagio Hotel, on the site of the former Aladdin Hotel, The NEW Aladdin Hotel is just starting. If you're in town this weekend, the new Aladdin Preview Center should be open, and the brand new 51 ft by 37 ft, high quality definition screen, marquee was installed this week keeping the original Aladdin's Lamp motiff of the original hotel. The new Aladdin Hotel is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2000. (Thanks Cynthia)
***** - 10/12/98 - The devoted audience who shelled out over $40 a seat to see the Righteous Brothers perform their closing show at the Orleans Hotel and Casino Sunday night certainly got their money's worth, but they missed the REAL show by far, when The Sand Dollar Blues Lounge proved once again it is the "home of the blues" in Las Vegas, with Bill Medley himself dropping by after his Orleans show (for the second Sunday in a row we're told) to work his soulful magic on a couple of jams with the resident group. It happened around 11:30, during the second set of the night with a local group who are regulars at the joint, and other local venues, called Charlie Tuna's Good Cooking Blues Band. Mr. Medley hung out for the rest of the evening sipping wine, enjoying the music and chatting with the appreciative audience in the intimate surroundings.
**** - 10/8/98 - The all new, Shelby American showroom and museum which opened in August next door to the 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility next to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in North Las Vegas will celebrate it's grand opening this coming weekend. The new museum is open Mon-Fri, 8:00am-5:00pm and free factory tours will be available each day from 11:30am-3:30pm. On display will be 35 years of Shelby performance cars from the very first Shelby Cobra to the Aurora-powered Shelby Series 1.(The man and his car) There will be a grand opening October 10, culminating in a Shelby car motorcade down Las Vegas Blvd to the Fremont Street Experience for the World Championship Chili Cookoff. For more info contact Shelby American at (702) 643-3000.
***** - 9/15/98 UPDATE - The Clark County board of commissioners finally made their decision today regarding a use for the 100 acre parcel of land just south of McCarran Airport and Mandalay Bay Hotel, West of the Strip by once again tossing away a $200+ million per year city-wide windfall in the form of a Grand Prix racing event for the Las Vegas strip. Nor did they vote for Tennis star Andre Agassi's golf/tennis club project, but rather they voted for yet another 27 hole golf course! The alternate decision, which would obviously have made the most advantageous use of the property, to attract the largest amount of favorable tourism, for the most benefit of Las Vegas in general involved a slightly smaller 18 hole golf course combined with a Grand Prix style race track which would have been used once a year when it would be opened to a section of the famous Las Vegas Strip and used for Grand Prix Formula One races. Opponents of the plan, most vocally Circus Circus Enterprises who own the nearly completed Mandaly Bay Hotel next door, complained that the once a year, single-day event would cause too much noise and traffic congestion on the strip. We hope they can all sleep well following THIS decision! Numerous past plans to bring Grand Prix type racing to Las Vegas had likewise all fizzled. The Grand Prix committee is now evaluating two alternate locations which they had on standby pending this decision.
**** - 8/28/98 UPDATE - You may have seen the construction going on at the
Strip and Flamingo Ave. for the pedestrian walkways, well don't get too
anxious to try them out. Hilton Hotels Corp. has stepped in to add
yet more bickering over the bridges. Apparently, finally realizing that by
diverting the foot traffic over the streets and touching down directly in
front of the Barbary Coast on the corner, the walkways would significantly
cut down attention to the Flamingo Hilton a few yards further North on the strip,
Hilton has offered to pay the total costs, if a second bridge, over the Las Vegas
Strip, connecting to the existing one in front of Caesars Palace (which leads to
the Barbary Coast on the corner) would be built dropping down in front of the
This however would split the pedestrian traffic from that side between the Barbary
Coast and the Hilton. Thus, the Barbary Coast is now threatening to sue.
Before you know it we'll have massive, ugly bridges criss-crossing the strip from end to end.
What's the fix? How about simply "submerging" all of the auto traffic part of
the strip and building an entirely new pedestrian-only mall above the street
allowing anyone to walk to any property they choose? Hey, it worked for Fremont Street...
PREVIOUS STORY (7/27/98): The age-old saga of "over-the-strip" vs. "under-the-strip" concerning the pedestrian walkways at Las Vegas Blvd and Flamingo Ave. has apparently reached it's conclusion. The overhead walkways are nearly half-way complete and are being incorporated into the design of the Bellagio Hotel and Caesars Palace as well as the other four corner properties as we speak.
**** - 8/26/98 - Ever since Christie Hefner of Playboy Magazine visited town last week, there have been rumors circulating that the company is planning an all new 1,000+ room hotel & casino in Las Vegas, most likely on the property behind the recently imploded Aladdin Hotel, about a block back off the Strip on Koval Lane.
