The Eldorado Casino in downtown Henderson closed for the 78-day shutdown last year and never reopened. Then, last December, it was sold by Boyd Gaming to DeSimone Gaming, owner of the Railroad Pass Hotel-Casino, just past Henderson on the way into Boulder City. DeSimone Gaming has just announced that the newly rebranded Pass Casino (it doesn't have any hotel rooms) will reopen on April 1, pending regulatory approval. It will feature "increased gaming," along with a 24/7 coffee shop, an Italian restaurant, and a shuttle that will run between the Pass and Railroad Pass casinos. More good news.
After shutting down its suites Sunday through Wednesday nights last July, then closing them completely in December, the Palazzo is reopening them, starting tonight. Though the rest of the resort's amenities remained open, room demand fell so far short that the Venetian's 4,049 suites easily handled it for the past seven months. It's another sign that the recovery is well under way.
In last night's 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild, all three of the Vegas Golden Knights goals were scored by rookie defenseman Dylan Coghlan. Coghlan scored the VGK's first goal 1:23 into the first period to tie the score at 1-1; that was his very first goal in the NHL. He then scored two more goals in the third period. It was the first hat trick for a VGK defenseman in the team's four-year history. Coghlan is also just the third player in the entire history of the NHL to score a hat trick in a game where he scored his first goal. The other two players accomplished in 1984 and 1918! Too bad it was wasted in a losing effort. You can read about the game in Joe Pane's Knights on Ice post, which has a link to the highlight reel of Coghlan's hat trick.
The Life is Beautiful arts and music festival will spotlight more than 60 acts at the 2021 event, scheduled for Sept. 17-19. They include the following headliners: Bay Area rockers Green Day, singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, Australian multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker of Tame Impala, and rapper A$AP Rocky. Ticket sales to the general public begin this Friday.
Ventriloquist, impressionist, and puppeteer Terry Fator will return to the Las Vegas stage on Thursday March 18 at the New York-New York Theater with a brand new show, Who's the Dummy Now? Fator told the Las Vegas Sun that the show is "completely different" than anything he's done before"; it's a "whimsical origin story delving into the psychiatry of a ventriloquist." And he says he'll take some time to showcase what he's capable of without the puppets, i.e., full-song impressions. Fator will perform Thurs.-Sun. evenings at 7:30 (7 on Saturdays); tickets are on sale now via the NY-NY box office starting at $34.99 plus fees and tax.
To go with a number of announced high-end restaurants, plus Wally's Wine & Spirits, the "sommelier to the stars," and Crockford's luxury hotel-within-a-hotel, Resorts World has revealed a few details for a new lounge, Gatsby's Cocktails, that will be Champagne inspired and themed. A statement from the operators, Clique Hospitality (which runs lounges and restaurants at Cosmopolitan, Red Rock Resort, and other Las Vegas casinos), hints at "vintage and rare Champagnes, artisanal cocktails, and wines" at Gatsby's, which will be located just off the casino. It also mentions a "secret drink menu," a 360-degree bar, and Champagne-bubble lighting effects.
With more restaurants opening up, late-night dining is also starting to come back. One location with two choices is at Spring Mountain and Decatur, where both the Crown & Anchor and Honey Pig (Korean) are serving 24/7. The Crown & Anchor on Tropicana also has a 24-hour kitchen.
Boyd Gaming and FanDuel have announced plans to bring back the iconic Stardust brand via online casinos in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The Stardust Hotel-Casino opened on the Las Vegas Strip in 1957 and closed in 2006 (Resorts World Las Vegas is being built on the site); though it's been gone for more than 15 years, it remains a well-known name. In New Jersey, FanDuel will rebrand Betfair Casino; in Pennsylvania, Stardust will be a new entry. Regulators are expected to approve the move soon and the Stardust online casinos could launch as early as next month. Boyd owns 5% of FanDuel.
With Frontier Airlines announcing new nonstop routes between Las Vegas and El Paso, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, and Wichita that start this week, the ultra-low-cost airline makes 44 nonstop flights from McCarran. Two of them, international flights to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, launch later this month.
