Disastrous “Marilyn, The New Musical” to Close at Paris

Like a candle in a wind tunnel, “Marilyn, The New Musical” is being extinguished at Paris Las Vegas after just 15 performances since its official opening on June 1.

“Marilyn” closes June 17, 2018.

Marilyn musical closed

“Marilyn” is closing. Sorry, the gays.

From what we hear, the implosion of “Marilyn, The New Musical” had little to do with the talent of its cast.

Even as the show opened, there were rumors of behind-the-scenes drama, including a lack of competent direction and serious financial issues, and entertainment insiders predicted the show would have a very short run.

Few predicted the run would be this short. Oh, wait, no, there was us.

Marilyn

Look at all the fatalistic fun you’re missing on Twitter!

It should be noted we’re the one calling the show “closed,” not the show itself.

In an admirable piece of fiction, a news release says, “After launching to critical acclaim, ‘Marilyn: The New Musical’ will be going on a summer hiatus from Tuesday, June 19 through Monday, Sept. 3 in order to further refine the show and prepare for the Las Vegas-created production to launch a national tour. Performances at Paris Las Vegas will resume Tuesday, Sept. 4.”

Ah, the old “show refinement” ploy.

“Marilyn, The New Musical” won’t be resuming at Paris, or anywhere else for that matter.

In fact, we’re going to predict several others shows planned by the producer, writer and director of “Marilyn,” Tegan Summers, won’t be happening as announced, either. Las Vegas is a very small town and word gets around.

Summers was supposed to bring a series of Broadway-style shows to Las Vegas. The shows were to feature stories about Bettie Page and James Dean, with another involving EDM DJ and producer Steve Aoki.

Don’t hold your breath.

While ambitious, Broadway-style theatrical productions are hit-and-miss in Las Vegas. For every “Jersey Boys,” there’s a “Surf, The Musical.” For every “Phantom of the Opera,” there’s an “Avenue Q.”

For every “Mamma Mia” at Mandalay Bay there’s a “Mamma Mia” at Tropicana. Long story.

We trust the “Marilyn” cast and crew will find new gigs worthy of their time and talents.

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Wynn Resorts Rights a Wrong, Rolls Back Paid Parking

Few saw it coming, but Wynn Resorts has bucked a trend by announcing it will give free parking to its hotel guests, as well as a way for us commoners to get free parking, too.

Your first question, of course: Las Vegas hotels make their own guests pay for parking?

Well, yes. Where have you been?

Currently, Wynn and Encore charge guests for self-park and valet, a trend that’s become the norm in Las Vegas, just as it is in other cities.

Self-park rates run $7 for the first 1-2 hours, $12 for 2-4 hours and $15 up to 24 hours. Valet charges currently run from $18 (up to two hours), to $27 for 24 hours.

Starting July 1, 2018, that all changes.

Wynn Encore

Wynn Resorts could use some positive buzz right about now. Free parking is a great place to start.

Guests of Wynn and Encore will be able to self-park or valet for free. Remember when free parking was a thing in Las Vegas?

Free parking for hotel guests will be included in their $39 resort fee. Wynn Resorts assures customers the resort fee won’t be increased to accommodate the new policy.

Don’t get us started about resort fees. That’s a fight for another day.

But wait, there’s more.

Non-hotel guests will also be able to park free, albeit with validation. Guests will be validated upon receipt of a $50 spend at Wynn or Encore.

That minimum can be spent at all the retail stores, restaurants, shows, nightclubs and lounges at either of the resorts.

Players will be pleased to hear even money spent gambling counts toward the $50 minimum spend to get free parking. The company hasn’t release details about how that will work, but we trust they’ll figure it out.

Wynn parasols

Sorry, gazing at the pretty things won’t get your parking validated. Buy a couple of drinks, though, and you’re good.

This change in paid parking policy is a pretty big deal in Las Vegas. Paid parking is an ongoing source of frustration for visitors, and many believe is has caused a shift in public perception of Las Vegas as a value destination.

We are one of those people.

So, what’s the motivation behind Wynn Resorts’ move?

Well, there’s the official answer, referred to as “horseshit” in public relations parlance.

Maurice Wooden, President of Wynn Las Vegas, said, “We have come to believe that charging additional parking fees is counter to the personalized service we provide. This new policy directly reflects the way we know our guests want and deserve to be treated.”

So, it suddenly dawned on them guests don’t like having to pay for parking? Right.

Wynn $5,000 machine

This machine at Wynn is $5,000 per spin. You’re covered on the parking.

Wynn Resorts has at least three reasons to change its paid parking policies.

First, its restaurants, shows and retail stores have taken a hit since paid parking was instituted. And it’s not just happening at Wynn and Encore, but at casinos all across Las Vegas.

Restaurants don’t receive the financial benefits of paid parking, at all, so they’re being hurt with nothing to show for it.

