Three Signs Former Fontainebleau Is Making Progress

There’s new life at the long-abandoned Fontainebleau (and The Drew) site.

The hotel has a new name, JW Marriott Las Vegas Blvd., and we’ve got some juicy evidence this new resort is actually going to happen.

Many have tried, none have succeeded, until now. We said, nervously.

This project has been stalled since 2009 (Fontainebleau was 70 percent finished when
construction was halted), but was recently purchased by Koch Real Estate Investments
(translation: seriously deep pockets) and the Fontainebleau Development Company.

The former owner, Steve Witkoff, who planned to call the hotel The Drew, was never able to pull
together the needed financing.

As we were the first to report, JW Marriott LVB is scheduled to open in Oct. 2023.

While skeptism remains high, we’ve seen some solid signs in recent weeks JW Marriott Las Vegas Blvd. is looking more and more like a thing.

1. General Contractor Named

While it hasn’t been officially announced, we’ve been told W.A. Richardson Builders, general
contractor for Resorts World, has been awarded the JW Marriott Las Vegas Blvd. construction manager job. This marks a big step in JW Marriott LVB moving forward. Richardson has some serious construction cred in Las Vegas, including being general contractor for Mandalay Bay, Monte Carlo, The Linq, Cromwell and others.

We love when cautionary tales have happy endings.

2. Fugly Wrap Removed

While it doesn’t exactly qualify as a beehive of activity, the million-dollar wrap at the former Fontainebleau (installed when the building was owned by Carl Icahn) has been removed. This means the wrap is being replaced, or it’s not needed during construction. Clark County officials instructed the owners to clean the place up, so it’s possible another wrap will be installed until construction ramps up fully. Still, it’s not nothing, and in the case of the doomed Fontainebleau, we’ll take “not nothing” any day of the week.

Big thanks to the Twitter follower who passed along this pic.

3. Power Line Being Installed

An eagle-eyed reader spotted a “Fountain Blue” sign near the JW Marriott LVB site (by Turnberry Towers at Karen Ave. and Joe Brown Drive), so we chatted with the company displayed on the sign. We confirmed it’s a constractor installing an NV Energy power line for JW Marriott LVB. This is big news, infrastructurewise, and it’s a strong indication the project is moving forward.

That’s how it was pronounced, by the way, “fountain blue.”

In addition to these delicious tidbits, there has also been a flurry of new and renewed building permits for the JW Marriott LVB project, clinching our belief we’re going to see the place become a reality, against all odds.

The hope for JW Marriott LVB is conventions will be back to full strength by its 2023 opening, and the hotel’s location will position it perfectly to take advantage of increased investment in drawing more and larger conventions to Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Convention Center, just a lanyard’s throw away from the new JW Marriott LVB, recently completed a $989 million expansion, including a new underground shuttle system from Elon Musk.

JW Marriott Las Vegas Blvd. will have more than 3,700 rooms and 500,000-square-feet of meeting space.

The abandoned Fontainebleau project has been an eyesore for years, and a thorn in the side of
local officials, so it’s refreshing to see tangible evidence the JW Marriott Las Vegas Blvd. project is moving forward and could finally come to fruition.

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The Strat Adds Mind-Blowing “Banachek’s Mind Games” to Strong Showroom Line-Up

A mind-blowing mind reading show, “Banachek’s Mind Games,” has opened at The Strat.

Simply put, the show is a non-stop cavalcade of “How in the hell did he do that?” Although, at the performance we attended, most people were so dumbfounded, they used the f-word, not the h-word. It’s just that unbelievable.

Within the first three minutes of this show, magician and mentalist Banachek (real name Steve
Shaw) correctly identifies the playing cards four audience members are thinking of, and it gets gets wilder and more incredible from there.

Do not look into his eyes too long or Banachek will know your bank account numbers.

Our mouth was agog and never ungogged during the entire 70-minute show. The mind-reading illusions were utterly baffling, and we claim to know everything.

Perhaps our favorite part of the Banacheck show is when the performer reminds audience psychic powers don’t actually exist.

He should know. He’s the director of the James Randi Foundation, an organization that for many years offered a million-dollar prize to anyone who can prove the existence of supernatural or psychic abilities. Nobody’s ever gotten the $1 million. Because, you know, psychic abilities don’t exist. It’s pretty straightforward.

It didn’t take much mentalist ability for Banachek to predict our favorite numbers, because we are 14.

