Monthly Archives: January 2018

Lego Delays Release of Architecture Las Vegas Set to Replace Mandalay Bay

We were giddy when we learned Lego would be featuring Las Vegas in its popular Architecture series.

Lego Architecture Las Vegas, set #21038, was set to feature the Las Vegas sign, Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Encore, Stratosphere and Fremont Street Experience.

Lego Las Vegas architecture

We’re on the fence about this decision. Lego probably knows what it’s doing.

It’s now been learned Lego has delayed release of the set due to a redesign. Apparently, there was a last-minute change in the set’s design due to the mass shooting at Mandalay Bay on Oct. 1, 2017.

The set was originally supposed to his shelves in February 2018, but now it’s likely to be released on September 2018.

The news originally appeared on a German Web site, and was then shared on TheBrickFan.com.

Concerns about including Mandalay Bay is understandable, although replacing the resort with another hotel certainly isn’t going to help the stigma resulting from the tragedy took place near the site. We suspect there are ongoing discussions about rebranding Mandalay Bay, although, no announcements have been made in that regard.

It seems the Mandalay Bay space in the set is up for grabs.

The first structure that sprang to mind was the abandoned SkyVue site across the street from Mandalay Bay.

Lego Las Vegas

We are a blog, not a Lego designer. Long story.

The Lego Architecture series has highlighted a number of city skylines and well-known buildings. Other cities have included Shanghai, Chicago, London, Sydney and New York City.

Beyond the issue of Mandalay Bay’s inclusion in the set, Lego is no doubt reconsidering whether Steve Wynn’s Encore hotel should be featured. Wynn is in the throes of a full-blown sexual harassment scandal, and even if vindicated, Lego’s family-friendly brand may want to steer well clear of any association with the controversial mogul and his resorts.

Whatever’s decided, we’ll be among the first to purchase the Lego Architecture Las Vegas set. Then, again, the sets are intended for those 12 or older. Oh, like they’re going to check I.D.s.

Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 72: The One About Wynn, Mostly

We’re under the weather, but that won’t stop us from bringing you the 11th best podcast in Las Vegas!

In this week’s episode, we break down the Steve Wynn sexual harassment scandal, chat about our first Vegas Golden Knights puckball game and ramble incoherently about adopting a child in India.

We also share a new Lego product featuring the Las Vegas skyline.

Lego Las Vegas architecture

Mandalay Bay and Encore? It would be hard to make this more awkward. We’re getting one, anyway.

There’s also some talk of the bleak outlook for Lucky Dragon, plus the new attraction coming to Las Vegas, Wreck Room.

Join us for a podcast like the ones back when the mob ran Las Vegas. Or something.

Casino Mogul Steve Wynn Slammed With Sexual Misconduct Allegations

It’s the story that’s rocked Las Vegas to its core. Dozens of women have accused visionary casino mogul Steve Wynn of sexual misconduct.

An explosive story in the Wall Street Journal has confirmed what Las Vegas insiders have known for decades, and now the fortunes of Steve Wynn and Wynn Resorts are uncertain.

According to the Wall Street Journal, 150 people were contacted and dozens have come forward to share experiences ranging from awkward to outrageous to downright shocking involving Steve Wynn. The article sheds light on an alleged pattern of predatory interactions with women, many of whom were Wynn’s subordinates.

Or as Las Vegas keno runners refer to it: Tuesday.

Steve Wynn

His day of reckoning has arrived, and Steve Wynn is in for a bumpy ride.

The Wall Street Journal story also answers a question many Vegas observers have wondered about: How much did Steve Wynn pay to settle an allegation by a manicurist who claimed he coerced into having sex? The answer: $7.5 million.

Steve Wynn has dismissed the allegations of sexual impropriety, deeming the dozens and dozens of stories by dozens and dozens of women as “preposterous.”

preposterous

As if you needed further proof we are not an actual journalist.

We can’t really do justice when it comes to the quantity or creepiness of the allegations, so check them out if you haven’t already.

The Wall Street Journal revelations came as a surprise to precisely zero people familiar with Steve Wynn and the untold number of executives and members of the media who turned a blind eye to his behavior through the years.

The Wall Street Journal story, which has received international media coverage, has had some immediate fallout.

