Category Archives: Las Vegas

Sources Say Circus Circus Las Vegas is Sold

Circus Circus, long considered the red-headed stepchild of the MGM Resorts family, has reportedly been sold. All due respect to red-heads. And stepchildren.

We have it on good authority the sale of Circus Circus casino is a done deal. It’s unknown when an official announcement of the sale will be made.

We first got wind Circus Circus was in play for a sale back in August 2019. See below if you’re not on the Twitters.

Circus Circus sold

We have the best sources, ever.

It seems there were two phases to Circus Circus being shopped to potential buyers.

In the first round, the sale was to include one hotel tower and the Rock in Rio site (Las Vegas Festival Grounds). There we apparently no takers for that offering.

Next up was a sale of the entire resort, including the adjacent Las Vegas Festival Grounds.

Our sources say the Circus Circus sale encompassed a whopping 102 acres.

The rumored buyer is Phil Ruffin, owner of TI.

Circus Circus sale

The lights that launched a thousand engorgements.

Plans for Circus Circus are unknown, but a sale bodes well for the likelihood of further investment in sprucing up the place, including what’s likely to be a much-needed renovation of the rooms.

Circus Circus has long served a customer other Strip resorts don’t, extreme value seekers and families.

Despite its profitability, MGM Resorts has never quite known what to do with this offbeat casino that doesn’t fit neatly into the company’s portfolio.

A casino we love, by the way. See our 10 reasons to love Circus Circus.

Steakhouse Circus Circus

“Whatever you do, don’t touch the steakhouse!” we all said in unison.

The sale of Circus Circus will provide a bump to MGM Resorts’ pool of cash as it continues to pursue its MGM 2020 initiative to increase profitability.

Additional investment (or any, really) in Circus Circus by MGM Resorts just wasn’t in the cards, so a sale makes a lot of sense.

Stay tuned for confirmation and an official announcement about the sale of Circus Circus.

You heard it here first!

Update (9/20/19): Here’s the latest on the sale of Circus Circus via Bloomberg. The publication says about MGM Resorts, “An accord to sell the resort could be announced as part of a larger transaction involving the company’s real estate portfolio, which also includes the Bellagio and the flagship MGM Grand.”

Update (10/15/19): The sale of Circus Circus for $825 million to TI owner Phil Ruffin has been confirmed. Try to act surprised.

Virgin Hotel Las Vegas Busts Out More Sweet Renderings

Virgin Hotel Las Vegas (technically, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, but there’s just the one so far) has shared some sweet renderings.

Hard Rock will transition into Virgin starting in February 2020, and here’s a peek at what’s in store.

Virgin Las Vegas

If we ever have Richard Branson money, this will be our living room.

The renderings were shared as Virgin Vegas announced its design and construction partners.

We aren’t entirely sure who some of these companies are, but we thought we’d list them here to prevent the renderings from slapping together.

Virgin’s design and construction partners include Rockwell Group, Klai Juba Wald Architecture + Interiors, Studio Collective, Taylor International Corporation and McCarthy Building Companies.

Rockwell Group is probably the most recognizable of the partners, as they’ve done a number of projects in Las Vegas, including Greene St. Kitchen and Kaos at Palms, as well as Omnia nightclub and Nobu at Caesars Palace.

Fun fact: Rockwell Group also did the set designs for the movie “Tootsie.” Yes, we knew that off the top of our head, not because it was in the news release.

Here’s another fleek rendering from the upcoming Virgin hotel in Las Vegas. And, yes, we’re using “fleek” ironically. We are not a complete idiot.

Virgin Las Vegas

We love the art inspired by our ex.

When we shared these renderings on our wildly popular Twitter account, there was universally positive feedback, and Twitter tends to hate everything.

That bodes well for Virgin, and we’ll keep you in the loop with all the latest developments. Read more about the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas renovation timeline. Virgin Hotel Las Vegas is expected to open in Nov. 2020.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race Live” to Sashay Into Flamingo Las Vegas

Flamingo Las Vegas has announced a new show, “RuPaul’s Drag Race Live,” to launch in early 2020.

It’s hard to imagine a harder left turn for Flamingo, considering the drag show will replace Donny and Marie Osmond’s long-running production when it closes in November 2019.

You go, Flamingo.

Honestly, has anyone ever not had a good time at a drag show?

RuPaul's Drag Race Live Flamingo

If you can’t love a drag show in Las Vegas, how the hell are you ever gonna love a drag show?

We’re resolute in our enthusiasm for the new show even after seeing RuPaul describe it as “an immersive, interactive thrill-ride.” He gets a pass, because he’s just so damned funny.

