Glenn Pinkerton/Las Vegas News Bureau
Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 | 3:31 p.m.
The Kats Report Bureau at this writing is Lagasse’s Stadium in Palazzo. Comedian and actor Rob Riggle is here promoting his Loaded Vodka line. I’ve been in a lot of sports books where guys seem to think that they are Rob Riggle, so it’s fun to see the genuine article work the room.
For instance, the real Rob Riggle buys the place trays of shots of his own vodka. He’s a good-time guy who deeply appreciates Las Vegas (where you can order a round of vodka shots with no impunity at 11 a.m.) and would love to open his own improv show on the Strip.
“This is where ‘Second City’ had a show, and Jason Sudeikis came from that,” he says, referring to the long-closed comedy show at Flamingo. “I would love to live in Las Vegas.”
Riggle once spent a weekend in town where he budgeted $30 for gambling and wound up playing $3 blackjack at O’Shea’s. “At O’Sheas, you could play $30 for a whole weekend if you planned it right,” Riggle says. “And I got free drinks.”
• Imagine Dragons held a fundraiser and NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young bought a dog for $6,000 on Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel. The “Goldendoodle” (a poodle and golden lab mix) was up for bid during the live-auction segment of the program.
After Young was announced as the winner, he was presented the dog onstage and said, “This is my first dog. I am not kidding.” At the end of the night, guitarist Wayne Sermon presented Young and co-MC Rachel Smith of Fox 5 a pair of Gibson guitars signed by the band.
To open the night, I.D. played an acoustic set starting with “Radioactive” and had a lot of fun onstage while working out their setlist on the fly. “We don’t know what we’re playing,” frontman Dan Reynolds said. “And I still have asparagus in my mouth.”
There was a protracted debate about how to properly pronounce “gala,” and Reynolds passed along “fun facts” about bassist Ben McKee. “He’s a great cook — I mean, a gourmet cook. He knits. And he’s been in jail.” Ke$ha was in attendance and donated a pair of high-heeled boots to the silent auction.
On Sunday, the band performed its new single, “I Bet My Life,” which was boosted by vocals from the Las Vegas Mass Choir, during the American Music Awards telecast. Their appearance on the Strip last month at Bellagio Fountains as part of the Crackle website’s “Pay It Forward” program, which provides funding for music programs in schools across the country, is now streaming on that site.
• Steve Wynn is reportedly under contract as the new owner of the Bel Air mansion known as “Lionsgate” once owned by Kenny Rogers. During an interview last month, Wynn mentioned being on a house hunt in the L.A. area and has found a suitable manse. The home is named for the lions at the front, which were installed at Rogers’ request. The previous owners, anonymous in published reports, expanded the home from 10,000 square feet when Rogers owned the estate to 24,000 square feet. It now houses 11 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, a 12-seat theater, ballroom, fountains, pool, tennis court, sauna and glass elevator. The sales price: $65 million.
• The Tropicana has had a busy month opening three ticketed shows as the year draws to a close. “Raiding the Rock Vault” is opened and playing to high volume in Tropicana Theater. Jan Rouven arrives Friday with his “New Illusions” magic spectacular. And on Saturday the JFK Exhibition opened to the public in the Pavilion space where the Mob Attraction was once staged.
Presented by JFK collector and historian Jim Warlick, the exhibit includes the Lincoln Continental convertible that transported President Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy to their flight to Dallas on Jan. 21, 1963, and was the last limo to carry the president safely before he was assassinated in Dallas the following day.
On display are replicas of the Air Force One fuselage and the Oval Office; several gowns worn by first ladies including Jackie Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt and Hilary Rodham Clinton; and personal items including the president’s famous rocking chair.
The Las Vegas Sun, which has provided photos and documents from the era, is in a promotional partnership with the attraction. The cost is $24.95; go to troplv.com for more information.
Arguably one the coolest joints in town, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino houses some of Vegas' best entertainment, restaurants and nightlife.
At Hard Rock, it's all about the music. From the light fixtures made out of drum cymbals and guitar shaped door handles to stage costumes and tools of the trade of legendary musicians displayed on the walls, the hotel screams rock and roll. The Hard Rock's Joint has hosted some the biggest names in music — from The Who to Bob Dylan to hometown heroes, The Killers.Aside from the music venues, the pool at the Hard Rock is one of its biggest attractions. Spread out over 4.7 acres, the pool area features swim-up blackjack, a bar and grill, private cabanas, a bevy of secluded nooks, a waterfall and an extensive live music venue with a dance floor. During the summer, the pool transforms into the Rehab club on Sunday afternoons.
The resident nightclub Body English fuses European elegance with a rock star bachelor pad and it often a hot spot for visiting celebs and popular DJs. Vintage rock memorabilia lines the walls at Wasted Space, Hard Rock's anti-club.
Restaurants at Hard Rock are just as hip as the rest of the casino. Pink Taco serves up Mexican dishes, as well as a Central American and Caribbean menu. Nobu, one of five worldwide Japanese-specialty restaurants from famed Nobu Matsuhisa, satisfies a different taste. For round-the-clock cuisine, Mr. Lucky's 24/7, is sure to ease your appetite even after a Vegas-all-nighter.