Monthly Archives: April 2015

Riviera’s “Crazy Girls” Will Move to Planet Hollywood’s Sin City Theatre

When Riviera closes, it’s longtime topless revue, “Crazy Girls,” will take a short break, then move to the Sin City Theatre at Planet Hollywood.

The future has been uncertain for “Crazy Girls,” perhaps known more for its bronze “No Ifs, Ands Or…” statue than any entertainment value. Other than boobs. Which we’re firmly not against.

Reps of the Sin City Theatre confirmed the show’s move after it was originally reported by the Las Vegas Sun.

Sin City Theatre

Laughter and breasts go together like Las and Vegas.

While it was originally reported the Sin City Theatre would be renamed the Crazy Girls Theatre, the folks at Sin City Theatre state the name of the theater will remain the same. Yes, complete with that awkward, anti-American spelling of “theatre.”

“Crazy Girls” will take up residence along with the theater’s other shows, including a magic show, “Murray Live,” a U2 tribute show, “Compedium: U2” and “Sin City Comedy & Burlesque,” a mixture of stand-up comedy and the aforementioned boobs. Which we’re also not against, for the record.

See more about the shows at Sin City Theatre.

The fate of the famous “Crazy Girls” statue now seems to be assured. A dispute between Riviera ownership and the show’s producer, Norbert Aleman, has been resolved, and it appears Aleman will be moving the statue with the show to Planet Hollywood.

Aleman has confirmed the statue will be removed from in front of Riviera at 9:00 a.m. on May 4.

Riviera Crazy Girls

If you think we’re going to make some asinine crack about this statue, you couldn’t be more wrong.

There’s been no comment or official announcement from Planet Hollywood or the hotel’s owner, Caesars Entertainment, about all this yet.

We suspect, though, there will be a good deal of hoopla around the installation and unveiling of the statue in its new location (our bet’s on a photo op with scantily-clad performers re-creating the famous statue). The likely location? Outside Planet Hollywood, along the busy pedestrian walkway, the closer to Cabo Wabo Cantina the better for visibility. (P.S. Don’t go to Cabo Wabo Cantina, by the way.)

The relocated statue is sure to provide great publicity for the show as Vegas visitors grab photos of themselves rubbing the pulchritudinous posteriors (already polished to a high sheen by Riviera guests) for good luck on their way into the casino.

After 28 years, the final performance of “Crazy Girls” at Riviera is set for Friday, May 1, 2015. The Riv closes for good May 4, 2015 to make way for a convention center expansion, we yawned.

It’s expected “Crazy Girls” will re-open at Planet Hollywood on May 13, 2015. There have been rumors the Sin City Theatre show will have “new numbers come in and some new acts, some new apparatuses.” This blog tends to be a fan of apparatuses.

The new version of “Crazy Girls” will have 42.857% more performers (from seven to 10) when it moves to Planet Hollywood, according to the producer.

We’re pleasantly surprised to hear “Crazy Girls” has found a new home, despite our sense “Crazy Girls” might not easily find another venue. (At least we weren’t foolish enough to make that prediction publicly, like in a recent KNPR interview about the Riviera.)

We’ll be sure to keep you abreast of any further “Crazy Girls” news!

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How To Cash Your Chips and Slot Tickets Once Riviera Closes

One of the most famous casinos in the world, Riviera Las Vegas, is closing its doors May 4, 2015 at noon. For good.

Players looking to cash in their Riviera chips or slot tickets (called TITO slips, for “ticket-in, ticket-out”) will be able to, even after the casino is closed. Here’s how.

Riviera Las Vegas statue

Insert obligatory “Crazy Girls” revue statue photo here. The show closes May 1.

Naturally, chips and tickets can be cashed in at the Riv, 24 hours a day, prior to the hotel closing.

After Riviera closes, however, chips can only be redeemed at the cashier cage of Westgate Las Vegas, formerly the Las Vegas Hilton and LVH.

The hotels aren’t affiliated, but apparently Westgate agreed to take the chips, maybe for a piece of the action on the chips redeemed.

There’s a time limit on redemption at Westgate Las Vegas, however: September 1, 2015.

As far as we know, that’s the limit of the Riviera’s obligation to give cash for chips. Beyond that, enjoy your keepsake Riviera chips!

Riviera hotel casino

The Riviera went bankrupt three months after it opened in 1955. It filed for Chapter 11 in 1983, 1991 and 2010. Practice makes perfect!

