New Vegas Dining, Charity Events, Vegas Shootout & Monkey Displays

In Vegas VIP Scene-ery by Jackie Brett

“BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW” by Jackie Brett

MIKE TYSON RETURNS FOR ROUND TWO OF HIS SHOW AT MGM GRAND: famous boxerThe critically-acclaimed no holds barred, one-man show “Mike Tyson UNDISPUTED TRUTH – Live On Stage” is returning at the MGM Grand. Tyson scored a knock out premiere of his show in 2012, which included sold-out shows at the MGM Grand, a record-breaking run on Broadway, a worldwide tour and a hit HBO special.  Tyson’s show will return for a limited run March 3-June 26 at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club with never-heard-before stories from the heavyweight boxing champ’s tumultuous life and career. Tickets for his 10 p.m. with select dark dates start at $54.95.

WESTGATE REVEALS RENOVATED AND BIGGER SUPERBOOK: David Siegel,Westgate Sportsbook Ribbon cutting 2- Credit Edison Graff-Stardust Fallout founder and CEO of Westgate Resorts, hosted a ribbon cutting and champagne toast with dignitaries at the newly-renovated Race & Sports SuperBook® at Westgate. The 25,000-square-foot SuperBook® features the world’s largest HD LED video wall with 4,488 square foot HD video screens measuring 240 feet wide and 20 feet tall.

WYNN MOVES AND EXPANDS ITS POKER ROOM: In May a new 8,600-square-foot poker room with 28 tables will open on the Encore side of the Las Vegas resort. Each table will have USB ports for on-site electronic device charging. A sports book window and 35 televisions will also be included. The current poker room in Wynn will remain open until the new facility is ready.

ALDER & BIRCH STEAKHOUSE OPENS AT THE ORLEANS: Alder & Birch, , is restaurant interiorthe first of five new dining concepts scheduled to debut at The Orleans in 2016 as part of Boyd Gaming’s ongoing $30 million enhancement of the resort. Another new dining concept set to debut in the coming weeks is Ondori Asian Kitchen.Open daily, the Social Hour is 4-6 p.m. with dinner starting at 5 p.m.

JENNIFER LOPEZ ADDS 2016 PERFORMANCES TO HER RESIDENCY: Due to overwhelming demand, global superstar Jennifer Lopez has added 19 additional 2016 performances of her critically-acclaimed Las Vegas show, “Jennifer Lopez: All I Have,” at The Axis at Planet Hollywood.

GOLDEN NUGGET HOSTS WHISKEY REVIVAL GRAND TASTING AFFAIR: The American Craft Whiskey Revival’s third annual whiskey Grand Tasting event will be held at the Golden Nugget on Saturday, March 5 from 7 to 10 p.m. at The Grand Event Center. More than 24 distilleries will participate. In addition, there will be live entertainment, Southern cuisine, plus mixology and educational classes led by distillery owners and brand ambassadors. Advance tickets are $45 and $49 at the door.

INSOMNIAC LAUNCHES ‘EDC 20-YEAR PLAYLIST SERIES’: Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), Insomniac has launched the “EDC 20-Year Playlist Series,” highlighting the most memorable tracks in dance music. Every Thursday a new EDC playlist is released on Insomniac.com and Spotify featuring key influential figures and pivotal tracks in dance music from each year, starting with EDC’s debut in 1997. This year EDC will return to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway June 17-19 to celebrate “20 Years Under The Electric Sky.” Tickets are on sale now.

HEXX CHOCOLATE INTRODUCES BEAN-TO-BAR LINE OF MILK CHOCOLATES: HEXX Chocolate at Paris will expand its selection with the debut of an entire line of milk chocolate selections during the month of February. The new chocolate bars are an unprecedented introduction, as HEXX is the first bean-to-bar chocolate maker on the Strip. HEXX’s milk chocolate sold exclusively in HEXX’s retail stores and on its website.  HEXX offers tours of its chocolate kitchen daily at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. You can sign up ahead of time using Eventbrite. Complimentary tastings of the chocolate are available at HEXX’s chocolate counter, located in the retail store.

TUFF HEDEMAN VEGAS SHOOTOUT WILL RETURN TO SOUTH POINT: Championship Bull Riding (CBR) and four-time World Champion bull rider and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer, Tuff Hedeman, will be back with the top bull riders in the industry during the Tuff Hedeman Vegas Shootout at South Point on Saturday, March 5 at 8 p.m. This year’s event is the 11th stop on the 2016 Road to Cheyenne. The CBR three-round tournament style action is worth more than $30,000 to the bull riders competing. The Las Vegas event will also feature “other side of the ride,” CBR’s Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge. The bulls are competing for points based on their performance. The owner with the three highest scoring bulls will receive $20,000 and a total of $45,000 in prizes will be awarded to the animal athletes.

