“BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW” by Jackie Brett
ICONIC TROPICANA RESORT BEING SOLD TO PENN NATIONAL: The Tropicana is being sold to Penn National Gaming that owns and operates the M Resort in Las Vegas. Penn operates 26 casinos and other properties in 16 states and the Canadian province of Ontario. The Tropicana with 1,467 rooms sits on roughly 35 acres on the Strip and originally opened in April 1957 with 300 rooms. The sale is expected to be finalized by the end of the year.
TUCKER UNVEILS LEGO® OBSERVATION WHEEL MODEL AT THE LINQ: One of only a dozen Certified LEGO® Professionals in the world, Adam Reed Tucker completed a six-foot LEGO® moving model of the High Roller observation wheel at the LINQ. Tucker, along with High Roller general manager Eric Eberhart placed the final observation cabins built of LEGO® bricks on the 50-pound structure that has a steel frame and 10,000 standard LEGO® pieces applied with no gluing or cutting. Tucker’s model will be on display in the High Roller Wheel House for guests to view daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.
EXCITEMENT MOUNTS FOR GUMBALL 3000 LAS VEGAS FESTIVAL: The 17th annual Gumball 3000 takes place May 23–30 with more than 100 vehicles participating in a seven-day, transcontinental driving tour from Stockholm to Las Vegas. Drivers represent more than 30 nationalities including Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton, “Baywatch” icon David Hasselhoff, Grammy-winning rapper and actress Eve, DJ and producer The Alchemist, Motley Crüe’s Tommy Lee, international supermodel and actor Tyson Beckford, “The Expendables” action hero Dolph Lundgren, skiing champion Jon Olsson, “Myth Busters’” Tory Belleci, Guess supermodels Simone Holtznagel and Daniele Knudson, rapper Bun B, “Fast ’N’ Loud’s” Richard Rawlings, skateboard legend Tony Hawk and EDM megastar’s deadmau5 and Diplo alongside global heads of industry, Royal families and car enthusiasts.Celebrating the finale of the supercar rally, the two-day festival being held at the MGM Resorts Village will include the May 29 arrival and May 30 car show, along with deadmau5, Diplo, Eve, Bun B, The Alchemist, Cypress Hill’s DJ Muggs and Tony Hawk. Festival day tickets are $40 and a weekend pass $50. Doors open at 3 p.m.
ITSY BITSY: RAMEN AND WHISKY HELD GRAND OPENING DOWNTOWN: Itsy Bitsy: Ramen and Whisky, located Downtown at the base of The Ogden, held a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony. The Japanese tavern offers a trendy setting for dining and drinks, create-your-own ramen bowls, handcrafted cocktails and more. Itsy Bitsy is born from a dynamic partnership between Corner Bar Management Group, the company behind Park on Fremont, Commonwealth, Due & Proper and Whist Stove & Spirits; DJ Five, one of Las Vegas’ top DJs; and Downtown Project.
‘LEGENDS IN CONCERT’ CELEBRATES 32ND ANNIVERSARY: Recently voted Best Tribute Show in the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Best of Las Vegas 2015 poll, “Legends in Concert” at the Flamingo will celebrate its 32-year anniversary on Wednesday, May 6. The current Las Vegas cast includes Jason Jarrett as Michael Jackson, Chris VanDahl as Steven Tyler, Nellie Norris as Katy Perry, Elisa Furr as Celine Dion and tributes to Elvis. Through June 30, anyone with a valid Nevada ID can purchase up to six tickets for $9.95 each, which is based on the original ticket price from the show’s opening in 1983. Also, in celebration of Military Appreciation Month, Legends will honor the nation’s military throughout the month of May by offering the $9.95 show tickets to both active-duty military members and veterans with military ID.
