“BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW” by Jackie Brett
MAVERICK HELICOPTERS UNVEILS NEW $5 MILLION TERMINAL: After breaking ground a year ago, Maverick Helicopters opens its new $5 million Las Vegas terminal on Nov. 30.The new terminal has a total of 6,000 square feet featuring: floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking McCarran International Airport’s runways; a private room for VIPS and group events; a café, a signature registration desk double the size at the previous terminal; a separate photo and video desk for purchasing images from flights; a large courtyard for events; gallery photos courtesy of Peter Lik; and a greatly expanded gift shop with branded items, handmade Native American artifacts and more.
BEER PARK BY BUDWEISER WILL BE ROOFTOP BAR AND GRILL AT PARIS: Starting in early January, visitors will be introduced to the new Beer Park by Budweiser at Paris, the city’s first rooftop bar and grill. Located on a 10,000-square-foot deck overlooking the Strip, Beer Park will feature an outdoor grill, picnic tables, bar games, and more than 100 draft, can and bottle beer selections, including 36 beers on tap. For watching sporting events, towers on each side of the bar will house dozens of high-definition televisions. Beer Park will be open daily from lunch through late night.
CAESARS PALACE DEBUTS THE FIRST PUBLIC LOUIS XIII TIERÇON: For a limited time, Caesars Palace is hosting the first public Louis XIII tierçon on display at the heart of the resort until Dec. 15. The specific tierçon is more than a century old, traditionally reused by multiple generations of cellar masters of the House of Remy Martin in the process of making Louis XIII. The cask is made of Limousin oak. The Louis XIII “Perfect Pour” is offered at Apostrophe Bar, Lobby Bar and VISTA Cocktail Lounge starting with a .5 ounce pour into Riedel Crystal glassware for $110.
TARRALYN RAMSEY BRINGS HOLIDAY SPIRIT TO TOMMY WIND THEATER: Tarralyn Ramsey, who in 2009 was the first contestant on “The Voice,” will bring her powerful voice to the Strip with the début of her holiday musical show “Christmas Spectacular.” Her family-friendly show is a blend of singing, dancers, live music and fun. The show will run Dec. 8-30 at 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Tickets are $39 and $49.
THERE’S NEVER ENDING TOP ENTERTAINMENT DURING NFR: The 29th Annual Downtown Hoedown on Dec. 2 will kick start NFR’s Fremont Street Experience continuing a long tradition of smash-hit headliners. This year’s lineup will feature performances from country superstars Montgomery Gentry, Tracy Lawrence, Chris Janson, Chase Bryant, JT Hodges and Jackson Michelson on Fremont Street Experience’s three stages, all free to the public. The Golden Nugget has outdone itself with its entertainment headliners being hosted in The Grand Event Center at 10 p.m. The lineup includes: Tanya Tucker Dec. 3; Big & Rich Dec. 4; Trace Adkins Dec. 5; Terri Clark Dec. 6; Merle Haggard Dec. 7 and 8; LeAnn Rimes Dec. 9; Alabama Dec. 10-11; As part of his Here Comes The Truth tour, comedian, actor and writer Rodney Carrington will perform at the David Copperfield Theater in the MGM Grand Dec. 3–12 at 10 p.m. The Crown Royal Gold Buckle Zone for rodeo fans is in a new location in the MGM Grand Conference Center. Admission is complimentary with the following lineup: Clay Walker Dec.3; Scotty McCreery Dec. 4; Gloriana Dec. 5 and 7; Blackberry Smoke Dec. 6 and 8; The Davisson Brothers Dec. 9; Craig Wayne Boyd Dec. 10 and 11; and Craig Morgan Dec. 12. In Town Square Stoney’s Rockin’ Country club’s acts include: Neal McCoy Dec. 4; Carter Winter Dec. 5; The Swon Brothers Dec. 11; and Brodie Steward Dec. 12 and 18. The music group Little Big Town will hit the stage at The Joint at the Hard Rock with special guest Ashley Monroe on Friday, Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. followed the next week by Gary Allan with special guests Clare Dunn and Tara Thompson on Dec. 11 and Dec. 12 at 9:30 p.m.
THE RODEO IS BACK IN TOWN AT SOUTH POINT: At the South Point, the Benny Binion’s Bucking Horse and Bull Sale will be held Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 3-5. The PRCA will present the “Permit Holder of the Year Challenge” Thursday, Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. The top five PRCA Permit Holders will compete in a two-round showdown performance for the $21,000 grand prize. Tickets for both are $12. On Friday, Dec. 4, South Point will host the World Bronc Futurity Finale featuring many of the top 50 Saddle Bronc competitors in the world.