**** - 8/25/98 UPDATE - Speaking once more about the bulls, after the apparent popularity of the recent "Running of the Bulls" in Mesquite, NV last month, and despite the organizer allegedly being harrassed and put unfairly(?) in jail for a token period of time for some nonsense about not getting the proper permits, apparently an agreement HAS been signed to keep the event around for at least five years! The proposed location for this coming year is to be the Mesquite City Rodeo Grounds.
**** - 8/16/98 - Just Say "NO!" to the handouts, is what you'll have to start doing again starting this Monday. Last year Clark County passed an ordinance to ban handbill distributors from the Las Vegas Strip area streets, because they considered them to be harrassing to the pedestrians. This past week a Federal Court overturned the county's ordinance as unconstitutional under the free speech liberties of the first amendment after a group of distributors took the county to court and won. The County will be reassessing the situation this coming week.
***** - 8/12/98 - In our southern neighbor of Laughlin, NV, the Gold River Hotel which previously announced a name change and theme change has announced thier new name to be The River Palms. The hotel theme will change from the previous, Old West/Gold Mining motif to an Old Carribean/ Pirate venue including hundreds of expensive new palm trees, extensive indoor and outdoor landscaping, and a large, authentic, rustic sailing ship which will fill the main lobby and whose mast will extend to the second floor rafters.
*** - 8/11/98 - There's word that locals may soon have a new sports team to root for. Attempts are being made to bring in the new International Basketball Association franchise with a team based in Las Vegas. Many details still need to be ironed out like where they will play and who will be partnering for ownership.
*** - 8/11/98 - A new law was passed this week regarding green versus desert landscaping. No NEW property in the city limits, with a few rare, specified exceptions, may have more than 50% grass or water-thirsty green vegetation in the front part of the property. We have not been able to get a definitative answer yet from officials as to how this will affect plans for certain future hotel and resort golf courses planned, but not yet approved.
**** - 8/10/98 - The Rio Suites Hotel and Casino announced today
that they will be purchased by Harrah's Entertainment for an as yet
undisclosed sum. Down the street, Steve Wynn, it is rumored is quietly
selling significant chunks of his personal Mirage Hotel stock to help
finance the already overbudget and still growing Bellagio Hotel set
to open in the next couple months. Word is he's decorating the place with
dozens of original art masterpieces and treasures.
Meanwhile the Debbie Reynold's Hotel has been put up for auction. The highest bid for that property, after the second round of bidding is still the World Wrestling Federation. We've had boxing, we've had Strong-man championships now it looks like wrestling, what will be next? Horse races, beach volleyball or maybe bullfights perhaps?
**** - UPDATE 7/25/98 - The new Paris Hotel and Casino next door to Bally's Hotel and Casino started erecting their rather impressive scale model "Eiffel Tower" along the Las Vegas strip this past week. (also)
** - 9/1/98 - Apparently the rumors about a Titanic Hotel and Casino
which we've been getting questioned about recently could be in the offing
after all. We recently received an e-mail that began:
"This is to inform your legal department that I own the trademark rights to the Titanic Hotel and Casino!..."If the claim is true (and apparently an internet domain/site is already set up), it could mean that another new Las Vegas property could be on the way. Supposedly talks are ongoing to locate it right on the strip close to the McCarran Airport. There is another group (not the same group) with Las Vegas connections, who we are aware of, who are considering constructing a $1/2 billion replica of the Titanic in Britain to be completed sometime in 2002 or so.
***** 7/15/98 UPDATE - The new Fashion Outlet of Las Vegas has announced its public Grand Opening for July 16, 1998. Located just 36 miles south of Las Vegas in Primm, Nevada, next to the Primm Valley Resort, the new mall will feature offerings from up to 100 of the world's best designer centers at factory outlet prices. Already in the lineup is Benetton, Donna Karen, Guess? and Versace. It will also house the only Last Call from Neiman Marcus The Clearnace Center in the Western US and the only Williams Sonoma superstore in Las Vegas. The outside facade, facing the highway from Las Vegas to Southern California will feature "The grandest fashion billboard exhibition outside Times Square." They've also arranged for direct shuttle service from New York-New York Hotel & Casino on the Strip. Pictures Pending.
*** 7/14/98 - Rumors have it that the new Circus Circus property, Mandalay Bay at the far South end of the strip, not due for completion until the end of this year, has already begun sinking! Some estimates put it at over 12 inches and still going. Early conjecture puts the suspicions on increased water table flow or recent diversion which has caused the underlying ground layers to decay. There is currently no major concern, however engineers are keeping a close eye on the situation.
