Monthly Archives: July 2020

Las Vegas Sex Boutique Believes Dildo Thief is Hardened Criminal

The headlines were attention-getting: “Man Steals Massive Dildo From Las Vegas Sex Shop.”

A thief did, in fact, walk off with a three-foot, 40-pound sex toy at a popular Las Vegas store, Deja Vu Love Boutique.

The penis pilfering happened July 14, 2020.

Love Boutique dildo thelf

Here, the thief is seen casing the joint.

Here’s video, courtesy of TMZ.

We thought the story was hysterical (no surprise there), but the hilarity was tainted by a conversation with a Deja Vu Love Boutique staffer.

See, the sex toy, called the “Moby Dick,” described as “lovingly detailed and crafted for realism,” is valued at $1,250.

That’s a significant loss for any business, and we learned this isn’t the first time this particular knob robber has struck at Deja Vu.

Workers at the store believe he’s taken other big ticket items, one valued at $2,800.

Dildo theft

Shop staff is convinced the suspect has committed a series of thefts along the same vein.

Not only is Deja Vu being shafted, the value of these items makes the crime a class D felony (the cut-off is $1,200).

Once the putz purloiner is apprehended, he could be facing hard time.

The search for the “Dildo Bandit” has been made even more difficult because of the prevalence of masks.

Despite the ballsy suspect being the target of an ongoing law enforcement probe, Metro has come up short to-date.

Deja Vu has upped the ante by offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of this brazen phallus filcher.

In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled, “Pawn Stars” crew!

Caesars Entertainment’s Post-Merger Executive Shuffle is Eye-Opening

We got our hands on another internal Caesars Entertainment document and the information is revealing.

The document is a message from Anthony Carano, President and Chief Operating Officer of the new Caesars Entertainment. Caesars Entertainment just merged with Eldorado Resorts, and the company has wasted no time in shaking up its management ranks.

The document shows the company’s new Senior V.P. and General Manager organizational structure, and it contains some sweeping changes. Effective immediately.

Caesars merger

There will be a quiz.

Here’s page two of this illuminating document.

Caesars reorg

We were kidding. Quizzes are so 2004.

The first observation is: Holy crap, the new Caesars Entertainment has some serious work to do on gender diversity.

Our quick tally shows 35 top executives who are male and just five who are female.

That’s a massive gap, especially because the old Caesars Entertainment has constantly touted its track record for diversity and inclusion.

Caesars Entertainment logo

Vital Vegas: Photoshopping what everyone else is thinking since 2013.

Another item of note: Note the grouping of Planet Hollywood with Rio Las Vegas. The Rio was recently sold and will be managed by Caesars Entertainment, and this move indicates that could also be the plan for Planet Hollywood.

There’s been a lot of chatter about the potential sale of Planet Hollywood, but tribal in nature (the Seminoles have kicked the tires, reportedly), but also involving a company that would be new to Las Vegas, Twin River Worldwide Holdings.

Planet Hollywood

Planet Hollywood hasn’t reopened yet. Let’s just say demand has some things in common with our love life. Soft.

Lastly, these executives can consider themselves lucky, as there are several waves of layoffs in the works, and that was the plan prior to COVID-19. The layoffs have been called “synergies” by the top exec at Eldorado Resorts, and the goal is to save $500 million in these merger efficiencies.

This list confirms Caesars Entertainment has a deep pool of experienced gaming executives with massive institutional knowledge.

The combined talents of Eldorado and Caesars will give the new company its best chance of success during a challenging and unprecedented time.

Hotel Cloe Planned for Downtown Las Vegas Arts District

This one has flown under the radar, but a new boutique hotel planned for downtown’s Arts District has been dubbed Hotel Cloe.

Details are few at this point, but Hotel Cloe’s Web site describes the hotel as “following a new worldwide trend towards lean-luxury, service-focused, 4-star resorts.”

The four-floor Hotel Cloe will have luxury 74 rooms.

Talk about a tall order, luxurywise. It’s Vegas, after all.

Hotel Cloe Las Vegas

Nope, no renderings, but renderings aren’t a reliable way to judge whether a project will actually exist. Just ask the asshats at Bleutech Park.

The site goes on to say the hotel will have “a cozy, minimal, yet modern aesthetic, programming rich in art and culture, and lush greenery throughout the hotel, bar and restaurant and poolside areas.”

