“BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW”
By Jackie Brett
LAS VEGAS GAINS SECOND NASCAR CUP SERIES RACE: It’s been years in the making but at last the Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) will hold a second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race beginning in the fall of 2018. In addition the LVMS will become the first facility on the NASCAR schedule to host two annual event weekends with all three national touring series – the Camping World Truck Series, Xfinity Series and Monster Energy Cup Series. Next year, Speedway Motorsports (NYSE: TRK) will realign the September Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races from New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the September NASCAR Xfinity Series race from Kentucky Speedway to create the two triple-header weekends in Las Vegas.
STONEY’S HOSTS COUNTRY MUSIC PARTIES: The 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards™, Country Music’s Party of the Year®, will be broadcast live from T-Mobile Arena on Sunday, April 2 on the CBS Television Network with returning co-hosts Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley. There will be lots of music action at Stoney’s Rockin’ Country at Town Square during ACM week. On Thursday, March 30 there will be the ACM After Party for a Cause at 10 p.m. featuring Alyssa Micaela, Midland, Michael Ray and The Swon Brothers.Friday night, March 31, doors will open at 7 p.m. and the entertainers will be Carter Winter with Brodie Stewart. The big Party for a Cause Tailgate Party will be Saturday, April 1 with doors opening at 11 a.m. at the festival grounds. There will be 15 bands, two stages, an outdoor dance floor and BBQ. Acts will include: William Michael Morgan, Dylan Scott, Chase Bryant, Aaron Watson, Runaway June, Russell Dickerson, Love and Theft, Emerson Drive, American Young, Tony Jackson, and more. Ticket range is $25-$85.That night will be a 7 p.m. party with the Kinkead Entertainment Agency. The official ACM party will highlight Lucas Hoge, Stephanie Quayle, and Trick Pony.
FREMONT STREET EXPERIENCE HOSTS ANNUAL DOWNTOWN HOOPSTOWN: The Fremont Street Experience is hosting the 8th Annual Downtown Hoopstown and been transformed into a college basketball destination through April 3. Four blocks underneath the Viva Vision canopy are lined with college banners and flags, while special activities happen nightly including the stage production show “Hardwood Hotties” featuring “American Idol” Season 6 Finalist Haley Scarnato, the world’s largest NCAA bracket, and a special basketball-themed show displayed on the 1,500-foot Viva Vision canopy. Also visitors can test their shooting skills at the interactive High Hoops Zone.
NEW PLAZA EVENT CENTER OPENS WITH MARCH MANIA VIEWING PARTY: The Plaza downtown has a new 5,000-square-foot multi-purpose space adjacent to the casino floor, which will celebrate an official grand opening with a March Mania Viewing Party Thursday-Sunday, March 16-19. Admission is $15 for a One-Day Pass or $40 for a Four-Day Pass, which includes a commemorative shirt and one complimentary drink and food item per day. The new Plaza Event Center can accommodate approximately 200 guests in a variety of flexible seating options. With two stages, the space can also host live entertainment for audiences of up to 300 people. This venue complements the existing 30,000 square feet of ballroom and meeting space.
AXE MONKEYS IS OPEN: It seems every activity imaginable is in Las Vegas so Axe Monkeys should fit in just fine. While axe throwing as a recreational activity has become popular in Canada, Japan and other countries the past several years, why shouldn’t folks in America enjoy the sport? Las Vegas’ first and only axe throwing facility is located at 3525 E. Post Rd., Suite #110. The new facility has 23 indoor axe throwing lanes, where customers can practice or learn from trainers to throw at a thick disc of wood. The lanes are separated by chain link fences as is the spectators’ area. The throwing task may sound easy but it’s not. The goal is to make the axe weighting about 1 ½ pounds rotate once and sink itself cleanly in the target about15 feet away. More experienced throwers can choose from a supply of knives, throwing stars, tactical tomahawks, shogun axes and other throwing implements in stock. Hours are daily 10 a.m.-2 a.m. One-hour rates are $25 for adults and $20 for ages 17 and younger; two-hour rates are $40 for adults, $25 for children ages 7 to 12 and $32 for youths 13-17. Everyone participating signs a waiver. Axe Monkeys will host leagues and parties.
ZIA RECORDS AND DOGFISH HEAD BREWERY HOST CHARITY DINNER: Zia Records and Dogfish Head Brewery are partnering for a special charity dinner at Brooklyn Bowl on Thursday, April 6 at 6 p.m. to benefit Adopt a Rescue Pet and A Home 4 Spot. The vinyl record-centric event will have food, music, bowling, a silent auction, and a beer tasting provided by Dogfish Head Brewery. Tickets are $33.30 at Zia Records’ two Las Vegas locations or online and at Brooklyn Bowl. Record Store Day on Saturday, April 2 nationally recognizes independent record stores like Zia Records by making hundreds of exclusive releases available. Launched in 2008, Zia Records was a charter store in the Record Store Day campaign. This year, more than 300 limited-edition titles will be available at Zia Records in Phoenix, Tucson and Las Vegas.