On Friday night, two royal flushes, one at live poker, the other at video poker, saw two Station Casinos paying out some big bucks. In the first, at an 8/16 Omaha-high table, a royal beat four jacks to trigger a bad-beat jackpot of $107,500. In the second, a video poker player was dealt the king, queen, jack, and ten of hearts in order on a Double Double Bonus Progressive machine and popped the ace of hearts, earning a payout of just under $120,000.
The travel website OneMileAtATime.com noticed a policy on the Virgin Las Vegas FAQ page: "Outside food and beverage is not permitted in our guest rooms." The Wynn, according to the site, has a similar policy: "Outside food and beverage, as well as coolers, are not permitted at the resort and casino." The site notes that the way these rules are worded, you might/will be stopped by security if you're attempting to carry onto the hotel elevator a bag of In N Out burgers, a Jamba Juice smoothie, or even some bottled water from Walmart. What gives? In the extensive discussion in the comments section, the consensus is that the hotels simply want a rule in place that allows them to prevent guests from using an outside service to cater parties or having "massive keggers" in their rooms. Still, as the site suggests, if that's the real reason, why not say so, rather than making guests feel like they're violating a house rule that risks getting themselves tossed? You can read the report and ensuing discussion here. Virgin Las Vegas opens a week from today.
The median price of a single-family house in Las Vegas set a new record in February at $355,000, up 12% over February 2020 and 5.7% over the previous record of $355,000, set in November and tied in December and January. Condos and townhomes are up 13% year over year, with a median price of $197,500 in February. The inventory remains historically low, less than a one-month supply, compared to the six months considered a "balanced" market (between buyers and sellers). Curiously, in spite of high unemployment in Las Vegas, short sales and foreclosures combined added up to a little more than a half-percent of all sales in February, compared to 2.5% last year, just before the pandemic struck, and 11% in 2017.
Team LeBron is a -4 favorite over Team Durant in tonight's NBA All Star Game. The total is 317.5.
Las Vegas Review-Journal food writer Al Mancini reports that our favorite Strip Greek restaurant, Estatorio Milos, will reopen a week from tomorrow, Monday March 15, at the Venetian. The restaurant debuted with the Cosmopolitan in 2011 and closed last October in preparation of moving to its new venue on restaurant row between the Venetian and Palazzo. Mancini writes that the new space will encompass 13,000 square feet, large enough to seat 400, though there will be enough seating for only 175, even after COVID capacity limits are completely lifted. There will also be a 35-seat oyster/sashimi bar, a Greek yogurt display kitchen, and fish and produce "markets" from which you can select your meal. It all sounds mouth-watering and we can't wait for it to open next week.
Taking a couple of pages out of the Mattress Mack playbook, Dollar Loan Center has promised to forgive all outstanding loans of its Nevada customers if its sponsored driver, Josh Bilicki, wins today’s Pennzoil 400 race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Dollar Loan Center made a long-odds bet on Bilicki to win $10 million at Circa as a hedge. The race will be run today starting at 12:30 p.m. PST and will be aired on FOX.
The Vegas Golden Knights took down their arch-rivals, the San Jose Sharks, on their own ice last night by a score of 4-0. It was goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury's 65th career shutout. He now leads all active goalies in shutouts and ranks 16th on the NHL's all-time list. With three more shutouts, he'll jump to 13th. To see a highlight reel of the 36-year-old Fleury's 862nd NHL game, click here. And to read Joe Pane's blog post on last night's game against the Sharks, click here.
Israel Adesanya is a -290 favorite over Jan Blachowicz in tonight’s UFC main event. In the other featured match, Amanda Nunes is -965 over Megan Anderson.
Fifty-seven-year-old actor and Las Vega resident Nicholas Cage married his 26-year-old Japanese girlfriend, Riko Shibata, last month at a small private ceremony at the Wynn. It's Cage's fifth marriage and Shibata's first. The two met in Japan shortly after Cage's fourth marriage, to Erika Koike, was dissolved a few months after they tied the knot, also in Las Vegas. Cage has been married to Patricia Arquette, Lisa Marie Presley, and Alice Kim (who was a waitress at a Korean restaurant in L.A. when they met; still friendly, she attended the latest wedding with their son). We wish Mr. and Mrs. Cage the best of luck in their quest to make this marriage permanent.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak continues to loosen up restrictions, this time rescinding the "moat" requirement imposed on ticketed shows. The 25-foot distance between entertainers and audience has been eliminated. Also, the minimum distance between masked performers has been reduced to six feet (if unmasked, it's 12 feet). The changes are a big step in helping the Las Vegas entertainment scene recover from a year of profit-killing limits.