While he does extraordinary and seemingly inexplicable things onstage, he’s also known for exposing frauds who use fake psychic powers (such as those claming to speak to the dead) to prey on vulnerable victims.

Here’s more about Banachek.

At the media night show we attended, Banachek seemed genuinely taken off guard as he was presented the “Mentalist of the Year” award from the International Magicians Society. Surprising a mentalist is an impressive feat.

The fully vaccinated “Fantasy” dancers from Luxor attended Banacheck’s performance to show support. Las Vegas really needs a showgirl mask exemption.

Banachek joins what is turning out to be one of the best collections of value-oriented shows in any Las Vegas showroom. Tickets for this and other Strat shows start at around $30, and most are family-friendly.

One of our favorite shows in Las Vegas, the must-see “Xavier Mortimer: The Dream Maker,” has found a new home in the Strat’s theater.

You definitely need to hang out with Xavier Mortimer.

Another new production, “iLuminate,” just opened as well.

We’ve heard this show is lit.

Rocker Sammy Hagar will have a residency at The Strat starting October 29, 2021.

Sammy Hagar’s going to shake the Strat, in a purely metaphorical context, because we have a heights thing.

Also at Strat, the well-reviewed “MJ Live,” a Michael Jackson tribute show.

We didn’t have the guts to ask if “MJ Live” is kid-friendly, so you’re on your own.

Strat is also host to the L.A. Comedy Club, in the resort’s Dragon Room, wherever that might actually be.

Here’s more about all the entertainment at The Strat, previously called The Stratosphere. Please try and keep up.

The Strat made a great decision to partner with SPI Entertainment to operate its showroom, as the company has a great eye for talent and definitely understands the appeal of low price points for shows.

Banachek’s show isn’t flashy, but it’s a solid entertainment value and we can promise you’ll see things you’ve never seen before. No plants. No secret cameras. No hidden earpieces. Just good, old-fashioned “WTF did I just see?”

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Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 130: Superfrico, Banachek, Pleasure Orb and More

In this installment of the Vital Vegas Podcast, we’re so far up into the business of Las Vegas, we
may need the Jaws of Life to extricate ourself.

It’s like a spoken word festival, but without all the yawning.

For starters, we chat with Banachek, star of a new mentalism show at The Strat.

Fair warning: Just reading Banachek’s name, he knows your phone number, date of birth and bra size.

Banachek is a psychic who doesn’t believe in psychics. Our kind of people.

Next up, it’s an in-depth interview with Ross Mollison, the demented genius behind “Absinthe,”
“Atomic Saloon,” “Opium” and a new restaurant at Cosmopolitan, Superfrico.

Mollison wastes no time letting is know we need to stop referring to this new dining offering as a “supper club,” and provides insights into what guests can expect at this replacement for the
former Rose.Rabbit.Lie.

It’s Ross Mollison’s world, we just live in it.

Of course, we’re your boots on the ground for all things Vegas, and share a cavalcade of exclusive news, including the name of a new Cirque show being developed for New York-New York (“Mad Apple”), the tentative opening timeline for Palms (early 2021), what’s new at Fontainebleau (contractor named), how much Thunder From Under dancers make ($150 a show) and how many times the Shelby Mustang has been won at Four Queens (three).

Parentheticals are such jerks, what with the surprise-ruining.

Expect the sale to close in November 2021.

As usual, there’s a metric ass-ton of Las Vegas news, including items about the Vegas Knight Hawks, the Luxor buffet reopening (Sep. 1), a $1.1 million progressive win at Golden Nugget, the end of our reign as the town with the tallest observation wheel, events requiring vaccinations to attend, the Tix4Tonight bankruptcy, Lada Gaga’s return and other goodies to keep you in the Vegas loop. Which is actually a thing now, Elonwise.

The “Listicle of the Week” is “12 Things You Didn’t Know About the MSG Sphere,” the new entertainment venue we loving refer to as the Pleasure Orb.

You knew we’d get around to a Sphere listicle.

We drink. We ramble. We pontificate. We mainsplain. Or as we like to call it, Monday.

It’s all the Vegas you need to escape the banality of everyday life and avoid spending time with your in-laws.

Stuff some Vegas in your earholes!

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All Eyes On Cosmopolitan As Sale Rumors Heat Up (Again)

We’ve been down this road before, but chatter is heating up about a potential sale of Cosmopolitan.

It’s been a few years since the owner of Cosmopolitan, Blackstone Group, made it known the popular Strip resort was for sale.

