Daily Archives: August 10, 2009

Elvis Enters Las Vegas ‘House,’ Prepares for New Cirque du Soleil Show

Elvis?  Isn’t he dead?  Naah.  In Las Vegas, the iconic entertainer never really died- he just morphed into impersonators galore, performing one after-life performance after another.  cirque

Cirque du Soleil is capitalizing on the the never dying Elvis fever big-time, preparing for their new Elvis show “Viva Las Vegas,” slated to open this December at CityCenter, located on 67-acres on the Las Vegas Strip between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo, boasting the largest private development – and most extravagant – in United States history which will add 6,000 new hotel rooms to the existing Las Vegas inventory of 140,000 rooms. 

The seventh Cirque show in Las Vegas will be housed within Aria at CityCenter, a 61-story, 4,004 room gaming property featuring the most technologically advanced green-sustainable suites in the United States. 

Making a marketing splash last Saturday, 22 of the 75 new cast members arrived in street clothes in Las Vegas from Montreal, Canada, Cirque’s headquarters, to a hearty serenade of the theme song from Elvis’ 1964 film by more than a dozen colorful characters from “Mystere,” “Ka” and “Criss Angel Believe,” three of Cirque’s six shows in Las Vegas.  

The new troup arrivals will have three weeks to find a place to settle in Las Vegas before resuming rehearsals. 

The remaining cast members will arrive in Las Vegas over the next couple of days. 

Cirque production manager Mike Anderson promises fans will feel Elvis’ presence in the CityCenter theater. The show, directed by former Michael Jackson choreographer Vince Patterson, will feature dancers, acrobats, “a killer band and a lot of guitar elements,” Anderson said. 

Priscilla Presley, who married Elvis in Las Vegas in 1967, was among a VIP group that got a preview of the show last Wednesday. Also attending was CityCenter boss Bobby Baldwin and Robert Sillerman, who purchased 85 percent of Elvis Presley Enterprises in 2004 for $114 million.

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Sports Illustrated Las Vegas Baseball Star Bryce Harper Slotted for ESPN Show

Former Las Vegas High baseball standout and Sports Illustrated cover athlete Bryce Harper will be featured on an episode of the ESPN network sports magazine “E:60.” 

The profile will deal with Harper’s controversial decision to forgo his final two years of high school to play at the College of Southern Nevada next season. 

The show airs at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 11.

[Las Vegas Backstage Access has written prior articles on Harper. Please use search feature.]

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Hash House A Go Go in Las Vegas Hosts Viewing Party for Travel Channel’s “Man v. Food”

Hash House a Go Go restaurant teams up with Mix 94.1 and Jack FM radio stations in Las Vegas to host a viewing party for the Las Vegas episode of “Man v. Food,” which features the restaurant’s twisted farm food.

There will be happy hour prices on drinks from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on August 12 featuring $2 domestic 20-ounce drafts, $3 imported drafts and $3 well drinks. For non-drinkers, Hash House’s signature Kiwi Watermelon Lemonade, featured in the show, will be available for only $1 and the first 50 people to arrive at the event will get their first drink free. Attendees can also enjoy complimentary big food appetizers including meatloaf sandwich skewers; mini double stack ham, egg and cheese burgers; mini chicken and waffle bites. Raffle drawings will be held throughout the evening where guests have the opportunity to win a variety of prizes including concert tickets and a $100 gift card to Hash House A Go Go.

“Man v. Food,” airs August 12 at 10 p.m. on the Travel Channel, following host Adam Richman as he travels the country in search of restaurants that serve the biggest and best local meals. After seeking out each city’s top culinary destinations, Richman puts his appetite to work and attempts to conquer the toughest food challenges.

Apparently, Richman, who also experienced eating the bodacious six-pound, two-foot long Big Badass Burrito [prior Las Vegas Backstage Access article] offered by the NASCAR Cafe in Las Vegas on the episode, is really hooked on the Hash House after he devoured the fried chicken eggs Benedict- grilled mash, fried pasta, buttermilk biscuit, tomatoes, spinach, bacon, half-pound fried chicken breast, scrambled eggs, grilled cheese and chipotle sauce.  Talk about a Tum’s moment!

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Station Casinos in Nevada Files for Bankruptcy; Boyd Gaming in Pursuit

Station Casinos in Nevada filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after reaching an impasse in months-long negotiations with creditors on a plan to restructure the gaming company’s $6.5 billion debt. 

The bankruptcy case, which includes parent company Station Casinos Inc. and 17 of its noncasino affiliates, was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Reno, Nevada.  The noncasino subsidiaries control the company’s landholdings in Reno and other nongaming assets. 

The company’s 18 casino properties and their affiliates were not included in the filing, and company executives stress that those properties will continue to operate like they do today.

 As this is going on, Boyd Gaming Corp. remains “actively engaged” in discussions to acquire some of the assets of Stations Casinos. 

Boyd in February offered to acquire several of Station Casinos’ properties for $950 million, but Station Casinos summarily rejected the offer, though it was a major focus of their earnings call.

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Nevada Tells California: “Kiss Your Assets Goodbye”

The Nevada Development Authority is on their annual search and destroy hunt, or so it seems, to lure recession-strapped California businesses to Nevada, away from having to settle for IOUs from the government as paycheck substitutes. 

Nevada is now waging a vicious $300,000 advertising blitz, themed “Kiss Your Assets Goodbye,” complete with flying pigs and chimps, that pits Nevada’s lack of personal and corporate income tax and its lower workers’ compensation insurance rates against California’s hearty tax structure and extensive regulatory regime. 

On top of the chimp spots, there’s a print ad claiming California will be more pro-business when pigs fly, as well as a radio spot with an actor portraying a businessman getting the shaft, as the announcer says:  “We’re all learning to bend over and kiss our assets goodbye.” 

Not relying on ads alone to shill new business, there’s also a public relations campaign deploying social-networking Web sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In- and even an original pop song that will air on YouTube.com later this week. 

Some, though, are going fighting bonkers over the stomach-churning campaign, refusing to run the ads. KABC, the ABC affiliate in Los Angeles, California has refused to air the ads, saying they don’t want to encourage businesses to leave California. 

The campaign will run for 90 days, after which the authority will develop and launch a new campaign.  They have $700,000 more in the Nevada budget to spend on advertising in the next 10 months.

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