As of this writing, the change.org petition that opposes renaming McCarran International Airport for former U.S. Senator Harry Reid has just gone over 24,500 and is rising toward the goal of 25,000 fast. It probably won't make a difference, but it does show that plenty of people are against the move. So does our current poll: With 671 votes so far, 187 support leaving the name alone, while a paltry 27 are in favor of renaming it after Reid and 284 would rather see it renamed Las Vegas International. You can vote for your preference here.
NASCAR returns to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for the Pennzoil 400 and two other races, with 12,500 spectators being allowed in to watch from the grandstands. The problem is, they all have to approach the venue from I-15; only team members, officials, and media can enter through the gate off Las Vegas Boulevard. That means thousands of cars will be backed up on the freeway before race time, waiting to get into the parking lots. The gates open for the Bucked Up 200 Truck Series race at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, for the Alsco Uniform 300 Xfinity Series race at noon on Saturday, and for the Pennzoil 400 Cup Series race at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. It's shaping up to be a real mess for through traffic on the interstate all three days.
The outdoor portions of Springs Preserve, along with Nevada State Museum, will open to all comers on Friday March 19. The indoor attractions, including the cafe, will remain closed until further notice. The Preserve shut down on March 16, reopened in full on October 1, then shut down in full again. You can read our description of this excellent outdoor attraction in our Question of the Day about it.
Area15 is anticipating the pent-up demand for large-scale outdoor entertainment by breaking ground on a concert and festival venue called The Grounds. The four-acre space, adjacent to the Area15 mall, is on the site of the defunct Scandia Fun Center just south of Sirius Avenue along Rancho Drive next to 1-15. The space is anticipated to accommodate nearly 25,000 people when such gatherings are allowed, though it's planned to be ready by the summer.
Las Vegas has its share of celebrity chefs and new ones in the making. Eduardo Perez is the subject of one of the Modelo Especial “Fighting Spirit” commercials that often feature UFC stars. The commercial doesn’t identify where he works or even that it’s in Vegas, but Perez is the head chef at Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano at the Venetian. Also, Jamie Tran of The Black Sheep contemporary Vietnamese-American restaurant on S. Durango will be one of 15 competing chefs on the upcoming 18th season of the hit Bravo show “Top Chef.”
Nevada legislators are considering an unusual and controversial bill supported by the governor that would allow technology companies to set up "sub-counties" called Innovation Zones. The Zones would become county-like jurisdictions managed by private enterprise, rather than traditional local government. The zones would have to occupy at least 50,000 acres of currently unincorporated land owned by the enterprise, which would have to make a $250 million investment in the land before applying for Innovation status, then commit to spending another $1 billion over the following 10 years. This would afford significant freedom for Innovation Zones to try new tax, fee, and systems for services at a local level, plus provide flexibility to integrate innovative technologies, such as blockchain, robotics, artificial intelligence, wireless, biometrics, and renewable resources. The proposal stems from Blockchains LLC, which bought 67,000 acres of land in Storey County (next to Reno's Washoe County) for $170 million in 2018. Turning the proposal into law will no doubt require an uphill battle, but it's an interesting direction for the state to take a step toward.
The Oakland Athletics Triple A affiliate Las Vegas Aviators' season has been delayed by Major League Baseball by at least a month due to COVID. Originally scheduled to begin on April 8 on the road in Texas, the Aviators will, if all goes according to the new plan, launch its 2021 season on May 6 at home against Sacramento. After a wildly successful debut season in its new Summerlin stadium in 2019, the Aviators' 2020 season was completely canceled, along with the rest of Minor League Baseball.
