The CES Show was in town with almost two football fields of electronics and Ryan Seacrest hosting the first night.
This good-looking young man is the heir apparent to Dick Clark, who until Seacrest came along seemed ageless. What I like about the electronics show is its international flair, futuristic technologies and Internet innovations.
As a columnist it gives me a wider band of contacts, thus a larger audience. We are in the midst of a season with hotels full of visitors, conventioneers and people who work behind the scenes to produce this spectacular event. It’s amazing and proves Vegas is the ultimate host.
The city is the winner in this scenario because it shows we have the venues to accommodate a show of this magnitude, and the rest of the area continues to exist without being negatively affected. We can do it all.
Last week the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, sponsored by Canon, planned and executed an outstanding reception. Party planner extraordinaire Jackie Bascow outdid herself.
The outstanding emcee/host was Emmy-award winner Bryan Cranston. He led an impressive array of stars across the red carpet, which was hosted by Murray SawChuck, who I predict has a bright future here in Vegas. He’s developing the charisma that will put him, and keep him, out front.
The parade of stars included Mary Wilson, one of the original Supremes who is still looking fabulous; Stephen Baldwin (not Alec); Kurt Bevacqua, who spent 14 years in the Major Leagues; Dave Dettman (Dr. Gadget); Jeffrey Donovan – star of "Burn Notice;" musician Don Felder; former Miami Dolphin Nat Moore; Doug Pitt, Goodwill Ambassador for the United Republic of Tanzania; Joe Regalbuto, who was an Emmy nominee for "Murphy Brown;" Chris Rich of TV’s "Reba;" Mark Steines, Emmy winning journalist for Hollywood news; Kevin Sorbo – cutie pie Hercules; Ken Norton, former heavyweight champion (and classmate of one of my staffers) and Paula Trickey of Pacific Blue.
This was a stellar event on many levels with great gifts donated to help raise funds for the Center. John Walsh of "America’s Most Wanted" fame was in the house and brought such an air of honesty and dignity to the occasion.
This reception sets the bar higher than you could ever imagine because it is a blend of talent, great food and an outstanding cause. Bellagio was the perfect setting and the hotel personnel are among the very best.
Here she comes, Miss America! One of my staffers had a longstanding desire to sing and dance on this show, but somehow was either never invited or didn’t make it past the audition. The pageant was this past weekend with all the attendant folderol and the ultimate tiara.
We kept our batons flaming as we watched these gorgeous ladies in America’s biggest and finest scholarship contest strut their stuff across the stage at Planet Hollywood.
The Palazzo will celebrate the Year of The Dragon by transforming the resort into an oriental sanctuary. The highlight is the 128-foot dragon making its home in the Waterfall and Atrium Gardens. The ceremonial dragon dance is on January 23 at 1 p.m. The dragon will be breathing fire and smoke at select times the first week of the Chinese New Year.
Mark January 21 and 22 on your calendar because I highly recommend the Society of Seven with Martin Nievera at the Suncoast Casino. Martin happens to be one of the best singers in the business. This is one of the finest family-oriented shows around and worth every minute of your time because it will be filled with quality entertainment.
The LVH Hotel and Casino (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton) is bringing back the Grammy-award winning band Chicago on March 9-10. This band is considered one of the best along with the Beatles, Rolling Stones and other Billboard Magazine Top 100 artists of all time. Contact the LVH box office or Ticketmaster for tickets.
More LVH news: There are changes in the entertainment line-up. Rick Faugno, Hal Sparks, and Gilbert Gottfried will no longer perform at the Shimmer Cabaret. Mark Curry and Greg London, Trent Carlini and Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack are staying on as of this writing. New owners reportedly have not yet made any other changes.
last week, with dust
Burlesque is alive and well here in Las Vegas. A good example is "Live Burlesque in Las Vegas" at Boomers Bar the last Saturday night of every month. Cha Cha Velour stars along with exciting new talent as well as living burlesque legends. The show and features both "neo" and "classic" burlesque.
We saw Magic Theatre with rotating stars at the Gold Coast and were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the performances as well as the magic itself. There are very few "new" magic tricks and the difference is presentation. This venue may emerge as one of the hot spots for magic in Vegas because the packaging is different and the host, young Ben Stone, is most engaging. We’ll keep our eye on him.
I want to acknowledge that one of my biggest surprises was running into Mr. and Mrs. Phil Cooper. He was the head of PR for Caesars Palace and Greenspun Media. Phil is one of the people most responsible for helping create this brand that is Monti Rock III in Las Vegas. He is now the executive director of event planning and sponsorship for MGM. Welcome home, Phil!
Alas Phantom, The Las Vegas Spectacular, will be closing Sept. 2 after its 2000th performance and five-year run. This is sad since this production is one of the most lavish, well-produced, and well-performed shows we have ever had in Las Vegas.
Anthony Crivello as the Phantom always performed brilliantly, both as a singer and actor. But, unfortunately, the cost of keeping this show alive became prohibitive and money does always rule in the end. There will be quite a void when the show does finally close.
The Rev. Monti hopes your week goes well and you are staying on the move. Keep active because that is the key to successful living.
Baseball Previews | This is the eighth of 30 MLB baseball preseason previews to the 2014 pro baseball season as seen by GamingToday sports editor Mark Mayer. Today, the Cleveland Indians. On deck: Colorado Rockies.
Palms Casino Resort is the first major hotel in the United States to offer a 24-hour checkout program. Guests can maximize their Las Vegas experience at no extra cost by booking the 24-hour checkout option on Superior, Premier and Ivory Suites.
Baseball Previews | This is the seventh of 30 MLB baseball preseason previews to the 2014 pro baseball season as seen by GamingToday sports editor Mark Mayer. Today, the Cincinnati Reds. On deck: Cleveland Indians.
NFL Analysis | Last winter’s NFL Football free agent period was a bit anticlimactic due in large part to the salary cap’s modest rise from $120.6 million in 2012 to just $123 million in 2013. This year’s crop is hoping that 2014 brings a reversal of fortune.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said Wednesday that revenue from slot machines in February totaled $181 million, down more than 7.5 percent. Regulators say bad winter weather once again kept gamblers away from Pennsylvania casinos.
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