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February 17, 2019

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Strip Scribbles: New ‘What Happens Here’ campaign promotes code of silence

M&M's World

Tom Donoghue/

Artist Gabe Ortiz unveils a replica of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign made of 50,000 M&M’s at M&M’S World on the Las Vegas Strip on Sept. 1, 2010.

Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe

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Know the Code

Tamra Barney at Cougars and Cuervo

Tamra Barney hosts the Cougars and Cuervo event at Tacos & Tequila on April 8, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Criss Angel's Engagement in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Criss Angel's engagement to Sandra in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Launch slideshow »
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Criss Angel at Barrett-Jackson at Mandalay Bay on Sept. 24, 2011.

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Mac King at The Palladium in London.

2011 Chinese New Year and Bobby Flay

Chef Bobby Flay celebrates Chinese New Year at Caesars Palace on Feb. 6, 2011.

Launch slideshow »

Andrew Dice Clay

Andrew Dice Clay at Sushi Samba's SugarCane Live! lounge in the Palazzo. Launch slideshow »

After a two-year break from developing new “What Happens Here Stays Here” TV ad campaigns, the first of several spots are being launched by our Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. One is a new “WHHSH” spot, and the other is part of a parallel campaign titled “Know the Code: Protect the Moment.”

A $10 million to $15 million media buy puts the controversial spots on network and cable, plus the feeder markets of L.A., San Diego, Phoenix, Denver, San Francisco and Dallas. The purpose of the parallel campaign is to promote restaurants, entertainment and other attractions at multiple properties where a character is shunned for blabbing about her group’s Las Vegas experiences.

An interactive micro site even enables friends to report people who break the code of silence. One of the spots features Cee Lo Green, who shot his most recent music video at Caesars Palace and dazzled fans with his David Copperfield revolving piano trick at the 2011 Billboard Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The campaigns are being launched to reinforce the fact that despite a lack of economic confidence, Vegas is open for business, a great value and as fun as ever. Officials said a regular brand campaign was shelved in favor of this more aggressive approach because visitors increased 4.3% in July after a 7% increase in June and that there have been 17 consecutive months of increases in visitor volume. Also, year-to-date-occupancy is up 6.2%, and convention attendance is up 4.4%.

*Seems it doesn’t matter wherever I go in the world, my nose for news leads me to a story or finds secrets spilled. I’m at Sol Kerzner’s giant resort Atlantis in the Bahamas, where former Caesars Palace exec George Markantonis now heads the seven towers and the company’s One & Only Caribbean and Mexico luxury hotels. Still no movement on the architectural plans drawn for Atlantis in Las Vegas on MGM land beside Circus Circus, I’m told.

Among the guests here this weekend, former Las Vegas headline-maker Sandy Murphy, now married to a Laguna Beach, Calif., art dealer and showing her 6-month baby bump. Sandy, who went to jail in connection with her boyfriend Rick Tabish’s involvement in the death of gambling czar Ted Binion, told me she’s expecting a girl. She’ll name her Kaylani, noting that the magic moment occurred on a Hawaiian vacation.

Also here, Las Vegas Best Models agency chief Ken Henderson celebrating his 50th birthday with steady Mariah, former wife of magician David Copperfield, with their two children. Young Dylan Copperfield, who is following in his famous dad’s footsteps, proudly showed me his first magic tricks.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Orange County are regular Vegas visitors and platinum party people, so it was easy to recognize O.C. beauty Fernanda Rocha, who was linked to Russell Armstrong before his suicide. Widow Taylor Armstrong from the Beverly Hills series was first suspected of being here with Fernanda, but it turns out it’s another O.C. gal pal -- and they don’t care who sees them cavorting together!

*Magician Criss Angel sold his tricked-out 2006 Hummer at the Fourth Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction at Mandalay Bay for $110,000. Criss was on the auction block with Barrett-Jackson Chairman and CEO Craig Jackson, brother J.D. and Barrett-Jackson President Steve Davis.

*Inspired by the 1984 classic, new IGT Ghostbusters Slots featuring some of the film’s most iconic characters and cast members are being installed for the first time in MGM Resorts casinos here and across the country as a 30-day-first-to-market exclusive. You do not get slimed while playing.

*Restaurant and Chef Bobby Flay hosted a book signing at Caesars Palace posing with fans for photos and autographing his new book Bobby Flay’s American Cookbook: Celebrate America’s Great Flavors. More than 200 foodies waited with purchased cookbooks to get his prized signature.

*Harrah’s comedy-magician Mac King flew to London for a prestigious Palladium magic show celebrating 100 years of magic at the famed British theater. He told us via email: “I was mighty excited to be a part of the one-night event 100 Years of Magic at The Palladium. Playing the London Palladium is every performer’s dream. It was a great show and a wonderful audience.”

Tonight’s Tips

Andrew Dice Clay’s opening act Wheels Parise goes solo as the headline comic at Crown Theater in the Rio and is followed by Sin City Sinners with Pete Loran of Trixter and Blue Man Group drummer Blas Elias from Slaughter in a free show hosted by radio personality Eddie Trunk.

Tomorrow’s Teases

Our roundup of IHeartRadio Music Festival mega-star parties continues, and a fascinating interview with hit-maker David Foster, who steps out from behind the stars to headline three shows over the next three months at Mandalay Bay Events Center starting this weekend.

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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