BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
contributed by Jackie Brett
MGM GRAND REMODELS NEWLY NAMED STUDIO TOWER ROOMS: MGM Grand has launched the room remodel of its Studio Tower, formerly known as West Wing, reflecting a retro desert feel with mid-century modern design and décor aesthetic. Completion of all guest rooms is scheduled for December 2022 with the first collection of rooms available for guest stays in late October 2022. When completed this winter, the 700 new rooms will feature rounded window seats, enlarged headboards, globe sconces and carefully chosen artwork accentuating the sculptural furnishings. Drawing inspiration from the mid-century design style of Palm Springs, a desert palette of fresh pinks and chartreuse greens with clean lines and soft shapes is being incorporated. Each guest bathroom will feature stylish, space-saving barn doors, illuminated vanity, marble shower floors and all new chrome fixtures. All rooms will incorporate modern conveniences such as a built-in recessed mini-bar, 55-inch flat-screen TV, open closet, readily available USB power outlets and additional shelving. The new Studio Tower experience begins once guests enter the space with renovated lobby and elevator areas decorated with neon signs and curvy sofas along with corridors featuring dimensional wall coverings and ombre carpet.
FREAKLING BROS. HORROR SHOWS RETURN FOR 30TH SEASON: Freakling Bros. Horror Shows is back for its 30th horrifying year. Rated the scariest haunt in the country by “USA Today,” Freakling Bros. Horror Shows offers a hellishly curated festival of nightmares with three expertly crafted haunts in one location, including Nevada’s first and only R-rated attraction, Gates of Hell, the experimental COVEN of 13 and the classic Castle Vampyre, which was scheduled to be retired in 2021, but stays on as a fan favorite. JUDGEMENT – You’re Guilty, Death is Coming, a haunting new room inside COVEN of 13, is also set to make its debut for the 2022 Halloween season. Freakling Bros. Horror Shows return Saturday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. in the IKEA parking lot at 6555 S. Riley St. in Southwest Las Vegas. Dates of operation will be Oct. 1–2, 6–9 and 13–31. The box office will operate7 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, until midnight Oct. 22-30, and on Halloween until revelers stop coming. General admission is $50 Sunday–Thursday and $60 on Fridays and Saturdays. Admission includes access to three haunts, a trip to the resident Fortune Teller, nightly food trucks and up-close-and-personal performances by the Freakling scare characters.
THE NEON MUSEUM REILLUMINATES HISTORIC PLAZA SIGN: The Neon Museum has reilluminated the historic Plaza Hotel & Casino sign and debuted it to the public as a permanent addition to the Museum’s collection in its Neon Boneyard. Hartlauer Signs refurbished the 1,500-pound sign which measures 9 ft. high by 18 ft. long. The project, which took a total of more than 100 hours, included repairing damaged sheet metal to return the sign to its original shape and repainting the nearly 40-year-old sign. Hartlauer also replaced 576 light bulbs and installed 14 new border neon units around the Plaza letters. When the Plaza built its South Tower in 1983, Ad-Art and Charles Barnard, the mastermind behind the design of classic Las Vegas signs like Vegas Vickie, Sassy Sally’s, and The Mirage, was contracted to create the signs for the property at 1 Main Street. The Plaza still has the Barnard designed signs on its building. The one donated to The Neon Museum was located on the Main Street façade of the Plaza in between its two towers until 2011 when the Plaza underwent a property-wide renovation. Berger noted that the Plaza sign is the 22nd sign to be refurbished and reilluminated in the Museum’s Neon Boneyard. The last sign reilluminated was the Moulin Rouge in September 2020.
