BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
Contributed by Jackie Brett
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR
(Ms. Brett’s Vegas View column will be on holiday hiatus until January 2022)
ROB GARRETT’S NEIL DIAMOND CONCERT IS EXCLUSIVE AT M PAVILION: Veteran performer Rob Garrett, an unparalleled Neil Diamond tribute artist, will appear in a special concert at the M Pavilion on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 8 p.m. Garrett is naturally able to capture Diamond’s captivating presence, energy, and passion. For this concert, Garrett will be backed not only by his core band but by the handpicked Class Diamond’s Orchestra and backup singers. Tickets start at $15. Both Diamond and Garrett were born in Brooklyn, N.Y. Garrett started playing guitar when he was 14 years old. In 1974, his parents and younger brother moved from New York City to Las Vegas. In 1980, Garrett formed the group “Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven,” and for 15 years as leader and front man they were the city’s premier “oldies” and classic rock band. Garrett saw Diamond’s first Las Vegas concert engagement when he made his debut opening the Theater for the Performing Arts at the Aladdin in 1976. He’s seen him 17 times since and has become very familiar with Diamond’s on-stage persona. After being told many times he sounded like Diamond, Garrett made the decision to try out for “Legends In Concert.” In 1995, he was personally hired by Paul Revere (of The Raiders) to portray Diamond in the “Legends In Concert” show in Honolulu, Hawaii. His two-month “trial” engagement ended up a three-year run. Garrett has been a premiere Neil Diamond tribute artist for more than two decades performing shows around the country and at more venues in Las Vegas than any other tribute artist in the industry.
CARVERSTEAK WILL OPEN AT RESORTS WORLD ON DEC. 30: Carver Road Hospitality will open its luxury steakhouse, Carversteak, at Resorts World on Thursday, Dec. 30. The opening date serves as both a celebration and kickoff to New Year’s Eve weekend on the Strip, and in advance of its debut Carversteak is accepting reservations. The 14,500-square-foot Carversteak is the first Las Vegas dining concept conceived and developed by Carver Road Hospitality, featuring an expansive 70-foot honed quartzite stone bar, a sweeping outdoor bar and dining terrace, two private dining experiences – The Knife Shop and Whiskey Room – and a plush main dining room floor. The menu is designed by acclaimed Chef Daniel Ontiveros, previously of three-star Michelin eatery Joël Robuchon Restaurant, Thomas Keller Bouchon Bistro, Michael Mina’s Nobhill Tavern and Scotch 80 Prime, among others.
18th ANNUAL DAM SHORT FILM FESTIVAL RETURNS VIRTUALLY: Launching Feb. 10, 2022, the Dam Short Film Society will present the 18th Annual Dam Short Film Festival online as a virtual event again this year. Boulder City’s film festival will offer the full festival experience, including access to 147 short films, live stream events, Q&As with the filmmakers, and more. While the 2022 Festival remains COVID-friendly, the plan is to return to the Boulder Theatre in 2023. Powered by Eventive, the Dam Short Film Festival’s virtual experience will offer viewers an on-demand screening experience, with tickets sold for entire households to enjoy rather than per person, like in years past. All-access household passes to the entire Festival, as well as household tickets to individual program blocks will be available. A full lineup of live-streaming events will be announced soon. For more information, visit damshortfilm.org. The Dam Short Film Festival ranks in the top 1% of more than 12,000 film festivals and contests worldwide, as per FilmFreeway – the premier platform for festivals and filmmakers.
JOHN FOGERTY RETURNS TO WYNN’S ENCORE THEATER IN 2022: Rock legend John Fogerty is returning to the Encore Theater with an extended residency at Wynn in 2022 following his successful run of shows at the venue this year. He will headline 8 p.m. performances on Feb. 23, 25-26 and March 2, 4-5. Tickets start at $69.95. Fogerty received a key to the Las Vegas Strip during his 2019 run at Wynn in recognition of his dedication to supporting veterans in the city and across the country. His chart-topping hits with Creedence Clearwater Revival are known around the world, including “Proud Mary,” “Centerfield,” “Fortunate Son” and more.
STRIP AGAIN HOLDS NEW YEAR’S EVE FIREWORKS DISPLAY: Las Vegas will once again produce giant fireworks over the famous Strip after not having any last year due to COVID. Further details of “America’s Party 2022” are being released on Dec. 16 during a press conference at the Fashion Show Mall. For now, the fireworks are scheduled to be launched from eight Las Vegas Strip rooftops including the newest property Resorts World joining MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island (TI), The Venetian, and The STRAT. The midnight fireworks show will be co-produced by Fireworks by Grucci.
