Monthly Archives: August 2014

Six Eye-Popping Free Things to See at Wynn Las Vegas

Wynn Las Vegas is truly in a class all its own. It’s one of the premier resorts not just in Las Vegas, but in the world.

While there are lots of things that make the Wynn extraordinary, here are at least six free things we think everybody should see at this popular resort.

1. Floral Carousel

One of the best things about Wynn is the resort doesn’t rest on its laurels. It’s all about upping the game. So, not long ago, the hotel decided it would construct two floral installations. One is an animated carousel, another is a hot air balloon, and both are completely stunning.

Wynn carousel

Other popular names for carousels are “gallopers,” “roundabouts” and “horseabout.” Although, in Vegas, if someone asks if you’d like to try a “horseabout,” it may be an undercover police officer. Just saying.

The carousel and balloon were conceptualized by event designer, Preston Bailey. Bailey has done public art installations in London, Taipei, Hong Kong and Jakarta.

The ones at the Wynn, however, are our favorite, partially because we have not seen the other ones, but mostly because it’s Wynn Las Vegas. Emphasis on Las Vegas.

Wynn atrium

The atrium at Wynn is one of the most popular photo ops in Las Vegas.

The carousel is located in the hotel’s atrium. The carousel is 13 feet tall, 16 feet wide and weighs 6,000 pounds.

When you see it, don’t overlook the details, for they are mind-boggling.

Wynn carousel

Somebody at Wynn is really, really serious about arts and crafts.

This beautiful public art was built by Wynn Design and Development and Forte Specialty Contractors.

2. Floral Hot Air Balloon

As if the carousel weren’t enough of a treat for the senses, there’s a floral hot air balloon nearby, too. The hot air balloon is 20 feet tall and weighs 4,000 pounds. Quite a bit more after a visit to the hotel’s buffet. We’re just saying.

Wynn hot air balloon

Better step it up, Bellagio.

It’s a credit to the Wynn that these pieces were created just to keep things interesting for visitors.

In the words of Steve Wynn, “All of us in the design and development area of our resorts are always trying to think of new things for the hotel. We love to have this place constantly changing; it makes it much more interesting for all of our guests who come frequently.”

Wynn Las Vegas

Much like a Las Vegas lap dance, the closer the better.

Again, get as close as you can and take in the glorious details of these impressive works. Not too close, though. Both of the floral installations have guards dedicated to protecting them.

Wynn Las Vegas atrium

It’s like the Wonka factory for grown-ups.

3. Popeye Sculpture

Also under close watch (two guards on this one) is a statue of Popeye which Steve Wynn purchased for (drum roll) nearly $28.2 million. Dollars.

The statue was created by artist Jeff Koons, who is currently wealthy enough to purchase Argentina.

Popeye

That’s about $14 million per gun.

The six-and-a-half-foot statue features mirror-polished stainless steel and is finished in kaleidoscopic glazes, whatever those might be.

If you can get past the price of the Popeye statue, it’s actually a great piece of contemporary art. The Guggenheim museum said, “Jeff Koons rose to prominence in the mid-1980s as part of a generation of artists who explored the meaning of art in a media-saturated era and the attendant crisis of representation.”

In that spirit, here’s Popeye’s highly-polished posterior.

Popeye

You never hear about Popeye’s rank, so it’s possible he’s a rear admiral.

4. Tulips Sculpture

Jeff Koons clearly has a fan in Steve Wynn. And if you’re going to have a fan, it might as well be one with a little disposable income.

The second Koons sculpture you can view for free at Wynn Las Vegas is called “Tulips.” Steve Wynn purchased it for $33.6 million. Dollars.

Wynn Tulips

Not the flower kind of tulip. Balloon tulips. Giant regular tulips would just be stupid.

Again, while that price would make an ordinary human’s chest seize up, it’s actually a compelling work of art that anyone can enjoy, even without knowing it was created thanks to Koons’ “continued engagement with the emblems of childhood.” It’s just big and shiny and familiar and fun and awesome. Often, that’s enough.

Wynn tulips sculpture

Selfie opportunities abound at Wynn.

5. $5,000 Coin Slot Machine

Some of the most jaw-dropping objects at Wynn Las Vegas will never be seen in an art gallery.