Now, we’re told, there’s a buyer and an announcement of a sale could be made as soon as the next couple of weeks.

We’d buy Cosmo, but apparently you can’t buy a casino with a marker.

As with any rumor, take this one with a grain of salt, but we’ve heard this from multiple sources, some of whom are inside Cosmo. On staff. Not just standing inside Cosmo, although we enjoy doing that, personally.

If you don’t like rumors, we understand. Please find another, much less interesting, Web site to read.

The big question, should a sale be imminent, is who’s the buyer?

We’ve gotten tips, but nothing too solid. There’s been mention of MGM Resorts, long-rumored to have been circling Cosmopolitan.

Recently, MGM Resorts has been selling off its casinos, so some question whether they’d be looking to purchase one, even a resort as awesome as Cosmopolitan.

A dark hourse in the mix is Penn National Gaming. They recently sold off Tropicana, and the purchase of Cosmo would be a shocker.

Another contender, according to people in the know at Golden Nugget, is the buyer could be bajillionaire owner Tilman Fertitta. Fertitta is coming to town this week, and tongues are wagging internally he could be the one who snags Cosmo.

Rumors of a Cosmo sale have circulated for years. It’s complicated.

Fertitta has said publicly he’d be interested in buying “a casino or two” on the Las Vegas Strip. Adding to the intrigue is the fact he recently sold his Golden Nugget Online Gaming Inc. for $1.56 billion, so he’s got some cash laying around.

Anyone who buys Cosmopolitan is going to need deep pockets, as the asking price could be in the $4 billion range.

Should a sale come to pass, here’s a little-known fact: Cosmo President Bill McBeath has ownership points, and he stands to make as much as $100 million from a sale.

Casino sales are fluid, and timelines of deals being inked and announced can change, but don’t be surprised if we hear more about a Cosmopolitan sale in the very near future.

Here’s hoping the new owners understand the importance of continuing to provide free cookies in high limit. Yes, that’s a thing again.

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Overlook Lounge Opens at Wynn, Q&A With Resort Mixologist

Wynn Las Vegas recently opened Overlook Lounge, a major redesign and rebrand of the former Parasol Up lounge.

The official name of the new bar is Overlook Lounge, Spirits and Aperitifs, but our shorthand for it is “glorious.”

So much eye candy, you’re likely to get cavities.

Don’t freak out parasol fans, as the parasols and Parasol Down are still around.

Umbrella aficionado? You’re covered.

The interior design of Overlook is courtesy of Todd-Avery Lenahan, President & Chief Creative
Officer of Wynn Design & Development.

Lenahan is firing on all swatches with this seductive new offering, and the lounge is a cavalcade of jewel tones, crystal chandeliers, period furnishings and beautiful art.

Our home looks exactly like this except for the everything.

Overlook has the kind of opulence guests have come to expect at Wynn, setting the stage for an
outstanding cocktail program.

Enter resort mixologist Mariena Mercer Boarini.

That’s not a bar spoon, it’s a magic wand.

We should say up front you already know Mercer Boarini, even if you may not recognize her name.

She’s the inventor of the Verbena cocktail at Cosmopolitan. If you don’t know the Verbena, you’re doing Las Vegas wrong.

Now, Mercer Boarini oversees the cocktail program at more than 30 bars and restaurants at Wynn and Encore.

We loved our drinks and we hate everything.

We snagged an interview with Mercer Boarini, which we’ll share in an upcoming podcast episode. You can listen to the full interview on the YouTubes, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Here are some poorly-articulated questions and very patient answers from our chat with cocktail imagineer and possibly mad scientist Mariena Mercer Boarini.

Vital Vegas: You’re the mixologist for Wynn Las Vegas and Encore. That seems an overwhelming task.

Mariena: We have 31 different bars and restaurants that I get to design for, and it just continually keeps me engaged and excited and telling kind of fresh new stories through my cocktails with all of the different outlets.

VV: So, tell everybody what’s going on at this new lounge.

Mariena: Overlook is an exciting new lounge that we’ve opened, it takes the place of Parasol Up
which has been an amazing cocktail haven for Las Vegas. I’ve been here for many years working and so I remember when it opened and almost being intimidated by the cocktail haven that it was. So, it was a really cool moment in my career to be able to to do something in that space. We worked with our Chief Creative Officer of Wynn Design & Development, Todd-Avery Lenahan. You’ll hear me talk about him a lot, and I’m the hugest fan of everything he does.