On the day the story was released, Wynn Resorts lost 10% of its market value, which translates into a mind-boggling $2 billion. In a day.

Steve Wynn has also resigned as the finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.

There have been calls for Wynn to be investigated or removed as Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts.

The Wynn Resorts board of directors has also formed a committee to investigate the allegations of sexual misconduct. Thirteen years after the $7.5 million settlement.

It’s been reported the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has opened a probe into Wynn Resorts.

Wynn Las Vegas

Maybe they should’ve done this on a dry erase board.

So, what does all this mean for Steve Wynn, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas?

Well, it most certainly means Steve Wynn’s impressive legacy has been tarnished for good. No matter what successes he’s had, there will always be an asterisk next to his name. Think Woody Allen, but with a better art collection.

It’s difficult to see a scenario where Steve Wynn doesn’t have to step down from running Wynn Resorts. The evidence of bad, and possibly illegal, behavior is overwhelming.

Wynn Resorts is in for some tough times. Steve Wynn is personally intertwined with the company. He is, in essence, the brand. His leadership and vision and sensibility have built the company into both the world’s most-admired casino company and the most profitable on The Strip.

While some investors in Wynn Resorts stock may see the dramatic drop in value as an opportunity to buy, we’re pretty sure this is just the beginning of the pain. We’ve seen previously unreported allegations by Wynn’s former wife, Elaine Wynn, and while the upcoming controversy is likely to be less sexy than the current firestorm, it’s going to be another huge blow to investors and Wynn’s company.

Wynn Las Vegas atrium

Whatever his transgressions, there’s no denying Steve Wynn has brought many beautiful things to Las Vegas.

As the days go by, it seems likely Steve Wynn’s new reality is going to sink in. At the moment, he’s fully committed to the victim narrative (Wynn is blaming his ex-wife for the accusations—talk about preposterous), but that will change as pressure mounts.

The sex scandal playbook requires that, at some point, Steve Wynn publicly apologize and “take full responsibility” for his actions.

Odds are he’ll step down, making it clear he’s only doing it to avoid hardships for the stockholders and his beloved employees, followed by some well-crafted blah, blah, blah.

There’s a chance Wynn’s gaming license could be revoked. (A license holder must someone of “good character, honesty and integrity,” among other things.)

We’d also place a small wager on Wynn saying he’s entering into treatment for a “sex addiction.” It’s not like the wheel’s being re-invented here.

Oh, and there has to be a class action lawsuit in the offing. Wynn’s pockets are just too deep (his estimated worth is $3.5 billion) for the bottom-feeders to resist.

We also suspect revelations about the misbehavior of high-placed casino executives has just begun. As with Harvey Weinstein, the floodgates have been opened, and it seems inevitable other women will now find the courage to speak out about a culture of exploitation that’s been pervasive in Las Vegas since the day it was conceived.

All bets are off on the hush money paid to victims through the years in Las Vegas, and it’s about time these serial perpetrators receive their comeuppance. (Rumor has it a number of casino executives fled town after the Wall Street Journal story broke, to “reconnect with family” and, presumably, pray.)

Who are the executives likely to be caught up in the Las Vegas edition of the #MeToo movement? Ask any dealer, bartender or cocktail waitress. They all know the names.

Le Reve Wynn Las Vegas

We’ve given up hope this is all just a bad “rêve.”

The good news is, of course, the day of reckoning for Steve Wynn is a rallying cry for women who have endured unwanted sexual advances and abhorrent behavior in casinos and elsewhere. They no longer have to feel intimidated or powerless. If Steve Wynn, the self-proclaimed “most powerful man in Nevada,” can be held accountable for his sexual misdeeds, anyone can.

That said, this blog counts itself among those who are rattled and dismayed by the Steve Wynn revelations because Steve Wynn, in large part, made Las Vegas what it is, and we really, really love Las Vegas.

We love that Wynn Resorts has planned so many new, beautiful things for us to enjoy, and we’d hate to see those plans derailed because Steve Wynn can’t keep his towel on or grasp that “no” means “no.”

We suspect some of the announced Wynn Resorts projects will be delayed, while others are likely to be halted, as this trainwreck works itself out.