PRODUCER DICK FEENEY’S CASTS FROM THREE SHOWS VISIT RICH LITTLE: Audiences never know who they may run into when they’re seeing shows in Las Vegas. Last weekend, casts from three shows produced by Dick Feeney, who after 40 years has produced more than 37,000 performances of shows in Las Vegas, attended fellow headliner Rich Little’s live one-man autobiographical show at the Laugh Factory Comedy Club in the Tropicana, where he performs Thursday-Sunday at 6:30 p.m. The visiting casts were from “MJ Live: Michael Jackson Tribute Concert” in the showroom at the Tropicana Wednesday-Monday at 5:30 p.m. and two shows at Tuscany Suites & Casino. Feeney’s newer show with showman Rick Michel is “Jew Man Group” with shows at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday in the Copa Room and “The Rat Pack is Back,” now in its 23rd year running, has the 7:30 p.m. time slot nightly except Sunday. Everyone stayed for a group photo afterwards.
THE AXE CAPITAL OPENS AT PKWY TAVERN MARKS: The Axe Capital has opened at PKWY Tavern Marks, a 24-hour bar, food and gaming venue, in Henderson. Using cutting-edge digital projection technology and scoring software, the axe throwing experience has evolved an age-old past time into a modern-day game experience. Up to four people per lane may participate in each session with a scoring system like a bowling alley. The Axe Capital’s software-controlled target projection allows game to be rotated constantly for new challenges. The attraction is perfect for all ages and skill level. Each session begins with a safety briefing teaching all the basics. Sessions may be reserved online in 30-minute increments for $25 per person. Bookings after 7 p.m. are reserved for guests 18 and over. Operating hours are Monday–Thursday 5–10p.m., Fridays 6–midnight, Saturdays noon–midnight, and Sundays noon–10 p.m. The Axe Capital is the creation of Steve Falcon, a Las Vegas stage performer and business owner. Falcon has experience in the recreational axe throwing space after growing revenues for the largest indoor axe throwing facility in the U.S. over the last several years. This location adds an arcade style twist to axe throwing.
MARLENE RICCI HEADLINES ITALIAN AMERICAN CLUB: Sinatra protégé, Marlene Ricci will headline the showroom at the Italian American Club on Thursday, Oct. 6 for an exclusive one-night performance. Tickets are $65, call Janine at 702-457-3866. Buffet dinner is at 6:30 following by the show at 8 p.m. Ricci, who was the star of “Cinderella at the Palace,” a two-and-a-half-hour CBS special created at Caesars Palace, is a native of Buffalo, N.Y. She began her singing career at 6 years of age. She made her way to Las Vegas, via engagements in Reno and Lake Tahoe where Jilly Rizzo first saw her on stage. He was so impressed he arranged for her to sign a deal with the former Aladdin Hotel. Frank Sinatra discovered Ricci when she was performing in the mini showroom at the Aladdin. With a few friends, Danny Thomas, Angie Dickenson, Pat Henry, and his right-hand-man Rizzo he caught her opening song. Following her performance, Sinatra invited her to be his opening act when he toured. The final stop on the tour was back at Caesars Palace, where she became a television star. Ricci went on to sign a multiple week contract at the “Top of the Dunes,” and became an opening act for such headliners as Flip Wilson, Don Rickles, Alan King, The Village People, George Burns, and Bob Hope. During a tour of Europe, she recorded an album with a song titled “Tonight,” which made the charts. Ricci was a featured guest star in “The Great Radio City Spectacular” at the Flamingo. After three years of headlining in the Le Bistro Theater at the Riviera, the singing sensation crisscrossed the country performing for corporate clients and private specials.
