BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
By Jackie Brett
MEETING SPACE RENOVATION AT FLAMINGO COMPLETED: The Flamingo re-opened its $6.5 million newly renovated meeting space, which began in April 2017, with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The new space has a fresh, bright and modern look with windows providing an abundance of natural light. Each meeting room, named after a different Nevada city, features historic photos from the 1950s. The redesign includes updated walls, carpet, lighting fixtures and all the lighting has been converted to cost saving LED technology. A few months ago, Caesars Entertainment announced it will launch of a $90 million renovation of the Flamingo’s 1,270 rooms with final completion of all rooms expected in the second quarter of 2018. Fully renovated rooms will feature contemporary and retro-chic designs with accents celebrating the Flamingo’s rich history.
MGM RESORTS, SYDELL GROUP PLAN CONFERENCE SPACE AT PARK MGM: MGM Resorts International and New York-based Sydell Group are planning new meetings and conference space as part of Monte Carlo’s transformation into Park MGM this fall. Seventy-seven thousand flexible square feet will include 43 meeting rooms and expansive ballrooms. Second-level rooms will be filled with natural light and overlook the resort’s pool environment. The 4,345-square-foot Central Park Terrace will provide private outdoor meeting space. The MGM Resorts and Sydell Group partnership is re imagining and transforming Monte Carlo into two distinct new hotel experiences: Park MGM, and a Las Vegas version of Sydell’s NoMad Hotel.
MAGICAL MEMORIES AT FORUM SHOPS HOLDS GRAND OPENING: Magical Memories featuring Disney Fine Art, which had to postpone its original June opening, will now celebrate its grand opening Aug. 10-13 and also salute the 25th anniversary of the original animated film “Beauty and the Beast.” Fans will get to meet original voice cast members including Paige O’Hara (voice of Belle), Robby Benson (voice of the Beast), Richard White (voice of Gaston), director Gary Trousdale, background artist James Coleman, and Mark Henn, animator of Belle, who will be appearing throughout the weekend at multiple events. The public is invited to the four-day celebration. More than a traditional gallery, Magical Memories located on the Terrace Level at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace is an interactive experience of images and sounds. The celebration begins Thursday, Aug. 10 with a free animation class from noon–2 p.m. On Friday, Aug. 10, there’s learning to draw with Disney Fine Artists from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. The ribbon and cake cutting ceremony will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12. There will be Q&A panels with the cast and crew from “Beauty and the Beast” on Aug. 12 from noon-12:30 p.m. and Aug. 13 from 1-1:30 p.m.
WYNN AND ENCORE UNVEIL RACE AND SPORTS BOOKS: The Race & Sports Book at Wynn has completed a full renovation with state-of-the-art technology. The space is luxurious, yet comfortable and custom designed for functionality with an adjacent Charlie’s Bar + Grill for a casual bite. Following the reopening of Wynn’s Race & Sports Book and new restaurant, Encore this week is opening its own permanent Race & Sports Book on Aug. 7. Located adjacent to Encore Players Lounge and Surrender Nightclub, the new space features three betting stations, 21 televisions ranging from 60 to 120 inch screens, and some VIP seats with USB ports and multimedia capabilities.
FREEDOM 2 BRUNCH AND MORE IS NEW AT DOWNTOWN GRAND: Freedom Beat at the Downtown Grand just launched Freedom 2 Brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. with traditional brunch offerings and unlimited small plates and skillets created by Chef Scott Commings, the Season 12 Hell’s Kitchen champion. Each brunch is $20 and begins with a freshly prepared, hot and sticky signature Monkey Bread accompanied by a crisply sliced fruit platter. In addition to dining, the Freedom 2 Drink offer is $10 Bottomless Mimosas and a $10 Bloody Mary bar. Also at Freedom Beat, there’s live entertainment including a month-long residency featuring “The Voice” season six finalist, Ryan Whyte Maloney every Saturday through August. Other acts slated to hit the Freedom Beat stage include Rick Duarte and Peter Love.
WESTGATE PRESENTS 40TH TRIBUTE TO THE KING: Westgate is holding a month-long 40th Tribute to The King celebration in August with casino promotions, food specials, tribute shows and more. At Sid’s Café Aug. 11-18, the King Specials will feature Grilled Peanut Butter, Bacon and Banana Sandwich, Southern Fried Chicken, and BBQ Beef Brisket with Baked Beans. On Aug. 11 and 13, there will be two special performances of “The King Lives! Donny Edwards Elite Tribute to Elvis” at 7 p.m. Edwards is the only Elvis Tribute Artist to perform at the hallowed grounds of Graceland and he’s backed by a 10-piece band in the famed International Showroom. Tickets start at $22. On Thursday, Aug. 17, Westgate Players Club members who dress like “The King” and post their photo on the resort’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will receive one free entry to the Fresh Buffet. Player club members are invited to the $5,000 Rock ‘n Roll Slot Tournament on Wednesday, Aug. 16 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Slot Tournament Area for a chance to win one of 16 cash prizes, including a grand prize of $2,000 in slot play.