**** 7/14/98 UPDATE - After a few weeks of relative quiet, seismic activity
in the Mammoth Mountain area has become stronger once again with multiple
quakes in the 4.0-5.0 magnitude range being recorded in a very narrow region
on the south edge of the caldera, over the last couple days with numerous
PREVIOUS STORY from 6/9/98: There have been earthquakes with magnitudes as high as 5.1 detected in the Crowley Lake region of Mammoth Mountain South of Mono Lake, just across the California border from Nevada and just north of Death Valley. This area is about 75 miles west of Beatty and Tonopah Nevada. Numerous aftershocks at the rate of about 1 per hour in the 2.0-3.0 range could be possible early signs of an eventual reawakening of the long-dormant Mammoth Mountain Volcano. Remember you read about it first here. The last eruption at Mount Mammoth was over 500 years ago and it is considered one of the largest in this geologically active area. The last time it erupted it has been shown to have spread smoke and dust as far east as Colorado and as far south as Arizona, covering most of the state of Nevada. More details may be found at the US Geological Survey site at:***. At one point quakes in the 2.0+ range were coming as often as 3-4 times each hour.
***** 7/4/98 UPDATE - In coordination with the upcoming opening of the Bruce Willis movie Armageddon this weekend, the Luxor Hotel & Casino is sporting a new meteor-sized crater on the Strip-facing side of it's pyramid hotel structure. Don't worry, noone will be displaced from their rooms due to the incident, since as David Copperfield might say, IT IS ONLY AN ILLUSION. The specatacle should remain on the building throughout this movie-premier holiday weekend... barring any further "mishaps".
***** 6/16/98 - Last night (Monday 6/15/98) shortly before midnight, the
Gold Strike Inn on US Hwy 93 bewteen Lake Mead and Hoover Dam caught
fire. It burned for over 6 hours while local and county firemen poured
over one million gallons of water on the casino and hotel from pumper trucks
and nearby emergency water storage tanks. Fortunately noone was seriously injured
in the mishap and everyone was evacuated from the hotel and casino. Initial
investigations indicate the fire started outside the casino where some crews
were recently working on the roof, possibly in some roofing materials alongside
the building. The fire slowly spread to the 300 room hotel tower and low-rises due
to reduced quantities of water available around the relatively remote location with which
to fight the flames. By the time it was brought completely under control the
property and the majority of its contents was a complete loss. Room reservations
have been arranged to be picked up by the Monte Carlo Hotel. The owners
plan at this time to rebuild the largest hotel and casino in Boulder City. Althogh hotspots continue
to reignite over 12 hours later, there is currently an estimated $30 million
in damages so far. First is a picture from a short time ago of the
property which is now mostly razed except for the main hotel tower and the
Southern rooms visible in the forground of this picture.
***** 6/11/98 UPDATE - Hoover Dam officials tested the new valves
they installed on the upper and lower bypass tunnels Thurday (6/11/98) morning
around beginning about 11:06am. It was the first time water flowed through
both of them at the same time in nearly 50 years and will hopefully be
the last time in just as long as they are intended solely for emergencies.
The output from the upper tunnels formed crossing rainbow-like streams in
mid-air while the lower tunnels filled the valley with a humid condensing mist.
The new and improved valves installed at a cost of nearly $2 million are not
only more reliable and easier to operate, but will also increase the through
capacity by nearly 50%. The day was slightly overcast making photography very
difficult. Warning photos avg 65K each
***** 6/11/98 - The new "D" gates at McCarran Airport will celebrate their official grand opening with an "Airplane Pull" on Saturday (6/13/98) morning. Teams of 20 men will pull the first Federal Express 747 airplane twleve feet onto the tarmack. Based on the manpower supplied and previous experience with this sort of opening at other airports, they hope to have the move over with in less than a minute... takeoffs however will likely continue to take... forever.
***** 6/10/98 - Thursday evening will be the premier of a new sound and light show at the downtown Fremont Street Experience. The new show which will run each half-hour promises to be a special "new" experience compared to the previous shows, as it will be the first created by the all new "in-house" staff of programmers and graphics specialists. With the new in-house staff, they hope to accelerate production of new shows to as many as four or six each year.
***** 6/3/98 - Texas Station Hotel & Casino in Northwest Las Vegas has embarked on an ambitious expansion this summer. They'll be adding 21,000 more square feet of casino space, 6 additional "stadium-style" movie theatres to the existing 12, a KidsQuest supervised child care facility, an all new food court and a new adult meeting place called the "Martini Ranch". To accomodate the expected additional business they'll also be adding the first 1800 space, multilevel parking garage in the Northwest section of town. A firm date has not been set for completion but all should be done by the end of this summer. (Ed note: The new Summerlin Resort in the Northwest is expected to have a 5-6 story garage as well, it'll be a race to see who's is finished first and gets bragging rights.)
***** 6/1/98 - Paul Anka will be replacing Siegfried and Roy at the Mirage... well at least temporarily. The Dynamic Duo of animal magic will be taking a well deserved summer break for three weeks in June. In the meantime the veteran singer will fill in with shows on the weekends. S&R will be back Sunday June 28. Meanwhile their ceremonial Thai elephant, Gildah whom the pair have made disappear nightly for the last 17 years turned 50 years old recently will still be able to be seen daily at the Secret Garden at the Mirage
***** - The All American SportPark on Sunset Rd. at Las Vegas Blvd. (right next to McCarran Airport) has scheduled their grand opening for June 23-26! The sportpark is a sports entertainment and amusement complex featuring the SportShots "extreme photo" studio and various other photo opportunities, three Nascar Go-Kart tracks, a MLB baseball Sluggers Batting Stadium ( the outfield wall includes replicas of many of the major ballpark walls around the country), a 40 ft. climbing mountain, an indoor 18 hole putting course, the Pepsi roller skating, concert and events arena, an adult lounge and sportbar, and large restaurant, several arcades and loads of fun sports related entertainment!!!