SHOPPING DURING NFR: New this year to the MGM Grand’s National Finals Rodeo activities is the Boot Barn Christmas Corral featuring more than 60 of the most popular rodeo brands located inside the Marquee Ballroom Dec. 3–12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. South Point is hosting a Western Gift Show Dec. 3–13 with more than 100 vendors spanning more than 65,000 square feet across the South Point Arena Concourse and Exhibit Hall. This event is free and open to the public.The 2015 Tuff Fest Shopping Experience will take over the Vanity Nightclub space at the Hard Rock Dec. 3–12 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Attendees can shop some of the leading brands in the western industry including Cowgirl Tuff Company and B. Tuff Jeans. Tuff Fest will also offer autograph signings by Tuff team members and some free clinics with top rodeo competitors on Dec. 4 and 6 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Dec. 7 and 11 at 10 a.m. The Cowboy Christmas show is in the South Halls at the Las Vegas Convention Center Dec. 3–12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free and it’s open to the public. There will be more than 400,000 square feet of show floor hosting 400 plus vendors. Also at the Convention Center, The Western Gift Show is in the South Point Exhibit Hall and Boot Barn Concourse running Dec. 3-12 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and free.The Cowboy Marketplace Gift Show is at Mandalay Bay from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Dec. 3-12 and it’s free. The Country Christmas Show is at the Venetian – Sand Expo Dec. 3–13 from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and also free.
NFR INLCUDES 4TH ANNUAL DOWNTOWN THROWDOWN: The Fremont Street Experience in conjunction with the Nevada Barbecue Association will host the 4th Annual Downtown Throwdown Barbecue Championships in downtown on Dec. 11 and 12. The sanctioned competition will feature a Chili Cook-Off on Friday, Dec. 11 at 4 p.m. and Barbecue Cook-Off on Saturday, Dec. 12 beginning at noon. The public is invited to enjoy samples of chili, ribs, chicken, brisket and pork during the two-day event as guests will be able to purchase the food.
DOWNTOWN LAS VEGAS EVENTS CENTER IS NFR HOT SPOT: The Downtown Las Vegas Events Center (DLVEC) venue with free admittance will host nightly meet-and-greet signings with rodeo stars, the Wright Family Bronc Riders Dec. 3–12. Live-action viewing parties from 6-9 p.m. will be nightly offering food and beverage options, nightly entertainment and a complimentary shot of Crown Royal under a 20,000 square-foot heated tent. The Royal Riders meet-and-greet will be Sunday, Dec. 6 from 4-5 p.m.
DOWNTOWN SLOTZILLA™ HELPS LOCAL CHARITIES: Fremont Street Experience will host Opportunity Village’s 11th Annual Great Santa Run on Saturday, Dec. 5. After the event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., all those who fly on SlotZilla – $40 for the Zoomline and $20 for the Zipline – will have the full ticket price go to benefit Opportunity Village. On Nov. 7 the charity that benefitted from a SlotZilla Charity Challenge day of
flights was the American Heart Association in honor of the 2015 Heart & Stroke Walk and Run and raised a new record setting amount of money of $19,960.
COSMOPOLITAN’S OUTDOOR ICE RINK IS OPEN AND ACTIVE: The Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan overlooking the Strip opened last week with an event benefitting Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation and the Las Vegas Chapter of The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Olympic gold medalist Hamilton hosted and was joined by world and U.S. figure skating champions Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner.The Ice Rink is open through Jan. 3 an operating Monday–Friday from 3 p.m. to midnight and Saturday–Sunday from noon to midnight with special hours from noon to midnight Dec. 19–Jan. 3. All day skating access is $15. Visitors can bring their own skates or can rent a pair for $5. Admission to the surrounding winter atmosphere is free. A light snowfall happens every 30 minutes between 6 and 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday through December. Guests can enjoy cocktails and wintery snacks including the popular fireside s’mores kit.