VEGAS INDOOR SKYDIVING PLANS SECOND TUNNEL JAM INVITATIONAL:Vegas Indoor Skydiving, the United States’ first indoor skydiving facility, is continuing its 35th anniversary celebration with the second Tunnel Jam flight competition on Saturday, March 25. The most talented bodyflyers will compete starting at 5 p.m. for the chance to win more than $6,000 in cash prizes and the title of “Tunnel Jam Champ.” The day-long festivities begin at noon with live music, food, raffle prizes and the chance to purchase anniversary flight specials for $35. Entry to the 2017 Tunnel Jam Invitational is free. To receive a raffle ticket, guests are asked to donate one bag of non-perishable food (at least two cans) at the door for the Three Square Food Bank. All guests are invited to view the competition, one-of-a-kind body flight demonstrations and the award reception.
KIRK WHALUM PERFORM ONE NIGHT AT THE FOUNDRY IN SLS: Twelve-time Grammy Award winner jazz saxophonist and songwriter, Kirk Whalum, will take the stage on Saturday, May 13 at The Foundry in SLS Las Vegas®. Tickets start at $39.50. Whalum began his career in Memphis playing in his father’s church choir before taking the stage at local clubs in 1979 and signing with Columbia records in 1985. He has since collaborated with famous vocalists including Barbra Streisand and Al Green, and performed on Whitney Houston’s most iconic single, “I Will Always Love You.” His next album, “Love Covers,” will be released Tuesday, April 11.
B&B RISTORANTE, OTTO ENOTECA E PIZZERIA HONOR 10TH ANNIVERSARIES: Celebrity chef Mario Batali will celebrate the 10th anniversaries of his B&B Ristorante and OTTO Enoteca e Pizzeria, both located at The Venetian on Friday, April 14. The evening will begin a 6 p.m. reception with hors d’oeuvres, Procecco and spirits served on the patio at OTTO’s in the heart of St. Mark’s Square inside the Grand Canal Shoppes. The festivities will move to B&B Ristorante for a four-course dinner at 7:30 p.m. The evening’s options are: OTTO reception only $50; B&B Ristorante dinner only $150; reception and dinner $175.
CHEF LAGASSE HOLDS DINNER SERIES ‘TOUR DE EMERIL’: Together Chef Emeril Lagasse’s Las Vegas chefs are creating a collaborative four-night dinner series called “Tour de Emeril.” The Friday-evening series celebrates the talents of Chef Lagasse’s four Las Vegas restaurants. At each one-time-only dinner, Chefs Ronnie Rainwater -Delmonico Steakhouse, Jean Paul Labadie – Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House, Scott Pajak -Lagasse’s Stadium, and James Richards -Table 10 will collaborate on a menu. The dates and locations for the series are: March 31- Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House; June 23 – Lagasse’s Stadium; Sept. 8 – Delmonico Steakhouse; and Dec. 8 – Table 10. The inaugural dinner starts with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. and four-course plus dessert springtime-themed dinner at 7 p.m. All-inclusive tickets are $90 and $150 with Huneeus wine pairings, call 702-891-7374.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM WILL BECOME PLEISTOCENE CRIME SCENE: The Las Vegas Natural History Museum will transform into a Pleistocene crime scene solving the murder of a Columbian mammoth from the Ice Age era on Saturday, March 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring hands–on, family-friendly activities. Visitors will become detectives investigating the Ice Age crime scene, analyzing evidence, eliminating suspects and uncovering the culprit. A crime scene will be located in the International Wildlife Gallery complete with tape outlines, footprints, police line tape and other essential crime scene paraphernalia. The investigation will move through four stations throughout the museum. Museum admission is $10 for adults; $8 for students, seniors ages 55+, and military; and $5 for children ages 3-11.
PLAZA’S BINGO COMES WITH A BONUS: Downtown’s only bingo room at the Plaza is now offering the only Super Spin Bingo promotion in Las Vegas through April. The computerized Super Spin Bingo game is on a five-feet high by 10-foot long high definition screen and offers bingo players more ways to win. Every player in each bingo session receives one raffle ticket when they buy in for a session. During the session a ticket is drawn and a winner gets to spin the Promotion Wheel to win a prize.
