BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
Contributed by Jackie Brett
STATION CASINOS BREAKS GROUND ON DURANGO CASINO & RESORT: Station Casinos held a groundbreaking event for its future $750 million Durango Casino & Resort slated to open in late 2023. The property will be located at the corner of the 215 expressway and Durango Road. The planned hotel tower will have more than 200 guest rooms and suites with 83,000 square feet of casino space with an open floorplan seamlessly blending indoor and outdoor socializing spaces. The project will feature four signature food and beverage outlets, a food hall concept with fast-casual eateries, pool space with private cabanas and event lawn, 20,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, 40 electric vehicle charging stations, and multiple bike lanes and parking. Renderings show guests will be greeted by natural stone-clad floors and walls with the texture, light, and neutral tones flooding the space. The lobby bar will be a private oasis tucked away from the hotel’s main entrance and providing seating groupings.
TECH-DRIVEN ILLUMINARIUM WILL OPEN AT AREA15 IN APRIL: On Friday, April 15, Illuminarium Experiences, a breakthrough global experiential entertainment company created by worldwide leaders in cinematic and interactive content, architecture, and theatrical design will open its second location and first in Las Vegas at AREA15. Early bird tickets for what will be the company’s flagship location are now on sale and start at $36 for adults and $32 for youth with premium packages available. The entertainment experience will be open daily at 11 a.m. with last entry at 7 p.m. for daytime admission. Evening programming at Illuminarium begins nightly at 8 p.m. for adults 21+. Through the combination of state-of-the-art technology, including the world’s most advanced laser projection, 3D beamformed audio, LIDAR-based interactivity, in-floor vibrations and scent systems, Illuminarium will transport guests without wearing glasses to places they have only dreamed about. The 36,000-square-foot entertainment complex will open with three epic experiences including WILD: A Safari Experience; SPACE: A Journey to the Moon & Beyond; and O’KEEFFE: One Hundred Flowers. Illuminarium will also offer an immersive nightlife experience, Illuminarium After Dark, for adults 21+, as well as a café.
POLLEN WILL PRESENT TONY HAWK’S WEEKEND JAM IN LAS VEGAS: Leading technology company Pollen Presents is teaming up with iconic skateboarder Tony Hawk for a special experience in Las Vegas. Taking place from May 12-15, Tony Hawk’s Weekend Jam will bring together skateboarding, live music, video games, food trucks, and more for a unique experience hosted by the legend himself. Skateboarders highlighted at the experience will include legendary names alongside rising stars, including legends from the X Games like Andy Macdonald, Bucky Lasek, Rune Glifberg, Sandro Dias, etc. The experience will also include live performances from artists who define the skateboarding zeitgeist, including Grammy-nominated indie rock act Modest Mouse, Los Angeles punk and hardcore legends Descendents, “Whip It” creators DEVO, Los Angeles rock group X, the Wesley Eisold led group Cold Cave, Orange County punk band The Vandals and more.
TOASTED GASTROBRUNCH SET TO OPEN 2ND VEGAS LOCATION: Toasted, Las Vegas’ first Gastrobrunch conceptualized bySammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill owner Sami Ladeki, will be opening its second Las Vegas outpost at 7345 Arroyo Crossing Pkwy on Friday, April 1. Guests can look for the same bright yellow awning-covered patio that distinguishes the first location, which is at 9516 W. Flamingo Road. The exclusively-brunch restaurant features breakfast and lunch cuisine and now introduces a dedicated-all brunch menu served from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.Toasted offers a variety of creative breakfast cocktails, bloody marys and flaming coffees to complement staples like Red Velvet Pancakes, Shrimp & Grits, and innovative versions of Egg Benedicts and French Toasts including the Short Rib Benny and Elvis French Toast, to name a few.
COUNTRY ARTIST GARY ALLAN WILL HEADLINE AT M RESORT’S POOL: Country music star Gary Allan will again return to the M Resort for a special poolside performance with special guest Scotty Alexander on Saturday, July 9 at the M Pool at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $15 on Ticketmaster. “Ruthless,” Allan’s tenth studio album with 13 songs and first new album in eight years, was released last year on June 25. Allan re-signed with Universal Music Group Nashville in 2016, his label for his 20-plus year career. Allan released his first album, “Used Heart For Sale,” in 1996 and has since been certified platinum on three back-to-back albums and certified gold five times. Scotty Alexander is a veteran singer, songwriter and recording artist with more than 10,000 live shows to his credit and a five-time Texas Country Music Nominee. Alexander’s song lists include his now charting single, “One More Reason.” In 1994 he moved to Las Vegas to co-host an award-winning production show called “Country Tonight.”
