Tag Archives: Fremont Street Experience

David Hasseloff Cheered (!!!) in Las Vegas

David Hasseloff, “The Hoff,” acclaimed singer and television demigod of such 80s TV hits as “Baywatch,” Knight Rider,” and “America’s Got Talent,” who turns 58 in July, attends his namesake’s Knight Rider Festival with other actors and producers of the series, riding up in a K.I.T.T. car to the cheers of thousands of his fans at the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas on March 18, 2010.  (Prior article on March 19 by Las Vegas Backstage Access.)

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David Hasseloff Making a Comeback?

Could the aging former “Baywatch,” “Knight Rider,” and “America’s Got Talent,” television demigod be trying to reclaim his former glory? 

Trashing those late night sordid drinking and hamburger affairs, “The Hoff,” appears for now, to be sloshing onward and upward. 

His namesake Knight Rider Festival will be hosted in Las Vegas this weekend.   And, different than the first festival last year, this one will be graced by his presence. Hasselhoff plans to be at the festival on Fremont Street Experience on the First Street Stage tonight at 5 p.m., ushered in by Elvis impersonator Paul Casey, who created the Las Vegas event, dressed up as The Lone Ranger and riding up the street on a white horse signifying,  Casey says, the original “Knight Rider” television show’s intent of being a modern-day version of the “The Lone Ranger.” 

Following Casey and his white knight horse will be a parade of 20 K.I.T.T. cars from the series.  The first one will be driven by Jack Gill, the main stunt driver for the series. 

Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as “The Most Watched TV Star in the World,” Hasselhoff, who has been on television for more than 30 years, will be joined in the Las Vegas event by television show creator Glen Larson and actors Ann Turkel and Justin Bruening. 

Allegedly, there will also be a drive-through wedding chapel with K.I.T.T. serving as best man. 

Then it’s off to London for Hasseloff, where the WWE is having him guest host WWE Monday Night RAW on April 12. 

And while that’s going on, the fun-loving-in-excess actor, who has also morphed into an internationally renowned singer receiving incredible kudos for his singing skills, especially in Europe, will be on a concert tour in Europe. 

Hasselhoff is also on the road of making other endeavors a success too. 

The folks at Abercrombie & Fitch hope are banking on the brand and image appeal of The Hoff to change their fortunes in the United States.   So far, the traveling salvation show is working- his image is increasing sales revenue by 5 percent, while many of their industry competitors are down by 5 percent. 

A&E also sees the shining rebounding light of Hasseloff, hiring him for a 10-epsisode deal for a new reality show with his two daughters. The docu-series, currently unnamed, slotted to air later this year, will take a behind-the-scenes look into the life of  The Hoff focusing on his multiple entertainment and business endeavors, as well as his most important role as a single dad trying to help his teenage daughters’ break into the recording industry. 

The Knight Rider Festival is March 19-20, all day, free.  Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegaswww.knightriderfestival.com

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Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas Offers Affordable New Year’s Gala

Everything in Las Vegas does not need to emphasize the new and expensive ritzy venues.  Take for example the Fremont Street Experience in “old” Las Vegas.   For only $10 (locals) to $20 (visitors) they’re offering a “TributePalooza” this New Year’s Eve featuring the tribute bands of INXS, U2, Depeche Mode, Van Halen, No Doubt, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses. 

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman will lead the countdown in a fireworks show in a specially designed New Year’s show that will take place under the street-long video screen canopy. 

Only people age 21 and older will be allowed.  

The concerts start at 6 p.m.  For more information, please call 702-678-5600.

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Historic Binion’s Hotel in Las Vegas to Close

Another legendary landmark Las Vegas hotel has put up a permanent no vacancy sign. Binion’s announced Monday it will shut down its 365 rooms on Dec. 14. The casino and other operations, though, will reportedly remain open. 

Binion’s officials have said the reason for shutting down the hotel operations was because of the ever slumping economy which has forced room rates to drop and vacancies to rise. 

Even though the casino will stay open, there’s no question the decision will be a blow to a downtown that has struggled — even during the talks of revitalization. 

It’s been a staple on Fremont Street for more than half a century. Word of the closure spread quickly. 

Binion’s original coffee shop and Keno operation will also close, but the entire casino operation — including the Sports Book and the famed poker room which hosted the World Series of Poker from 1970 to 2005 — will stay open. 

But the hotel closure could impact gaming. 

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman is trying to help Binion’s owners and lenders hammer out a deal to keep the hotel open. He said he does not think this will impact his plan to revitalize downtown. 