MISCELLANEOUS CLIPS: The Roller Coaster at New York-New York will close for NYNY Las Vegas maintenance upgrades on Tuesday, Feb. 16 and reopen on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Hours of operation are Sunday–Thursday 11 a.m.–11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 10:30 a.m.–midnight. Last week, Jennifer Lopez along with boyfriend Casper Smart and cast members were at OMNIA Nightclub inside Caesars Palace celebrating the success of the first run of her Las Vegas show. Ronnie Milsap will make his Farewell Tour stop at the Grand Events Center at Green Valley Ranch on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $20-$50. On Thursday, Feb. 18 from 5 to 6 p.m., you can enjoy a free margarita with Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman at El Sombero downtown, 807 S. Main Street, and get a sneak preview of the restaurant’s new spring margarita menu. Space is limited so RSVP at info@elsombrerovegas.com. Hard Rock is welcoming multi-platinum selling trio Rascal Flatts back to The Joint for its second residency with a memorabilia case dedication on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 11 a.m. The unveiling “Rascal Flatts Rhythm & Roots” with special guest Barrett Baber will have a nine-show run from Feb. 17 to March 5. Tickets start at $39.95.  Donny and Marie Osmond came face-to-face with their Madame Tussauds wax figures for the first time on stage at the Flamingo last week. The Springs Preserve is holding its annual Black History Month Festival on Saturday, Feb. 20 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Springs Amphitheater. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children ages 17 and under. Bottom of Form Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, who have won a total of 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships, will be the special guests at this year’s annual Kobalt Kampout available only to RV parking account holders in the Neon Garage at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday, March 4 from 6-8 p.m. Ethel M® Chocolates and ridesharing service Uber partnered to bring UberCHOCOLATE to southern Nevada on Valentine’s Day by placing 500 boxes of Ethel M’s Endless Love heart-shaped milk chocolates randomly in father and daughter danceUber cars and encouraging recipients to make a donation to the Children’s Heart Foundation. Life Time Athletic Summerlin and Life Time Athletic Green Valley are holding the annual Daddy Daughter Dance from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20 at both clubs simultaneously. Dances are open to both members and non-members of Life Time Athletic.

MADAME TUSSAUDS DISPLAYS CHINESE STAR LI BINGBING’S FIGURE: In celebration of the Chinese New Year, wax model chinese woman in red dressMadame Tussauds at The Venetian is displaying one of China’s most beloved celebrities, Li Bingbing. She has been featured in nearly 30 movies worldwide, including “Transformers: Age of Extinction” and “Resident Evil: Retribution.” Her figure is wearing a full-length red gown. Bingbing is on display in her customized Chinese New Year set until Feb. 29 and then she will return to Madame Tussauds Shanghai. Also in celebration, Madame Tussauds is offering a special admission price of $18.88, which pays homage to the lucky number 8, by mentioning the promotional code “1888” at the box office through February.

ANIMAL FOUNDATION’S BEST IN SHOW RETURNS TO ORLEANS ARENA: The Animal Foundation’s 13th annual “Best in Show” will return to the Orleans Arena on Sunday, April 10 at 1 p.m. A way to participate with the agency’s largest fundraising event that finds loving families for more than 50 dogs and puppies is to be a foster parent. At no or minimal cost, foster parents have a few requirements including completing a Doggie Personality Survey, having a doggie portrait taken, and getting the pooch groomed for the show. Oh yes, and you have to give up the “on loan” fur baby. It’s a nice way to help out. Otherwise, plan to attend the show. Tickets are $5-$12.

MAKE-A-WISH HOSTS 15th ANNUAL WALK FOR WISHES: Walk For Wishes is a nationwide Make-A-Wish fundraiser celebrating thousands of wishes granted, while raising funds for future wishes. On March 12, Make-A-Wish® Southern Nevada partners with Caesars Foundation to present its 15th annual Walk for Wishes being held at Town Square. More than 2,500 participants are expected for the 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk with opening ceremonies at 8 a.m. featuring Choirfighters, which is a collective group of Wish Kids and survivors who began singing together when they noticed their paths crossed continuously during frequent doctor visits.

LAS VEGAS CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS: The “Year of the Monkey” is visually on display inside The Waterfall Atrium andchinese ornaments on tree Gardens of The Palazzo through Feb. 29. Some of the art installation features include: 78 handcrafted monkeys around property; a five-foot tall, 300-pound Monkey King draped in Swarovski crystals with a chest plate made with more than 8,000 hand-sewn gold coins; a 38-foot-tall wishing tree; 88 gold and red six-foot suspended lanterns; plus more than 1,000 blooming flowers and 1,200 plants. Papillon Grand Canyon Chines red and gold lanternsHelicopters is celebrating the Chinese New Year at its Las Vegas and Boulder City terminals through February with festive decorations. For both companies in partnership with Caesars Entertainment and The LINQ Promenade flight passengers and guests at The LINQ Hotel have a chance to win two complimentary seats for Grand Canyon air tours valid through Feb. 28, 2017 by following Caesars Entertainment’s WeChat account. Raffles are drawn daily at 9 p.m. at The LINQ Promenade. People must be present at the drawing to win.

