Daily Archives: June 22, 2009

Pimps Face Steep Fines in Las Vegas

Despite vetoing approximately 50% of the bills placed before him to sign, Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons is set to sign today Nevada Assembly Bill 380, which makes Nevada’s prostitution laws the strictest in the United States.   

Las Vegas ranks second in the nation following Atlanta for having the most child prostitutes. 

If a person is convicted of trafficking or pimping a minor between the ages of 14 and 18, they will be fined $100.000.  And if the person is under 14, the fine is $500,000.  The bill, which goes into effect on October 1, also allows for the freezing and forfeiture of assets.

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‘Old’ Ushers in ‘New’ at Peepshow in Las Vegas

Spice Girl Mel B ended her four-month run as the Peep Diva in “Peepshow” at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on Sunday, the same day her counterpart Kelly Monaco, 33, ended her four-month run. Holly Madison, 30, is set to replace Monaco on June 22. Broadway and R&B songbird Shoshana Bean is set to replace Mel B.  Mel B let loose and celebrated her time in the show Saturday night with the Peepshow cast at the TABU Nightclub in the MGM Grand Resort in Las Vegas.

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Andrew Cohen Wins Casino Employees Poker Championship at World Series of Poker in Las Vegas

Andrew Cohen, from Las Vegas, captured the $500 buy-in Casino Employees No Limit Hold’em championship atAndrewCohen the 2009 World Series of Poker, winning $83,778.  This year’s field drew 867 dealers, floorpeople and bartenders and generated a prize-pool of $389,700.

Originally from New York, Cohen is a bartender at the Palms Casino, inside the Nine steakhouse in Las Vegas.  “The one thing that I always wanted—for any poker player—this is it,” Cohen remarked. “I told all these guys here, it’s not about the money to me, and I’m not even a rich guy.” 

Cohen called his wife moments after winning, and she was crying at their Las Vegas home. “She knows how much the gold bracelet means to me. Life doesn’t get much better than today,” he said.

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Five Thousand “I Do’s” on New Las Vegas Wedding Reality TV Show

Did you attend the wedding of controversial ex-NBA player Dennis Rodman to bombshell entertainer Carmen Electra at the Chapel of the Flowers in Las Vegas?   Did you “miss” your own wedding, perhaps being a bit too tipsy to properly take it all in?  Or maybe you have the urge to soon get married in Las Vegas, but get a case of uncontrollable itching and hives when contemplating a visit to a chapel? 

Have no fear, for here’s your opportunity for a vicarious semi-holy redemption. 

Released on the heels of TLC’s super buzzed “Jon & Kate Plus 8” reality TV show, the cable channel premiered Friday their newest reality show, “Happily Ever Faster.” 

It’s Las Vegas kitsch at its lively – and extraordinary – best, documenting weekly the wedding trials and tribulations of the Chapel of the Flowers, located in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada– the city long-recognized as being the distinctive destination “Wedding Capital of the World.” 

The multimillion-dollar family-run Chapel of the Flowers has been in the wedding business for almost 60 years.  The husband and wife team of Jason and Holly and their staff marry over 5,000 couples a year, routinely running around like possessed demons (the good kind), spewing forth married couples faster and better than hamburgers fly off the grill at fast-food hamburger joints.ChapeloftheFlowers

Amid it all, somehow the staff retains their sanity and even their zest for Las Vegas weddings, offering a tasteful approach to matrimony that sets them apart from many chapels on the Strip. 

Punctuated with “Oh my God!” “Holy crap!” and “Hustle, hustle!” utterances, Chapel of the Flowers wedding planner Melody approaches each wedding with boundless energy and a unique breath of fresh air- despite many wedding couples not bringing their tuxes, dresses – even rings – on their wedding day; hearing the same old stories from wedding couples ad infinitum, but acting like it’s the first time; and rectifying one mess after another- all the while proving, though, that stereotypical Las Vegas kitschy wedding dramas can be indeed transformed with panache in a heartbeat into an elegant affair.  Melody appears to effortlessly eat, sleep and breathe weddings, meeting five to 12 couples or more in person daily, and gets the job done quickly and efficiently under the most severe time constraints. 

More than merely documenting 15-minute quickie wedding packages – with an Elvis impersonator thrown in for good measure from time to time – “Happily Ever Faster” explores Chapel of the Flowers wedding services which are also sometimes performed off the Las Vegas Strip (yes, believe it or not, there is more to Las Vegas than one-armed bandits and gawdy neon). 

And while other wedding reality television shows may have an occasional to or from Sin City visit, this is the only wedding show so far that is based in Las Vegas.  

With the Las Vegas wedding industry facing economic challenges [as reported by Las Vegas Backstage Access on January 11 and June 20], the show may prove to be just the stimulus ticket needed to aid Las Vegas’ wedding tourism- and ancillary wedding support businesses,  as well.

So, if your champagne flute hasn’t spilled over with the plethora of wedding reality television shows, including We classics “Bridezilla”, “Rich Bride, Poor Bride,” or “My Platinum Wedding,”  TNT’s “Wedding Day,” or CW’s “Hitched or Ditched,” – and approximately 13 other current wedding shows (and that’s not counting all the additional wedding dress, cake and accessory television show spin-offs!) – then consider taking a break from watching Kate Gosselin’s spankings and Jon and Kate’s dual infidelity flaps, by checking out this half-hour show that starts at 7:30 p.m. (PT) Friday’s on TLC.   It could quite possibly be your “cuvee champagne” television offering.

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Animal Rights Groups Fighting Mad Over Dolphin Acquisitions at The Mirage in Las Vegas

As reported on by Las Vegas Backstage Access on June 7, the dolphin named Sgt. Pepper died on June 4 at The Mirage from complications from a lung infection. 

Now we learn that two days before the death, two animal rights groups, Born Free USA and The World Society for the Protection of Animals, filed a legal complaint against The Mirage’s petition to request to import two more dolphins for the Las Vegas resort’s habitat. 

On April 15, The Mirage placed an application with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service to import two captive Atlantic bottlenose dolphins form Bermuda for breeding purposes. 

The filed complaint alleges more dolphins shouldn’t be brought in because other dolphins had died in the past at the habitat, which the two groups claim is being used as a money-making enterprise rather than for educational or conservation purposes, as The Mirage contends.

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Eva Langoria Parker & Todd English – – Hungry in Las Vegas

Eva Langoria Parker of “Desperate Housewifes” fame and star chef Todd English are teaming up on a Latin-themed steakhouse planned for the new CityCenter in Las Vegas.  ToddEnglish

The restaurant will be a spinoff from Beso in Hollywood and is planned to open later this year when the CityCenter opens.  Jonas Lawrence, formerly of Rokbar in Miami, is the managing partner for the celebrity venture. 

English, whose Boston-based Olives restaurant chain includes an eatery at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, will feature his Latin take on flatbreads, along with yummy tacos and chili-rubbed steak.  He also is planning a British pub at CityCenter. 

Langoria Parker will contribute her guacamole recipe and tortilla soup to the menu. 

Though not officially confirmed, there is talk that Victoria Beckham, wife of British soccer star David Beckham, will also be a partner in the venture.

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