“Once you start saying you’re not going to do those things, then you recede. Vegas is a very funny place. We go through these ups and downs. We’ve been here before, perhaps not to this level, but I don’t blame this on Las Vegas. Las Vegas has the infrastructure in place. We’ve got the best hotels, restaurants, shopping and entertainment,” Goodman said. 

Goodman said it’s hard to find investors to come in with fresh money to refurbish rooms, but he’s not giving up.  “We have to keep pushing forward, now more than ever,” Goodman said. 

About 100 people will be laid off when the hotel closes. 

Anyone who has a reservation after Dec. 14 is being referred to Binion’s sister property across the street, The Four Queens. 

Most of the restaurants, including the famed Binion’s Ranch Steakhouse, will remain open.

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Woodstock Rebirth in Las Vegas This Weekend

Tie-dyed shirts, peace, free love and lots of spirits will be the free flowing order for this weekend’s merriment, as Las Vegas honors today through Sunday the 40th anniversary of Woodstock at the Fremont Street Experience. woodstock2

Although that historic crowd of a half a million won’t be hanging around this weekend, nevertheless “Woodstock TributePalooza” should be packed with a similarly frenzied crowd that will be treated to a variety of musical acts representing some of the more iconic performers from the past — Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, among others –that graced the stage during the historic concert and almost instantly became the hallmarks for a generation. 

Among the performers will be Dead Ahead, a band that performs the music of the Grateful Dead; Randy Linder, performing Credence Clearwater Revival; Byron Bordeaux playing Jimi Hendrix music; Alan Kaye doing Joe Cocker’s music; The Wholigans performing music from The Who and Cara Lee, who will pay tribute to Janis Joplin. 

A movie, “From Havens to Hendrix,” will play on the lighted canopy. Music and performances are scheduled to start every day of the tribute at 6:30 p.m., with acts planned through midnight. For a full schedule of events, visit www.vegasexperience.com or call 702-678-5777.

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Woodstock Las Vegas

Forty years ago the Woodstock music festival featured tie-dyed bedecked hippies that espoused peace, love, happiness, fused with lots of freebies – speech, sex and pot – and a plethora of equally mind-blowing music.  Now Las Vegas plans to vicariously relive those groovy days and, hopefully, provide a much needed boost to Las Vegas’ sagging economy as well, reeling in more visitors that spend more money on food, entertainment and gambling.  woodstock

That’s the hope. 

And the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas (three miles north of the end of the Las Vegas Strip) is banking on it, spending about $1.7 million on the promotional campaign between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends- $500,000 more than it normally would during the season.   

They’ll be paying tribute to 1969 all summer long with free rock concerts and seasonal themes that feature the likes of yesterday’s music heavy hitters Blood, Sweat and Tears; Three Dog Night; the 5th Dimension; Rare Earth; the Grass Roots and Canned Heat. 

John Van Hamersveld – artist known for his artwork for “The Endless Summer” in 1966 and for making the cover of the Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour” album in 1967 – will be painting two buses, one to be used as a stage. 

Special videos shows are being planned for a giant screen hanging over the street that include rolling credits memorial for the 58,000 Americans killed or missing in action from the Vietnam War. 

Each of the 10 casinos on the Fremont Street Experience are also making plans to tie to the 1969 theme.

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Susan G. Koman Foundation’s Las Vegas Race for Cancer Cure

“It started with a promise…it will end with a cure.” susankoman

The 14th annual Susan G. Koman Southern Nevada Race for the Cure will be held on May 2 in Las Vegas.  The route will begin at Las Vegas Blvd. and Clark and continue through downtown to Las Vegas Blvd and Fremont – the Fremont Street Experience. 

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation was established by Nancy Brinker after her sister, Suzy, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1978.  Treatment options were limited and there was little if any public recognition of the cause or impact of breast cancer.  Suzy died at the age of 36 and her sister Nancy made it her goal to fund health care options, develop treatments and raise awareness of this deadly disease.  The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation officially opened its doors in 1982.  

The Race for the Cure is the largest single fundraiser for the Koman organization.   Proceeds from the race help fund breast health education, cancer screening, patient support and treatment.  

On average, 75 percent of the funds raised in Nevada stay in Nevada to help local women.  

Online registration will be available through Monday April 27, however you may register up to and including race day and there is still time to be a sponsor or volunteer at the event.

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Las Vegas ‘Turns Off’ for Earth Hour

To the uninformed, looking out their window in Las Vegas on Saturday, March 28 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. may appear like a prelude to Armageddon or perhaps Apocalypse Las Vegas- dark and sinister, with none of the normal blinding neon to excite the senses. earthhour2

In reality this is not the end of days, merely Las Vegas’ non-hedonistic (say what?) participation in Earth Hour, a global attempt by the World Wildlife Fund to focus worldwide attention on the growing problem of climate change.  

