Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 | 6 p.m.
With sunny days and warmer temperatures, Las Vegas is getting ready for daylight-savings time March 9 as we “spring forward” with grand reopenings and new attractions.
ENCORE BEACH CLUB: Encore Beach Club at Steve Wynn’s Encore kicks off its fifth season for Spring Break on March 14, with the grand reopening party April 4. DJ Jus Ske, Jay Z’s official tour DJ, will spin at Encore Beach Club on Saturday, March 8 (weather permitting).
The 55,000-square-foot Steve Wynn and Sean Christie playground was named Dayclub of the Year in the 2014 Nightclub & Bar Awards.
Headliner DJs include David Guetta, Major Lazer, Zedd, Avicii, Steve Angello and Redfoo, with new residents and four-time Grammy Award winners Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performing July 4.
New to Encore this season in addition to 10 percent more seating to accommodate demand, a custom-designed outdoor LED screen situated above the awning where DJs spin. More guests throughout the venue can now watch DJs in action with exceptional clarity; it’s five times brighter than LED screens used indoors.
Meantime, the tops-optional Bare Pool Lounge at the Mirage kicks off its new pool season Thursday, March 13.
‘JUBILEE!’: After undergoing a major transformation, the long-running and iconic “Jubilee!” reopen at Bally’s on March 17. Tickets go on sale this Friday. The original 1981 spectacular has been refreshed for today’s audience with celebrated creative director Frank Gatson Jr. leading the modernization charge over the past two months.
My colleague John Katsilometes posted a story this morning, and you can check out my Q+A with Frank posted Feb. 4. Frank has invited me to record a voice-over script for the show, which we’ll record next week. He tells me the best of the show’s main elements have been preserved, but the music, the dance routines and the staging have all been refreshed with much higher energy levels.
“Think of it as making a classic better,” he told me over the weekend, promising 3D motion graphics, much-improved lighting effects and laser projections. He began final rehearsals for the new “Jubilee” in the theater Monday.
GRAND BAZAAR SHOPS: The new 21st Century Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s will open this fall with more than 150 stores spread over 2 acres of the forecourt. It will feature a giant Crystal Starburst at midnight for a nightly New Year’s Eve experience.
The shopping and dining experience is being built to capture the world’s greatest open-air markets, including London’s Portobello Road, Seattle’s Pike Place Market, the Marrakesh Souk in Morocco and Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.
2014 ACM AWARDS: “The Week Vegas Goes Country” is going to be one big party for country music fans. The Academy of Country Music’s second-annual Party for a Cause becomes a two-day outdoor music festival at The Linq in the shadow of the new High Roller observation wheel.
Joe Nichols, Jerrod Niemann, Thomas Rhett, Chris Young and The Cadillac Three join headliners Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban to benefit several military philanthropies and Feeding America. Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan return to co-host the 3-hour CBS special from MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 6.
FAN JAM: Brad Paisley hosts the third-annual Fan Jam at Mandalay Bay Events Center with headliners Florida Georgia Line. That bash continues well into the night after the broadcast ends.
The country stars show more appreciation to our nation’s servicemen and servicewomen at the 2-hour salute to the troops on Monday, April 7, from MGM. Florida Georgia Line, Merle Haggard, George Strait, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry are the first artists to be added to the star-studded lineup of performers. The special airs Tuesday, May 20, on CBS.
SLS HOTEL: The new SLS hotel casino that is emerging out of the shell of the former Sahara reopens on my birthday, Aug. 29, in time for its premiere Labor Day Weekend celebrations. It will feature 1,600 rooms and a 60,000-square-foot casino. The new nightclub there will be a reinvention of the Sayers Club nightspot in L.A.
Hot and hip restaurants include Katsuya from Hollywood, Jose Andres’ Bazaar, plus, L.A. favorites 800 Degrees and Umami Burger.
As I reported Monday, the new Cromwell hotel with Victor Drai’s 24/7 dayclub and nightclub playground and Giada De Laurentiis’ Italian restaurant Giada opens May 21, three days before Memorial Day Weekend.
$4 BILLION BUY? Malaysian billionaire Lim Kok Thay is willing to spend $4 billion to complete the 87-acre former Stardust site opposite Wynn and Encore that he bought as barren land and odd steel beams after the ill-fated Echelon project. He told shareholders of Southeast Asia’s largest casino operator Genting that he will open its first phase in 2015 as Resorts World Las Vegas. Lim says he’s undergoing regulatory investigations by the Nevada Gaming Control Board as plans for the hotel’s shape, theme, casino, restaurants, shopping mall and suites move forward. Construction will commence when he obtains the gaming license.
I note with interest that his company is in partnership with 21st Century Fox for a 25-acre film-themed amusement park at its giant Malaysian casino and that 20th Century Fox World could easily be adapted here on the Strip with 25 rides and “Night at the Museum” and “Ice Age” attractions. Lim is worth $7.3 billion as Malaysia’s third-richest mogul.
WET ’N’ WILD: Andre Agassi’s Wet ’n’ Wild water park opens April 12 for its second season through September and has begun hiring for more than 450 seasonal jobs. My colleague Andrea Domanick posted a story today.
It’s the second anniversary of the Lost Angels industry-night parties at Hyde Bellagio with DJ Konflikt.
Amos Lee performs material from his fifth album “Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song” at the Smith Center.
Allan Havey, Tony Camin and Brandon Hahn headline at the Improv in Harrah’s through Sunday.
Another major Strip show gets a grand makeover, plus, a new interactive art exhibit is destined to become a major attraction, and we have an exclusive preview of both.
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.
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