BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
Contributed by Jackie Brett
FEEL GOOD BRANDS PLANS MULTI-UNIT EATERY AT CIRCUS CIRCUS: Las Vegas-based Feel Good Brands, which represents a collection of 10 best-of-class brands, will open a new, multi-million dollar eatery at Circus Circus this summer. Feel Good Brands’ new quick-dining multi-unit food court will offer a collection of America’s most distinctive dining brands, including Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Pick Up Stix, the Strip’s Dairy Queen Grill & Chill, Einstein Bros.® Bagels and more. Those dining options will join the already successful Krispy Kreme, which is a brand brought to the Western United States by Feel Good Brands in 1998, and coming soon, Cinnabon, Hot Dog on a Stick, and more. Adjacent to the casino floor, the newly constructed, 15,000-square-foot, $9-plus million food court is one of the most extensive construction projects to take place at the property in decades. Construction of the new dining outlets have included structural changes to the building – taking a portion of the property previously outside and bringing it inside – the repurposing of existing retail space and the actual expansion of the property’s footprint.
‘MAYFAIR AFTER DARK’ REVIVED AGAIN AT BELLAGIO: “Mayfair After Dark” at Bellagio relaunched over Memorial Day Weekend with the introduction of new powerhouse singer Stephani Parker, who will headline the show nightly. The late-night program will continue to evolve in the coming months with new musical arrangements, high-energy DJ beats, and more memorable surprise and delight moments. Parker’s voice earned her the informal title “Diva of the Seas.” She is complementing the talents of current lead performers LaShonda Reese and Steve Judkins. The Mayfair Supper Club, recently named one of the world’s best new restaurants by Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot 100 list, is located on the casino floor, adjacent to Lago by Julian Serrano. Dinner Wednesday-Sunday starts at 5 p.m. and “Mayfair After Dark” is on Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. “Mayfair After Dark” blends live musical acts and performances with a menu of gourmet bites and bottle service, unexpected show vignettes, and more to create an interactive dance party. Inspired by classic 1950s Hollywood, The Mayfair’s new style celebrates midcentury glamour with Vegas charm. Performers and band members bedecked in fringe, diamonds, gowns and tailcoats further transport guests into a world of yesteryear.
CHEF SHAWN MCCLAIN’S BALLO WILL OPEN AT SAHARA: Ballo is a new dining concept from James Beard award-winning Chef Shawn McClain and partners Richard and Sarah Camarota of MC Hospitality, which will open at the Sahara this fall. With Ballo, the group will use their acumen to create an experiential, high-energy destination restaurant featuring seasonal Italian cuisine representing numerous Italian regions. An open kitchen will allow diners to see their food as it’s made, while a pasta window will offer a glimpse inside the process. McClain and his team plan to offer handmade pastas, rustic fire-roasted meats and fish, seasonal vegetable dishes and salads, Roman pizzas, a deli window, as well as an eclectic Euro-centric wine list, desserts featuring espresso liqueurs, and an apertivo cart. The space plans to feature contemporary Italian art with smaller spaces for people to gather. San Diego-born Chef McClain came to Las Vegas 12 years ago when he opened Sage at Aria, which permanently closed during the pandemic, and opened Five50 Pizza Bar, which also shut its doors at the resort. His Libertine Social gastropub is at Mandalay Bay.
CATCH BRUNCH DEBUTS IN LAS VEGAS AT ARIA: Los Angeles’ hottest brunch scene CATCH debuted its daytime feast at ARIA over Memorial Day weekend. The celebrity hotspot brunch is available on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. in a chic, high-energy atmosphere. CATCH Brunch includes menu sections: Cold, Rolled, Sweets, Eggs, Grains and Greens, and Classic. Many selections are creative such as Truffle Sashimi with tuna, Tartare Trio with salmon, Hellfire Roll with spicy tuna to sweets like Cinnamon Roll Pancakes or the visually spectacular The Anytime Waffle Tower. Beyond the renowned cuisine, guests can imbibe in handcrafted cocktails, coffee or freshly pressed juices. Catch Hospitality Group partners Tilman Fertitta, Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm propelled the globally influenced seafood restaurant CATCH in 2011 from a standalone NYC flagship to an international phenomenon with successful locations in Los Angeles, Playa del Carmen and Las Vegas at the ARIA.
