Category Archives: Las Vegas

“Purple Reign” Closes at Westgate, Dirk Arthur Returns

A popular Prince tribute show, “Purple Reign,” has closed abruptly at Westgate Las Vegas.

The show, which has performed at various Las Vegas hotels for decades, stars Jason Tenner. It’s easily one of the best tribute shows in Vegas.

Purple Reign

One of the show’s claims to fame is “Purple Reign” was the first tribute act to appear as a musical guest on “Late Show With David Letterman.”

The show will open again at Tropicana on Nov. 1, 2017.

As “Purple Reign” departs Westgate, longtime Las Vegas magician Dirk Arthur is making a return to the resort.

Dirk Arthur

You know, just Dirk Arthur taking a stroll with his kitty around the pool. It’s Vegas, baby.

Arthur’s show opens Nov. 1, 2017, and this time around he’ll attempt to sidestep criticism of his exotic cat show by keeping the inclusion of animals to a minimum.

Arthur’s show will still feature a bobcat, snow leopard and birds.

We know Dirk Arthur, and have found him to be compassionate when it comes to his animals, but shows with big cats are a tough sell in Vegas these days.

Details about Arthur’s new show are slim at the moment, but there’s sure to be more information soon on Westgate’s Web site.

 

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MGM Resorts Could Be Buyer of WNBA’s San Antonio Stars

Talk about a mixed metaphor. This one came out of left field, but we’re hearing a rumor MGM Resorts could be the buyer of the WNBA’s San Antonio Stars.

ESPN was the first to report the San Antonio Stars have an agreement in place to relocate to Las Vegas (contingent upon NBA and WNBA approval), but the buyer has eluded the media.

Could it be MGM Resorts is the buyer? A source says “yes.” The source also says the team would play at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on the Las Vegas Strip.

San Antonia Stars

The Stars originally played in Utah and were called the Starzz, the grammatical equivalent of jazz hands.

Granted, it would be a strange for a casino company to own a professional sports team. But here’s the thing. MGM Resorts has made a concerted effort to shift away from being a “casino company” (declining revenue gave them a nudge) and the company now markets itself as an “entertainment company.”

That’s right, some people actually find sports entertaining.

MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren has said he and the company were actively seeking an NBA team. They were only off by one letter. The “w.” Please try and keep up.

The San Antonio Stars had the WNBA’s worst record for the past three seasons, so a buyer could probably get them for a song.

Here’s the announcement about the San Antonio Stars relocation.

Like it or not, Las Vegas is quickly becoming a sports town, and the purchase of a WMBA team by MGM Resorts could keep the rally going.

Update (10/17/17): Our story has been officially confirmed. The move has been approved by the WNBA and NBA Board of Governors, and the team will begin playing in Las Vegas starting in May 2018.

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Gold Diggers Nightclub at Golden Nugget to Close and Get Renovation, Rebrand

Gold Diggers Nightclub at Golden Nugget will soon close for a renovation. Halloween is expected to be its final night of operation before a hiatus.

Rumor has it the night spot will get an overhaul that includes a name change.

Fremont Gold Diggers

Gold Diggers, seen upper right, provides one of the best views of the circus that is Fremont Street.

The club sits on the second floor of the resort, with a balcony overlooking Fremont Street.(Golden Nugget is a member casino of Fremont Street Experience, where we work in digital marketing as our day job).

Gold Diggers is one of the few dance clubs downtown, it’s next closest competitor being Gold Spike, a former casino but now a hotspot for millennials.

Details about the nature of the Gold Diggers rebrand are being kept under wraps at the moment, but expect a “new nightclub experience.” Hey, scoop’s scoop, no matter how vague.

Vegas beer tap handle

If the Gold Diggers renovation involves swapping out these awesome beer tap handles, we call dibs.

It’s expected Gold Diggers, or whatever it’s called next, will re-open relatively quickly, even as soon as November 2017.

If you want to know some skinny about Las Vegas nightclubs, we’ve got this.

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Flippin’ Good Re-Opens on Fremont East With Waitstaff, New Look, Better Food

Flippin’ Good restaurant is back in business on Fremont East in downtown Las Vegas after a significant renovation.

With its recent overhaul, Flippin’ Good has gone from fast food to casual dining, complete with the addition of servers.

Flippin' Good Las Vegas

Flippin’ Good isn’t fancy, but it’s downtown fancy.

The restaurant has tweaked its full name from Flippin’ Good Burgers & Shakes to Flippin’ Good Chicken, Burgers, Beer.

We suspect the restaurant’s pivot had to do with not only sagging business, but also the opening of a White Castle nearby.

All the changes have resulted in vast improvements over the former concept.

Flippin' Good Fremont East

Flippin’ Good features the four food groups: Chicken, burgers, fries and beer.

The new interior is a mix of wood, steel and brick.

Booths, with padded seats, are at a premium. During a recent visit, we asked about a lone unoccupied booth and were told it wasn’t available because someone had made a reservation for it. Note to self.

The new Flippin’ Good features a slick new bar.

Flippin' Good Burgers Las Vegas

You can’t Fremont and not beer. It’s the law.

At the moment, the bar serves beer and wine, but our hope is it becomes a full, Captain Morgan-enabled bar soon.

The menu’s prices have been bumped up a bit to reflect the restaurant’s new direction, but from the items we’ve had, it remains a solid value.

The grilled chicken sandwich was excellent, and the fries are as good as we remember.

Flippin' Good

Pavlovian response in three…two…one.

Here’s a peek at one side of the menu.