FREMONT STREET EXPERIENCE PLANS 80’S & 90’S DANCE PARTY: Fremont Street Experience will feature an 80’s & 90’s themed dance party for New Year’s Eve with live performances from some of the biggest names of the era including Vanilla Ice, Village People, Bobby Brown, Tone Loc and more. Pre-sale tickets are $35. Gates will open on Friday, Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. Revelers must be 21 or older and will enter the party red carpet style with step-and-repeat photo opportunities projecting their image onto the Viva Vision screen above. Guests can dance the night away with non-stop live music and entertainment on each of Fremont Street’s three permanent stages. In addition, the destination will erect a fourth music stage located on Casino Center exclusively for the NYE party. All partygoers are encouraged to wear their best 80’s & 90’s outfits.
COUNTRY GROUP MIDLAND WILL MAKE TOUR STOP AT VIRGIN HOTELS: Award-winning country music group Midland is bringing “The Last Resort” Tour to The Theater at Virgin Hotels, part of Curio Collection by Hilton, on Saturday, March 5 for a one-night-only performance. The band will bring their signature sound and play their chart-topping hits including Grammy Award®-nominated song, “Drinkin’ Problem” and current single “Sunrise Tells The Story.” Virgin Hotels offers complimentary self-parking. Hailing from Dripping Springs, Texas, Midland’s songs are rooted in tradition in both sound and style. The announcement of “The Last Resort” Tour follows their critical acclaim and multiple accolades, including being named “New Vocal Group of the Year” at the 2018 ACM Awards and being nominated for Vocal Group of the Year at the 2021 CMA Awards. In addition to touring, the Texas natives host a podcast, “Set it Straight: Myths and Legends,” uncovering the truth behind infamous stories of country music history with notable guests including Sheryl Crow, Matthew McConaughey, Garth Brooks and Wynona Judd.
RING IN THE NEW YEAR AT VIRGIN HOTELS: This New Year’s Eve, Virgin Hotels will welcome 2022 with Grammy Award winner and global phenomenon Lizzo performing her hits alongside special guest DJ Sophia Eris at The Theater with doors opening at 10 p.m. Chart-topping R&B crooner and songwriter Kehlani will take over Money, Baby!, Clive Collective’s high-energy nightlife, sports and entertainment venue. Doors open at 8 p.m.
THE COSMOPOLITAN USHERS IN 2022 WITH MAROON 5 AND EVENTS: The Cosmopolitan offers a New Year’s Eve lineup featuring award-winning entertainment, exclusive events and specialty dining to ring in 2022. Guests can usher in the New Year with experiences including a two-night engagement with Maroon 5 inside The Chelsea, a lively DJ set by world-renowned producer Fisher at Marquee Nightclub, a VIP firework viewing party atop the resort’s iconic rooftop Ice Rink, a champagne toast inside The Chandelier and much more.
XS CELEBRATES NEW YEAR’S EVE AT WYNN: Partygoers can ring in the new year at XS inside Wynn with some top DJs. Celebrations start on Thursday, Dec. 30 at 10:30 p.m. as Diplo takes the stage. On Friday, Dec. 31 guests can anticipate XS to be decked out in celebratory décor, receive New Year’s Eve party swag like hats and horns, enjoy a live countdown with the Grammy Award-winning duo, The Chainsmokers, and then party the night away. Marshmello rounds out the weekend by taking the stage on Saturday, Jan. 1.
UNDERGROUND SPEAKEASY HOSTS NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY: The Underground speakeasy and distillery inside The Mob Museum is bringing in the New Year with a party. Partygoers can count down to the New Year with a two-hour open bar featuring Prohibition-inspired handcrafted cocktails, live jazz and cabaret entertainment by Amanda King, plus a champagne toast at midnight. The evening begins inside The Underground speakeasy and distillery at 9 p.m. and concludes at 1 a.m. VIP tickets at $150 per person also include reserved seating and a bottle of champagne for every two guests. General admission tickets are $100.
‘FANTASY’ ADDS SHOWS ON CHRISTMAS EVE AND DAY: The ladies of Luxor’s topless female revue “Fantasy,” will celebrate the Christmas season with two extra shows at 8 p.m. on both Christmas Eve, Dec. 24 and Christmas Day, Dec. 25, along with their nightly 10:30 p.m. show. All four shows will feature a holiday number performed by guest star vocalist Anne Martinez. All guests attending each of the four performances will be entered for the Naughty or Nice list. During each show a randomly selected audience seat will be chosen. The winner will receive the Fantasy “Naughty or Nice Stocking” gift basket containing branded gifts including the new “2022: The Gold Standard” calendar, playing cards and more. Following the show, the gift basket may be picked up at the Atrium Showroom merchandise counter.