Visit the High Limit slots salon at Wynn and you’ll get to caress a slot machine with a one “coin” value of $5,000. Yes, that’s $5,000 a spin!

No worries, though. The jackpot pays $2.5 million, or about the cost of Popeye’s spinach can. Now, that’s truly a thing of beauty.

Wynn Las Vegas $5,000 slot

Unfortunately, photos are strictly prohibited in the High Limit slot salon at Wynn so we are not able to take or share the photo above.

6. Parasol Down Parasols

From the day Wynn Las Vegas opened, the parasols at Parasol Down have been a draw. They’re colorful and elegant and whimsical and just plain pleasing to the eye.

Parasol Down

This would be the exact opposite position you’d want your parasol in when it rains. You’re welcome.

Sure, there’s a bar down below, but Parasol Down is one of the few places we’ve found where the decor may actually be as intoxicating than the cocktails.

Parasol Down Wynn

The neck cramps after extended viewing are entirely worth it.

One of the great joys of Las Vegas is simply exploring, seeking out new discoveries and things you’d never see back home. Wynn Las Vegas seems to have an endless supply of such discoveries. So, let the exploring begin.

More photos below, because reading stuff is so 2003.

Things to See at Wynn Las Vegas

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Failed Fontainebleau Las Vegas Project Partially Redeemed By Candid New Billboard

Yes, the failed, 68-floor Fontainebleau Las Vegas project is an ungodly eyesore.

Yes, Fontainebleau is a monument to the Great Recession and corporate hubris, whatever “hubris” might be.

And, yes, Fontainebleau is incredibly difficult to spell.

Fontainebleau is all those things, but there may be a bright side. Fontainebleau may actually have a sense of humor about itself.

Fontainebleau Las Vegas

Can a failure on the scale of Fontainebleau Las Vegas be redeemed by a simple act of truth-telling? Probably not, but we needed a caption for this photo.

The future of this sad chapter in Las Vegas history is unclear, but for the moment, Fontainebleau Las Vegas has made us smile, and that will tide us over until they tear this monstrosity down, already.

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A Dazzling Clustercade of Las Vegas Entertainment News

There’s been a flurry of Las Vegas entertainment news, and we’ve generously wrangled it for you, below. Let’s fly headlong into the shizzle storm of show business buzz, shall we?

After a disappointing run at Riviera Las Vegas (which began April 16, 2014), and an even more disappointing two-month run at Golden Nugget before that (Jan. 21 to Mar. 29, 2014), the curtain’s coming down for good on Pawn Shop Live on August 21, 2014.

The show, an allegedly comedic take on the wildly popular “Pawn Stars” had a lot of potential, but so-so execution. We’re betting props from the show will be highly-coveted collectibles for fans of the History Channel reality series. Except for the puppet. That was just stupid.

Pawn Shop Live

What, you thought we were kidding about the puppet?

In other “Pawn Stars” news, the folks at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop have proposed a Pawn Stars Plaza shopping center inspired by the popular Downtown Container Park.

The shopping center proposal says it will have six restaurants and 16 shops. It’s expected to cost $2 million to build. Or, perhaps more accurately, assemble. Read more.

Pawn Stars Plaza

Shout-out to Piet Mondrian and community colleges that force you to take art history!

The recently-closed, but much beloved, “Vegas Nocturne” has sued The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas for allegedly sabotaging the “Absinthe”-like show.

The lawsuit claims the hotel failed to pay severance to show employees and also says it has tried to block the show from moving to a competing venue (SLS Las Vegas, from what we’ve heard). Here’s the news release.

Vegas Nocturne

If this case goes to court, we expect to hear many more nocturnal admissions.

“Sydney After Dark,” a female revue from Australia, has announced it will close at the PH Showroom at Planet Hollywood despite the fact nobody actually realized it had opened. No date has been announced for the closing.

In true Las Vegas fashion, the publicist for the show said, “As they say, bigger isn’t always better, and we learned during our previews that the beautiful large room Sydney After Dark debuted in recently didn’t have the intimate feeling the show needs to resonate with the audience in its truest sense.” Public relations bullshittery is what this blog lives for!

The publicist also said, “We will be announcing our new home soon.” Which in Las Vegas parlance means, “Yeah, not so much.”