VV: Also, referred to as a “design god” in Wynn fandom circles.

Mariena: His design is so inspiring. How it’s worked with the two projects we’ve done together,
with one more coming up, is I need to see the space or get the design deck back before I start telling my story because I want to tell his story, the story he’s telling with the design. It’s Overlook Lounge, Spirits and Aperitifs, so I already thought, wow, to be able to tell the story, the
romance of aperitivo hour, is really special because nobody’s doing that in Las Vegas on that level. I’m a very analog person, so I write a lot of Post-it notes everywhere, but I only had one
Post-it note out, it said, “Iconic.” That was the only thing I could think about when I saw his

We see faces in everything. You?

VV: Can you talk about the cocktail menu?

Mariena: You’ll see that all of the cocktails have one-word names and they’re kind of oblique references to different people or places in fashion, film, history, mythology. They tell that kind of story through the spritzes, because I thought to myself, how does something become iconic? And I just started writing words down like “Madonna,” people or places that usually just have one word that you can refer to them as, or recognize them, are iconic. The cocktails have names like the Evangelista, the Coco, Aurora, named after the goddess of sunrise. Every spritz has a finishing perfume.

Insert “putting on the spritz” joke here.

VV: Can you explain what that is?

Mariena: I designed a line of aperitif parfums, edible ones. I like to say if maybe Picasso had his
blue period, I’m in my aromatic period. Everything is about aromas. Last year, I was really into flavor. I was reading about gastrophysics and gastronomy and trying to figure out how the brain is perceiving flavor and the palette and all those things. This year, it’s all about aromas for me. So, you have millions of olfactory receptors, but you have thousands of taste buds, so you do taste predominantly with your nose. Eighty percent of flavor comes through aromas, so I thought this would be a really fun concept to be able to kind of elevate, manipulate, play with different flavors and aromas through aromatics. Also, it’s a really fun way to play with memory and nostalgia because the shortest jump to your brain is through the olfactory bulb, so it’s the easiest Way to access nostalgia and great memories and things like that.

These shot glasses are huge.

Mariena: So, I wanted to do four iconic locations and encapsulate those in an aroma so each one has their own beautiful vintage atomizer so you can atomize the aroma on top of the cocktail. There is Milan, which I closed my eyes and thought “What does Fashion Week smell like?” “What does a supermodel smell like?”

VV: O.K., that could go badly.

Mariena: My brain can be a little odd sometimes. Some fancy perfumes and hair products and maybe you know like a cheeky cigarette here or there, so there’s even a little bit of layer of smoke to it. And jasmine and some floral elements. I won a global mixology competition in Morocco, in Marrakesh, so when I close my eyes and I think of that memory I smell Bombay Chai, Madagascar vanilla and apricot, so that’s the Morocco. I did the Amalfi coast in Italy, and Paris. When you spray this mist, this aroma, on top of the cocktail, it really gives it a sense of place and a really unique experience for guests.

VV: The Hudson was delicious, but we have to talk about the Cleo. This is going to be the destination cocktail for the Overlook lounge.

The Cleo is the newest must-try cocktail in Las Vegas. Bonus: Electric Dust.

Mariena: It’s such a fun cocktail, right? This is a dragon fruit margarita. It’s not an overly sweet
margarita, I stick to what’s called a “Tommy’s margarita” style, so it tends to be a lot more dry, but very spirited with the agave, so it’s usually two full ounces of tequila, and then it has this beautiful dried dragon fruit chip on top, dusted with something called Electric Dust. Electric Dust is something I’ve done independent of the Wynn. It was my pandemic passion project. I created the cocktail program at The Cosmopolitan, and I was there for 10 years, and I created a cocktail called the Verbena, heralded as the most popular specialty cocktail in Las Vegas.

Meet your new BFF, Elias.

VV: Um, you’re being modest, the world.

Mariena: So, basically, people love that flower so much, the “buzz button,” the garnish on the Verbena cocktail. Everywhere I go, if I ever casually say I worked at the Cosmopolitan, it was always, “Have you ever had that flower drink?” I loved that it meant so much to so many people. So, during the pandemic, I just had a lot of creative energy, so I took that flower, and I’ve always loved chemistry, alchemy, the science of life, so I started experimenting with it. I found a process to make it shelf stable, but retaining all of the effects of the buzz button. The buzz button is a natural alkaloid, it speeds up your salivary glands and turns you into a super taster. It’s a natural phenomena where some people have more densely-packed taste buds on their tongue, so it enables them to taste at a higher level. This buzz button, when you consume it, your tongue starts tingling and basically what it’s doing is activating and awakening all your salivary glands to help you taste at a higher intensity, so it’s a journey of flavor.

