Las Vegas Sun

October 15, 2018

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Mayor loses pounds but hangs on tight to booze

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Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman says he’s not going to give up drinking his beloved martinis even though doing so might help him with his gout.

No matter how painful it is to walk, with the potential for that pain growing with each additional sip of booze, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman says he still won’t give up the sauce.

At his weekly news conference Thursday, the mayor said he’s lost 15 pounds in about two weeks using the low-carbohydrate Atkins Diet.

But he won’t be going to the gym, he noted, until his feet feel better. The mayor has acknowledged in the past that he suffers from arthritis and gout, both of which can attack joints of the foot. Aside from medication, doctors often prescribe drinking lots of water and avoiding the dehydrating effects of alcohol to combat gout.

But asking this mayor, whose name adorns a brass plate of a 20-foot-tall neon martini glass on East Fremont Street, to avoid alcohol is like asking him not to breathe.

“The sauce is an integral part of my life,” Goodman replied when asked whether he might stop drinking. “I have to be able to ruminate and that’s the only way I get myself into that frame of mind.”

• • •

Goodman began his news conference with an outburst directed at the Las Vegas Sun over the “syntax” of a story about the Mob Museum, which is being planned for the site of the old post office building, at 300 Stewart Ave.

The story began with a few quotes from an unnamed connected guy who thought the museum idea was a bad one.

The mayor said the quote “was very, I think, defamatory to me.”

The mayor went on to say there’s a “tradition” among Las Vegas reporters of not being “afraid of anything, not afraid of retribution, not afraid of doing the right thing. And I just was a little disappointed.”

One reporter made a name for himself by investigating connections between the mob and Las Vegas casinos. Ned Day, a local television journalist, doggedly pursued the stories behind the mob’s influence in Las Vegas. He died of a heart attack in 1987 at age 42 while snorkeling in Hawaii. Some still wonder whether that really killed him.

• • •

The mayor says he’s encouraged in his continuing effort to induce Sammy Hagar, former front man for the rock ’n’ roll band Van Halen, to open one of his Cabo Wabo cantinas in the nearly empty Fremont Square, which most people know as Neonopolis.

With his wife, Carolyn, Goodman flew to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in late December to meet with Hagar about moving into Fremont Square, the 200,000-square-foot project that opened with a bang in 2002 but fizzled shortly after.

Its three stories on one entire block are almost entirely devoid of businesses today. Under then-Mayor Jan Jones, the city invested millions in the site and now owns the building’s underground parking structure.

There’s hope something could work in the building because it is close to Streamline tower, a luxury condo high rise set to open in February. It also is within walking distance of the Fremont Entertainment District, which is bringing to life the once drug-and-prostitute-littered first few blocks of East Fremont Street.

Goodman said he got a “good feeling” about Hagar’s intentions to open one of his cantinas in the building.

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