Sydney After Dark

“Sydney After Dark” announced it was going dark before its requisite media night. Ouch.

Longtime Vegas watchers may find the closure of “Sydney After Dark” vaguely familiar. A decade ago, another revue, “Aussie Angels,” made a go of the then-Las Vegas Hilton, with similar results.

It’s been announced Shania Twain’s residency at Caesars Palace won’t be extended. The show will end its two-year run in December, 2014. Vegas residencies don’t tend to end of they’re doing gangbuster business, so take from what what you will. See more.

Shania Twain Vegas

Shania will always have a special place in this Las Vegas blog’s heart. Or possibly a lower organ. Let’s not get into too much detail on that.

Puppet master Jeff Dunham will start a Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood on Nov. 28, 2014. He’ll perform six shows a week through May 31, 2015.

Dunham recently broke a world record for “Most Tickets Sold for a Stand-Up Comedy Tour,” confirming that the ventriloquist has, indeed, inked a deal with the Prince of Darkness.

Jeff Dunham

It makes it a lot harder to tease him when he’s such a nice guy. Curse you, Jeff Dunham.

Actor Al Pacino will take the stage at The Mirage on Aug. 16, 2014 for “Pacino: One Night Only.” From what we can tell, the show will consist of an onstage chat with the 74-year-old Al Pacino, as well as an audience Q&A session.

So, it’s exactly like an episode of “Inside the Actors Studio,” but with tickets running from $149.99 to $500 a pop. No, really.

Al Pacino

You go, Serpico.

In case we forgot to mention it previously, rock icons Kiss have confirmed rumors of a baby residency at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. This is said to be their first-ever residency, and it will span nine performances, from Nov. 5 to Nov. 23, 2014. Tickets for “Kiss Rocks Vegas” start at $49.50.

Kiss

A few rounds of Kiss Mini Golf should tide you over.

“Purple Reign,” the Prince tribute show, has opened at The D Las Vegas, and it’s one of the best tribute shows we’ve seen in Las Vegas. Get more information. The show includes all the hits, and also features segments with The Time.

Purple Reign

Tribute artist Jason Tenner has been performing as Prince for 20 years. So, he’s got this.

That’s about it from the ever-changing world of Las Vegas entertainment!

If you think we’ve missed something, now would be the perfect time to think about starting your own damn Las Vegas blog, smartass.

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“Jubilee!” at Bally’s Las Vegas Responds to Harsh Reviews With New Mobile Billboards

“Jubilee!,” the classic showgirl show at Bally’s Las Vegas, has been getting some blistering reviews lately, with some suggesting it’s the “worst show they’ve ever seen, including in past lives.”

Abysmal ticket sales sparked a recent “re-imagining” of the show by alleged choreographer-to-the-stars, Frank Gatson Jr. The results, it seems, were not what the show’s producers had hoped.

It appears the folks at “Jubilee!” are tired of the public flogging by show-goers, so it’s launched a series of new mobile billboards in an attempt to fight back.

Jubilee

“Jubilee” comes from the Hebrew term” yobhel,” meaning “ram.” As in “Feel free to jubilee your lousy reviews up your tuchus.”

The ads are intended to address the public criticism of the show being “akin to a train wreck, except with train wrecks, at least you get some free hazardous waste.”

The impact of this bold ad campaign remains to be seen.

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10 Things You Can Rub for Good Luck in Las Vegas Without Getting Arrested

In Las Vegas, you can use all the good luck you can get. Not surprisingly, Sin City is filled with good luck charms.

One of the most popular ways for visitors to get lucky in Las Vegas involves “statue burnishing,” the act of touching or rubbing a statue to improve their mojo. Here are the most popular things you can rub for good luck in Las Vegas.

1. Caesar at Caesars Palace

The statue of Caesar at, wait for it, Caesars Palace is one of the most-photographed statues in the world, but his appeal doesn’t stop there.

Caesar statue

The statue is a replica of one known as “Augustus of Prima Porta.” Which we knew off the top of our head.

The Caesar statue is just inside the hotel’s valet entrance. There’s another statue near the elevators to the self-park garage, but it doesn’t feel as lucky for some reason.

Much love has been given Caesar’s left hand (see below), as evidenced by the high sheen and lack of patina.

