By Bill Mandel

Contributing Writer


ARIA: Shaboo restaurant closed.

CAESARS PALACE: Planet Hollywood restaurant closed in the Forum Shops. Planet Hollywood restaurant moved up to the third level taking the place of Boa Steakhouse which closed.


1. Vehicles are no longer able to access the Imperial Palace from Las Vegas Boulevard. Instead, they have to follow a detour through the east end of the property to the valet and parking garage. They can also use the Harrah’s entrance from Las Vegas Boulevard to access the Imperial Palace.

2. Pedestrians heading into the casino from the Strip will be directed to a temporary entrance on the north side of the property until a new main entrance is built at Harrah’s Carnival Court.

All the above are done for construction of The Linq (see below).

MGM GRAND: Lion Habitat is gone. See below.


PALMS: The Playboy Club closed.


CAESARS PALACE: (1) Planet Hollywood Restaurant opened on the third floor of the Forum Shops, where Boa Steakhouse was located. More information at:

(2) Celine Dion returned after inflammation in her vocal cords forced her to cancel some shows earlier this year. This limited run will end Aug.19th at the Colosseum.

FLAMINGO: “The Vinnie Favorito Show” (my favorite Las Vegas comedian) moved from the closed O’Shea’s to the Flamingo.

LAS VEGAS HOTEL & CASINO: New name for the Las Vegas Hilton.

MANDALAY BAY: Carlos Santana is now the resident performer at the House of Blues.

MCCARRAN AIRPORT: The $2.4 billion Terminal 3 (T3) opened. T3 is a full-service, stand-alone, international terminal that will also connect with existing Terminals 1 and 2.

T3 is a 14-gate, 3-story facility, costing $2.4 billion, with digital signage and self-boarding at each gate.

T3 will also provide free Wi-Fi throughout the terminal and an abundance of power outlets to plug in. Dining options include Starbucks, Carl’s Jr, Burger King, Village Pub, Vegas Chophouse and Pei Wei Asian Diner.

Shops include a large duty free store, World of Sports, Vegas Special Tees, Objet D’Art, Hudson News and XpresSpa. Keeping in line with the standard Vegas features, T3 will also offer nearly 300 slot machines. International airlines have already started to use the new Terminal 3. Domestic gates will begin service July 31st.

MGM GRAND: A lighted showroom opened showing one of the the hotel’s remodeled suites. It’s located where the Lion Habitat was. What a bad trade off. You really have to wonder what they are thinking!

NEW YORK-NEW YORK: 1. “Spirit of the Dance” show opened in the Broadway Theater. The show is a variation of “Riverdance” and “Lord of the Dance” Irish dancing, where the feet are dancing and the arms are pinned to the sides.

2. “Dancing Queen,” the ABBA show opened in the Broadway Theater.

PARIS LAS VEGAS: TV chef, Gordon Ramsay opened his Gordon Ramsay Steak Restaurant. It’s located where the old Les Artistes Steak House was located next to the High

Limit Slot Area on the Casino or Main floor. The high class joint is a two-story restaurant, seating 200. The waiters show you photos of cocktails on their iPads!

STATE OF NEVADA: Las Vegas has a jobless rate of 11.8%. And yet the State of Nevada announced that they have over 2,000 permanent and part time job openings!

More info: 

THE D LAS VEGAS (formerly Fitzgeralds): Major room renovations completed. More info at:

TROPICANA: “Dancing with the Stars Alum” show running thru July 7.

VENETIAN: (1) “IT’SUGAR” opened in the Canal Shoppes (next to TAO). The 5,000 square-foot, national franchise, is the largest candy store in Las Vegas and has a Willy Wonka theme.

(2) The Bourbon Room Nightclub opened.

(3) “Da Vinci – The Genius” exhibit opened. Closes Oct.15th.

(4) “Carnevale,” Italian festivities opened. At 8 p.m.,every evening through Sept. 9, “Carnevale” features an electric parade with courtesans, stilt walkers, jugglers and other festive performers. The parade starts at The Palazzo Theater and continues onto the Palazzo casino floor, past the Waterfall Atrium & Gardens into The Venetian casino and the Grand Colonnade onto Doge’s Palace.

WYNN LAS VEGAS: Mizumi Japanese Restaurant opened where Okada was previously located.