*** - Circus Circus' new Mandalay Bay Resort at the far south end of the strip is finally receiving it's letters. The top four floors appear slightly different in this photo for a good reason. They will comprise a high-roller Four Seasons (or depending on the latest version of the rumor you listen to a Ritz-Carlton) resort with a separate entrance and private elevator.
***** 4/29/98 - Wet 'n Wild the premier water funpark on the Las Vegas Strip, opens Thursday at 10am. Featured is this year's new ride, The Royal Flush! Basically akin to an enormous version of one of those plastic tornado shaped devices you plop a coin into to watch it spin around and around and drop into a donation bucket, the new ride lets YOU be the coin... and of course there's the addition of water. There are even two versions, one that is covered with special effects inside, and another uncovered version so your friends can watch you "flush" and take pictures! The creators report top speeds of 45 mph with a final watery plunge when you lose enough momentum to keep you on the walls and slip downward. It's about the only place in town, you can be "guaranteed" a "royal flush" every time.
***** 4/27/97 UPDATE - The Aladdin Hotel was imploded Monday,
April 27, 1998 around 7:25pm. TV Star Joan London pressed the
ignition switch in connection with a special "Behind Closed Doors"
expose'. In case you missed it, her show will be aired sometime this
fall including video footage shot from some dozen cameras INSIDE the hotel.
The charity party with proceeds going to the "Make-a-Wish Foundation" for
children allowed many to watch the event from a sheltered tent in the
parking lot of the Aladdin. The implosion went off apparently without a hitch.
See pictures: (movies from actual SEQUENCED PHOTOS, NOT video tape):
On the site will be an all new Aladdin Hotel including a huge shopping "experience" (not a plaza so they claim) and a Planet Hollywood sponsored, music themed hotel to the East. Upon asking about the plans for the theater at Monday's press conference, the builders DO intend to include it in the new plans. We saw no obvious damage as a result of the implosion much to the appreciation of many locals. The marquee in front of the site, reads "Out of the dust Aladdin arises anew. See you in 2000". More details and pictures of the new resort and the remains of the old, as soon as we get them scanned. Watch for a full front page feature coming up any time.
***** 4/27/97 - Did Mother always like your brother better? Perhaps you
never tried sending her the Smothers Brothers' new merlot for Mother's Day.
While the Aladdin Hotel was busy making last minute preparations for implosion,
Tom and Dick Smothers were busy creating a quaint afternoon wine tasting
on the Orleans Hotel and Casino pool veranda.
Taking some time out from their nightly shows at the Orleans, to describe the
history and struggle of establishing the winery over the last 20 years, the legendary
brothers served up munchies and wines from the award winning Smothers Winery vineyard
in Sonoma Valley now re-named Remick Ridge after their Grandfather. Punctuated by
their trademark humor and beloved antics, were a selection of their current vintages.
Not being particularly a white wine fan and short on time to boot, I skipped the Chardonnay selection and opted for the reds. The '93 and `94 Cabernets have strong potential for the coming years with a deep, oakey body, albeit somewhat subdued finish, more for the French style Cabernet lovers. The Merlot on the other hand is a supreme California style red, with a zippy pizazz and ready for drinking today. The self proclaimed "cult wines" produced in exclusively limited quantities are available primarily from the winery tasting room in Kenwood, CA and from their web site at www.smothersbrothers.com. Tom and Dick Smothers are appearing nightly at the Orleans Hotel through May 3.
**** 4/24/97 - Donald Trump was spotted in town Friday evening
gawking at the lovely ladies in the Miss Hawaiin Tropics Swimsuit
competition at the Tropicana Hotel. Wonder what other hotel/casino
he happend to have his pocketbook sites on during this visit?
Meanwhile Governor Miller had his sites set on a golf ball today in a round paired with senior's champion Arnold Palmer. The Las Vegas Seniors Golf Tournament will continue through this weekend at the Tournament Players Club at Summerlin
*** 4/23/98 - Fallen boxing legend Mike Tyson was spotted signing autographs at the All Star Cafe on the strip this evening. Rumor is he will be there again Saturday evening for a repeat performance.
***** - 4/9/98 - Siegfried and Roy's Christmas present, Prosperity (64K) will make her public debut on Easter Sunday, April 12, at 1pm in The Secret Garden at The Mirage. The first white lion born in Nevada on Christmas Day 1997, was in critical condition her first few days of life, but is doing much better now and was recently named mascot of the United States Senate by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) on Valentines Day.
