Monday, Jan. 11, 2010 | 12:47 p.m.
So Michael Gaughan has been given the stained-glass artwork bearing the Irish drinking poem he penned years ago. But there is more to this story: The piece is going to be displayed at a new lounge at Gaughan's South Point hotel-casino. The place is going to be called the Grandview Lounge, and Gaughan says he plans for it to be open this summer, likely in July. The name plays off the Grandview resort just to the south.
"It'll look like the old Gold Coast Lounge," Gaughan said in a phone conversation last week. "That piece is going to go up in there. We've got 40,000 square feet to work with. I'll find a spot for (the art) somewhere in there."
Backing up a bit, Gaughan drafted an ode-to-whiskey poem years ago and had the work displayed in stained-glass form on a mirror behind the bar at Brendan's Pub at The Orleans, which Gaughan previously operated as the chief of Coast Resorts. When Coast Resorts merged with Boyd Gaming, Gaughan for a time maintained an administrative role in that company (and The Orleans) before negotiating a split with Boyd.
That deal resulted in Gaughan seizing ownership of South Coast hotel, which he renamed South Point. Many of the Gaughan-related businesses in the old Coast Resorts hotels, such as Michael's restaurant at the since-renamed (as Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon) Barbary Coast, were either moved or renamed. But at The Orleans, Gaughan's stained-glass affect remained untouched until about a year ago, when it was boxed and returned to him at South Point.
"Beautiful piece," Gaughan said. "It's probably worth a lot of money. It has far greater sentimental value."
Along with the new lounge, Gaughan also has plans to bring a Steak 'n' Shake to the South Point, the first such franchise outpost in the western United States, this year. He was inspired by a recent trip to Branson, Mo., to see old friend Bill Medley (a guy I once spotted hanging out at The Orleans sports book, totally unnoticed) and the two visited a White Castle burger haunt.
"I was sorely disappointed. It made me sick," Gaughan said. "I decided to take action."
More quick shots from Saturday's AVN Awards Show at the Palms' Pearl Concert Theater:
• AVN President Paul Fishbein said the show likely will return to the Palms for 2011, though nothing is official yet. AVN execs said they liked the intimacy of the Pearl compared to Mandalay Bay Events Center (the former AVN Awards Show home) and the generally embracing attitude of the Palms, though most of those putting on the event did say they were feeling their way through it. Palms owner George Maloof was happy with the event, too, generally speaking. When I asked Maloof if he'd consider posting odds on the top categories at the Palms sports book (for entertainment purposes only, of course), he halted and sort of mused about that. I think the wheels were spinning. This is something Johnny Avello over at Wynn Las Vegas would tackle with zeal, I feel.
• Co-host Dave Attell spotted a person sitting in the front row in a neatly trimmed beard wearing a black fedora, black leather jacket and matching pants. "Here, we have a drug dealer from the 1970s." It was Iann Cinnamon, Sasha Grey's husband. She later introduced him from the stage as, "The '70s Drug Dealer." ... Great clip shown on the big screens was a skit in which adult-film stalwarts Ron Jeremy and Evan Stone wound up in sidling next to each other on a couch wearing matching blue Snuggies. One thing about these guys, and the porn industry in general, is they're often quite hilarious.
• Great line from the stage: As Grey accepted her award for the best ... oh, servicing of a co-star in an oral fashion, in "Throat: A Cautionary Tale" ... she called to the crowd, "Can someone please tell me who my co-star was in that scene? Honestly, I can't remember."
Sammy Shore was received particularly well at the two weekend "Celebration of the King's Life" Elvis tribute performances at The Club at the Cannery in North Las Vegas. Shore performs the best rendition of rap by any 82-year-old man. ... Sunday afternoon during a discussion of Elvis' life at Bellagio's Fontana Bar, former Presley security officer Sam Thompson said that the staff's most pressing duty was to protect Elvis' hands and arms from women's fingernails when he'd pass out scarves at the edge of the stage. Elvis would immerse his hands and arms in a bucket of ice water to heal the wounds after every show. ... Former security man Dick Grob, Loanne Miller Parker (widow of Colonel Tom Parker) and Cirque du Soleil's Armand Thomas ("Viva Elvis" director of creation) joined moderator Norm Clarke in the discussion. ... Elvis liked guns, a lot, from what those onstage disclosed. ... Thomas did allow that "Viva Elvis" will continue to "evolve" past the Feb. 19 official opening date, contending that all Cirque shows morph and shift throughout their residencies.
T&M, Sam Boyd
The only university venues to appear in the top 20 in the 2009 Venues Today listing of the highest-grossing venues in the country are right here in VegasVille: Thomas & Mack center ranked No. 18 in the 15,001-30,000 capacity category, and Sam Boyd Stadium was No. 14 in the 30,001-or-more division. Venues Today, "VT" to industry insiders, is a leading international trade publication centering on the business of entertainment and sports venues.
Monster Jam, Supercross, the Wranglers National Finals Rodeo, NBA Summer League and the Professional Bull Riders rodeo event were the annual shows the T&M hosted in 2009 and noted in a news release announcing the achievement. The $25 Concert Series, drawing Styx, REO Speedwagon and Judas Priest, also helped boost attendance at the T&M. The U2 show at Sam Boyd drew the largest overall attendance and ticketed attendance in the stadium's 39-year history. 41,500 paid, 42,241 in the house. And the inaugural UFL championship game won by the Las Vegas ChooChoos at Sam Boyd drew ... a crowd.
Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at twitter.com/JohnnyKats.