So far, more than 2,200 cities and towns in 81 countries have agreed to go dark in this environmental activism movement. 

And this year, Earth Hour has particular importance to America:  Not only do we have a new president who appears to take climate change seriously, but the U.S. has a chance to redeem itself after former President Bush ceremoniously dissed Mother Earth when he refused to sing the Kyoto global warming agreement in 2005. 

In Las Vegas, hotel marquees on and off the Strip and signs (including the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign), Fremont Street Experience, and all businesses and residents are being encouraged throughout the Las Vegas Valley to participate and take a bold stand on climate change using their light switch as a ballot,  casting a vote for environmental action in the first global election on climate change- giving Las Vegas a chance to expand our definition of green beyond greenbacks, green felt and Green Valley. 

Las Vegas is one of 10 Earth Hour flagship cities.  The effort on the Strip is led by Harrah’s, but even MGM Mirage also has agreed to shut off its lights.  (Just so no one is misled, it’s just the marquees that will go dark, not the lights in the casinos.) 

Here are some Las Vegas locations to capture the experience: 

Earth Hour Las Vegas Official Media Center

The VooDoo Lounge, located on the 51st floor of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, offers a stunning view and vantage point of the Las Vegas Strip. VooDoo Lounge will give complimentary admission to all guests until 9 p.m. for those wishing to participate in Earth Hour.

 “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” Sign

Clark County Commission Chairman Rory Reid, Commissioners Steve Sisolak and Susan Brager, and World Wildlife Fund’s Nick Sundt are scheduled to “turn off” the sign at 8:30 p.m. using a six foot tall light switch. 

Fremont Street Experience

Lights will go out on the Viva Vision canopy and hotel casino marquees at 8:30 p.m., proceeded by an Earth Hour video presentation and countdown. Glow necklaces will be given to first 5,000 guests. 

A list of Las Vegas participants to-date, and additional events and activities can be found at www.earthhourlv.org.

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Chalk up one for Las Vegas ‘Adult Entertainment’ Peddlers

Like it or not, peddlers lining the Las Vegas sidewalks, clicking their provocative handbills, and otherwise hawking adult entertainment promotions to passerbys is a part of our historic, colorful fabric, and, for some, this perhaps adds to our alluring mystique.  After all, we are Sin City, right?   handbills

One can regularly see such peddlers on the sidewalks of the Las Vegas Strip, in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center, and many other places around town.  Almost everywhere except for congregating in original Las Vegas, more specifically the Fremont Street Experience.  

Until now. 

A court ruling recently set aside several Las Vegas ordinances that sought to limit such activities at the Fremont Street Experience.  Of course the laws could be once again appealed, but Las Vegas’ colorful Mayor Oscar Goodman, in his last term of office, said recently that it might be time to let the 12-year-old on and off again lawsuit go. 

The Las Vegas City Council will hear its options at an upcoming meeting, he said, and can weigh in on the merits of appealing the decision, trying to craft another set of ordinances or take some other approach. 

Quickly turning the other cheek, though, Mayor Goodman said Las Vegas would staunchly fight anyone who tried to pass out adult material, such as escort advertisements handed out on the Strip. 

“You don’t want to see one of these situations where a man takes his daughter down to Fremont Street to see the light show and has some smut shoved in his daughter’s face,” Goodman said.  “If they use the same aggressive mannerisms that they do out on the Strip, we’re certainly not going to tolerate that.” 

Glitter Gulch, a leading adult entertainment Fremont Street business, is just a stone’s throw away from anyone walking down those same streets. 

The American Civil Liberties Union was quick to challenge the city ordinances on free speech grounds, arguing that bans on passing out literature and advertising or on setting up tables to promote a cause were unconstitutional. 

The case has been winding its slow way through appeals, revised ordinace and more litigations since 1997. 

In enacting such ordinances, Las Vegas city leaders contend that businesses that rent space or kiosks from Fremont Street Experience LLC, which operates the pedestrian mall, needs some protection again people setting up competing sales operations next door for free.

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KITT, Knight Rider Varoom into Las Vegas

Paul Casey Productions is bringing KITT back to Las Vegas.  Knight Rider fans know that both the 1982 original series pilot and the 2008 revamped series opener were based in Las Vegas and on March 20 and 21 the Fremont Street Experience will be the sight of this fundraising weekend.   knightrider

Although Hoff won’t be attending as he will be filming in New York “Dancing with the Stars” segments, organizers for the event promise many of the leading characters of the Knight Rider series will be on hand.

Events include a wedding at the drive-in chapel with KITT as the best man, a celebrity meet and greet, Q&A sessions and celebrity autograph sessions.  In addition, there will be KITT car displays and a moment with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman. 