***** - 4/9/98 - A little news from our southern neighbor Laughlin, NV.
The Gold River Hotel in Laughlin, is soon to be
renamed to an as yet unannounced title (they have promised us a name by the
2nd week in May). The entire theme will be changed inside and out, from a
mining facade to a more "tropical" venue in the $40 million rennovation which
started in March. A huge mural like that in this
artist's rendering (76K)
will cover the 25 story main tower on the street side. The front entrance area
will also be transformed with a smattering of tropical color. The first phase is
expected to be complete in Mid September.
Meanwhile the Riverside Hotel and Casino also in Laughlin is adding a 36 to 42 lane bowling center, and hopes to attract national bowling tournaments. The Edgewater Hotel also is upgrading its rooms to add suites with jacuzzis.
Finally, watch for our LVLG co-site, "The Laughlin Leisure Guide" coming soon at http://www.laughlin-nv.com featuring news and information about our quickly growing and increasingly popular neighbor destination.
**** - UPDATE 4/6/98 - Beginning Monday, April 6, for about two weeks, one lane of route I-215 in Las Vegas will be closed for the filming of a part of yet another movie, made in Las Vegas. The long awaited sequel "Lethal Weapon 4". They reportedly WILL be needing extras and anyone who can drive a car and is under 50 years old is invited to try out for the casting call by phoning 702-383-9000.
** - 4/1 - This totally unretouched photo, taken early this morning from the roof of the Sahara Hotel and Casino parking garage and rushed directly to our offices for posting clearly shows what appears to be none other than a flying saucer shaped object touching down in front of the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel and Casino. Officials at the hotel could not be immediately reached for comment, but rumors which have leaked from certain unidentified employees are that the ship's inhabitants have mistakenly identified the new "Star Trek the Experience" ride as an advanced form of space exploration and thus consider us candidates for some sort of "first contact" and "federation membership"... More details as we receive them. UPDATE: Okay, so it's really the top of an amusement ride at the Wet 'n Wild park, next door to the Sahara. Happy April Fool's Day... and just wait until NEXT year!
***** - 3/27/98 - Along with the first full illumination this weekend of the still under-construction Bellagio Hotel & Casino building, will begin the tedious 6 month process of hiring enough employees to support the new hotel. The hotel has announced that beginning Monday, March 30, they will start accepting calls at 702-693-8888 for appointments to come to the temporary employment center behind the Mirage Hotel to fill out a new computerized employment application for one of the thousands of positions expected. They are requesting that prospective employment candidates DO NOT go to the employment center without calling for a time first!
**** - 3/24/98 - The latest word is that the supposed merger talks bewteen Hilton Hotels and Circus Circus Hotels are officially off and Hilton is now turning their sights toward western Europe instead.
** - 3/23/98 - A non-confirmed source says the Sahara Hotel Virtual Speedway attraction is to be sold to another operator and will be expanded to include outdoor rides including a roller coaster with cars shaped like race cars. Just what Vegas needs... yet another roller coaster... (Thanks Dennis)
***** - 3/16/98 - Winning golf pro Tiger Woods, a local Las Vegan was honored recently by being one of only eight, solo individuals, in history to be pictured on a box of the popular Wheaties breakfast cereal. He will be found on grinning from the grocery store shelves nationwide in the coming weeks.
** - 2/27/98 - The latest rumor has it that Mirage Hotel Mogul Steve Wynn has his sights set on the Stratosphere for his next casino control takeover. Watch for a possible announcement any day now or perhaps not until as late as October.
**** - 2/24/98 - Starwood Lodging officially takes over control of
Caesars Palace, Desert Inn and other ITT properties worldwide this week.
Although no immediate changes are expected in operations or service, rumors
are flying that Caesars and the Desert Inn will be back up on the auction
block to the highest bidder by mid-year.
PREVIOUS STORY: Rand Araskog, CEO of ITT, owners of Caesars Palace announced at the shareholders meeting today, shortly before adjourning the meeting that the shareholders had voted to re-elect the current board of directors and thus presumably to support the planned merger with Starwood Lodging owners of King 8 Motels and Westin Hotels. The vote reportedly was a landslide in favor of the current board. Hilton Hotels who has been persuing a hostile takeover of ITT for the last 10 months, had previously vowed to drop their plans if their recommended board was not elected.
***** - 2/19/98 - Circus Circus has announced the official name of
the previously code named Project Paradise. The 3700+ room, 43 story,
nearly $1 billion resort will be called Mandalay Bay after the
Kipling novel with a similar name. It will have a old-world Burma
theme out of the 1800's like the setting of the book. There will also be a 400 room Four Season's Suite Hotel
incorporated into the larger resort building with it's own private entrance.
(South side view)
(North side view)
The property will also include surf beaches and swim up shark tanks.
The new property is going up just south of the Luxor Hotel on the old
Hacienda Hotel site and it appears there's also to be
a previously unannounced 12,000 seat arena on the West side.