PARK ON FREMONT PRESENTS A ‘NAUGHTY NUTCRACKER’ EXPERIENCE: Park on Fremont at 506 Fremont Street transformed into the “Naughty Nutcracker” holiday experience now through Jan. 9. Corner Bar Management’s whimsical venue is spreading holiday cheer with its seasonal experience, featuring holiday-themed drinks, over-the-top decorations, live music and more. Naughty Nutcracker is an invitation to be immersed in a winter wonderland at the restaurant’s patio garden and bar.
THE FRONT YARD RINGS IN NEW YEAR WITH 70S-THEMED PARTY: The Front Yard at Ellis Island is offering a seventies-themed bash and prix fixe dinner seating for New Year’s Eve. The four-course specialty meal is $125 with three-hour time-period seatings at 5:30, 6, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. A la carte options will also be available.
RICK ROSS TO RING IN NEW YEAR AT DRAI’S NIGHTCLUB: The rooftop nightclub at The Cromwell and nightlife epicenter, Drai’s Nightclub, has announced that hip-hop icon Rick Ross will return for the third performance of his new multi-year Drai’s LIVE residency on New Year’s Eve, Friday, Dec. 31. The evening will be enhanced with the rooftop view of the fireworks display over the Strip skyline when the clock strikes midnight.
WORLD SERIES OF POKER® MOVES TO THE STRIP IN 2022: Caesars Entertainment’s World Series of Poker (WSOP®) announced the 53rd annual World Series of Poker tournament will be held at Bally’s and Paris, May 31–July 19, 2022, with actor, comedian and card player Vince Vaughn named as the event’s official celebrity Master of Ceremonies. Following a successful 17-year run at the Rio, the WSOP continues its tradition as the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world at an all-new location. For the first time, the WSOP will be held at the heart of the Strip. Following 12 intense days of WSOP play this year at the Rio, Germany’s Koray Aldemir was officially crowned the 52nd WSOP World Champion. Overcoming the 6,650 participants from around the world, Aldemir won his first-ever Main Event victory boasting $8 million in prize winnings and taking home the highly coveted Main Event bracelet, a 10k yellow and white gold bracelet encrusted with 2,230 rubies, white and black diamonds. The full 2022 WSOP schedule, including a booking link for discounted participant hotel rates, is expected to be published in January.
PINKBOX DOUGHNUTS® EASTERN LOCATION HOLDS GRAND OPENING: Pinkbox Doughnuts® will open the doors to its relocated Eastern store in Henderson on Saturday, Dec. 18 debuting the newest, most creative and fun Pinkbox yet, with a second drive thru at 10510 S. Eastern Ave. On Saturday, Dec. 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the grand opening party will feature festive ages friendly activities, an appearance by Pinkbox mascot Pinky, a live DJ, photo booth, airbrush tattoos, a doughnut eating contest more. Three doughnuts served that day will have a pink ticket inside, giving three customers the chance to win free doughnuts for a year. The first 100 guests will also receive a free, limited-edition Pinkbox T-shirt to take home. In addition, Pinkbox is launching the Pinkbox Perks loyalty program where you earn three points for every dollar spent, with 400 points equaling $10 Pinkbox Dough. Customers can sign up through the Pinkbox Perks app, earning 30 points just for signing up, and can earn an additional 30 points for anyone they refer. Perk holders will also receive an It’s Ya Birthday doughnut on their birthday. Points can be redeemed at participating Pinkbox locations. There are currently seven Pinkbox Doughnuts locations in Las Vegas, including a kiosk at Siegel’s Bagelmania and a kiosk at Allegiant Stadium. Select Pinkbox locations are open 24 hours daily.
NEARLY 5,000 ATTENDED 17TH LAS VEGAS GREAT SANTA RUN: The Las Vegas Great Santa Run, a major Opportunity Village fundraiser, returned for its 17th season to Downtown Las Vegas on Saturday, Dec. 4 to a crowd of nearly 5,000 attendees, and 200 pets with many participating in the Pet Costume Contest. The Las Vegas Great Santa Run, presented by Circle K, featured entertainment, contests, and both a 5k and 1-mile course allowing festive Santas to run and walk in support of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities at Opportunity Village. Festivities kicked off at the Fremont Street Experience at 8 a.m. and concluded in the Llama Lot after-party featuring a variety of food trucks, vendors, and live entertainment.
LUCKY EL CORTEZ GUESTS HIT JACKPOTS: The month of December at the El Cortez started off with winners. In the first week there were eight big jackpots. The largest jackpot win was hit on Sunday, Dec. 5, with a guest from Minnesota winning $77,023.73 with a $5 bet on a Dollar Storm machine. A guest from Hawaii followed the second week with a $26,160.00 jackpot on a Dollar Storm slot. El Cortez is one of the last remaining casinos to still offer almost 100-coin operated slot machines and Las Vegas locals consistently vote El Cortez best locals casino, best paying slots, best table games, best players club and best downtown hotel.