Increasingly, restaurants, shows and retail stores are letting their casino overlords know they’re suffering, and it appears Wynn Resorts is listening.

Second, it’s Wynn Resorts, so there’s an undeniable public image component.

Generously setting aside parking fees can’t hurt during a time when Wynn Resorts is trying to restore its tarnished reputation following the Steve Wynn sexual misconduct scandal.

Wynn Resorts is throwing everyone a bone. Which, come to think of it, is what got Steve Wynn in all that trouble in the first place.

We’ll wait.

Wynn funny chip

Oh, like we’d do a story about Wynn without including this chip. Do you know this blog at all?

Third, follow the money.

Wynn’s neighbors, Venetian and Palazzo, still offer free parking. That means many customers park at these competing casinos and walk to Wynn and Encore.

One of the cardinal rules of Las Vegas casinos: Don’t send customers to a competitor. Guests may intend to pass through Palazzo to gamble and dine at Wynn, but there are lots of distractions along the way.

So, the bottom line is Venetian and Palazzo deserve props for holding strong on free parking. If they’d rolled out paid parking, it’s unlikely Wynn Resorts would be changing its policies.

Palazzo

We all owe you a beer, Palazzo.

Along those same lines, let’s not forget another neighbor with free parking: Fashion Show Mall. You can bet there’s a collective sigh of relief at retail outlets inside Wynn and Encore right about now.

We can only hope the new parking program at Wynn and Encore is an acknowledgment by casinos that paid parking is an unnecessary annoyance to customers.

Paid parking is a short-sighted revenue play that hurts brands and, ultimately, Las Vegas.

Let’s hope the other big casino companies in Las Vegas, Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts (which started this whole paid parking mess), see the light, too.

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Take a Walk Along a Las Vegas Casino Surveillance Catwalk

It’s rare when you see something you’ve never seen before, but gird your loins, you’re about to.

A few years back, before Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall (originally Barbary Coast) was gutted to become the Cromwell, we got to stroll the casino’s old-school, labyrinthine catwalk.

casino security catwalk

Do you have any idea how long we’ve waited to use the word “labyrinthine” in a blog post?

Before the “eye in the sky” came along, casino surveillance guys (they were pretty much universally male) would peer down from above with binoculars to watch for dishonest employees and players trying to cheat the house.

Mostly that first thing, surprisingly.

What was it like? Here’s a never-before-seen glimpse into a bygone era in Las Vegas.

Many of the old security passageways in Las Vegas casinos were closed off years ago, but a few remain.

Given the extensive renovation of Cromwell, it’s unlikely the security catwalk in our video survived.

Casino security has come a long way since the early days of Las Vegas, of course. Now, casinos use sophisticated cameras and video analysis software to protect their assets.

casino security

In older casinos, new technology (dome cameras, left) co-exists with old. Note the one-way mirrors at right.

In recent years, Las Vegas casinos have started using what’s called “non-obvious relationship awareness,” or NORA, software. This software allows security to tell if players and dealers are colluding.

Casinos even employ cryptographers and game theorists to assist with security efforts.

Here’s a fun fact: Casino employee uniforms are designed to deter theft. Sleeves are often kept short to prevent concealing chips, and pockets are either disallowed or covered with aprons.

craps dealer

Short sleeves and no pockets. Now, you know why.

Enjoy another glimpse into the past of Las Vegas.

casino security

Even that red discard tray is a security measure! They help security detect inks, or “daubs,” used to mark cards.

There’s something thrilling, and more than a little creepy, about walking in the footsteps of those early surveillance teams.

Back in the day, casinos often didn’t hand over unscrupulous employees or cheats to the police, preferring to deal with the issues internally. If you get our drift.

While some may pine for the early days of Las Vegas, we tend to prefer our kneecaps unbroken and our eyes unpopped out.

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Pink’s Closes at Planet Hollywood, Pin-Up Pizza Next, Making Way for Chick-fil-A

A fixture at Planet Hollywood, Pink’s Hot Dogs, has closed. A source says the closure of Pink’s is an initial step toward the arrival of Chick-fil-A. If the rumor pans out, this would be the first Chick-fil-a location on the Las Vegas Strip.

Pink’s, an import from California, opened at Planet Hollywood resort in August 2009.

Pink's Louie Anderson

Insert seemingly random photo of Emmy winner Louie Anderson at Pink’s Hot Dogs here.

A sign outside the now-closed Pink’s suggests customers make their way to another restaurant, Haute Doggery at the Linq Promenade.

Haute Doggery and Pink’s are both operated by Block 16 Hospitality and owner Billy Richardson. Richardson also owns Holstein’s at Cosmopolitan, Flour & Barley at Linq promenade, Barrymore at Royal Resort and Public House at Venetian.

