Thursday, April 11, 2013 | 11:57 p.m.
The late Michael Jackson’s children Prince and Blanket made a surprise visit to their old haunt of the Planet Hollywood restaurant in The Forum Shops of Caesars Palace. They arrived with their Uncle Jermaine Jackson’s sons and ordered chicken crunch, which they always had when they dined there with their father.
Sexy met beefcake when “Top Chef Seattle” cheftestant Carla Pellegrino (Meatball Spot, Bratalian) joined Chippendales at The Rio hunks Jaymes Vaughan, Jon Howes and Nathan Minor after watching their show.
NBA icon Gary Payton celebrated being inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame with a gathering at Heraea in the Palms. The nine-time all-star and 2006 NBA champion with the Miami Heat was with family and friends feasting on signature dishes and toasting with shots.
The stars of The History Channel’s hit “Counting Cars” were on the track at Dream Racing, the sports car racing experience at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Gearing up for the premiere of Season 2, cast members Scott, Shannon, Horny Mike, Roli and Grandpa suited up in full racing gear taking to the wheel of a fiery red fleet of Ferrari 430 GTs.
Stars are beating a path to see Def Leppard’s “Viva Hysteria” residency shows at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel. Billy Idol, Steve Stevens, Billy Morrison, Eric Dane and John Mayer, in town for the 2013 ACM Awards, have been in recent crowds.
Monte Carlo headliners Blue Man Group helped kick off the Los Angeles Dodgers season with the ultimate pre-game pep rally during opening day. The performers were chosen to join the team in honor of their season theme “A Whole New Blue.” The trio presented a performance of their original piece “Time to Start” that obviously helped the Dodgers beat the defending World Series champions San Francisco Giants 4-0. Back at home, Chippendales hunk James Davis attended a performance.
Rapper Nelly hosted and performed at Haze in Aria, competed in the MJCI at Shadow Creek and took part in “Tim McGraw’s Superstar Summer Night” at MGM Grand Garden Arena. At Haze, he performed several of his hits, and the crowd included Michael Phelps, Brian Baumgartner, Ne-Yo, Penny" Hardaway, Michael Crabtree and Andre Johnson.
NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana and retired two-time Super Bowl champion wide receiver Dwight Clark were at N9NE Steakhouse in the Palms to catch up with friend chef Barry Dakake. Onlookers were so much in awe of the duo that one anonymous fan picked up their dinner tab.
Comedienne and Tropicana headliner Roseanne Barr stopped into Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at MGM Grand to check out Steve McGrew’s closing night, while country star Brad Paisley debuted his new album “Wheelhouse” to ACM VIPs there before show time.
LVCVA Host Committee Chairman and former Mayor Oscar Goodman worked the counter and the drive-up window at McDonalds to help the one-day promotion “Green for Grads,” raising scholarship funds for Southern Nevada students.
Pro poker player Lady Pink with husband Bob and son Byron attended Murray Sawchuck’s show at the Tropicana. Murray and Lady Pink appear on TLC’s “4 Houses” in May as two of the four-part cast showing off their homes.
Actor and rapper LL Cool J, in town for the 2013 ACM Awards, dined at Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill in MGM Grand. And this weekend with Bono, Carlos Santana, Jennifer Hudson and Stevie Wonder here for the joint 80th birthday celebrations of Sir Michael Caine and Quincy Jones, the Strip will be power-packed yet again, and we’ll be out and about so that we don’t miss any of them.
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.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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Catering to the young and modern crowd, Planet Hollywood is a one-stop shop for entertainment with its massive shopping mall, slew of restaurants, spacious casino and clubs.
The ambiance of the casino is retro-chic meets high-tech with black granite floors throughout and colorful LED lights throughout the space. The theme carries into the 100,000 square-foot casino with 250 flat screens topping off slot machines. The casino is also home to 87 tables, a sports book and a poker room.
There's also the Miracle Mile Shops, one Vegas' largest malls, with 140 stores including BCBG Max Azaria, bebe, Urban Outfitters and The Discovery Channel Store.
Following an afternoon of shopping, guests can satisfy their appetites at one of the gourmet restaurants in Planet Hollywood, like the non-traditional approach to steakhouses at Strip House or check out the exotic Far East motif at KOI restaurant and lounge. And if guests are still looking for more, they can spend the after hours at Privé, Triq or Krave nightclubs.
Perhaps one of the resorts biggest attractions came in March with the addition of "Peepshow." The naughty twist on the story of Little Bo Peep is modern-day spin on the run-of-the-mill Vegas topless review. The "Peepshow" stage has seen visiting celebs like Scary Spice Mel B, "Dancing with the Stars" Kelly Monaco and Playboy's Holly Madison.
Carnival lasts all year at the Rio. With a float occasionally passing overhead and dropping beads while feathered dancers fire up the gamblers below, the Rio tries to keep its 120,000-square foot casino jumping with excitement. Special Brazilian mixed-drinks are also served throughout the casino. The hotel suites tend to be larger than similar priced rooms on the Strip and many offer excellent views with floor to ceiling windows.
The Rio offers some quality shows like "Penn & Teller" and "Chippendales." Many come to the Rio for the nightlife at the VooDoo Lounge, located on the 51st floor, or McFadden's Irish Pub on the casino level.
Others come for a bit relaxation at the Rio Spa or pool area and still others come to shop at the hotel's 60,000 square feet of shops. In each of these endeavors, the Rio attempts to make the experience a bit more fun and spontaneous.
The Rio also offers guests a variety of dining choices from all-American food at the All-American Bar & Grille to Gaylord India Restaurant for something a little spicier and even Carnival World Buffet for the indecisive.