Caesar statue

Rub the finger, but please, don’t pull it.

2. Crazy Girls at Planet Hollywood

They’re the posteriors known around the world for their luck-bestowing qualities. The titular “Crazy Girls” revue has been running on The Strip for an incredible 26 years, and interest has never sagged. Formerly at the now-closed Riviera.

Snap a pic, but don’t linger. That’s just creepy.

Crazy Girls statue

Don’t look here for a crack about this sculpture.

3. Blarney Stone at The D

This chunk of the original Blarney Stone, from Ireland, is a holdover from when the former Fitzgerald’s became The D in the fall of 2012.

The stone is located on the second floor of The D, near Vue Bar.

Blarney Stone

Kissing the Blarney Stone traditionally means the kisser will get the “gift of gab.” Frankly, we’d rather get a royal flush.

4. Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace

This good luck charm at Caesars Palace could be considered a “twofer.” The tradition is to touch Cleopatra’s ample, um, bow. Protuberances. Blinkers. Sand bags. Rangoons. Oh, just make your best guess.

The time-honored practice is so common, Cleopatra’s frontage is the most frequently re-painted part of Caesars Palace.

Cleopatra

Without Cleopatra’s good luck, your gambling session could be a bust.

5. Laughing Buddha at Aria

Leaving cash gifts are fine, but you won’t get all the good luck coming to you if you don’t rub this laughing Buddha’s belly. Please do it respectfully, though, if you don’t want to cause an international incident.

Buddha

This guy’s inside the door near the Aria’s north valet, although we get the sense he’d rather be closer to the buffet.

Aside from his well-polished belly, the laughing Buddha’s toe seems to also be a focal point for fortune-seekers.

Buddha

If you’re interested in Chinese philosophy, you also try reading the “Toe Te Ching.”

6. Mermaids at The Mirage

Oh, let’s cut to the chase. Boobs are lucky in Las Vegas, plain and simple. There are more you can rub, without getting too arrested, in the lobby at The Mirage. Just look for the mermaids.

Mirage mermaid

Insert your own “buff” joke here.

7. Elvis at Westgate (Formerly LVH)

Las Vegas Hotel (LVH) was recently purchased by Westgate, but The King refuses to leave the building.

Elvis

Elvis had 636 sold-out shows at the former Las Vegas Hilton, and boy was his pelvis tired.

This Elvis Presley statue is near the hotel’s registration desk, and is a popular stop as guests head into the casino.

Elvis’ ringed hand is clearly thought to be the luckiest spot on his statue.

Elvis

A little less conversation, more burnishing.

8. Joe Louis at Caesars Palace

We’re pretty sure Caesars Palace has more statues than any other Las Vegas resort, so it follows it would also have more statues considered by gamblers to be lucky.

Touching the gloves of boxing champ Joe Louis, outside the hotel’s Mesa Grill restaurant, is said to bring copious good fortune.

Joe Louis statue

Joe Louis was world champion for 11 years and 10 months. And the “Brown Bomber” did it without having anyone’s lucky gloves to touch, other than his own.

9. David at Caesars Palace

We can’t leave Caesars Palace without a stop by the replica of David. David is elevated on a pedestal, so guests touch the big toe of his left foot for good luck.

This statue’s toe, it’s worth noting, gets more action in Las Vegas than even pro athletes and members of the royal family.

David statue

At one time, David had a gilded loin-garland. Incidentally, The Gilded Loin-Garlands would make a great band name.

10. Laughing Buddha at California Hotel

This perpetually gleeful guy definitely gets around!

You can’t miss this large wooden statue at the California casino in downtown Las Vegas, and superstitious players wouldn’t think of hitting the casino before rubbing that well-worn belly.

Buddha

The laughing Buddha is said to represent longevity, prosperity and an aversion to Ab Rollers.

That’s our top 10 things to rub in Las Vegas for good luck! Brush up on your statue burnishing etiquette and let the unbridled fondling begin.

Do you have a favorite thing to rub in Las Vegas for good luck, we asked rhetorically, knowing full damn well how your mind works?

If you know of other lucky statues in Las Vegas, leave them in the comments section. We might include your suggestion in our next list and pay you a handsome reward. (Good luck with that.)

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