The hotel will “be constructed largely of steel, glass and concrete, with a design-aesthetic that pays homage to the neighborhood.”

As mentioned, the neighborhood in question is the downtown Arts District, also known as 18b. The 18b comes from the original Arts District being 18 blocks.

Links on the Hotel Cloe Web site go to various social media platforms named “18b Hotel,” so we trust that was the working name of the project.

A shame to lose this logo. Bonus points if you see a heavyset guy being crushed by the walls of his hotel room.

That’s about all we know about Hotel Cloe. We’re not sure if it has financing or who’s behind it, other than a blurb on the Web site saying they’re “local designers, builders, architects and entrepreneurs who live in and believe in Downtown Las Vegas.”

We’re pretty sure COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into plans for the new hotel, as the site says, “Coming spring 2020 to the Las Vegas Arts District.” Yeah, not so much.

The site also shares, “Hotel Cloe is set to start construction in the coming weeks.”

In hotel financing circles, that’s what’s referred to as “wiggle room.”

While we won’t be holding our breath on this one, we enjoy sharing things before they’re a thing.

Downtown Las Vegas Archway Is a Go Again

Construction of a downtown welcome arch is back on track, according to our sources.

The long-awaited archway will be located near the foot of The Strat, between E. St. Louis Ave. and W. Bob Stupak Ave.

Road closures and construction will begin July 30, 2020.

Downtown Las Vegas gateway arch

Before the latest news, our hopes of seeing these arches had fallen considerably.

The downtown Las Vegas welcome archway should be completed by August 28, 2020.

The archway is expected to cost about $6.5 million.

Construction was originally supposed to start on March 16, 2020, but the schedule was shifted.

Because it’s 2020. Shift happens.

The first component of the “downtown gateway” project opened several months ago. The display offers visitors a photo op with larger-than-life showgirls, dice, chips and a roulette wheel. See more.

Downtown gateway display

It’s no “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign, but it’s got more gambling tchotchkes.

While we we skeptical tourists would stop at the welcome display, we’ve driven by it dozens of times and people were taking advantage of the photo op virtually every time, day or night.

We expect the new downtown archway will get a similar positive response.

We’re always up for something new and shiny, and the new downtown Las Vegas welcome archway certainly qualifies.

Boyd Gaming Launches Stardust Social Casino App

The Stardust was a beloved Las Vegas casino, and fans looking for a fix can now download a free social app named after the iconic resort, Stardust Social Casino.

The Stardust app is free to play and available on iOS and Android mobile platforms.

Stardust app

Do not ask why three of Boyd’s casinos—Main Street Station, Fremont and The Cal—somehow got on The Strip. It’s Stardust magic.

A casino app serves a number of purposes for a casino company. It gives casinos a platform to market to their customers, of course, but in the case of a social app, the hope is also to already be on player smartphones when social casinos can serve as real online casinos, with actual money involved.

Online casinos are already legal in a few states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. Actually, it’s not “including.” That’s it.

Online casinos aren’t yet legal in Nevada. Thanks, Uncle Sheldon. (The casino mogul has lobbied relentlessly against legalizing any form of Internet gambling.)

Boyd Gaming has a number of brick-and-mortar casinos in Pennsylvania and other states, so the opportunity to make the Stardust app a new source of gambling revenue is not too far down the road.

The Stardust app takes care to note: “The games do not offer real money gambling or an opportunity to win real money or prizes. Practice or success at social casino gaming does not imply future success at real money gambling.”

For now, anyway.

Orleans Stardust slots

Fun fact: The Orleans, a Boyd Gaming casino, has a number of active slot machines rescued from the Stardust.

The resurfacing of the Stardust name is bittersweet, of course.

The Stardust opened on July 2, 1958 and was purchased by Boyd Gaming in 1985.

Stardust closed on November 1, 2006. It was imploded on March 13, 2007, to make way for a new Boyd Gaming project, Echelon Place.

Echelon Place was abandoned in 2008 due to the economic downturn, and is now the site of Resort World.

In hindsight, Stardust was closed and demolished for no good reason, but Vegas was built on short memories, so let’s put all that behind us and Stardust again.