NEW BREW DOG PUB PLANNED FOR THE STRIP: Scottish brewery and pub BrewDog officially signed a lease to open a rooftop bar on the Las Vegas Strip. The 30,000-square-foot space plans to sit atop the new Target at the Showcase Mall. The hope is to finish construction in a year or less. The brewery already has U.S. locations in Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Columbus, Ohio, with collections of its own beers on tap and in bottles. James Watt, the co-founder of Ellon, Scotland-based BrewDog, says the rooftop bar will feature a swimming pool, an urban forest, secret event space, retro game zone, and a beer museum, as well as a 10-barrel brewing system. He says the bar will offer its new special edition Elvis Juice, a grapefruit beer, along with a roster of its beers.
MERMAIDS ARE SWIMMING AGAIN AT THE SILVERTON: The Silverton’s famous mermaids are making a splashy return to their 117,000-gallon reef aquarium in the Mermaid Lounge on June 3, while interactive stingray feedings resumed on June 1. Visitors can get up close and personal viewing thousands of tropical fish, stingrays, and sharks swimming throughout the 15-foot-deep tank. As the mermaids swim around, they mingle with the sea life and guests alike, blowing starfish kisses, posing for photos, and doing tricks like backflips through the water. Shows are Thursday, Friday, Saturday noon-1:15 p.m., 2-3:15 p.m., and 5-8:15 p.m., and Sunday 10:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., 2-3:15 p.m., and 5-6:45 p.m. During the interactive stingray feedings, a staff aquarist equipped with a full-face communication mask answers guests’ questions, making it the perfect summer family activity to beat the heat and learn at the same time. These friendly feedings occur daily at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Both mermaids swim and interactive stingray feedings are free for admission. On Fridays and Saturdays, the Mermaid Lounge offers live entertainment from 4-7 p.m.
SAHARA WILL REVEAL NEW AZILO ULTRA POOL: The Sahara is preparing to elevate the full resort experience with the total transformation of the main resort pool. The new Azilo Ultra Pool is part of $150 million transformation the resort is undergoing. Construction of the Moroccan-inspired Azilo Ultra Pool is nearing completion to open this summer. Azilo’s flexible poolscape and event space will feature plenty of screens with the main focal point giant LED walls that wrap around the pool perimeter. The featured portion of the LED wall stretches two stories high and spans the length of the pool’s south side. Totaling more than 10,000 square feet, Azilo’s LED wall is one of the largest to be featured in a private setting on the Strip. The wall’s multiple screens can be synchronized, while the main screen can be partitioned into several smaller screens, giving guests the ability to watch multiple games or events simultaneously. Azilo Ultra Pool includes 35,000 square feet of poolscape, complete with VIP cabanas outfitted with HDTVs, private pools and restrooms. There will also be daybeds, lily pads, three bars and lounge seating. The pool will be open daily to both resort and outside guests – including special engagements on Friday and Saturday nights.
PLAZA PLANS THREE NIGHTS OF FIREWORKS, JULY 2- 4: For the next holiday Independence Day, the Plaza, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, will feature three nights of fireworks, Friday-Sunday, July 2-4 at 10 p.m. shot from the resort’s rooftops. The Plaza is offering a special Independence Weekend room package with $50 food and beverage credit, up to $50 free slot play, $75 bingo match play, a complimentary anniversary souvenir, and access for two to private rooftop pool parties every night. The margarita also turns 50 this year, and the Plaza will offer a special Golden Margarita made with Sauza Gold tequila at all casino bars this summer for $5. The Plaza will also serve frozen margaritas in a pool souvenir cup for $29 with discounted refills and a $10 souvenir disco ball frozen margarita. On Friday and Saturday, July 2 and 3, The Comedy Works at the Plaza will feature headliner comedians Robert Kelly, who was recently on Netflix “The Degenerates” season 2, and Kurt Metzger for a special 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $30.