Aug.  5: Bradley Ogden restaurant is closing to make way for the Gordon Ramsay Gastro Pub – Caesars Palace.

Aug.18: Cirque du Soleil’s “Viva Elvis” closes. It will be replaced by “Zarkana” (see   below) – Aria.

Aug.19: Celine Dion closes her current series of shows at the Colosseum – Caesars Palace.

Sep. 2: “Phantom-The Las Vegas Spectacular” closes – Venetian.

Sep. 9: “Carnevale,” the Italian festivities closes – Palazzo and Venetian.

Sep.30: “Blue Man Group” show current contract expires – Venetian.

Oct.15: “Da Vinci – The Genius” exhibit closes – Venetian.

By the end of 2012: Garduno’s Restaurant is closing to make way for a sports-themed restaurant and lounge called “Heraea” (pronounced “ha-ray-uh”). The venue is located on the casino floor, adjacent to the pool – Palms.



July 15: “An Evening with Aretha Franklin” at The Colosseum – Caesars Palace.

July 17: A musical production show about the Beach Boys music called “Surf the Musical” opens an indefinite run – Planet Hollywood.

July 31: Domestic airlines that start using the New Terminal 3: Alaska Airlines, Frontier, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Sun Country, United Airlines and Virgin America.

Aug. 1: The Bagatele Beach & Nightclub will open. The Club will feature champagne party brunches, beachside activities, a volleyball court and a bocce ball court.

Also cabanas with their own pools, plus daybeds for dining and lounging. At night, it will transform into a casual, poolside French restaurant, plus the Bagatelle Nightclub. The porte-cochère for the Club is on the east side of the Tropicana Resort. It is located across the street from the MGM Grand.

Aug. 5: Blues Festival – Pearl Concert Theater – Palms.

Aug. 5: Herbalife World Soccer Challenge. The best of Spain vs. the best of Italy. Real Madrid vs. Juventus – Sam Boyd Stadium.  Video at:

Aug.11: “THE TOUR 2012: KISS and MÖTLEY CRÜE” – Mandalay Bay.

Aug.14-19: “La Cage Aux Folles” – Smith Center.

Aug.18: Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez – Mandalay Bay Events Ctr.

Aug.22: Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers – Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall.

Aug.29: The “Loberace” show opens an extended run starring CeeLo – Planet Hollywood.

Aug.?? : Javier’s Mexican restaurant will open – Aria.

Aug.?? : Gordon Ramsay’s Gastro Pub is opening where Bradley Ogden Restaurant was located – Caesars Palace.

Summer, 2012: The Theater for the Performing Arts (7,000-seat venue) will become “PH Live” – Planet Hollywood.

Sep.19-Oct.7: Rod Stewart at the Colosseum – Caesars Palace.

Sep.27: “GORETORIUM” opens on top of Walgreens on The Strip near Harmon. It’s going to be Halloween all year in Las Vegas. Scaring everybody will be vampire nurses, phantoms, ghosts and caged zombie dancers. Naturally, the bar will be called “Bloody Mary’s”. Oh, the horror of it all!

Sep.30: Cantor Gaming will open a new race and sports book – Silverton.

Sep.??: PALMS is finished renovating all 428 rooms and suites in the Palms Tower – Palms.

Sep.??: The White Cross Market will open where the iconic White Cross Drugs was to be. The facade will remain, as well as, the longtime Las Vegas diner, Tiffany’s Cafe, which has remained in business since the drugstore closed in March.It will be open 24/7. Located at 1700 Las Vegas Blvd.S. corner of Oakey Blvd.

OCT.10-13;18-21;26-28= Elton John at the Colosseum – Caesars Palace.

Oct.13: Madonna – MGM Grand.

Oct.27: Jimmy Buffett – MGM Grand.

Fall of 2012: The “D” Las Vegas (formerly Fitzgeralds) completes major improvements of remodeled 638 rooms, daily live entertainment, two high-energy bars and dancing dealers (this I have to see).

Nov. 1: “Zarkana,” a “surreal acrobatic spectacle”, which has been on tour internationally will make a permanent home, replacing the failed show “Viva Elvis” – Aria.