We can speak from experience, Electric Dust is a journey of flavor, and we aren’t surprised Mercer Boarini filed for a patent.

There’s a lot more cocktail talk in our interview with Wynn mixologist (along with more photos of the Overlook lounge and its cocktails), so give it a listen.


Wynn Las Vegas has delivered on all its promises with Overlook. It’s rare when a resort overhauls something as popular as Parasol Up, and it was worth the investment.

Visiting Overlook lounge is elegant without being pretentious, and the cocktail menu is simple,
accessible and full of twists.

Drop by Overlook at Wynn Las Vegas, and definitely try the Cleo to see what all the buzz is about.

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Everything You Need to Know About MSG Sphere in Las Vegas

It’s a wonder of technology and it’s being built in Las Vegas.

It’s called MSG Sphere, at least for the moment. (Expect a naming rights deal at some point.)

This $1.8 billion performance venue is unlike anything you’ve ever seen, and it’s scheduled to
open in 2023.

It may not look like much now, but give it a minute.

The road to making the MSG Sphere a reality hasn’t been bump-free, but builder Madison Square Garden Entertainment believes the new venue will mark a techtonic shift in live entertainment, and if that’s going to happen anywhere, it has to happen in Las Vegas.

The MSG Sphere is located just off the Las Vegas Strip, just east of the Venetian and Palazzo.

Best. Aquarium. Ever.

Here’s an awesome video that shows why the MSG Sphere is so special, and what’s in store when it opens.


Some fun facts about MSG Sphere:

The Sphere will be 366 feet tall and 516 feet wide at its widest point.

The fourth largest crawler crane in the world, the DEMAG CC-8800, was used to build the Sphere. The crane took 18 days to assemble.

The Sphere will have 17,500 seats.

It will have the highest resolution screen in the world at 19,000 by 13,500 pixels. That’s 100 times clearer than today’s best HD TVs.

In a town built upon sensory stimulation, MSG Sphere is bringing what’s next.

The screen covers an area larger than three football fields.

The outside of the Sphere will have about 600,000 square feet of programmable lighting.

The venue will use an acoustic system utilizing “beamforming” technology, with 157,000 ultra-directional speakers.

The Sphere will also feature an infrasound haptic system enabling audiences to feel the sound.

The Sphere’s dome alone weighs 13,000 tons and has a surface area of 220,000 square feet.

The Sphere’s top will soon be augmented, which is the law in Las Vegas.

The dome uses six million pounds of steel.

An idential Sphere is planned for Stratford, East London, but is expected to be far less interesting because that one’s not in Las Vegas.

A 1,000-foot pedestrian bridge will connect the sphere to the Sands Expo (to be called the Venetian Expo as of Sep. 1, 2021).

There will be a quiz.

Just when you think you’ve seen everything in Las Vegas, Las Vegas makes more to see!

And in the case of MSG Sphere, more to hear, too.

Whatever anyone (including us) might say about the challenges of building (like contractor drama) or paying for The Sphere (the original cost was supposed to be $1.2 billion), there’s no denying the Sphere is an engineering wonder and will likely be a huge draw when it debuts.

We’ll be in attendance at the unveiling, so be there orb be square!

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Las Vegas Gets New Pro Sports Team, Vegas Knight Hawks

Despite out best efforts, Las Vegas is getting another professional sports team, the Vegas Knight

It’s indoor football, so don’t get too excited.

Shout-out to Sylvester Stallone and everyone who has no idea why that deserves a shout-out.

If the Vegas Knight Hawks name sounds familiar, that’s because the Las Vegas hockey team is called the Vegas Golden Knights.

Both teams are owned by gazillionaire Bill Foley.

The Vegas Knight Hawks will play at the under-construction Dollar Loan Center, proof positive
some naming rights deals aren’t worth it, no matter how much revenue is generated.

On the bright side, predatory lending now has an upside: More places to play sports!

The Dollar Loan Center is located in Henderson, Nevada, so we’re not even sure we’re obligated to report this news as being Vegas-related, but we’ll just play along.