VINNY GUADAGNINO IS CELEBRITY HOST IN ‘CHIPPENDALES’ AGAIN: “Jersey Shore” star Vinny Guadagnino (“Vinny G.”) is the special celebrity guest host for a third residency in “Chippendales,” which is celebrating its 20th anniversary at the Rio. His limited Friday-Sunday performance engagement runs through Sunday, April 10. Tickets range from $59.95 to $149.95. Guadagnino’s return has him once again stepping on stage and into the shower scene that made his last appearance “baring all” break the internet. The reality star credits his physique to his Keto diet and creative workouts he started due to gyms being closed during the quarantine. His jumping rope inspired a new Instagram account and is incorporated into his “Chippendales” performance. Guadagnino is one of the most recognized lifestyle personalities and digital influencers. He rose to fame on MTV’s “Jersey Shore” and can be seen on the reboot of the hit franchise, “Jersey Shore Family Vacation,” which has been picked up for two seasons. Last year he and his “bromance,” Pauly D. starred on the MTV series, “Double Shot at Love,” and in a comedic travelogue series “Vinny and Ma Eat America” on the Cooking Channel. Also, an accomplished author, he has written the best-selling cookbook, “The Keto Guido Cookbook,” as well as his New York Times Best Seller, “Control the Crazy.”
VEGAS KNIGHT HAWKS INAUGURAL SEASON STARTS: The Vegas Knight Hawks, an Indoor Football League (IFL) franchise operated by the Foley Entertainment Group, recently announced the full 16-game schedule for their inaugural season in 2022. The Knight Hawks start the season at home this week at the new, state-of-the-art Dollar Loan Center. The opener is the second event hosted at the Dollar Loan Center, a new 5,567-seat sports and entertainment arena in Henderson. The Dollar Loan Center is the home of the Henderson Silver Knights, the AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights, and the Vegas Knight Hawks. The arena is also home to the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame, the Craggy Range Sports Bar and Grill and a team store. In the spirit of the Knights, the arena features a modern medieval theme throughout. Staff greet guests wearing medieval-themed uniforms, adorned with the crest of the Silver Knights or Knight Hawks for those games. High above one end of the ice is a castle, while the center-hung scoreboard features a war horse. The venue’s nomenclature is unique as well and fits the theme. The suites are known as Chambers, the elevators are Hoists, and the premium level is known as the Royal Landing.
ORIGINAL COMEDY ‘JEW MAN GROUP’ IS LOOKING FOR TALENT: Headliner showman Rick Michel is co-producing and writing a new Las Vegas show “Jew Man Group” expected to open in June. This new original production will have a residency in Las Vegas and national touring dates. Michel’s show is looking for comedians, comedy magicians, impressionists, and ventriloquists, who can apply on the JewManGroup’s website. He describes the show as a light-hearted musical comedy that will transport audiences back to the days when the Catskill Mountain comics ruled the land. Michel feels the time is right for the best musical tribute and comical parody.
ONE STEAKHOUSE INTRODUCES WINE AND SHELLFISH HAPPY HOUR: ONE Steakhouse, from restaurateur brothers Michael and David Morton, located at Virgin Hotels, has introduced an upscale happy hour for wine lovers. Available from 5-7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, the offer features half-off glasses of sommelier selections in addition to a seafood tasting. The luxury steakhouse is open daily at 5 p.m. The promotion is available exclusively at the bar and features hand selected wines chosen by wine director Anthony Ramirez. As a certified sommelier, Ramirez has crafted a rotating list of wines, including high-end labels. Additionally, a petite shellfish platter, featuring a premium selection of shrimp, oysters and crab, will be available for $25. The bar is situated in the striking lounge under a canopy of scintillating lights – a chandelier made of 3,500 individual handcrafted pieces of glass vibrantly lit by LED lights.
EVOLUTION EXPEDITIONS IN BOULDER CITY OPENS NEW RETAIL STORE: Last week, Evolution Expeditions, the Colorado River’s best-in-class kayaking and hiking tour operator, hosted a ribbon-cutting event opening its brand-new retail store. The store now open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily is equipped with all the essentials for outdoor recreation and provides a last-minute stop before guests embark on an Evolution Expeditions kayaking or hiking tour. Since 2006, Evolution Expeditions has established itself a reliable kayak tour operator on the Colorado River with expert guides leading adventures and educating guests about geological features, spectacular wildlife, hidden beaches, hot springs and historic buildings and structures.