HERE AND THERE NEWS: Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico Steakhouse in The Venetian will again host their Nose to Tail Hog Dinner special evening of pork and whiskey on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4–5. For two nights during NFR, Delmonico will offer seven special menu items created by Chef de Cuisine Ronnie Rainwater using the nose-to-tail of an entire hog. Lead mixologist Juyoung Kang curated seven special $16 handcrafted cocktails to accompany each item and celebrate Repeal Day, which is Dec. 5. Action sports superstar Travis Pastrana was in Las Vegas for the final leg of the Nitro Circus tour and stopped by Vegas Indoor Skydiving on Saturday, Nov. 21 to test out his wings. The new Pete Rose Bar and Grill located center-Strip and serving lunch and dinner has recently stepped up to bat with a new breakfast menu from 7 to 11 a.m. priced between $9 and $14. The Firefighters of Southern Nevada Burn Foundation will kick off its 13th annual “Fill The Fire Truck” Toy Drive on Thursday, Dec. 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hennessey’s Tavern. The seasonal toy drive will take place at select locations across the valley throughout the holiday season on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, Dec. 20. Four performers Rhonda Carlson, Bruce Ewing, Devan Patriquin and Joan Sobel from different backgrounds will share their funny stories and memories from holidays past and favorite songs of the season at Sun City MacDonald Ranch Community Center on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the door. The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities will host the eighth annual Bob Tallman Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Charity Bowling Tournament at the Gold Coast Hotel on Saturday, Dec. 5. Rodeo champions and Hall of Famers, entertainment industry stars, local celebrities and rodeo industry leaders will be among the nearly 300 people participating. Entry fee is $160 per team and $50 for individuals. The 2016 Miss Nevada USA and Miss Nevada Teen USA pageant took place this month with Emelina Adams of Henderson being crowned Miss Nevada USA 2016 and Carissa Morrow of Seven Hills winning Miss Nevada Teen USA 2016.
SANTAS AND HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS: Britney Spears already officially kicked off the holiday season with a special tree lighting ceremony at The LINQ. At the Fremont Street Experience, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman will light the Grand Menorah on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. and the 50-foot Christmas tree with 12.5 million lights on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 5 p.m. At Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest Santa Claus arrived with Mrs. Claus and Alli the Elf via helicopter last week. On Thursday, Dec. 24, families can join Black Canyon River Adventures for a one-day only 12-mile, 4.5 hour “Rafting with Santa” journey along the Colorado River. Santa and his helpers will pilot the rafts. The LINQ Promenade – Caesars Entertainment’s open-air shopping, dining and entertainment district is decked out as a “Winter Parq” wonderland theme through Jan. 1, 2016, with entertainers, visits from Santa and nightly snowfalls. Live entertainment begins at 5 p.m. with holiday performers on the top of each hour through 9 p.m. Snow falls nightly across the promenade, every 30 minutes from 5 p.m. to midnight. For adult selfies, a sexy Santa will roam the promenade from 8–10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and Dec. 20–23, taking photos with and adding names to the naughty list. Beginning Friday, Dec. 11, BMX riders will take over the fountain stage area each night at 8:30 p.m. In addition, The LINQ is launching 25 Days of Celebration, which includes different discounts, goodies from featured restaurants and retailers along with a few holiday surprises that change nightly. Santa Claus is going to great depths during the annual Santa in the Shipwreck at Shark Reef Aquarium inside Mandalay Bay on Dec. 5–6, 12–13, 1–24 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. With each paid admission, guests 12 and under receive a treat and complimentary photo with Santa and his sidekick Santa Jaws from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Before heading back to his workshop, Santa will put on his SCUBA gear and plunge into the Shipwreck waters from 4–4:15 p.m. to bid everyone farewell. Mustang Santa will appear at Ford Country in the Valley Auto Mall in Henderson on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Ford Country will offer complimentary digital and print photos of the Big Guy behind the wheel of a new, red Mustang convertible, while children and/or pets as his companions in the back seat. Attendees will receive holiday treats and a complimentary barbeque lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the dealership’s Toys for Tots holiday gift collection. At the Excalibur in two locations there is Santa by Hot Shotz Photography offering a variety of holiday photo options including photos with Chopper Santa complete with his motorcycle sleigh, traditional Santa and Santa’s sexy helpers. Hot Shotz Photography will hold a toy drive the Children’s Heart Foundation on Thursday, Dec. 10 from 1–5 p.m. Each guest who brings a new, unwrapped toy or valid gift card will receive one free 4 x 6 photo. All toys and gift cards will be donated to the Children’s Heart Foundation.
MOB MUSEUM WILL HOST FORENSIC ARTIST JANE BILLINGHAM: The Mob Museum downtown is hosting a live forensic sketch exhibit featuring forensic artist Jane Billingham on Saturday, Dec. 12 from noon to 6 p.m., during which time Billingham will create 2D forensic reconstructions of unidentified persons with links to the Mob or human trafficking. Circumstances behind each case will be displayed and team members from the nonprofit forensic services organization, Can You Identify Me, will be on hand to discuss the importance of forensic artistry. The event is free with museum admission or museum membership.