Wednesday, June 26, 2013 | 4:37 p.m.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Congratulations are in order all around. Penn & Teller won Best Entertainment honors at Wednesday night’s Silver State Awards, “O” won over “Ka,” Celine Dion and “Jersey Boys” for Best Production Show, and Caesars Palace won for Best Casino.
In its first Travelers Choice Awards, TripAdvisor named the Bellagio Fountains as America’s top landmark.
And with all the headlines raging about NSA data mining, our Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority took a timely, clever and lighthearted poke about secrecy with a full-page USA Today advert displaying a letter sent to head honchos at Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, Facebook, Twitter, Verizon and AT&T urging the corporate leaders to remember: “What happens here stays here.”
CHEF AND MAGICIAN: For eight seasons, Justin Willman has been known as the host of The Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars,” but he’s also an amazing part-time magician. Recent appearances “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” have established him as a magic talent who received a standing ovation from President Obama after a private White House performance.
Justin has gone from small shows in the back of a Los Angeles comic book shop to venues across the country, and he’ll make his Las Vegas debut on July 13 for the weekend at Suncoast.
THURSDAY TREATS: If you are a fan of former Mayor Oscar Goodman and want to get a copy of his new book “Being Oscar” autographed, stop by the original Italian American Club Restaurant (2333 E. Sahara Ave.), where there’s certain to be a few acquaintances of his legal clients.
If you ever wanted to shower with the hunky “Dancing With the Stars” brothers Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy, it’s highly possible at Liquid Pool Lounge at Aria. It’s the cleanest, yet dirtiest, publicity stunt I’ve ever heard of, as one lucky fan will get lathered up with Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash. They get the brother of their choice in the shower to prove the product has sufficient lather for two.
EDC’S BUSIEST DOCTOR: Despite hundreds of thousands of fans turning out for the Electric Daisy Carnival, there were thankfully no major incidents. The busiest doctor for the high rollers was Dr. Jason Burke and his medical team in his mobile treatment facility nicknamed the Hangover Heaven Bus. He was able to treat 14 clients in its main cabin and VIP lounge. Party hostess and reality TV show TV personality Tiffany Masters set it up for her EDC guests to prevent and cure hangovers with Jason’s 45-minute treatment.
It included a Super B shot, IV therapy and supplements. For any weekend partying, you can learn more about the medical facility on wheels dedicated to the prevention and treatment of hangovers at HangoverHeaven.com. The three packages — Redemption, Salvation and Rapture — take less than an hour to administer. To date, Hangover Heaven has treated more than 10,000 hangovers.
WIZARDS GRAND PRIX: With a record crowd of nearly 4,500 players, it had to be the most unique card game tournament Las Vegas has ever hosted: The Wizards of the Coast Grand Prix. Wizards, owned by Hasbro, started out with the Pokemon Trading Card Game, which grew so successful it led to Dungeons & Dragons, Legend of the Five Rings and now Magic: The Gathering. Game players worldwide descended on Cashman Center over the weekend for the largest card game tournament ever organized.
It took 18 rounds of play before 24-year-old Neal Oliver, an SAT tutor from Berkeley, Calif., won the championship. I was blown away learning that the patented card games often sell 400,000 copies on initial release. Hasbro purchased Wizards for $325 million and employs more than 300 people creating the card games.
DRUM RESIDENCY: If you missed the Steel Drum Corps debut at Vinyl at The Hard Rock Hotel, fret not, as the band returns Thursday, Aug. 24, Sept. 28, Oct. 19 and Nov. 17 in their once-a-month residency. Guest guitarist Deryck Whibley of Sum 41 and guest drummer Jose Pasillas of Incubus sat in on the group’s first show. SDC has appeared on “American Idol,” and Drum Magazine named them 2012 Drum Ensemble of the Year.
The cast of “Vegas! The Show” celebrates its fourth anniversary at Saxe Theater in Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.
The sexy beauties of “Fantasy” at Luxor host a Guys Night Out at nearby Tacos & Tequila.
Bike Fair is at Black Mountain Recreation Center in Henderson for two-wheel enthusiasts.
Gorgeous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue models arrive as the “Michael Jackson One” celebrates its world premiere at Mandalay Bay and NFL legend Terry Bradshaw debuts his first Las Vegas song-and-dance show. Plus, a sneak preview of the surprise new Smith Center stars this fall.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Carnival lasts all year at the Rio. With a float occasionally passing overhead and dropping beads while feathered dancers fire up the gamblers below, the Rio tries to keep its 120,000-square foot casino jumping with excitement. Special Brazilian mixed-drinks are also served throughout the casino. The hotel suites tend to be larger than similar priced rooms on the Strip and many offer excellent views with floor to ceiling windows.
The Rio offers some quality shows like "Penn & Teller" and "Chippendales." Many come to the Rio for the nightlife at the VooDoo Lounge, located on the 51st floor, or McFadden's Irish Pub on the casino level.
Others come for a bit relaxation at the Rio Spa or pool area and still others come to shop at the hotel's 60,000 square feet of shops. In each of these endeavors, the Rio attempts to make the experience a bit more fun and spontaneous.
The Rio also offers guests a variety of dining choices from all-American food at the All-American Bar & Grille to Gaylord India Restaurant for something a little spicier and even Carnival World Buffet for the indecisive.
Transport yourself to the opulent and excessive Roman Empire at Caesars Palace. But the ever-changing Caesars Palace is far from ancient. The hotel and casino is constantly raising the bar for what visitors can expect in a Vegas resort experience.
Caesars Palace features 3,348 rooms and suites in five towers, including the new luxury boutique Nobu Hotel and Restaurant, which opened Feb. 4, 2013, in the totally remodeled Centurian Tower. Caesars features 129,000 square feet of gaming space, including the Strip’s largest poker room and a 250-seat sports book. Other amenities include about two dozen restaurants, a four-level shopping mall, four pools, a spa, Pure and Poetry nightclubs and Pussycat Dolls.
Dining options include restaurants from world-renown chefs Guy Savoy, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay and, on Feb. 4, 2013, Nobu Matsuhisa.
You never know what characters you’ll run into at Caesars with regular performers like Jerry Seinfeld, Bette Midler, Elton John and maybe even the emperor himself.