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October 22, 2014

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Strip Scribbles: $100,000 cocktail servers; High Roller at Linq; Broadway Bares’ ‘Get Wood’

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STEVE MARCUS

The 550 foot-tall High Roller observation wheel, the tallest in the world, in shown Wednesday, April 9, 2014. The wheel is the centerpiece of the $550 million Linq project, a retail, dining and entertainment district by Caesars Entertainment Corp.

2013 Marquee Dayclub Season Opening

Nina Agdal celebrates her 21st birthday at the 2013 season opening of Marquee Dayclub at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Nelly at Rehab and Body English

Nelly hosts and performs at Rehab and Body English in Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013. Launch slideshow »

I am reliably told that several — if not many — of our summer pool season cocktail servers will make more than $100,000 by the time dayclubs shutter for the year in late October, and some may surpass $200,000.

Most of it comes from tips, and therein is a problem. This is not every server, but reportedly some stunning ladies have found ways in at least two venues to inflate tips on credit cards.

It’s disturbing to hear because we want our tourists to leave town with a good taste in their mouth and not a whiskey sour. At least two “victims” and two former club employees told me how drinks get “doctored” and “double billed” on “swapouts” between “overpartied” revelers.

Magnums of champagne routinely arrive without being ordered in a devious way to inflate the bill and thus increase the 20 percent guaranteed tip. Cabana charges upwards of $10,000 with house vodkas and juices included quickly escalate with high-priced bubbly and specialty drinks.

One server told me that she’s seen others using questionable accelerants to “bring on the buzz” that so they could pour more bottles without the customers realizing that the bill was rocketing sky-high. Another told me that credit card charges of more than $25,000 were not unusual, resulting in a $5,000 tip. Servers also know to focus only on visitors, as the practice doesn’t impinge on locals.

After my recent moan about tourists fleeced by hookers staking out bars and hosts in nightclubs offering prostitutes and drugs that seriously taint our tourist industry, this new way of inflating champagne and bottle service bills also must cease.

Broadway Bares 2011

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BARING ALL — OR MOST! For the fifth year, Strip entertainers will shed most of their clothes and stage wild and provocative performances for the Las Vegas Broadway Bares midnight fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

The May 2 Planet Hollywood Showroom production of “Get Wood” starts at 11:59 p.m. and will be hosted by “Rock of Ages” at the Venetian star Mark Shunock and directed by Paula Caselton, formerly with “Peepshow,” teamed with Ryan Lyons from “Le Reve — The Dream” at the Wynn.

Original performances will be presented by dancers and performers from “Jubilee,” “Veronic Voices,” Cirque du Soleil, “Le Reve” and “Rock of Ages.” Tony Award-winning director Jerry Mitchell, who created “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood, started Broadway Bares in 1992 with seven entertainers dancing on a bar top. It now includes productions in Las Vegas, L.A. and Chicago. Tickets start at $25.

High Roller at Sunset

Alejandro Higuera of Mexico rides the 550 foot-tall High Roller observation wheel, the tallest in the world, Wednesday, April 9, 2014. The wheel is the centerpiece of the $550 million Linq project, a retail, dining and entertainment district by Caesars Entertainment Corp. Launch slideshow »

GUINNESS WORLD RECORD: The High Roller observation wheel in the Linq will be officially certified with a Guinness World Record as the world’s tallest observation wheel Thursday.

Caesars Entertainment executives will celebrate with a sunset cocktail reception and the unveiling of a gallery exhibit depicting the start-to-finish progress of its making captured over a 12-month-plus timeline by photographer Denise Truscello, whose work often runs here at Vegas DeLuxe.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Culinary king Mario Batali has a weekend of fun planned here with a celebrity golf tournament for star chefs, actors and musicians at Cascata golf course May 10. Later the same night, he’ll throw a Beef and Barolo bash at his Carnevino Italian steakhouse in Palazzo.

2013 Silver State Awards at Venetian

Sirio Maccioni, second from right, received the Pioneer Award at the 2013 Silver State Awards on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, at the Venetian Showroom. Launch slideshow »

More than 300 prominent Nevadans will honor former Gov. Bob Miller with the Lifetime Achievement Award at next Tuesday’s Silver State Awards. Legendary entertainer Wayne Newton will be presented with the Pioneer Award.

Other recipients out of 150 nominees in 34 categories include Victoria Fertitta’s Humanitarian Award, former Chancellor Jim Rogers’ Spirit of Education Award and Sen. Harry Reid’s Leadership Award.

I’ve pretaped video introductions as I will be away in L.A., and Emmy Award-winning journalists Nina Radetich, Dayna Roselli and Denise Valdez host at Springs Preserve to benefit St. Jude’s Ranch for Children.

Miss Nevada United States is set for South Point Showroom on May 4. It’s the official state preliminary for the Miss United States Organization and not to be confused with either Miss USA or Miss America. Details and contestant photos: MissNevadaUS.com.

STAR SURVEILLANCE

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Randy Couture and Mindy Robinson at Andiamo Italian Steakhouse in the D Las Vegas.

MMA fighter and “The Expendables” action star Randy Couture and actress gal pal Mindy Robinson (“Not Another Teen Movie”) dined at Andiamo Italian Steakhouse in the D Las Vegas.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gene Simmons of KISS introduced bands from his Fantasy Camp at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay.

David Spade and Kevin Farley dined at Lavo in Palazzo and posed for photographs and signed autographs.

TV star chef Gordon Ramsay was with a large group of friends to listen to DJ Eric D-Lux at Tao in the Venetian.

Ric Ocasek, founding member and frontman of The Cars, and his family visited Gold & Silver Pawn to meet the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars.”

Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules” starlet Scheana Marie watched “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace, where she snapped selfies with the Gazillionaire and Penny Pibbets.

Stars are jamming the VIP boxes of Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at the Cosmopolitan. Haley Joel Osment was there the same night as “2 Broke Girls” star Jonathan Kite and “Bates Motel” actor Max Thieriot all at separate tables.

“Entourage” star Rex Lee hit the midnight “Breakfast at Piffany’s” magic show on his third visit. I was there when “West Coast Choppers” star Jesse James waltzed in with wife Alexis DeJoria during their Las Vegas visit that also included dinner at N9NE Steakhouse in the Palms.

Backstage at 'Absinthe'

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TONIGHT’S TIPS

As we posted earlier today, “Absinthe” celebrates its third anniversary.

Lorde wraps her second night at the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool.

Australia’s Stafford Brothers duel at the DJ decks at Light in Mandalay Bay.

Netsky is at HOB.

“Porgy & Bess” continues at the Smith Center through Sunday.

And Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue play the midnight hour at the Linq’s Brooklyn Bowl.

TOMORROW’S TEASE

Our Chefs Week series wraps with a one-on-one with Guy Fieri as his first Las Vegas restaurant opens at the Quad, and our report from Jason Alexander’s hair-raising opening night of his new one-man show on the Strip.

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.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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