As far as the TITO tickets go, they’re valid for 30 days from the date of issue. Valid tickets can be redeemed at the Riv’s cage until it closes, and after May 4 the tickets can be mailed to the hotel. The last day of expiration would be June 2, 2015.

Tickets mailed to the Riviera must include a copy of a Riviera player’s club card or I.D.

Here’s the mailing address for redemption of Riviera TITO tickets: Riviera Hotel & Casino, Attention: Accounting, 2901 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109.

For questions about chip or ticket redemption, one can call the Riviera until May 4, 2015 at (702) 734-5110. Questions can also be posed to Westgate, before and after Riviera closes: (702) 732-5111.

Riviera neon sign

We’re seriously tempted to make sweet love to this gorgeous sign. Unless that’s awkward, then nevermind.

Just because Riviera Las Vegas is going away doesn’t mean your cash has to!

Redeem your chips and tickets so you can play another day. Or, in this blog’s case, another 10 minutes. Stupid high limit slots.

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Riviera Las Vegas Will Give Away Unclaimed Jackpots Prior to Closing Its Doors

The Riviera, set to close at noon on May 4, 2015, will give away $145,000 in unclaimed jackpots on May 2.

The casino says six winners will share the cash, presumably from progressive jackpots The Riv is obligated to give away before it shutters. It’s a gaming regulation thing for which we are all very thankful.

Riviera Las Vegas

Best get to The Riv before they pull the plug.

The Riviera was recently sold to the Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority and will soon be demolished. Read more about the Riviera Las Vegas sale, a story you read in this blog first, which we’re far too modest to mention. Again. Probably.

The Hail Mary prize drawing (officially called the Classic Cash Giveaway Second Chance Drawing) will happen at 7:00 p.m. on May 2. Members of the Riviera’s players club will receive an entry for every 600 points earned.

The drawing will be held next to the casino cage. Which we would show you a photo of, but photography of casino cages is strictly prohibited.

Riviera cashier

Do you know this blog at all? What are they going to do, ban us for life?

Guests can sign up for Riviera Rewards in person at the casino or online at RivieraHotel.com.

The Riv is set to go out with a bang, so swing by and try your luck. We’ll be sharing a metric ass-ton of photos from our final, bittersweet Riviera walk-through soon.

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Iconic Tropicana Las Vegas Set for Sale to Penn National Gaming By End of 2015

Penn National Gaming, the company that operates the M Resort, is snapping up another Las Vegas casino, the Tropicana. Penn National Gaming will pay $360 million for the Strip hotel-casino.

Penn National Gaming’s President and CEO, Timothy Wilmott, describes the purchase as a “prudent transaction,” which to us just screams exciting times ahead for the Trop!

The Wyomissing, Pennsylvania-based Penn National Gaming has 26 casinos in its portfolio in 16 states and Ontario, Canada.

The Trop is Penn National Gaming’s first casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Tropicana hotel

The Tropicana opened on April 4, 1957. In the movie “Diamonds Are Forever,” James Bond says the hotel looks “quite comfortable.”

The change of ownership for Tropicana could be a boon for the struggling hotel-casino. Existing Penn National Gaming customers would be likely to visit the Trop to take advantage of the company’s loyalty program, Marquee Rewards.

Penn says it has three million “active regional gaming customers.” Plus, we suspect, about 40,000 super inactive ones, but they’ve just had a big lunch.

Marquee Rewards are already in use at M Resort, one of this blog’s favorite Las Vegas casinos. Which we’re hoping will get us off the hook for this next photo caption.

Penn National Gaming logo

Not to get off on the wrong foot with Penn National Gaming or anything, but wow, this logo looks like an Olympic opening ceremony mated with a David Blaine special.

Come on, now, Penn. You’re on the Las Vegas Strip! It’s the bigtime.

Let’s see if we can’t whip you up a new logo, gratis.

Penn National Gaming logo

Let’s party, and you’re very welcome.

Details of the sale are few at this juncture, but Tropicana Chairman and CEO Alex Yemenidjian said the deal should be finalized by the end of 2015. View the letter Yemenidjian distributed to Tropicana employees on the eve of the sale announcement.

Penn expects to invest $20 million in the first phase of its Tropicana big picture plan, which will include updating the Trop’s technology to integrate Penn’s existing database of customers. The second phase will include considering “potential facility enhancements.” Another prospect that just gets your blood racing, doesn’t it?