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM HOLDS TWO FORENSIC SCIENCES EVENTS: The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) will hold its annual scientific meeting in Las Vegas this month. Partnering with the Las Vegas Natural History Museum downtown the AAFS will place the spotlight on forensic sciences at the museum during two events on Sunday, Feb. 21. The first is “CSI Mini-Camp” from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. for families. This is free and children must be accompanied by an adult. The second is “Demystifying the Forensic Sciences” at 3:30 p.m. for adults. The showcase will be followed by a reception where ticket holders will have an opportunity to meet the scientists attending. Tickets are $10.

UPCOMING DINING NEWS: At The Venetian, db Brasserie has a new, bi-monthly seasonal tasting menu that will be featured for a week and will center around one or two seasonal selections. The first tasting, A Celebration of Duck and Truffles, will celebrate the end of winter and run Feb. 22-28 beginning at 5 p.m. nightly. The multi-course upgraded  sports loungemenu is $99, call 702-430-1235. The Oyster Bar at Santa Fe Station is open now with seating for 25 guests. Lagasse’s Stadium® at The Palazzo is teaming with Chicago-based brewery, Goose Island Beer Co., to host a five-course beer pairing dinner on Friday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. The menu is $55; call 702-607-2665. Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar will hold its first “Taste & Learn” event of 2016 on Saturday, Feb. 27, from 4 to 6 p.m. This four-course, wine-and food-pairing will be presented in partnership with Tenuta San Leonardo from Italy’s Trentino region. Cost $65; call 702-364-5300. Coinciding with Valentine’s Day, OpenTable announced the 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America for 2016 reflecting the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews for more than 20,000 restaurants. Las Vegas had four on the list: Alizé – Top of the Palms; Eiffel Tower – Paris; Hugo’s Cellar – Four Queens; and Michael’s – South Point. Reminder PizzaRev in Henderson will hold its grand opening on Feb. 25 from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. with patrons invited to “pay-what-they-want” for a custom-built, personal-sized pizza, with a suggested $8 contribution to benefit local nonprofit After-School All-Stars.  NASCAR fans attending NASCAR Weekend at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 4-6 will have healthy and gluten free food options at nearly a dozen locations.

SUMMER POOL NEWS: The Tropicana will open its brand new pool club, Sky Beach Club, on April 8. It will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., weather permitting. Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas near I-215 and Sunset Road is heading into its fourth season and in the process of hiring process for more than 450 seasonal jobs. The water park be open March 19 through September. Aliante will be opening The Deck on Monday, March 21 and hosting their monthly concert series, Jazz Under The Stars, starting on Thursday, April 28. The Deck will be open to locals for $10 day passes on weekdays, and $20 day passes on weekends and holidays.

MORE APPROACHING FUNDRAISING EVENTS: For the seventh year, Variety – The Children’s Charity will host the fundraising Oscar viewing party “Variety Salutes Hollywood” on Sunday, Feb. 28 with Red Carpet and pre-Oscar coverage starting at 4 p.m. at Brenden Theaters at the Palms. The Nevada Chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation will present the Winter Wine Fest with a silent auction on Friday, Feb. 19 from 6-8 p.m. at Tivoli Village. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. BRIO Tuscan Grille is celebrating the ninth anniversary of its first Las Vegas location at Town Square with an extended happy hour benefitting Opportunity Village on Thursday, Feb. 18 from 3-8 p.m. Twenty percent of sales will be donated to the charity. Jeremy Cornwell will be performing on the outdoor terrace. Fremont Street Experience will be hosting the first SlotZilla Charity Challenge of 2016 to benefit Spread the Word Nevada with 100 percent of the revenue collected on Thursday, Feb. 25 from 1 to 7 p.m. being donated. Spread the Word Nevada will be highlighting Nevada Reading Week starting on Monday, Feb. 29. Nonprofit Nathan Adelson Hospice will hold its 12th annual Multicultural Luncheon on March 8 at the Orleans from at 11:30 a.m. with the expo portion of the event starting at 10:30 a.m. The theme this year is “Imagining Life…A Crescendo to the End” with nationally known keynote speaker Dr. BJ Miller, who will discuss the Zen Hospital Project in San Francisco, “The Art of Dying Well.” Tickets are $75 or $700 for a table of 10. Aids for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN) and House of Blues will host a charity alternative rock concert on Saturday, Feb. 20 at Mandalay Bay at 7:30 p.m. with live performances by 90s grunge tribute band Wicked Garden, eclectic alt-rock from Roxy Gunn Project and additional performances by Hope’s Edge and My Fair Rosalie. Tickets are available on the House of Blues website for $10.

CELEBRATING NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY: Cabo Wabo Cantina, located inside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, will serve $5 frozen margaritas all day in a 14-ounce souvenir cup in honor of Mexican cocktail with chips National Margarita Day on Monday, Feb. 22. Tacos & Tequila (T&T) inside the Luxor will celebrate National Margarita Day with a “buy-one-get-one” Instagram promotion exclusively on Monday, Feb. 22. Guests purchase the first cocktail, post a photo with it, and show it to their T&T server. The classic cocktail is regularly priced at $12. Cantina Laredo at Tivoli Village will be serving the Cabo Flip margarita topped with a tequila-filled lime boat Feb. 19-22 for $7.