The Dollar Loan Center will also be home to the Henderson Silver Knights, another professional
hockey team that plays in the AHL (American Hockey League), a league for players who dream every night about playing in NHL. Are we doing sports analysis right?

Bill Foley (pictured below) also owns the Henderson Silver Knights.

Raiders owner Mark Davis has done a lot for Vegas sports, but Bill Foley did it without taxpayer money, so he wins.

The announcement of the Vegas Knight Hawks was accompanied by a glorious brand description, obviously written by someone who’s taken more than a few checks to the head.

Chill on the brand story, bro, it’s sports.

The Vegas Knight Hawks’ first head coach will be Mike Davis. He has some solid credentials, and also worked for five years with the Arena Football League where he was the General Manager of the Omaha Beef. We are not making this up.

The Arena Football League filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and went out of business in 2019,
leading to the obvious question, “Where’s the beef?”

That joke would’ve slayed in 1984.

Indoor football has a long and glorious history of not being particularly popular or successful.

It’s fun to read about the history of indoor football, as long as you aren’t too particular about how the word “fun” is defined.

It’s hard to imagine Las Vegas having any additional demand for sports, but Bill Foley seems
to have good instincts about such things. Nobody thought hockey would succeed in Las Vegas, and it’s now a definite thing for locals. Tourists really could not care less, but still.

If the Vegas Golden Knights fail, we understand Bill Foley proactively trademarked another team
name, the Vegas Folds.

Ha, we kid because we love! Ha, we also kid about kidding!

Here’s an interesting tidbit: IFL players get about $300 per game, with a $25 bonus if they’re on the winning team.

That, folks, is how you turn a profit with indoor football.

Shout-out to George Costanza.

Season tickets start at just $10. We trust that’s a per game price, although it’s indoor football, so.

It may come as a surprise we are not personally a sports person, but we would never begrudge someone a pursuit that gives them joy. Unless it gives someone joy to use paper straws. We begrudge the hell out of that.

Join us in welcoming the Vegas Knight Hawks to Las Vegas.

May their sidelines be thickly padded, their goalposts baby-sized, their inbounds one-footed and their concussions mild.

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Lady Gaga to Resume Las Vegas Residency at Park MGM

Lady Gaga and her people were kind enough to confirm our rumor she’d resume her Las Vegas residency at Park Theater starting Oct. 14, 2021.

For now, the residency will feature her “Jazz & Piano” show, not the lavish stage production, “Enigma.”

They were going to call it “Piano & Jazz,” but jazz has a better agent.

“Jazz & Piano” is described as a performance of “stripped-down versions” of Lady Gaga’s hits “alongside music from the Great American Songbook.”

Remember, “stripped down” for Lady Gaga means a 30-piece orchestra.

The last time around, the “Jazz & Piano” playlist included songs like “Anything Goes,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Lucky Be a Lady,” “Cheek to Cheek,” “New York, New York” and the official song of Las Vegas, “Call Me Irresponsible.”

Gaga mixes things up with “Born This Way,” “Paparazzi,” “Bad Romance” and other hits.

Nine performances have been announced, but anticipate more: Oct. 14, 16, 17, 21, 23, 24, 28, 30, 31 and 32, 2021.

We added Oct. 32 just to see if you’re actually paying attention.

Tickets start at just $90, which is a very reasonable ticket price for a national treasure.

Yes, Lady Gaga is a national treasure, mainly because of “Poker Face.” Then again, we may be biased due to our being a Las Vegas blog.


As is the current trend in several Las Vegas entertainment venues, guests will have to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test.

By the time Lady Gaga returns to Park Theater, it’s entirely possibly the venue won’t be called that. As we shared a month ago, the theater will soon be rebranded Dolby Live at Park MGM.

Find out more about tickets and such at the Park MGM Web site.

If it’s been a minute since you visited Las Vegas, Park MGM was formerly Monte Carlo, it’s just less financially successful now. Somebody had to say it.

Lady Gaga’s Las Vegas residency was derailed by the pandemic, so it’s great to hear she’ll be back doing what she does best in the best place for her to do what she does best.

That made a lot more sense in our head.

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Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 129: Just the Tips

You could enjoy Las Vegas without our podcast, but why would you want to?

This episode has so much Vegas in it, you’ll need to service your temperature/pressure relief valve, whatever that might actually be.

Two words: Aural. Gratification.

We’ll bring you up to speed on the mask mandate and how it has, or mostly hasn’t, affected visitors.