JAPAN KABUKI FESTIVAL COMING TO LAS VEGAS IN 2016: MGM Resorts International, Shochiku, Japan’s premier Kabuki producer and global ambassador, and famed Japanese actor Ichikawa Somegoro will join together May 4 to announce a partnership that will introduce Japan’s traditional entertainment to Las Vegas with the Japan KABUKI Festival debuting the first week of May 2016. In August 2015, they will preview a series of live Kabuki performances integrated with the iconic Fountains of Bellagio. The performances will set the stage for debuting the Japan KABUKI Festival
‘PUPPETRY OF THE PENIS’ IS A FOR REAL SHOW: “Puppetry Of The Penis” is actually an internationally-acclaimed phenomenon that revealed itself at The Jewel Box at 3275 South Industrial Road last month. The non-sexual adult show with full nudity exhibits the ancient Australian art of Genital Origami, featuring an astounding series of penis installations such as “The Pelican,” “The Loch Ness Monster” and their signature creation “The Hamburger.” “Vanity Fair” called it “Dementedly Good Fun!” This surprisingly funny show with a really good opening comedienne is performed Wednesdays through Mondays at 8 p.m. and tickets start at $49.
SAN GENNARO FEAST flavored with entertainment: The 36th Annual San Gennaro Feast will again be seasoned with great complimentary entertainment hosted by Las Vegas entertainment director and performer Tony Sacca. The feast will be held Wednesday-Sunday, May 6-10 at the Grand Canyon Shopping Center, 4245 Grand Canyon Drive, featuring more than 70 restaurant food booths, 60 amusements rides, midway games, arts and crafts booths. Feast opens at 5 p.m. on weekdays and noon on the weekend. Among the long list of elite entertainers, Sacca will be joined by Frank the Singer from “America’s Got Talent,” Shades of Sinatra , Denise Clemente, Mark Giovi, Good Fellas, Nite Kings, Lena Prima, Genevieve, Bella Strings, Good Fellas, Bee Gees Gold, Sam Riddle, MJ Live, and Zowie Bowie.Tickets are $9 for adults and children (children 54 inches and under are free) and $8 for seniors and military at the door. Parking is free.
SPRINGS PRESERVE FLOURISHES WITH MAY EVENTS: The Springs Preserve’s third annual family-friendly Ohana Festival will celebrate Hawaiian and Pacific Islander culture on Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This event will feature food, live music, performances by local hula schools, an outdoor luau with kids’ games, The Thirsty Tiki beer garden/lounge for adults and more. Highlighting this year’s event will be a performance by Ikaika Brown and his father, Kevin, widely regarded as one of Maui’s ambassadors of ki ho’alu (“slack key”) guitar. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 5-12, free for children age 4 and under and purchasing online includes $1 convenience fee. The annual all-you-can-eat Ice Cream Festival will be held at the Springs Amphitheater Saturday, May 23 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This family-friendly event will feature stations serving ice cream sundaes, novelties and root beer floats, entertainment for all ages including airbrush tattoos, a photo booth, a petting zoo, family bingo, and a bubble play station. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children 5-12 and $1 more for online purchasing.Closing out the month on Saturday, May 30 will be the sixth annual Brews & Blues Festival offering up beers from numerous local, regional, domestic and international brewers for sampling. Live music will include John Earl’s Boogieman Band, The Diane Kallay Band, and The Homemade Jamz Blues Band. General admission is $35 and VIP $75.
GOLDEN NUGGET HOLDS 7TH ANNUAL WINE FEST: The 7th annual Wine Fest at the Golden Nugget is scheduled Friday-Sunday, May 15-17. The event will begin with a poolside wine and jazz reception from 8 to 10 p.m. on Friday at the H20 Poolside Bar, include Saturday’s main Pacific Northwest Grand Tasting from 7 to 10 p.m. inside The Grand Event Center, and conclude on Sunday with a champagne and jazz brunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the “Wine Down with the Winemakers” reception from 2 to 5 p.m. at The Hideout Pool. Prices vary for each event.