HOGS & HEIFERS SALOON CELEBRATES 30 YEARS: Hogs & Heifers Saloon started 30 years ago in the Meat Packing District of New York City and followed with a second location in Downtown Las Vegas 17 years ago. Hogs & Heifers Saloon doesn’t serve food, wine, frozen drinks, or garnishments and has no gaming, but when you walk through those front doors you are in a whole other world. Sexy bartenders welcome visitors with sassy sarcasm and the boot stomping bar top dance they are famous for. Musically, every single song that is on the Hogs & Heifers juke box is made up of selections hand-picked by Dell and her staff. Hogs & Heifers, the original anchor tenant across from the then Lady Luck, was sought out by the City of Las Vegas in 2003 and became the first business to sign on to the Downtown revitalization project. To celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the Hogs & Heifers brand, they are throwing a three-day long “Dirty 30 on 3rd” Block Party Downtown, Sept. 29–Oct. 1 and closing 3rd Street. Patrons will have the opportunity to mosey up to the refurbished original New York City bar top outside. Memorabilia will be displayed throughout the bar and along Downtown 3rd. There will be two Motorcycle Shows. Friday will feature Ricky Bongo’s Wild Vegas Party Chopper Show and Saturday the All-Female “Sick Chicks, No Dipsticks Bike Show” sponsored by Las Vegas Harley-Davidson. Outdoor vendors including a cigar lounge, tattoo artist, merchandise from Hogs & Heifers, Big Belly Crew and local favorite Livin’ Dirty, and others will be open to the public 3 p.m.–midnight daily. Saturday, Oct. 1, visitors can enjoy the added experience of live music outdoors featuring three local bands Rhyolite Sound, Deevus and The Anti Social Society.
‘WINDBORNE: CALL OF THE CANADIAN ROCKIES’ IS FLYOVER’S NEW RIDE: FlyOver, the Strip’s flight ride attraction next to Hard Rock Cafe, will celebrate its first anniversary in Las Vegas with the launch of an epic flight ride experience, “Windborne: Call of the Canadian Rockies,” debuting Sept. 26. The new film features incredible footage captured in remote areas of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, spotlighting areas unreachable to most, providing a rare glimpse into the most isolated and untouched areas of the mountain range. Ride participants will fly over Canada’s snow-capped peaks, turquoise lakes, picturesque valleys and dramatic vistas as they travel over Banff, Jasper and Yoho National Parks amongst other spectacular locales.
‘IMMERSIVE VAN GOGH’ CELEBRATES ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY: “Immersive Van Gogh Las Vegas,” the critically acclaimed art installation celebrated its one-year anniversary at Lighthouse ArtSpace Las Vegas at The Shops at Crystals on Level 3 on Thursday, Sept. 15 with a custom-designed cake created by Showboy Bakeshop surrounded by management, staff and executives to mark the occasion. “Immersive Van Gogh” has been extended through January 2023. Tickets online range in price from $59.99 to $99.99 at vangoghvegas.com. Beginning Nov. 19, the space will also feature “The Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter’s Tale,” just in time for the holiday season. Tickets are at immersive-nutcracker.com. Lighthouse Immersive and Foster Entertainment, the catalysts of the mesmerizing digital art space, debuted their worldwide sensation, “Immersive Van Gogh,” in the heart of Las Vegas for the first time in September 2021. The visually striking exhibition encourages guests to experience the awe-inspiring works of post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh through 500,000 cubic feet of immersive projections, 60,600 frames of video and 90-million pixels. Since its North American premiere in July 2020, more than 5 million tickets have been sold, making “Immersive Van Gogh” one of the most popular attractions currently in North America.
SAHARA ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE TEAM AT BALLA ITALIAN SOUL: Sahara Las Vegas has announced the executive team joining Balla Italian Soul, the newest restaurant by James Beard Award-Winning Chef Shawn McClain opening Saturday, Oct. 8. The eatery will celebrate the ingredient-driven flavors of the Italian coast. The energetic new restaurant launches this Fall with bold flavors, bright colors and a relaxed Mediterranean vibe. David Grates is general manager with more than 10 years of experience in restaurant management. He formerly worked at CHICA Las Vegas inside The Venetian Resort. Dani J. Cachu is assistant general manager and previously served as food and beverage operations manager for the Sahara. Executive Chef Michael Vargas has more than 18 years of experience in operations for upscale restaurants and hotels. He worked with T-Bones Chophouse inside Red Rock Resort as well as Sadelle’s inside the Bellagio and other dining establishments. Sous Chefs are Pedro Becerra-Carrizales Jr. and Jamie Gonzales.
