Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 | 7:58 p.m.
Jarrett and Raja
The incredible 4,000 people a day who line up to visit our famous “Pawn Stars” stars is about to grow even larger. The History Channel ratings leaders are continuing to shoot their series at Gold & Silver Pawn downtown, but Rick Harrison, son Corey and dad Richard, along with Austin “Chumlee” Russell, will now have autograph sessions as filming permits.
“It took some serious planning and trial runs, but we think we now have a system that works to allow more fans to meet us and the experts on the show. That was the one piece missing to a great experience when visiting the store,” Rick said. “With filming taking place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays year-round, finding space and making it work for the fans, production and us was a challenge, but one we have overcome.”
Meet-and-greets will take place once a day during the week at random times when filming allows from today through Feb. 22 and again March 11 through April 5. Other production dates this year: April 22 through May 24; June 3 through 28; Sept. 3 through Oct. 11; Nov. 1-22; and Dec. 2-20.
Manager Theo Spyer said: “When a ‘Pawn Star’ is signing, 100 percent of all merchandise purchased for their signatures will go to charity. Saturday autograph signings also will be added at a later date.” Gold & Silver Pawn is open 24 hours a day and year-round. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and the night window is open 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.
Chumlee added, “We knew we needed to find a way to engage with our fans more completely, and I’m glad we found the right opportunity to add it into their experience.”
NEW STRIP SHOWS: I sent out advance word on Twitter on Wednesday night, and it’s been confirmed today: Recycled Percussion has landed a residency starting Jan. 26 in the former Human Nature showroom at The Quad, formerly Imperial Palace. Band leader Justin Spencer, the world’s fastest drummer, told me last night: “The central location on the Strip is perfect for our all-ages show. We’ve added in a lot of new creative elements. It will be our biggest, best and most impressive.”
The junk rock group has been a Strip attraction for two years, first at the now-shuttered Studio 54 in MGM Grand, then the Tropicana and recently in the “America’s Got Talent” show at the Palazzo. Producer David Saxe said: “It’s exhilarating to work with guys who are crazy enough to try every hysterical idea I throw at them.”
When the new “AGT” show reopens at the Palazzo in the first week of February, extraordinary Las Vegas-based magicians Jarrett and Raja will be the headliners. They confirmed their mini-residency to me last night, although I’d heard rumors they were considering the former afternoon Nathan Burton slot at the Flamingo. “This will be primetime,” they laughed. “AGT” has an extended run and will be followed into the former Jersey Boys theater by the musical “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”
RIVAL PAGEANTS: I ruffled the feathers of Donald Trump’s Miss USA Paul Shugart on Wednesday with my reporting of the rival components of her pageant and Miss America. Nice to know they read Vegas DeLuxe, but she’s right to make me point out that new Miss USA Nana Meriwether has some extraordinary credentials. Yesterday, the 27-year-old statuesque beauty was crowned Miss USA when Olivia Culpo, who won Miss Universe here last month, gave up her title, crown and sash.
Paula told me Nana is beauty and brains and headed for medical school: “She is a graduate of UCLA with a degree in political science (highest honors) and a graduate of USC post-baccalaureate in premedical sciences. Nana also is a two-time All-American volleyball player who captained UCLA to the Final Four.
“Five years ago, she co-founded the Meriwether Foundation, which has been bringing aid to rural villages in five southern African countries and has built several schools. So I strongly disagree and challenge the assessments made that Miss America is about charity and community compassion -- and we’re not. Nana’s achievements prove the point.” Nana added: “There’s such a stereotype that we are only about our looks. We are girls with substance, and that’s what Miss USA celebrates.”
PUBS & PIZZAS: James Beard Award-winning chef Shawn McClain (Sage in Aria) debuts his first casual concept there this spring: FIVE50, named for the oven heat of a pizza, will be a pizza pub serving East Coast and Sicilian-styled pies in Aria.
Chef Gordon Ramsay made Las Vegas history opening two restaurants in two locations within five days of each other on the Strip following an earlier one in the same year! Now the fiery TV chef has decreed his Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace, which opened Dec. 18, also will serve lunch along with dinner. Later this month, he’ll be here for its gala opening and another party at his BurGR in Planet Hollywood.
Nelly hosts industry night at Haze in Aria.
Ludacris hosts the official Soul Electronics headphones celebration as part of CES at Tao’s weekly “worship party” in The Venetian.
And Bagatelle Restaurant and Supper Club alongside the Tropicana begins its “Ladies Night” with a three-course, $34.99 menu and sexy boutique swag bags for the first 100 reservations.
Our weekly Weekend Celebrity Preview turns the spotlight on Carmen Electra, Gregg Allman, Ricardo Laguna, MMA Awards and more. Plus, continuing coverage of Miss America leading to Saturday’s pageant on ABC from Planet Hollywood.
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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Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
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.