From the news release, “Each live performance is packed with outrageous comedy, eye-popping fashions, over-the-top singing and dancing, heartwarming moments, plus twists and turns that will leave the audience ‘gagging’ for more. The atmosphere of the show is interactive and encourages audience members’ participation, as if they were attending a live episode of the
world-famous competition.”

Big props to Flamingo for signing off on a news release with a “gagging” joke in it!

“RuPaul’s Drag Race Live” will feature seven performers plucked from a rotating cast including Aquaria, Asia O’Hara, Coco Montrese, Derrick Barry, Eureka O’Hara, India Ferrah, Kahanna Montrese, Kameron Michaels, Kim Chi, Naomi Smalls, Shannel and Yvie Oddly.

RuPaul's Drag Race Live Las Vegas

We may or may not be using chicken cutlets right now. Don’t judge.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race Live” will perform Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 p.m. starting in January 2020. Tickets will start at $49. Get tickets at the official site.

Having a drag show at Flamingo is a fairly cunning move on the part of the resort and its owner, Caesars Entertainment.

First, the appeal of drag is much broader than you’d expect. Also, the main target demographic for this type of production hits a sweet spot for casinos as customers tend to have disposable income to eat, drink, gamble and take advantage of other amenities at a hotel-casino.

It’s one of the reasons Lady Gaga, Elton John, Britney Spears Cher and Celine are so appealing to their host casinos.

The bottom line: When “RuPaul’s Drag Race Live” opens at Flamingo, expect copious lip-syncing, over-the-top costumes and a metric hell-ton of shade.

Vegas Vic Neon Sign Gets Much-Needed Repairs

An iconic Las Vegas neon sign, Vegas Vic, was recently repaired following months of neglect.

The Fremont Street fixture, first erected in 1951, looks better than ever thanks to the efforts of the YESCO sign company. (Before you point it out, we understand “YESCO sign company” is redundant, as YESCO stands for Young Electric Sign Company, so it’s like saying “ATM machine.” We love your freakish attention to detail.)

Here’s a look at Vegas Vic following his rejuvenation surgery!

Vegas Vic Las Vegas

The neon king of smokin’ and cow-pokin’ is back! Speaking of cowpokes, awkward fact: Bestiality was legal in Nevada until 2017.

Vegas Vic made his debut in 1947, first at the Chamber of Commerce building. Shortly thereafter, he began to stand watch over the Pioneer Club.

Vegas Vic neon sign

Don’t be alarmed if you experience southerly moistness after gazing into Vegas Vic’s piercing blue eyes.

The Pioneer Club casino closed in 1995. Now, it’s a gift shop.

In fact, it was the Pioneer gift shop owner, Haim Gabay, who paid to have Vegas Vic repaired. Gabay is the former owner of the Bonanza Gift Shop, touted as the world’s largest gift shop. He sold Bonanza for $50 million in 2016.

Technically, the responsibility for maintaining Vegas Vic falls to the owner(s) of the building, in this case Schiff Enterprises. The owners have apparently been unresponsive to ongoing requests to get Vegas Vic back up to snuff. Duly noted, Schiff Enterprises.

Vegas Vic Fremont Street

When Vegas Vic first went up, he was the biggest neon sign in Nevada.

While the 40-foot-tall Vegas Vic is looking infinitely better than in recent months, he’s not the man he used to be.

Originally, Vegas Vic had a moving arm (it stopped moving in 1991) and featured audio saying, “Howdy Podner,” among other things.

In addition, a portion of Vic’s cowboy hat was trimmed away when the Fremont Street Experience was build in 1995.

Vegas Vic

Look closely and you can see where Vic’s hat was trimmed to accommodate the curve of the Viva Vision video screen.

Worth noting: The red circle in Vic’s pocket is a Durham Tobacco tag hanging from a yellow string. Vic presumably rolled his own.

Vegas Vic’s repair has sparked questions about his counterpart, Vegas Vickie.

Vegas Vickie was taken down in July 2017 (see below), and was recently transported to YESCO for a renovation. Vickie will return to Fremont Street in the new Circa Las Vegas resort in December 2020.

Vegas Vickie

Oh, like we were going to miss a chance to share this photo. Do you know this blog at all?

Vegas Vic and Vegas Vickie were married in 1994. We can’t wait to see the pair reunited again following their legal separation.

Big thanks to the entities, governmental and otherwise, who kept the pressure on to get Vegas Vic back to his former glory.

