BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
Contributed by Jackie Brett
‘LIFTOFF’ SKYLINE EXPERIENCE OPENS AT AREA15: “LIFTOFF” – a panoramic skyline experience has been launched at AREA15. Manufactured by Aerophile, the world leader in balloon flight, LIFTOFF represents the first of its kind built in the United States. The new attraction debuted at an invitation-only event. Inspired by the exhilaration of flight and vistas high-altitude vantage points offer, the imbibe-and-ride experience begins at the base of the attraction’s triple-helix tower in the LIFTOFF Lounge, a full-service bar. There, “Gilly,” a 21-foot-long and 16-foot-high original steel sculpture by Las Vegas artist Orion Fredericks, greets guests. Before boarding, riders can choose from a selection of beer, wine and cocktails, as well as alcohol-free options, which they may enjoy aboard the ride. They will then be strapped into LIFTOFF’s 16-seat gondola before ascending to the 130-foot summit for a 360-degree panoramic view of the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding areas. Constructed from over 44 tons of steel, LIFTOFF is located next to Art Island in front of AREA15. It features sophisticated lighting and sound capabilities integrated into every ride to create an immersive experience. In addition, the LIFTOFF Lounge provides an open-air hospitality space available for private events. The family-friendly attraction starts at $12 for children at least 42-inches tall and $18 for adults. Packages including beverages begin at $26.
BOYD GAMING STARTS $50 MILLION RENOVATION ON FREMONT: After a record year and with business bouncing back, Boyd Gaming has started a $50 million renovation of its Fremont Hotel & Casino downtown. The money will be spent on upgrading food and beverage offerings and expanding and enhancing the casino floor by taking out the former buffet area and renovating existing gaming space. The refresh is expected to be completed early next year.
NEW SPRINGHILL SUITES BY MARRIOTT BREAKS GROUND: This month, Nigro Construction President Michael Nigro and CFO Todd Nigro broke ground to go vertical with Springhill Suites by Marriott at Decatur Commons in southwest Las Vegas. The 127-room, all-suite resort will be the fifth hotel in Southern Nevada that the Nigro team constructs, owns and operates. Springhill Suites will join tenants Starbucks and Dotty’s gaming lounge in the retail development, which are all projects previously constructed by Nigro Construction. The four-story Springhill Suites will encompass nearly 75,000 square feet with guest amenities including a dining room, pool, fitness center, in-suite workspace and a 24-hour marketplace. The project is scheduled for completion in early 2023.
‘LEGENDS IN CONCERT’ OFFERS FREE TICKETS TO ADELE AND CELINE FANS: “Legends in Concert,” the longest-running show in Las Vegas, is offering free tickets to its new “Legendary Divas” production for fans holding tickets to Adele or Celine Dion’s postponed Las Vegas residencies. Until these superstars resume performances, “Legends in Concert” is a good bet to experience the music and magic of these incredibly talented women. “Legendary Divas” at the Tropicana kicks off 2022 with a new musical extravaganza where fans can enjoy both Adele’s look-alike Janae Longo and Celine Dion tribute artist Elisa Furr, fresh off her TV appearance on “Clash of the Cover Bands®.” These ladies are joined by superior tributes to Lady Gaga by Tierney Allen, and Cher by Lisa McClowry. Hosting the show is Frank Marino with his popular long-running tribute to Joan Rivers. A limited number of free tickets for each scheduled performance through Sept. 5, 2022, will be reserved for those who purchased tickets to Adele and Celine Dion’s postponed Las Vegas shows. Guests simply need to show proof of purchase to receive complimentary tickets from the Tropicana’s box office.
MGM RESORTS, BETMGM AND NHL ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP EXTENSION: MGM Resorts International, BetMGM, a leading sports betting and digital gaming operator, and the National Hockey League (NHL) announced a multi-year extension of their groundbreaking partnership. The news comes as MGM Resorts, which operates T-Mobile Arena, hosted Honda NHL® All-Star Weekend festivities Feb. 4-5. As an official sports betting and resort partner of the NHL, BetMGM and MGM Resorts will continue using NHL brands to enhance the experience for both customers and guests. BetMGM and MGM Resorts will continue to be integrated into the NHL’s jewel events, with camera-visible signage and on-site activation opportunities. Additionally, BetMGM and MGM Resorts will maintain the ability to reach hockey fans through communications to subscribers from the NHL’s fan database. Both brands leverage NHL media channels, including BetMGM odds integration within the NHL Network’s “Showcase Odds” segment and MGM Resorts sponsoring a look at the NHL® All-Star “First Timers” across NHL social platforms. MGM Resorts became the NHL’s first official sports betting partner in 2018.
