BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
Contributed by Jackie Brett
DOWNTOWN WILL HAVE A WELCOME SIGN: With completion expected in September, construction is underway on an illuminated arch sign, which will serve as a welcome sign for visitors entering downtown Las Vegas. The $6.5 million, 80-foot-tall crisscrossed arches will create a gateway to downtown on Las Vegas Boulevard near The STRAT resort. The blue arches will cross over Las Vegas Boulevard between St. Louis and Bob Stupak avenues and feature a vintage “Las Vegas” script emblem hanging over the street. The arches are part of a continued effort to update infrastructure and signage around the downtown area. It will be near the showgirl installation, which is further north at Main Street, and was revealed in 2018.
PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE: The $52.5 million Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) people mover tunneling project, part of a $980 million campus expansion, is expected to be completed by January. The Boring Company is building the shuttle 40 feet beneath the ground at the LVCC to carry people between exhibition halls. Each Tesla shuttle will be able to transport up to 16 people per vehicle along with the capability to have up to 62 vehicles in service at any given time. Alleviating traffic is always a prime concern and two Strip resorts, Wynn and Resorts World, are planning to dig tunnels to whisk passengers to and from the LVCC. Resorts World, the $4.3 billion resort scheduled to open in summer 2021, received an approval by the Clark County Commission necessary to move forward with constructing the resort’s passenger station and tunnel connecting to the LVCC campus via Elon Musk’s innovative transportation system. This new tunnel project will transport passengers between the city’s newest integrated resort and the LVCC via underground tunnels in all-electric Tesla vehicles in under just two minutes. Land-use application and design plans were submitted for the tunnel and passenger station to the Board of County Commissioners on June 1. Marking an important milestone, the decision moves the landmark project into the next phase of the permitting process. Construction is anticipated to begin by the end of this year. Wynn and Elon Musk’s Boring Company have also submitted a land-use application to the county for the project’s design. Tesla vehicles will also transport passengers underground from Wynn and the adjacent Encore to the LVCC in less than two minutes.
ZERO GRAVITY WILL VISIT LAS VEGAS: Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G) has revised its 2020 flight schedule and bringing weightless experiences to fans across the country. The eight-city tour will include a Las Vegas stop on Saturday, Sept. 5. In addition, the weightless flight company has announced its updated health and safety measures to help combat COVID-19 concerns, which can be found on its website. The flights offered by ZERO-G continue to be the only FAA-approved opportunities in the United States for individuals to experience true weightlessness. The company’s specially modified Boeing 727 is a zero-gravity playroom complete with padded floors and walls and video cameras to record each experience. Talented ZERO-G pilots perform a series of parabolic arcs while flying in a FAA designated airspace. At the top of each arc, flyers soar through the plane like astronauts, perform effortless tricks and flips, watch droplets of water hover in air, release a handful of M&M’s and chase them down like a human game of Pac-Man, plus more fun. Since the company’s first commercial flight in 2004, ZERO-G has given more than 17,000 flyers the feeling of true weightlessness in 27 U.S. cities. It has also hosted celebrities and scientists including Stephen Hawking, Buzz Aldrin, Peter Jackson, George Takei, Justin Bieber, Kate Upton, Martha Stewart, The Osbournes, Ashton Kutcher and many others. Valued at $6,700 per person, the ZERO-G experience includes breakfast, flight training, 15 periods of weightlessness, a ZERO-G flight suit, ZERO-G merchandise – including a branded mask, a weightless completion certificate, and photos plus video for remembering the challenge.
LV NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM STUDIES NEVADA ICE AGE FOSSILS: Tom Gordon of Carson City, Nev., was digging a trench for a water line in his backyard when he found bones which turned out to be the remains of Ice Age herbivores. Gordon’s daughter contacted Nevada paleontologist, Dr. Steve Rowland, an Emeritus Geology Professor at University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) and Lab Manager at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum. In June, Rowland, Gordon, and UNLV PhD student, Eric Chameroy, spent a week digging up the fossils. Rowland and Chameroy are now studying and cataloging the collection at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum. Visitors to the Museum are invited to stop by the Richard A. Ditton Learning Lab to see the fossils and meet the paleontologists who are currently studying them, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. After very humble beginnings in 1989, this private nonprofit museum is now a Smithsonian Affiliate, accredited with the American Alliance of Museums, and is a federal and state repository for fossils and artifacts. About the discovered bones, it has been determined they represent several individual animals but appear to belong to the same species. Because there were no well-preserved skulls, they have not yet been able to unequivocally identify the species. Rowland believes the animal whose bones most closely match the shapes of the Carson City bones, is a musk ox―a long-haired, cow-like animal which lives in Alaska and northern Canada. Musk oxen might seem to be unlikely animals to live in Nevada, but there were two species of musk oxen―both of which are now extinct―that lived throughout much of the United States during the Ice Age. Fossils of one of the extinct musk ox species―called the “shrub ox”―have been found in a cave north of Reno. The other extinct species―the “helmeted musk ox”―has never been reported to occur in Nevada, but it is well known from western Utah, Idaho, and Colorado. Rowland and Chameroy are planning a return trip to Carson City to continue excavation. It has not yet been determined where the Carson City bones will ultimately end up.