Vegas Vic is an irreplaceable part of Vegas history, like the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, and it warms our cockles to see him looking so sharp again.

Wolfgang Puck Teams With Vegas Golden Knights Players for Sports Restaurant

Doubt our sources at your peril, as we’ve broken yet another story and it’s probably a good time to remind you of the incontrovertible adage, “It’s not bragging if it’s true.”

We were the first to share Wolfgang Puck will close his Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill in Downtown Summerlin (about 15 minutes west of The Strip) and the celebrity chef will re-open the venue as a sports restaurant and lounge.

Wolfgang Puck Downtown Summerlin

Solid food, prices a tad too high, good time for a refresh.

In addition, Wolfgang Puck will launch his new effort in partnership with team members of the Vegas Golden Knights. The hockey team. That’s the sport with the ice and the pummeling.
Some people are into it.

Our scoop was immediately confirmed by Tom Kaplan, Senior Managing Partner of Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining.

Wolfgang Puck Vegas Golden Knights

Props to Mr. Kaplan for making this announcement on Twitter. News releases can suck it.

Boom, as the kids say.

Let us be the first one to point out the fact someone with the last name of Puck is teaming up with hockey players. You’re welcome. (Yes, his real last name is Topfschnig. Don’t be a buzzkill.)

The official statement, of course, glosses over the fact restaurants don’t rebrand if they’re doing booming business.

The Downtown Summerlin shopping center is awash in dining options, creating business challenges for dozens of restaurants, even those bearing the names of bigtime chefs.

Downtown Summerlin has 30-plus dining options, and the neighboring Red Rock Resort has an additional 15 or so. Translation: That’s a lot, and a number of good restaurants have gone under, including Crave, Casa Del Matador, Fogo de Chao and others.

We were the first to share another struggling restaurant, Andiron Steak & Sea, will close for at least two months for an overhaul.

As for the new Wolfgang Puck concept, we can all agree the company’s assertion this effort will be “the city’s first true sports restaurant and lounge” is hooey. That aside, having Vegas Golden Knights players involved certainly won’t hurt the chances of success (the team’s practice facility is 30 seconds away).

It also can’t hurt to have a culinary icon doing the menu!

We met Wolfgang Puck a couple of times, he’s a hoot.

Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck is widely credited with making badass restaurants in Las Vegas a thing.

While details about the new Wolfgang Puck concept are few, we’re going to make a wild guess there will be TVs. In Las Vegas, it’s the law.

We trust there will also be puckball-themed food items like: “Barnburner Burgers,” “Clapper Snapper,” “Sin Bin Potato Skins,” “Goon Guac,” “Hat Trick Fish Sticks” and “Faceoff Beef Stroganoff.” Not too shabby for making up that list while inebriated.

We’re looking forward to checking out the new Wolfgang Puck sports restaurant and lounge when it opens, yes, despite the sports part. It’s flipping Wolfgang Puck.

Gamblers General Store Moves to New Location

A longtime go-to shop for gambling-related products in downtown Las Vegas, Gamblers General Store, has pulled up stakes and moved to a new location.

Thankfully, the store has only move about 180 feet from its former location, so customers shouldn’t have too much trouble locating it.

Here’s a look a the new digs.

Gamblers General Store

Two words: Dice table felt. Take it home. Learn the game. Get back to Vegas and stick it to The Man. Not to be confused with the “stickman.” Different thing.

The new address for Gamblers General Store is 727 S. Main St., Las Vegas, NV 89101.

From what we hear, the rent got too high at the former location, so the business made a move.

Here’s a hastily-assembled video for a look inside.

At the former location, there were several attempts at a restaurant inside the store’s footprint, but the most recent (and most promising), Dough Dough’s Hawaiian Cafe, tanked.

The restaurant closed “temporarily,” but the operators never came back. It appears no restaurant is in the cards for the new Gamblers General Store location.

Gamblers General Store

If you like gambling, this is the place for you. If not, WTF is wrong with you?

Gamblers General Store has been in operation since 1984. The store boasts 15,000 gambling products, including not only cards, dice and chips, but also items with awesome names like “lammers.”

Beyond the retail shop, the company’s makes some bank with personalized custom chips. Gamblers General Store has made chips for TV shows and movies, including “The Sopranos,” “Ocean’s 11” and even “Casino.” Both Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and former Mayor Oscar Goodman get their promotional chips from Gamblers General Store, and that’s endorsement enough for us.

Our home is pretty much a hoarder’s paradise for items we’ve gotten from the Gamblers General Store, so check it out if you’re in the neighborhood.

Learn more at the official Web site.