SHOWBIZ BLOCKBUSTERS: Tickets for pop juggernauts Backstreet Boys at The Axis at Planet Hollywood are in such demand that additional seats have been added to Friday performances in March, as well as Friday and Saturday shows in June and July. Country music superstars Reba McEntire, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn are now the longest running country music residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The trio has performed their show “Reba, Brooks & Dunn: Together in Vegas” 45 times and will return on June 21, 24, 25, 27, July 1 and 2, Nov. 29, and Dec. 1, 2, 5, 8 and 9. Tickets start at $59.50. Legendary soul pop group Kool & The Gang will perform at Tropicana Theater on Saturday, April 15 at 7 p.m. Best known for their No. 1 hit “Celebration,” the American funk and rhythm and blues band celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2015. Tickets are $49 to $99. Steely Dan – “Reelin’ in the Chips” will have Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Donald Fagen and Walter Becker appearing at The Opaline Theater for a nine-show limited engagement in April at The Venetian. First show is April 12 at 8 p.m. The Golden Nugget has American rock guitarist, saxophonist and singer-songwriter, Eddie Money headlining on March 17, and singer Taylor Dayne on March 24. American pop singer, pianist, composer and record producer Neil Sedaka will bring his multitude of hit tunes such as “Oh! Carol,” “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do,” and “Calendar Girl,” to the Orleans Showroom March 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $69.95.
PAT’S DAY CELEBRATIONS: Everywhere you turn on Friday, March 17 there will be St. Patrick’s Day celebrations even at non-traditional restaurants. For example, known for serving tea, the new Asian-themed Lucky Dragon will have $3 Guinness throughout the property. Flour & Barley – Brick Oven Pizza at The Linq will have the “Luck of the Irish” Pizza with pesto cream sauce, corned beef, Brussels sprouts, sausage and potatoes. Hispanic-themed Cabo Wabo Cantina inside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood will hold a St. Patrick’s Day patio party with signature margaritas receiving a green makeover. Chayo Mexican Kitchen at The Linq will serve St. Paddy’s Burrito. Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant in Downtown Summerlin will go green with a lucky Chile Verde plate and a green margarita, “Luck of the Pancho.” The three Juice Standards in the valley are offering folks to detox before they retox with the signature green juice Bee WHealthy™ and the juicery’s original Dirty Martian cold-pressed martini. The party scene will happen in numerous locations. The Fremont Street Experience downtown will have the Las Vegas Firefighters Benefit Association Annual St. Patrick’s Day March at noon, multiple Irish rock bands performing on three stages, and strolling costumed entertainers. O’Sheas BLOQ Party celebration will begin at noon with a parade along The LINQ Promenade and continue until 10 p.m.CRUSH at MGM Grand will hold its third annual St. Patrick’s Day bash hosted by bartender and self-proclaimed ‘funologist’ John O’Donnell beginning at 5 p.m. The Celtic Feis celebration will be held at New York-New York March 17 and 18 beginning on Friday on the Mezzanine with a Las Vegas Pipe Band Parade at 10 a.m. If you survive imbibing on St. Patrick’s Day, the Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam St. Patrick’s Day Half Marathon, 12K, 5K, 1 Mile will take place Saturday, March 18 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Historic Railroad Trail in Boulder City. This event has great views of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
DINING HIGHLIGHTS: The Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group (B&BHG) in Las Vegas is launching its first guest chef dinner series beginning Friday, April 1 at 7 p.m. at Carnevino Italian Steakhouse at The Palazzo. B&BHG will host dinners throughout the year, selecting chefs who have relationships not only with the Las Vegas chefs but also with Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. Cost is $150. Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar will hold its next Taste & Learn dinner on Saturday, March 25 from 5-6 p.m. Chef Francesco DiCaudo has prepared a menu to accompany this month’s wines from the historic E. Pira & Figli winery in Barolo, Italy. Tickets are $65.Through April 15, BRIO Tuscan Grille at Town Square and Tivoli Village locations has added three distinct dishes to its lunch and dinner menu. The ristorante is bringing back two guest favorites including the hearty Lobster & Shrimp Ravioli and classic Braided Beef Pappardelle and introducing a new fish n’ chips platter perfect for adhering to lent. TREVI Italian Restaurant at The Forum Shops inside Caesars Palace will celebrate National Ravioli Day by featuring Chef Jose Navarro’s signature short-rib ravioli for $24 on Monday, March 20.
HAPPENING NEWS: The Smith Center for the Performing Arts celebrated its fifth anniversary last week with a commemorative concert featuring Broadway and local talents. During the show an announcement was made that the Cabaret Jazz venue at the center will be renamed in honor of The Smith Center’s president and CEO, Myron Martin. Scientific Games secured the James Bond licensing deal and plans to showcase the first James Bond-themed slot games at the Global Gaming Expo Oct. 3-5 in Las Vegas. Aids for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN) and House of Blues inside Mandalay Bay will host a charity rock concert on Wednesday, March 29 at 7 p.m. with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Aid for AIDS of Nevada. The show will be a faceoff between internationally renowned tribute bands, Abbey Road and Jumping Jack Flash. “Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Concert” features six alternating power sets. General admission tickets are $12 online. The 5th Annual Sneaker Ball benefitting the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada will be held at the M Resort on April 1 at 5 p.m. Tickets are $250.