Nov. 6: Spirit Airlines will start to charge $100 for a carry-on bag that was not noted at the time of an online reservation! Give me a break!

Nov.28-30-: NASCAR Champion’s Week – various locations in L.V.

Dec. 1: Opening night for Shania Twain’s “Shania: Still the One” show. She has signed a two year contract to do sixty performances per year. Shania will join Elton John and Celine Dion as one of the performers in residence at the Caesars Palace Colosseum. The top 10 Shania Twain songs are at:

Dec. 6: The American Country Music Awards debut featuring Rascal Flatts, Toby Keith, Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton and Josh Turner. The two-hour event also features   appearances by Lady Antebellum, Laura Bell Bundy, Rodney Carrington, Jewel, Bret Michaels, Ty Murray, Jeff Dunham, Clint Bowyer and Elliott Sadler – MGM Grand Garden Arena. [FOX TV]

Dec.6-15: NFR(National Finals Rodeo) – Thomas & Mack Center. More info.:

Dec. 9: Justin Bieber – MGM Grand. (Oh my gosh!)

Dec.??: Hakkasan Restaurant and Nightclub will open  a five-story, multi faceted location featuring fine-dining Cantonese, Chinese food. Will be in the space formerly occupied by Studio 54 and will have a Strip entrance – MGM Grand.

Dec.??: “Rock of Ages” Broadway show opens – Venetian.

Late-2012: Nobu, the Japanese restaurant chain, will open their new hotel. The hotel will feature Japanese design throughout with room rates at $300 a night and up. The huge Nobu restaurant will have 327 seats. Located in Caesars Palace, the grand entrance will be near the Appian Way retail area. They are transforming the old, 180-room Centurion Tower – Caesars Palace.


Apr.18-21, 2013: The ARTY, the first global open art competition and art show event will take place. More information at – Venetian, Palazzo and Sands Expo Center.

Mid-2013: THE LINQ. A $550 million shopping and entertainment complex, anchored by the world’s tallest observation wheel will open across the street from Caesars Palace, occupying the alley between O’Shea’s and the Flamingo. The LINQ will be a promenade with 30 outdoor retail, dining and entertainment establishments. In addition, the Imperial Palace will have a badly needed renovation and will be re-named and re-themed as part of the development.

The Linq’s centerpiece will be the 550-foot observation wheel, dubbed the Las Vegas High Roller. With 28 enclosed, transparent sphere cabins that hold up to 40 passengers each, the wheel can transport an estimated 2,240 passengers per hour. It will take 30 minutes to make one revolution on the wheel and will cost less than $20 per person to ride. Construction is well underway.

Sep, 2013: Opening of the Neon Museum featuring some beautiful vintage Vegas neon signs. More info:

4th quarter, 2013: SkyVue, the largest observation wheel in the Western Hemisphere, will open, featuring 32 climate-controlled glass-walled gondolas and the world’s largest HD LED Multi Media displays, each measuring larger than a football field. The project will also include dining and entertainment options. The multilevel shopping center will have a food court and prime frontage on Las Vegas Blvd., directly across the street from Mandalay Bay. For more info. a picture and a video go to:


Sometime in 2014, the SLS Las Vegas Resort development will open and will be a mixed-use resort and casino with more than 1,600 guest rooms and suites and a collection of restaurant and nightlife brands. James Beard award winning chef, José Andrés, will open a restaurant called The Bazaar by José Andrés and Philippe Starck will open a nightclub called Katsuya. Located where the old Sahara Hotel was located on the south east side of Las Vegas Blvd. and Sahara.


Monti Rock III is hospitalized. A longtime Vegas scene-stealer, self-promoter and interpretive artist, MRIII is suffering from dehydration, exhaustion and a blood infection. Get well Monti, we need you.

Carroll Shelby, legendary designer of the fabled Shelby Cobra sports car and owner of American Motorsports in Las Vegas, died at age 89.

Amarillo Slim, legendary poker player, has passed away at the age of 83. His friends were stunned. They thought he was bluffing -Jay Leno.

Mike Wallace has passed away. Unbiased news has one reporter less!


From Wally Eastwood, MC for the Ultimate Variety Show:

“The KA show’s theater, in the MGM Grand, is so large that it has an echo. Every time they say the name of the show “KA”, it comes back KAKA.”


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