Flippin' Good Las Vegas

Please don’t rupture your eyeball. Here’s a larger version.

We wouldn’t leave you hanging, here’s the other side.

Flippin' Good menu

We’re fairly sure concretes are frozen custard, but we are a blog, not a flavor chemist. Here’s a better look.

We also took a stab at the chicken tenders. While they pale by comparison to Cane’s or Twin Peaks here in Las Vegas, they hit the spot, and the dipping sauces cover all the bases.

Yes, we made a sports reference. We won’t let it happen again.

Flippin' Good downtown

Sauces include Cluckin’, Tennessee BBQ, Carolina Gold, Buffalo, Buttermilk Ranch, Flippin’ Good and Honey Mustard. There will be a quiz.

On a return trip, we tried the Flippin’ Good Burger and found it to be, again, a satisfying offering.

Flippin' Good Las Vegas

Flippin’ Good gives good bun.

The previous iteration of Flippin’ Good had challenges with food consistency, and it still hasn’t worked out all those kinks entirely, but the new Flippin’ Good has made great strides in quality, variety, portion size and overall ambiance.

Flippin' Good Fremont Street

Flippin’ Good was once Uncle Joe’s Pizza and Kabob Korner. Consider our intestinal history preserved.

We’re hopeful Flippin’ Good will veer away from its decision to position itself as “the pioneer of Downtown Las Vegas honky tonk.”

First, we don’t know what that means.

Second, country music is to ears as Admiral Nelson rum is to tongues, and we don’t mean that in a good way.

From the Flippin’ Good Facebook page and menu: “Whether you like scorchin’ chicken eats, grass-fed steak burgers, shivery shakes or ice cold local brews, we gotta ‘lil somethin’ for everybody. Lip smackin’ and knee slappin’, we like to invite y’all home. Here, you’ll be treated like kin.”

We’d love to think they’re being ironic, but the country music says otherwise.

Flippin' Good Fremont East

Yes, Las Vegas has an “outside.” We just avoid it whenever possible.

Still, Flippin’ Good has upped its game in a big way and we recommend a stop to check out the new look and menu.

Flippin’ Good is located between Inspire Theater and a restaurant called The Smashed Pig, across Fremont Street from one of our favorite downtown haunts, Evel Pie.

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Lotus of Siam Restaurant Announces Second Location

The acclaimed Lotus of Siam restaurant, forced to close after a roof collapse in early September 2017, has set its sights on a second location.

Lotus of Siam is a longtime favorite of foodies despite its challenging (seedy) location in a strip mall called Commercial Center on Sahara Ave., a few blocks east of SLS Las Vegas and Stratosphere.

Lotus of Siam

They can’t say it, but we can.

Lotus of Siam announced it will open a new location at 620 E. Flamingo Road.

That address is the former Roy’s, a pan-Asian restaurant, in an area known as “Restaurant Row” not far from Hard Rock casino and the National Atomic Testing Museum. The new location is about a block away from one of the best Indian restaurant in Las Vegas, Mint Indian Bistro.

The owners of Lotus of Siam seem committed to keeping their original restaurant open, so the Flamingo location will be a second outpost of the popular Thai eatery.

This message was posted on the Lotus of Siam Facebook page: “We finally got our location! It’s not too far from our original one. The address is 620 E Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89119. We will be open by Nov. 1! We are happy to announce that this is our second home and it is on Flamingo and Paradise. We hope to see you guys soon!”

Judging by the exclamation points, Lotus of Siam appears very excited about its new location. If you’ve ever had the food, you know why.

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Resorts World Doubles Its Number of Cranes (To Two)

Resorts World has become the “molasses in wintertime” of Las Vegas resort construction projects.

While progress has been agonizingly slow, we have seen recent signs of activity. Specifically, Resorts World has doubled its number of construction cranes.

Now, there are precisely two. We’ve shown you the one in back of the building, now take a gander at the one in front.

Resorts World

Maybe it’s not about how many cranes there are, but how willing they are to work on weekends and eat lunch at their desk.

Have you noticed nobody ever leaves a gander? Always take, take, take.

Resorts World is being built on the bones of the abandoned Echelon Place.

Resorts World

Oh, look, the second crane, trying to look busy.

When Echelon Place was being built, it was not uncommon to see a dozen cranes looming over the site.

Now, not so much. Take a look.

Still, a closer peek reveals more materials at the site’s “laydown yard,” an area where construction materials are delivered and stored until needed for installation.

Other than that, any changes aren’t particularly visible.

Resorts World construction

Laydown yards are awesome because who doesn’t love yards and laying down?

In May 2017, it was announced “major construction” was “imminent.” Let’s just say there’s a reason certain words are in quotation marks.

The company behind Resorts World, Malaysia-based Genting Group, has said a lot of the work being done on its $4 billion resort involves things people can’t see, like “utility lines and working out easements.”

We’re pretty sure “working out easements” is a euphemism for something.

Resorts World

Resorts World is testing some mirrored windows. That’s new!

The fact remains the Asian-themed Resorts World is moving at a panda’s pace.

Presumably, delays have been related to the “devaluation of Malaysia’s currency and the unavailability of construction cranes.”

We have to wonder if Genting, in high school, blamed the dog when it forgot to do its homework.

Resorts World construction

There’s a chance this is fancy, imported Malaysian dirt! Don’t hate.

It’s time Resorts World got serious about itself. More cranes. More steel. More people in hard hats cat-calling passersby.

Because Vegas shines most brightly when it makes new things.

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