Then we dive into a surprisingly explosive topic: Tipping. Our recent Tweets about crappy tippers broke the Internet, so we dive headlong into tipping culture and do our best to provide clues to the clueless.

As is our way, we also deliver tons of scoop about everything Las Vegas.

We cover casino staffing challenges, Allegiant’s cashless system crash, the upcoming reopening of Main Street Station (Sep. 8), a new COVID fee at Giordano’s, Fontainebleau progress, fake dispensaries on Fremont Street, Heart Attack Grill’s broken record, the restaurant shake-up at Bally’s, the departure of Carl “Safe Sax” Ferris from Fremont, plans for a new tower at Venetian, the closure of Aria’s buffet and Cirque rumors.

Main Street Station’s reopening marks the return of your opportunity to urinate on Communism.

Just like Vegas, we’re here to overwhelm your senses and give you a happy ending!

We blow through all the perfunctory Las Vegas news, of course, including the latest about Vici buying MGM Growth, the expansion of Joe’s at Forum Shops, Superfrico (a new dinner club at Cosmo), Evel Knievel’s museum moving to Vegas, Rise Bar at Area 15, the return of Chippendales (Sep. 1), Miracle Mile’s new paid parking policies and more.

Yes, that Joe’s.

Naturally, we also slide into your earholes with a “Listicle of the Week,” with “Top 10 Excuses for Not Tipping.” Sadly, we are not making most of these up, so prepare your face for some serious palming.

You can listen to the podcast via the fancy interface below, or go the civilized route and subscribe on iTunes or any platform where podcasts Netflix and chill. Assuming that’s still a thing.

Listen up, listen in and stuff some Vegas in your basal forebrain, already.

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Evel Knievel Museum Making the Jump to Las Vegas

A museum devoted to daredevil and occasional asshat Evil Knievel is moving from Topeka to Las Vegas.

The museum will reportedly be located in downtown’s Art’s District (1001 S. 1st Street), courtesy of Las Vegas developer J. Dapper, who seemed like a cool guy that time we met him. Hear more from Dapper on the Plaza’s podcast.

While the deal for the museum’s move, first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, isn’t finalized, it’s being described as “imminent.”

Evel Knievel still holds the Guinness World Record for most bones broken in a lifetime, 433.

Evel Knievel, of course, was a pop culture icon who thrilled audiences around the world during his heyday in the 1970s.

We love Evel Knievel most for two things: 1) He jumped (sorry, attempted to jump) the fountains at Caesars Palace. 2) He died at age 69.

Reminder: If jokes about death or 69 offend you, you’re reading the wrong blog.

Evel Knievel had many successful jumps, but his fame was largely based upon spectacular fails.

His last big jump was supposed to be in 1977, where he would jump over a tank of sharks for a T.V. special. During rehearsals, he crashed (shocker) and was injured. This sad final hurrah led to the phrase “jumped the shark,” along with Fonzi’s jump on “Happy Days.”

The Evel Knievel Museum in Topeka, Kansas opened in 2017.

We trust it has lasted so long because what the hell else do people have to do in Topeka, Kansas?

Las Vegas, of course, is a little different. There are lots of diversions, including a number of world-class museums.

Still, it looks like Dapper’s taking his chances on Evel Knievel and his legacy.

Evel Knievel was proof positive gravity can be a jerk.

The museum in Topeka is said to have one of the largest collections of Knievel memorabilia anywhere.

The museum features all manner of Knievel goodies, including his battered costumes and helmets, Knievel-branded products (at one point, the guy was on everything) and even the steam-powered rocket used in his doomed attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon.

Like so many of our heroes, Knievel was seriously flawed, some would say irredeemably. He was investigated for any number of shady acts, he was a tax dodger, assaulted a movie studio executive with a baseball bat and was reportedly an anti-Semite.

Las Vegas, however, is pretty good at compartmentalizing. For example, we glamorize killers like Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Tony Spilotro and Benny Binion.

In fact, there’s already an homage to Evel Knievel in the form of a pizza restaurant, Evel Pie, on Fremont Street.

Fun fact: Evel Pie doesn’t serve, you know, pie. The pizza, however, is awesome.

Evel Knievel made a lasting impact on our culture, as well as more than a few landing ramps, so we look forward to seeing this new downtown offering when it arrives in Las Vegas.

The museum space will also include a restaurant, which had better mean there will also be a bar. So, yeah, we’re ready to take the leap.

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