CRAIG CAMPBELL HEADLINES ANNUAL COUNTRY IN THE PARK FESTIVAL: Rising country music star Craig Campbell will headline the 9th annual Country in the Park outdoor concert and festival along with RaeLynn, a quarte finalist from Season 2 of NBC’s “The Voice” in 2012, and local band Thrillbilly Deluxe. The free event will be Saturday, May 9 from 2 to 8 p.m. at the 80-acre Exploration Park, located at 9700 So. Buffalo Drive in Mountain’s Edge. Country in the Park will also feature a beer garden, food vendors, booths, exhibits and more. Guests can bring blankets, picnic baskets, chairs and well-behaved leashed pets. Campbell released his self-titled debut album “Craig Campbell” in 2011 and will perform from 6-7:30 p.m. RaeLynn released her debut EP titled “Me” in January and will take the stage from 5-5:45 p.m. Thrillbilly Deluxe has the 2 to 4 p.m. time slot.
ITEMS OF INTEREST: Journey kicked off a first-ever nine-show residency at The Joint at Hard Rock April 29–May 16 by having their own Journey Las Vegas Day declared. Show tickets start at $59.50. “America’s Got Talent” winner Michael Grimm will have a headlining residency at the Hard Rock Hotel from June 5-Aug. 30. The PBR Rock Bar & Grill’s outdoor patio on the Strip was recently renovated. The space has been updated with artificial turf and picnic tables, new lighting and comfortable shade screens. “Kickin’ It” is a high energy rhythm based show that has been called a dynamic “Rhytholution!” With special guest vocalist Chadwick Johnson, the show will be held at Ron Decar’s Event Center on Saturday, May 23 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and VIP $35 with a buffet included. BARDOT Brasserie, the new Parisian concept from Chef Michael Mina at ARIA has unveiled Hors d’âge, a champagne-inspired French beer brewed exclusively for the restaurant. Developed in Esquelbecq, France, Hors d’âge is a Flemish Country Ale. Chef Andre Rochat owner of Andre’s Restaurant at Monte Carlo since 1997 and his newer Alize at the Palms since 2001 has collected cookbooks and food-related books for years. Now he has put some 700 of his around 900 books on display arranged by subject in the second-floor Cigar Lounge at his Monte Carlo Restaurant. The collection is being indexed with plans to make it viewable on iPads in the future.The free LV Craft Show with more than 50 vendors will be held at the Silverton’s Veil Pavilion on Sunday, May 24 at 10 a.m. The new Life Time Athletic Green Valley will provide a Cuban flare with a “Hot Havana Nights” themed party from 8 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, May 23. The poolside event will feature a tropical vibe and include catered food, music, Latin dancers and a cash bar. The event will be free for Life Time Athletic members and $20 for non-members. Jeff White Custom Jewelry will highlight fellow designer Julie Romanenko of “Just Jules” at its Tivoli Village showroom. The jewelry maker will host special sneak peeks featuring a variety of diverse designs and a reception on Friday, May 8 from 6-9 p.m. Romanenko will also be on hand Saturday, May 9 for guests to browse her exclusive collections. Sammy’s Restaurant & Bar in Henderson will host a four-course wine pairing dinner as part of Sammy’s Social Club at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19. Cost is $55. Goodwill of Southern Nevada will open its largest store in the nonprofit’s 40-year history in Las Vegas as one of the retail anchors at the newly renovated Boulevard Mall Maryland Parkway. The 28,000-square-foot store will be located in the former site of Dillard’s, and is slated to open late summer 2015. The F.I.O.R.E. club’s May 14 luncheon at the Italian American Club at 11:30 a.m. will feature Navy Lieutenant Commander Art Lindberg, who was a double agent for the FBI. His undercover work during “Operation Lemonade” resulted in the espionage trial of two Soviet agents. Tickets are $25. In honor of Memorial Day Weekend, Tacos & Tequila (T&T) at the Luxor will toast summer with food and drink specials from May 22-25. A specially priced menu will be available from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday and all day on Monday. For example chips and salsa $3, chicken quesadilla $7 and T&T’s signature Chonga, a giant frozen daiquiri served with two upside-down 7-ounce Sol beers flowing directly into the drink $25.
