Monthly Archives: February 2021

Las Vegas to Get Seven Randy’s Donuts Shops

If you know L.A., you know Randy’s Donuts. Even if you don’t know L.A., you probably still know Randy’s Donuts.

You sort of can’t miss it.

Randy's Donuts Las Vegas

If you’re looking for a job in Las Vegas, Randy’s Donuts is expected to have some openings.

The iconic doughnut shop will open seven locations in Las Vegas. It has five in L.A.

The first location will be at 2170 South Rainbow, with another at the intersection of Blue Diamond and Cameron.

The Randy’s Donuts stores will arrive in 2021 and 2022, with the first opening in the fall of 2021.

Randy’s Donuts is also working with “one of the largest gaming companies in southern Nevada” to open additional outlets in several casinos.

The company isn’t spilling about which casino company, so it’s a coin toss between Caesars or MGM Resorts, with Station Casinos as the dark horse. Give us a minute.

Either way, it’s clear Randy’s Donuts doesn’t think Las Vegas has hit its doughnut saturation point. Indulgence knows no bounds, especially in Sin City.

Randy's Donut's Las Vegas

Vegas calories don’t count, everybody knows that.

We trust you’re wondering: Purists spell the word “doughnut.” The alternate spelling (“donut”) started in the 1920s. A doughnut machine manufacturer felt it was easier to pronounce as they expanded into foreign markets. Now, you know.

Randy’s Donuts has been in operation since 1962.

We visited Randy’s during our time living in L.A., and the doughnuts were definitely tasty.

Randy’s Donuts offers more than 60 varieties of doughnuts along with “Randy’s Rounds” (a jumbo doughnut hole).

There’s also the usual assortment of coffee, espressos, cold brew, iced drinks and frappes, whatever those might actually be.

It’s really about the doughnuts.

Let you think we’re overstating the iconic status of Randy’s Donuts, behold.

It sounds like the first Randy’s Donuts location will be taking up residence in an existing drive-through, so it’ll be here before you know it.

The roll-out in casinos will make it even better.

Gird your thighs, the arrival of Randy’s Donuts in Las Vegas will be a welcome twist. Because we couldn’t think of a way to work in a cruller reference, sorry.

“The Legitimate Wise Guy” to Tell Story of Vegas Gangster Tony Spilotro

A new movie is in the works, “The Legitimate Wise Guy,” and it will tell the story of a notorious mobster long associated with Las Vegas, Anthony Spilotro.

The film goes into production in spring 2021, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The mob drama stars Harvey Keitel, Emile Hirsch and Ruby Rose, at least one of whom we recognize.

The film is based upon a screenplay by Nicholas Celozzi (who also wrote “Momo: The Sam Giancana Story,” and Jim McGrath.

The movie’s directed by “Bad Boys” writer George Gallo. And, as you know, “Bad Boys” was known for the excellence of its script.

All due respect.

Legitimate Wiseguy

This blog used to work at the Writers Guild of America, west, so we can confirm the “A Film By” credit is utter horseshit.

According to Hollywood Reporter, the movie goes something like this: “Spilotro ran the outfit’s casino skimming operations in Las Vegas, where he would meet a young man dreaming of becoming a Hollywood actor. Seeing an opportunity to expand his operation, he begins to mentor and lure the aspiring actor in his criminal web.”

Tony Spilotro, also known as “Tony the Ant” (a nickname he absolutely loved) was one of the most feared mob goons in the history of Las Vegas.

Spilotro was part of the Chicago Outfit who was given the task of protecting the “skim,” where casinos “stole” from themselves to avoid paying taxes on gambling profits.

Joe Pesci portayed Tony Spilotro in the movie “Casino.” Yep, Spilotro actually used a vice to pop a guy’s eye out. Good times.

We were dismayed to see the Facebook page for “Legitimate Wiseguy” says, “Looking for local crew and actors in Biloxi, MS. Shooting in April/May 2021.” Let’s just say Las Vegas has a few more locations relevant to Tony Spilotro’s life than Mississippi.

That said, if “The Legitimate Wise Guy” is even a fraction as good as “Casino” (good luck with that), we’re all over it.

Let the whacking begin!

Rumor Mill: Las Strip Casino Gets “Hamilton” as Resident Production

We love a good rumor, and this is a juicy one.

We’ve heard from well-placed sources “Hamilton”—the long-running, critically-acclaimed musical—is coming to a major casino resort on the long-running, critically-acclaimed Las Vegas Strip.

While it hasn’t been officially announced, chatter is the Broadway hit will land at a Caesars Entertainment resort.

Buzz has “Hamilton” coming to Paris Las Vegas. Unconfirmed and whatnot.

Hamilton Las Vegas

Remember, rumors are like politicians: Take them with a grain of salt.

Paris last had a successful Broadway-style show (or any successful show) with “Jersey Boys.”