Multi-Grammy Award-winning superstar Bruno Mars will take the stage over the Fourth of July weekend at Park MGM. He will get things started with shows on July 3 and 4 at the Park Theater, followed by four additional performances July 9-10 and 23-24. As Usher prepares to launch his headlining residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Friday, July 16, the global megastar and eight-time Grammy Award-winner has announced six additional dates from Aug. 4 to 14. His exclusive, only-in-Vegas spectacular will be performed in The Colosseum, a 4,300-seat performance venue. The popular Aces of Comedy series will return to The Mirage in July with some of the biggest names in comedy scheduled. Leading the lineup are Tom Segura, Bill Maher, Chelsea Handler, Gabriel Iglesias and Jim Jefferies. World-famous dance crew Jabbawockeez continues to solidify its legacy in the dance and performance world as MGM Resorts International has extended the group’s contract at MGM Grand through 2025. The four-year extension follows the reopening of Jabbawockeez newest show, “TIM ELESS,” in its temporary home at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Known for their creativity, choreography, athleticism, and intricate synchronization, Jabbawockeez became the first dance crew to headline a Las Vegas theater show when they started at MGM Grand in May 2010. Over the past 11 years, the group has headlined multiple MGM Resorts’ properties with past productions, “MUS.I.C.,” “PRISM” and “JREAMZ, Journey Within.” Blue Man Group will return to the Luxor on June 24 and 25 with 8 p.m. performances, after a nearly 400-day absence. Since debuting at New York’s Astor Place Theatre in 1991, the group known for its show stopping characters and over-the-top non-verbal communication has become a global phenomenon. Beginning July 1, the show schedule will be Thursday-Monday at 5 and 8 p.m. Tickets start at $59. The Comedy Cellar’s June 2021 lineup at the Rio, which is an exact replica of its New York club, will be highlighted by Butch Bradley, Rick D’Alia and Chris Clarke. The Comedy Cellar is known for its distinctive “showcase format,” featuring television-headliner comedians performing their best 15–20-minute sets along with four more comedians. Performances are nightly at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets start at $32 or $42.
LAS VEGAS RESTAURANT WEEK RETURNS THIS MONTH: The 12-day event, Las Vegas Restaurant Week is returning June 7-18 with significant changes to allow Three Square to give back to the culinary community and help food insecure Southern Nevadans in need. Last year, Three Square suspended Las Vegas Restaurant Week due to the pandemic and to focus its efforts on emergency food distribution. Food insecurity in Southern Nevada remains above pre-pandemic levels. Nearly 364,000 community members – or one in six – don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Additionally, one in four children is now living in a food-insecure household. Everyone can help by dining out or taking out food to support Three Square and area restaurants. The list of participating restaurants, menus and specials promotions and ability to book are online at RestaurantWeekLV.org. Participating restaurants have the option to provide traditional three-course menus, specialty menus and/or takeout menus at price points ranging from $20-$80. Three Square traditionally collects $4-$6 of every meal sold from participating restaurants. This year to provide additional support to local restaurants, Three Square is requiring a donation of just $1 per cover.
VAN GOGH EXPERIENCE OFFERS EXCLUSIVE COCKTAILS AND WINES: At AREA15, the Van Gogh Experience on view through the end of July is offering a curated selection of two French wines and two specialty cocktails –The Starry Night and The Sunflower – served exclusively during the 35-minute program in the nearly 7,000-square-foot Portal.
LAS VEGAS MONORAIL IS OPEN AGAIN: The Las Vegas Monorail resumed operations last week. The 3.9-mile elevated system along the Las Vegas Strip enables passengers to travel the length of the resort corridor in less than 15 minutes, at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. Trains arrive every 4-8 minutes at each of the seven stations, including MGM Grand, Bally’s/Paris, Flamingo/Caesars Palace, Harrah’s/The LINQ, Las Vegas Convention Center, Westgate/Las Vegas Convention Centre, and Sahara. The Monorail has resumed its previous operating hours: Mondays 7 a.m.-midnight; Tuesdays-Thursdays 7 a.m.-2 a.m.; and Fridays-Sundays 7 a.m.-3 a.m. Ticket options include single ride tickets and several unlimited ride-passes. Touchless ticketing is available for customers to purchase and download tickets to their mobile wallet. The Monorail operates in compliance with the CDC order which requires face masks to be worn by all travelers.
WORLD SERIES OF POKER® WILL BE IN PERSON AGAIN: The World Series of Poker (WSOP) announced plans for 2021, including the return of the live, in-person event and $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship, best known as “The Main Event®.” The world-famous tournament series, which experienced record-smashing participation in 2019 and adjusted to a hybrid format to accommodate 2020, will be back in-person at the Rio. There will be a diverse calendar of events beginning Thursday, Sept. 30 with all play concluding on Tuesday, Nov. 23.
CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT EXPANDS PARTNERSHIP WITH NFL: Caesars Entertainment, Inc. aka “Caesars” or “the Company” will become an Official Sports Betting Partner of the National Football League (NFL) as part of an agreement that extends the groundbreaking partnership in which the Company became the League’s first-ever casino sponsor. The multi-year agreement, beginning with the upcoming 2021 NFL season, strengthens the partnership between the two organizations, allowing Caesars retail and online sports betting, as well as engage fans with NFL-themed free-to-play games. In addition to its groundbreaking partnership with the NFL, Caesars Entertainment currently has relationships with seven individual NFL franchises, consisting of the Las Vegas Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons, and Carolina Panthers, as well as sports media leader ESPN.