Just up the strip, rumors are that the Bellagio could be opening almost on time! What a unique event in Las Vegas. Expect just a little after Labor Day or around about the beginning of October. In the meantime the Bellagio southside marquee is starting to take on an interesting shape.
***** - 2/1/98 - Anyone who has walked down the strip in the last 6 years could not have helped but notice the ever-present strikers in front of the Frontier Hotel and Casino. Well the longest strike in history is now history as of midnight Saturday January 31. After six and one-half years of continuous striking the owners have sold the Frontier for $140 million to Phil Ruffin, whose gaming license goes into effect beginning Feb. 1. Nearly all of the 650 strikers have been invited back to jobs at the property which is to be renamed "The New Frontier".
***** - 2/1/98 - The Las Vegas area's newest casino is ready to open its doors to the public February 10 at 10pm. The Reserve in Henderson, NV will have it's grand opening then with the promise of more wildlife in Southern Nevada. A pre-opening for VIP's will run from 6pm until the opening to the public at 10pm. The theme is that of an African wild animal reserve. Stay tuned for an upcoming feature!
**** - 1/29/98 - Movie theaters are growing quicker in Las Vegas than hotels suddenly. A 12 theater complex was recently added near Summerlin on the west side. The theater in the Showcase on the strip was completed late last year. The Orleans Hotel just completed the first phase of its expansion including a 12 movie theater complex, a 4,500 sqare ft video arcade and child care facilities. And now The Fremont Street Experience has just announced an $84 million project called NEONOPOLIS @ Fremont Street Experience which will include, you guess it, TWENTY-FOUR movie theaters, as well as 232,000 square feet of shopping and restaurants on four floors set to be completed in the year 2000 on Fremont St between 4th St and Las Vegas Blvd.
**** - 1/28/98 UPDATE - The MGM Hotel and Casino is working furiously to
finish up their $250 million remodeling. This week saw the initial installation of the new Tropicana
Avenue corner facade including two huge color matrix TV screens (with BEAUTIFUL
color and full motion) overlooking the crossover walkways, a wall of sparkly
neon star-lights, Atlas-like figures supporting torchieres and, of course, the
long-awaited bronze "liquid-gold" lion
(Photo of the new lion under construction). Rumor is the
new lion will be able to sink down into the platform it is built on. Note also in
the picture the changes going on to the marquee at far left.
PREVIOUS STORY- 5/13/97 - Speaking of bronzes, the MGM Grand began tearing down the old lion Strip entrance to be replaced by a new bronze version. Our original story last year covered some of the details of the renovation, but many of the plans have changed since then. A Rainforest Cafe restaurant is now part of the project as well as an enourmous television screen on the front of the hotel.
*** - 12/25/97 - While snow flurries fly around the country, rumors are flying
that Steve Wynn of Mirage Hotel fame is picking up a nice
bauble of a Christmas present for himself in the form of the Las Vegas Boardwalk Holiday Inn.
He is so far only buying "control" of the property in the form of 50+% of the
stock and bonds. Not only would this give him a nifty, newly remodeled casino,
but an additional 800 feet of open strip-front real estate adjacent to his upcoming
should he someday wish to "expand" on that property by having the Boardwalk
"sell" it to the Bellagio for a very good price...
Meanwhile, Harrah's has agreed to buy the four Showboat properties, including the one in Las Vegas, to bring their nationwide total to 20. And finally, the ink has scarcely dried on the ITT/Starwood Contract, and is in fact not even approved yet, while more rumors fly that Starwood may very soon be looking for a buyer to unload the Las Vegas Caesars and Desert Inn properties, as well as possibly a few other gambling properties, well before the end of 1998.
What a Merry Christmas Season for all!
***** - UPDATE 8/12/97 - A public event was held Tuesday, Aug 12, to announce the coming of the Winston Cup Race Series to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway next March. The ceremony held at 11:30am at the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas, attracted nearly a thousand spectators. Attending were NASCAR President Bill France, officials from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and racers Rusty Wallace, Richard Petty, Dale Garrett and Bill Elliot. The event officially announced was the inaugural "Las Vegas 400" race to be held March 1, 1998 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the new, high-tech, 102,000 seat, 1.5 mile raceway recently built in Las Vegas. This also happens to be the same weekend that the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division will be racing at the track.
In typical Las Vegas style, dozens of Las Vegas Show Girls and Show Performers from many of the local hotels greeted the officials and crowd and helped show off the half-dozen race cars on display. The ceremony began with drivers and crews reving the engines of their cars as announcer Michael Buffer kicked things off by saying: "Las Vegas, let's get ready to rumble!". Tickets will be offered in a couple of weeks to fans who have attended previous major events at the Speedway and who will get first opportunity via mail to purchase tickets. Regular tickets which are expected to sell out quickly, will go on sale for between $50 and $110 each with other special packages also available, September 22 at 8am PST. For additional ticket information call the Speedway at 702-644-4443.