CIRCA OFFERS NEW ‘LADIES NIGHT OUT BAR CRAWL’: Circa downtown has a new “Ladies Night Out Bar Crawl” promotion running until June 10. The adults-only hot spot will offer a bar hop with stops at the resort’s enticing beverage venues, including year-round pool amphitheater, Stadium Swim; rooftop lounge, Legacy Club; swanky cocktail lounge, Vegas Vickie’s; and great views of the world’s largest sportsbook at Overhang Bar. During this night on the town, imbibers can enjoy cocktails at the four stops in their order of preference. Drink tickets will be good for one drink off the regular menu up to a certain value. Tickets can be purchased on website CircaLasVegas for $75 per person and can be picked up at the Circa concierge desk.
KASSI BEACH HOUSE CELEBRATES WITH NOTORIOUS RBG COCKTAIL: Kassi Beach House, the European style restaurant and lounge at Virgin Hotels, part of Curio Collection by Hilton, is celebrating Women’s History Month throughout March with a gin-based cocktail. Notorious RBG was crafted by Julien Calella, West Coast Bar Director for Wish You Were Here Group and combines Empress Gin, blackberry, sage and lime for $19, available through March 31. Kassi Beach House is donating 10% of each cocktail sold to The Shade Tree of Las Vegas, which is the largest shelter of its kind in Nevada and designed specifically to meet the needs of abused women and their children.
BILL ACOSTA’S MEMORIAL WILL BE HELD AT ITALIAN AMERICAN CLUB: Popular singer impressionist Bill Acosta was an amazing talent who headlined in Atlantic City and Chicago before having his own show in Las Vegas starting in the late 1990s. He began at the Luxor and then moved to the Flamingo with a larger production show with a live orchestra, under the direction of Vincent Falcone/Joey Singer, 13 dancers, lavish sets and amazing costumes. The show closed following 9-11 and later he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Acosta passed away on Jan. 26 this year and his celebration of life will be held at the Italian American Club on Saturday, March 26 at noon.
ROGERS ART LOFT WELCOMES ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCY SHERELL CHILLIK: The Rogers Art Loft at The Lucy has a multi-disciplinary artist-in-residency program which is kicking off its year three roster of artists with Michigan based painter Sherell Chillik for a six-week participation through April 17. Chillik’s work explores portraiture and narrative through oil and acrylic mediums. While in Las Vegas, she will create works exploring relationship roles, inspired by biblical narratives using realism and acrylic paints and will offer several opportunities to engage with the community. Chillik Artist Talk this week will be followed by a collage-making workshop on Saturday, April 2 at 6 p.m. and offer a culminating event for the community on Thursday, April 14 at 6 p.m. All events are free to attend and take place at Rogers Studio Gallery at 620 S. 7th Street. Refreshments will be provided by PublicUs. Chillik received her BFA, painting at College For Creative Studies, in 2018. She has shown work and participated in the AICAD Residency in Dumbo, Brooklyn, New York, and volunteered to create murals around the Brightmoor community of Detroit from 2012 to 2015. Chillik currently teaches private and public art classes in Flint, Mich.
HONEY SALT HOLDS WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH FARM TABLE DINNER: Culinary powerhouse Elizabeth Blau is inviting some of the region’s top talent for a special event as part of Honey Salt’s special Farm Table Dinner series. As the founder and CEO of Blau + Associates, Blau is welcoming Nicole Brisson, Executive Chef of Brezza and Bar Zazu, to create an exclusive evening at Honey Salt in celebration of Women’s History Month and in support of the Women’s Hospitality Initiative (WHI). A variety of female-owned products highlighted throughout the dinner will include Regiis Ova Caviar by President, Shaoching Bishop; Pomp & Whimsy Gin by founder Nicola Nice; Frey Ranch Distillery Bourbon presented founder, Ashley Frey; Tequila Casa Dragones by Co-Founder and CEO, Bertha Gonzalez Nieves; and Pop N Pies dessert presented by Owner, Andrea Mclean for an evening of empowered women and amazing food and drink. In addition, guests will leave with handcrafted treats created by Pastry Chef’s Cindy Soliz of Buddy V’s Ristorante and Andrea Mineshima of Honey Salt. The Women’s History Month Farm Table Dinner will take place Monday, March 28 at 6 p.m. at Honey Salt, 1031 S. Rampart Blvd. Tickets are $69 per person with an optional drink pairing for $30. A portion of proceeds will benefit the WHI.