Fun fact: Billy Richardson’s father, Bill Richardson, is construction manager of Resorts World. Las Vegas is a very small town.

Pink's Hot Dogs Las Vegas

Pink’s was founded by Paul and Betty Pink in 1939, when a hot dog cost 10 cents. The “Planet Hollywood” dog at Pink’s cost $8.25.

It’s estimated there were about 30 people employed at Pink’s Hot Dogs.

We hear Pin-Up Pizza, adjacent to Pink’s Hot Dogs, will also close at Planet Hollywood, but that has yet to be confirmed.

Pin-Up Pizza Las Vegas

We’re not entirely sure employees know the place could be closing, so let’s keep it between us.

Pin-Up Pizza opened in January 2014.

While there’s been no official announcement about what will replace Pink’s and Pin-Up Pizza, our source says these spaces will be absorbed into a footprint for the Las Vegas Strip’s first Chick-fil-A.

We first shared news of a Chick-fil-A location on The Strip back in April 2018, and the news nearly broke the Internet.

Chick-fil-A Planet Hollywood

Get. In. Our. Belly.

Again, Caesars Entertainment, which owns Planet Hollywood, has yet to confirm our story. Ditto Chick-fil-A.

Hey, Chick-fil-A is worth the wait.

It’s anticipated the Chick-fil-A at Planet Hollywood could be one of the chain’s most profitable locations, which is saying something given Chick-fil-A generates more revenue per restaurant than any other fast food chain in the country.

We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for official news about Pin-Up Pizza, as well as long-awaited confirmation Chick-fil-A is finally coming to the Las Vegas Strip.

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Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 80: World’s Largest Orgy, Burlesque Hall of Fame and More

It’s the all-sex episode of the podcast you can definitely live without!

First up, we’ve got an exclusive interview with Kristy Auli of Menage Life, the organization hosting a record attempt for the world’s largest orgy. The event takes place June 2, 2018 at the Erotic Heritage Museum here in Las Vegas, and more than 1,000 people have already registered to take part.

We also chat with Dustin Wax, Executive Director of the Burlesque Hall of Fame, a popular attraction which recently expanded to a new location. Get the inside scoop on this organization devoted to “preserving burlesque as an artform and cultural phenomenon.”

Burlesque Hall of Fame

The Burlesque Hall of Fame’s address has changed, but the tease remains the same.

Of course, we couldn’t do an all-sex installment without sharing the latest about the upcoming Las Vegas march in honor of International Whores Day. Organizers say the event is a “day to assert collective power and make demands, such as advocating for sex work to be decriminalized. Read more.

Our “Listicle of the Week” is “10 Sexy Things in Las Vegas,” including the Green Door swingers club, dancing dealers at The D and Golden Gate, the Love Store, Sheri’s Ranch brothel, “Chippendales” at Rio and “Fantasy” at Luxor and more.

Hey, there’s a reason they call it Sin City. Take a listen and we promise a happy ending!

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Las Vegas Rally and March Planned for International Whores Day 2018

We are not making this up.

On, June 2, 2018, Las Vegas sex worker advocacy groups plan to march in honor of International Whores Day.

The day is in commemoration of the occupation of Saint-Nizier Church in Lyon, France, by more than 100 sex workers in 1975 to protest police brutality and exploited working conditions.

According to the Las Vegas groups, International Whores Day is celebrated internationally and is “a day to assert collective power and make demands.”

One of the demands is for sex work to be decriminalized.

International Whores Day Las Vegas

In Spanish, June 2 is called “Dia Internacional de la Trabajadora Sexual,” or International Day of the Sex Worker.

The march will also protest the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) which became law on April 11, 2018.

Sex worker advocates assert that while these laws were originally framed as anti-trafficking, they are harming consensual sex workers and chilling free speech on the Internet.

The rally and march on June 2 will be preceded by workshops, including a protest safety workshop as well as “Know Your Rights” and “Political Outreach” workshops.

Affiliated organizations include Gender Justice Nevada, devoted to “changing law, policy, and attitudes so that all Nevadans can live safely, authentically and free from fear, violence and mistreatment regardless of their sex/gender identity or expression.”

Also taking part is Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) Behind Bars, a group whose mission is to “create community for incarcerated sex workers.”

Vegas sex workers march

It’s a popular misconception prostitution is legal in Las Vegas. Believe that and you’re screwed.

From the artwork above, you may have noticed the red umbrella is an important symbol for sex worker rights. The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) adopted the red umbrella as a symbol of resistance to discrimination in 2005.

On a completely unrelated note, another large event is happening in Las Vegas on June 2. Specifically, the world’s largest orgy.

Hey, they don’t call it Sin City for nothing.

Fan of sex workers? You’ll love our story about the Moonline BunnyRanch brothel.

Find out more about International Whores Day at the official Web site, a sentence we never imagined we’d be writing when we started this Las Vegas blog.

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