Las Vegas Sun

November 14, 2018

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Rob Riggle takes over Lagasse’s Stadium; Imagine Dragons go acoustic; Steve Wynn snaps up Kenny Rogers’ old estate


Glenn Pinkerton/Las Vegas News Bureau

Rob Riggle walks the red carpet at the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Awards honoring six-time champion Jimmie Johnson at Wynn Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013.

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 at Bellagio Fountains

Singer/drummer Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons, EVP Digital Networks Sony Pictures Television & GM of Crackle Eric Berger, guitarist Wayne Sermon, drummer Daniel Platzman and bassist Ben McKee of Las Vegas rockers Imagine Dragons at Bellagio on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

• 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.

Click to enlarge photo

Steve Wynn is interviewed by John Katsilometes of the Las Vegas Sun on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014, at Wynn Las Vegas.

• 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 for more information.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at

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