“Jersey Boys” had an eight-year run, but closed on Sep. 18, 2016, after a respectable 3,300 performances.

Jersey Boys Paris Las Vegas

Vegas misses you guys.

Since then, the theater at Paris has hosted a number of sometimes good but ultimately doomed shows, including “Circus 1903” and “Inferno.”

Oh, and let’s not forget “Marilyn,” the show that sent us a cease-and-desist for saying the show was closing. Right before the show closed. Welcome to the world of Las Vegas entertainment.

Another theater that’s been generating buzz, we know because we started the buzz, is the “Le Reve” theater at Wynn.

We’ve heard there’s some big entertainment news brewing at Wynn, but we aren’t at liberty to share details just yet. Don’t make us ruin every surprise.

Wynn is apparently making a big investment in revamping the “Le Reve” theater following the show closing during the pandemic.

“Hamilton” would be a great fit for either theater, but our contacts are leaning toward Paris as the ultimate home for this cultural phenomenon.

Paris Las Vegas Eiffel Tower

Alexander Hamilton never went to Paris, but his musical might.

One source said the ink isn’t dry on the deal yet, which makes it all the more fun to be the first to share it.

Look forward to the Las Vegas Review-Journal confirming our scoop soon, replete with copious attribution, of course. (Just like they broke the news Celine would have a residency at Resorts World, a year after we first shared the story.)

We reached out to Caesars Entertainment for comment on the “Hamilton” rumor, but haven’t heard back yet.

While we aren’t really a Broadway show person, Las Vegas is ready to come roaring back when pandemic restrictions are lifted, and “Hamilton” has a ready-made audience that’s going to devour its unique blend of history, rap and woke.

Broadway musicals have a spotty history on the Las Vegas Strip, but this feels like a winner for the Las Vegas casino that’s rumored to have landed the deal.

New High Limit Room Adds Flair to Downtown’s El Cortez Casino

Downtown’s El Cortez recently opened a new high limit room, and it adds a fresh burst of color to the classic casino.

A highlight of the new high limit room is a wall-sized, eye-catching photo of the El Cortez neon sign.

El Cortez

El Cortez cleverly used an image that looks like neon, but without the cost or trouble. Because, frankly, neon is a huge pain in the ass.

The high limit room is next to the casino’s cage. The space formerly held high limit slot machines, several of which we spent more time with than our own family.

Also worth nothing in the new high limit area is the fancy new El Cortez carpet.

The carpet was recently upgraded from one that (how do we put this delicately?) had been around awhile. About 13 years to be exact. Here’s the new carpeting.

El Cortez carpeting

It’s a myth casino carpets are designed to keep customers looking up at slot machines. They are designed to camouflage stains while making you feel like you’re hunting big game.

The previous carpet was so well-known and beloved, the casino actually sold sections of it in the gift shop. The supply of carpet pieces sold out quickly. Only in Vegas!

At the moment, the modest high limit room has two blackjack tables and four slots.

It’s expected a baccarat table will be added soon.

There are four slot machines.

El Cortez

The slot selection in high limit isn’t expansive, but you only need one. Just be sure to pick the right one.

In the past, El Cortez didn’t exactly scream “high roller,” but casino management has seen more interest in higher table limits, apparently.

Currently, the El Cortez high limit room tables have limited hours of operation, offering blackjack on Fridays and Saturdays only. Guests can also reserve a table.

EL Cortez

No matter how much you’d like to, please do not make out with this wall.

El Cortez is one of our favorite places to play downtown. The value is undeniable, and it’s on a shortlist of casinos that still have a throwback vibe.

While we were at El Cortez, we said goodbye to Naked City Pizza. The restaurant space has been walled off.

El Cortez

Naked City wasn’t just closed, it was erased.

El Cortez opened in 1941, and was the former stomping ground of casino legend Jackie Gaughan.

Another claim to fame (if you can call it that) for El Cortez is it was once owned by a gaggle of mobsters: Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Gus Greenbaum and Moe Sedway.

Moe Sedway later went on to invent two-wheeled, self-balancing transportation devices.

Now that we think of it, “gaggle” may not be the best collective noun for a group of mobsters. Maybe a “family” of mobsters? Or better yet, a “whack” of mobsters?

El Cortez

We love it and we hate everything.

El Cortez is a great jumping off point for the Fremont East entertainment district and quirky Downtown Container Park. It’s a two-minute walk east from downtown’s Fremont Street Experience.

Cheers to El Cortez for evolving, and for inspiring us to seriously consider putting up a wall-sized El Cortez sign in our home. Let’s get those bad boys in the gift shop, already.

Station Casinos Rebrands Cafes at Five Resorts

Station Casinos is rebranding several of its casino cafes. Confirmed: It’s a slow news day!

Cafes are fixtures in Las Vegas casinos, much like blackjack, escorts and cries of anguish when you hit two out of three Megabucks symbols.