R&B SUPERSTAR JEFFREY OSBORNE PERFORMS AT ALIANTE: Singer-songwriter Jeffrey Osborne will appear at Aliante in the Access Showroom performing on Saturday, Aug. 19 at 8 p.m. Most recently, Osborne released his album “A Time for Love,” which includes the hit single “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight.” Tickets start at $35. Osborne was introduced to R&B, funk and jazz at a young age. In 1969, he began his musical career as the drummer of the funk band L.T.D., where his vocal talents led him to become the group’s lead vocalist. In 1982, Osborne went on to start his solo career and released several top hits, including “You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song),” “Don’t You Get So Mad,” “On the Wings of Love” and “Stay with Me Tonight.”
41st MRS. AMERICA PAGEANT RETURNS TO WESTGATE: The 41st annual Mrs. America Pageant will once again return to its original home at the Westgate on Saturday, Aug. 26 from 4 to 6 p.m. and be hosted by Barbara Chase, daughter of the late Florence Henderson, and actor Christopher Knight. More than 52 women, including a contestant who will be more than eight months pregnant at the time of the competition, will compete for the chance to represent the United States in the internationally-televised Mrs. World Pageant in South Africa in December 2017. The final day of the competition will be streamed online at MrsAmerica.com.
MANÁ HOLDS PROMOTION WITH OMAZE FOR FAN TO JOIN THEM ON STAGE: Mexican rock band Maná is playing two arena shows in the United States this Sept. 15 and 16 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. For their Viva Mexico concert on Friday, Sept. 15, the legendary group is partnering with fundraising platform Omaze to offer the chance to win a trip to Las Vegas to join the band on stage and sing a song. Fans can enter through Aug. 31 online at Omaze.com/mana for the chance to win for as little as $10 in support of Selva Negra Ecological Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to preserving the environment and community development. Selva Negra was founded by Mana’s frontman Fher Olvera.
OPPORTUNITY VILLAGE OFFERS EARLY REGISTRATION FOR SANTA RUN: Cannot believe it’s time already to think about Opportunity Village’s 13th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run fundraiser. It will take place Downtown again on Saturday, Dec. 2. Right now early registration is open through Sept. 4 to sign up for the 4K or 1-mile Kris Kringle Jingle Walk. The discounted price is $25, and free for children three and under. Paid registration includes a five-piece Santa suit, a commemorative medal and goodie bag with items from event sponsors. Furry friends are welcome and can join the fun for $10, which will include a doggie bag with canine treats. Registration is on the Great Santa Run website.
“BAZ – Star Crossed Love,” at The Palazzo celebrated its one-year anniversary recently with a star-studded event and the return of original cast member and Broadway star, Ruby Lewis. The show was five years in the making and the creation of For The Record, a genre-bending theatrical company in Los Angeles with a vision of turning the soundtracks of iconic filmmakers into immersive theatrical concert experiences. The upcoming August headliners for the Golden Nugget’s 52 Fridays Concert Series include: Rare Earth on Aug. 11; Gary Puckett & The Union Gap on Aug. 18; and BJ Thomas on Aug. 25. All performances are at 8 p.m. At the Palms, there will be comedy on Saturday, Aug. 12 with Mike Epps prevailing. The South Point always has great acts in the showroom. British pop Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone will appear Aug. 11 and 12. The incredible Earl Turner with his newest show will headline Aug. 18 and 19. Actor, director and singer James Darren, whose career spans more than 60 years, will finish up the month on Aug. 25 and 26. Country star Collin Raye will appear in Club Madrid at Sunset Station on Friday, Aug. 11. Raye was a true hit maker in the 1990s with 24 Top 10 records and 16 number one hits. Boz Scaggs will headline the Grand Events Center at Green Valley Ranch on Saturday, Aug. 19. Scaggs’ remarkable career started back in the late Sixties with the Steve Miller Band.