One of the primary objectives of the Knight Rider Festival is to gather donations for the Children’s Miracle Network.  The Super Pursuit Mode KITT Fundraiser began months ago encouraging participants to collect money for the Children’s Miracle Network.  Funds collected at the Knight Rider Festival will go directly to the pediatric unit at St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Henderson.  The top 3 earners will be recognized with a Jay Orhberg Super Pursuit Award.

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Country Music & NASCAR Rev Their Engines in Las Vegas

More than 10,000 NASCAR fans are expected to swarm the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas this weekend.   The sixth annual RaceJam will bring entertainment highlighted by country star Trent Tomlinson and former Lynrd Skynrd drummer Artimus Pyle in Saturday night performances from 9 to 11 p.m.   Also, from 6 to 8 p.m, on Saturday, Southern Stue, Tony Marques, and T.J. Weaver will be performing.  Still not having your music fill?  If so, come back on Sunday from 8 to 11 p.m. to listen to the Highwire Band and Speaks Brothers.

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Free Entertainment in Las Vegas: Fremont Street Experience

fremontstreetIn the 60’s Vegas was known for the Rat Pack, showgirls and inexpensive entertainment.   Today the $180 per person ticket for some of the best rated Strip shows is above the budget of many tourists looking for a way to get the most value for the dollar.  Perhaps that explains the interest in the Fremont Street Experience:  A no-cost spectacular that blends elements of classic Las Vegas with current technology in comfortable old-Vegas style. 

When the Fremont Street Experience was first proposed the idea of creating a pedestrian mall under a lighted canopy was not just considered risky, but ridiculous.  However, with an eye to revitalizing the downtown area and giving a boost to Las Vegas landmark hotels like Binon’s and the Golden Nugget, the city council closed a four block stretch of Fremont in 1994 and began the process of creating a unique historic Las Vegas visitor opportunity. 

Now you can step off Las Vegas Boulevard at Fremont and step into the Neon Museum – a collection of neon signs from bi-gone casino’s and hotels.  There is a selection of inexpensive curb-side and casino restaurants to choose from and hourly presentations on the Viva-Vision canopy providing free viewing.  Different bands perform each week for free on the central sound stage.  That’s also where specialty events take place several times a year, including the annual New Years Eve celebration that is jam packed with wall-to-wall partygoers. 

Please check out the Fremont Street Experience calendar for the Viva Vision schedule and for a list of hotel/restaurant options and check online for package discounts available throughout the year.

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Las Vegas’ Quiet Rocking 2009 New Year’s Eve

The first chance for many visitors and Las Vegas locals to party and play the Sin City branded way in newyears200812009 turned out to be, sadly, a little less-than-spectacular.  There were limited Las Vegas A-list midnight performances by Kid Rock, Pink, Fergie, and Akon.  And, as usual, there was a smattering of A-list celebrities playing peek-a-boo in and out of the Las Vegas nightclubs.  The 291,000 visitors to the Strip this year also found themselves popping corks – and more – with Usher, Denise Richards, Kim Kardashian, or Ashley Simpson and hubby Pete Wentz.  But for the most part, 2009, even though it brought more people in than last year’s estimated 284,000, provided partygoers limited sparkle and under restricted circumstance and attendance.  Despite the enticement of rock-bottom room rates and added incentives, the number of Las Vegas visitors this year was down from the 305,000 people attending New Year’s in 2006.  And this year there were 126 people arrested; 47 for driving under the influence.

 

In January 2008 a fire erupted on the roof of the Monte Carlo Hotel in Las Vegas and the ensuing investigation raised concerns about how easily Vegas Strip hotels could become blazing Hollywood backdrops.  So, when the time came for the 2009 News Year’s Eve fireworks blitz to be planned – it had to be staged from the roof of lower, and somewhat safer, parking garages located around the periphery of Las Vegas.   And once safety restrictions were paired with financial reductions, the city view that had once become a regular CNN moment beamed throughout the world didn’t even rate a cell phone video.

 

But not everyone in Las Vegas was participating in a subdued 2009 New Year’s Eve.  Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, surrounded by his usual cache’ of jewel-toned showgirls, celebrated the start of 2009 at the Fremont Street Experience, his favorite haunt.   “We’re the luckiest people in the world,” a beaming, red-nosed Goodman proclaimed to the record crowd of 30,000 in attendance. “I want all of us who live here to be prosperous and happy in 2009.”   And we all know that when Oscar Goodman issues a proclamation, the city and citizens respond with fervor. 

 

Our New Year’s wish is that this slow motion opening is just a simple starting point for what will be a spectacular 2009 for everyone.

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