The Stardust Social Casino is touted as being a way for loyalty club members to get rewards and benefits at Boyd Gaming casinos across the country, along with the enjoyment of the games themselves.

While social games are free, they offer players ways to purchase credits. Those purchases will earn points and Tier Credits within the B Connected loyalty club program.

The app has a fair number of game options, many immediately recognizable to slot fans.

Stardust casino app

We count 16 games to start. That should keep you busy.

B Connected loyalty club members will want to log in with their member number right up front in case any of those promised perks come to pass. There’s also the option to play as a “Guest.”

Prior to entering the social casino proper, there’s a spin to get credits, a clever incentive for players to use the app daily.

The gameplay is fairly straightforward, but here’s a quick tutorial: 1) Push “Spin.” 2) Repeat.

Please feel free to review our tutorial prior to downloading the app.

Stardust app

Shout-out to some graphic designer with carpal tunnel right now.

Each game has the option to see more information about paytables and game rules. From what we could see, the games are pretty true to the real world versions of the slots.

“Free social casino” may not precisely describe the Stardust app, or any social app, really. First, “social” games aren’t social. It’s you and your phone. Second, slots are just one part of a casino. Third, the games are only free if you play until you’re out of credits and stop.

Social casino games make a surprisingly large amount of money from people buying virtual credits, despite the fact there’s no monetary benefit of doing so. You can only get a virtual jackpot with virtual credits.

On the bright side, you don’t have to pay taxes on a virtual handpay.

No, not everyone purchases virtual credits. They don’t need to. If just one percent of customers purchase credits, it can generate a hefty amount of revenue. We’ve always said gambling is about the fun, not the winning and losing, and virtual credits keeps the fun flowing.

Stardust app

Don’t laugh. You blow $20 in a real casino in two minutes.

While the Stardust app is being touted as “new,” there was actually another attempt to relaunch the Stardust brand online in the form of a Facebook app in 2013. (See photo, below.)

The Stardust Facebook app was available in the U.K., Canada and Australia, but a U.S. version failed to materialize, as far as we know.

Stardust virtual casino

The first attempt at a Stardust virtual casino imploded.

Check out Boyd Gaming’s new Stardust Social Casino app and let us know what you think.

Social casino apps are a way to stay connected to Vegas and your favorite games, even when you can’t be in Vegas.

Lagasse’s Stadium Sports Bar Closes Permanently at Palazzo

A popular sports bar and restaurant, Lagasse’s Stadium at Palazzo, has confirmed it has closed permanently.

The venue never reopened after it was shut down, along with the rest of Las Vegas, in mid-March 2020, due to the COVID-19 crisis.

You remember COVID-19. Mother Nature’s biggest wet blanket, possibly ever.

Lagasse's Stadium

Lagasse’s Stadium had 100 HD TVs, about five more than the typical Las Vegas sports bar. Photo courtesy of The Venetian.

Lagasse’s Stadium opened at Palazzo in 2009. It was one of the few venues in Las Vegas we can’t recall ever having visited, probably due to the risk of being high-fived against our will.

Lagasse’s Stadium was recognized as one of the best sports bars in Las Vegas, but chances are the rent was just too damned high given the uncertainty around the COVID crisis.

It’s also challenging to do a massive sports venue at the moment when there aren’t many actual, you know, sports happening. No, golf isn’t a sport. Ditto UFC.

Licensing deals with celebrity chefs is popular in Las Vegas, but those fees can take a chunk out of the profit for a casino resort.

Emeril Lagasse

Vegas is one third less Emeril.

For example, Gordon Ramsay’s deal with Caesars Entertainment gives the “Hell’s Kitchen” star five percent of gross sales of his restaurants, up to $10 million. Sales in the $10-15 million range earn 5.5%, and sales of more than $15 million result in a 6% cut. Emeril’s deal with Las Vegas Sands (owner of Venetian) is probably similar.

There’s no word yet on what might replace Lagasse’s Stadium, or when.

Venetian

This will win you a bar bet: That’s the Rialto Bridge.

Lagasse’s Stadium was one of three Emeril Lagasse-branded restaurants on The Strip. The others are Delmonico Steakhouse at the Venetian and Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House at MGM Grand. They don’t appear to be jeopardy.

If we could be done with all the bad news, that’d be great.