DOLCE IS NEW SUPPER CLUB AT LAVO: Beginning Aug. 16, Dolce is a new decadent supper club experience taking place every Sunday at LAVO inside The Palazzo. Starting at 9:30 p.m., the restaurant will transform with live entertainment and a DJ while guests can enjoy signature Italian dishes including the famed meatball, along with seafood, pasta and prime meats while taking in performances. As the night progresses, interactive desserts, along with decanter and bottle service emerge. Capturing the attention of every table in the room will be the new Tartufo Fantasia, a Neapolitan Gelato Cake, Sicilian Pistachios and Popping Candy Chocolate Shell, unveiled by poured flaming hot syrup. This tantalizing dessert can be enjoyed on its own or combined into a full tasting complete with additional sweets and paired with Champagne and spirits.
MOB MUSEUM DEBUTS THREE-PART POLICING SERIES: The Mob Museum is holding a three-part series of public forums on the Future of Policing beginning Thursday, Aug. 20. The free-monthly discussions will explore the consequences of historic injustices, address the nationwide calls to reshape American policing, and consider what can be done to serve all members of society more equally. The series was developed to support the Museum’s commitment to illuminating real-time relevant social issues. The first installation on Thursday, Aug. 20 titled “Reinventing Law Enforcement: Changing the Culture of Policing,” will include four expert panelists comprising of activists and law enforcement officials discussing police reform measures and the current social unrest following the death of George Floyd. All three forums will be live-streamed and accommodate a small, in-person audience based on reduced capacity to follow public health guidelines. The first program taking place on Aug. 20 is sold out. Video footage of each forum will also be available after each event. The second installment, “Race and Policing in America: A History of Conflict” will take place Tuesday, Sept. 22. The final event of the three-part series will be on Thursday, Oct. 15, which will tackle “The Push for Change: Legislative Pathways to Police Reform.” For updates on The Future of Policing forum, call 702-229-2734 or visit the museum’s website.
VEGAS BABY VODKA IS A SPIRIT WITH CERTIFICATIONS: Vegas Baby Spirits was founded in 2018 by local ladies, Jennifer Higgins and Megan Wilkes, who sought to capture the excitement of city. Recently the local spirits company has received Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) certifications. WBENC’s world-class certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. WBENC Certification validates businesses are at least 51 percent owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women. In an industry where the executive ranks have been dominated by men, Higgins and Wilkes are paving the way for female spirits ownership. ACDBE certification is a concession for-profit small businesses, which must be at least 51 percent owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged; and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of the socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who own it. Vegas Baby Vodka is available in nearly 150 locations throughout Las Vegas, including Lee’s Discount Liquor, Total Wine & More, The Cosmopolitan, MGM Resorts International properties and Stations Casinos properties. Vegas Baby Vodka is made and distilled at Dry Hills Distillery in Montana, with Rocky Mountain water and non-GMO, gluten-free corn, and is distilled using a column still and filtered through a charcoal filter for an ultra-smooth finish with 40 percent alcohol by volume.
SECRETBURGER-CHEF BRUCE KALMAN OFFER AT-HOME COOKING SERIES: Following the success of cooking collaborations with local chefs, SecretBurger founder Jolene Mannina is teaming up with Las Vegas’ newest powerhouse, James Beard nominated and Top Chef alum Chef Bruce Kalman, for at-home four-part diverse cooking series. Chef Kalman’s cooking lineup includes Aug. 12 Fresh Mozzarella and Pickled Giardiniere; Aug. 15 and 16 Soulbelly BBQ Pop-Up; Aug. 23; Kid’s Kit – Pepperoni and Ricotta Lasagna Cups; and Aug. 26 Pasta Class. For ticket prices and details visit the SecretBurger website. All SecretBurger events are available via SecretBurger.com. Restaurants across the Las Vegas Valley are encouraged to sign up and connect with fans at home for safe cooking and new skills in this uncertain time. SecretBurger.com is an online marketplace offering off-the-menu dishes and newly launched cook-at home, chef led demos that consumers pre-purchase before they sell out.
MUSEUM EXTENDS OPERATION CROSSROADS ART EXHIBIT: The “Operation Crossroads Bikini Atoll Collection” exhibit at the National Atomic Testing Museum (NAM) has been extended until Dec. 1. The display depicts paintings of the first post-war atomic bomb test in 1946. Most of the works are by the famous California impressionist painter, Arthur Beaumont, who completed commissions for the Navy and three U.S. Presidents over a period of almost 50 years. The exhibit also includes a few oil paintings completed by Beaumont’s colleague, Charles Bittinger. Beaumont used impressionistic techniques to portray in stunning watercolors the ships and the men of that atomic test series, as well as surrounding native settings, while Bittinger concentrated on portraying in oils the nuclear clouds and the explosions themselves. Most of the paintings made during the Operation Crossroads tests have not been on display in one collection since 1947 when they toured the National Gallery and the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. We have tried to reunite as many original works in our exhibit as possible.
At The STRAT, visitors may celebrate National Roller Coaster Day, Sunday, Aug. 16 with two-for-one single ride passes on thrill rides X-Scream, Big Shot, and Insanity at the top of the tower. Single ride tickets are $5 plus handling fees. SkyPod admission is not included in this promotion. A COVID-19 advisory is not to have candles on a cake for someone to blow out. Rolling in Dough Bakery is offering a free side cupcake – specifically for the candles – with every birthday cake purchased. Local resident Roy turned his visit to the Bingo Hall at Sam’s Town into a more than $10,000 pay day earlier this month. Sam’s Town added more than $64,000 to the August Hotball Jackpot prize pool, and the winner hit a $10,082 Hotball Jackpot during the 7 p.m. session. Also, at Sam’s Town, resident Matthew scored a nearly $37,000 jackpot playing bingo. He purchased a $1 bonus coverall strip and hit the $36,786 coverall jackpot after 48 numbers were called during the 11 a.m. session.