Tuesday, June 18, 2013 | 6 p.m.
Hard on the heels of this morning’s announcement that MGM Resorts International and AEG have officially signed a $350 million deal for a new 20,000-seat arena stadium on the Strip comes word that MGM Grand will be taking down its walls! The front façade from the famous gold lion to the north end by M&M’s World is coming down.
“It will put the hotel-casino directly on the Strip — opening it up for the thousands who pass by each day to see right inside,” MGM President Scott Sibella told me Monday at the opening of celebrity chef Michael Mina’s Pub 1842. “its just façade walls with nothing behind them, so we can easily remove them and put MGM right on the Strip.”
NEW HANGOVER SPA: He also confirmed our Vegas DeLuxe story from Feb. 26 that the new med-spa Reviv for miracle treatments to hangovers and nightclub party fatigue is set for its opening in mid-July.
NEW RESTAURANT: Scott also told me the Michael and Jenna Morton small-bites, one-level wine cellar concept there will be open by the end of the year; demolition of the former Nobhill restaurant they are taking over began this week.
BEACHER’S NEW NIGHTCLUB: The Jeff Beacher nightclub enterprise taking over the former Crazy Horse Paris theater has been pushed back to later this year.
“We only got the building permits approved this week, so demolition and the makeover will start next week,” Scott said. “Instead of rushing it for Labor Day weekend, we’ll do it properly and have it open for Thanksgiving with a full-blown, star-studded gala party.”
NEW ARENA & CONVENTIONS RETURN: MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren told me at the Michael Mina opening the new arena will break ground next summer and be open for the spring of 2016. Architectural design firm Populous has been selected for the complete revitalization of the Strip area between the Monte Carlo andNew York-New York. He’s excited about the many retail businesses who want to be located at the arena park. It will extend from the Strip back to Frank Sinatra Drive, facing the new-look MGM Grand opposite.
“The business of concerts, sporting events and convention meetings is there. We are already turning down more shows in our MGM and Mandalay Bay arenas than we can handle,” Jim said. “The new arena will add more tourists to Vegas because of a more varied selection of shows and diverse music choices. When we have basketball, rodeo, boxing, ice skating and other sporting events at the Grand Garden Arena, we will now have a new home for the music shows we couldn’t welcome.”
Jim also told me that he’s seeing a strong uptick in convention business for next year: “We’re getting solid bookings of both new conventions and returning conventions who have been absent for the past few years. We are very bullish on Vegas with the numbers we’re seeing. Its very encouraging.”
EDC UNDERWAY: The big three-day festival starts this weekend with three nights of dusk-to-dawn shows out at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but the serious business side of electronic dance music began convention conferences Tuesday at the Cosmopolitan. My colleague Andrea Dominick at the Las Vegas Weekly has the full royal rundown.
PAULY D VIDEO: Now that he’s moved to Las Vegas as a full-time resident, you’ll be seeing a lot more of former "Jersey Shore" reality star DJ Pauly D (aka Paul DelVecchio) in the neighborhood and traveling in and out of McCarran for club gigs across the country. When he premiered his first produced single record, "Back to Love" with Jay Sean at Miss USA on Sunday, he was only seen with the pageant princesses during the evening gown parade of the final six contestants. So here’s the official video.
COMEDY WINNER: New York comedienne Maria Walsh, known as "the Naughty Mommy," won the Riviera’s comic headliner search to celebrate its 58th anniversary. She was selected to be one of the 16 semifinalists from the 226 taped entries. She was chosen as the winner on a recent weekend and opened as headliner Monday night. She won a week’s run headlining at the legendary Riviera Comedy Club and will do her unique stand-up through Sunday.
TONIGHT'S TIPS: Based on the hit Leonardo DiCaprio movie "Catch Me if You Can" is a high-flying, splashy musical adventure opening at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts for eight shows: a real-life story of a super American con artist who specialized in earning millions from forged checks ... the preview debut of an 11-week run of "Priscilla Queen of the Desert — The Musical" … comedienne Rita Rudner also has her stand-up comedy show at the Venetian’s Human Nature theater ... the EDC festivities continue with DJ Dash Berlin at Lavo in the Palazzo ... trumpet titan David Perrico leads his 18-piece band with singers Naomi Mauro, Anne Martinez and Savannah Smith at the Stratosphere to benefit the Las Vegas Academy of Arts ... Darry Lenox, who grew up here, returns to headline at the Improv comedy club in Harrah’s with Helen Keany and Tom Simmons through Sunday.
TOMORROW’S TEASE: An intimate interview with Celine Dion’s discovery, Veronic — the woman of 50 singing voices — who headlines the new Bally’s show, Celine’s first production venture, plus our photo coverage of the Amazing Comic Book show.
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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