AREA15 PLANS FIRST AFTERPARTY NFT-GATED ART AND MUSIC FESTIVAL: The Chainsmokers and The Kid LAROI are the first headliners announced for the First Afterparty NFT Art and Music Festival. On March 18 and 19, NFT (Non-fungible token) art, music and a creator-led Web3 community will collide in Las Vegas for the world’s first token-gated festival – NFTs are the “ticket” in. An additional 25 supporting music acts and more than a dozen world-class NFT artists will join The Chainsmokers, who just released their first single “High” off their new album, and The Kid LAROI as part of the two-day lineup. The festival is produced in partnership with former Life is Beautiful partner, Ryan Doherty, and former Kaaboo executive, Chris Racan. The full music and NFT artist lineup will be announced this month. Standout NFT artists, Nate Mohler and Alec Maassen, are co-creative directing the NFT art program which will transport guests into an immersive, interactive experience. For the first time NFTs will be showcased as the festival centerpiece to celebrate the NFT movement in-real-life. Afterparty has chosen AREA15 for a multi-venue, multisensory experience. Digital art will captivate and guide guests through an experiential journey of NFT art shows, live music performances and metaverse experiences. Digital art gallery activations will feature Afterparty’s Utopian NFTs and other innovative digital art pieces. Far from being thumbnails on OpenSea, these pieces will come to life via human-scale 4K and 8K displays to transform your typical gallery into a multilayered intersection of imagery, sound, light and space. Afterparty’s generative Utopian NFT collection doubles as digital art and “all-access” festival passes. Because these NFTs are designed to have intrinsic value, they unlock tangible, real-world experiences in the metaverse and in-real-life, such as exclusive artist-level connection at the festival and beyond. Each of the collection’s 1,500 NFTs are completely unique, exclusively live-minted and live on the Ethereum blockchain forever. Sia, Just Maiko and jxdn are among the first creators to live-mint Afterparty’s NFTs at a secret location in the Hollywood Hills. Each NFT holder will be able to bring one guest and will have two passes to invite friends or sell. There are two ways to hold one of these NFTs now on the secondary market: Buy a MintPass to mint a Utopian or Buy a Utopian NFT. The party doesn’t stop in Las Vegas. Afterparty’s Utopians act as “memberships” unlocking access to the community and more experiences.
MINUS5° ICEBAR LAUNCHES FLAVORED SORBET TASTING EXPERIENCE: Minus5° ICEBAR at Mandalay Bay announces the launch of their new, made-from-scratch, exotically flavored sorbet collection, along with a tasting game created in honor of the Big Game, Sunday, Feb. 13 from 3 to 8 p.m. Guests can purchase a flight of four chef inspired sorbets, and if they guess all four flavors correctly, they will receive the chance to spin a wheel and win prizes. The new flavored sorbet collection will also be available at Minus5° ICEBAR at The Venetian and at The LINQ Promenade beginning Feb. 11.
BLUE MAN GROUP HAS ‘FEEL THE LOVE IN FEBRUARY’ OFFER: From Feb. 8 to 28, Blue Man Group is inviting showgoers to celebrate the month of love with a special two for $89 ticket package valid for any show date with standard blackout dates and holidays blocked. The offer is available at blueman.com/las-vegas. The non-speaking international entertainment sensation makes a fun gift for a special someone or for those looking for an unconventional night out. The show is constantly evolving its mind-blowing performances with unconventional instruments, quirky disturbances and nonstop surprises. Since 2000, Blue Man Group has combined interactive elements and hilarious antics to create a unique high-energy production on the Las Vegas Strip. Blue Man Group performs seven days a week at 5 and 8 p.m. inside the Luxor.
DOWNTOWN CONTAINER PARK HOLDS BIG GAME EVENTS: Downtown Container Park will hold a Big Game Weekend Tailgate Beer Bash and Big Game viewing party. On Saturday, Feb. 12 from 5 to 8 p.m., Downtown Container Park will hold its first beer walk of the year. The Big Game Weekend Tailgate Beer Bash features bottomless brews, beer dogs from Downtown Terrace and live entertainment on the stage. Each $40 ticket includes more than 10 varieties of bottomless brew options and tailgate staples like Mango Cart, Lovelady Love Juice, Revision Blonde and more. Attendees can enjoy games like corn hole on The Lawn while So Stoked takes over the stage at 5 p.m. before DJ Bad Antikz closes out the night from 8 p.m. until midnight. On Sunday, Feb. 13 beginning at 3:30 p.m., the Big Game action will be on The Lawn at Container Park. The free outdoor watch party will host a jumbo flat screen viewing experience and park-wide surround sound in addition to an array of game day specials from Container Park tenants.
PANCHO’S WILL CELEBRATE NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY: Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant, located in Downtown Summerlin, will celebrate National Margarita Day on Tuesday, Feb. 22 with the Naughty Maggie margarita and happy hour with food and drink specials. Pancho’s has been a Manhattan Beach, Calif., institution for more than 40 years. On Margarita Day the celebration will feature Pancho’s signature Naughty Maggie margarita made with Jose Cuervo Especial Gold Tequila mixed with fresh lime juice, sweet and sour and triple sec, hand-shaken and topped with Grand Marnier. Alongside the Naughty Maggie, flavored margaritas including strawberry, mango and spicy jalapeño will be available. Other food and drink options will be offered during happy hour which runs from 2–7 p.m. in the cantina with $3 off house and flavored margaritas, $3 off well cocktails and $3 off house wines as well as discounted appetizers.
