Daily Archives: March 6, 2009

Brande Roderick Next ‘Celebrity Apprentice’?

branderoderickDonald Trump through contract provisions isn’t letting the Playboy model, film star, and entrepreneur tell for certain if she’ll be one of the two finalists left standing in “The Celebrity Apprentice” when The Donald makes a decision in the live May TV finale.    

Although Brande Roderick, tonight’s celebrity “host’ at Tao nightclub inside the Venetian in Las Vegas, says she has no idea if she’ll be selected, she added that Trump “never yelled at me.”  Could this be her subtle prediction?

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Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Delays Convention Center Renovations

An $890 million planned Las Vegas Convention Center renovation that was once deemed to be vital for the Las Vegas tourism industry and economy is very likely to be put on official hold. lasvegasconventioncenter

On Thursday, the LVCVA said they would seek to suspend the project at least to the middle of 2010. 

LVCVA chairman and Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman called the delay practical, sighting the declining room tax revenue in Clark County, the authority’s primary income source, and other economic declines. 

The original convention center expansion proposal called for dramatic upgrades to the Las Vegas Convention Center’s façade and common spaces.  It would have increased the gross square footage from 3.2 million square feet to 3.8 million square feet that would have increased critical high demand convention areas including available meeting spaces, restaurants, food service, and taxi spaces. 

Jeremy Aguero of the economics research firm Applied Analysis said the suspension is an unfortunate reflection of the state of the economy.  In 2007, he prepared a report that said without improvements to the convention center, Las Vegas would lose $5 billion in convention-related economic activity. 

Las Vegas is the nation’s top location for trade shows and conventions.  It hosts 44 of the nation’s top 200 conventions and tradeshows, according to Tradeshow Week magazine.  Orlando is a distant second with 24. 

Goodman says he’s hopeful that work on the convention center renovation can resume in 2010.

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‘This is It’ Says Michael Jackson

As reported by Vegas Backstage Access a couple of times in the recent past, there was a strong indication that there would soon be a Michael Jackson tour announced.  Now it’s official:  The self-proclaimed 50-year-old King of Pop announced on Thursday at a London news conference that he will have a series of 10 performances – the ‘This-is- It’ tour – at the 20,000-seat London’s O2 Arena, beginnning July 8.  

After taking a 4 ½ hour physical from concert promoters’ doctors, Jackson was declared fit as a fiddle to perform.  Then he came out and told his fans that this would be his last concert in England, leaving the door open, perhaps, for concerts elsewhere.  

The shows would mark Jackson’s first major performances since 2001 and 2002, when he appeared at a pair of 30th anniversary celebrations and two benefit concerts.  His brief appearance at the World Music Awards in 2006 was booed by some audience members.  Jackson’s last extended performances were for the HIStory tour in 1996-97 that had 82 performances. 

There is still hope for Las Vegas performances, though.  While Jackson has expressed little interest in a long-term Las Vegas deal because of the rigorous demands, he has always thought of Vegas as a last stop for fading stars.  And remember that the Los Angeles-based AEG, which manages and books The 02 and also sets deals with The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.  AEG reportedly has a deal for more than triple the 10 dates that were announced.

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Louis Prima’s Jazz Lives On This Weekend in Las Vegas

lenaprimaIt’s been three decades since the legendary jazzman Louis Prima passed on, but his music still lives on through his daughter, Lena.  louisprima4Lena Prima, 45, will be performing a tribute concert to her late father at the Cannery in Las Vegas at 8 p.m. this Friday and Saturday. 

Louis Prima helped spearhead the acceptance of New Orleans jazz in the 1920s and big band in the ’40s.  By the ’50s and through the ’60s, he had a wildly popular lounge act in Las Vegas.  Prima was known as much for his sense of fun as for his excellent skills as a jazzman. 

Younger audiences continue to come to him via “Just a Gigola/I Ain’t got Nobody,” a chart success by David Lee Roth in the ’80s, and “Jump, Jive an’ Wail,” which the Brian Setzer Orchestra featured a decade later.

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Siegfried & Roy’s ABC Special Airs this Friday, March 6

If you were not among the 1,100 guests paying upwards of $7,500 for a ticket at the Bellagio last Saturday evening in Las Vegas when the Keep Memory Alive organization had their gala fundraiser for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo siegried2Center for Brain Health that featured the supposedly last performance from Las Vegas iconic entertainers Siegfried & Roy, there’s still hope.  And even if you did attend, it’s well worth it to watch the hour-long “20/20” news magazine special on “Siegfried & Roy:  The Magic Returns” that airs at 9 p.m. this Friday, March 5, on KTNV-TV, Channel 13. 

ABC News’ Elizabeth Vargas visits with Roy Horn and Siegfried Fischbacher in their Las Vegas home and hears about the grueling five years endured by both of them since Montecore, the massive white Bengal tiger, mauled Horn during a 2003 performance at The Mirage.  Siegfried went through ‘caregivers syndrome’ – when people who take care of other forget to take care of themselves – and is reported on as well.

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