The cafes at Red Rock and Green Valley Ranch, currently Grand Cafes, will be called Lucky Penny as of Feb. 24, 2021.

Palms fans will recognize the brand, as Lucky Penny opened at the off-Strip resort in 2017.

Palms, also owned by Station Casinos, has been closed since March 2020 and isn’t expected to open until it’s under new ownership, according mainly to us.

Lucky Penny Palms

Lucky Penny is coming to another casino that isn’t the Palms near you.

Also being rebranded are the Grand Cafes at Boulder Station, Santa Fe Station and Sunset Station. They’ll be called Brass Fork starting in early April 2021.

Brass Fork is an existing brand at Palace Station.

It’s unclear why they aren’t giving each cafe its own name, but granted, naming things is hard.

All these cafes operate 24/7, seven days a week.

Here’s more P.R. jibberty-jabbery on the Station Casino blog.

We like the name Lucky Penny, as we have never walked by a face-up penny in a casino without picking it up, even in these “unprecedented times” when you’re not allowed to touch anything.

Because we can use all the help we can get.

Penny

Yes, they still make these.

“Lucky Penny” has an old-timey feel to it.

It makes sense at these locals casinos, as customers tend to skew older.

Ask older players about lucky pennies, and they’ll tell you, “Find a penny, pick it up. All day long you’ll have good luck.”

Ask younger guests about lucky pennies, and they’ll reply, “Dafuq?”

Even though it’s Sin City, pennies are considered lucky for religious reasons. Back in the day, people thought metals were gifts from the gods that could protect them from evil forces.

Back when currency was mostly rocks, metal coins represented wealth, and some equate wealth with luck despite the fact a great philosopher once said, “Mo’ money, mo’ problems.”

Fun fact: National Lucky Penny Day is May 23. It’s worth noting that National People Need to Get a Life Day is March 12.

Pappy pennies

The luckiest pennies are the ones smashed by Pappy.

We couldn’t find any luck-based inspiration for Brass Fork, so we’ll just share a fun fact and make it look like that’s the inspiration for these cafe rebrands.

In countries such as Russia and Ukraine, it’s considered bad form to give someone something sharp, like a fork, as a gift. It means the parties will quarrel in the future. That is, unless the receiver gives something in return that’s made of brass (or copper).

This was clearly the inspiration behind Brass Fork. Now, you know!

The food at the cafes will pretty much be the same despite what the news releases say. It’s solid, but nothing fancy.

At this point, we’re just happy to still have restaurants where you don’t have to try and guess the hours of operation.

A common urban myth in Las Vegas says casinos are required to have a 24-hour dining option. That’s not the case. For example, Golden Gate has no restaurants, mostly due to the asshattery of the ownership of Du-Par’s.

Anyway, this was supposed to be a short article about a couple of cafes getting new names, but then we realized we just like talking to you.

We may not say it often enough, but you’re our favorite part of Las Vegas. Right after Captain Morgan. But you’re definitely a close second.

Mandalay Bay, Park MGM and Mirage Return to 24/7 Operation on March 3

Three MGM Resorts hotels will resume 24/7 hotel operations effective March 3, 2021: Mandalay Bay, Park MGM and The Mirage.

The hotels had been closed mid-week due to challenges related to the pandemic, but they’ll be back full-time thanks to a surge in demand.

Park MGM

Park MGM and its strange growth are back to 24/7.

Translation: Our town’s year-long kick to the jewels is coming to an end, finally.

We chat with industry folks frequently, and hotels are seeing increasing demand with each passing week over the next several months.

Mid-week is still rough due to the lack of convention business and little international travel, but things are looking up.

Speaking of looking up.

Mirage Mermaid

Our good luck charm at Mirage is back in action. Well, good lucks charms. ‘Nuff said.

Included in the cavalcade of good news (even Omnia nighclub is reopening) is the fact new COVID-19 cases in Nevada have declined 45 percent in just the last two weeks.

Not surprisingly, as the pandemic recedes, travelers are feeling more confident and they’re ready to party their asses off.

In a news release from MGM Resorts, Bill Hornbuckle said, “As we begin to see positive signs around the public’s sentiment about traveling, coupled with important progress on the vaccination front and decreasing COVID-19 case numbers, bringing Mandalay Bay, Park MGM and The Mirage back to full-week operations is an important step for us.”

It’s an important step for everyone, bro.

Yes, we just referred to the CEO of a major casino company as “bro.” That’s because we’re having very warm feelings toward Bill Hornbuckle right now, and not just because of his adorable name.

Lego Las Vegas architecture

Mandalay Bay is the gold one on the left.

Las Vegas has always been a 24/7 town (at least symbolically), so much so that a number of casinos couldn’t figure out how to lock their doors when casinos were shut down on March 18, 2020. Their doors had never been closed.

The Las Vegas comeback is upon us (despite the sloth-like decision-making of Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak), so gird your loins.