MEGAN FOX – MACHINE GUN KELLY TAKE STRAT THRILL RIDES: Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly this week had a thrilling night in Las Vegas. At around 9 p.m., the two lovebirds took in two of the rides atop of The STRAT’s 1,149-foot-tall tower: the Big Shot and X-Scream. The pair took in 360-degree views of the Strip and the surrounding Las Vegas Valley from the tower’s circular Observation Deck. Next, along with a couple of their friends, they walked up the stairs to the roof of the tower, where they rode the Big Shot, which launches riders 160 feet in the air at 45 miles per hour to a height of 1,081 feet and down again. A ride on the X-Scream followed, which has been compared to playing on a massive teeter-totter 866 feet above the ground. X-Scream propels riders headfirst, 27 feet over the edge of the SkyPod, where they dangle weightlessly before being pulled back and propelled over again.
DJ STEVE AOKI DINES AT BOTTIGLIA AT GREEN VALLEY RANCH: Bottiglia Cucina & Enoteca, located at Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa and Casino in Henderson, recently hosted world-renowned DJ Steve Aoki for dinner on a Sunday evening. The restaurant serves sophisticated Tuscan-style fare in a bright and lively setting. The dining event was to celebrate his mother’s birthday. Aoki and seven family members arrived around 7:15 p.m. and stayed to chat after their meal, leaving Bottiglia at 9 p.m. The group started the meal with the shellfish tower, caprese and chopped salad, shared around the table. Aoki had one of Bottiglia’s signature pasta dishes, the wild mushroom tagliatelle, while his mother ordered the chicken picatta. The table ended the meal with the Tirami “shoe,” a red velvet high heel filled with red velvet cake.
FAS44 GALLERY OPENS WITH INAUGURAL CIG HARVEY PHOTO EXHIBIT: Local collector, Michael Frey, has turned his longtime passion for art into a new gallery near the Strip at 4044 Dean Martin Dr. The inaugural exhibit showcases the work of acclaimed British-born photographer, Cig Harvey, which is on display now through Saturday, Feb. 26. Harvey has published four sold out books and was awarded the Prix Virginia Laureate in 2018 and the Maine in America Award by the Farnsworth Art Museum in 2021. Spanning 1,300 square feet, FAS44 currently displays 61 pieces by Harvey from various stages of her photography, much of which is shot near where she resides in Maine. Known for her ability to showcase the magic in the mundane with surreal images of nature and family, the pieces range from $2,500 to $10,000 and up. FAS44 is named for “Freyboy Art Salon,” plus the last two digits of the gallery’s address. The Harvey exhibit is in collaboration with the prestigious Robert Mann Gallery in New York City and future exhibits will also be presented in partnership with renowned galleries throughout the world. FAS44 is open by appointment, only, call 702-735-8322.
ABOUT TOWN SIGHTINGS GALORE
Actors Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston, best known as co-stars of the “Breaking Bad” series, made a whirlwind tour of Las Vegas hot spots promoting their new Dos Hombres mezcal. First and foremost, among their stops was the award-winning Chinatown cocktail spot The Golden Tiki, where Head Drinkmaster Adam Rains treated them to an entire Dos Hombres-powered special menu. Not waiting for his cue, Paul stepped behind the bar with Rains to shake it up and learn the secrets of setting drinks afire. American actress “Game Plan” star Madison Pettis was spotted at lunch at Kassi Beach House at Virgin Hotels. The most fun celeb was Philadelphia Flyers’ orange-furred and wide-eyed mascot Gritty who gave a surprise on-stage performance with the men of Chippendales at the Rio. New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones and running back Damien Harris, were spotted attending the hit show “ABSINTHE” at Caesars Palace. At The Cosmopolitan other sports figures visited CliQue Bar & Lounge and The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails, where producer, performer and songwriter Swizz Beatz also partied.
EIGHT LOUNGE AT RESORTS WORLD IS CELEB MAGNATE: Eight Lounge at Resorts World had the most sports figures because the Pro Bowl was in town. Country music superstar Strip headliner Luke Bryan visited with NFL Hall-of-Famer Charles Woodson. NHL great and TNT hockey analyst Anson Carter joined NFL Hall of Famer Warren Moon for his smoke and sip night. Model and grandson of Muhammad Ali, Biaggio Ali Walsh, joined his brother, Middleweight boxer Nico Ali Walsh, and parents for an evening. Other athletes included New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris; former Indianapolis Colts great Reggie Wayne; former NFL running back Thurman Thomas Sr.; Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris; San Francisco 49ers players Nick Bosa, George Kittle, Kyle Juszczyk, Maurice Hurst Jr., Jaquiski Tartt, Emmanuel Moseley; former 49ers player and current Indianapolis Colts player DeForest Buckner; Raiders’ owner Mark Davis; and Raiders’ tight end Darren Waller. In addition, American rapper and producer Lord Finesse, actor Nick Turturro, and comedian Russell Peters relaxed at the lounge.