INPUTT DEBUTS AT 2017 PGA FASHION AND DEMO EXPERIENCE: INPUTT is a brand new portable putting training device officially being launched at the 2017 PGA Fashion and Demo Experience in Las Vegas Aug. 14-16. It can help golfers of all levels and aims to improve golfers’ putting by removing as many variables as possible. Handcrafted in the USA, and designed for left-handed or right-handed golfers, INPUTT will be available for purchase for $89.95 inclusive beginning Aug. 14. The educational part of the conference will be held at The Venetian while the PGA Demo Experience will take place at Topgolf from 4-8 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 14.
***QUICK NEWS CLIPS***
There’s excitement at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage since a female dolphin calf was born there on July 17. Her mother is Huff ‘n Pull and the calf’s name will be revealed in the future. Credit One Bank has a multi-year integrated marketing partnership with the city’s first major league National Hockey League franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights. Credit One Bank is the team’s official credit card sponsor and will be actively involved with the Golden Knights Foundation. Following a highly successful first quarter in Las Vegas, tickets for 2018 performances of “Magic Mike Live Las Vegas” through April are now on sale. Currently performances are Wednesdays through Sundays at 7:30 and 10 p.m., and starting Sept. 6 will move to 8 and 10:30 p.m. Ticket prices start at $49, with weekend prices starting at $55. La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway at Wynn is bringing back the martini lunch with bottomless cocktails priced at $28 from 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. every Sunday for the butler-style brunch. Former Mayor Oscar Goodman will be mingling with guests inside the lounge of Oscar’s steakhouse at the Plaza and signing his book, “Being Oscar,” which is available for sale at the restaurant Aug. 7-9 from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
MOTLEY BREWS HOLDS FIRST HOPPED TACO THROWDOWN: Motley Brews is presenting a new experience, Hopped Taco Throwdown. The inaugural event will occur on Saturday, Aug. 12 from 8-11 p.m. at the Backyard at Zappos in Downtown. Twelve different chefs/restaurants, which specialize in different cuisines, will compete with one mission in mind: to step out of their culinary comfort zones and create the most amazing, inventive tacos. Chefs will vie for their innovative creations to be crowned the top tacos in three categories including: Hopped Taco, for best-beer-infused taco; Taco Loco, for most creative taco; and Taco Dulce, for best dessert taco. Tickets to Hopped Taco Throwdown are limited to 1,200 attendees and start at $50 for general admission.
The “Third Thursday on 3rd” food truck, live art, music and entertainment block party, which launched last month, is returning Thursday, Aug. 17 from 7-10 p.m. The roadside affair will once again bring together some of the best artists and food truck vendors in the valley including; Truk-N-Yaki, Stripchezze, The Cookie Bar, Cousins Maine Lobster and Waffle Love. There will be a live illustration battle on the ground from Secret Walls, along with a DJ, street games and craft beers. Celebrity Cars hosts a car show every Saturday morning with 200-plus cars gathering from 7-10 a.m. at 9500 S Eastern Ave. in front of Twin Peaks. It’s free to attend and proceeds benefit Rotary Club of Las Vegas. The Cannery in North Las Vegas just introduced new Saturday karaoke nights with DJ Miguel at the 24-hour Victory’s Bar & Grill through October from 8 p.m. to midnight. Guest DJ Riano is featured each Friday night from 7 p.m. to midnight. In addition Summer Happy Hour in August is Monday through Friday from 5-9 p.m. with $2 tequila and whisky shots, $3 margaritas, $5 long island ice teas and PBR pints for $1.50. Andiron Steak & Sea in Downtown Summerlin will host a Backyard Clambake summer feast on Tuesday, Aug. 15 at 6:30 p.m. The menu will include fried clams, lobster rolls, corn chowder and the clambake. Tickets to the Chef Dinner Series are $65 online. Beer Park at Paris has two movies left on Tuesdays Aug. 8 and 22 at its rooftop venue as part of its Summer Movie Series. The two cult classics at 7:30 p.m. will be “Mean Girls” and then “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Each movie night will feature a themed food selection for moviegoers. Guests can participate with the purchase of any of Beer Park’s selection of food and drinks. The National Atomic Testing Museum will hold Family Fun Day: Journey Through Japan on Saturday, Aug. 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event is suited to children of all ages, and will include Origami and Japanese vocabulary lessons, kite-making, a Taiko drum demonstration, a chance to learn chopsticks skills, and more. The event is free but doesn’t include admission to the museum. Members and non-members are invited to a complimentary “Ignite the Night” summer glowing dance jam at Life Time Green Valley and Life Time Summerlin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 17. The party will feature upbeat electro and house music in a transformed, neon-themed group fitness studio. A poolside social hour will follow with light appetizers, one complimentary signature beverage, and refreshments for sale. To register, call 702-802-7300 or702-228-2611.