***** - 07/08/97 - The big bottle on the south strip popped it's top Monday night as rockets flew from the bottle top and local dignitaries sampled colas from around the world. World of Coca-Cola Las Vegas in the Showcase opened their doors today to Las Vegas tourists. The 28,000 square foot attraction literally immerses visitors in the tradition, lore and hype that we've come to know from Coca-Cola over the last 111 years. From the 100 ft, glass, Coke bottle front already familiar to many visitors, housing two elevators (which plays the sounds of crackling ice, and pouring soda as you ride it,) to the 12,000 sq ft. store called "Everything Coca-Cola" occupying the first two floors of the attraction, if there is anything Coke missing here, it must have been sold out already. From miniature toy delivery trucks, pins and stuffed polar bears, to vending machines, back packs and even Christmas ornaments.
Upstairs, on the third and fourth floors, for $5 adult/$3 children/under 6 free (a price we expect to see reduced or dropped altogether over the next year), you get to sample all the Coke you can gulp, along with 30 varieties from around the world that you never knew existed, served from a 30's style soda fountain. You also get to hear all about the history (via the "Time Walk") and production of the products (through a display of a 1920's style plant) and chat with "Nick" in his 50's garage about the War, "The big one!" of course, and racing hot rods, amongst other sights.
World of Coca-Cola is open Sun.-Thur. 10am-Midnight and Fri.-Sat. 10am -1am.
**** - UPDATE 07/01/97 - The Neon Museum in downtown Las Vegas has announced plans for the unveiling of 4 more installments in their effort to preserve the neon history of Las Vegas. The "Aladdin's Lamp", the "Chief Casino", the "Flame Restaurant", and the "Andersen Dairy Man" neon signs will be joining the old Hacienda Horse and Rider, in a ceremony planned for next Tuesday evening. If you are in town over the July 4th holidays you can see some of the signs already in place or being erected on and around Fremont Street downtown.
Text of Earlier Story:
11/12/96 - Las Vegas, known more for destroying and building over its
history than for preserving it, is finally doing something to preserve the past
for future generations. The beginnings of the Neon Sign Museum will be announced
with the unveiling of the first showpiece, the "Hacienda Horse and Rider", Wednesday,
Mayor Jan Jones and Representative Lorraine Hunt pose with a couple of local showgirls on Fremont Street after pulling the switch.
Close up of the first sign to join the museum. The Hacienda Horse and Rider.
Sponsored by the City of Las Vegas and the Fremont Street Experience, the museum's intent is to restore and preserve as many of the discarded glowing icons of yesteryear as possible and display them where everyone can readily see and appreciate them. At current time, a total of 35 signs and parts of signs are on their hopeful list. For as little as $4,000 businesses or individuals can "adopt a sign" by paying the costs to restore it and erect it in the area around the Fremont Street Experience and further the museum's mission. The first piece has been erected next to the Fremont Street Garage in the center of Las Vegas Blvd. in downtown Las Vegas. For more information about the museum or the "Adopt a Sign" program, call (702) 229-2330.
**** - 4/14/97 - Ground breaking was today for the new Grand Venetian Hotel the new 6,000 suite hotel complex to take the place of the Sands hotel. Construction is expected to be completed by Mid-1999. We'll have a full feature story on it soon. Sneak peak: 85K JPG Panorama View
**** - 5/21/97 - Whereas a few months ago New York New York Hotel and Casino was threatening small news magazines like us here at LVLG with legal action for creating a mere news feature about them and mentioning the name that they claim to have copyrights to, New York New York now has a lawsuit filed against them for using trade names. The case concerns this structure inside their casino area along with a bank of slot machines referred to as "The Slot Exchange" which allegedly infringe on the name owned by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Wall Street. The Stock Exchange is suing in federal court over use of the name.
***** - 5/13/97 - The Riviera Hotel and Casino made waves today
with some locals as they unveiled
a minor new attraction on the Strip.
Between the main Strip entrance doors to the casino a new piece of... "art"
has been installed advertising their long running, award-winning stage show,
"Crazy Girls". The lifesize bronze
showgirls' "rear exposures", was designed and "life-cast" by New Mexico artist
Michael Conine who worked from the actual live show "models".
Not everyone, however was thrilled with the new addition. Anne Golonka, Southern Nevada President of the National Organization for Women (NOW) claims the object "exploits women as simply a collection of body parts" and that this exhibit is "worse than the billboards which the Riviera had" of a similar design advertising the Crazy Girls show. NOW joined with other local groups including the local Child Advocacy Group to preacefully demonstate at the unveiling today. Some feel the sidewalk-side advertising belongs INSIDE the hotel and is not suitable for children and others who may be offended by the nudity while simply passing by.
