Matt Sayles / Invision / AP
Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015 | 6:01 p.m.
Las Vegas helicopter hero and Papillon Group founder and Chairman Elling Halvorson received the Vertical Flight Hall of Fame Award during the 12th Annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards hosted in Los Angeles by actor John Travolta, the “Official Ambassador of Aviation.”
It was to recognize Elling’s more than 50 years of contribution to flight. “Since I was a little boy, my dream has been to fly. If you had told me then that I would be receiving an award like this, I would not have believed it. It’s an honor to receive this respected award, especially this year as Papillon Helicopters celebrates its 50th anniversary,” he said.
John also presented the Aviation Inspiration and Patriotism Award to Oscar-winning actress and director Angelina Jolie, an instrument-rated pilot who recently directed the hit film “Unbroken” about the life of courageous WWII airman Louis Zamperini.
Herb Kelleher, founder, 20-year CEO and 30-year executive chairman of Southwest Airlines, received the top honor, the Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award, presented by last year’s recipient, Frederick Smith, founder and CEO of FedEx.
Actor Harrison Ford was another presenter at the ceremony, which also celebrated my longtime friend astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s 85th birthday.
LOVEMATCH GROWS STRONGER: Radar Online is reporting that our Sin City has become the City of Love for Planet Hollywood headliner Britney Spears and her boyfriend Charlie Ebersole. It reports that the couple have been inseparable during time off from her resident show “Britney: Piece of Me.”
They use her Planet Hollywood suite to host game nights and entertain friends, including her show dancers and crewmembers. Radar reported that “since Britney does not drink, nor gamble, the couple are not so much into clubbing and as such, they are shopping, going out to dinner and seeing all of the shows here.”
CARROT CAMEO: Luxor headliner comedian Carrot Top will make a cameo appearance in crooner Brian Evans’ new music video “Creature,” which is being set as the next big Halloween song. The video will be filmed at The Bates Motel at Universal Studios Hollywood and marks the first time an artist has filmed a music video at the location, which was the set for “Psycho.”
Carrot Top flies to Los Angeles to film at the end of this month. Brian’s previous music video “At Fenway” with William Shatner in a cameo as the home plate empire was added to the MLB Hall of Fame in 2013.
ONE DROP: “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Kyle Richards and her husband Mauricio Umansky hosted a private soiree at Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte’s home in the Hollywood Hills to launch the third One Drop charity event at The Beatles Love Theater in the Mirage on March 20. Guests included Adrian Grenier, Candy Spelling and Frances Fisher.
Cirque artists from Las Vegas greeted guests as they made their way to the poolside cocktail party. Border Grill at Mandalay Bay and Caesars Palace chef Susan Feniger provided the taste treats, and Canadian recording artist Sean Jones performed. Kyle and Mauricio have been involved with One Drop for the past two years.
LIBERACE MEMORIES: As we get ready for the opera party in late February at the restored Liberace Mansion, interesting memories are being recalled. Siegfried & Roy have already promised to attend the event. Myron Martin, CEO of the Smith Center, sold Baldwin pianos early in his career in New York City, and Liberace was one of his clients.
Las Vegas photographer and Humanitarian of the Year Cindy Doumani met Ginger Rogers at the mansion during one of Liberace’s holiday parties. Pianist Steve Garey, retired now and living in Cathedral City, Cali., recalls overhearing phone conversations between Frank Sinatra and Liberace. Entertainers who knew and worked with Liberace are being invited to the event.
CONGRATULATIONS! Recognizing exceptional service and accommodations, AAA has awarded MGM Resorts International seven 2015 Five Diamond Awards for its resorts and restaurants. Recipients include Bellagio, Aria’s Sky Suites, MGM Grand’s Sky Lofts, Picasso (for the 15th consecutive year) and Le Cirque (for the 13th year) at Bellagio and Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand.
Bellagio, the first resort in Las Vegas to achieve this milestone, received its 14th consecutive AAA Five Diamond this year. Aria and Sky Suites each earned Five Diamonds again this year. In 2010, within its first year of operation, Aria was recognized as a AAA Five Diamond resort, a distinction rare for hotels to achieve in such a short time. This year marks the fifth consecutive recognition for Aria and the fourth for Sky Suites.
FANTASY SUITES: The Palms is hosting a unique promotion where guests can enter for a chance to win a complimentary stay in one of the hotel’s Fantasy Suites by booking a room now through the end of this month. As there are several out-of-the-ordinary suites to choose and to make the decision a little easier, a quiz was created to help users figure out which suite best matches their personality.
The musical “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, starring “American Idol” alumni and husband-and-wife Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo, begins its run through Sunday at the Smith Center.
The Artisan Booze District in Henderson opens its doors with four breweries, distillery, winemaking school and chocolatier.
Newsman Dan Rather’s interview with guitar guru and House of Blues at Mandalay Bay headliner Carlos Santana filmed at HOB airs on AXS.
Todd Glass, Rick D’Elia and Tony Camin headline at the Improv at Harrah’s through Sunday.
Miss Nevada USA turned Miss USA Nia Sanchez faces preliminary 2015 Miss Universe Pageant competition in Florida; Carlos gets a key to the Strip as he resumes his HOB residency; and Food Network star chef Ben Vaughn pens a guest column about Southern cooking in Las Vegas. Plus, Day 1 of the2015 AVN/Adult Entertainment Expo with more than 500 porn princesses sending hearts-a-racing.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Sun A&E Senior 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.
One of the most iconic resorts on The Strip, the Luxor pyramid invites curiosity while the resort’s interior rewards visitors with equal parts excitement, mystery and intrigue.
This 4,405-room resort features a wide variety of entertainment including world-famous dance crew Jabbawockeez (spring 2013), the Cirque du Soleil production CRISS ANGEL Believe, the provocative adult revue, FANTASY, the hilarious comedy of Carrot Top, Menopause The Musical and the exclusive LAX Nightclub.
The property also offers a spa and salon, wedding chapel and inviting pool complex and is connected to Mandalay Bay through The Shoppes at Mandalay Place — a collection of unique boutiques and restaurants.
With a 120,000-square-foot gaming area, delectable restaurants and top-notch nightlife and entertainment, Luxor provides an unparalleled travel destination.