On March 15, conventions can reconvene in Las Vegas with up to 1,000 attendees if they're approved by the Gaming Control Board (at a casino) or the state Division of Industrial Relations (at a non-casino property). So far, however, no conventions are scheduled in Nevada before May1, when the approval process is assumed by county officials. Vegas' first trade show, he Tobacco Plus Expo, is scheduled for May 12-14, but can't get approval from Clark County until May 1, which puts the organizers in a whale of a bind. The big World of Concrete show is scheduled for June 8-10. Normally, it attracts upwards of 60,000 conventioneers, but we'll see how many are allowed in the next couple of months.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. has sold its Las Vegas casinos and convention center for $6.25 billion. It's a two-part deal, in which the real estate is being bought for $4 billion by Vici Properties, the real-estate investment trust spun off from Caesars Entertainment as part of its 2017 bankruptcy reorganization, which will own the land, and the operations for $2.25 billion by Apollo Global, an asset management company, which at one time had a large stake in Caesars Entertainment. Apollo will also sign a long-term triple-net lease with Vici for roughly $250 million per year for rent; the initial term of the lease is 30 years, with two 10-year tenant extensions. Rumors have circulated for the past six months or so that the properties would be sold, but it took only two months after the death of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson for the move to be made. Las Vegas Sands, which will drop the Las Vegas from its company name, announced in a statement, "Asia remains the backbone of this company and our developments in Macao and Singapore are the center of our attention." The sale is expected to close by the end of this year.
A new video is now running on the Las Vegas Advisor's YouTube channel. In it, Anthony and Andrew drink a beer and play video poker at one of A.C.'s favorite haunts, the Crown & Anchor British Pub. With cameras on them and the machine, Anthony gives Andrew -- and viewers -- a tutorial in playing 6/5 Bonus Poker at a bar, with all the attending inside tips. It's like being there yourself.
In another sign of the slow progress toward returning to normalcy, Las Vegas public-elementary-school children returned to school buildings yesterday. The return of students in kindergarten through third grade was the first time in 50 weeks that they've attended classes in person. All other grades will go back to in-person classes on a staggered schedule that should be completed by Tuesday April 6.
Careful, fellas, the world of sports betting can be treacherous. After proudly announcing what they viewed as a groundbreaking sponsorship agreement with UpickTrade.com, the deal was met with criticism from every corner of the sports betting industry. UpickTrade is a picks service out of Mexico that makes some very tout-like claims about unreasonable success in its advertising. Whoever made this decision for the Vegas Golden Knights was apparently completely unaware of the negative perception of the tout subculture and the resulting unseemliness of such a partnership. Three days after the agreement with UPick, the Vegas Golden Knights brass rescinded the agreement. After that, they responded to the question, “What were you thinking?” with, “The organization will not have additional comments on the matter at this time.”
Resorts World continues to establish its position as a luxury resort with the announcement that it's partnering with Wally's Wine & Spirits, which will be familiar to connoisseurs from Beverly Hills to Santa Monica, where Wally's has two locations. Wally's president is known as the sommelier to the stars; it will be Wally's first operation beyond southern California. The venue will serve as a 250-seat restaurant (three meals and late-night dining), wine bar, and gourmet market selling more than 8,000 wines and serving 125 by the glass. Wally's will open with Resorts World sometime this summer; the exact date has yet to be revealed.
As of this posting, nearly 15,500 people have signed an online petition opposing the renaming of the Las Vegas airport to Harry Reid International. The petition, launched on the petition platform change.org, is looking to gather 25,000 signatures by March 16, the date on which the Clark County Commissioners and FAA certify the decision. The petition page calls the name change a "political stunt" and suggests that the people of Nevada should decide the name, which should rightfully be Las Vegas International, "to take people and politics out of it." You can see the petition and the latest number of signatures here.
Average Las Vegas temperatures in March start out a bit cool and rise steadily, but not too high. From an average high of 66 degrees on the 1st, temps top out at 74 on the 31st. The lows go from 47 to 52. The record temperatures can be lionish: 92 is the highest (set on the 21st in 2004) and 19 the lowest (set on the 2nd in 1939). March historically has the second highest rainfall during the year at .59 inches; last year was extremely wet, registering more than three inches of rain for the month.