GREEN VALLEY RANCH KICKS OFF OUTDOOR POP-UP LOUNGE: Green Valley Ranch is embracing the new season with the launch of their outdoor lounge, “Fall at the Terrace.” Guests are welcomed to embrace the fall season on the resort’s Backyard patio and vineyard in a picturesque atmosphere every Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight. Reservations are available at 702-617-7744 with a food and beverage minimum starting at $100 and may be reserved in two-hour blocks.The menu has cocktail offerings starting at $14 with drinks like B’autumns Up Cocktail Trio with Spiced Berry Sangria, Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice, and Little Coconut. California Dreaming and World Traveler wine flight offerings are $38. Menu selections range from Smoked Cherry Verrin at $11 to Tuna Poke at $22, and Chocolate Fondue $13. Throughout the season, “Fall at the Terrace” will host three Friday special sampling events from 6 to 10 p.m. celebrating Oktoberfest and German beer on Sept. 30, National Mezcal Day on Oct. 21, and Singles Day Champagne Hour on Nov. 11. Guests can also expect to enjoy live entertainment with featured guests during these special tastings.
NEON MUSEUM CELEBRATES HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH: In addition to its regular Spanish language tours offered every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening, The Neon Museum is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, with the addition of special Gallery Talks during general admission hours in the afternoon daily. These 15-minute talks highlight the history behind specific signs and properties relevant to the Hispanic community, including The Flamingo, El Cortez, and La Concha.The Gallery Talk concludes with mention of Paul’s Sign Company, a neon sign company owned and operated by Mexican Americans. Founded in 1985 in California by Juan Macias and his wife, Ina, a neon bender. The company relocated to Las Vegas in 2007. It is still family owned and now operated by Paul, their oldest son and the company’s namesake. Paul became a neon bender at the age of 12.
‘WEEKEND WARM UP’ YOGA RETURNS TO GREEN VALLEY RANCH: Green Valley Ranch has welcomed back their complimentary Weekend Warm Up yoga classes in the Backyard in front of The Pond every weekend now through Saturday, Oct. 29. Classes taught by instructor Enam Lehmax from the Green Valley Ranch Spa are designed to promote relaxation through deep breathing and mindfulness. Saturday morning 50-minute classes begin at 9 a.m. Guests are encouraged to arrive 15-minutes early and bring their own yoga mat. All classes are complimentary, and attendees are welcome to enjoy beverage activations from Kevita as well as a free day pass for the Green Valley Ranch Pool following each session.
MOB MUSEUM HONORED WITH FBI DIRECTOR’S AWARD: Annually since 1990, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) 56 field offices have nominated individuals or organizations in local communities making a difference and exemplifying leadership combating crime, terrorism, drugs and violence in America. This year, the FBI Las Vegas Field Office selected The Mob Museum for the 2021 Director’s Community Leadership Award. On hand to accept the award were Museum President and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Ullman, Board of Directors Chair Steve Martinez and former City of Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who was the primary visionary behind The Mob Museum along with special agent Spencer Evans. Over the last 10 years, the Museum has hosted a number of public events and programs to extend its mission of advancing the public understanding of organized crime’s history and impact on American society. These Museum programs have discussed high-profile cases spanning murders, cybercrime, bombings, kidnappings and political corruption.
108 EATS ACKNOWLEDGES NATIONAL COFFEE DAY: On National Coffee Day, Thursday, Sept. 29, 108 Eats at The STRAT will offer a featured coffee-inspired sundae. A white coffee chocolate chunk brownie sundae will be available on that day with white coffee chocolate chunk ice cream and a brownie, topped with warm chocolate sauce and a dollop of whipped cream, priced at $6.