MAY IS NATIONAL MILITARY APPRECIATION MONTH: USO Las Vegas is organizing a month-long effort to create moments for our local military community, to honor National Military Appreciation Month, and to help with “A Million Moments in May” as part of the USO’s national “Every Moment Counts” campaign. A kickoff event will be lighting the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign red, white and blue on Wednesday, May 6 at 4 p.m. Throughout the month, USO Las Vegas will be collecting donations and asking the public to sign “Support our Troops” pinup cards at any of the three Crazy Pita Rotisserie & Grill locations or any of the five Remedy’s, Distill, and Elixir bar/restaurants. USO Las Vegas is also launching a “Thank a Troop” Photo Project and asking all supporters to snap a picture of themselves, sign it, and write a message thanking our local troops for their service. Photos will be posted inside the USO Terminal 1 Airport Lounge at McCarran International Airport. The High Roller at The LINQ is also offering free rides to all active duty military and veterans on Friday, May 8 and again on May 23 through May 25. Contact USO Las Vegas to learn more.
OPPORTUNITY VILLAGE CELEBRATES 60th BIRTHDAY WITH WEEKEND BASH: Opportunity Village is celebrating the culmination of its 60th year with a Blowout Birthday Bash, a special three-day celebration on May 15-17 at Opportunity Village’s Oakey Campus at 6300 West Oakey Blvd. The Magical Forest will be open to the public Friday and Saturday 5:30–10 p.m. and Sunday until 9 p.m. The Magical Forest will transform into a Wizard of Oz-inspired wonderland with several attractions, children’s games, live entertainment, vendors and a special Wizard of Oz-themed cake by local bakeries. Food and beverage will also be available for purchase. Admission is free to children 12 and under and $10 for 13 and older. Anyone who is 60 years old, 60” tall, or celebrating their birthday during the weekend with proof of ID will also receive free admission. For attractions, visitors can purchase a wristband for $12 or individual ride tickets at $3 each.
MARIO BATALI FOUNDATION PRESENTS CELEBRITY GOLF CLASSIC: The Mario Batali Foundation’s (MBF) Swing Session Las Vegas Celebrity Golf Classic returns, hosted by actor and comedian Anthony Anderson and Tiger Woods’ former swing coach and one of the country’s most sought-after golf instructors, Hank Haney. The event includes pre and post parties on Friday and Saturday, June 5 and 6. Event proceeds will benefit MBF, whose mission is to ensure children are well read, well fed and well cared for. On Friday, MBF will kick off the weekend with Burgers in the Bunker, a casual private party from 9 p.m. to midnight at B&B Burger & Beer inside The Venetian featuring music by ShalvoyMusic. On Saturday, the Swing Session Celebrity Golf Classic will be held at Cascata in Boulder City with celebrities and world-class chefs alongside MBF Founder and renowned Chef Mario Batali. Saturday at 8 p.m., guests can take part in the “19th Hole” at Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, inside The Palazzo. Individual tickets for all three events are $3,500. Foursomes are priced at $12,500. A limited number of tickets to Burgers in the Bunker and 19th Hole pre and post event parties are also available to non-golfers for $100 and $250 each, respectively.
MORE UPCOMING FUNDRAISERS AND CHARITY EVENTS: The Nevada Restaurant Association will present its annual Las Vegas Epicurean Affair at the Palazzo pools on May 21 from 6-9 p.m. General admission is $100. Event proceeds support educational and scholarship programs including ProStart, a national high school culinary skill and restaurant management program. In Nevada, more than 2,600 students in 33 schools take part in the program. For 50 years, Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada has been serving free meals to the community. On Thursday, May 7 from 10-11 a.m. at St. Vincent Lied Dining Facility, 1502 North Main Street, the organization will host the 10th annual “Feast of Hope” – a specially-prepared gourmet and no-cost restaurant experience to its clients, in lieu of its daily free meal. More than 100 volunteers are expected to serve close to 1,300 sit-down meals to homeless men, women and children in need. Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth’s (NPHY) “Homeless Youth in the Alley” bowling tournament will be held on Saturday, May 30 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Suncoast Bowling Center. All proceeds will help the homeless youth population in Southern Nevada where more than 9,000 students were enrolled in the Clark County School District in the 2013-2014 school year. Individual tickets are $40, which includes five games of Baker-style bowling, lunch, tournament t-shirt, gift bag, and chance to win great raffle prizes. Teams of five are $200 and encouraged to wear costumes.