***** - UPDATE 4/1/97 - ITT today announced the delay of starting the
Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The project which was
supposed to be completed by the end of 1998 will now not begin construction
until "at least 1998's first quarter" according to a press release today. "This
is in no way abandonment of the project" according to spokesman Jim Gallagher
concerning the joint project with Planet Hollywood International. The planned
start for the Atlantic City, Planet Hollywood Hotel project has been slipped to
first quarter 2000. The announcement today coincided with ITT's announcement
that the Presidents of Caesars Palace (Peter Boynton) and the
Planet Hollywood Project (William Hornbuckle) would be exchanging positions presently.
Previous Story: The ground breaking for the Planet Hollywood Casino was December 5, 1996 at 10am. Literally thousands packed the Desert Inn parking lot on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Sands Ave at the future casino site next to the Desert Inn to catch a glimpse of their favorite celebrities. Actors Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were on hand for the festivities. New hotel features will include 3,000 rooms, 4 suites designed by and named after the sponsoring celebrities and a completion date of 1999. Be sure to check out our current photos:
The "New Rat Pack"? Willis, Moore, Schwarzenegger, Stallone Bruce Willis flipping for the new Planet Hollywood Casino
and watch for our upcoming feature story on Planet Hollywood Hotel.
**** - UPDATE 1/12/97 - The Motown Cafe in the new New York New York Hotel and Casino held a Grand Opening Sunday, January 12, 1997 beginning at 7pm. Some of the celebrities who showed up to help open the Cafe included: Sinbad, The Four Tops, Mohammed Ali, David Hasselhoff, Boys II Men, George Hamilton, Queen Latifah, Martha Reeves, Paula Abdul and many, many others .
***** - UPDATE 11/24/96 - Even before the plans have left the drawing board,
Planet Hollywood Casino has begun sponsoring public events. More than
30 celebrities, including Sylvester Stallone, Tom Arnold and Richard Dreyfuss,
made an appearance at the Planet Hollywood Casino golf tournament to benefit
the End Hunger charity. The tournament was held Tuesday, Nov 19 at the
Desert Inn Golf Course. The groundbreaking for the new Planet Hollywood
Casino next door to the Desert Inn was originally to be November 20, but
has been postponed and will be a separate event around December 5.
Sylvester Stallone shows off his perfect (golf) form...
Richard Dreyfuss - Daniel & Billy Baldwin - Richard Karn - Wayne Rogers - ------------------ END LOST ARCHIVE ------------------------------------
**** - 9/19/96 UPDATE - Presidential Candidate Bob Dole visited Las Vegas on Thursday, Sept 19. He appeared at the MGM hotel at 9am. Admission was free. Although organizers had planned on turning away anyone over 1500 attendees, the turnout was rather disappointing with barely half that limit. His speech centered on his new "Just Don't Do it" slogan, restoring family values and putting down President Clinton's programs.
***** - 10/7/96 - The Tournament Pro's Course - Summerlin Golf Course
hosted the VH1 Fairway to Heaven event today. The public was invited and
hundreds showed up to watch their favorite rock stars, actors and golf pros
tee off for charity. Famous musicians like Alice Cooper, Vince Gill, Amy Grant,
Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish), Stephen Stills and Graham Nash
were on hand along with actors Alan Thicke, Steve Guttenberg, Robert Wuhl and many
others. Rock groups, Bon Jovi, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Stone Temple Pilots, R.E.M.,
Motley Crue and others were all represented. The event from Las Vegas will
be broadcast on VH1 cable TV, November 16, 1996 at 3:30pm (EST).
Mike Mills (R.E.M.) and Vince Neil (Motley Crue) whoop it up with a couple of Caesars showgirls and an unidentified gopher on the greens.
Alan Thicke leads Richie Sambora and David Bryan of Bon Jovi through a rendition of "The Facts of Life" TV show theme.
Welcome to Our Nightmare - Alice Cooper and Vince Gill don showgirl headpieces to pose on the 14th hole.
**** - 9/21/96 UPDATE - The stars will definitely be out in Las Vegas this weekend.
Besides the much touted Andre Agassi Grand Slam event,
The day started with Andre Agassi, Arnold Schwarzanegger, Brandy Norwood
and others appearing at the kick off of the Inner City Youth Games
starting around noon.
Elton John held a press conference at 2:30pm at Planet Hollywood in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace; the public got a great chance to catch a glimpse. He was there to announce the new line of T-shirts that Planet Hollywood will be sellling worldwide. They feature a hand drawn self portrait of Whoopi Goldberg and part of the proceeds from the sell will go to Elton John's non-profit AIDS Foundation.
Unexpectedly, Arnold and Bruce Willis showed up at Planet Hollywood as well. It was a cocktail party for the volunteers who put in a lot of hard work for the Inner City Youth Games. They taunted the roaring throngs there to see the happenings by tossing Planet Hollywood baseball caps to the crowd chanting their names.
Bruce and Arnold Snacking - - Bruce enjoying the attention
Bruce REALLY enjoying the attention - - Arnold and Bruce... buddies