The sale of Tropicana seems likely to derail announced plans for the $100 million expansion, The Shops at Tropicana were to be 311,000-square-feet of shopping, dining and entertainment. Read more.

Tropicana Shops

More shopping at The Trop may no longer be a thing, thankfully. Enough with the shopping. Vegas is shopped out.

Any change in ownership can bring a new take to an ailing Las Vegas casino, so we’re looking forward to seeing what’s next for the Tropicana. As long as they don’t much with the stained glass ceiling in the casino!

Tropicana stained glass

Seriously, Penn, don’t screw with the stained glass or we’ll be forced to make up more taglines for your logo.

See more about the sale of the Tropicana to Penn National Gaming at Vegas Inc.

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Woman Wins $1.3 Million Jackpot, Fellow Players to Pretend to Be Happy For Her

A Las Vegas woman has won an eye-popping $1.3 million slot machine jackpot at Aliante casino, sparking an outpouring of feigned enthusiasm for her good fortune.

Lisa Schmitz’s exact win on April 25, 2015 was $1,273,260.29.

Aliante jackpot winner

Schmitz hit it big while playing a $1 Wheel of Fortune machine. The win was met with cheers, approximately none of which were heartfelt.

Onlookers at the scene of the jackpot win reported being overcome with a deep sense of envy about the windfall, but witnesses immediately “put on a happy face” as is the custom with large Las Vegas jackpots.

As word spread of the progressive win, legions of slot players shared the news while adeptly sublimating their deep-seated feelings of resentment.

“It’s not like I’m the only one who feels this way,” said one longtime gambler, “We’re all going through the motions, but screw her. Should’ve been me.”

The sentiment has also been echoed by casino employees, many of whom live on subsistence-level wages.

A dishwasher in the Aliante’s cafe, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “Imagine working for next to nothing in a place where these lucky bastards stroll out with over-sized checks all the time. Who needs a giant check like that? It’s gloating. So, you learn to fake being excited for them. You should see the slot attendants and cocktail waitresses, they’re masters at it. Of course, then they’ll go home and punch their kid’s stuffed unicorn in the face.”

Wheel of Fortune

Said one Wheel of Fortune regular, “Six years of playing and my biggest jackpot was $69. Couldn’t be happier for her.”

The practice of pretending to be happy for large jackpot winners is not limited to gambling, of course.

“Synthetic happiness,” as it has been called by Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert, can result from being told an undeserving co-worker is promoted or that a friend one hasn’t talked to since high school has gotten engaged.

Gambling wins, however, seem to generate the greatest sense of umbrage.

Another slot player put it this way, “The bottom line is I deserve to win more than this woman. But you go along and act thrilled that somebody, anybody, won. It’s an unspoken rule. Manufactured, begrudging enthusiasm is the glue that holds us together as gamblers and as a society. So, yeah, I’m super happy for the winner Aliante! And I can’t wait to get home so I can share the news with my kid and his stuffed unicorn.”

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The Latest From Downtown’s Pawn Plaza

The new Pawn Plaza, an offshoot of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop made famous in “Pawn Stars,” is another step closer to its debut.

Pawn Plaza is a shopping and dining complex made of 18 modular “cubes,” inspired by the Downtown Container Park. All the cubes have been put into place, and the complex is starting to look like more than the sum of its parts.

Here’s the latest from the Pawn Plaza site, adjacent to the pawn shop which gets about 4,000 visitors each day.

Pawn Plaza

It’s been reported Pawn Plaza will cost $4 million, mainly because a lot of reporters are dopes and just pass along whatever they’re told like it’s true.

Now that the cubes have been put into place, the retail and dining spaces are moving in equipment in preparation for a July opening.

The first three tenants in Pawn Plaza will be Rick’s Rollin’ Smoke BBQ and Tavern, Smoke’s Poutinerie and Rita’s Italian Ice.

Pawn Plaza Las Vegas

We can exclusively report the arrival of “stuff.”

Pawn Plaza is expected to have 16 tenants in all.

We are personally rather excited to visit Pawn Plaza when it opens. Especially because when Rita hands us our Italian ice, we get to say, “This looks like Italian ice, but to make sure, I’m going to call in an expert.” Oh, how we’ll laugh. Right before we’re kicked out.

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