Wynn letter

Update (1/28/18): The precise moment you realize you’ve sold your soul. Thanks to Rebecca Ballhaus at the Wall Street Journal for the photo.

The Steve Wynn sexual misbehavior scandal has set in motion forces that will change Las Vegas forever, and ultimately for the better. As long as you’re not Steve Wynn.

Closed Lucky Dragon Casino is Giving Away All Its Jackpots

Lucky Dragon Las Vegas, which recently closed its casino and restaurants, is set to give away more than $46,000 to a few lucky guests.

When casinos close, gaming regulations require them to give away any outstanding progressive jackpots.

Gaming regulators allow for some flexibility in how the jackpots are given away, but Lucky Dragon has decided to host prize drawings to distribute its 46,404.12.

Lucky Dragon

Good news for guests, awful news for Lucky Dragon’s investors.

The money will be distributed to eight winners on Jan. 27, 2018 starting at 5:00 p.m. Registration starts at 4:40 p.m. in the hotel lobby.

One winner will take home $11,404.12 and seven others will receive $5,000.

There are a few caveats. Guests must be present to win and the drawing is restricted to Lucky Dragon club card holders.

The struggling Lucky Dragon closed its casino on Jan. 4, 2018.

While casino owners said the closure was temporary, it was later announced the resort is being hit with foreclosure. Lucky Dragon is scheduled to be auctioned on Feb. 6, 2018.

Redneck Riviera Rumored to Be Closing at Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s

It’s been open for less than a year, but we hear Redneck Riviera is closing at Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s.

Redneck Riviera opened in Feb. 2017, backed by country star John Rich, whoever that might actually be.

Redneck Riviera

Every time a place with country music closes, an angel gets its wings.

The decision to pull the plug on the country-themed Redneck Riviera comes after months of struggling to connect with Las Vegas visitors.

Redneck Riviera featured live country music and a “Heroes Bar,” touted as being “staffed by veterans” and offering military members and veterans their first drink free.

The bar had some distinctive decorative elements, including an American flag fashioned from beer cans, a sequined saddle and creative bathroom fixtures.

Redneck Riviera bathroom

Dibs.

It’s unknown what will replace Redneck Riviera after it closes, expected to happen as soon as the end of the month.

Updated (2/20/18): Our story has been confirmed with the closure of Redneck Riviera at Grand Bazaar Shops.

Fremont East’s Eureka Restaurant Reveals Menu

Eureka restaurant is coming to Fremont East, and we’ve got a peek at the menu.

Eureka Fremont East

The Emergency Arts building was started as a “arts and cultural business complex.” Some bemoan the deminse of The Beat Coffeehouse, but we aren’t them. Coffee is gross.

The Eureka menu exclaims, “All-American scratch kitchen and craft bar driven by energy, discovery and community.” Translation: “Look! We got a marketing copywriter!”

Anyway, here’s the left half of the menu, featuring shareable appetizers, salads, sandwiches and tacos.

Eureka restaurant menu

Every single item on the “Share It” menu would make a great band name.

We want to point out the Mac N’ Cheese Balls, mainly because we like saying “Mac N’ Cheese
Balls,” and also get to point out they’re serving balls in a scratch kitchen. Yes, we’re 14.

Here’s the right side of the menu, including signature dishes, a robust, funky selection of
burgers and a couple of token desserts.

Eureka restaurant menu

Thanks, Eureka, for narrowing down our dining options by including bone marrow, bison, veggie beet, jalapeno egg and fig.

Here’s a larger version of the whole Eureka menu so you don’t herniate yourself.

Eureka opens Feb. 12, 2018 in the space formerly occupied by the beloved The Beat Coffeehouse, just across from El Cortez.

If you’re having difficulty imagining where Eureka is located, we’ve got a handy photo that
covers the whole north side of Fremont East.

Fremont East district

From left to right, it’s Park on Fremont, Evel Pie, Red, Vanguard Lounge, Therapy and Eureka.

While those price points on the menu don’t seem outrageous compared to The Strip, this restaurant is opening on Fremont East. Revelers can get two of the best burgers in Las Vegas at El Cortez or Binion’s for about $5, so we’ll see how Eureka fares.

We look forward to being pleasantly surprised.