Boom: Ten of Our Biggest Las Vegas Scoops of 2017

It’s been a wild year, and we’re drunk (again), so it’s time to brag about our blogging prowess under the pretense of reflecting upon some of the biggest Las Vegas stories of 2017.

These are but a small sampling of our scoops that rocked Sin City during 2017, the stories that sparked conversation online and off, and leaks that gave public relations departments high blood pressure and traditional news outlets episodes of erectile dysfunction.

Told you we’re drunk.

Ice cream scoop

This isn’t the kind of scoop we’re talking about, but now you know what an analogical juxtaposition is.

Here, then, are our biggest scoops of 2017. Which we already probably said in the title of this article, but you’re skimming and probably missed it.

1. SLS Las Vegas Sold

Boom is right. When a casino gets sold in Las Vegas, it’s big news, and we had the jump on the sale of SLS Las Vegas (formerly Sahara) by a mile. While the sale has since turned sour, we’re still hopeful a deal can be had and this struggling casino will get another chance at success under new ownership.

Las Vegas sex aids

These sex toys were once sold in an adult novelty store at SLS. The mind reels.

2. Fontainebleau Sold

The abandoned Fontainebleau was reported “90 days away” from being purchased for two years, but we were the first to share when it was finally sold for $600 million. Sale of the massive blue eyesore, and word the buyers are moving ahead with finishing the project, is great news for Las Vegas and the north end of the Strip.


We’ll stop sharing this as soon as you stop smiling when you see it.

3. Alon Site Sold

Another huge Las Vegas story, and we reported it first. We say that with all due humility, because people seem to like that quality for some reason. The failed Alon resort project left a prime piece of real estate up for grabs, and Wynn Resorts swooped in to take the prize.

Alon Las Vegas

So much talent, so little not disappointing everyone.

4. Lady Gaga Residency

Again, vague rumors made the rounds for months about Lady Gaga being signed to a Las Vegas residency, but we got the inside skinny and our story made worldwide news. Or as we like to call it, Sunday. Lady Gaga confirmed she’ll perform at Park Theater starting in late 2018, and is expected to earn a whopping $100 million by the time her residency is done.

Lady Gaga

During her Las Vegas residency, Lady Gaga will have an entire VIP section in her hair.

5. WNBA Ownership and Team Name

Despite the fact we are not a sports person, that doesn’t mean we can’t share sports skinny. When news broke Las Vegas would get a WNBA team, the entity bringing the team to Las Vegas was a mystery. Until we shared that MGM Resorts was the buyer. Later, it was reported the team would be called the Las Vegas Stars. Wrong. We were the first to share the actual team name: Las Vegas Aces.

Las Vegas Aces

If you don’t think they included our Vital Vegas initials in their logo, you’re not properly exercising your imagination.

6. Fly Linq Zipline Attraction

It’s a high-flying attraction set to make a big splash in late 2018, and we shared the news months before the project was officially announced. Sensing a theme here? Yes, the Fly Linq zipline will be 122 feet tall and take guests 1,080 feet over the Linq promenade. Sorry, we couldn’t wait for the news release. The world doesn’t work like that anymore.

Fly Linq zipline

It’s supposed to have 10 side-by-side ziplines. We’re betting not. Ignore the photo captions on a Las Vegas blog at your own risk.

7. New York-New York Roller Coaster Goes VR

New York-New York’s Big Apple roller coaster has been a cash cow for the resort, but it’s time for an upgrade. We were the first to report the roller coaster would get the virtual reality treatment. There’s been no official acknowledgement the roller coaster will convert to VR, but the giant sign on the attraction’s launch platform is confirmation enough.

virtual reality roller coaster

We risked arrest to get this photo, so read it thoroughly.

8. Cosmopolitan, Lucky Dragon and Hard Rock Up for Sale

Our sources hit it out of the park in 2017, and this was a trifecta of casino scoop. Yes, that’s a mixed metaphor, but if you’d stop skimming, you’d have read the part about us not being a sports person. Whenever you hear anyone talking about the Cosmopolitan, Lucky Dragon and Hard Rock being for sale, remember you heard the stories here first.

Hard Rock Center Bar

Signs point to a knighted bajillionaire buying the Hard Rock. You’ll see.

9. Barry Manilow Residency at Westgate

It’s true, there were rumors of a Barry Manilow residency a few months back, but at the time he was “investigating venues.” We were the first to share the deal was happening, which Barry Manilow himself confirmed, so we win the Internet.

Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow is ready to take a chance again on Las Vegas.

10. Chef Michael Symon to Palms

We couldn’t do a top 10 scoops list without at least one restaurant item. There were many in 2017, but news celebrity chef Michael Symon (co-host of “The Chew”) would have a restaurant at Palms was our favorite because, damn it, Las Vegas is in dire need of great barbeque. Our runner-up chef scoop was that Todd English was out at Todd English P.U.B. And, yes, it’s awkward.

Michael Symon

Michael Symon is ready to slather Palms in BBQ sauce.

So, those were our favorite scoops of 2017.

It would be shameless to list other stories we broke, like when Vegas Seven magazine went out of print, when we first shared where the Raiders practice site would be located, or when we Tweeted the Hakkasan and SBE merger was dead in the water.

We also broke that Zero Latency VR was coming to Level Up at MGM Grand, that the Kaboo music festival is coming to Las Vegas, that Surrender nightclub would close at Wynn, that demolition started at the Las Vegas Club site, that Gold Diggers would have a rebrand at Golden Nugget, and so many others.

If you’ve been reading our blog or listening to our podcast, or following us on Twitter (oh, like we’re not going to mention we’ve had 18 million Tweet impressions in 2017), please know how much we appreciate you. Ultimately, “we” are just one person, and this site is our hobby. We do this because we love Vegas, and we love that you love Vegas, plain and simple.

Oh, and a giant, inappropriate hug goes out to our network of sources and tipsters and informants. Sharing news before it’s “official” isn’t without potential peril for these folks, and it’s impossible to overstate how much we appreciate that they trust us with their insider insights and knowledge. You know who you are.

Here’s to a 2018 full of leaks and rumors and speculation and security breaches and giving real journalists a run for their money.

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  • Photoncounter

    Scoops are great, congratulations Scott!

    Any predictions for 2018? What is planned, happens? What is planned doesn’t? Surprises? Then a year from now we can either toast your Greatness once again or Mock your silly thinking!

    • I forwent (is that a word) my predictions this time around. I like keeping my accuracy rate high. “)

  • Manybar Goatfish

    The Vital Vegas 2017 scoop I loved most was the story about the high-ranking Stratosphere executives demanding a recount of votes for the “Best of Las Vegas” awards. That’s some funny stuff! Thank you for all the laughs and the excellent photo-journalism, Vital Vegas!

    • Thanks for remembering, and for all your participation on the site.

  • Chrisn42

    Your comment on a knighted billionaire buying hard rock? Is it Richard Branson? It seems like it would be perfect for a Vegas Virgin Hotel. His hotel in Chicago is one of my favorites so I can only imagine what they’d do in Vegas.

  • Todd Sterling

    Here’s to an even better and more exciting 2018. You sir did win the Internet for 2017. Congratulations 🎉🍾🎊🎈

    • Thanks, Todd. It was a great year, that’s for sure.

  • Misslaydj

    cosmo is a marriot hotel and being sold?? wow. yeah yeah to fountainB, finally.